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Home opener

April 13, 2009 - John Mehno

4:30. Final: Pirates 7, Astros 0. Zach Duke throws the complete game shutout, the first in a home opener for the Pirates since John Candelaria in 1978.

Duke threw 120 pitches, walked two and struck out five. Second good start for him and, really, the Pirates have had just one bad start in the first seven games.

Time of game was 2:41. It picked up nicely after a slow start, but the merger of ballpark and rush hour traffic won't be pretty. But that's OK. It's opening day and people are going home happy.


4:15: Attendance is 38,411 if that's what you had in the pool. Third-largest opening day crowd in the nine years here and 10th largest overall.

Not a bad day. Cool and cloudy, but the rain should hold off until this is over. Pirates are batting in the bottom of the eighth, leading 6-0.

Good day for Zach Duke, who has allowed four hits over eight innings.


3:35 p.m.: Pirates lead 6-0 at the end of 5. Windows are closed in the press box, which means I can hear every inane comment.


3 pm: It's 6-0 now. It's also 3 o'clock, which means this game is dragging.

The Astros aren't very good.

Sorry for the delay. Had problems accessing the Internet.

BBQ chicken for lunch in the press room. Not bad.

Somber mood in the pre-game with the ceremony to honor the memory of the three Pittsburgh police officers who died in the line of duty just over a week ago.

Then the gloom continued with the news that longtime Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas collapsed and died in the broadcast booth this afternoon at the age of 73.

Couple of upbeat notes:

Steve Blass was honored for his 50 years with the Pirates. Also, the Pirates jump out to a 4-0 lead over the woeful Astros. Adam LaRoche with a rare early-season home run, a two-run shot.

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