Capps starts suspension tonight
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The Pirates will be without closer Matt Capps for all three games in Seattle.
Capps, who became the closer after Salomon Torres struggled and subsequently went on the disabled list because of inflammation in his right elbow, yesterday had his suspension reduced from four games to three games after an incident May 5 in Milwaukee. His suspension will start tonight.
Capps hit Prince Fielder with his second pitch after J.J. Hardy hit a three-run home run.
That earned him the suspension and a fine from Major League Baseball. The original fine was $1,500. That was cut to $1,000 yesterday.
Capps appealed the suspension and had his hearing June 8 when the Pirates were in New York to play the Yankees.
"I'm just glad to have it over," Capps said. "I can get it off my mind. I just have to live with it, deal with it and move on."
Capps earned two saves in weekend games against the Chicago White Sox. He has five saves, a 3-3 record and a 2.79 earned run average in 38 appearances this season.
"It is what it is," manager Jim Tracy said, referring to the decision on Capps. "He had an opportunity to speak his piece, and now we'll just have to live with the decision that was rendered."
Right-hander Shawn Chacon probably will handle the bulk of the save situations in Seattle. Left-handed specialist Damaso Marte also will be in the mix.
"We'll have to be a little bit creative," Tracy said.
Right-hander Masumi Kuwata probably will be used in the seventh and eighth innings, with right-hander Jonah Bayliss and left-hander John Grabow among those pitching in the sixth and seventh innings.
It's also possible that because the designated hitter rule will be used Tracy won't have to go to his bullpen as often -- as long as the starter's pitch counts are normal.
"That's one benefit you have," Tracy said.
First Published June 18, 2007 11:06 pm