April 9, 2007

Pre-Game Notes

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (2-4) vs. PITTSBURGH PIRATES (4-2)
APRIL 9, 2007 AT PNC PARK --- GAME #7, HOME #1
RHP BRADEN LOOPER (0-1, 4.50 ERA) vs. RHP IAN SNELL (0-0, 3.00 ERA)

HOME OPENER:
The Pirates are hosting the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals in the Home Opener this afternoon at 1:35, It marks the first time since 1987 that the Redbirds are playing the first game in Pittsburgh and the 31st time since 1887, the most of any opponent (the Bucs have gone 14-16 in the first 30 meetings).

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

LAST START:
Ian struck out a career-high 11 batters while receiving a no-decision in Pittsburgh’s 3-2 win in Houston last Tuesday, He whiffed nine of the first 14 batters he faced before surrendering a solo home run to Jason Lane in the 5th inning, He left the game trailing 2-1; the Pirates scored twice in the 8th for the victory.

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.

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.

11 K’s:
Snell struck out 11 Houston batters in his first start of the season on 4/3; the most whiffs by a Bucco pitcher since Kip Wells fanned 12 Philadelphia batters on 7/5/05. , The club record for most K’s in a game by a righthander is 14, set by Bob Moose on 9/16/69 vs. Philadelphia and matched by Jose DeLeon on 4/16/85 vs. New York.

SNELL vs. ST. LOUIS:
2006:
1-1 with a 5.25 ERA (12.0ip/7er) in two starts, He won a 3-2 decision over Jeff Weaver on 8/12 at PNC Park (7.0ip/2er) - the only two runs he allowed came on a two-run homer by Albert Pujols - and lost a 6-3 decision to Anthony Reyes on 9/3 at Busch Stadium (5.0ip/5er); Pujols took him deep three times in that game.

CAREER:
1-1 with a 5.50 ERA (18.0ip/11er) in four appearances (three starts), He made his major league debut in relief on 8/20/04 in game one of a doubleheader at Busch Stadium (2.0ip/1r)

TOMORROW'S STARTER:
TOM GORZELANNY:
The 24-year-old lefthander will be making his second start of the season tomorrow night, He picked up a victory in his first start; a 5-4 decision over Woody Williams in Houston last Wednesday (5.0ip/7h/3r/2er/1bb/4so), 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. ST. LOUIS:
Gorzo has never faced the Cardinals.

TEAM NOTES:
The Pirates have won three straight games and four of their last five played against St.Louis at home. The Buccos have held the Cardinals to just three runs in the last three games at PNC Park, including a combined shutout by Paul Maholm, Salomon Torres, Matt Capps and Damaso Marte in the last meeting on August 13.
With 498 career victories, Jim Tracy is just two wins shy of 500 in his managergial career, He will become the 12th active manager with 500 career wins.

ON THE D.L.:
Pitcher John Grabow (left elbow irritation - eligible on 4/7) is on the 15-day disabled list.

UPCOMING PITCHING MATCHUPS:
Tuesday vs. St. Louis 7:05 RHP Chris Carpenter (0-1, 7.50 ERA) vs. LHP Tom Gorzelanny (1-0, 3.60 ERA) FSNP
Wednesday vs. St. Louis 12:35 RHP Adam Wainwright (1-0, 1.29 ERA) vs. LHP Paul Maholm (0-1, 7.20 ERA) NO TV
Thursday in Pittsburgh OFF DAY

Through The Dugout:
Jose Bautista - Has started each of the first six games at third base, Leads club with four doubles.

Jason Bay - Went 2-for-4 with a home run yesterday in Cincinnati.

Jose Castillo - Started each of the first four games at second base, Picked up lone hit Tuesday night in Houston.

Chris Duffy - Has hit safely in each of his first five games while leading off each contest.

Brad Eldred - Made first appearance of the season as a starter in RF Sunday in Cincinnati and went 2-for-4 with a homer.

Don Kelly - Made first major league start Saturday at second base - went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.

Adam LaRoche - Hit a solo home run and had RBI-double in 7-5 loss to the Reds on Saturday.

Nate McLouth - Played final four innings of Saturday’s game in right field.

Xavier Nady - Started in center field Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati and went 2-for-5 -played final two innings in right field.

Ronny Paulino - Has started five of the first six games at catcher (sat out Saturday afternoon’s game in Cincinnati).

Freddy Sanchez - Made first appearance of the season on Sunday - led off and went 2-for-4 while playing second base.

Jack Wilson - Went 2-for-5 with two RBI Sunday in Cincinnati - connected off Eric Milton for first homer of the season.

Through The Pen:
Jonah Bayless - Retired each of the two Cincinnati batters he faced Sunday afternoon (1 K).

Matt Capps - Pitched 1.1 scoreless frames in Cincinnati on Sunday - singled off Todd Coffey for first major league hit in 8th inning.

Shawn Chacon - Struck out four batters while tossing 2.0 innings (1 run) in Cincinnati Saturday afternoon.

Damaso Marte - Pitched a scoreless inning Saturday afternoon in Cincinnati.

Juan Perez - Faced one batter Sunday afternoon and surrendered RBI-double to Javier Valentin (inherited runner).

Salomon Torres - Pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning Sunday afternoon in Cincinnati to earn fourth save.

John Wasdin - Retired final two batters he faced Friday night after allowing lead-off triple to Jeff Conine in 6th inning (0.2ip/0r).
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