Jack McVay Introductory Video

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Pirates vs Cincinnati Reds

September 8th thru 11th, 2016

Thursday September 8th - After the Pirate's win tonight and in response to the negativity expressed by talking heads on the FAN I want to start by saying this team has not quit, Clint and the coaches have not lost the team and Clint won his 500th game tonight as Pirates manager! Congratulations to him, all of his coaches, and to Frank and Neal for the tremendous overall rebuilding job that they have accomplished in a relatively short time frame. Congrats too on obviously one of the best trading deadline moves by any team in acquiring tonight so completely dominant complete game winner Nova and freeing up 2 years salary owed Liriano. Game balls to the front office and Clint and let's every now and then remember 1993 through 2013 and celebrate where the Pirates are. By the way Pirates 4 Reds 1 tonight! Thanks for reading also!

Friday September 9th - In a game where the Pirates had the leadoff runner on in 7 out of 9 innings and managed only 3 runs, both old school and sabremetricians had plenty to debate as the Reds scored 4. In the end, 2 pick offs of Polanco and Kang and Mercers failure to execute a first and second no out bunt all helped kill key scoring chances. Watson probably deserved better in his 3rd blown save as a bad sac bunt got briefly stuck in Kang so glove that would have got the 1st out of the 9th at second base and the weak jam shot that followed would not have hurt. The little things that require execution were not performed enough tonight to win.

Saturday September 10th - Did Not Attend

Sunday September 11th - It is important to remember that some things are more important than the pirates not making the playoffs and today is a day that we all recognize that fact. I'm sure that the Pirates are not going to make the playoffs now but I think it is also time to remember where the Pirates have come from. Today they played terrible all around and lost 8 to 0 and the silver lining today might be Glasnow showed good stuff particularly a 12 to 6 curve. Let's hope the team picks it up and expect the Pirates to experiment a little and I want to see Bell and the young pitching show something!

Pirates vs San Diego Padres

August 9th thru 11th, 2016

Tuesday August 9th - Did Not Attend

Wednesday August 10th - Tonight the Pirates were shut out for the 4th time this season by a score of 4 to 0 at the hands of the Padres and pitcher Edwin Enigma Jackson. Recall that the Pirates expressed interest in Jackson a few years ago as another fixable free agent pitcher and tonight he showed why, no hitting them through 5 and ultimately striking out 7 on 2 hits. His tip of the cap was earned by generating numerous swings and misses on a good slider mixed with a change up off the fastball. I want to note that again Ryan Vogelsong pitched another quality start since returning and showed command in striking out 5 in 6 innings but nonetheless getting a tough loss.

Thursday August 11th - Yes I did sneak out of work to witness Jamie Taillon and his colleagues Fry the Friars in 90 humid degrees by a score of 4 to 0! Taillon was under 90 pitches through the 7 innings overall pitching 8 scoreless on 101 pitches. He threw 18 first pitch strikes and Clint marveled post game how Taillon continues to demonstrate pitch efficiency using half fast balls and mixing another quarter pitches that were changes and the other quarter wicked 12 to 6 curves. Offensively the Pirates got a big day out of Friese with 2 hits and 2 rbi's particularly a huge 2 out q shot double down the right field line. Marte and J Hay also had 2 hits each while J Hay figures to have a "closed door meeting" to discuss "communication" with Clint in the near future for 2 base running gaffes in the 4th inning. I love J Hay's hustle and aggressive play but sometimes you have to listen to the base coaches!

Pirates vs Cincinnati Reds

August 5th thru 7th, 2016

The post non waiver trade deadline Pirates returned home from a bad 1 and 5 road trip to beat the Reds in a "backyard baseball" game as Clint called it walking off the Reds 3 to 2 behind S Rod's homer. The Pirates scratched for 2 runs on 2 hits earlier led by Clint's surprise suicide squeeze executed perfectly by Jordy scoring Jaso. Taillon pitched another solid game for Pittsburgh and S Rod's walkoff against former Pirate Ross Ohlendorf vultured a win out of a blown save for Tony Watson.

