Tuesday, May 31, 2016

THE BULLPEN

     Happy Roberto Clemente Day! Our Pittsburgh Pirates celebrate #21 tonight in Miami with their matchup versus the Marlins. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)After scoring just 4 runs in their last 2 games, the Pirates came back with a vengeance in last night's 10-0 victory in the opener. They registered 14 hits including 2 home runs on their way to the Fish fry. Always room for more Hit, Run & Score! 2)Tonight's game could be a pitcher's duel. The Buccos have RH Gerrit Cole, 5-3, 2.53 ERA on the mound. He'll face Marlins RH Jose Fernandez, 7-2, 2.82 ERA. Hop aboard the Cole Train for a win! 3)The Bucs are 7-3 in their last 10. Win #8 would be great! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Monday, May 30, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     Lord Stanley, Lord Stanley, Mrs. Black-N-Gold has a preview of the Stanley Cup finals. They begin tonight when the San Jose Sharks faceoff against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Mrs. Black-N-Gold will carefully and thoughtfully process all of the necessary information to give you her pick to raise the Cup.

CELEBRITIES

Pittsburgh has many celebrities from all forms of entertainment that hail from the Steel City. There are rap artists Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller, Olympic Gold Medalist and professional wrestler, Kurt Angle, Academy Award-nominated actor Michael Keaton, and comedian Billy Gardell to name a few. Seriously, Mrs. Black-N-Gold could write an entire article of all the famous people that are from the 'Burgh.

Mrs. Black-N-Gold searched high and low to find the celebrities from San Jose. She found "actor" Dustin Diamond. "Who is Dustin Diamond" you ask? He's the has-been that played Screech on "Saved by the Bell". Way to represent, San Jose.

Advantage-Pittsburgh

MUSIC

For Pittsburgh, you can see the above Wiz and Mac. There is also The Clarks and Donnie Iris.

Musically, San Jose has brought the world The Count 5, The Doobie Brothers and Smash Mouth. Now Mrs. Black-N-Gold is a fan of The Count 5's "Psychotic Reaction" and has been known to sing along to a Doobie's tune or two. However, that song "All-Star" by Smash Mouth has always gotten on her nerves.

Advantage-Pittsburgh

FOOD

Mrs. Black-N-Gold was unable to unearth any delicacies from San Jose, CA. She did stumble across one mention of Tofu. Ew! With San Jose being in Northern California, one would think wine would be a big thing there. Maybe seafood, too.

When it comes to Pittsburgh, if you're not eating a Primanti's sandwich and washing it down with a cold Iron City, there is something wrong with you.

Advantage-Pittsburgh

What do all these scientific facts tell us? That our Pittsburgh Penguins will raise the Cup! Many local pundits have expressed an interest in the Pens winning it in 5 or 7 games so our Pens can win the Cup in front of the home crowd for the 1st time. While that would be cool, Mrs. Black-N-Gold just wants to see the Pens win it all. The Cup travels well and can have its own seat on the team plane. Pens in 6. Let's Go Pens!!!






SLAP SHOTS

     Happy Pucks & Bucs Day! I'll be cow-kicked, it's a great day for playoff hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins faceoff tonight against the San Jose Sharks at Consol Energy Center for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Sharks are the top scoring team in the playoffs, averaging 3.50 goals per game. The Pens are #2 with 3.22. Crank up the Crue and the Goals, Goals, Goals! 2)Again, San Jose is the top ranked team on the power play at 27%. The Pens are 2nd at 26.3%. Man-up! 3)It's important to set the tone early for both this game and the series. Both teams are evenly matched. The only difference is it looks like San Jose G Martin Jones can be had. Score early, score often, score BIG. Take a bite out of the Sharks! Let's Go Pens!!!


THE BULLPEN

     Happy Bucs & Pucks Day! Party in the city where the heat is on! Our Pittsburgh Pirates take their show on the road to Miami tonight to battle the Marlins. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)With yesterday's 6-2 loss in Texas, the Pirates lost their 2nd game in a row. Here's hoping they forwarded the Jolly Roger to Miami. Raise It! 2)The Bucs have scored just 4 runs in their last 2 games after scoring 40 in the previous 5. Need more Hit, Run & Score! 3)LH Jeff Locke, 3-3, 5.08 ERA starts for the Buccos. The Marlins start LH Justin Nicolino, 2-2, 4.37 ERA. Locke down a win! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!



Sunday, May 29, 2016

THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS

     Start spreading the news. What a fabulous week it's been for Black-N-Gold Nation. Mrs. Black-N-Gold has a re-cap for you with all The Black-N-Gold News. It's the latest from our favorite Black-N-Gold teams, the Penguins, the Pirates and the Steelers. And away we go!

                                                 
                                               THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS

PENGUINS

Oh what a week it's been for our Penguins! Last Sunday Coach Mike Sullivan decided to replace rookie G Matt Murray with former starter Marc-Andre Fleury for Game of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Tampa Bay Lightning. It was also announced that D Trevor Daley would miss the rest of the season with a broken ankle. That's a tough break for Trev. Get well soon!

Unfortunately, the Flower didn't blossom in his first start in over a month. The Pens lost Game 5 in OT 4-3. Facing elimination, the Pens went on the road to Tampa Bay for game 6. Our favorite Black-N-Gold hockey team dominated from start to finish in a 5-2 victory, tying the series at 3 games apiece. The series would return to Pittsburgh for the final game and the chance to go to the Stanley Cup Finals. The Pens did not disappoint. Murray returned to goal and the Pens took the series with a 2-1 win.

The Pens return to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since winning the Cup in 2009. They'll hold home ice advantage when they faceoff against the Western Conference winners, the San Jose Sharks. Game 1 is tomorrow night at Consol Energy Center at 8pm. Mrs. Black-N-Gold will have her Stanley Cup preview as well as her keys to the game, tomorrow. Below is the schedule. Let's Go Pens!!!



There was more Pens news leading up to Game 1. Several Penguins were named to various World Cup teams for that competition. Congrats to C Sidney Crosby (Team Canada), G Matt Murray (Team North America), D Olli Maatta (Team Finland) Fs Carl Hagelin and Patric Hornqvist (Team Sweden) and Coach Sully (Team USA). Let's Go Pens!!!

PIRATES

Our Pirates started the week in the loss column with a 5-1 loss to Colorado last Saturday. After a rain delay of several hours, Sunday's game was postponed. It was rescheduled for the following day with a 12:35pm start. No problem for the Pirates, they took the series with a 6-3 win over the Rockies. Unfortunately they did receive some bad news. RH Ryan Vogelsong, called on for the spot start, was injured when he was hit in the face by a pitch while batting. Vogey was taken to AGH, where he had to spend a few days while the swelling went down on his left eye. He was placed on the 15 day DL and RH AJ Schugel was re-called from Triple A Indy. Get well, soon, Vogey!

The Pirates won the opener in the series with Arizona, downing the Diamondbacks 12-1. They edged Arizona the next night in a 5-4 win.

