Former Pirates Pitcher Hayden Penn Thrives In Japan Series

Former Pirates pitcher Hayden Penn, whose inability to get anyone out in his brief tenure with the club at the beginning of the 2010 season was emblematic of the Bucs' struggles at the time, is now with the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan and just won his first game in the Japan Series:

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"Although he gave up a run in the first inning, he didn't throw many balls," Marines pitching coach Takashi Nishimoto said. "He was able to prevent the opponent from gaining any momentum."

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Penn gave up two runs, struck out three and walked two in 5 1/3 innings to earn the victory. He became the second foreign pitcher in franchise history to win his Japan Series debut and 12th overall in NPB history to win the first time out.

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Penn is exactly the kind of pitcher who struggles to find a place in the majors but thrives in Japan. He was good enough to be one of the better pitchers in Class AAA in the states, but control problems and issues with injuries undid him at the big-league level. The level of competition in Japan is high, but it's below the major leagues. Hopefully Penn can have a nice career over there and make it back to the majors, if that's what he wants.

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