Saturday night the Pirates won again 5 to 3 behind a stellar outing from trade deadline acquired I Nova who displayed a brilliant sinker and 95 mph 4 seamer. I think Neal can point to this acquisition alone as evidence of the teams intent to win this year alone given the fact he is a "rental" and becomes a free agent at seasons end.

Sunday was Billy Hamilton day as Garrett Cole gifted him first base to start the game on a walk and he promptly stole second despite a new screen strategy, ie the first baseman holding Hamilton in front of him instead of on the bag. While I personally applaud the coaches for trying this it is incumbent upon Garrett Cole to improve his control of the running game as it is not only Billy Hamilton who exploits this flaw in Coles game. Hamilton stole 4 bases for the day and the Pirates defense and poor at bats didn't help matters either. I am excited that Kuhl is returning to the rotation and I think the Pirates are right to go with the young arms down the stretch!

Pirates vs Seattle Mariners

July 26th thru July 27th, 2016

Tuesday July 26th - The Pirates lost 7 to 4 to the Seattle Mariners at PNC as Franky Liriano had a bad outing again giving up 7 runs 4 walks 8 hits and throwing more balls than strikes in three and a third innings. Clint had seen enough and said after the game there has been a "counter punch" meaning teams are swinging less at Liriano s pitches. The thing I noticed and Liriano alluded to is that his stuff was live .. lots of sink .. and 95 mph fast ball... but he couldn't control it and when he threw a strike it was a hitters pitch up and over the heart of the zone. Liriano and Polanco homered to provide some offense and overall Polanco went 4 for 5.

Saturday July 27th - Garrett Cole cruised to his first career complete game... a Maddox nonetheless... mixing a wicked 2 seamer with a 97 plus 4 seamer and curves to complete the gem in 93 pitches and winning 10 to 1! Cutch belted a 3 run homer to make it a blow out after earlier getting a clutch double and single and I am excited about Cole and Cutch leading the way! I also want to point out the stellar glove work all night and particularly Web gems to S Rod Jung Ho and Freese! Cutch looked like MVP Cutch and Cole pitched like a true ace and on Star Wars night the Pirates gave a Jedi like team effort!

Pirates vs Philadelphia Philles

July 22nd thru July 24th, 2016

Friday July 22nd - Zach Eflin in his first season and career start against Pittsburgh had Pirates hitters saying Effin Zach Eflin pitching a complete game under 100 pitches. . . a Maddox . . . allowing only 3 hits and no runs winning 4 to 0. While Garrett Cole cruised through 5 scattering 4 hits and 0 runs , the 6th started portentously with a ground ball base hit off the 1st base bag followed by a hit batsman. With this bad break and a temporary loss of command lead to bases loaded and nobody out, Cole battled yielding only one Philly run. Eflin through 6 had thrown 65 pitches and given up only 2 hits and Clint lifted Cole for pinch hitter after his 6 th inning battle. Certainly a good start from Cole was encouraging but the tip of the cap goes to the young Phils and Zach Eflin.

Saturday July 23rd - Did Not Attend

Sunday July 24th - The Pirates won another series and made it 14 out of the last 20 beating the Phillies Sunday afternoon 5 to 4 behind strong performances from the bench and recent callups. The biggest hit of the day was the pinch hit homer in the 7th by Adam Frazier who looks like he should be playing for my Green Tree Colt League team although Matt Joyce's 2 run homer to tie the game at 4 was large too. Elias Diaz defended brilliantly as he picked a runner at 2nd, threw out the only attempted steal and managed pitch selection for Taillon who himself had a good start. He struck out 7 and walked nobody but left a couple fast balls up to Andres Blanco and future star Odubel Herrera who homered respectively. S Rod and Marte also helped the offense and a Web gem to Freese for his leaping snare of a shot down the 3b line helping stop a Philly threat.

