After what seemed like an enternite was around 10 days before the next homestand and it was the Chicago Cubs. You get what you get with the Cubs and it seems to change from day to day BP wise. At least I remember the last time the Cubs came to PNC Park when I got autographs from Starlin Castro and Alfonso Soriano and I think Ian Weir remembers too.
But I had to focus on this game where of course the Pirates could not muster much out once again. I was beyond ready for the Cubs.
It was a good sign that Tony Campana was out in left field. The guy flat out hustles and often his momentum will carry him to the warning track leading to a toss up. I had the right idea but the wrong person.
My first ball came from Chapman – Jaye Chapman, formerly an Atlanta Braves on a toss up. He saw what he needed to say and tossed the ball up.
That put me at 199 baseballs on the season. I then looked over to the bullpen and saw exactly how I was going to get ball #200, but it would take a little time.
I saw catcher Wellington Castillo and coach Mike Borzello [former Yankees bullpen catcher]. At PNC Park before, Borzello was stiff and has tossed nothing up. I wanted to change that and break the unbreakable coach.
Five minutes later I made my move,
“Mr. Borzello, any chance for that baseball please,” I asked.
“Sure, no problem,” he responded.
Ball #200 on the season, thanks Mike!
Ball #3 actually came from a security guard which was cool. I was on the first base side and he tossed it up. That’s cool, I have never had that happen before.
That was it for the day as I left right after BP.
I was on a time limit for this one. It was my dad’s birthday and it wasn’t fair to him to keep him waiting. I also was quite under the weather so it was a gamble coming to the ballpark as I felt terrible.
I knew right away to make the jog to first base and just stay there to provide less stress on my body. Too much running would just have put my body over the edge.
Well one thing stopped me, my buddy Euclides Rojas. He saw me and flamed a ball right to the wall. Knowing what he was doing since he’s done it so many times, I fake acted scared before he threw me ball #1.
First base would not pay off at all. Bullpen catcher Andrew Lane I think ratted me out to half of the Cubs bullpen as I saw them all looking at me. I was in Pirates gear. The only other ball I got was a hit Alfonso Soriano ball [ball #2]. Lane looked disgusted and knowing I would not see him again, I held the ball up to say, even you can’t stop me.
Oh well, you win some you lose some and I got the last laugh.
That would be it for the Cubs series and I was ok with the performance considering my illness, I was just disappointed that I didn’t clean up like I normally did on Saturday games but at least it wasn’t a 4:05 game, plus now I was comfortably over 200 baseballs and close to that 208 baseball goal I had set for the beginning of the season.