Some more roster moves were made, too. RH Arquimedes Caminero, who hit 2 Diamondbacks batters in the head in Tuesday night's game was placed on the 15 day DL. LH Tony Watson was placed on the paternity list. LH Kyle Lobstein and RH Rob Scahill were brought up from Indy to take their place. The Pirates brook out the brooms for the sweep on Thursday afternoon, winning 8-3.

The Pirates took their show on the road to Texas with a 3 game series that started on Friday night. The Pirates pounded the Rangers 9-1 to extend their winning streak to 5 games.

Prior to Saturday's game, the Pirates reinstated Watson and sent Lobstein back to Indy. Our favorite Black-N-Gold baseball team saw their winning streak come to an end. Former coach Jeff Banister's squad defeated the Bucs last night 5-2. They look to bounce back today in the rubber game. From there, they'll head to Miami for a 4-game set. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!

STEELERS

Our Steelers announced that training camp will get under way at St. Vincent's College in Latrobe on July 28. Mark your calendars. Meanwhile, OTAs kicked off this week. Not everyone was present at the start of activities. WR Antonio Brown was absent, finishing off his Dancing with the Stars commitments. AB did arrive on Thursday and is expected to be with the team for the rest of the offseason workouts. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!


THE BULLPEN

     Batter up! Our Pittsburgh Pirates wrap up their series with the Rangers this afternoon in Texas. These are your keys for today's game. 1)The Bucs look to bounce back in today's rubber game following last night's 5-2 loss. Today, they attempt to make some Texas Meatloaf. 2 outta 3 ain't bad! 2)The Pirates were a putrid 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position in last night's game. Bring 'em on home with more Hit, Run, & Score! 3)The Pirates will start LH Francisco Liriano, 4-3, 4.30 ERA. Texas trots out LH Martin Perez, 2-4, 3.13 ERA. Frankie looks to get on on track on the road today. He has had his issues away from home, going 1-2 with a 7.00 ERA. Be filthy, Frankie! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!




Friday, May 27, 2016

THE BULLPEN

     The crack of the bat, the thrill of the hit! Our Pittsburgh Pirates continue their series against the Texas Rangers tonight. Mrs. Black-N-Gold has your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pirates roll continued last night as they routed the Rangers for their 5th straight win. The victory was powered by 14 hits, 4 of them homers, the 3rd time this season the Pirates have hit at least 4 round trippers in a game. Chicks dig the long ball! 2)The Bucs have exploded for 40 runs during their 5 game winning streak. You gotta have more Hit, Run, & Score! 3)The Pirates will pitch RH Juan Nicasio, 4-3, 4.46 ERA. Rangers RH Yu Darvish will make his season debut as he comes back from Tommy John surgery. Win one for Juan! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!



THE BULLPEN

     Hey batter, batter, batter, batter! Our Pittsburgh Pirates take their show on the road to Texas tonight when they open a 3-game set with the Rangers. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)With yesterday's 8-3 downing of the DBags, the Pirates not only swept the Snakes back to AZ but also won their 4th straight. #5 would be great! 2)During the Buccos winning streak, they've scored 31 runs. There's always room for more Hit, Run & Score! 3)The Pirates send LH Jon Niese, 4-2, 4.75 ERA to the mound. The Rangers start LH Cole Hamels, 5-0, 2.83 ERA. Hamels is due for a loss. Give him L! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Thursday, May 26, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     Happy Pucks & Bucs Day! I'll meet you in the schoolyard, baby, for all the marbles; it's a great day for playoff hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins return to the home ice of Consol Energy Center tonight to faceoff against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)This is it. Game 7. The 2 best words in the sports vernacular. One of these two teams will  go on to the Stanley Cup Finals and one of these two teams will just go home. Win and you're in! 2)In Tuesday's 5-2 trouncing of Tampa Bay, the stars were out for the Penguins, getting contributions from Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin. Star light, star bright, we need the stars to shine tonight! 3)The Pens finally, FINALLY, challenged Tampa Bay's rookie goalie on Tuesday. Keep the heat in his kitchen and get in his grill. Fire up the Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!


THE BULLPEN

     Happy Bucs & Pucks Day! Root, root, root for the home team! Our Pittsburgh Pirates close out their homestand this afternoon when they battle the Arizona Diamondbacks at PNC Park. These are your keys for today's game. 1)The Pirates are 7-2 on this homestand. They've won 3 in a row. Get win #4, Hit, Run, & Score! 2)The Pirates can do some house cleaning today and sweep the Diamondbacks back to Arizona. Break out the brooms! 3)Arizona will start LH Patrick Corbin, 2-3, 3.99 ERA. The Pirates will counter with RH Gerrit Cole, 5-3, 2.79 ERA. The Bucs have won 5 of Cole's last 6 starts. All aboard the Cole Train for a win! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!




Wednesday, May 25, 2016

THE BULLPEN

     Look at me, I can be in centerfield! Our Pittsburgh Pirates continue their series against the Arizona Diamondbacks tonight at PNC Park. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)Last night, the Pirates pounded the Diamondbacks 12-1. They registered 17 hits. I love a hit parade! 2)Kudos to RF Gregory Polanco. El Coffee was hot last night going 3-5 with a home run, a double, 2 runs scored and a career-high 5 RBIs. We like our Coffee hot and strong! 3)RH Rubby De La Rosa, 4-4, 3.53 ERA starts for AZ. The Pirates go with LH Jeff Locke, 2-3, 5.00 ERA. Locke up a win with some Hit, Run & Score! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     Happy Pucks & Bucs Day! Lord Stanley, Lord Stanley, pass me the brandy; it's a great day for playoff hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins travel to Tampa Bay to faceoff against the Lightning tonight in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pens are facing elimination tonight following Sunday's 4-3 loss in OT. Even though the schedule shows "Game 6", we need to have a Game 7 mentality. Go hard or go home! 2)The Pens play has really slipped since they dominated Tampa Bay in Game 3. Mrs. Black-N-Gold won't single out players. You win as a team, you lose as a team. Step it up, guys. You gotta want it to win it! 3)It's important to knock the Lightning and the crowd out early. Score early, score often, score BIG Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!




THE BULLPEN

     Happy Bucs & Pucks Day! Funny, you like swords....I like baseball! Our Pittsburgh Pirates close out their homestand with a 3-game series versus the Arizona Diamondbacks starting with the opener tonight at PNC Park. Before Mrs. Black-N-Gold gives you her keys to the game, she'd like to extend prayers for RH Ryan Vogelsong. Vogey was carted from the field yesterday and taken to AGH after he was hit in the face by a pitch. Get well, Vogey! And now we bring you the keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pirates have won 5 of 7 on this homestand. Love that home cookin'! 2)In the first 7 games of this home stretch, the Bucs are batting .314 with a .796 OPS and 38 runs scored. Give us more Hit, Run & Score! 3)Arizona will start RH Shelby Miller, 1-5, 6.64 ERA. The Buccos counter with LH Francisco Liriano, 3-3, 4.63 ERA. The Bucs usually batter Miller.  Lifetime versus the Pirates, he is 2-6 with a 4.29 ERA. It's Miller time! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!