Pirates vs Milwaukee Brewers

July 19th thru July 21st, 2016

Tuesday July 19th - It's Amore at PNC as Franky Cervelli returned to a warm ovation for the Pirates tonight joining Jimi Taillon and Gregory "Poly" Polanco in returning to the Pirates lineup! Taillon suffered a scare in the 2nd inning taking an exit velocity 105mph liner off of the back of the head but nonetheless pitched efficiently through 6 innings allowing 1 run on 5 hits on only 65 pitches! A Web Gem goes to JHAY for the first out of the 6th while Jimi T mixed a big 12 to 6 curve and 95 mph heater along with defense to control the Beermaker bats! Speaking of JHAY he gets the game ball for his walkoff triple and an error to win the game after Milwaukee had tied the game at 2 in the ninth! Tips of the cap to Jo Jo of the Bucco Zone for calling for rally caps as JHAY walked to the plate and also to Paul for the dog treats for our dog Rosey on Pup night! Also the Bucco Zone expresses it's deepest condolences to the best broadcaster in baseball Greg Brown and to all the Brown family on the passing of their Mom! Finally Happy Birthday to our mom the late Mary T McVay who would have celebrated her 88th birthday today from all of us. RTJR Mary T McVay and Mrs Brown! :)

Wednesday July 20th - On Faith Night at PNC the Pirates lost 9 to 5 to Milwaukee because of 9 walks 12 hits and 5 stolen bases. As Clint said "We didn't execute off the mound tonight" although Skip only got to see 9 pitches live himself after a first inning ejection for arguing correctly Umpire Holbrook's blown call on Ryan Braun. Braun clearly was struck by his own fair ball outside the batters box and I partially heard and watched the exchange and it definitely was one of the quickest unwarranted ejections that I have ever seen. Nonetheless Locke walking the 1st batter proved to be a sign of things to come and tips of the hat the Brewers offense and coaches for the hits and stolen bags.

Thursday July 21st - Did not Attend

Pirates vs Chicago Cubs

July 8th thru July 10th, 2016

Complete Series - Did not Attend - Vacation.

Pirates vs Los Angeles Dodgers

June 24th thru June 27th, 2016

Friday June 24th - Congratulations to Clint tonight for his milestone 1000th win after his wife Karla arranged for his dad to fly in as the pirates bats and yes ...bullpen... led the way to an 8 to 6 victory! Game balls to Neftali Feliz for his rally shut down and also Matt Joyce and Jung Ho Kang for home runs that led the offense.

Saturday June 25th - Did Not Attend Game

Sunday June 26th - Did Not Attend Game

Monday June 27th - Did Not Attend Game

Pirates vs San Francisco Giants

June 20th thru June 23rd, 2016

Complete Series - Did not Attend - Vacation.

Pirates vs St Louis Cardinals

June 10th thru June 12th, 2016

Friday June 10th - The Birds on the Bats took game 1 of the 3 game weekend set in bizarre fashion winning a 12 inning game 9 to 3! Incredibly Matheny's Men scored 6 runs in the top of the 12th of a 3 to 3 game after pitcher Adam Wainwright pinch hitting gapped a double scoring 2 with 2 outs. The controversial decision to intentionally walk the winning run to second to me personally was justified given 2 outs and a pitcher batting but it backfired. The Pirates were game in coming back after Pirates killer Matt Carpenter's (see Jack Clark, Albert Puljos etc.) 3 run home run in the 8th by tying the game in the 9th. Despite a great relief effort from Schugel after Coles injury, the bullpen and runner's left on base were again the Pirates downfall tonight.

Saturday June 11th - Did Not Attend Game

Sunday June 12th - Did Not Attend Game

Pirates vs New York Mets

June 6th thru June 8th, 2016

Monday June 6th - Game Postponed

Tuesday June 7th - After dropping 2 of 3 to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim over the weekend, the Pirates came back strong sweeping 2 from the Mets in an old fashioned double header both games by 3 to 1 scores. Good to watch the first game with the BuccoZone's Paul and Jo Jo as we cheered Neil Walker's initial return in a heartfelt standing "O" that visibly moved Neil and his former team too. Neise was outstanding staying down all night inducing numerous ground balls with JHAYs 3 hits, Jordy's Notched Moon Shot and Cutch's clutch 3 balls 0 strikes rbi single driving in JHAY also earning game balls. Thanks for the green light Sofield and the Mets for throwing Cutchy a fastball there! Game 2 was again primarily about pitching as Nicasio said I want to keep my job regardless of Taillon's call up striking out 7 in 5 innings and also helping with a slug bunt that produced a run. Stellar bullpen work from Feliz and Melancin in both games and Hughes and Watson in the second game deserve game balls as do Clint and coaches for pushing the right strategic buttons all night long!

