Game #65 vs. Texas

PNC Park | 7:05 | Snell vs. Robinson Tejada | Box

There’s something refreshing about beating a team into oblivion. Of course, that’s exactly what happened when Ian Snell and the Pirates faced off against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday evening.
Snell hurled his first career complete game, and Jose Bautista instigated an offensive outburst that saw every member of the Pirates’ starting lineup reach base safely. Bautista went 3 for 4 out of the leadoff spot, driving in three runners and ending the game a home run short of the cycle. He’s batting .307 with an .895 OPS from the top of the order this season.
In a move that surprised me, Jose Castillo again got the start at shortstop. It seems as if Jack Wilson really is the new bastard son—and if Castillo continues to hit and play defense, it might not be long before Dave Littlefield parts ways with the longest tenured Pirate.
Wilson on his benching, as quoted in the Post-Gazette:

“I might have made a couple mistakes,” Wilson said. “But I thought they were pretty happy with the way I was playing, for the most part.” …
“You make mistakes. Everybody does,” Wilson continued. “Those came in a big game against the Yankees, it was on a big stage, and it cost us a couple of runs. I take full responsibility for that. But one day doesn’t take away the season I had prior to that.”

Castillo will most certainly be in the starting nine Thursday evening. Hopefully he can continue his solid play going forward. We’ve seen flashes of brilliance in the past—I’d prefer to see prolonged success in the field and at the plate.
In any case, the black and gold faithful can sleep easy tonight: The Pirates massacred the Rangers, and there was no doubt about it.
Recaps
Pirates.com
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
SI.com

Pre-game Thoughts
As far as I can tell, Matt Capps has yet to be suspended. I’m writing this post at about 4 o’clock. Neither the mothership nor the Post-Gazette has made any reference to his appeal.
Major League Baseball said on Friday that Capps would know his fate yesterday. It seems as if they lied.
In any case, Littlefield’s decision to carry 13 pitchers is backfiring. If Capps were gone, I’d have no problem with a four-man bench. But while our closer’s still around, I’d rather have Don Kelly than Masumi Kuwata on the active roster.
Assuming that Paulino and Wilson are in tonight’s starting lineup, the reserves available to Tracy will be Doumit—the backup catcher—Castillo, Rajai Davis and Nate McLouth. Not exactly jaw-dropping weapons for the late innings.
Hopefully, though, it won’t come to that. Ian Snell is on the hill and the Rangers are struggling. He’s capable of taking relief pitchers and pinch hitters out of the equation.
Snell’s mound opponent, Robinson Tejada, hasn’t given up fewer than five runs in any of his last four outings. The Pittsburgh Lumber Co. should be thumping in full force this evening.

Author: Randy Linville

Randy is currently living and thriving in suburban Dayton, OH with his wife and two kids. He was raised in Cincinnati, OH and attended Anderson High School. He went to Miami University (Ohio) and received a degree in Paper Science Engineering from MU. He is a devout Christian and a pop culture buff. He coaches his son’s baseball and basketball teams and his daughters softball and basketball teams. Randy has been a Pirates fan since the late 1970s and has fond memories of the 1979 World Series team. He began blogging for Most Valuable Network in 5/2004 after stumbling across a help-wanted sign for a Pirates blogger. He wrote for Pittsburgh Lumber Co. until the site merged with Pirates Prospects in 2/2011.

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