The Cubs' Derrek Lee hits a two-run double off Pirates starter Charlie Morton in the second inning yesterday at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Lee had seven RBIs before he was given the rest of the game off after the fourth inning.
By Dejan Kovacevic Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
CHICAGO -- There would enough cause for Tom Gorzelanny to have serious butterflies taking the mound today, what with his hailing from nearby Orland Park, Ill. , and this being his first start for the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Then, there is the small matter of the opponent.
"It'll be great," he said yesterday. "First start here in my hometown. And being against the team I used to play for, that's added on. I'm not going to try to think about either of those. I just want to go out there and do my job. But I can't hide the fact that it's going to be special."
Gorzelanny, 1-1 with a 7.27 ERA in his first two starts with the Cubs, will oppose Zach Duke and at least some other familiar faces.
He was asked his thoughts about what the Pirates have done with their many trades.
"It's kind of shocking, I guess. But I know this is how the team's been run the past few years, trying to dump salary every now and then. I think how it's happened this year, with so many guys being traded, it kind of throws you back a little bit. I know what they want to do, rebuild, get a good minor league system and try to right the ship. But going from Feb. 15 to now, it's a complete shock."
He was asked, too, if he felt he got a fair opportunity in Pittsburgh this year.
"Well, obviously, I didn't get my opportunity. I didn't start in any games this year. But that was the situation I was put in. I can't do anything about that. I think it helped me getting called up in the middle of the season and working out of the bullpen. It was unfortunate that I wasn't able to get this chance with the team that drafted me, but maybe it worked out even better by being brought over here to the Cubs and having a chance to win a World Series."
Gorzelanny and John Grabow, also sent to the Cubs in the four-pitcher trade that brought Kevin Hart and Jose Ascanio to the Pirates, spent plenty of time mingling with old friends. Grabow went so far as to visit the visitors' bullpen during batting practice.
Doumit has bruised wrist
Catcher Ryan Doumit, who has a slightly bruised right wrist, missed a second consecutive game but is expected to return this afternoon.
Wednesday had been a scheduled day off for Doumit, and manager John Russell decided to add another yesterday when Doumit experienced what he called "a little tightness" while taking swings in the morning. It was not related to the fracture -- on the opposite side of the wrist -- that caused him to miss two months earlier this season.
The wrist was struck by a pitch in the dirt Wednesday in Denver.
Another trade brewing?
The Pirates had three scouts, including senior adviser Bill Lajoie, at the Toronto-Tampa Bay game yesterday in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Trades can be made until Aug. 31, but only if a player clears waivers. That tends to happen with high-priced players, but the Pirates no longer have those.
Bright spot? Really?
Amid one of the Pirates' worst losses in franchise history, one player managed to shine: Steven Jackson pitched 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief to finish off the 17-2 loss, one in which Charlie Morton gave up 10 runs, Chris Bootcheck seven. All season, including the minors, Jackson had not pitched more than three innings.
"I just tried to go out and save the bullpen," Jackson said.
• The Pirates signed 12th-round draft pick Jeffrey Inman, a 6-foot-3 right-handed pitcher out of Stanford University. This past season, he went 7-2 with a 4.27 ERA in 16 games, including 13 starts. That raises the Pirates' total of signed picks to 23, including all of the top 14.
• Injured relievers Evan Meek and Donnie Veal remain with the team but are expected to be sent out for rehabilitation soon.
• Chicago made late scratches of third baseman Aramis Ramirez (cold) and right fielder Milton Bradley (sore right hip). Each will be evaluated again today.