Take a pretty much straight fastball pitcher who refuses to throw inside and put him on the mound at Shea..
.. against batters who are seeing the ball well..
.. and you typically end up with a blow out.
That’s what happened to Snell Tuesday night – he was crushed.
Just as Vegas expected.
He was rocky from the start as his velocity ranged about 91 instead of his typical 93-94, he couldn’t locate and was up in the zone, and he hung his slider all night long.
Yet even though Snell was getting hammered, most of the balls in play were catchable. The problem was, his defense didn’t feel like it.
The 2-2 tied game turned in the bottom of the 4th when Lo Duca hit a routine flyball to left center that Nady didn’t run down. It was a ball hit to a place on the field Nady has caught numerous times before but for some reason he just didn’t exert much effort on this one and Lo Duca was on second with one out, instead of there being two outs in the inning.
Green then crushed a line drive single into center scoring Lo Duca, with Milledge at the plate Paulino attempted to backhand a slider in the dirt that got away and was called a wild pitch for some reason, and Green took second, and then Milledge hit a rocket off Kata’s glove that Wilson backed up the play on.
Green rounded third and headed home and Wilson’s throw was in ahead of Green but too far away from the plate and Greene slid in touching home a fraction of a second before Paulino tagged him. A better throw and Green could have been the fourth potential out in the inning if you also consider Kata failed to glove Milledge’s shot.
Instead, Milledge is standing at second base with one out and the Mets pitcher John Maine, a career 0.065 hitter, came to the plate. Snell is obviously flustered at this point and he threw a first pitch ball, then heaved a 90 mph straight heater right into Maine’s breadbasket who took the swing of his life and the ball left the yard for his first career home run.
I told myself before Maine came to the plate that Snell was so frustrated at the poor defense behind him, as he had been the last two games he pitched, he was going to lose his cool but I never expected him to toss a yardball to Maine. Perhaps he was telling his teammates and the Pirates staff he is sick and tired of all the poor play around him in a new way? LoL – ok, that’s too far out there to suggest. Or.. is it?
The Pirates managed just three hits after Maine’s blast – two home runs by Bay and a 9th inning double by Nady. Essentially, they packed it in after Maine went yard.
It was a real sloppy game defensively for the Pirates who continue to prove that their mental game is a zillion miles away in China somewhere. From LaRoche not stretching on close plays at first, Doumit and Sanchez almost colliding on a pop up, Wilson’s poor throw to home, Kata who allowed two shots past him, Bay and Nady not running hard in the outfield, and Doumit letting a ball drop at his feet instead of coming in and catching it, the entire team looked lost in space.
These Pirates are clearly a long way from pulling out of their misery. Since Tuesday night after the game would be the typical party night for the players in the Big Apple, maybe they will play better tomorrow still half crocked? It certainly can’t hurt.
Like Tom Gorzelanny, Snell’s velocity has dropped a few ticks too. I don’t know if Colborn has them trying to find a batter groove pitch or if they are just plain fatigued. Adding to Snell’s problem was the fact he threw only 63 pitches all game, threw 1st pitch strikes to nearly every batter, but heaved 35 of those 63 pitches in the 4th inning and wasn’t allowed to return. That makes me believe Colborn saw Snell’s legs wobbling like I did. That might also explain why Snell’s slider has been so poor his last few outings and he kept throwing up in the zone all night.
Maybe it’s time to start a pool – Gorzy or Snell.. who hits the DL first?
Some folks emailed me about media reports suggesting Bay pulled up on the Lo Duca 4th inning fly ball. It’s true Bay did pull up but he had no prayer to catch the ball with his bad knee.. it was Nady’s all the way even as far as he had to run for it. The Mets announcers kept saying the entire game they were suprised Nady didn’t make the catch.
As for Armas throwing at Milledge for show boating, that’s just not true. Milledge leaned in over the plate to be hit.
And you what, Latin America signings won’t change the Pirates problems one iota. That’s a bunch of BS. The ONLY thing that will change the Pirates losing is to field men that are paid well to play the game instead of boys.
How about JP Ricciardi’s blow off of the Post-Gazette’s story about the Jays being interested in Jack Wilson? He said:
"We have no interest in Jack Wilson, absolutely no interest in Jack Wilson. None." Then went on to say: "We’re not going to trade Josh Towers for a bag of donuts."
Of course, reading JP as I think I can, that statement essentially means Littlefield and JP might be talking about a Towers deal but that Wilson isn’t enough to cut the mustard. I’m not so sure I agree, especially if the Pirates eat salary.
I sat with a lot of scouts in Orlando watching Towers throw this spring and few were impressed. After watching film on him lately, I’m still not. Wilson’s not a .300 hitter but he’d hit for average in Toronto, be my bet. But Towers would probably get rocked in the NLCD, especially in Houston, Chicago, and Milwaukee.
Starting pitching is worth a bit more but trading for Towers is not a smart move, imo. Littlefield needs to back up and stand pat unless blown away.
You have to believe the Mets have an incentive to wake Jason Bay’s bat up since they know we go on to play the Phillies after this series. Don’t be too surprised if Perez takes the mound Thursday and throws gopher ball after gopher ball and the Pirates score like 10 runs. Just a wild guess.
One thing about Kata, he is really a poor defender at third base. Castillo would probably have gloved the two balls he wasn’t able to and the fact Castillo continues to sit in favor of Kata is shocking. Kata’s entire offense consists of either a line drive to left center, a strike out, or a weak ground ball to short. Nothing else. Even Izturis can’t be as bad as Kata on the hot corner.
Isn’t it amazing how bad we miss Ty Wigginton’s poor defense but great bat? Man I hated seeing him go.
Poor Tracy – if he played Davis or McLouth in center he probably would have had a lot more problems in the outfield than we saw with Nady in center, so he was in a no-win situation losing no matter what he did. And even though Nady’s blunder broke open this game, I agree with Tracy that it was the right call at Shea with the personnel he has.
Gee, Sanchez went 1-4 back in the 2 hole again. Amazing.. when will Tracy wake up that Sanchez needs to be leading off or hitting third?
Is Tracy that out of it?
Ho-hum. The Pirates have now lost 10 of their last 13 road games and that is a sure bet to be 14 of 18 by Sunday.