If you head over to The Steel Tradition, you can read all about the shellacking the 49ers received from your Pittsburgh Steelers yesterday. As James Pete wrote, the black and gold put the ball in the end zone every way they know how: with the offense (a Big Ben pass), the defense (a Bryant McFadden interception return) and with the special teams (a 98-yard runback on a kickoff by Allen Rossum). Time for the Steelers to enter best-in-the-AFC discussions? We’ll see…
The Pens’ season is underway, too, and as the cold air finds its way to Pittsburgh, hockey fever is sure to take over. At The Confluence of the Three Rivers, Tony Ferrante recaps Saturday night’s exhibition loss to the Red Wings. After the game, first-round pick Angelo Esposito got shipped back to his junior club; I guess I was spoiled by the likes of Crosby, Malkin and Staal, but I thought the kid had a shot to make the roster.
At Sandlot Swashbucklers, there’s plenty of minor-league Pirates content going up. You can check out the updated photo galleries, from which that shot by Nancy Z. of Josh Sharpless was plucked; keep up with Nancy’s month-by-month reviews of the affiliate teams (the latest is Hickory in June); and keep an eye out for more prospect profiles—the archive of those is available here.
Finally, a few numbers to keep an eye on down the stretch:
- 66: The number of wins your Pittsburgh Pirates have with six games left to play; they’ve finished at 67-95 for two consecutive seasons, and might struggle to surpass that total in 2007. In the race for the No. 1 pick in 2008’s draft: Tampa Bay (64-92), Florida (66-90), Pittsburgh (66-90), Baltimore (66-89), Houston (68-88) and Chicago (68-88). Arizona and St. Louis come to PNC this week to close out the schedule.
- 195.2: The number of innings pitched by Tom Gorzelanny in 2007 after throwing 161.1 with Indianapolis and Pittsburgh in 2006. As Randy noted in yesterday’s game thread, Gorzo’s likely to go for his 15th win of the season this week; if he does, he’ll top 200 innings pitched for the season. He’s thrown more than 100 pitches in each of his last five outings. Arm injury? Nah, who cares.
- .295: Jack Wilson’s batting average, at 138 for 468. Assuming Jack-o gets 20 more at-bats, he’d need nine hits to top .300 for the season.