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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: Hanrahan is … wow

Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …


. Hanrahan

>> I started this by typing that blog headline up there, then was staring at the screen for a bit looking for the right adjective. As you can see, I failed.

Joel Hanrahan right now is just … wow.

Here, check out Major League Baseball’s current saves leaders. That’s impressive, though not mind-blowing. Now, look at that list again and check out the WHIP column. That’s a huge number for a reliever, the walks and hits per inning pitched. Only J.J. Putz in Arizona has a lower figure.

And you know what? Forget all that and just trust your eyes this time. Watch how Hanrahan is just blowing those 98-mph fastballs upstairs past the bat, then getting guys to lunge at his now-officially-back slider.

Walked up to Hanrahan late Saturday night, and I asked him — informally — this question: “Do you have any idea how good you are right now?”

He just smiled.

He knows.

>> Is Paul Maholm really making you think that the Pirates should exercise that $9.75 million club option for 2012?

>> So, I publicly predict that the Bruins will win Game 6 by a 5-1 score, and the Canucks have the audacity to score a late meaningless goal to make it 5-2. It can take all the steam out of a guy.

Probably not Mark Recchi, though. Guy is 43, producing three sweet assists in Game 6 and having the time of his life. Hard not to pull for him to go out on top.

How many truly do that?

Lanny McDonald? Ray Bourque? Jerome Bettis?

>> Apologies yet again for not being able to have links in the comments section. I think you can do just one for now, but they’re working on it.

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