Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Game 106: Pirates 8 Rockies 4

If you can think back to the late part of 2006 and the first half of 2007 when Ian Snell was a budding ace for the Pirates, you might remember the one thing that was repeatedly said about Snell before his starts: "Get to him the first time around or you're not getting to him tonight." It's actually something that people say about most good pitchers and like most old baseball sayings, it probably doesn't have a whole lot of basis in fact. It was certainly applicable to Snell tonight, though, as he struggled through two innings, giving up six hits (including a homer to Matt Holliday) and only being spared from a deficit greater than 3-0 by an absolutely insane laser beam of a relay by Jack Wilson from shallow center-field to nail Troy Tulowitzki at the plate. In his next five innings, he only allowed two hits and a walk and he struck out seven. That gave the Pirates plenty of time to rally against Valerio de los Santos (who I failed to recognize from before the game as the crappy Brewer reliever that we regularly pummelled in the earlier part of this decade) and the Rockies' bullpen. I've been asking for baby steps from Snell all season, but tonight was a full-fledged turn-back-the-clock outing that made it pretty easy to see why we once had so much hope for the guy.