Wednesday June 8th - Did Not Attend Game

Pirates vs Arizona Diamondbacks

May 24th thru May 26th, 2016

Tuesday May 24th - Did Not Attend Game

Wednesday May 25th - Twice the pirates fell behind by 3 runs but ultimately came back to win the second of 3 games against the Snakes by a score of 5 to 4. Game ball to Freese for his North Side Notch bullpen moon shot on a hung slider that put the Pirates ahead. Notable for their offensive contributions tonight are Cutch SROD Polanco and Jaso and the infield defense was stellar. Thanks to Weeks for failing to "Freeze on a line drive" and kill a possible 8th inning DBACKS rally! Sweep the Snakes tomorrow!

Thursday May 26th - Did Not Attend Game

Pirates vs Colorado Rockies

May 20th thru May 23rd, 2016

Friday May 20th - Friday night was "Leather Night" at PNC as the Pirates defense stood out as the difference in the 2 to 1 victory over the Rockies. Garrett Cole pitched 7 innings without striking out a batter but benefitted from to quote him "my boys salt and pepper" Mercer and Harrison who turned a few DPs and the legs and arm of Marte. The Pirates left fielder hosed the Rockies catcher at the plate to end the 7th. I am baffled by coaches who send runners on Marte who probably has the best outfield arm we have seen since Van Slyke. Freese should also be credited with the game winning rbi.

Saturday May 21st - Replay provided 2 huge swings in today's game as the Rockies 1st run was the result of a successful overturn of an out call. Jon Niese pitched effective and deserved a win but the Pirates offense couldn't get a break. Most significant was the failure of the New York City review umpires to overturn an out call at the plate where Kang clearly was blocked by the Rockies catcher. While I'm not particularly a fan of replay it does sometimes get calls right too but not today. Two things I would like to see is a time limit and also like football a public explanation. Despite replay in a rainy 9th Cervelli's slipped throw into right started the Pirates downfall giving up 4 runs after 2 outs in the 9th to lose 5 to 1.

Sunday May 22nd - Did Not Attend Game

Monday May 23rd - Did Not Attend Game

Pirates vs Atlanta Braves

May 16th thru May 19th, 2016

Monday May 16th - The Pirates began their 10 game home stand with an 8 to 5 victory at PNC Park led by Jonathan Niese's quality start. Niese got away with allowing the leadoff hitter to reach in 5 of his 6 innings yet managed to keep the ball down and to get ground balls when needed. Matt Joyce had another big night with 3 hits and 3 RBI's including his 5th home run. Polanco also had 3 hits and Friese 2 and while Luebke gave up 3 runs in relief. Melancon closed it out with another save.

Tuesday May 17th - The Judge was off tonight so the Buccozone is filling in. The Pirates enjoyed a crazy night with 7 runs scored in the bottom of the first inning and a lead of 9-0 before the braves began battling back. Starting Pitcher Juan Nicasio gave up 5 runs, 3 earned, Ryan Vogelsong gave up 3 runs, and Arquimedes Caminero gave up a long ball for one run. Amazingly the total hits were 35 and the bucs tied their hits record with 21 hits. Mark Melancon ended up pitching in the ninth even with back to back to back appearances to close out the braves with another save.

Jung Ho Kang received cheers from the crowd on his first plate appearance for his first home game return to PNC Park as did Francisco Cervelli as a congratulations on signing his 3 year contract extension for 31 million. Another high note... Alen Hanson got his 1st major league hit tonight with the bucs and said he is sending the ball to his mother. LETS GO BUCS!

