2009 Pirates are better than 2008 Pirates

At the end of the season last year, after watching the Pirates go 17-37 to finish the final two months of the season, there was little hope in the 2009 team. The Pirates traded their two best hitters of 2008 in Jason Bay and Xavier Nady. Free agency came and went in the coming months, with the only additions being on the bench, and some bullpen depth. It looked as if that 17-37 team was going to be the same team we would see in 2009,...

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Duke's Arm, Sanchez' Slam Propel Pirates

Mark it down: Zach Duke will make the All-Star team this year. Duke won his seventh game against four defeats by going eight and allowing just three runs. The Pirates jumped on Tigers starter Armando Galarraga with four second inning runs. He was pulled in the third after giving up consecutive hits to start the inning. Nate Robertson got out of that jam unharmed. The same wasn’t true in the following frame when Freddy Sanchez...

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Pirates Notebook: Who is the next to go?

I did my write up of the Nate McLouth trade last night. After thinking about it some more I guess my biggest problem is the timing. From what I read in the PPG, Tommy Hanson and Jason Heyward were both untouchable. That’s understandable. Hanson is an ace, and I think Heyward could be another Jason Bay. That being said, I think we could have at least gotten Heyward in a deal for McLouth. The problem I have is the timing. Atlanta...

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Pirates Notebook: Extending Zach Duke

Zach Duke has been outstanding this year. Coming in to the season I didn’t think too highly of Duke. Since putting up a 1.81 ERA in 14 starts at the end of the 2005 season, Duke combined for a 4.82 ERA in 507.2 innings between 2006 and 2008. He showed flashes of his 2005 form, but never in a consistent manner. That’s not the case this year. Duke has now made 11 starts for the Pirates in 2009. Eight of those starts have...

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Duke Outduels Santana

That headline is a shocker. Dewey defeats Truman. Man bites dog. Things you don’t expect to see in print. But it happened. Zach Duke allowed 8 singles and one run in seven innings against NYM. He was touched in the fifth when the Mets put together two singles, a sac bunt and a sac fly. In the third, he was spared a run when Nate McLouth gunned down Jeremy Reed at the plate. Jason Jaramillo’s first career tater tied it in...

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