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San Diego vs. Pittsburgh, 31 May 2007

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7:05, WPGB

Greg Maddux (4-3, 4.20) vs. B.P. Chacon (1-0, 3.38). Fun fact: Maddux hasn't walked 45 batters in a season since 1993, when he pitched 267 innings. (Just to put that in perspective, Chacon walked 63 in 109 innings last year.) I'd say the odds that Maddux will walk anyone tonight are extremely low.

Fun fact: The Padres' team ERA right now is 2.97. Amazingly, they have a 2.10 ERA at home. It's a pitchers' park, but it's not that much of a pitchers' park.

Here's the box. Ryan Doumit catches for the Bucs. I'll be in the comments for this one.

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Dave Littlefield in the P-G today:

To the second point, Littlefield acknowledged the increased risk in using the first pick [in the draft] on a pitcher. But he was adamant that the Pirates' recent history, including 2006 first-rounder Brad Lincoln having reconstructive elbow surgery in April, will not be a deterrent.

"Anyone in the industry will tell you that pitchers are more of an issue because of the elbows and shoulders," he said. "Relative to our No. 1 pitchers having surgeries, it certainly is unfortunate, and we're working exhaustively to see that it doesn't happen again. But also understand that starting pitching is the key component in championship clubs."

So many replies to this:

  1. "And yet you have B.P. Chacon starting tonight?"
  2. "And you think the first round is the right time to get starting pitchers?"
  3. "Did you notice how bad the 2006 Cardinals' rotation was after Chris Carpenter and Jeff Suppan, or how the Cardinals' starters ERA in 2006 was 20th in baseball?"
Anyway, it appears that it's not going to matter (wink, wink):
...Dave Littlefield made... clear yesterday:

The Pirates will not base their decision on financial restrictions.

Well, Baseball America ranks Scott Boras client and Georgia Tech catcher Matt Wieters the second-best draft prospect, and he'll probably be available when the Pirates pick. So I assume Littlefield won't have any qualms about choosing him. Right? Right? (Wink, wink.)