Wednesday May 18th - Hitting is timing. Pitching is upsetting timing to paraphrase the great Warren Spahn who won 365 games over 21 seasons. Julio Teheran upset timing all night long pitching backwards throwing sliders in 2 ball 0 strike counts and sucker fast balls with 2 strikes. Tip of the hat to Teheran and the balk move he has that wasn't called that also helped tonight to picking off Matt Joyce to kill a potential late rally. The Pirates only run came on a Kang solo jack losing 3 to 1 to the Braves tonight!

Thursday May 19th - The Pirates won the series against the Braves tonight taking their 3rd win out of 4 by a score of 8 to 2 behind solid pitching from Jeff Locke. Locke in his post game comments mentioned playing catch with Liriano to learn the slider which he used quite effectively in holding the Braves tonight to 2 runs on 6 hits striking out 6 and walking 2. Gregory Polanco dazzled the fans with an opposite north side notch homer and a base blazing triple while Jaso and Mercer collected 3 hits for the evening to lead the offense.

Pirates vs Chicago Cubs

May 2nd thru May 4th, 2016

Monday May 2nd - The first place Chicago Cubs came to town as did the Washington Capitals and the question arose as to who is more disliked Joe Maddon or Alex Ovechkin? Tonight it was undoubtedly Maddon who managed the Cubs to an easy win and yelled obscenities easily discernible to all TV fans after a hit Cubs batter. Nonetheless he deserves credit for running baserunners on Garrett Cole who has to improve on holding runners.Cutch gave the Pirates a first inning 1 to 0 lead but Jason Hammel pitched lights out and Garrett had command issues resulting in a 7 to 2 Pirates loss!

Tuesday May 3rd - Arrieta d! I am not happy writing tonight's game summary as I was highly optimistic that Arrieta was due to lose and when Jaso and Cutch reached to start the game I was certain! I was wrong as he closed the door immediately mixing a wicked sink and mid 90s fastball; and the Pirates never threatened again losing 7 to 1. Certainly a tip of the cap to Arrieta and the entire Cubs team for an aggressive offense and Web gems at 3rd and Fowler in center field. Let's get Lester tomorrow and run the bags on him as he can't throw over to first!

Wednesday May 4th - While the Cubs completed the sweep of the 3 game set at PNC, I was working and didn't see the game so anything I would report would be inadmissible hearsay! See you next home stand and 9 games on the road with central division including a trip to Wrigley! RTJR

Pirates vs Cincinnati Reds

April 29th thru May 1st, 2016

Friday April 29th - "Complete command" is how Manager Clint Hurdle described Juan Ni"K"asio's performance striking out 5 of the 1st 6 batters using his fastball slider mix and occasionally sprinkled with a change. NealHuntington's acquisitions of Jaso and Freese have drawn praise but Nicasio and Joyce have also proven wise as the latter added another pinch hit home run to insure the win. In addititon to game balls to Nicasio and Joyce, give one to J Hay for an opposite field home run and a stellar run saving web gem diving to his right to prevent a ball from going up the middle and killing a Reds rally.

Saturday April 30th - Angel Hernandez's strike zone had batters wondering if the rain was in his eyes or he wanted to get home early and Papa Francisco took advantage pitching a strong 6 and 2/3rd innings in a 5 to 1 victory! It should be noted he also had another knock while striking out 6 and walking none. He only had three '3 ball' counts all night! In addition to Liriano, game balls to Jaso for his 1st pitch of the game homerand S Rod's deal sealing 2 run shot! Brooms and rainwear tomorrow!

Sunday May 1st - It was a pitchers duel for the first half of the game between Jeff Locke and Tim Adlemam, but the Pirates 6 game winning streak ultimately ended after 11 innings and a 6 to 5 loss Sunday. Adlemam gets a tip of the cap for not quitting baseball and making his major league debut as a 28 year old rookie with a degree from Georgetown but was last pitching Independent league baseball and stocking grocery shelves in the offseason. The Pirates like Adlemam showed heart all day coming from behind 3 times to tie including a Jaso homer with 2 outs in bottom of the 9th but the 4 errors hurt and cost them the sweep.

Comment: Pirate Fan Ray - Nicely Done Judge!

