MLB Opening Day is here. The Pittsburgh Pirates take on the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park.
If you are new around here, a common question is why do you do this? We aren’t sure. We do not have credentials from the Bucs, and in no way are interested in such thing. We are not affiliated with the organization. We are not paid by the organization.
With all that out of the way, before games we will pick up items off the game notes for you. We look for things that you might find interesting.
The pitching matchup is Jeff Samardzija and Francisco Liriano. The Bucs lost to Samardzija and the Cubs 3-1 last season on Opening Day.
Liriano made an Opening Day start for the Twins in 2009. He lost to the Mariners and King Felix Hernandez. Frankie is the ninth straight different Opening Day starter for the Bucs. That is a streak that hasn’t been replicated since 1900.
Mark Melancon has a cool streak too. The longest streak of innings pitched without giving up a gopher ball among all ML pitchers–63 innings. Seems like a jinx even mentioning it.. gulp.
Tony Watson finished the 2013 campaign by making 21 consecutive scoreless appearances, dating back to August 6. Watson has a 20.1 consecutive scoreless innings streak to start this season is the third-longest active streak in the Major Leagues behind Kevin Siegrist (25.0ip) and Hisashi Iwakuma (23.0ip).
The Bucs and Cubs actually met in the first game in Pittsburgh’s National League history on April 30, 1887 at Recreation Park.
OPENING DAY INFO: Gates open ttoday at 11:00am.
Player introductions are scheduled to begin at 12:40 – first the Cubs and then the Pirates – prior to which Andrew McCutchen, Clint Hurdle, Pedro Alvarez and Francisco Liriano will be honored for their achievements in 2013.
Following a moment of silence, SSgt Charles Stoddard of the United States
Army will perform God Bless America and Petrina McCutchen will perform The Star Spangled Banner.
The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by Scott Kiner, son of Pirates Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner