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Pittsburgh vs. Colorado, 23 August 2007

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3:05 PM, WPGB

Paul Maholm (9-14. 4.53) vs. Franklin Morales (0-0, 1.69). Morales has been rushed to the majors and, excellent first start aside, isn't really ready, but he should be a good one eventually - he has excellent stuff for a lefty and a very good performance record. This should be an interesting game to watch.

It has been nice to be back in the U.S. and to be able to watch the past couple games. Tuesday's wasn't that interesting - if you'd asked me what to guess the score of a Pirates game pitched by Tony Armas and Shane Youman, I'd probably have guessed nine to two, and that's exactly what happened. But the explosion of power in last night's game was fun to watch. Probably not as fun as watching the Rangers score 30 runs, but still pretty fun. Believe it or not, Nate McLouth is now hitting .256/.328/.471 on the season. .471! He has a .950 OPS in August. I know that .471 slugging percentage is probably a fluke, but when I see him hit a huge homer like the one he had on Tuesday, I want to believe it's real.

-P- Ryan Doumit probably won't be back until mid-September. Zach Duke pitched yesterday in his rehab assignment at rookie-league Bradenton. He didn't allow any runs in 2.7 innings, but he walked two and only struck out one.

-P- The Post-Gazette also reports that the new CEO will "likely" be a baseball person. Heaven help us if the new CEO isn't a baseball person.

-P- Brandon Webb's scoreless innings streak ended last night at 42.

-P- Shocker! Minor league reliever Clayton Hamilton has basically lost a season because the Pirates' medical staff misdiagnosed his injury. (Thanks to Vlad, who caught this first and posted it at Primer.)

-P- In case you haven't seen it already, my pick for the Pirates' "Face of the Franchise" is up.