March 9, 2007

Pre-Game Notes

TODAY:
The Pirates take on the Braves at McKechnie Field for a 1:05 showdown. Zach Duke will start for the Pirates, Chuck James (LH) will take the hill for the Braves. Masumi Kuwata, Dan Kolb, Dave Davidson and Matt Capps are also scheduled to pitch for the Pirates.

TONIGHT:
In the second half of a day/night, the Pirates will play the Indians in Winter Haven at 7:05. Shawn Chacon goes for the Bucs against Paul Byrd (RH). Other scheduled pitchers are Sean Burnett, John Grabow, Franquelis Osoria and Josh Shortslef.

YESTERDAY:
The Pirates made it a streak by beating the Devil Rays 5-2 in Bradenton. Shane Youman went three scoreless allowing two hits. Salomon Torres struck out two of the three batters. Brian Rogers earned a save with a perfect 9th.

Offesnsively the catalysts were Humberto Cota and Andrew McCutchen who both collected two hits. Cota drove in two while McCutchen scored one. Xavier Nady played six innings goung 1 for 3 in his first Grapefruit League action.

ZACH DUKE:
Duke makes his third appearance of the spring. He has had a 5.40 ERA for the spring allowing three runs in five innings of work. In 2006 Duke went 10-15 with a 4.47 ERA while making a team-high 34 starts. He also led the team in innings pitched with 215 1/3, the most by a Pirate Lefty since the unforgettable Zane Smith (228 IP) in '91.

TOMORROW:
The Pirates take on the doormat of the league New York Yankees at McKechnie Field for a 1:05 affair. It must be tough being a Yankees fan, constantly being the but of peoples jokes (I am warming up for a fantasy draft). Paul Maholm is scheduled to start against New York’s Kei Igawa (LH). Ian Snell, Josh Sharpless, Damaso Marte and Allan Simpson are also scheduled to pitch.

BUCS/BRAVES:
Today marks the second and final meeting of the spring between these two clubs. In their last meeting the Braves won a 5-4, 10-inning decision on March 2. The Pirates beat the Braves in their only visit to McKechnie Field last year in a 10-5 decision on March 7. Zach Duke also started against Chuck James that afternoon.
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