Monday, May 23, 2016

THE BULLPEN

     Rain, rain, go away! Our Pittsburgh Pirates attempt to wrap up their series with the Colorado Rockies this afternoon at PNC Park, a makeup of yesterday's postponement. These are your keys for today's game. 1)Some of yesterday's keys to the game still apply. The Pirates have still only scored 3 runs in the first 2 games of this set. Gotta do more Hit, Run, & Score! 2)The Bucs will celebrate Meatloaf Monday today if they can win this series. 2 outta 3 ain't bad! 3)The Rockies will start RH Jordan Lyles, 1-1, 7.64 ERA. He'll face Buccos RH Ryan Vogelsong, 1-1, 4.12 ERA. Vogey wasn't very happy when he was relegated to the bullpen out of spring training. Now is his chance to impress. Put one in the win column, Vogey! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Sunday, May 22, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     Happy Pucks & Bucs Day! Buy Sam and drink and get his dog one, too 'cause it's a great day for playoff hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins return to the home ice of Consol Energy Center tonight to faceoff against the Tampa Bay Lightning for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)This series is now tied at 2 games each following Friday's 4-3 loss. The Pens came back from a 4-0 deficit but fell short of their intended goal. The first 2 periods of play were flat and sloppy. Be 60 minute men! 2)Rookie G Matt Murray was replaced in the 3rd period by Marc-Andre Fleury. The Flower did not allow a goal on 7 Tampa Bay shots. No matter who is between the pipes tonight, they have to stand and deliver. Ride the Lightning! 3)There will be a special guest in the house tonight. In honor of the famed HBK Line (Hagelin-Bonino-Kessel), the original HBK, former pro wrestler, Shawn Michaels, will be amongst Black-N-Gold Nation this evening. Hit the sweet chin music to the tune of Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!


THE BULLPEN

     Happy Bucs & Pucks Day! Put me in coach! Our Pittsburgh Pirates wrap up their series with the Colorado Rockies this afternoon. These are your keys for today's game. 1)The Pirates left 10 men on base and were 1 for 12 in yesterday's rain-soaked 5-1 loss. You can't leave runners on the basepaths. When opportunity knocks, answer the door with some Hit, Run, & Score! 2)Yesterday's game was tied 1-1 in the top of the 9th. With 2 outs a walk, 2 errors, a wild pitch and a home run put the Bucs in the loss column. More opportunities flushed away. Everyone makes mistakes. But does everyone make them at the same time? Tighten up that D! 3)The Pirates have scored just 3 runs in the first two games of this series. Luckily, they won the opener. It's time to make some home made Meatloaf. 2 outta 3 ain't bad! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Saturday, May 21, 2016

THE BULLPEN

     Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks! Our Pittsburgh Pirates continue their series against the Colorado Rockies this afternoon at PNC Park. These are your keys for today's game. 1)With last night's 2-1 win in the opener, the Bucs have won 5 of their last 6. Keep finding the win column and raising the Jolly Roger! 2)However, the Pirates left 6 on base and were a lousy 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position. You can't leave Bucs on the pond! 3)The Rockies will send RH Tyler Chatwood, 5-3, 3.20 ERA, to the mound. The Buccos give the nod to LH Jon Niese 4-2, 5.28 ERA. The "groundball" pitcher has given up 11 homers on the season. Today especially, there's always room for more Hit, Run, & Score! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS

     Have you heard the news? It's all over town? Better yet, it's all over Black-N-Gold Nation. Mrs. Black-N-Gold has checked and double-checked her notes from the past week. Without further delay she brings you the latest info on our favorite Black-N-Gold Teams, the Penguins, Pirates and Steelers. Yes, boys and girls, it's time for another edition of The Black-N-Gold News.


                                              THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS

PENGUINS

Our Penguins opened up their Eastern Conference Final last Friday night at Consol Energy Center when they battled the Tampa Bay Lightning. Unfortunately, the Pens did not start things off with a bang. They were flat and unfocused in losing to the Lightning 3-1. 

The Pens looked to even things up in Monday's matchup. And get even they did. C Sidney Crosby scored his first goal of the series with the game-winner in OT for a 3-2 win. That was the Captain's 1st career playoff winner in OT. 

Prior to Wednesday night's faceoff at Tampa Bay, it was announced that Pens GM Jim Rutherford was named a finalist for the NHL GM of the Year. Anyone that could pull of the Rob Scuderi for Trevor Daley deal, certainly deserves the title of Executive of the Year. Maybe even the Decade. Congrats to GMJR and best of luck. 

What did the Pens do to celebrate their GM's accomplishment? Why the went out and trounced Tampa Bay 4-2, of course. F Patric Hornqvist missed some of the 3rd period when he left the ice due to injury. Horny's hand may have been banged up blocking a shot. He's not expected to miss any time, though. What a gamer! 

The Pens have expanded their roster, re-calling several players from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Joining the big club are D Steve Olesky and Tim Erixon, Fs Dominik Simon, Jean-Sebastien Dea, Josh Archibald, Kael Mouillierat and Daniel Sprong and G Tristan Jarry. 

Our favorite Black-N-Gold hockey team lost last night's contest. They came back from a 4-0 deficit but came up short, 4-3. D Trevor Daley left the game with an injury. As of right now, his status for Game 5 is unknown. G Marc-Andre Fleury came on in relief of rookie Matt Murray in the 3rd period. No announcement on the starting goalie going forward. 

Tomorrow night the Pens return to Pittsburgh for Game 5. They will have special guest in the house. The Pens line of Carl Hagelin-Nick Bonino-Phil Kessel has received alot of press lately and rightful so. That line has been the main offensive line for this team throughout these playoffs. The original HBK, former pro wrestler Shawn Michaels, has accepted the Pens invitation to come to tomorrow night's game. HBK will be a guest of Da Beard, former Steelers DL Brett "The Diesel" Kiesel. It would be great to see the Pens hit the sweet chin music. Let's Go Pens!!!

PIRATES

Our Pirates closed out their road trip last week with a 3-game set against the Chicago Cubs. Before they faced the Cubs at Wrigley, they shuffled the roster around. INF Cole Figueroa was called up from Triple A Indy. They optioned LH Kyle Lobstein back to Indy to make room.

It didn't help. The Bucs were clobbered by the Cubs in the opener 9-4. Saturday was no better. The Cubs were victorious again in an 8-2 win.

The Pirates made another move on Sunday. They called up LH Cory Luebke from Indy and sent RH AJ Schugel back to the Indians.

They also salvaged a win in Chicago. RH Gerrit Cole and 3B Jung Ho Kang led the way in a 2-1 Pirates win.

On Monday, LF Starling Marte was placed on the paternity list. They Buccos called up UTL Alen Hanson to take his spot on the roster.

They also began a 4-game series with the Atlanta Braves, also known as the worst team in MLB. The Pirates pounded the Braves in game 1, 8-5. It was another slugfest the next night with our Bucs coming out on top, 12-9.

