Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Mrs. Black-N-Gold has all the happenings that has all of Black-N-Gold Nation talking. She's got updates on our Pittsburgh Pirates, Steelers and Penguins. Yes, sports fans, she's got The Black-N-Gold News for you.
THE BLACK-N-GOLD NEWS
It was a busy week for our Pirates, both on the field and off it. As usual, the roster shuffle continued. C Eric Fryer was reinstated from the paternity list. To make room for Fryer, the Bucs optioned C Elias Diaz back to Triple A Indy.
The Pirates went out and dropped the opener of their 2-game set with Seattle 7-4. The final game of the series went much better for the Buccos. The sunk Seattle 10-1. RH Gerrit Cole recorded the 1st complete game of his Major League career. Congrats to the Cole Train!
Before the start of last Friday's series opener with Milwaukee, the Bucs optioned RH AJ Schugel back to Indy. They called up LH Steven Brault. It didn't help as the Pirates dropped the 1st game of the 3-game series, 3-1. In that matchup with Milwaukee, C Francisco Cervelli left the game when he was hit in the foot with a pitch while working behind the plate.
Prior to last Saturday's game and 72 hours before the non-waiver trade deadline, the Pirates played "Let's Make a Deal". They dealt RH Mark Melancon, their closer and a 3-time All-Star (including this season) to the Washington Nationals. The Bucs received LH Felipe Rivero and LH prospect Taylor Hearn in the trade. They then went out and dropped another to the Brewers 5-3.
Before Sunday's finale with Milwaukee, the Pirates sent Brault back down to Triple A and called up INF Max Moroff. The Pirates also avoided the sweep, defeating Milwaukee 4-2.
Monday's trade deadline kept GM Neal Huntington busy. NH traded LH Jon Niese back to the Mets. This deal saw the return of former Pirates LH Antonio Bastardo to the bullpen. The Bucs also snagged RH Ivan Nova from the Yankees for 2 Players to be Named Later. One final deal was made. The Bucs traded LH Francisco Liriano and his salary, along with 2 prospects, C Reese McGuire (a former 1st round pick) and OF Harold Ramirez. The entire haul was sent to Toronto. The Bucs got back RH Drew Hutchison who was promptly sent to Triple A (where he has spent most of the season for the Blue Jays, too).
The Pirates opened a 3-game series in Atlanta on Tuesday, their last trip to Turner Field. The Bucs took the opener 5-3. Frankie C left this game after an HBP to the head. Wednesday night's game saw the Buccos fall to the Braves 8-4.
RH Ryan Volgelsong was recalled from his rehab assignment at Triple A while Moroff was sent back to Indy and RH Wilfredo Boscan was given his release. This was Vogey's 1st start since going on the DL back in May after suffering facial fractures due to a beaning versus Colardo. He pitched well for missing so much action. Unfortunately, the Pirates continue to play lackluster baseball against the worst team in the Majors, losing 5-2 and losing the series.
Friday night, the Bucs returned home to face the Cincy Reds in a 3-game series. The Pirates won in walk-off fashion on Friday thanks for INF Sean Rodriguez's solo home run. He got new LH Tony Watson off the hook for blowing his 1st save at home since inheriting the closer's role in the Melancon trade.
Another trade was made on Saturday. This time is was of the waiver variety. Seattle received RH Arquimedes Carminero from the Bucs for a Player to be Named Later. The Pirates called up RH Curtis Partch from Indy to fill Caminero's roster spot. Nova made his Black-N-Gold debut and was super en route to a 5-3 victory. The Bucs were looking to break out the brooms yesterday but it was not meant to be. Cole continued his inconsistent season by losing the finale to Cincy 7-3.
The Pirates will continue their homestand on Tuesday when NL West cellar dwellers the San Diego Padres come to town. Rookie RH Chad Kuhl is expected to be recalled for the start. The Bucs continue to cling to their slim playoff hopes. They are 2.5 games back for the final Wild Card spot. At 9-11 since the All-Star break, our favorite Black-N-Gold baseball team has played more like a team that wants to watch the playoffs from their couch, instead of participating. You gotta want it to win it. Let's Go Bucs!!!!!
Our Steelers FINALLY kicked things off at training camp at St. Vincent College in Latrobe. Free agent signee, TE Ladarius Green began camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list due to offseason ankle surgery. As of this writing, Green is still on the PUP list. Of course, many players get banged up during camp. It's a long haul before our favorite Black-N-Gold football gets to their 1st regular season game on September 12 versus Washington. Unfortunately, not every player will make it to the regular season opener injury-free. 2nd year CB Senquez Golson is one such player. Golson missed all of his rookie season due to shoulder surgery. Word was that he looked good in his 1st training camp early. He just couldn't make it through healthy. Golson is out with a Lisfranc injury to his left foot. The injury may require surgery and he's expected to miss approximately 12 weeks.
Some former Steelers were honored at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton this weekend. Former LB Kevin Greene (with Terrible Towel in tow) and DB and defensive coach Tony Dungy were among the greats inducted on Saturday. Dungy cut his teeth as a coach on Chuck Noll's staff but was inducted as a head coach thanks to his coaching career with Tampa Bay and Indy. Still, both Greene and Dungy was and always will be members of the Black-N-Gold. Congrats to both!
Now our Steelers will get ready for their 1st action of the preseason. They'll battle the Detroit Lions this Friday, August 12 at Heinz Field. Let's see what you've got. Try to come out of it as healthy as possible. Let's Go Steelers!!!!!!
Our Penguins are enjoying their offseason as the Stanley Cup continues to make the rounds. D Kris Letang and his son got to enjoy their morning cereal as they ate from Lord Stanley's Cup. Coach Mike Sullivan took it with him to Boston. G Marc-Andre Fleury took it with him to a local children's hospital up in Canada.
We continue to await word from C Matt Cullen regarding his contract status. When a decision has been reached, Mrs. Black-N-Gold will let you know.
Meanwhile, it's less than 70 days until the puck drops. Let's Go Pens!!!!