9/27/06: Brad Ausmus Is The Hero Tonight

Brad Ausmus got the game-wining sac fly tonight – how cool is that???!!!
It started off really badly for us:
Errors galore –
Lamb bobbles easy GB (no runs scored) – makes it up by getting Nady out in the 11th and Cota out in the 15th.
Borkowski bobbles easy bunt (1 run scored)
Huff fields a ball and throws it way past Everett the cutoff man (1 run scored)

Pitching Just Plain Suckeriffic – Jason Hirsh looked absolutely terrible in the first inning – the Pirate hitters were fouling off pitches left and right and hitting the few flat FB that came over the plate. He was lucky to escape with only one run. In the second, he got 3 lousy hitters out and throwing a dead FB in the middle of the plate that another lousy hitter hit out about 400′. Don’t ask me how he escaped in the third giving up only 1 run on 3 hits. He had bad luck with Mike Lamb bobbling an easy GB out, but then gave up a 4 pitch walk.

My friend Steve noted that Quintero doesn’t really frame pitches very well and the pitchers don’t get borderline strike calls. Well, I couldn’t really judge tonight cuz Hirsh really didn’t HAVE any borderline pitches.

He threw 51 pitches – 31 strikes (11 fouled off), 20 balls – 6 H, 1 BB, 1 K, 3 ER – it’s the worst he’s thrown since the Reds game where he gave up 10 ER on FB down the middle.

I don’t blame Phil for pulling him with us down by 2 runs, 2 on base and no out and us only 1.5 games behind the Cards. I woulda done the exact same.

A sudden suck-free interlude: Russ Springer was not only suck-free, he was nails – 3 pitches, 3 outs – the “Greg Maddux inning.” I was a bit surprised Phil didn’t double switch to make sure Springer could pitch more than 1 inning, but I guess he wanted him in case he was needed tomorow.

Return to sucktastic – Borkowski needed 23 pitches to get through the 5th inning – 2 hits, 2 walks, 3 runs. Yuck.

Sixth inning, after the Stros managed to catch up 4 runs, he gets some AAA guy out on a 1-1 grounder. Then he walks Duffy on 4 straight pitches, then 2 balls and a high FB for a strike to Jack Wilson, then he throws another of those high meatballs and Wilson hits it to deep left center for a double. Then he IBB Freddy Sanchez, who can’t nobody seem to get out, to pitch to Jason Bay. Also, I don’t guess Phil expected Borkowski to suck this bad.

Nails – part 2 – Chad Qualls comes in, 5th appearance in 6 days, bases loaded, to face Jason Bay and gets a perfect 6-4-3. 3 pitches, 2 outs. Almost a Springer.

Nails – Part 3 -Brad Lidge
in the 7th – single up the middle, chop to the mound GO, swinging K, K looking.
in the 8th – FO on a great running catch by Willy, swinging K, GO.

BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD (he’ll get bolded if he does this in the 9th or if he comes in with bases loaded and gets 3 outs)

In spite of all his troubles, Brad has 103 K over 71.1 IP = 13 K/9 IP – not up to his record high of over 14, but still outstanding. I sure do hope he fixes whatever his trouble is over the winter. I don’t want to see him closing for St. Louis.

The Pirates had the good sense to IBB Lance twice (note that the Padres just found out why you do NOT disrespect Uncle Albert…)

Luke Scott didn’t get the job done in the 7th with 2 on and 2 out.
But he tied it up in the bottom of the 9th. Just a single this time instead of a 3 run homer, but Willy was too fast for them to throw out.

Dan Wheeler threw 2 easy innings 1,2,3 out – 18 pitches. Let’s say I was STUNNED to see him back out there in the 11th. He got Randa right out, but then took 9 pitches to walk Duffy and he looked as if he was out of gas. He barely got Wilson out after 5 pitches – had a tough time locating, then IBB both Sanchez and Bay (very VERY sensible) to pitch to Nady, who GO 5-3. He threw 46 pitches and you best believe he won’t be pitching tomorrow afternoon.

Yall know that rosters can have 40 players in September – sometimes you can USE a few extra players and pitchers. We only have 30 guys on our roster and I do not understand for the life of me why on earth we refused to call up any of our good AAA or AA guys up once their playoffs were over. It’s not like September time counts to arb years.

Nieve pitched the 12th – FO, K, BB, single, GO. 22 pitches, guess he either wasn’t strong enough to go another inning, or Phil didn’t trust him to pitch to Wilson, Sanchez and Bay.

So Chris Sampson came out for the 13th who got them to FO, GO and K swinging.
– 14th GO, single, GIDP
– 15th – FO, GO then pulled for Trever Miller, don’t ask me why.
But Chris was freaking awesone – 2.2 IP, 1 hit, 1 K, 22 pitches. I would HOPE he has earned the right to start by now…

Chris Duffy looks as if he’s a very good player and that catch he made in CF of Mike Lambs sure double rivals anything I’ve ever seen Jim Edmonds do. Not sure why the Pirates were so reluctant to play him. Freddy Sanchez and Bautists look pretty good too. Chacon was very good for 5 innings, then fell apart, giving up 4 ER in the 6th.

We have not once come from behind down 5 runs to win this year.
In this winning streak, we have 6 come from behind wins (and we have only 12 for the year) and 4 of those were done in the last AB. Incredible.

It’s only gonna be 11 hours until the start of the next game. Biggio, Willy, Lance and Lamb played all 15 innings and it will be interesting to see who plays tomorrow.

Reds lost
Phils and Dodgers both win
We’re still 1.5 back of the Cards and the Reds are now 2.5 back.

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4 Responses to “9/27/06: Brad Ausmus Is The Hero Tonight”

  1. Phil Garner tried to do it to them again tonight. Pulling Aubrey Huff for a pinch runner? Pulling Luke Scott in a double switch right after he gets the game-tying hit? He totally took the bat out of Berkman’s hands with that move, too. Berkman had three intentional walks, and I think he wouldn’t have gotten one of them if he didn’t have the pitcher’s spot behind him. Yes, they won…but again, it was despite Phil Garner’s mismanagement. If this were basically any team but the Pirates, I think the Astros would have lost last night.

  2. Oh, pulling Sampson was stupid, too. The bullpen was severely depleted, and it worked out because Trever Miller got the out. But, if he hadn’t, the Pirates had three right handed bats behind him. Wilson, who’s perfectly capable of a big hit. Then NL batting champ Freddy Sanchez, then Astro-killer Jason Bay. Again, it worked out, but against all logic. It was an outrageously stupid move.

  3. Lisa Gray says:

    this reminds me a lot of the 18 inning atlanta NLDS game. phil made a lot of the exact same mistakes.
    WHY pinch run for huff?
    agree about using trever miller – only pitcher left was matt albers.
    and i’d think trever had a better chance to get out sanchez and bay than a AA guy
    maybe sampson was out of gas – but he sure didn’t look like it.
    this is one of the times when if a manager’s move works no one says – just because it worked don’t mean it wasn’t stupid

  4. Yeah, that’s why I try to be consistent. Even if the mistake works out, I’ll still call it a mistake. Just because it ends up working out doesn’t mean it was necessarily the right decision. Sometimes things work out despite it being the wrong decision. And I wish people would point those out more often, because I think if they did, they’d realize just how much more often Phil’s gambles backfire than work.