Nineteen dates to circle on the Pirates' calendar, as they try to avoid a 19th consecutive losing season:

Today: The Cubs' Ryan Dempster pitches to Jose Tabata at Wrigley Field to open the Pittsburgh Baseball Club's 125th season.

April 7: The home opener marks not only Clint Hurdle's debut in Pittsburgh but also the first managing of his career against Colorado, where he held that job for seven years.

April 20: This was the last point in 2010 at which the Pirates were above .500, at 7-6. Can they do better?

April 22: The one-year anniversary of the historic 20-0 loss to the Brewers. The Jolly Roger will be flown at half-mast.

April 26: Freddy Sanchez and the world champion San Francisco Giants visit. Be sure that Sanchez will also squeeze in his usual community work here, too.

May 20: Jim Leyland, who still makes his home here, comes to town with the Tigers to open the interleague schedule..

May 21: Neil Walker bobbleheads are given out, the only such promotion this year at PNC Park.