Game #96: Three Rockie Homers Are Enough

Coors Field | 9:05 | Snell vs. Glendon Rusch | Box
Colorado hit three homers – the last of which was a “circle the bases on a sprint” variety – to beat Ian Snell and the Pirates.
Matt Holliday hit a two run homer in the first. Brad Hawpe hit a solo homer in the sixth to make it 4-2 after the Pirates had cut the Stones lead to one. Seth Smith hit a deep drive in the seventh off of Tyler Yates that took a weird bounce and rolled away from Nate McLouth, allowing Smith to score.
Glendon Rusch threw 5-2/3 effective innings. He gave up two runs, six hits and no walks. Jason Grilli, Manny Corpas and Brian Fuentes retired the last 10 Pirate batters in a row.
Snell gave up three earned runs in six innings. He gave up six hits and three walks. Jose Bautista homered and Ryan Doumit had two hits for the near dormant offense.

Pre-Game Thoughts
Based on his career numbers, there is a better than 1% chance than Glendon Rusch will throw a complete game shutout. In 213 career starts, he has logged three shutouts. But I’m not going to lie to you: I had no idea he was still in the league. I don’t believe he pitched anywhere in 2007. The Padres brought him to camp and he tossed 12 games in 2008 for them before being DFA’d. He refused his assignment and was picked up by Colorado. This will be his third start for the Rockies.
He picked up the win in his last start after tossing six innings of one run ball. He is 2-3 with an ERA over 6.00 overall this season. He is a meager 2-7 with a 4.45 ERA in his career against Pittsburgh. That includes 15 starts and nine relief appearances. He last faced the Buccos in 2006.
The Pirates are 28-95 against Rusch. Jack Wilson (16-36) has over half of the team’s hits and the lone homer. Jason Bay is 0-10 against Rusch. The only other pitcher that Bay is hitless against in ten or more ABs is Derek Lowe.
I am sick of writing about how much I (and every other Buc fan) wants Ian Snell to revert to his first half of 2007 form. So, I hope he stays this way forever (see, reverse psychology, kids!). Snell has just won once in the last three months. His ERA is approaching 6.00.
Snell is 1-1 with a 4.72 ERA against the Rockies in his career. His most recent appearance was July 18, 2007. He took the loss in that game. Back then, Snell was just starting his descent into mediocrity.
Willy Taveras is 7-13 off of Snell. The rest of the club is just 6-35. Brad Hawpe has the only homer.

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