April 3, 2007

Pre-Game Notes

PITTSBURGH PIRATES (1-0) vs. HOUSTON ASTROS (0-1)
APRIL 3, 2007 AT MINUTE MAID PARK --- GAME #2, ROAD #2
RHP IAN SNELL (14-11, 4.74 ERA in 2006) vs. RHP JASON JENNINGS (9-13, 3.78 in 2006)

TODAYS STARTER:
IAN SNELL:
The 25-year-old righthander is making his first start of the 2007 season tonight.

LAST START:
Ian’s last appearance in spring training came as a starter in a minor league game in Bradenton, FL, Thursday afternoon (6.0ip/7h/2r/1er/0bb/3so).

IN SPRING TRAINING:
Snell went 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA (21.0ip/7er) in six Grapefruit League outings (four starts)...He led the club in wins and all National League Grapefruit League pitchers in strikeouts (24).

2006 SEASON:
Ian produced a team-leading 14 wins last year, the most by a Pittsburgh pitcher since Todd Ritchie went 15-9 in 1999...He also recorded a team-high 169 strikeouts, the most by a Pirates right-handed pitcher since Kris Benson had 184 punchouts in 2000...Snell ranked 10th among N.L. pitchers with a 8.2 strikeouts/9.0ip ratio.

LIFE ON THE ROAD:
Snell went 7-4 with a 3.94 ERA in 16 starts on the road last year...Overall the Pirates went 9-7 in his 16 road starts, including 8-3 in his last 11 starts against National League opponents...He has gonw 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA (8.0ip/2er) in two career appearances in Houston.

UNDER THE LIGHTS:
In 25 starts at night last year, Ian produced a 12-6 record...In his career, he has gone 13-8 while pitching under the lights and 2-6 in the afternoon.

YOU ALWAYS REMEMBER THE FIRST ONE:
Snell’s first major league victory came against the Astros on 9/19/05; a 7-0 win over Roger Clemens at PNC Park.

SNELL vs. HOUSTON
2006:
1-2 with a 5.94 ERA in three starts...He lost a 3-0 decision to Taylor Buchholz at Minute Maid Park on 4/22 (6.0ip/2er), beat Buchholz at PNC Park on 5/26 (5.2ip/5er) and lost to Andy Pettitte at PNC Park on 9/26 (5.0ip/4er).

CAREER:
2-3 with a 4.55 ERA (31.2ip/16er) in six appearances (five starts). In addition to last season, he lost a 9-3 decision to Ezequiel Astacio in game one of a doubleheader on 7/19/05 at PNC Park and tossed 8.0 shutout innings while picking up his first big league win over Roger Clemens at PNC Park on 9/19/05.

TOMORROWS STARTER:
TOM GORZELANNY: The 24-year-old lefthander will be making his first start of the season tomorrow night...His last start was a no-decision in Pittsburgh’s 5-3 win over the Twins in Bradenton, Florida, Friday afternoon (6.0ip/4h/2r/2er/1bb/8so)...Went 0-2 with a 7.96 ERA in seven Grapefruit League games/five starts (26.0ip/28h/26r/23er/15bb/23so)...Posted a 2-5 record and a 3.79 ERA in 11 starts with the Pirates last season after being recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis on 6/30...Was named the club’s Minor League Pitcher-of-the-Year in 2006 after going 6-5 with a 2.35 ERA in 16 starts with Indy.

vs. HOUSTON: 0-2 with a 3.46 ERA in two starst last season, losing a 5-2 decision to Roger Clemens at Minute Maid Park on 8/10 (6.0ip/2er) and a 3-0 decision to Roy Oswalt at PNC Park on 9/28 (7.0ip/3er)...Has gone 0-3 with a 5.19 ERA (17.1ip/10er) in three career starts.

ON THE D.L.:
Pitcher John Grabow (left elbow irritation - eligible on 4/7) and infielder Freddy Sanchez (right knee sprain - eligible on 4/7) are on the 15-day disabled list.

GRABOW/SANCHEZ:
Lefty John Grabow threw a 50-pitch bullpen session Monday morning in Bradenton, FL...He is scheduled to throw live batting practice later this week...Freddy Sanchez is expected to workout today in Bradenton before joining the Indianapolis Indians (AAA) on Wednesday...Their season opener is scheduled for Thursday in Indy.

UPCOMING PITCHING MATCHUPS:
Wednesday at Houston 7:05 CDT LHP Tom Gorzelanny (2-5, 3.79 ERA in 2006) vs. RHP Woody Williams (12-5, 3.65 ERA in 2006) FSNP
Friday at Cincinnati 7:10 EDT LHP Paul Maholm (8-10, 4.76 ERA in 2006) vs. RHP Matt Belisle (2-0, 3.60 ERA in 2006) FSNP
Saturday at Cincinnati 7:10 EDT LHP Zach Duke (0-0, 2.57 ERA) vs. RHP Aaron Harang (1-0, 0.00 ERA) NO TV
Sunday at Cincinnati 1:15 EDT RHP Tony Armas (9-12, 5.03 ERA in 2006) vs. TBA FSNP

Through The Dugout:
Jose Bautista - Made Opening Day start at third base and went 2-for-4 with a double.

Jason Bay - Hit game-winning home run off Chad Qualls in the 10th inning Monday night.

Jose Castillo - His 33 career home runs rank fourth on club's all-time list for second basemen (Johnny Ray is 3rd with 36).

Humberto Cota - Has been a member of the Pirates since making his major league debut with team in 2001.

Ryan Doumit - Is celebrating his 26th birthday today...Has hit five of his 12 career home runs against the Astros.

Chris Duffy - Has been the Opening Day starter in center field the last two years...Had two OF assists Monday night.

Brad Eldred - Made his first career appearance on Pittsburgh’s Opening Day roster.

Don Kelly - Made big-league debut last night; popped out to short as pinch hitter and played two innings at second base.

Adam LaRoche - Made debut with the Pirates as a starter at first base Monday night.

Nate McLouth - Homered as a pinch hitter Monday night...His last three big-league hits have been a homer, triple and homer.

Xavier Nady - Hit game-tying home run off Brad Lidge with two outs in the 9th inning Monday night.

Ronny Paulino - Made first career Opening Day start behind the plate Monday night.

Jack Wilson - Was the Opening Day starter at shortstop and picked up two hits in five at bats.

Through The Pen:
Jonah Bayless - Retired two of the three Houston batters he faced Monday night.

Matt Capps - Picked up the win Monday night - his eighth straight victory, dating back to June 11, 2006.

Shawn Chacon - Has made 190 career appearances in parts of six major league seasons.

Damaso Marte - Retired the only batter he faced Monday night...Established career high with 75 appearances last year.

Juan Perez - Is one of just two rookies on Pittsburgh’s roster (also infielder Don Kelly).

Salomon Torres - Earned first save of the season Monday night...Led majors with 12 saves last September/October.

John Wasdin - Was also a member of Boston’s Opening Day rosters in 2000, 1998 and 1997.
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