Game #98 vs. Mets

Shea Stadium | 7:10 | Snell vs. John Maine | Box

Ian Snell’s walking a fine line with the media, I think. How many different ways can he say he’s tired of losing? How many times can he bring up his teammates in the papers before he trips on his tongue?
From Dejan’s game recap:

“All I know is that I’m going to take the blame,” Snell said. “Everything’s my fault. I don’t want to put any pressure on the team. Nothing.”
He paused again, then made a 180-degree turn.
“There were some balls I thought we could have caught. We could have given up only three runs. I could have stayed in the game. I threw 50 pitches, and I’m out of the game. But they didn’t give those guys errors, either, so … it didn’t work out in my favor.”

He’s right. Our outfield defense—Bay, Nady and Doumit, left to right—probably didn’t help Ian much. There was one ball in particular, a shot to the left-field gap, that dropped in unnecessarily. The Mets’ announcers went on and on about just how little ground Nady’s able to cover in center.
But Ian, come on. You’re playing for the Pirates; none of this should be new to you. The defense isn’t always the greatest, but you’ve got to let the gloves do their jobs.
For crying out loud, I even said as much to Joe yesterday at Mets Today:

In Ian Snell, Tom Gorzelanny, and Paul Maholm, the Pirates have three 25-year-old pitchers with exciting upsides. What do these three have to do, individually, to turn the corner?
Snell needs to stop trying to win games by himself. At times, he prefers to beat batters one-on-one rather than rely on the defenders behind him. He honestly believes he can strike anyone out, but at times that approach can prove costly. Hell try to paint the black and miss, resulting in either walks or homers. …

Four innings, 10 hits, 6 earned runs, 5 strikeouts and 1 homer. Not the line you’d expect from our so-called ace.
The Mets won, 8-4.
Recaps
Pirates.com
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
SI.com
Pre-game Thoughts
Writes Anthony DiComo on MLB.com:

It’s not so much where they’re playing—though [the Mets] have won eight of their last 10 at home—but whom they’re playing. This trip back to Shea boasts games against the Pirates and Nationals, two teams edging toward a combined 30 games under .500.
The Mets hope the Pirates can be their first victims, as the teams square off for three games beginning Tuesday night. Last year, the Mets took five of six from the Pirates before losing three straight in the season’s final month.

The atmosphere at PNC Park was electric for that last series to which DiComo alludes. The Mets were trying to clinch the East, so a ton of New York fans were in town for the games. The Bucs shut the door, though, not allowing another team to celebrate on our turf.
But that was 2006.
This could be a long road trip, as the Mets and Phillies will certainly be looking to take advantage of a weak Pirate team. We throw our three best against New York, and then Youman, Van Benschoten and Snell against the Phillies. Going mano y mano against the Metropolitans may hurt, as we’d probably have a better chance to win the series in Philadelphia if the pitching matchups were aligned more favorably.
Still, we’ll play the hand we’re dealt and try to stay above water for the next week or so. The Pirate bullpen may be auditioning during this stretch, as both the Mets and Phils are in the market for a reliever. As is the case most years at this time, count on a fair number of scouts being on hand.
Ian Snell, baseball’s best .500 pitcher (and subject of a trade rumor or two himself), takes the hill tonight.

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Posted in 2007 Pittsburgh Pirates, Away, Game Threads, Ian Snell, July, NL East. Comments Off on Game #98 vs. Mets
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