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An Inexcusable Decision By Clint Hurdle

Travis Snider is not in the lineup today.

Tuesday night he hit a double in the bottom of the third and felt his hamstring tighten. In the sixth he grounded to second and had to jog to first. He stayed in the lineup until the bottom of the eighth when he was removed.

Last night he wasn't in the starting lineup, but he pinch-hit in the eighth with the Pirates down 9-2. I tweeted that it might be the dumbest move I have seen this year. Snider doubled down the right field line and later scored on a single to right. Neither time was he running at more than about half speed.

Today the Pirates face righty Joe Blanton. Snider, a left-handed hitter is batting .341/.378/.488 since he joined the club. Starling Marte, who went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts last night, is in the lineup. Travis Snider is not. I'm going to assume it's because of his hamstring.

All of this is a very long way of saying that using Snider to pinch-hit last night was one of the most inexcusable managerial decisions I have ever seen. The training staff has to be held somewhat responsible. Why did they not pull him earlier Tuesday night, an 11-0 blowout? But more importantly, Hurdle needs to be called on the carpet for using him last night. He talks about protecting pitcher's arms all the time, but this, coupled with the team's use of Jose Tabata in June, suggests the team isn't dealing properly with muscle strains and pulls. The score was 9-2! This was not Kirk Gibson against Dennis Eckersley. If he goes on the DL, well...let's just say the frustration will grow. The bench is already short with Neil Walker out with a dislocated finger. I'll hope that since Snider is not starting that he won't be used.

It looks like the Pirates will have a three-man bench of Harrison, McKenry and Navarro available for this afternoon's game.