Game #53: Dumatrait is Magic

Great American BallPark | 7:10 | Duke vs. Aaron Harang | Box
Late last year Phil Dumatrait got to start several games against the Reds. That didn’t go well and he was released. The Pirates picked him up and he has been a very pleasant surprise. Tonight he stifled his old team to a pair of infield hits in seven innings. He struck out nine.
The Pirates offense was in full force, compiling eight extra base hits. Jason Bay and Xavier Nady each contributed a double and a dinger.
Aaron Harang was hit hard, pitching on short rest after being needed during the Reds marathon game Sunday against the Padres.

Pre-Game Thoughts
Reds ace Aaron Harang has pitched into some very poor luck this year. In four of his losses Harang has given up three earned runs or less in six innings or more of work. He has three no decisions in games in which he gave up two or fewer earned runs while pitching seven or more innings. As it stands, he is 2-6 with an ERA+ of 133.
For his career, Harang is 11-3 with a 3.97 ERA against the Pirates. He has more wins against the Bucs than against any other club. He has eight wins against the Astros and the Cubs. His career mark includes a complete game shutout against the Pirates on last August 29th. That was Harang’s last start against the Pirates.
Jason Bay is 15-40 with four homers off of Harang. Much of the rest of the club – Ronnie Paulino (2-13 with six Ks), Nate McLouth (1-13) and Jose Bautista (4-21) – has struggled against Harang. The Bucs are hitting .245 against him.
Originally slated to go tonight, Zach Duke has been scratched with a callous on his finger. In my head I hear John Lennon screaming, “I got blisters on my fingers!” at the end of Helter Skelter.
Riding in on the white horse is Phil Dumatrait, former reject of the Reds. He has been a welcome addition to the starting rotation. A sad but true statement, given that his ERA+ is a meager 102. That’s the top mark among any Pirate hurler with a start in 2008. Dumatrait’s lone appearance against his former team was a perfect one inning earlier this year. He retired Joey Votto, Ryan Freel and Paul Bako.
File this one under “Umm, what?”: Humberto Cota, in the Rockies minor league system, has been suspended for a positive test for a banned substance. Or since he tries to shift blame to the state of medical care in Mexico, perhaps we should file this under “Where’s Michael Moore?”

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