Less than 24 hours after Tom Gorzelanny strikes out 12 batters, Ian Snell establishes a Victory Field record by striking out 17 Toledo Mud Hens. This afternoon Snell walked the first batter of the game and then preceded to strikeout the NEXT 13 BATTERS! Let that sink in a for a moment…he asked for an option from Pittsburgh (2-8 with an ERA above 5) and set down 13 straight via the K. His first victim Scott Sizemore looked at a fast ball on the outside corner. Snell got the next three batters swinging before freezing Brent Dlugach with a heater down the middle of the plate. The next four batters swung and missed (we’re now up to 9) before Sizemore looked at strike three for the second time. Snell finished off the 4th inning by striking out Clete Thomas and Jeff Larish. After getting Larish, Snell turned his back to home plate and pumped his fist. Why not? That was his 12th consecutive punch-out. Number 13 was Brent Clevlen opening up the 5th with a swing and a miss.
For Ian Snell this afternoon…7 innings pitched, 1 unearned run, 2 hits, 1 walk, and an IL best 17 strikeouts. It’s only one start, but I wonder if the Pirates phones will be ringing tonight? Is anyone interested in a 27 year who sat at 94 miles per hour and hit 96 at least a dozen times this afternoon?
I was able to ask him two post game questions before Jason Davis nailed Ian with a towel full of shaving cream.
On striking out 13 straight
“It felt good today and these guys welcomed me with open arms and it felt good to see fresh faces and this crowd was great today. I loved pitching here in ’05 and today was a great feeling and I’m enjoying it.”
When did you last feel that type of comfort on the mound?
“I haven’t felt like that all year and as soon as I got here they guys made me”
….BOOM! He was then nailed with shaving cream ending the interview. In case you are wondering he waited for me to finish calling the 10th inning and was very gracious during the interview. To be real honest he hasn’t stop smiling since he arrived yesterday.
I get that same feeling when Ollie Perez was pitching for us in ’06 (By the way he struck out 13 Mud Hens in his first start after an option from Pittsburgh). Snell, like Perez may be pitching for a trade. He was awesome today.
8:00 UPDATE :
Here is more from Ian Snell…
“I just worked off my fastball. The guys made me feel welcome here. It was just fun to see this relaxed and fun atmosphere. Nothing against the guys up there you know they work hard they do everything. I just have a lot of thoughts going through my head and I just wanted to get my thoughts together and it felt great. I felt awesome today and they made me feel awesome.”
“It’s just the fans are electric here. You can tell, even though they don’t say much or cheer much they pay attention to the game. It was just fun pitching in front of them again.”
“I owe a lot of credit to (Catcher Erik) Kratz. He did a tremendous job of setting up you know he didn’t set up too early where they can see where I’m going. He mixed the pitches real well and when I left a pitch up he reminded me you know your elbow is hanging over or your head is bouncing over. A lot of it had to do with him and I have to give a lot of the credit to him because he did a great job of game-calling.”