August 8, 2010

With Real Crowds, A Real Team

The Pirates continued their run of last night of big games before a big crowd. They're 7-3 this season before crowds of 30,000 or more.

The Pirates are now averaging 20,561 fans a night, 23rd in baseball. It's not a great total by any means, but we're ahead of a few notable teams: The Tampa Bay Rays, owners of the best record in baseball at 67-43. The second place Oakland A's. The Cleveland Indians, who sold out 455 straight games when they had a good team. And the Toronto Blue Jays, who not only have a winning record but lead baseball in home runs. Attendance in Pittsburgh has increased despite a worse record than last year.Performing well before these big crowds should help to keep fans coming back to the park. Here's a full list of what the 30,000+ crowds have seen:

39,024 - April 5 - On Opening Day, Pirates win 12-5 behind three home runs including two from Garrett Jones.

31,061 - April 7 - Pirates bullpen pitches five shutout innings preserving a 3-3 tie into the tenth. Pirates load the bases with one out; Ronny Cedeno hits a line drive to right center scoring Lastings Milledge to beat the Dodgers 4-3.

36,687 - June 5 - Andrew McCutchen homers and goes 4-for-5; Ryan Doumit homers and drives in four; Pirates beat Giants 6-3.

38,008 - June 19 - McCutchen gets on base five times scoring four runs; Milledge gets three hits and drives in four; Pirates beat Indians 6-4.

30,339 - July 2 - Ross Ohlendorf pitches seven shutout innings, striking out eight to beat the Phillies 2-0.

38,052 - July 3 - Pedro Alvarez hits his first career home run but Paul Maholm gets lit up for eight runs as the Pirates get blown out by the Phillies 12-4.

36,665 - July 17 - In a balanced and strong attack, seven players get more than one hit as the Pirates overcome a four-run Astros second inning for a 12-6 blowout win.

36,967 - July 24 - Pirates lead 2-1 through five but Padres get two big innings for a 9-2 win.

30,711 - August 6 - Alvarez's three-run homer is not enough; bullpen allows three late runs for a 6-3 loss to the Rockies.

38,147 - August 7 - Chris Snyder hits a three-run homer helping the Pirates to a 5-2 lead through eight. Todd Helton ties it in the ninth on a three-run homer of his own. The Rockies push two across in the top of the tenth but Pedro Alvarez hits a walk-off three run homer to defeat the Rockies 8-7.

It's time to get on board now. When Pittsburgh wins the 2011 WFC, you want to be able to say you were a true Pirate fan when they were in last place.

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