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Pirates

Pirates closer Hanrahan named to National League All-Star squad

| Sunday, July 3, 2011

WASHINGTON — As reward for a dominant first half of the season, Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan today was named to the National League All-Star squad.

In 38 appearances this season, Hanrahan has 24 saves and a 1.41 ERA.

The announcement came shortly before the Pirates played the final game of a four-game set against Washington. The Nationals traded Hanranan to the Pirates on June 30, 2009, as part of a four-player deal.

Hanrahan had a 7.71 ERA when the Nationals traded him. Since coming to Pittsburgh, he has blossomed into one of the game's most reliable closers.

"I'm having a lot more fun playing the game now," Hanrahan said. "When I got traded, I changed my attitude. When I was here and things were going bad for me, I was living on every pitch, as far as what my future was going to be. Now, I go out there and play. Stuff-wise, I'm pretty much the same, but I'm using it better. My command's gotten better and I've gotten smarter."

This is the second year in a row the Pirates have sent a relief pitcher to the All-Star Game. Last season, setup man Evan Meek was selected.

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