Friday, May 18, 2007

Game 41: Pirates 11 D'Backs 5

The red unis even got the best of Snell tonight and he was not his sharpest, hitting a hell of a wall in the sixth inning and almost giving a 7-0 lead back. Still, Tracy managed to hook him early enough and even though he brought Jonah Bayliss in, the Pirates managed to hold on to this one, especially after getting some insurance from a Ryan Doumit three run homer in the eighth.

Snell was pretty much untouchable through five, which made his sixth inning breakdown pretty frustrating (for him and me both I'm sure). He had seven K's through five and was cruising with a three-hitter before hitting the wall in a way that was reminiscent of last season.

The offense was the star of this one, starting with Xavier Nady's three run homer in the third and ending with Doumit's three run jack in the eighth. Freddy had two hits and scored three runs, Bay had two hits and scored twice, LaRoche had two hits (.203!) and scored twice, and Castillo had two hits and drove in two runs. And of course we have to applaud Jim Tracy for leaving Ryan Doumit on the bench, just knowing that he was going to come through with the clinching three run homer in the eighth. The pen held strong in this one with Bayliss more or less cleaning up Snell's mess, Marte cleaning up Bayliss' mess, Matt Capps being awesome, and Salomon Torres once again looking very solid.

As a random aside, this game was very strange for me to watch unfold. Last night I was reading through the chapter on managing in the BP book Baseball Between the Numbers. In it is the famous Earl Weaver quote about pitching, defense, and the three run homer being his main managerial strategy. We only had one of those three tonight, but it was enough to win this one comfortably.