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Gorzelanny rebounds at right time

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ST. LOUIS — So much for spring training stats, eh?

Tom Gorzelanny had a miserable time on the mound in Florida, struggling in the first inning and not getting much better after that in every game. His spring ERA was a whopping 7.96, and he allowed 28 hits in 26 innings.

The left-hander has done a 180-degree turn at the perfect time. He has looked sharp in two outings this season and takes a sparkling 1.50 ERA into Tuesday’s game against St. Louis.

When things appeared to be bleak during spring training, Gorzelanny told us not to worry. Give him credit for being true to his word.

&#149 New Busch Stadium beats the heck out of old Busch. Great view of the Arch from the seats behind home plate. And with three decks, the joint is cavernous and can get really loud.

One big drawback: If you gaze out the pressbox, past the seats in left-center field, you see a massive, debris-strewn crater that marks the spot where old Busch used to be. Hey, St. Louis, it’s been a year. Clean up that eyesore and build something there.

Other than that, this is a great park. But you’d better like the color red. And Anheiser-Busch products.

&#149 I saw this strange, glowing orb in the sky today as I walked down Eighth Street to the ballyard. It seemed to be emitting heat and a natural sort of light. A passerby said it was the Sun. If it’s there again tomorrow, I’ll take a picture and e-mail it to my sainted wife, who’s stuck in cold, gray Pittsburgh with the kids.

&#149 Speaking of my wife, she has promised to keep her own blog throughout this season — chronicling the daily grind of a working mom-turned-baseball widow — as a counterpoint to my adventures on the road with the Buccos. Her working title is “My Wife is a Saint” and it will be up and running soon on my MySpace page. I’ll provide a link once she starts her entries.

&#149 Good news: Pirates put up three runs in the first inning against Anthony Reyes. Better news: Adam LaRoche singled to keep the rally going. Bad news: they had just three hits, all singles, and left runners at the corners. Maybe it’s the start of a breakout by the offense. Stay tuned …
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