God Bless Bad Defensive Catchers

I suppose when two teams playing as poorly as the Milwaukee Brewers and the Pittsburgh Pirates get together, you’re going to get some crazy endings.  Friday night just happened to turn into a battle of all-bat, no-D catchers — George Kottaras and Ryan Doumit.

Doumit has been a pretty solid contributor at the plate for a few years now (at least when he’s healthy), but has struggled behind the plate.  Doumit’s CS% is just 10% this year — even worse than Kottaras’ 16%.  That inability to throw runners out was a major factor in last night’s game, and I think Pat from Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke? can describe it better than I can:

It completely baffles my mind that someone can be a Major League catcher while only throwing out ten percent of base stealers. He’s the only catcher in baseball who’d actually be better served throwing a base ahead of the runner to prevent situations like the ninth inning tonight. If you missed it, Carlos Gomez stole second, Doumit’s throw came in a time zone behind him and a mile over Ronny Cedeno’s head, and Gomez cruised to third.

Kottaras followed that by hitting a triple down the right field line past a drawn-in infield to drive in the game-tying run.  An inning later, Ryan Braun snapped out of his funk (at least temporarily) to hit the game-winner over Ryan Church‘s head.

Does this game mean much in the long run?  Probably not — if the Brewers weren’t out if it a couple weeks ago, they certainly were after losing 2 of 3 to Houston, 2 of 4 to St. Louis, and 4 of 4 to San Francisco.  But it was still nice to see the guys smiling again, to see Braun come through in a high-leverage situation, and to know that if nothing else, the Brewers can still beat the Pirates.