Travis Snider’s MLB pitching debut will probably be overshadowed by a controversial call at home plate (and Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter will rightly get most of the national attention), but the Pirates outfielder struck out one of the best hitters in MLB Wednesday night.
In the ninth inning of an eventual 11-4 loss to the Reds, Snider took the mound to give the bullpen a break in a blowout game that had been rain-delayed for more than an hour. He walked two batters, allowed a double to Billy Hamilton and gave up two runs. But he also struck out Joey Votto.
Snider got ahead of the Reds’ on-base machine with a one-ball, two-strike count. Then he put away the former NL MVP by getting him to whiff on a 77 mph changeup high and inside in the strike zone. After losing his right field job to phenom Gregory Polanco, maybe Snider just found a new role with the Pirates.