Irwin struck out nine batters tonight.

One of the big surprises in the Pittsburgh Pirates' system this year has been the progress of right handed pitcher Phillip Irwin.  The former Ole Miss starter was selected in the 21st round of the 2009 draft, 17 rounds after the Pirates selected his Ole Miss teammate Nathan Baker.  Both starters began the 2011 season in high-A Bradenton, but it was Irwin who moved up to Altoona, after an impressive 2.03 ERA in 53.1 innings, along with a 40:12 K/BB ratio.

Since moving up to Altoona, Irwin has had mixed results, with a 4.42 ERA in 75.1 innings.  However, the most impressive thing has been his impressive 61:9 K/BB ratio.  Tonight was one of Irwin's best starts of the year.  He struck out nine batters, which was his personal best at the AA level, an...

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