'It Was An Ugly Mess Of A Game'

Pirates broadcaster John Wehner recaps the home opener

The Fan Morning Show
April 02, 2019 - 11:35 am
Cardinals celebrate win over Bucs

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- It was all good through six innings at PNC Park yesterday.

The Bucs had a 4-0 lead over the Cardinals, it was the home opener, everyone was feeling good.

Until they weren't.

The Redbirds stormed back and ruined the day for the Pirates by winning 6-5 in extra innings.

Pirates broadcaster John Wehner joined The Fan Morning Show Tuesday morning at 9:30 in his weekly hit to review it all. Although it wasn't a pretty sight, as two errors (probably should have been three) were committed late in the game, Wehner isn't too worried about the infield defense just yet.  

"It's pretty early. It obviously wasn't a great first impression yesterday for any facet of the game, really, I know a couple of errors led to a couple of runs but you can't point the finger just at the defense although they've gotten off to a slow start and there's been some miscues in every game," said Wehner. "You can point the finger at everybody. You can point the finger at the offense that went 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position. The bullpen, which I don't know if we'll see that again blowing a four-run lead going into the 7th."

"It's one of those games where nothing went well. I think both teams were pretty sloppy, there were just a ton of walks, it was very slow-paced, it was just an ugly mess of a game. Yeah, the defense had their issues and we'll see miscues this year. We'll see errors that lead to runs but I think it's too early to be too concerned about the defense, it was just an ugly game all around." 

Wehner detailed how Josh Bell, despite his struggles defensively, is working very hard to improve by taking ground balls before batting practices and is doing his best despite not having "the softest hands." 

Related: Cardinals beat Pirates 6-5 in 11 innings

"All these guys (infielders) will continue to work. Josh obviously hasn't played a whole lot of infield and he's going to have to continue to work and hopefully put himself in a better position to make the plays a little bit easier for him," said Wehner. "He's going to make errors. He's not going to be a Gold Glove first baseman. You drive in more than you let in. If he brings back the production that he had his rookie season, the defense won't be talked about as much because he'll be carrying the club offensively." 

Wehner also commented on the interactions between Francisco Cervelli, Chris Archer and the umpires and if there is any kind of negative impact there. 

"I think Cervelli has pretty good relationships with umpires, especially defensively. I don't know how much the umpires enjoy him questioning every strike call when he's in the batter's box. He is a little bit animated and I know umpires don't like to be shown up and they don't like the body language sometimes that Cervelli gives. But I think when Francisco is behind the plate he has a pretty good relationship with those games."

"With Chris Archer, he has the body language, too and I don't think umpires like that. Now, he might have been a little more amped up yesterday being Opening Day than he normally is on the mound. But there were a lot of boderline pitches both ways. I think the more you reaction to an umpire, the most you get under his skin. I don't think it's too bad, if they're giving the umpire don't much of a hard time. I don't see that just yet. I don't know yesterday was just one game."               
You can hear the full interview with Pirates broadcaster John Wehner on The Fan Morning Show, including his thoughts on Le'Veon Bell's raps, below. 

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