Reds Send Pirates 1/2 Game out of Cellar
Tip your hat to Aaron Harang – he got to the ballpark, looked at Jim Tracy’s lineup card, laughed, and took the mound with so much confidence he was able to throw a nine-inning complete game shutout in 94 pitches despite dragging in a 4.98 career ERA at PNC Park.
With power mashers Duffy, Wilson, Doumit, Kata, and Castillo not starting, the Pirates were able to manage just one solid hit against Harang – a Bay line drive into the 410 centerfield notch in the 5th, plus a seeing eye pop up by Kata all night.
The Reds, though, had their way with Ian Snell. Unable to find the plate out of the bullpen, Snell walked the game’s leadoff hitter on six pitches, grooved two strikes to the next batter who crushed the second one into center for a single, fell behind 1-0 to Griffey, and then tried to groove another that Griffey mashed over the right field wall.
Ten pitches and the game was effectively over.
And don’t think for one second the Pirates didn’t know it – 28% of the Pirates at bats ended with two or fewer pitches, and batters were lazy like Freddy Sanchez who swung at strike three in the 4th, watched the ball not be caught and bounce toward the Pirates dugout, and then failed to run to first as the Reds catcher ran past and in front of him to scoop the ball up and tag him for the out as he walked slowly and defiantly back to the dugout.
Jim Tracy even bought into it all by substituting Sanchez in the 7th, LaRoche in the 8th, and forcing Youman to take the mound and throw his 252cd pitch over his last five appearances in 15 days while having started in just one of those five (he’s toast, BTW).
It was just one of those nights.
Oh – and welcome back to reality Pirates fans as we are close to reclaiming the NLCD cellar.
Snell now has:
– 10.98 ERA (10.2 IP, 13 ER) last two starts against the Reds at PNC; and
– 6.01 ERA (79.1 IP, 53 ER) last 13 games (since his June 23 start) while allowing one home run every 5.7 innings and saw 37% of his hits go for extra bases.
Snell’s ERA in the 281 innings prior to his June 23 start? — 4.03 in 46 games with a 3.63 ERA in his last 181 innings of work and 28 games.
If you are the GM, do you deal him thinking the league has caught up to him or do you keep him thinking Mr. Snell might be holding a little in his reserve tank this year, lacking focus, or a combination of both?
Those that know me over the years know I have never been an Ian Snell fan but there’s no disputing the egg he’s left on my face over the last year or two.
Man, Nate McLouth simply can not cover the ball. Between him and Bay, I wonder which one has run up the most frequent flier miles on their bad routes? We’ll never compete with those two in the outfield unless we mash 6 runs per game all year. It’s a miracle he hasn’t been exposed more than he has.
Speaking of egg on the face, Oliver Perez pitched against the Phillies Wednesday night striking out 10 in six innings, allowed just five hits and three earned runs, but still lost the game as Moyer and the Phillies pen was just a tick better.
Perez now has a 3.39 ERA this season, a 12-9 record, and 147 strikeouts vs 64 walks.
Nady? He has just 83 at bats in the second half.
Got a little extra coin laying around? You might be interested in bidding on Barry Bonds 755 and 756 home run balls.
As I reported last week might happen, the Pirates decided to shut down Shelby Ford with back problems.
There are some rumors floating around that Robert Nutting interviewed yet another MLB executive from the Commissioner’s Office today with little to no baseball operations experience.