Opening Day Reminiscing – 2011

The Pirates have not lost an Opening Day game since 2006

The Pirates have won five straight Opening Day games, the longest active streak in the Major Leagues. We are fast approaching the season’s beginning and the Pirates will put their streak on the line against the Philadelphia Phillies on April 5th. Until then, I’m going to write a mini-series going back and remembering the past five Opening Day wins.

Last year the Pirates opened the season up in Chicago on Friday, April 1st and got off to a 1-0 start by defeating the Cubs 6-3. It Clint Hurdle’s first game managing the Pirates.

The highlight of the game was Neil Walker’s fifth inning grand slam. The Pittsburgh kid became the first Pirate to homer on Opening Day since Roberto Clemente did it in 1962.

Walker would finish the day with two hits, two runs scored, and those four runs batted in. The other two runs were added by an Andrew McCutchen two run bomb in the seventh inning. All six of those runs came off Cubs starter Ryan Dempster, who would go on to have a pretty rough season.

Kevin Correia started the game for the Pirates and pitched six innings giving up three runs (two earned) on seven hits while striking out three and walking one to get the win. It was Correia’s first start as a Pirate after being signed in the offseason. Garrett Olson, Jose Veras, Evan Meek, and Joel Hanrahan (who got his first save of the season) pitched three shutout innings to seal the victory.

The big win set the tone for a season in which the Pirates would find themselves in first place as late as July 25th.

all images courtesy of espn.com

Here’s the rest of the series’ posts:

2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2009

Topics: Andrew McCutchen, Joel Hanrahan, Kevin Correia, Neil Walker, Opening Day

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