By John Franco
A couple of quick thoughts on last night’s game, where the Pirates blanked the Diamondbacks 4-0 in a game they really needed to win.
First, I hope this will become the second in a long series of similarly named #Marte-themed posts (#MartePartay being the first), like the way that Scrubs or Chuck episodes are named. As long as Starling Marte continues to do awesome things, the posts will continue. Last night’s throw from left field certainly qualifies. Take a look at this picture:
That’s Paul Goldschmidt, about 10 feet from second base, and Neil Walker holding the baseball and waiting to tag him out. Goldschmidt drove the ball into the left field corner and made the mistake of thinking it would be an easy double. Starling Marte had other ideas, and nailed Goldschmidt by so much that you wonder why he bothered to slide. Here’s a link to the full video – it’s worth your time to check it out. I’m not going to invoke the name on the wall in right field, but this highlight wouldn’t look out of place on those highlight reels.
Second, how smart does Clint Hurdle look for swapping AJ Burnett and Erik Bedard in this week’s rotation? Burnett played the stopper role brilliantly Sunday against the Reds, and Bedard dominated the Diamondbacks with an extra day of rest.
Hurdle takes a lot of heat from Pirate fans for his decision-making (his love of the bunt, his love of Clint Barmes, his ignorance of OBP at the top of the lineup), and some of it is justified. But one thing Hurdle does seem to do well is manage his players, and he pulled the right strings with Burnett and Bedard.