April 24, 2007

Pre-Game Notes


HOUSTON ASTROS (9-9) vs. PITTSBURGH PIRATES (7-10)
APRIL 24, 2007 AT PNC PARK --- GAME #18, HOME #5
RHP WOODY WILLIAMS (0-2, 6.55 ERA) vs. LHP PAUL MAHOLM (0-2, 6.19 ERA)
7:05 EDT FSNP


TODAYS STARTER:
PAUL MAHOLM:
The 24-year-old lefthander is making his fourth start of the season this evening.
LAST START:
Maholm lost a 7-3 decision to Milwaukee’s Claudio Vargas last Wednesday at Miller Park...The Brewers took an early 3-0 first inning lead highlighted by Bill Hall’s two-run home run...The Bucs pulled to within one run to make the score 3-2 after five innings but Milwaukee scored two more runs off Maholm in the sixth to make it 5-2.
IN THE SPRING:
Paul went 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in four official starts during spring training...In addition, he made a start in a minor league game against the Twins at Pirate City on 3/20 (5.0ip/3h/1r/1er/0bb/4so) and threw on the side twice after starting a “B” game against the Reds at Pirate City on 3/4 (3.0ip/3h/3r/3er/2bb/4so).
GETTING PAST THE FIRST:
Maholm has allowed four first inning runs in his first three starts in 2007...He allowed a total of 29 first-inning runs in his 30 starts last season, including 17 in his last 13 starts...He posted an 8.40 ERA (30.0ip/28er) in the first inning last year and a 4.01 ERA (146.0ip/65er) after the opening frame.
FEELING AT HOME:
Paul has allowed three runs or less in six of his last seven starts at PNC Park...He has won each of his last three decisions at PNC since losing on 6/28/06.
LIMITING THE LEFTIES:
Among the 24 home runs he has allowed in the major leagues, Maholm has surrendered just one to a left-handed batter...Minnesota’s Jason Kubel took him deep last year on 6/17...Overall he has held lefties to a .220 batting average (40-for-182).
MAHOLM vs. HOUSTON:
2006/CAREER:
1-2 with a 6.53 ERA (20.2ip/15er) in four starts...He lost a 7-2 decision to Roy Oswalt at Minute Maid Park on 4/23, surrendering four runs (two home runs) in the 1st inning (3.0ip/5er)...He also received a no-decision in Pittsburgh’s 8-7, 18-inning win at PNC Park on 5/27 (5.0ip/4er), allowing all four of his runs in the 5th inning, and lost a 3-1 decision to Brandon Backe @Minute Maid Park on 8/8 (6.0ip/3er)...He won a 5-3 decision (6.2ip/3er) against Wandy Rodriguez on 8/24 at PNC Park.

TOMORROW'S STARTER:
ZACH DUKE:
The 24-year-old lefthander will be making his fifth start of the season tomorrow night. ...His last start was a 7-3 loss (4.0ip/7r) to Milwaukee’s Jeff Suppan on Thursday at Miller Park...Was the Opening Day starter and received a no-decision in Pittsburgh’s 4-2, 10-inning win over the Astros in Houston on 4/2 (7.0ip/2er)...Picked up first victory of the season in second start (6.0ip+/6h/3r/3er) on 4/8 in Cincinnati...Has allowed a total of nine first inning runs in his last two starts...Has not recorded a strikeout in three of his four starts.
vs. HOUSTON:
0-0 with a 2.57 ERA in one start this year...He started on Opening Day and received a no-decision in Pittsburgh’s 4-2, 10-inning win at Minute Maid Park (7.0ip/2er)...Luke Scott hit a tworun homer in the 5th inning...0-3 with a 4.85 ERA (29.2ip/16er) in five career starts.

ALL-TIME RAWLINGS GOLD GLOVE:
Vote on the All-Time Rawlings Gold Glove Team. Roberto Clemente and Bill Mazeroski are on the ballot and need your support...Fans can continue to vote until June 19 at www.RawlingsGoldGlove.com.

