Monday, July 28, 2008

Snell Wins...This Is Not a Test!

Ian Snell looked like the same old, same old for the first three innings, and then the light went on. He ditched his curve, moved his fastball and slider around and kept them down or out of the strike zone, and hey, the Pirates won, 8-4.

Now giving up 4 runs and 8 hits in seven innings might just be another day at the office for most starting pitchers, but for Snell, it was a gold star performance.

He gave up a two run homer in the first, escaped with a run in the second when Nate McLouth and Jack Splat teamed up to throw out a guy at home, and surrendered a couple of laser shots that were run down in the third.

After that, he was back, nailing 11 in a row at one point. Snell gave up a run in the seventh, but with runners on first and third and no one out, he got a DP ball to kill Colorado's last gasp rally. His 8 K's with only 1 walk showed that for one night, at least, he had his pitch command hitting on all cylinders.

For Snell, it was win number 4, his first since June 11th. Seven complete innings is the deepest he's gone in a game since May 9th. The bullpen didn't know what to do with their unexpected free time, though we're sure they appreciated it.

It took the Bucco B team - Sanchez and LaRoche, the two hottest hitters since the break, were both out - a while to get the range, but thanks to 9 walks (3 scored) and 10 hits, they ground out enough runs to end the Rockie Mountain high Colorado had been on, with nine wins in their last ten games going into tonight.

Ryan Doumit and Dirtdog Mientkiewicz had three knocks apiece, and McLouth hit his 22nd home run, a towering blast that eventually splashed down in Pop's Pond.

Doumit had a busy day - he tagged out a man at home, stole a base, threw out a would-be thief, doubled, scored 2 runs, and had 2 RBI. Bay added another swiped sack for the suddenly go-go Buccos.

And the Bucs still left runners galore. Twice they had the bases juiced with one out for Snell and Chris Gomez, and they left them that way. Wilson bounced into a pair of double plays. Efficient they weren't, but effective they were.

Denny Bautista finished the last two innings perfectly, striking out 4 batters.

Now to see if Yoslan Herrera shows up as Jeckyl or Hyde tomorrow.

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