May 11, 2007

Pre-Game Notes


ATLANTA BRAVES (22-12) vs. PITTSBURGH PIRATES (15-18)
MAY 11, 2007 AT PNC PARK --- GAME #34, HOME #14
RHP KYLE DAVIES (0-1, 6.41 ERA) vs. LHP ZACH DUKE (1-3, 5.50 ERA)
7:05 EDT FSNP


TODAYS STARTER:
ZACH DUKE:
The 24-year-old lefthander is making his eighth start of the 2007 season this evening...He has lost his last three decisions.

LAST START:
Zach lost a 6-3 decision to Jeff Suppan in Milwaukee last Saturday...He surrendered a run in the 1st inning and two unearned runs in the 2nd...The Pirates scored twice in the 6th inning to make it a one-run game, but the Brewers put the game away with three runs off the bullpen in the 7th inning.

ZACH BACK ON TRACK:
Duke has allowed a total of four earned runs in his last three starts (18.2ip)...In his first four starts he posted a 9.00 ERA (19.0ip/19er) while opponents hit at a .400 clip against him...Opposing batters are hitting at a .274 clip (20-for-73) against Duke in his last three outings.

THIS & THAT:
The Pirates are 4-3 in games that Duke has started this season...He has received a total of 14 runs of support while he is on the mound in his first seven starts...Pittsburgh has scored three runs or less with him on the mound in six of Zach’s seven starts this year (the club scored four runs with him on the mound on 4/8 at Cincy).

TROUBLE IN THE FIRST:
Duke has allowed 12 first inning runs in his last five starts...He has posted a 15.43 ERA (7.0ip/12er) in his first inning of work and a 3.23 ERA (30.2ip/11er) after the first inning this season.

FOR STARTERS:
Zach was tabbed as Pittsburgh’s Opening Day starter this year...He allowed two runs in 7.0 innings but had a no-decision in Pittsburgh’s 4-2 win at Houston.

DUKE vs. ATLANTA:
2007:
Is making first start tonight.

CAREER:
1-1 with a 2.35 ERA (15.1ip/4er) in two starts...He came two outs away from his first career complete game while winning a 4-1 decision over Tim Hudson at Turner Field on 8/1/05 and lost a 3-0 decision to John Smoltz on 8/21/06 at Turner Field (7.0ip/3er); a game in which Smoltz no-hit the Pirates for 5.1 innings.

TOMORROW'S STARTER:
TONY ARMAS:
The 29-year-old righthander will be making his sixth start of the season tomorrow night...Received a no-decision in his last start; a 6-4 loss to the Brewers at Miller Park last Sunday (5.0ip/6h/4r/3er/2bb/6so)...Has not received a decision in his last three starts...Allowed eight runs in 2.2 innings and lost a 10-2 decision to Randy Wolf at Dodger Stadium on 4/20...Suffered a 7-5 loss to Aaron Harang in Cincinnati on 4/7 in debut with Pirates (4.0ip/6er)...Was signed as a free agent on 2/1 after spending parts of eight seasons with Montreal/Washington.

vs. ATLANTA:
5-7 with a 3.39 ERA (130.0ip/49er) in 22 career starts, the most against any opponent... Went 1-1 with a 1.35 ERA in three starts last year, winning an 8-1 decision in Atlanta on 5/14 (7.0ip/0r) and losing a 6-1 decision in Washington on 9/18 (6.2ip/3er).

ALL-STAR VOTING:
Beginning May 1st at PNC Park, fans will be able to vote for the players for this year's All-Star Game, which is scheduled to be played at AT&T Park in San Francisco on Tuesday, July 10...A total of eight Pirates are on this year's ballot (Jason Bay, Freddy Sanchez, Jack Wilson, Adam LaRoche, Jose Bautista, Chris Duffy, Xavier Nady and Ronny Paulino)...Voting at PNC Park will continue through June 17...Twenty-one million ballots will be distributed at the 30 Major League ballparks and an additional 1.7 million ballots will be distributed to 95 Minor League Baseball Clubs that are in-season during the balloting period.

ONLINE ALL-STAR VOTING:
MLB All-Star Voting

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:
Beginning tonight the Pirates will play 10 straight games outside their division...They played 29 of their first 33 games of the season against N.L. Central opponents, having gone 14-15 in those 29 affairs.

ON THE D.L.:
Catcher Humberto Cota (left shoulder strain - eligible on 5/8) and pitcher John Wadin (right thumb sprain - eligible on 5/18) are on the 15-day disabled list.

ON THE MEND:
Cota is currently at Triple-A Indianapolis on a rehab assignment, where he has gone 0-for-5 with an RBI in two games.

UPCOMING PITCHING MATCHUPS:
Saturday vs. Atlanta 7:05 LHP Chuck James (3-3, 4.84 ERA) vs. RHP Tony Armas (0-2, 7.94 ERA) NO TV
Sunday vs. Atlanta 1:35 RHP Anthony Lerew (0-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. Ian Snell (2-2, 2.35 ERA) FSNP

Through The Dugout:
Jose Bautista - Has started all 33 games at third base...Leads all N.L. third basemen in fielding pct. (no errors/118 chances).

Jason Bay - Has started all 33 games in left field...Went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI in Thursday’s 6-4 win.

Jose Castillo - Grounded into DP as pinch hitter Tuesday...Was walked intentionally Saturday (his first walk of the year).

Ryan Doumit - Has gone 19-for-40 (.475) with seven doubles, two homers and seven RBI since being recalled on 4/26.

Chris Duffy - Batted .264 with 12 runs in 24 games last month...Has gone 4-for-31 (.129) with 2 runs in 8 games in May.

Brad Eldred - Popped out as a pinch hitter on Wednesday...Had second two-hit game of the season on 4/27.

Don Kelly - Made second start of the season on Wednesday at shortstop and went 1-for-3 off Jason Marquis at the plate.

Adam LaRoche - Went 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI Thursday afternoon...Has hit safely in 12 of his last 15 games.

Nate McLouth - Walked & scored tying run in 9th inn. Tuesday (Bucs won in 15)...Is hitting .333 (4-for-12) with bases empty.

Xavier Nady - Tied career high with four hits Tuesday night (now done six times)...Has six hits in his last 17 at bats (.353).

Ronny Paulino - Has thrown out 10 of the 17 runners attempting to steal against him.

Freddy Sanchez - Led off Thursday’s game in Chicago and went 2-for-4...Has gone 5-for-12 in three games as leadoff hitter.

Jack Wilson - Is the second-toughest player to strike out in the N.L. - whiffing once every 16.0 plate appearances.

Through The Pen:
Jonah Bayliss - Tossed 3.0 scoreless frames to pick up victory in 15-inning win at Wrigley on Tuesday...Has appeared in six of the last eight games.

Matt Capps - Has made back-to-back scoreless outings (2.2ip) after being scored upon in two previous appearances (0.2ip/3r/3er).

Shawn Chacon - Tossed 0.2 scoreless inning on Wednesday...Has been charged with one run in his last 5.2 innings of work.

John Grabow - Entered game with bases loaded and retired only batter he faced Wednesday...Suffered loss in Milwaukee on Sunday (1.1ip/1r).

Damaso Marte - Has made seven straight scoreless outings (5.0ip)...Pitched a scoreless frame in Tuesday's 4-3, 15-inning win at Chicago.

Marty McLeary - Made season debut Friday night and surrendered four runs (all scoring on two home runs) in 2.1 innings of relief.

Salomon Torres - Struck out two of the three battes he faced to earn 11th save Thursday afternoon in Chicago.

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

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