TEAM NOTES:
  • Pirates leadoff hitter Chris Duffy has reached base safely in 14 of his 15 games in which he’s had a plate appearance this season...Since August 28, 2006, Duffy has reached base safely in 40 of his last 45 games.
  • Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games, going 12-for-40 (.300) with three doubles, one triple, two RBI and eight runs scored.
  • Bucco infielder Jose Bautista enters this evening’s game with a career-high 10 game hitting streak...He has gone 13-for-41 (.317) with four doubles and a home run during the streak and has reached base safely in 16 of his 17 games this season.

UPCOMING PITCHING MATCHUPS:
Wednesday vs. Houston 7:05 RHP Matt Albers (0-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. LHP Zach Duke (1-2, 9.00 ERA) FSNP
Thursday vs. Houston 12:35 LHP Wandy Rodriguez (0-1, 2.77 ERA) vs. RHP Tony Armas (0-2, 18.90 ERA) NO TV
Friday vs. Cincinnati 7:05 LHP Eric Milton (0-3, 4.32 ERA) vs. RHP Ian Snell (1-1, 2.00 ERA) FSNP
Saturday vs. Cincinnati 7:05 RHP Matt Belisle (2-1, 4.43 ERA) vs. LHP Tom Gorzelanny (3-0, 2.05 ERA) NO TV
Sunday vs. Cincinnati 1:35 RHP Aaron Harang (2-0, 4.37 ERA+ tonight) vs. LHP Paul Maholm (0-2, 6.19 ERA+ tonight) FSNP

Through The Dugout:
Jose Bautista - Has hit safely in 10 straight games and has reached base safely in 16 of the first 17 games overall.

Jason Bay - Has hit safely in 10 of his last 13 games and in 13 of his 17 overall.

Jose Castillo - Started each of the first four games at second base...Struck out in pinch hit appearance on Saturday.

Humberto Cota - Made fourth start/appearance on Sunday in Los Angeles and went 0-for-3 with a walk.

Chris Duffy - Went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and two stolen bases Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.

Brad Eldred - Is hitless in his last 13 at bats after hitting home run in Cincinnati on 4/8.

Don Kelly - Singled as a pinch hitter Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles.

Adam LaRoche - Has started 16 of the first 17 games at first base (sat out 4/11 contest with a stiff back).

Nate McLouth - Made first start of the year Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium and went 1-for-3 with an RBI.

Xavier Nady - Has seven RBI in his last six games...Left Saturday’s game with a left hamstring strain (is day-to-day).

Ronny Paulino - Has started 13 of the first 17 games at catcher.

Freddy Sanchez - Has reached base safely in nine of his 11 games...Went 1-for-3 with an RBI and run scored on Sunday.

Jack Wilson - Has started all 17 games at shortstop...Went 3-for-5 with a double, RBI and run scored Saturday in LA.

Through The Pen:
Jonah Bayless - Was scored upon for first time (0.1ip/2r) while suffering first loss this season in 10-inning game at Los Angeles on Saturday.

Matt Capps - Alowed his two inherited runners to score but tossed 0.2 scoreless innings Sunday in Los Angeles (also allowed first walk).

Shawn Chacon - Allowed a pair of runs in 1.0 plus innings of work Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles.

John Grabow - Was recalled from his rehab assignment and reinstated from the 15-day disabled list on Monday (left elbow irritation).

Damaso Marte - Stranded his two inherited runners while retiring the only batter he faced (Ramon Martinez) Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.

Juan Perez - Sent to the minors when Grabow was activated.

Salomon Torres - Picked up his sixth save Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium one day after suffering his second blown save.

John Wasdin - Has been scored upon in each of his last four outings (5.2ip/7r)...Allowed two runs in 3.1 innings Friday night in Los Angeles.

Player Images from Pressbox on MLB.com
Complete Game Notes can be found at Presspass on MLB.com

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