'P' Stands for Pitching?
The first hint that it was not a normal night at Principal Park came when the national anthem was whistled.
Then a thing uncommon in the PCL, where there are typically lots of bombs bursting in air, broke out - a pitchers' duel! The scoreboard practically had the night off as Nashville, behind undefeated Mike Fiers, nipped the I-Cubs, 1-0.
All was not lost for the home team - hardly. The enigmatic Jay Jackson recorded his 6th consecutive quality start and matched a career high with 11 whiffs in his six inning stint. He was succeeded by Bobby [there's no Roberts in baseball!] Coello who continued his sparkling work out of the bullpen with three more scoreless frames. Since moving exclusively to relief duty Coello has worked 34 innings, allowing a mere 18 hits while walking 13 and fanning 46. The non-starter ERA is 1.04; the BAA .158! Significantly, he's been touched for no home runs after serving up 11 in 60 innings as a starter. If he keeps this up, call him Robert-0.
Watch out for Fiers in the NL Central. He's 7-0 since promotion from Double A and his cumulative body of work for the summer shows only 80 hits permitted in 120 innings. He never exceeded 90 on the scoreboard radar last night but complete game shutouts in this league are about as rare as whistled anthems.
As for record-breaking slugger Bryan LaHair, he was in the lineup after shoving Joe Hicks even deeper into franchise trivia with his 38th homer of the season the night before. He flew to the warning tracks in both left and right while playing 1B after a recent run in left. On my way to the park I heard him interviewed on the pre-game radio show where he strongly hinted that he has reason to believe any playing time he gets upon call-up to Chicago will be in the outfield. He also mentioned that, thanks to lots of vacancy in the right-field bleachers Tuesday night, it was his wife that was able to fetch his record-setting long ball. Ah, the charms of the minor leagues.
Andrew Cashner is on hand and slated to work an inning tonight after manning a post as bullpen sentry last night while Coello loosened.
Speaking of how teams "look", my take on the Nats- It's really weird, but the pace of the entire team seems slow. Slow walking to the plate, slow on the mound, even on some routine groundouts, it looked as if there wasn't a ton of hustle. Don't get me wrong, when the ball is hit to their outfielders, they get after the ball, I'm really referring to non-critical action- they mosey around. It's kind of odd. Maybe that "calm power" is part of the Nats ethos, idk.
My favorite moment of Hendricks' performance last night was the last strikeout he rung up- the cajones it took to throw a high, 86MPH fastball to Zimmerman on a 0-2 count. And he swung the bat like it was a 96MPH heater. I literally laughed out loud.
In listening to Maddon's post-game, he is interested in how these other teams "look" to him. He is assessing for today...and tomorrow. I love this guy.
One observation from last night: Joe Ross is incredibly slow. 20-30 seconds between pitches at times. Hendrix had a nice, peppy rhythm which is great to see.
I know there are plenty of purists here which I applaud, but the game just will not sustain itself unless change of pace rules come into play. Pitch clock, improve the shit-ass reviews, mound visits (there is a clock for this), batter time outs, etc.
Thanks, Phil. Albertos at 17, and having gotten a good signing bonus ($1.5, even though as Mexican prospect I think his team gets half of that?), throwing in the 90's and showing some command of a curveball sounds pretty interesting, even if that control is only for a dozen-pitch sample.
What kind of a frame does he have? Is he on the stocky and short-ish side (I'm recalling Fernando Valenzuela!), or somewhat taller? A lot of 17-year olds have projection, "when he fills out" projection. Would that apply at all for Albertos?
I definitely hang around here looking to reply to your comments as noticed by my nearly year long absence.
there's a fine line between posting something relevant, useful or at least humorous versus posting something irrelevant, useless or unfunny...actually it's rather quite a thick line and easy to see for most people not named crunch.
I certainly am digging the RISP machine Zobrist version.
Cubs are taking advantage of bad D by their opponents -- did it a few times in PIT and the Nats botched 2-out rundown leads to 3 Cub runs in the 8th. Which were nice to have.
I hope Kyle had fun at the dance party -- he was terrific.
i hope he's getting more consideration for the 2-slot vs lefties, too.
I hope we can dispense with the Zobrist RISP concerns.
Is this heaven?
They call me Schwarberino because I'm basically Ruth,
and as long as we're rapping I'm gonna tell you the truth:
This team would be even better if I wasn't laid up;
we'd win the World Series, the Superbowl, and the Stanley Cup.
As long as we're at it, I'm putting the Premier League on notice.
Hell, if I were healthy, Epstein could run for POTUS.
My busted knee's even sadder than this presidential kerfuffle,
but my first rehab assignment will be the World Series Shuffle.
I am avoiding grading papers.
With Mutton on the DL now, does Victorino finally get to Iowa?
Chat ... is happening.