Harang Handles Bucs Bats
Not much you can do on a day when just four runners reach base. Aaron Harang faced just thirty hitters, allowed three singles and an HBP in 108 pitches to notch a complete came shutout.
The Pirates best chance to score came in the first inning when Nyjer Morgan’s blooper bounced off the glove of a diving Willy Taveras. Morgan was in safely with a sliding double. But he was stranded.
The Reds wasted no time in getting to Ian Snell. In the first Taveras doubled and Brandon Phillips pulled out outside pitch over the wall in left. Those would be the only runs of the game. I predict that Phillips will make his first All-Star team this year.
Snell would settle in and allow just three singles and three walks over the next five innings. He struck out seven.
No issues with Snell’s effectiveness. If he can do that consistently, it’ll be just fine.
Morgan reached base three times with an HBP and two more hits. He was caught stealing.
The Pirates turned a nifty double play with Jack Wilson’s diving stop starting it. The Buccos also turned a triple play on a blooper that Wilson fielded.
Second straight game without an error, though Jay Bruce’s infield squibber to Ramon Vazquez in the eighth was bobbled by the Bucs 3B and ruled a hit.
The bats were silenced by Harang. There was barely a hard hit ball.
Andy LaRoche remains zero for 2009.
Last time the Buccos turned a triple play was 8-10-93 when Gregg Jeffries lined to Jay Bell who relayed to Carlos Garcia at second and he in turn flipped it to Kevin Young at first. Cards prevailed when Brian Jordan homered off of Joel Johnston in the ninth.
My favorite other “Last Time it Happened” from the 2008 Pirates media guide: Last time a starter failed to record an out was – who else? – Ryan Vogelsong on 9-24-04 against the Reds. He allowed three singles, three walks and a double before being yanked. The beneficiary of Vogelsong’s outing was none other than Aaron Harang.
Ouch to my alma mater, the Miami University Redskins (Redhawks) who lost in last night’s NCAA Hockey final. Tough to watch.