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Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati, 9 September 2006

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Maholm, Harang (MLB.com)

6:10 PM (Unusual time for this one)

KDKA

Paul Maholm (7-10, 4.91) vs. Aaron Harang (12-10, 3.78). Is Harang the best pitcher no one's ever heard of? He's had two consecutive really good seasons. He's faced the Pirates three times this year; in two of those starts, he struck out at least nine batters.

I won't be here in time to post the box score, but the Bucs have to be hoping they won't see Javier Valentin again. Ian Snell is mad about the game yesterday after allowing two homers to Valentin:

What really got Snell's dander last night was pitching coach Jim Colborn's visit to the mound after Snell walked Todd Hollandsworth following a two-run home run by Javier Valentin.

"I know it's his job to come out and try to calm me down," Snell said. "But it gets on my nerves. It's really bothering me.

"I go into the dugout after an inning and people are asking me, 'What was that pitch? What was that pitch?' I have a lot of stuff in my brain now. I have to get rid of it."

I think the time has come to acknowledge that Snell is just an idiot, and occasional outbursts like these are one of the less quantifiable costs of employing him. Snell's complaint is bizarre - he's mad that his pitching coach wants to coach? But it's not the first time he's done something like this.

Then again, it also wouldn't surprise me if Colborn just wasn't being particularly sensitive - nothing about this coaching staff would surprise me. That wouldn't excuse Snell, of course. But I do feel a little bit bad for him, and in the quote below, he has a point:

"[Last night], though, I blame it on the ballpark. If it were anywhere else, those home runs are doubles, singles. You kidding me? Those are joke home runs."

Snell's right. A lot of the scoring last night really was due to luck and the ballpark. The homers didn't actually go very far, and on Valentin's second one, Snell didn't even really make a bad pitch. He threw a breaking ball down and in that probably would have been a foul ball in most circumstances.

Because of those homers and some very bad performances by the Bucs' newest relievers (Brian Rogers and Juan Perez), though, the Reds ended up scoring nine runs.