Saturday, April 29, 2006

Pirates 3 Phillies 1

The seven game losing streak is gone, and on it's way out it passed Ian Snell blowing in like a whirlwind. Snell was fantastic boderline dominant last night against the Phillies mixing in at least two (maybe three) other pitches in with what looked like a dominant fastball. According to the stadium gun Snell hit 94 consistently all night and ramped things up to the 95-96 range in the 5-7th innings. It's true that the stadium gun can be anything but accurate, but it had Marte and Gonzalez both topping out around 93-94 last night, and I'd find it hard to believe either of them was throwing much softer than that. If it wasn't for a Joe Randa error in the 7th, we might be talking about 8 shutout innings for Snell last night (Randa dropped what looked like an almost sure double play ball). Also impressive was that Snell's night came against the lefty heavy Phillies lineup including Rollins (switch), Utley, Abreu, and Howard. Howard was especially impressed and had this to say:

He has such a good fastball that he could overpower folks in the minor leagues. He had to learn up here. I knew he was going to try to come up and overpower everybody, but he got me tonight on a 3-2 backdoor breaking ball.
The Post-Gazette recap recounts how Snell heard something on TV during the game that fired him up. I say we best piss him off before every start. Given his last good start against Houston, color me encouraged.

We left a bunch of guys on last night, but the Wilsons and Bay all came up with big hits when necessary to provide the margin of victory. It was impressive the way we managed to work around the black pit known as Burnitz between Bay and Thor last night to pick a run up in a scoreless game. We still left a lot of guys on, but throwing up a two spot in the bottom of the 7th after the Phillies tied things up was impressive. When you come into the night 5-18, baby steps are all you can really take anyways.