Sure there was a game at Safeco Field, and Roenis Elias pitched, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim finally won one from the Seattle Mariners of Seattle, but, in terms of cloud-view, 35,000-foot, tectonic-plate-moving level of thought, the action was way far away in western Tennessee.
There, the Southern League turf was trod upon by one Mr. Taijuan Walker to the tune of:
5.0 IP, 3 H (2 singles, 1 double), 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K
Only in the 4th inning, did the Mississippi Braves have the nerve to send as many as five men to the batter’s box, at which point they politely thanked Mr. Walker for the opportunity to return to the dugout.
In other words:
- He’s healthy.
- He’s stretched out.
- He’s kickin’ backside and takin’ names (the name was Braeden Schlehuber, by the way, which is quite a name to take).
Of course, the other shifting tectonic plate was James Paxton going on the disabled list. He will be shut down for two weeks for his strained lat muscle to heal, and then it will surely be another couple of weeks before he would be back in the rotation.
So it looks like Chris Young will blow through his 45-day probationary period after all, and it will be awhile before the rotation is fully loaded at the Iwakuma-Walker-Paxton level. But Young has earned good marks so far.
Randy Wolf turning down the “temp” role seems like a really good deal for the M’s right now, and a really bad deal for Randy Wolf.
Well, as noted, there was no offense in Seattle. Garrett Richards and a pair of his bullpen mates combined on a one-hitter, and Elias had no margin of error.
Which is too bad, because Elias mostly did a better job of keeping away from danger. Here’s the chart of his at-bat-deciding pitches:
You can see that, for the most part, he was pounding the knees when it mattered, but you can also see he left that tasty orange “2” right there for Albert Pujols to hammer over the fence.
Our man Dominic Leone also appeared, and we were pleased to see the cutter coming in at 91-92 (sometimes it’s more 89-90). When he’s got that going with the 95+ fastball, he’s going to be hard to deal with.
Daily Prospect-palooza (the rest of it)
- Tacoma was finally back in action after three rainouts in the first week. And there was Nick Franklin with his third homer in five games tying the game in the 8th before the Rainiers dispatched the El Paso Chihuahuas in the 10th.
- Yes, predictably, all of Franklin’s dingers came as a LH hitter. Check out his split:
— as LH vs. RH: 8-for-16, 3 HR, 2 BB | .500/.556/1.063 for a does-not-compute OPS of 1.618
- And my post yesterday on the failed state of RH hitters as of a year ago, and how it turned around dramatically, failed to mention the biggest face-plant of all — Jesus Montero. How did I forget that? But he is trying to join the reversal as well, and got his first HR of the year Wednesday.
- Jabari Blash had a double and a walk in support of Walker, and now has hit safely in six straight.
- Finally, Edwin Diaz made his second trip to the mound for Clinton, and was almost as good as Taijuan: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K.