Karstens Flirts With Perfection

Jeff Karstens

Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Jeff Karstens flirted with perfection at Chase Field in Phoenix on Wednesday afternoon. The 25-year old carried a perfect game for seven and two thirds innings before Arizona's Chris Young broke it up with a double down the left field line. Karstens settled for a two hit 2-0 complete game shutout.

Karstens didn't unravel after surrendering the double to Young.

"I was a little disappointed," Karstens lamented. "But the game goes on and you had to carry on, it was a close game.

Karstens picked up his first career complete game shutout – out dueling veteran Randy Johnson. He also notched his first career big league hit and was 2-for-3 on the day against Johnson.

"I'm not going to lie," Karstens offered. "I was a little scared up there – he's a big guy and he slings that ball in there and it comes in there pretty fast.

Pittsburgh got its two runs on a Freddy Sanchez home run and a RBI double by Doug Mientkiewicz that knocked in Karstens.

Karstens was one of four players acquired recently in a trade with the New York Yankees for Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte. He is 2-0 in first two starts for the Pirates and has tossed 15 consecutive scoreless innings. He went six scoreless frames against the Chicago Cubs in his first start for the Pirates on August 1.

"I'm just throwing strikes," Karstens said. "I'm not giving in – these guys are good hitters and when you fall behind sometimes you've got to give in, but the Triple-A pitching coach in Scranton for the Yankees said never give in – if you walk somebody – you walk them."

Karstens has settled in nicely with the Pirates and is enjoying the ride.

"I'm very comfortable," Karstens stated. "Pitching here it's kind of nice because guys haven't seen me – especially to pitch here today – the ballpark is big and sometimes I'd rather be lucky than good. It's amazing and I'll take it all in today and fly to Philadelphia and get back to work on Friday."

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