Game #152 at San Diego

Petco Park | 10:05 | Snell vs. Chris Young | Box
Matt Capps has been pretty reliable this season. Not so much tonight. Nursing a one run lead, Capps was brought in with two down in the 8th and the tying run on third in the person for former Bucco farmhand Craig Stansberry. Capps whiffed Morgan Ensberg to end the inning. But he ran into trouble in the 9th. Adrian Gonzalez doubled with one gone. One out later, Kevin Kouzmanoff walked on a full count. Scott Hairston delivered a walk-off three run bomb.
It looked dicey early on. The Bucs actually got to (kind of) Chris Young. Nyjer Morgan led off the game with a triple and scored on a sac fly from Nate McLouth. Ian Snell allowed a lead off double to Brian Giles. One out later Giles moved up on a passed ball and Mike Cameron walked and stole second. Gonzalez singled in both of them.
The Pirates took back the lead on an RBI double by McLouth and a SF from Freddy Sanchez. And that was it. The Bucs had runners on second and third with one out in the fifth, but Young retired Sanchez and Adam LaRoche without any damage.
Snell went seven innings and allowed just one earned run. He struck out five, walked two and allowed four hits. Young had a similar line. Five walks and two K’s but in six innings of work with three earnies.
The Bucs have dropped five in a row. Does it matter? No, not really.
Speaking of Stansberry, here’s a nice piece on him from OregonLive.com. Note that the Beavers manager is former Pirate first round pick Rich Renteria. Only now he goes by Rick Renteria.
Recaps
AP recap at Yahoo! Sports
Padres Official Site
Pre-game Thoughts
After not having walked more than four hitters in a game all season (and the last four walk start coming on 5/2), Ian Snell has walked five hitters in two of his last three outings. This will be his third attempt at capturing win #10 on the season.
This will be Snell’s first 2007 appearance against San Diego. Both of his career appearances against the Padres came in relief in 2005. He has never pitched at Petco. Thanks to players changing teams, Snell has faced Michael Barrett (2-12) and Morgan Ensberg (5-15 with a round tripper) more than 10 times.
I don’t want to write about Chris Young and how he was once a Pirate farmhand. I’m assuming everybody who is reading this is well aware of it and it pains me to think of where the club might be right now, even if Young had been in the rotation in 2007 instead of, say, Tony Armas.
Well, crap. Now, I’m thinking about it. Armas started 15 times and gave the Pirates a 6.40 ERA in 70-1/3 IP. If you take Young’s worst 15 starts, his ERA is 5.11 in 81 innings pitched. Then, you’d have to pile on John Van Benschoten’s 8 starts. Young started 27 times in 2007. Of those remaining 12 starts that I didn’t count in the comparison with Armas, Young allowed one run or less in all of them. So, yeah, it’s pretty easy to say that the pitching staff would’ve been better with Young instead of the Armas/Van Benschoten/Youman trio. I’d have to say at least five games better. If that difference was 10 games, then the Bucs would be playing meaningful games in September.
Young got off to a great start in 2007, but has been hampered by oblique muscle and back issues since then. He was 9-3 with a 1.82 ERA when he was forced to leave his July 24th start. Since then, he is 0-4 and his ERA is up to 2.77. For his career against the Pirates, Young is 3-0 with an ERA of less than one. He is 9-7 with a 3.10 ERA for his career at Petco.
Collectively, the Pirates have as many whiffs (12) as they do hits and walks combined (12) off of Young. Adam Laroche and Xavier have just one hit off him each, but they are both homers. Both of Jason Bay’s hits were for extra bases.
Tuesday Night Thoughts
Watched part of the “Bricktown Showdown” as broadcast on ESPN2. It features the International League champs playing the Pacific Coast League champs in Oklahoma City. Not sure why it is in Oklahoma City. Speaking for former Pirate minor leaguers, Brent Lillibridge was starting for the Richmond Braves.
Tommy John was the color analyst for the game on ESPN2. He waxed about how he used to get Willie Stargell out. So, I looked it up. He was right. Stargell, a career .282 hitter, was just 5-25 against John. Interestingly enough (at least to me), Ray Sadecki owned Pops. For his career, Stargell was just 3-50 off Sadecki. That represents his lowest BA against any pitcher he faced at least 20 times. He was 2-23 off of Sandy Koufax. On the flipside, Roberto Clemente was 40-95 off Sadecki and 31-106 off Koufax with six homers. Koufax and Fergie Jenkins were Clemente’s most frequent home run victims, with each giving up six.
I’ve heard before that Bob Uecker hit Sandy Koufax well. That’s night quite true. Uecker hit Koufax better than I could’ve, but was 7-38 off Koufax for his career. The misconception might stem from 1965 when Uecker went 6-15 off of Koufax. The following year Uecker went 1-16 off the HOFer.

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2 Responses to “Game #152 at San Diego”

  1. Cory Humes Says:

    So, say you un-do Young for Herges, Perez and Hernandez for Nady, and Rajai Davis for Matt Morris (since you don’t need a $10 million fourth/fifth starter anymore).
    You’ve got a rotation like: Chris Young, Tom Gorzelanny, Ian Snell, Oliver Perez, Paul Maholm — which is arguably one of the best in baseball.
    Then you’ve got Nate McLouth/Ryan Doumit in right field (might not be that bad), and eventually pearce. Plus you’ve got an extra $10 million lying around to spend on a big outfield bat (i.e. Andruw Jones, Torii Hunter) or a third baseman.
    Best of all, you’re not about to take a run at a 16th consecutive losing season.
    Then again, we’re not the only team who’d like to have a few “do overs.” Just seems we’d want to have a few extra than most teams would need.

  2. Randy Linville Says:

    If I were given the power to undo two trades, they’d be Young for Herges first and then Ramirez/Lofton for Whiffmaster, Matt Bruback and Bobby Hill. Sad to say, but Lofton has been better than every Pirate CF since he was traded, save Matt Lawton. If we had Bay/Lofton/McLouth-Nady-Bautista in the outfield with Ramirez/Wilson/Sanchez/LaRoche in the infield and the staff mentioned by Cory except no Ollie, I’d be planning a trip to Pittsburgh for the playoffs.
    The team would be relatively young everywhere except CF and a single starter (Morris, I suppose). They’d contend for a couple of years with that line up.


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