Before Tuesday's game, the Pirates announced that they signed C Francisco Cervelli to a 3 year contract extension. Frankie C's deal runs through 2019.

MLB announced a scheduling change for the Dodgers-Pirates game on 6/26. It will now be an 8:05pm game. BUCN Sunday Night Baseball.

The Buccos weren't able to sweep the Braves this week. They lost a pitcher's duel on Wednesday 3-1. At least with Thursday night's 8-2 victory, they were assured a series win.

The Pirates also made more roster moves at the end of the week. They sent Luebke back to Indy and called up RH Wilfredo Boscan. Since Boscan wasn't on the 40-man roster, minor league C Elias Diaz was transferred from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL. They also reinstated Marte to the roster. Hanson was sent back to Triple A, too.

Last night, our favorite Black-N-Gold baseball team opened a 3-game series against the Colorado Rockies. The Buccos held on to clip Colorado 2-1. They'll play again this afternoon and finish out the series tomorrow afternoon before taking Monday off. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!

STEELERS

It may be offseason for our Steelers, but the news never stops.

There was a bit of bad news this week. No, QB Ben Roethlisberger didn't break his arm. And, no LB James Harrison didn't break Commissioner Roger Goodell in 2. No, the bad news is that WR Antonio Brown was eliminated on the latest episode of Dancing with the Stars. Thus ends the tradition started by WR Hines Ward, of Steelers pass-catchers taking home the vaunted Mirror Ball trophy. On the bright side, AB can't use DWTS as an excuse to miss OTAs when they begin on Tuesday.

Our favorite Black-N-Gold football team also inked some deals this week. They brought back TE David Johnson from San Diego on a 1 year contract. And they wrapped up another draft pick this week. 2nd round pick S Sean Davis of Maryland agreed to a contract.

Just 3 more picks to sign. Mrs. Black-N-Gold will let you know what happens, as the deals develop.

Once we get through OTAs, it will be all down hill to training camp. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!




Friday, May 20, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     Happy Pucks & Bucs Day! How much fried chicken can you eat; it's a great day for playoff hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins continue their Eastern Conference Final tonight in Tampa Bay when they faceoff against the Lightning for Game 4. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pens are on a 10-4 run through these Stanley Cup playoffs. We want the Cup! 2)In Wednesday's 4-2 win, the Pens pounded Tampa Bay with 48 shots. They've outshot the Lightning in this series 212-135. Shoot to kill! 3)It would be huge for the Pens to take another from Tampa Bay in the Lightning's home arena, setting it up to come home for the capper. Score early, score often, score BIG Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!


THE BULLPEN

     Happy Bucs & Pucks Day! Play ball! Our Pittsburgh Pirates continue their homestand on the banks of the North Shore when they begin a 3-game series tonight against the Colorado Rockies at PNC Park. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pirates raised the Jolly Roger last night, battering the Braves 8-2 to take the series. They've won 4 of their last 5 games. Win, raise, repeat! 2)Last night, the Pirates plated 8 runs after the Braves held them to 1 run the previous night. There's always room for more Hit, Run & Score! 3)Colorado starts RH Eddie Butler, 2-1, 4.74 ERA. He'll face Pirates RH Gerrit Cole, 4-3, 3.05 ERA. Cole looks to stay on the winning track after beating the Cubs in his last start, 2-1. All aboard the Cole Train for a win! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Thursday, May 19, 2016

THE BULLPEN

     Root, root, root for the home team! Our Pittsburgh Pirates wrap up their 4-game set with the Atlanta Braves tonight at the friendly confines of PNC Park. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)A night after recording the most hits and runs on the season, the Pirates lost to the worst team in baseball, 3-1. The lone run was a solo homer off the bat of 3B Jung Ho Kang with 1 down in the bottom of the 9th. You have to do more Hit, Run & Score! 2)King Kang has cracked 5 home runs in less than 2 weeks back from the devastating knee injury that abruptly ended his rookie campaign. During his brief time back he's collected 9 hits it 32 at bats for a .281 average with 9 runs scored, 2 doubles 5 home runs and 10 RBI. Love the Kang Show! 3)The Bucs attempt to win the series tonight. Atlanta will start RH Mike Foltynewicz, 1-1, 2.89 ERA. The Pirates counter with LH Jeff Locke, 1-3, 5.45 ERA. Don't fall into the same trap again tonight. Score early, score often, score BIG and Locke down a win. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     Happy Pucks & Bucs Day! I'll meet you in the schoolyard, baby, for all the marbles; it's a great day for playoff hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins take their show on the road to Tampa Bay tonight for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)Pens C Sidney Crosby got on the score sheet Monday night in dramatic fashion, scoring the winner in OT to even this series at 1 game apiece. Now if his Russian comrade can find the net, the Pens would light up the Lightning. Oh Captain, my Captain, slap me silly and make me a milkshake! 2)The power play continued their power outage, going 0 for 2. Take advantage of the man-advantage and man up! 3)The scene now shifts to Tampa Bay where Pens fans have been told to leave the Black-N-Gold at home. To quote that great American musician, one James Hendrix, "That ain't too cool". Rock the Black-N-Gold and the Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!


THE BULLPEN

     Happy Bucs & Pucks Day! I have seen enough to know I have seen too much! Our Pittsburgh Pirates continue their homestand tonight when they battle the Atlanta Braves at PNC Park. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)Have  you ever heard the phrase "winning ugly"? Well, that's what the Buccos did last night, outlasting Atlanta 12-9. The Pirates jumped out to a 7-0 lead after 1 inning. But the pitching staff handed Atlanta season highs for runs (12), and hits with 15. Atlanta had one of the worst offenses in baseball coming into this series. That won't be the case by the time they leave town. It was Pup Night at the ballpark. No wonder because the Pirates pitching staff has gone to the dogs. With our pitchers you always need more Hit, Run, Score! 2)On the bright side, the Pirates matched their season high with 12 runs on a season best 21 hits. I love a hit parade! 3)Atlanta will start RH Julio Teheran, 0-4, 3.17 ERA. He'll face Pirates LH Francisco Liriano, 3-2, 4.99 ERA. The Pirates go for their 4th win in a row. Win it for Liriano! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

THE BULLPEN

     Baseball fever, catch it! Our Pittsburgh Pirates continue their series tonight versus the Atlanta Braves at PNC Park. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)With last night's 8-5 beat down of the Braves, the Pirates have won 2 straight. If it's 3, it's for me! 2)The Pirates plated 8 runs last night on 14 hits including a homer and a trip-trip-triple. Show us more Hit, Run, & Score! 3)Atlanta starts RH Aaron Blair, 0-2, 4.05 ERA. RH Juan Nicasio, 3-3, 4.34 ERA, gets the start for the Pirates. Win one for Juan! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!




