Game 48 Live Blog: Pirates vs Astros

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • jfredland

    On this date in 1998…

    Because the decline phase of his career now occupies the large majority of the back of his baseball card, it is easy to lose sight of how much of a force Jason Kendall was as a young Pirate.  Years before underperformance of big-contract expectations, middle-aged “Dave Kerwin”-sniping crankiness, and ex-spousal appearances on “Baseball Wives,” Kendall seemed hell-bent on leading the Buccos into the twenty-first century and securing the catcher slot on the all-time franchise team.

    Kendall’s performance in the Pirates’ 4-2 victory in San Diego on this date in 1998 provides a daguerreotype of what all the fuss was about.  With the Padres leading 1-0 in the top of the sixth, Kendall’s double drove in two runs and put the Bucs on top.  One out later, he was on third base.  Turner Ward then hit a ground ball to first baseman Mark Sweeney.  This is how the New York Times described what happened next:

    “Kendall headed for home . . . Sweeney’s throw was off line, forcing catcher Carlos Hernandez to dive
    to his left. Kendall hesitated about 10 feet from the plate, then leaped over Hernandez, touching the plate with his right hand.”

    To see what the play looked like:

    Kendall’s acrobatic effort increased the Bucco lead to 3-1, and that was all the support starter Jason Schmidt would require.  Schmidt earned the win by allowing two runs in seven innings, scattering five hits, striking out six and walking none.  Jason Christiansen and Ricardo Rincon followed with scoreless innings to close out the victory.

    Here’s the box score and play-by-play:

    Here’s the NY Times’ account: