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Dejan Kovacevic's Blog

Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Wakeup Call: The Pirates’ real All-Star

CLEVELAND – Some sporting thoughts before sunrise …

>> My column this morning gives so much of the credit for the Pirates’ surprising season to Ray Searage that I do everything except buy the guy a plane ticket for Phoenix, site of this year’s All-Star Game.

He’s been that good, and I hope this sheds some light on that.

>> I’ve made some lousy predictions over the years in this business, but I’ll gladly step up this morning and take credit for having long criticized the Pirates for not using Jeff Karstens in the rotation, notably last summer.

The guy has a starter’s makeup and mindset, if not necessarily the overwhelming arsenal. And the results right now are just … staggering, really. He has a 2.54 ERA, seventh-best in all of baseball, and two ticks better than that of Roy Halladay. That, plus he’s finally getting left-handed batters out on a consistent basis.

Everything the Pirates have suggested he can’t do, he goes out and does.

>> We all need to get past these Karstens/Josh Fogg comparisons. Fogg never had any offspeed pitch to compare to Karstens’ curve, which was really effective yesterday in part because he was changing speeds on it from 67-75 mph, like pulling a string.

>> I’m off Monday, but the Wakeup Call, like the cockroach in nuclear winter, will march on. See you tomorrow morning.

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