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On Second Thought

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Pat's right: Rob Rossi should just stop.

To be sure, this club still has some holes to fill. However, there is much to offer as evidence since the break that the Pirates will be better equipped to start strong in 2007 than they were in 2006.

* The staff ERA of 4.21 since mid-July is best in the division and fifth in the National League.

Nothing arbitrary about that. Nothing at all.

* The defense's .985 fielding percentage ranks second in the division and fifth in the league.

We're going to hang our hats on our fielding percentage being fifth in the league?

* After going 9-25 in one-run games, the Pirates have gone a major-league best 12-2 in such contests.

Um, that would tend to suggest that nothing at all has changed, and that the Bucs are going to come crashing back to... not earth, since it's not like they're even out flying somewhere right now... to the asthenosphere, let's say. Rossi seems to think that the Pirates have magically acquired some sort of skill at winning one-run games.