In the second inning today, Ian Snell froze Atlanta’s Jordan Schafer with a changeup for strike three. Snell, catcher Ryan Doumit and third baseman Andy LaRoche began walking back to the dugout.
There was only one problem.
Schafer’s strikeout was the inning’s second out, not the third.
“I’d never struck anybody out with a changeup before, so I got a little excited and thought it was three outs,” Snell deadpanned. “I felt so dumb afterwords, because then I walked the pitcher and that was worse.”
Then again, the way Snell was breezing through the Braves’ lineup, it might have been easy to get confused.
“I saw Doumit get up and start walking (off the field), so I was like, all right …” Snell said, with a laugh. “Nah, it was my fault.”
Doumit, however, pointed the finger elsewhere.
“Actually, Andy LaRoche faked us out,” Doumit said. “It was strike three and I went to throw it to third base, and I saw Andy trotting off the field. I thought he knew something I didn’t, so I kind of followed suit. I saw Nate and everybody else break, so … it was one of those weird things.”
Snell stopped before he got all the way off the field and was laughing as he went back onto the mound. He walked Jo-Jo Reyes on five pitches, then got Kelly Johnson on a fly ball for the bona fide third out.
• Through his first two starts this year, Snell was on an unhealthy pace for 12.6 hits allowed per nine innings pitched. That easily was the worst of his career, surpassing the averages of 11.0 hits last season and 10.5 hits in 2004, his debut year.
Today’s start, however, was very encouraging. Snell gave up just four hits, three of them singles, in seven innings. And every batter who singled was erased on a double play.
• Jason Jaramillo wore a Penn State baseball t-shirt today to the ballpark. That doesn’t mean Jaramillo has given up on his alma mater, Oklahoma State.
“Penn State’s coach (Robbie Wine) recruited me to Oklahoma State,” Jaramillo said. “I’ve kept in touch with him over the years.”
Wine is in his fourth season as the Nittany Lions’ manager. Before that, he was the hitting coach at Oklahoma State.
Penn State pitching coach Jason Bell also worked with Jaramillo at Oklahoma State.