Monday, May 16, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     Happy Pucks & Bucs Day! Let's go hunt moose on a Harley; it's a great day for playoff hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins look to tie their Eastern Conference Finals series with the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight when they faceoff at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)In their 3-1 Game 1 loss, the Pens didn't play their game. They looked slow and unfocused. You've got to take control of this game and feel the need for speed. Ride the Lightning! 2)Special teams are key, too. Power up the power play by taking advantage of the man-advantage. And take the power out of their power play on the penalty kill. Kill 'em all! 3)The Pens didn't challenge Tampa Bay's backup goalie when Ben Bishop went down with an injury. Get on his case and in his face with Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!


THE BULLPEN

     Happy Bucs & Pucks Day! There's no place like home! Our Pittsburgh Pirates return home to the friendly confines of PNC Park tonight when they battle the Atlanta Braves in the 1st game of a 4-game set. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The scheduling gods have rewarded the Pirates following a 4-4 road trip versus their NL Central rivals. They managed to salvage a 2-1 win yesterday against MLB's best team, the Chicago Cubs. Now they'll face the worst team in baseball in the Braves. Although Atlanta is 9-26 this season, they're a not-so-bad 7-10 on the road. Make road kill out of them! 2)The Braves start RH Williams Perez, 1-0, 3.54 ERA. The Buccos will go with LH Jon Niese, 3-2, 5.63 ERA. No time like the present for the lefty to get back in the win column. A win for Niese would be nice! 3)The Pirates have only scrapped together 4 runs in their last 2 games. Got to do more Hit, Run, & Score! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Sunday, May 15, 2016

THE BULLPEN

     Rounding 3rd and heading for home! Our Pittsburgh Pirates close out their road trip this afternoon when they collide with the Chicago Cubs for the final game of this 3-game set. These are your keys for today's game. 1)Mrs. Black-N-Gold doesn't know about you, but she is sick and tired of hearing about these Chicago Cubs. The Bucs suffered yet another loss at the hands of the NL Central leaders yesterday, 8-2. We can't score, we can't keep them from scoring. There's alot of work to be done if we hope to salvage even one. Find the win column and raise the Jolly Roger! 2)RH Gerrit Cole, 3-3, 3.78 ERA will attempt to get the Pirates back on the winning track. He'll face Cubs LH John Lester, 4-1, 1.96 ERA. Ride the Cole Train to a win! 3)So far this season, the Buccos have been outscored by the Northsiders 37-11. Need I say more? Hit, Run, & Score!


Saturday, May 14, 2016

THE BULLPEN

     Hey batter, batter, batter, batter! Our Pittsburgh Pirates continue their series in Wrigley this afternoon when they clash with the Chicago Cubs. These are your keys for today's game. )This season the Bucs are 0-4 vs the Cubs. You'll need more Hit, Run & Score! 2)Offense is not all they'll need. The Pirates pitching continues to struggle to the tune of a 4.43 ERA. Yesterday, starter Francisco Liriano surrendered 8 runs in a 9-4 loss. The staff has given up the 3rd most walks in the league with 142. Like Mrs. Black-N-Gold always says, "The free pass will come back to bite you in the a$$!" 3)It's a Tale of Two Pitchers today. The Buccos will start LH Jeff Locke, 1-2, 4.68 ERA. He'll face Cubs RH Jake "I Don't Do Steroids" Arrieta, 6-0, 1.13 ERA. The Pirates continue to trail the Cubs in the division. The Pirates and St Louie are both 8 games back. If you want to run with the big dogs, you can't stay on the porch. Take a bite out of the Cubs! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Friday, May 13, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     Happy Pucks & Bucs Day! Call Arnold Slick from Turtle Crick and tell him it's a great day for playoff hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins open their Eastern Conference Final series with the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)Tampa Bay may be the Lightning but the Pens are lightning fast. Speed kills! 2)When leading after 2 periods, the Pens are an astonishing 45-0-0. Score early, score often, score BIG Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)Tampa Bay beat the Pens in the regular season series 3-0. The Pens are 5-1 at home in the playoffs. Guess what, Lightning? This ain't the regular season. This is Big Boy Hockey! Let's Go Pens!!!


THE BULLPEN

     Happy Bucs & Pucks Day! Let's play 2! Our Pittsburgh Pirates continue their road trip today with a stop in the Windy City to open a 3-game series with the NL Central-leading Cubs. These are your keys for today's game. 1)Last week, the Pirates managed just 5 runs in a 3-game sweep at the hands of the Cubs. You gotta do more Hit, Run & Score! 2)The Cubs were swept in a doubleheader by San Diego on Wednesday night. Give them their 3rd loss in a row. If it's 3, it's for me! 3)The Bucs send LH Francisco Liriano, 3-1, 3.60 ERA, to the hill. The Cubs counter with RH Jason Hammel, 4-0, 1.85 ERA. Give 'em L, Frankie! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Thursday, May 12, 2016

THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS

     Extra! Extra! Read all about it. Mrs. Black-N-Gold is back in Black (-N-Gold) with the newest edition of that internet sensation that is sweep Black-N-Gold Nation. It's time for the latest on our Pittsburgh Penguins, Pirates and Steelers. It's time for The Black-N-Gold News.


                                      THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS

PENGUINS

What would a week of Pens hockey be without the obligatory trip up the Turnpike? D Steve Olesky got to make the trip when he was sent back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. Another player was sent packing, too. F Tom Sestito was also sent back to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

Our Pens got some good news before Saturday's playoff game versus the Caps. C Sidney Crosby was named a finalist for the Hart Trophy, awarded to the "player judged most valuable to his team." Congrats to Sid. 

Up 3 games to 1 in their series, our favorite Black-N-Gold hockey team then went out and lost in DC 3-1. The series switched back to the friendly confines of Consol Energy Center on Tuesday night. After taking a 3-0 lead in the contest, the Pens appeared to be heading for a fall, surrendering 3 unanswered goals as the Caps forced overtime. But C Nick Bonino buried a bone in the extra period to win the game 4-3 and advance the Pens to the Eastern Conference Finals. 

Now the top rated team in the Finals, the Pens will have home ice-advantage. They'll faceoff against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Finals on Friday night at 8pm. Below is the entire schedule for this series. 


1FRIDAY138:00 PMCONSOL ENERGY CENTER
2MONDAY168:00 PMCONSOL ENERGY CENTER
3WEDNESDAY188:00 PMAMALIE ARENA
4FRIDAY208:00 PMAMALIE ARENA
*5SUNDAY228:00 PMCONSOL ENERGY CENTER
*6TUESDAY248:00 PMAMALIE ARENA
*7THURSDAY268:00 PMCONSOL ENERGY CENTER

Meanwhile, Mrs. Black-N-Gold's bold prediction is Pens in 5. Let's Go Pens!!!

PIRATES

Our favorite Black-N-Gold baseball team made some of their own roster moves this week. They option INF Jason Rogers back to Triple A Indy. That move made room for 3B Jung Ho Kang who joined the Bucs from his rehab assignment in Indy. How did Kang celebrate reuniting with his teammates? He went out and hit 2 home runs in his season debut to lead the Buccos to a 4-2 win over St Louie. 

