March 20, 2007

Pre-Game Notes

The Pirates are hosting Jim Leyland and his Detroit Tigers at 1:05. Sean Burnett and Justin Verlander (RH) are scheduled to start. Josh Sharpless, Jonah Bayliss, Juan Perez and Shane Youman are also expected to pitch. Paul Maholm and Shawn Chacon will be pitching in a minor league game at Pirate City.

The Pirates beat the Phillies 5-1. Ian Snell pitched 5 scoreless innings for the win. Ronny Paulino was 2 for 3 with a double and two RBI. Nate McLouth had two hits and an RBI. Xavier Nady and Don Kelly also had two hits.

The 24 year-old lefthander will make his first start of the spring, his third appearance. In his last outing against the Reds, Burnett pitched 4 scoreless innings out of the pen allowing 2 hits while striking out 4. Burnett was Pittsburgh’s Minor League Pitcher-of-the-Year in both 2001 and 2002.

The Pirates are scheduled to play the Red Sox at 1:05. Expect a circus as Tom Gorzelanny meets Daisuke Matsuzaka (RHP). The game will be televised nationally on ESPN and is sold out. Jim Brower, Marty McLeary, Dan Kolb and Damaso Marte are also scheduled for innings.

The Pirates have 43 players in major league camp after the 5 cuts yesterday. By the end of camp 9 additional pitchers will be cut as well as 9 position players to get to the opening day roster. There are 5 non-roster pitchers in still in camp as well as 9 non-roster position players.

The Pirates have averaged 4,839 fans in their first nine home dates this spring. In 16 home dates last spring, the Pirates attracted a club record 79,542 fans, an average of 4,971 per game. The next three home games are sold out, which will raise the sell out total to five for the Grapefruit League Season.

  • The Pirates are hitting .303 this spring, the highest average among the Grapefruit League teams.
  • Jose Castillo has played seven games at third base and three at second base while posting a five-game hitting streak.
  • Einar Diaz has three hits in his last five at bats and has gone 7-for-15 this spring.
  • Ryan Doumit has reached base safely in nine of his last 15 plate appearances.
  • Brad Eldred leads all Grapefruit League players with a .784 slugging percentage.
  • Jose Hernandez has five hits in his last 12 at bats.
  • Don Kelly has seven hits in his last 15 at bats to go along with a five-game hitting streak.
  • Adam LaRoche has seven hits in his last 22 at bats.
  • Nate McLouth has five hits in his last 11 at bats.
  • Ronny Paulino has collected 16 hits in his last 23 at bats,a .696 pace. He is hitting .516 (16 for 31) this spring.
  • Michael Ryan has played in a team-high 16 games and is hitting .425 with a team-leading six doubles.
  • Jack Wilson has five hits in his last six at bats and has reached base safely six times in his last seven plate appearances.
  • Shane Youman has made three scoreless outings, including two starts, over 6 1/3 innings this spring.
  • Juan Perez has surrendered just two hits in five scoreless appearances covering 4 2/3 innings.
  • Josh Sharpless leads the team with two saves, the last Pirate with three saves in Grapefruit League play was Jose Mesa in 2004.
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