The moment will be remembered forever as the Pittsburgh Kid hit his first bomb. God it was fantastic. The hilarity that ensued was nearly as good. Joel Hanrahan gave Walker a fake homerun ball and a pie. Hell, look at that ball, the Major League logo was nearly scuffed away and the laces are about gone! Funny stuff. It was a big night for Pine Richland’s Neil Walker, maybe big enough to lose the Pine Richland? Nah, never.
Walker hit the go-ahead homer in the bottom of the eighth inning off Ted Lilly to seal a 3-2 win for the Pirates. Cubs Manager Lou Pinella visited the mound and we thought for certain was going to give Lilly the hook. It was a move most everyone thought was a sure thing. Lilly had made Walker look silly twice. When Pinella turned toward the dugout, Walker must have smiled. He sure was smiling after putting the ball into the seats in left center field.
PNC Park when nuts. The Smith household did too. Kudos to FSN Pittsburgh. Paul Alexander was on it and let Walker shine like no other talent could.
Closer Octavio Dotel finished the Cubs with two more strikeouts in the ninth. It was Dotel’s sixth save against the Cubs this season. Xavier Nady provided alll of the offense for the Cubs with a pile of hits including a two-run homer off Jeff Karstens who was effective in six innings of work. A Garrett Jones solo shot was his second in two nights for the other Pirates run.
Sure it’s nice to see the first of the young talent come up to Pittsburgh. I’m not satisfied. I would love to see more. Sure enough, don’t look now, but Jose Tabata played LF last night for AAA Indianapolis. He hit a bomb. It was his third of the season, and first since April 26th.
Say what you want about Neal Huntington and Frank Coonley, but they seem to be able to push the buttons of the young talent. It’s obvious they pissed off Neil Walker to see how he would react. It was obvious Garrett Jones was kept in AAA a little longer than most thought was necessary last season. The extra time in AAA certainly did help Andrew McCutchen.
Those moves worked out pretty well didn’t they? Huntington said on his radio show that Tabata had some work left to do. How has Tabata responded after hearing such news? He keeps on rolling. He has had hits in eight of his last ten games.
It’s time. Let’s bring Tabata up. I have seen enough of Lastings Milledge this season. Perhaps bringing up Tabata will turn on the light in Milledge’s brain that he is missing his opportunity.
And while you’re at it, buy a buddy ticket and send Brad Lincoln on the same plane. It’s time to see what these kids can do on the big stage.
The big stage has been kind to Neil Walker.
Pedro plays chess. Cool. Check out this quote from Brian Friday:
Post-game quotes — 2B Brian Friday
(on if with all the recent delays it has felt like they have played more than six games on the current road trip)
“Yes and No. It’s been the weirdest six days, the weirdest stretch in my career for sure. We have had rain outs and white outs, but it has been all right because we have been winning. The important thing was that we were able to stay relaxed and not get too upset about the delays because their is not to much you can do about the weather.”
(on coming up with two big hits after the rain delay in game two)
“During the delay, Pedro (Tribe 3B Pedro Alvarez) and I were in the clubhouse playing chess to keep the brain working. So when I came out after the delay, I was more focused and able to put some good swings on the ball.”