Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Will anyone watch this game?

Expect PNC Park to be about as empty as you've ever seen it tonight, because the thrilling Zach Duke/Ryan Dempster pitching match up is going head to head with the first game of the Penguins/Senators series just down the banks of the Allegheny.

I'm not sure what it is with the NL Central and middling closers being converted to even more middling starters, but Ryan Dempster is joining Braden Looper in that club this year. Of course there was also a time when Dempster was a starter with a high upside, but that didn't pan out. Maybe it will this time around, but I'm not so sure. Regardless, I seem to recall the Pirates crushing Dempster when he was a starter with the Marlins and the Reds in the earlier part of this decade. That's really not applicable here, but it does provide a nice feeling of comfort. Zach Duke is looking to build on a so-so first start and luckily for him, Brian Bixler will probably be starting his first game at short instead of Luis Rivas. Since Duke isn't likely to strike a ton of people out, having Rivas the Butcher out of the field will be nice.

And yes, I'll allow Penguin talk in the gamethread, though Pirate talk is, as always, encouraged.