Friday, May 16, 2008

Game 41: Pirates 11 Cardinals 5

There are a lot of people that read blogs like this one or others that are similar and ask the smartass question, "So you think you could manage this team?" It's true that a lot of times I criticize whoever is unfortunate enough to be managing the Pirates at the given moment, but it doesn't really mean that I want their job. Take the following sequence of events from today's game for example:

  • In the fifth inning with the Pirates fighting back from a 5-1 deficit and one run already in to cut things to three, John Russell turned to Luis Rivas to pinch hit with runners on first and second and no outs. He struck out. Jason Bay sat on the bench.
  • In the sixth inning with runners on first and second and one out in a 5-4 game, JR turned to Jose Bautista to pinch hit for the pitcher. He struck out. Jason Bay was on the bench.
  • Finally, in the eighth inning, JR looked to Bay a tie game, two runners on, and no one out. Bay hit a three run homer to spark the eventual 11-5 win.
Would the Pirates have won if they had pinch hit Bay earlier in the game? Who knows. Maybe he would've homered in the fifth or the sixth this afternoon. Maybe he wouldn't have. Maybe in a month Bay will get a night off, Russell will use someone to pinch hit earlier in the game with a chance to tie or go ahead, and the Pirates will implode and never get the chance. None of that really matters because today, Russell pulled the right strings and got rewarded with a win in a game that his team probably had no business winning.

Beyond Bay's big homer, the main noteworthy event of this one was Snell's bad pitching (again). After his last start I promised to sift through some pitch FX data to see if I can find anything and that helps explain his performance. I haven't had time yet, but I do hope to do it soon. Honestly, I'm as baffled about him as you are. I just hope he snaps out of it soon.