Prior to Friday's game, it was announced that the Pirates series versus the Miami Marlins that was scheduled for Puerto Rico has been moved. Due to the Zika Virus MLB decided to move May 30-31 series to Miami. Better change your flight plans. 

The Pirates lost the 2nd game of the series in St Louie 6-4. It was a back-and-forth game that they certainly could have won but the bullpen continued their unimpressive start to the season. The Bucs came back to win the rubber game and the series on Sunday. They decked the Cards 10-5. 

Some Pirates prospects received recognition this week. RH Mitch Keller was named South Atlantic League Player of the Month. LH Brandon Waddell was honored as Florida State League Player of the Month. Congrats to both! Hope to see you at PNC Park soon. 

The Buccos road trip continued Monday when they traveled to Cincy to battle the Reds. The lost Monday's opener 3-2. In that game, the Reds recorded just their 3rd save of the season. Tuesday's contest was a wash out. The Buccos came back to clip Cincy in the finale 5-4. 

They now take their show on the road for the final leg of this trip. Tomorrow the Bucs begin a 3-game set with the NL Central leaders, the Chicago Cubs. It's a chance to make some hay and exact revenge for last week's sweep. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!

STEELERS

Our Steelers opened rookie minicamp this week. Not to be outdone by their neighbors, our favorite Black-N-Gold football made some roster moves, too. They released OT Mike Adams,  K Ty Long & RB Abou Toure. They also signed some of the draftees. PR/WR DeMarcus Ayers of Houston and LB Tyler Matakevich from Temple, both 7th round picks, agreed to contracts. They're 6th round pick, Washington LB Travis Feeney was also signed. 

Mrs. Black-N-Gold will continue to update you as more players ink their deals. OTAs are right around the corner and then it's on to training camp. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!



Wednesday, May 11, 2016

THE BULLPEN

     Make baseball fun again! Our Pittsburgh Pirates wrap up their series in Cincy tonight when they battle the Reds. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)Last night's contest was a washout. Time to make hay while the sun shines! 2)RH Juan Nicasio, 3-3, 4.02 ERA will start for the Bucs. Win one for Juan! 3) He'll face Cincy RH Alfredo Simon, 1-3, 9.86 ERA. Last time the Buccos faced Chicken Alfredo, they touched him up for 3 runs on 6 hits with 4 walks and a home run over 4 innings in a 5-1 Pirates win. Simon says Hit, Run & Score! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!






Tuesday, May 10, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     Happy Pucks & Bucs Day! I'll be cow-kicked it's a great day for playoff hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins faceoff against the Washington Capitals tonight at Consol Energy Center, up 3 games to 2. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)In Saturday night's 3-1 loss at Washington, the stars were out for the Capitals. F Alexander Ovechkin and G Braden Holtby stepped up their games to stave off elimination. Put Fs Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and D Kris Letang's pictures on the sides of milk cartons because these guys have disappeared. If we want to close the book on the Caps, these guys have got to bring their A games. Time for the stars shine! 2)What better way to end this series then by beating the crap out of the Caps in front of the home crowd? The fans need to bring their A game, too. Raise the roof! 3)Keep the heat in Holtby's kitchen. Be on his case and in his face all game long. Crank up the Crue with some Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!


THE BULLPEN

     Happy Bucs & Pucks Day! Cincinnati, W-K-R-P! Our Pittsburgh Pirates continue their series in Cincy with the Reds tonight. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Bucs surrendered 3 home runs on their way to a 3-2 loss in last night's opener. Sure all 3 barely cleared the fence. Sure they were solo shots. But it was still enough to beat an offense that only produced 2 runs on 5 hits by going 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position. It seems like only yesterday Mrs. Black-N-Gold was preaching the virtues of not leaving any Bucs on the pond. Bring 'em on home! 2)RH Juan Nicasio, 3-3, 3.16 ERA will start for the Bucs. He'll face Cincy RH Alfredo Simon, 1-3, 9.86 ERA. Last time the Buccos faced Chicken Alfredo, they touched him up for 3 runs on 6 hits with 4 walks and a home run over 4 innings in a 5-1 Pirates win. Simon says Hit, Run & Score! 3)The Bucs had a rare chance to make up some ground on the 1st place Cubs last night when Chicago's game was postponed. The Pirates now sit 8 games back in the NL Central. To win the division, you have to beat the division! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Monday, May 9, 2016

THE BULLPEN

     I want a triple shot of Cincinnati juice! Our Pittsburgh Pirates take their show on the road to Cincy tonight to open a 3-game series with the Reds. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pirates look to stay in the win column following yesterday's 10-5 shellacking of St Louie. The Bucs took 2 out of 3 from their division rivals. This is another divisional matchup. Last time through the Queen City, the Buccos were lucky to escape with 1 win in the 3 game series. However, last weekend in the 'Burgh, it was the Bucs turn to take 2 out of 3. Still they have not typically done well of late in Cincy. It's time to turn things around. Gimme a W! 2)Really there is only one key to winning this series. And his name is Billy Hamilton. Currently the Reds CF is batting .208 but he always manages to look like Pete Rose when he faces the Bucs. He can easily rattle a pitcher by turning a single into a triple. Keep him off the basepaths and that's one less worry for the Pirates. Thou shalt not steal! 3)The Pirates plated 20 runs in their 3 game set in St Louie. Keep racking up the runs. Hit, Run & Score, oh my! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!



Sunday, May 8, 2016

THE BULLPEN

     One, two, three strikes, you're out! Our Pittsburgh Pirates wrap up their 3-game set in St Louie this afternoon. These are your keys for today's game. 1)The Bucs look to get back in the win column and sample some St Louie Meatloaf today following yesterday's 6-4 loss. 2 outta 3 ain't bad! 2)In that loss, the Buccos had the lead, then had to come from behind only to lose it on a walk-off 2 run homer in the bottom of the 9th. The Pirates were a paltry 4 for 14 with runners in scoring position and left 10 on base. That just won't do. Break out more Hit, Run & Score! 3)RH Gerrit Cole is on the hill for the Pirates. Cole is off to a lousy start this season at 2-3 with a 3.95 ERA. He'll face St Louie RH Michael Wacha, 2-2, 2.65 ERA. Get the Cole Train on the winning track! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Saturday, May 7, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     Happy Pucks & Bucs Day! I'll meet you in the schoolyard for all the marbles 'cause it's a great day for playoff hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins travel to Washington tonight with a 3 games to 1 lead in their 2nd round series with the Capitals. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)Unless you've been living on a deserted island for the past few weeks, you know that a win tonight would put the Pens into the Eastern Conference finals. It's important to establish our game early. Don't let the Caps dictate the play. Speed kills! 2)Take the hostile crowd out of the game. Score early, score often, score BIG Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)The Pens are still trying to get the power play working, going 0 for the series. Take advantage of the man-advantage! Let's Go Pens!!!


