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Some Notes and Observations

-P- As expected, the Bucs shipped Bryan Bullington back to Indianapolis. They will probably recall Marino Salas tomorrow. Bullington had been up for a couple weeks but hadn't even pitched, in part because the starting pitching has been decent and not a lot of mop-up work has been required.

-P- The Pirates signed four picks today: 7th-rounder Benji Gonzalez, 15th-rounder Chris Aure, 25th-rounder Brian Leach and 27th-rounder Edwin Roman. Gonzalez and Roman are both defense-oriented players from the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy who have dubious bats. Leach put up terrible numbers in pitching for Southern Mississippi, but there may be something there we don't know about, because Baseball America likes him and he was drafted last year, too. Aure, a pitcher from Alaska, appears, at least for now, to be the most interesting of the four.  

-P- The Bucs are now, improbably, one game below .500. 

-P- With four homers and two doubles in his last three games, Ryan Doumit is on one heck of a hot streak. 

-P- Tom Gorzelanny's six strikeouts today were two more than he's had in any other start this season.

-P- Damaso Marte is awesome.

-P- Tyler Yates, Salas, Bullington, Sean Burnett, John Van Benschoten and Evan Meek have combined for only 30% of the innings the Pirates have pitched out of the bullpen this year, but they've got 60% of the walks. With Phil Dumatrait now in the rotation, that leaves only four other guys who have been reasonably effective. To the Pirates' credit, three of them (Marte, Matt Capps and John Grabow) have been very good, and all three have pitched a bunch of high-leverage innings. Not that I think the Pirates shouldn't be trading relievers at the deadline, but the ends of games could get pretty dicey in the second half of the season if they do.