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Matchup/Game Thread Game # 131 at Pirates

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Jason Hirsh Shawn Chacon
1 - 2, 12.75 6 - 4, 6.99
One assumes that there's nowhere to go but down for Jason Hirsh's ERA. No pitcher in Astro history ever finished a season with a higher ERA than that 12.75 when pitching 10 innings or more. Even the mocked and reviled Brandon Duckworth only had an 11.02 last year.

Of course, we fully expect the ERA to go down, just as we expect the bloated 2.50 WHIP to decrease as well.

But just understand that if Component ERA means anything, Hirsh has actually been worse than his numbers suggest. The ERC number checks in at a hefty 14.45.

Ouch.

We may see a reflection of the problem in the fact that of 24 outs on balls in play Jason has managed to record, only five of them have been through the ground ball. Meanwhile, a study of his splits at Round Rock this year shows that if anything, Hirsh is slightly biased toward the ground ball.

It's not happening in the majors, though: 6 homers in 12 innings certainly suggests that horsehide sphere is being left up and out to National League hitters so far.

For some reason, Jason is elevating the ball more than usual, and perhaps it's stage fright. You'll remember that Hirsh was given a small but real chance to make the club out of Spring Training, and then he was lousy all during March. But after a slow start, he went on to dominate the PCL.

So there's still hope for our number one prospect; perhaps he just needs to get used to his new environs, all the fancy clubhouses and stuff.

And to speak specifically of today, although PNC is a hitter's park, it's kind of roomy in the outfield, and maybe a few balls that would have been homers elsewhere turn into doubles, or are maybe even caught by Willy T.