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Brewers 8, Pirates 5: Why Throwing 131 Pitches is a Bad Idea

Ian Snell almost escaped with only three runs allowed tonight, but the five-spot he got tagged with after Jesse Chavez allowed two inherited runs to score was closer to what Snell deserved. He had no fastball all night, routinely throwing lukewarm heaters that were as slow as 86 or 87 MPH. I think he might have touched 90 once or twice. (UPDATE: The Post-Gazette notes the velocity issue but says Snell topped out at 93, which I didn't see--we were probably reading off different radar guns.) We should consider ourselves lucky if he looks like the Snell of old next time out, and hopefully John Russell will take the hint that it's rarely a good idea to allow a starter to throw 131 pitches, as Snell did in his previous start.

Freddy Sanchez appeared to hurt his throwing shoulder during a play at second in the top of the first, but he stayed in the game and came to bat in the bottom of the inning off Jeff Suppan. After that, the Pirates didn't do much against Suppan, despite Suppan not really being good anymore or throwing any harder than Snell did. The Pirates managed a run here, a run there, and then a two-run double by Delwyn Young, but their pitching couldn't keep them in the game. Chavez had a hard time, and then Evan Meek walked the first two batters he faced and had them both score on a double by Craig Counsell. With Matt Capps on the shelf, the Bucs were forced to allow Donnie Veal to pitch the ninth. I don't know why the Brewers swung at anything he threw--he hit Prince Fielder with his first toss and had Fielder advance on a wild pitch--but swing they did, and Veal managed to get through the inning after striking out Jason Kendall