THE BULLPEN

     Happy Bucs & Pucks Day! Put me in coach! Our Pittsburgh Pirates continue their series in St Louie when they clash with the Cardinals this afternoon. These are your keys for today's game. 1)Good news, Pirates fans! The Jolly Roger has been found. 3B Jung Ho Kang must have been keeping it company down at Triple A. Kang made his season debut in Kang-tastic fashion in last night's 4-2 victory, hitting not 1 but 2 home runs. Love the Kang Show! 2)LH Jeff Locke, 1-2, 4.73 ERA, will start for the Buccos as they go for 2 in a row. Locke and load! 3)St Louie starts RH Adam Wainwright, 2-3. Wainwright carries an uncharacteristic 6.68 ERA into this game. Hit him early, hit him often, hit him HARD. Hit him with the ol'  Hit, Run, & Score! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Friday, May 6, 2016

THE BULLPEN

     The crack of the bat, the thrill of the hit! Our Pittsburgh Pirates take their show on the road to St Louie tonight to battle their division rivals, the Cardinals. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Bucs have dropped 4 straight, including a sweep at the hands of the Central-leading Cubs. During that sweep, the Pirates plated just 2, 1 and 2 runs. Gotta have more Hit, Run, & Score! 2)As previously stated in Key#1, the Buccos have not raised the Jolly Roger in their last 4 games. Mrs. Black-N-Gold is issuing an APB for the much-ballyhoed Black-N-Gold symbol of victory. If found, please return to the Pittsburgh Baseball Club immediately. They can currently be reached at Busch Stadium III. Right the ship and raise the Jolly Roger! 3)Mrs. Black-N-Gold constantly preaches the virtues of hitting the ball, running the bases and scoring runs. But there are other elements involved to a winning baseball team. There's pitching. They team ERA is 4.28. They've issued the 2nd most walks in the NL with with 119. The starters are tops in the NL with 73 free passes. There's also fielding. They are tied for 2nd in the league for most errors committed with 22. So far the Pirates are 0 for May. Stop SUCKN and start BUCN! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!



Thursday, May 5, 2016

THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS

     Have you heard the news? It's all over Black-N-Gold Nation. That's right. It's time for another installment of The Black-N-Gold News. The internet sensation that's sweeping Black-N-Gold Nation, with updates on our Pittsburgh Penguins, Pirates and Steelers.


                                            THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS

PENGUINS

Our Penguins faced off in game 1 of their 2nd round Stanley Cup playoff series against the President's Trophy-winning Washington Capitals in DC. The Pens dropped the opener in OT 4-3. The Pens bounced back in game 2 to even the series with a 2-1 win. 

The following day, the NHL announced that they suspended former Penguin and current Capitals D Brooks Orpik for a hit on Pens D Olli Maatta that forced Olli to leave the game. Orpik was given a 3-game suspension. Olli has still not returned to action. Get better, Olli! 

It was announced that former Pens F Pascal Dupuis is a finalist for the Masterton Award, This award is given to the player " who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to ice hockey." Good luck, Duper!

The Pens returned to Consol Energy Center of Monday night for game 3 against the Caps. Rookie G Matt Murray was sensational as he stopped 47 of 49 shots in leading the Pens to a 3-2 victory to gai a 2 games to 1 advantage. The Pens lost F Bryan Rust early in this contest. He was able to return the next game. 

Unfortunately, turnabout is fair play. The NHL suspended Pens D Kris Letang the next day for a hit to Caps F Marcus Johansson. Tanger was given a 1-game timeout. 

Prior to last night's game 4 matchup, the Pens announced that F Tom Sestito and D Steve Olesky were re-called from Wilkes/Barre-Scranton. 

Last night the Pens took a 3-1 series lead. Even without Tanger and F Eric Fehr, who's out with an undisclosed injury, our favorite Black-N-Gold hockey team pulled out a win. F Patric Hornqvist scored the game-winner in a 3-2 OT victory. 

The Pens will travel back to the nation's capital for a Saturday night faceoff at 7:15pm. Let's Go Pens!!!

PIRATES

Our Pirates week started out so good. They clobbered Colorado 9-4. CF Andrew McCutchen appeared to finally break out of his early-season slump by cracking 3 home runs in the route.

The much-maligned bullpen took a beating in the next night's matchup but the Bucs hung on to clip Colorado, 9-8, in 12. The matinee finale was postponed due to snow (!). The makeup game has been re-scheduled for June 9 at 3:10pm MT. The poor Pirates have a home game the night before, have to travel to Colorado and then get back home for a night game the next day. Did someone in the organization tick off MLB's scheduling department?

The Buccos returned to PNC Park last weekend to face divison rival Cincy. The good guys took the opener, 4-1. They raised the Jolly Roger again the next day in a 5-1 win.

During the weekend series, the Pirates also made a roster move. They re-called RH Jared Hughes from his rehab assignment as Triple A Indy. RH Rob Scahill was sent back to Indy to make room.

The Bucs were unable to complete the sweep of Cincy, losing Sunday in 11, 6-5. Errors and the bullpen were the culprits in this loss. As the calendar turned to May, the losses kept on mounting.

The NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs came to town for a much-anticipated matchup with the 2nd best team in the division. The Cubs clobbered the Bucs in the opener, 7-2. It didn't stop there. Cubs RH Jake Arrieta continue his dominance of the Buccos in his 7-1 win the next night. And then the Cubs broke out the broom for good measure in the finale, 6-2.

Some Pirates received good news this week. The club announced that the entire coaching staff had their contracts extended through the 2017 season. And some Pirates prospects received accolades, too. Congrats go out to Triple A Indy 1B Josh Bell, named last week's International League Batter of the Week. Not to be outdone, his teammate, RH Tyler Glasnow, was honored as International League Pitcher of the Week this week. Congrats to Tyler, too. And down in the low minors, Bradenton Marauders LH Brandon Waddell was named Florida State League Pitcher of the Week. Congrats, Brandon.

The Buccos were hit with an injury down on the farm, too. Pirates Triple A C Elias Diaz was scheduled to undergo surgery on a bum elbow on his throwing (right) arm. Get well soon, Elias!

The Pirates now go on the road to face another division rival, the St Louie Cardinals. The Buccos are 15-13, 6 games in back of the Cubs. St Louie is hot on their trail with a 13-14, 7.5 out (Mrs. Black-N--Gold typed these words last night when St Louie was losing to Philly 3-0 in the bottom of the 4th). Pack the Jolly Roger and raise it several times. The Pirates are 0 for May.  Let's Go Bucs!!!!!

STEELERS

All of Black-N-Gold nation waited with bated breath for the kickoff to the 2016 NFL Draft last week. With the 25th pick in the draft, our Pittsburgh Steelers choose Artie Burns, CB, Miami. In the 2nd round, the Steelers took Sean Davis from Maryland. Davis was at CB last season for the Terps but was a safety in 2014, the position his projected to play for the Black-N-Gold. In round #3 the Steelers went with DT Javon Hargrave from SC State. LSU OT Jerald Hawkins was taken in the 4th round. Round 6 brought the Steelers an OLB in the form of Travis Feeney from Washington. To round out their draft, the Steelers had 2 selections in the 7th round: WR/PR DeMarcus Ayers from Houston and Temple OLB Tyler Matakevich.

