Game #104: Van Benschoten Rocked Again

PNC Park | 7:05 | Van Benschoten vs. Josh Banks | Box
It is fitting that as the Pirates continue their slide into history for being mediocre that they continue to start a pitcher whose ERA is among the worst ever for players who have thrown as many innings. Was this John Van Benschoten’s last start for 2008? Forever? Who knows. He was a number pick. So, he’ll always be given a look even if past performances dictates that he shouldn’t.
Tonight JVB retired just five hitter while giving up seven runs, four walks, two homers, two doubles and three singles. His career ERA is almost 10.50. Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Kouzmanoff touched JVB for three run bombs.
The Pirates tried, but couldn’t dig themselves out of the massive whole that they were in early on. The Pirates hit three homers (almost matching the Padres four round trippers) in scoring six runs. But, it wasn’t nearly enough. Bucs homers came from Jason Michaels, Adam LaRoche and Jose Bautista.
No idea why, but John Russell pulled Jason Bay, Freddy Sanchez and Nate McLouth mid-game. I’m sure it wasn’t a trade, but I’m not at all sure what he was thinking. Steve Pearce was called up, started and had one hit. Freddy was 0-2 when he was pulled.

Pre-Game Thoughts
Josh Banks went to the same high school as Mark Teixeira. How’s that for some useless trivia?
He was a second round pick of the Blue Jays in 2003. But, after appearing in just three ML games, the Jays cut him loose early in 2008. The Pads picked him up and he rewarded them with 22 straight innings without allowing an earned run to start his NL career.
He has made eight starts and three relief appearances for SD in 2008. He is 2-4 with a 3.51 ERA. He has not won since May 31 when he tossed a complete game at the Giants. Doug Mientkiewicz is 0-1 and is the only Pirate to face Banks.
It’s John Van Benschoten tonight. He has made four starts and four relief appearances in 2008. He is 1-2 with an 8.27 ERA on the year. He has not won as a starter since 2004. That’s 14 straight winless starts.
His only career appearance was a start against SD on September 17, 2007. In five innings pitched, he gave up three runs and took the loss.
The Padres are 5-18 off JVB. Both Scott Hairston and Khalil Greene have homers.

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