Pirates vs Milwaukee Brewers

April 15th thru 17th, 2016

Friday April 15th - The Pirates lost their 4th game in a row tonight when Ryan Braun and the Brew Crew came to town. Braun hit a monster shot of the batters eye and followed up with another homer to lead the Beermakers to a 7 to 4 victory with Pirate pitchers also allowing 10 walks. A similar story to Thursday with the pitchers not making pitches and the hitters not executing with runners on base with the exception of Marte and Freese who led a comeback from a 5 run deficit to 5 to 4, but Braun's second homer sealed the deal.

Saturday April 16th - Fireworks Saturday Night against the Beermakers proved to be a spectacular evening as Jon Niese came through with the strongest outing of the season by a Pirates starter throwing 7 scoreless! Cutch jacked his first homer and wasn't looking for fireworks when he looked skyward post homer and before entering the dugout mouthing "about time" for all fans to see! Game balls to those 2 along with the infield for stellar defense behind Niese!

Sunday April 17th - Sunday brought sunshine and a series victory over Milwaukee as the Pirates scored 9 runs to their 3. Game balls all over but S Rod gets one for hitting a ball to the 3rd level rotunda which I personally had never seen done before. Also some good glove work by Jaso is worth noting and also aggressive baserunning and situational offense helped turn some bleeders of hits into runs especially in that crazy 3rd inning. On to San Diego and hope the Padres dont try to steal Coach Sofied away from us while he is there!:} Good luck and RTJR!

Pirates vs Detroit Tigers

April 13th and 14th, 2016

Wednesday April 13th - The Pirates lost tonight at PNC to the Detroit Tigers 7 to 3 after a 2 for 3 road trip to the Queen City and Detroit! Tips of the cap go to the catcher Saltalamacchia for his 6th inning granny off of Archy Caminero who had relieved Ryan Vogelsong after a very successful 5 inning spot start. Also Tiger starter Shane Greene gets a tip of the cap for surviving a 35 pitch 1st inning to hold the Pirates the rest of the night mustering only 4 hits.

Thursday April 14th - The Pirates lost their 3rd in a row against the Tigers Thursday afternoon on a beautiful day at PNC. Garret Cole looked much sharper with his stuff but the good hittting Tigers overall managed 7 runs andthe Pirates 4. The bullpen didnt do the job and the bats didnt come up with the big hit when they needed it.

Opening Series 2016 - Pirates vs Cardinals

April 3rd thru 6th, 2016

Sunday April 3rd (Opening Day) - The greatest way to start off another summer... Opening Day Baseball at PNC Park! And no better way to start off the year than by defeating our division rivals, the St Louis Cardinals. Francisco Liriano looked great with wonderful ball control while St Louis' Adam Wainwright gave up 3 earned runs and only 3 strike outs. ALL IN BUCCO's with a 4 to 1 victory on Opening Day!

Tuesday April 5th - On a chilly night at PNC with dollar hot dogs and discounts galore to warm up the fans, the Pirates gave them more than their money's worth with an 11th inning walkoff win against St Louis! Game balls to Jordy Mercer for his clutch hit to score Polanco in the 11th and also Kyle Lobstein for two impressive innings of scoreless relief. It really became a battle of two good bullpens tonight after starters WACHA WACHA WACHA and Neise were touched up early! Bring your brooms Wednesday!

Wednesday April 6th - As Clint is fond of saying "Lets not overcook it!" But the Pirates did sweep the Cardinals to begin the season at PNC winning 5 to 1 Wednesday. Beating old nemesis Mike Leake for the 1st time in 8 starts and not since 2012, Pirates starter Jaun Nicasio was dealing striking out 7 and walking none! The Pirates drew 5 walks for those Moneyball fans and played clean defense and aggressively ran the bags! Game balls to Nicasio; Cervelli for his 2 out 2 strike double driving in 2; Coach Sofield for his aggressive waves of Jaso and Mercer scoring runs; and Cory Lubke for just pitching after two, yes TWO TommyJohn surgeries! Finally Polanco drew a big bases loaded walk scoring the first run and looks like a much more disciplined hitter but.....lets not overcook it! See you all at PNC next Wednesday!!!

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