April 25, 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:
ZACH DUKE:
The 24-year-old lefthander is making his fifth start of the 2007 season this evening...He has lost each of his last two starts.
LAST START:
Zach lost a 7-5 decision to Milwaukee’s Jeff Suppan last Thursday afternoon at Miller Park...He allowed four first inning runs, including a two-run home run to J.J. Hardy...The Brewers added three more runs off Zach in the fourth inning before he gave way to the bullpen.
FIRST START:
Duke was the Opening Day starter and received a no-decision in Pittsburgh’s 4-2, 10-inning victory in Houston on 4/2...He tossed 4.0 scoreless frames before surrendering a two-run homer to Luke Scott in the 5th inning...The Pirates scored once in the 9th to tie the game and twice in the 10th for the win.
IN SPRING TRAINING:
Duke went 0-2 with a 6.35 ERA in six Grapefruit League starts...He also threw 81 pitches while pitching in a minor league game against Baltimore’s Triple-A affiliate on 3/23 (6.0ip/6h/2r/2er/0bb/3so).
STRIKING NUMBERS:
Zach has not recorded a strikeout in each of his last two starts and in three of his four outings so far this season.
TROUBLE IN THE FIRST:
Duke has allowed nine first inning runs in his last two starts...In addition to his last start, he surrendered five runs in the first frame against the San Francisco Giants in his April 13 start at PNC Park.
DUKE vs. HOUSTON:
2007:
0-0 with a 2.57 ERA in one start...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 two-run homer in the 5th inning.
CAREER:
0-3 with a 4.85 ERA (29.2ip/16er) in five starts...He went 0-2 with a 5.68 ERA (12.2ip/8er) in two starts last season and suffered a 2-1 loss to Brandon Backe at PNC Park on 9/22/05 (6.0ip/5h/2r/2er).

TOMORROW'S STARTER:
TONY ARMAS:
The 28-year-old righthander will be making his third start of the season tomorrow afternoon...He allowed eight runs in 2.2 innings and lost a 10-2 decision against Los Angeles’ Randy Wolf Friday night at Dodger Stadium...His first start in a Pirates uniform was a 7-5 loss to Aaron Harang in Cincinnati on April 7 (4.0ip/8h/6r/6er/5bb/2so)...Went 2-1 with a 3.70 ERA in six games (five starts) during the Grapefruit League season...Was signed as a free agent on 2/1 after spending parts of eight seasons pitching with Montreal/Washington.
vs. HOUSTON:
3-2 with a 3.69 ERA (39.0ip/16er) in seven starts, going 3-1 in his last five outings. ...He has allowed two earned runs or less in five of his seven career starts...He last faced the Astros on 5/25/06 and won an 8-5 decision (5.1ip/4er) at RFK Stadium.

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:
Due to the fact that their game was rained out on Jackie Robinson Day (Sunday, April 15), the entire Pirates team will honor the Dodgers legend by wearing uniform #42 during Friday’s game against the Reds.

UPCOMING PITCHING MATCHUPS:
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 (3-0, 3.86 ERA) vs. LHP Paul Maholm (1-2, 3.96 ERA) FSNP

Through The Dugout:
Jose Bautista - Has hit safely in 11 straight games and has reached base safely in 17 of the first 18 games overall.

Jason Bay - Has gone 11-for-27 with three doubles, a triple, home run, five RBI and three runs scored in his last 7 games.

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 - Has hit safely in 12 of his 16 games with a plate appearance...Has gone 8-for-22 in his last 5 games w/ a PA.

Brad Eldred - Is hitless in his last 16 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 reached base safely in 13 of his 17 games.

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 gone 3-for-16 in his last five games...Knocked in a run three of his first four games this season.

Freddy Sanchez - Has reached base safely in nine of his 12 games...Went 1-for-3 with an RBI and run scored on Sunday.

Jack Wilson - Has started all 18 games at shortstop...Is 5-for-9 with a double, RBI and three runs scored in last two games.

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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