Well the five game winning streak was nice while it lasted. Unfortunately it ended tonight, but the Pirates still played well.
Ian Snell continues to be the most impressive of the young starting pitchers. I would have to say that Duke and Maholm have received more hype than Snell who was questioned more than complemented. They always wondered if Snell was better suited out of the bullpen and if he was too small to be a started. Well tonight he matched a career high with 10 strikeouts and stood toe-to-toe with John Smoltz. It seems like Snell is a big game pitcher because he does his best against tough competition. He has pitched extremely well against Pedro Martinez, Ben Sheets, Francisco Liriano, Chris Capuano and now Smoltz. I really like what Snell has done.
Offensively we counted muster a rally against Smoltz. He was his dominate self and the Pirates only mounted a couple of nonthreatening rallies against him. Duffy went 0-4 but I still stand behind my prophecy that he will turn it around. Sharpless looked a little shaky with 3 walks in the inning but he got out of the jam. We will chalk the walks up to nerves. Nady went 1-4 in his debut and I am glad that Littlefield said his future is in RF because we NEED a left handed, power hitting first basemen. I am not afraid to pass a hat around the stadium labeled "Please help the Pirates sign a first basemen" and ask for loose change.
Here’s to hoping we can start another winning streak tomorrow. Our young pitchers are starting to pitch like they are capable of and once they get rolling we might have some promise for next year!
Ending Note: Nine major league players have matched, or exceed, the amount of steals the Pirates have amassed all season. Dave Roberts, Hanley Rameriez, Scott Podsednik, Carl Crawford, Ichiro Suzuki, Corey Patterson, Juan Pierre, Chone Figgins, and Jose Reyes are all at, or over 30 steals which is the Pirates total for the season. Ouch.