Archive for August 5th, 2009

Pedro’s Gives Us Something To Believe In

Let this be the Pedro of old breaking himself in the way he knew best, by working on whatever it was he wanted and not caring about the results.  Let there be one more thunderclap in that golden right arm, one more ten strikeout performance on a hazy summer day, one more outing that makes me call my son into the room and say, “Son, THIS is what greatness looks like.”

Pedro Martinez made his final rehab start today, pitching for the Reading Phillies in front of almost 10,000 fans, and from the looks of it, he was brilliant.  Pedro breezed through five innings, allowing one run on two hits and striking out ten, before running into some trouble in the sixth.  Still, he finished up with six innings under his belt, three earned runs, five hits, and eleven strikeouts.

We might just get that last glimpse at the old Pedro after all.

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Now Batting For The Baltimore Orioles…

Remember what I said before, when the Orioles called up Chris Tillman to make his major league debut?  I’m gonna go ahead and stand by those thoughts, because Brian Matusz has arrived.

Baltimore’s first round pick in the 2008 draft, Matusz  ate up the bus leagues this season.  He started out with the Frederick Keys in the Carolina League before a 4-2 record, 2.16 ERA, and 75 strikeouts in 66.2 innings convinced somebody that maybe he should be testing himself against stiffer competition.  So it was on to the Eastern League with the Bowie BaySox, where he only went 7-0, 1.55 ERA, 46 strikeouts in 46.1 innings, and allowed the league to hit .189 against him.  The only start he didn’t win was his last one, on August 1, when he was pulled after just an inning.

Totals between the two levels: 11-2, 1.91 ERA, 121 strikeouts in 113 innings.  I’d say he was ready for The Show.

Threes Are Wild

The Williamsport Crosscutters opened up a can on the Staten Island Yankees last night, building a 20-0 lead after five innings before coasting to the easy 20-4 win.  Seven Williamsport players had two or more hits, with leadoff man Zachary Collier and his four safeties leading the way.

Williamsport also set a team-record with six triples, three of which came off the bat of leftfielder Carl Uhl, a .210 hitter who had three hits (all in the first three innings), three RBI, and three runs scored.

Uhl triple hat trick is special enough, but consider two other extraordinary facts about his performance: two of the three-baggers were hit in one inning (the nine-run third), something only eleven major leaguers have ever done (and only once since 1951); and both of THOSE triples went back-to-back with a teammate (Leandro Castro and Collier).

Now Pitching For The Texas Rangers…

Neftali Feliz throws really, really hard.

Lots of pitchers throw really, really hard these days, but Feliz seemed to evoke a different feeling than most during his major league debut on Monday.  The 21-year-old Dominican came on to start the sixth inning with the Rangers leading, 1-0, and promptly struck out the first four batters he faced en route to two perfect innings of relief.  His fastball crossed into triple digits several times, topping out at 101 MPH on the final pitch of his outing.

According to that link above, however, the best part of Feliz’s performance was his off-speed stuff, which nobody could quite identify beyond, “It looked really hard to hit.”

Feliz’s stellar debut leaves just two preseason Top Ten prospects – Atlanta’s Jason Heyward and San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner – without major league experience.