Travis Snider has never really lived up to the potential people thought he had when he was a first round pick back in 2006, but maybe he just needs to be put in the right role. Like, say, the guy you bring in to strike out dangerous lefties? That’s what the Pirates’ outfielder did last night when, thanks to rain delays and game which was 9-3 in favor of the opposition to start the ninth, Snider was called on to pitch to the Reds.
He was no great shakes, that’s for sure. He retired Skip Schumaker on a groundout, but then walked the next two hitters, gave up an RBI double and then gave up another run on a fielder’s choice. That brought up Joey Votto, with the speedy Billy Hamilton on base. And Snider did what everyone expected him to do: struck out one of baseball’s best, most patient hitters swinging.
Go check it out here. Then remind yourself that anything is possible.
Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.
Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.
Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.
In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”