Friday April 9th- the Pirates began a 10 game road trip which would take them to Atlanta, Philadelphia and New York. The first game of the road trip was the home opener for the Atlanta Braves at Atlanta Stadium- 8:05 EST start. I noted the other day about Three Rivers Stadium being only 4/5ths full for the home opener. Atlanta had a capacity of 51,383 and for the Braves opener tonight they drew 32, 734.
- The Pirates and the Braves both went into the game with 2-0 records. Pittsburgh area native 23 year old right hander- Bob Moose would be starting for the Pirates. Moose had record of 11-10 in 1970. His opponent right- hander Pat Jarvis was 16-16 for the Braves in 1970.
- The Pirates would get busy in the middle innings- one run in the 4th- in the 5th they knocked Pat Jarvis out of the game with 4 runs and coasted from there to an 8-2 victory.
- The Pirate bats were awake this evening- scoring 8 runs- highlighted by Willie Stargell’s 3-4 home run, 2 RBI and 4 run scored evening. Stargell was back in his normal spot in the line up hitting clean-up. The Great One Roberto Clemente went 3-5 with a run and RBI. The light-hitting shortstop Jackie Hernandez continued to contribute with the bat going 2-5 with 2 RBI’s. It is still early in the year but Stargell and Hernandez are both hitting .455 and Clemente is at .385. Hitting and scoring runs will not be a problem for the 1971 Buccos.
- The Pirates have always have been known more for their hitting than pitching throughout their history- but the opening games of 1971 it looks like Pirate pitching though lacking a Tom Seaver or Jim Palmer type superstar- will be able to hold their own. Bob Moose would go 8.2 innings allowing 2 runs and scattering 11 hits- walking one and striking out one. Dave Guisti- would come in and get the last out- and pick up the save. Back then they had different save rules – you finish the game as Giusti did you get the save no matter what the score was.
- Braves great Henry Aaron had a quiet evening- he went 0-4 against Bob Moose -and after three games is hitting .083. You know that won’t last very much longer.
- The game took 2:23 to play.
- Something I find interesting about tonight’s game. If you are a fan of baseball 50 years later in 2021- this is something you rarely see. In tonight’s game the entire game- pitchers on each team recorded only 1 strike out each. A total of 2 strike outs in the entire game. Also Pirates pitchers walked only one, Brave pitchers three. Pitchers threw strikes and the hitters made contract. With all those balls in play there was only one error by Atlanta first baseman and future Hall of Famer- Orlando Cepeda [who went 1-4 tonight hitting]
- Game two of the three game series on Saturday night will feature Steve Blass going for the Pirates against knuckleballer Phil Niekro for the Braves.