Sunday, August 17, 2008

Game 123: Mets 4 Pirates 0

The match-up of one of the better pitchers in the last ten years against a young team full of players trying to establish themselves in the Major Leageus is really a bad recipe. Unsurprisingly, Johan Santana tossed a three-hitter at the Pirates today with relative ease and only the LaRoche brothers standing in the way of a no-no for him at PNC Park today. Jeff Karstens acquitted himself decently but unspectacularly in a start that I think will resemble his Pirate career much more than the first two starts he made in black and gold. Games (and actually, series) like these are necessary lumps that the Pirates are going to be taking for the rest of this year and probably next year as the rebuilding process continues.

There was one other side plot to this game that I thought was interesting. If you still needed evidence that the new management is not high on Steve Pearce, today's game should've been plenty to make that clear. With the dominant lefty Santana on the mound, Russell chose to start Brandon Moss in left and Jason Michaels in right, leaving Pearce on the bench. Starting the left-handed Moss over the right-handed Pearce against a pitcher like Santana is sending a pretty clear message. As you probably saw, Moss left early with a sprained ankle, although it doesn't appear to be nearly as bad as it seemed at first. That's probably a good thing because if Moss does need to go on the DL, it's probably going to be Nyjer Morgan time again in Pittsburgh.