Although she looks at life through Black-N-Gold-colored glasses, it's hard for Mrs. Black-N-Gold to be happy with this draft. It seems like Burns and Davis were stretches. Burns is considered a project, too. When you have a dire need at corner and you're oh-so-close to a Super Bowl, why waste your 1st round pick on a project? And Hargrave didn't even attend an FBS school. Only time will tell who's right, Mrs. Black-N-Gold or our favorite Black-N-Gold football team. Here's hoping the Steelers are right.

Meanwhile, some moves were made with some Steelers veterans The team signed QB Bruce Gradkowski to a 1-year contract. Grad is expected to compete for the backup QB role with Landry Jones. OLB James Harrison officially announced that he will return to the Steelers this season. This is the final year of Deebo's contract. In more linebacking news, the Steelers have decided not to exercise the 5th year option for former 1st round pick, OLB Jarvis Jones. Jones will become a free agent after this season.

This weekend the rookies report to the Steelers South Side facilities for mini camp. The sooner the youngster get acclimated and contribute, the sooner we'll all be happy campers. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!




Wednesday, May 4, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     Happy Pucks & Bucs Day! Get in the fast lane, Grandma, the bingo game is ready to roll; it's a great day for playoff hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins continue their 2nd round playoff series with the Washington Capitals tonight at Consol Energy Center. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pens took a 2 games to 1 lead in this series with Monday's 3-2 victory. Rookie G Matt Murray was phenomenal, stopping 47 out of 49 shots. Murray is a Monster! 2)Good thing the rook had such a good game because the rest of the team seemed like they were sinking in quick sand with sloppy play all the way around. They were lucky to get the W on Monday but if they continue to perform this poorly, they may not be so lucky again. And they'll have to do so without suspended D Kris Letang. It's time for everyone to step up and shut 'em down! 3)The power play has been powerless, going 0 for 10 in this series. Opponents won't mind committing penalties as much against a power play with no power. Power up that power play with Goals, Goals, Goals! Let's Go Pens!!!



THE BULLPEN

     Happy Bucs & Pucks Day! Let's play two! Our Pittsburgh Pirates close out their homestand with a matinee vs the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park. Before Mrs. Black-N-Gold gives you her keys for today's game, she'd like to review last night's crushing 7-1 loss to the Cubs since she was in attendance. A 7-1 loss? Actually there were some good things about this game. 1)Mrs. Black-N-Gold and Brother Black-N-Gold had excellent seats in section 127(on a BOGO deal, no less). 2)There didn't seem to be many Woo Birds out last night. 3)The Pirates made no errors. 4)Cubs RH Jake Arrieta didn't no-hit them. 5)Parking at Rivers Casino is free (and we got our exercise waking to and fro). Now, on to business.
     These are your keys for today's game. 1)Last night, Pirates CF Andrew McCutchen chased a ball towards the notch that ended up bouncing off of Cutch's glove. The official scorer scored it as a hit but considering it hit off of Cutch's glove, Mrs. Black-N-Gold wondered if it should have been an error. This isn't the first time this week the "Outfield of Dreams" has looked like a nightmare. In her season preview, Mrs. Black-N-Gold said that this team needed it's outfield of Cutch, LF Starling Marte and RF Gregory Polanco to lead the way. Well, Cutch has mostly been stuck in an early-season slump and Marte and Polanco, although batting in the .300-range, have been prone to mental miscues. It's time for the Outfield of Dreams to wake up. Dream on! 2)Following last night's loss, the Bucs have lost 3 straight. In the 2 they've dropped to the Cubs, they've only scored 3 runs. We need more Hit, Run & Score! 3)The Cubs start LH Jon Lester, 2-1, 1.83 ERA. The Buccos go with RH Juan Nicasio, 3-2, 3.33 ERA. Put Juan in the win column! If the Pirates want to be taken seriously as contenders, they need to contend with the big boys. Otherwise, they're destined to eat at the kiddie table. My, this Kool-Aid is tasting a little bitter this morning.  Let's Go Bucs!!!!!




Tuesday, May 3, 2016

THE BULLPEN

     Take me out to the ballgame! That's right, Mrs. Black-N-Gold and Brother Black-N-Gold will be in attendance tonight at PNC Park when our Pittsburgh Pirates clash with the Chicago Cubs. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Bucs look to get back in the win column following last night's crushing 7-2 loss. That's 2 straight. Right the ship and find the win colunn! 2)The Pirates will face the man who ended their season last October, RH Jake Arrieta, 5-0, 1.00 ERA. It's payback time. Hit him early, hit him often, hit him HARD; Hit, Run & Score! 3)The Buccos send LH Jon Niese to the mound. Niese is off to a 3-0 start with a 5.08 ERA. Another win for Niese would be nice! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Monday, May 2, 2016

SLAP SHOTS

     Happy Pucks & Bucs Day! Mrs. Black-N-Gold is smiling like a butcher's dog 'cause it's a great day for playoff hockey! Our Pittsburgh Penguins faceoff against the Washington Capitals tonight at Consol Energy Center for game 3 of their 2nd round series. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)During their round 1 win over the NY Rangers, the Pens won 2 of 3 on home ice. There's no place like home! 2)When leading after the 2nd period, the Pens are 43-0-0. Score early, score often, score BIG Goals, Goals, Goals! 3)The Pens have suffered a power shortage on the power play in this series. They're 0 for 7 with the man-advantage through the 1st 2 games. Take advantage of the man-advantage. Man-up! Let's Go Pens!!!


THE BULLPEN

     Happy Bucs & Pucks Day! Sa-wing, batter! Our Pittsburgh Pirates open a 3-game series tonight against the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs at PNC Park. These are your keys for tonight's game. 1)The Pirates look to get back in the win column following yesterday's 6-5 loss to Cincy in 11 innings. Gimme a W! 2)In the defeat, the Pirates committed 4 errors. Tighten up that D! 3)The Bucs will face Cubs RH Jason Hammel, 3-0, 0.75 ERA. The Pirates will start RH Gerrit Cole, 2-2, 2.78 ERA. Fuel the Cole Train with some Hit, Run & Score! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!


Sunday, May 1, 2016

THE BULLPEN

     Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks! Our Pittsburgh Pirates wrap up their 3-game set with the Cincy Reds this afternoon at PNC Park. These are your keys for today's game. 1)With last night's 5-1 routing of the Reds, the Buccos closed out the month of April with 15 wins. They're 15-9 and in 2nd place in the NL Central, 3 games in back of the Chicago Cubs. Make some hay in May! 2)The Bucs have won 6 straight. They look to clean house and sweep the Reds back to Cincy. Break out the brooms! 3)The Pirates are 3rd in the NL in runs scored with 124, behind St Louie and the Cubs. We need more Hit, Run & Score! Let's Go Bucs!!!!!