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Colorado vs. Pittsburgh, 18 July 2007

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12:35 PM, WPGB

Jeff Francis (9-5, 4.15) vs. Ian Snell (7-6, 3.11). This is an early one. It's been a very tough week for Pirates fans, but there are a couple reasons for hope here. For one thing, Snell's pitching. For another, as Dejan Kovacevic pointed out in his chat yesterday, Jason Bay is 7-for-9 with two homers in his career against Francis, so maybe there's some chance that Bay will snap out of the funk he's in.

I don't really believe that, but I'm grasping at straws, which is what you do when your team gets shut down by Buddy Carlyle and Josh Fogg and Manny Corpas strikes out the heart of your order with twelve pitches and Don Kelly is the first pinch-hitter off your bench and Tony Armas isn't even the worst pitcher on your team anymore and your players are yelling at each other in the dugout.

Anyway, I'm in the comments. Here's the ESPN box score.

One note for today:

-P- Daniel Moskos says he signed for slot money:

Moskos began negotiations with the Pirates shortly after the college season ended, but it took the Nationals signing the Draft's sixth-overall pick, Ross Detwiler, on July 6 to expedite the process.

"That kind of gave us a kick that, OK, people are signing for slot money so we better sign for slot money," said Moskos, who is represented by Mark Pieper of SFX Sports. "I knew it was going to take this time period because you kind of want to wait to see who signs and you don't know what exactly the signing bonuses are going to be in terms of slot money."

Good for the Pirates! I bet Matt Wieters won't be signing for slot money, so they definitely saved some dough there. That'll be helpful later - I believe Aaron Sele is a free agent after this season, for example.