Thursday, April 5, 2012

Phillies at Pirates: April 5th to April 8th

PNC Park - Pittsburgh, PA
Thursday 1:35, Saturday 7:05, Sunday 1:35

Phillies 0-0
Pirates 0-0

Phillies Probables:  Roy Halladay (0-0, 0.00), Cliff Lee (0-0, 0.00), Vance Worley (0-0, 0.00)
Pirates Probables:  Erik Bedard (0-0, 0.00), Jeff Karstens (0-0, 0.00), James McDonald (0-0, 0.00)

At the Ballpark:  I've visited roughly a dozen or so ballparks and I can say without hesitation that PNC Park is one of my favorite places to watch a ballgame.  The setting is gorgeous, as the ballpark overlooks the Allegheny River and the bright yellow Roberto Clemente Bridge.

All fans receive a magnetic schedule this afternoon and tomorrow night is a fireworks night.  On Sunday afternoon, all kids receive a Pirate Parrot Build-A-Bear doll.

Phillies Leaders (Spring Training)
Average:  Juan Pierre - .377
Runs:  Hunter Pence and Shane Victorino - 14
Home Runs:  Hector Luna - 3
RBIs:  Freddy Galvis - 14
Stolen Bases:  Scott Podsednik and Jimmy Rollins - 5

Wins:  Jonathan Papelbon - 2
ERA:  Cliff Lee - 2.45
Strikeouts:  Roy Halladay - 27
Saves:  6 tied with - 1

I'm doing a few things differently with these series preview posts this year.  I liked getting to know the opposition's roster last season by typing out each team's 25-man roster, but this got to be too time consuming and slightly boring toward the end of the season.  Instead, I'm going to feature the Phillies statistical leaders at the start of every series.

Also, continuing with theme of appreciating the 1979 Topps set this year in The Phillies Room, I'm going to feature cards from that set having a connection to the Phillies and their current opponents.  (I'll do this when possible.  Don't expect much when the Phils play teams that didn't exist in 1979.)

1979 Topps #567 and #223
1979 Topps Flashback
Growing up, I remember the Phillies' most heated rivalry was with the hated Pittsburgh Pirates.  It seemed as if these two teams played each other every other week and I grew to know the villains on the Buccos very well.  My how things have changed.

Richie Hebner began his 18-year career with the Pirates in 1968.  He left the team via free agency following the 1976 season, and the Phillies signed him to be their primary first baseman.  In his two seasons with the club, Hebner hit .284 with 35 home runs and 133 RBIs.  At the end of Spring Training in 1979, Hebner was traded to the Mets for pitcher Nino Espinosa.

Kent Tekulve really needs no introduction.  If The Phillies Room were to start its own Hall of Fame, Teke would be in the inaugural class.

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