It certainly had the looks of a “mail-it-in” lineup. But it was the mouse that roared.
Willie Bloomquist leading off, followed by Endy Chavez, then usually-lower-hitting Mike Zunino — as DH! John Buck catching.
And yet …
There was a blog that suggested, earlier in the year (before Stefen Romero and Cole Gillespie were on the roster) that Bloomie actually looked like the best option to DH against lefty starters (or to sub for a regular so that someone else could DH). So there. But that was more a plea for another RH bat than advice.
Anyway, Bloomie was, indeed, the difference Saturday, delivering two key RBI singles, to get up to 1.7 runs contributed on the “RE24” scale.
We’re still working on Chris Young as part of our “outliers” series to come this week. But for the second straight time, Young had strikeout totals that are moving him toward “non-outlier” status (5 K last outing; 6 K this time). Last time out, it seemed that having more confidence in the changeup made a difference (he threw 10).
This time he only went to the change three times. But it’s possible that just the possibility of the change made the slider more effective, since he got 6 swing-and-misses on the slider out of 14 swings.
Also, the last two outings he’s been just a tad closer to 90 on the gun, and we know his height and mechanics make that seem higher.
We like this version a lot better, and, since obviously he’s going to be around awhile, that’s cool.
A few college notes:
- The Siena Saints, alma mater of M’s prospect Dan Paolini, got their first NCAA tournament win in school history Saturday with a dramatic comeback from a 7-0 deficit in the 2nd to prevail over Dallas Baptist, 9-8. For coach Tony Rossi, it was his first NCAA win after 45 seasons as head coach! It was his 801st career win. Great story.
- Aaron Nola, widely rumored to be among the M’s options with the No. 6 pick in the draft, pitched LSU into the regional championship with 7.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. He’s now 11-1 on the year.
- Surprisingly, long-time powers Florida and Florida State were both eliminated after losing their first two games.
- Tacoma faced the mighty Chihuahuas in their new stadium in El Paso. Jabari Blash made himself right at home with Blash Splash No. 9 (his 5th for the Rainiers). Blash added a double, and Jesus Montero had three hits and a walk. Tacoma scored two in the 8th off former teammate Bobby LaFromboise, but gave up three in the bottom of the inning to fall 11-10.
- Tyler Olson of Jackson had another decent start (5.0 IP, 2 ER), but go no help from his offense or his bullpen. The Generals’ only extra-base hit was a triple by Jamal Austin.
- Pitching in High Desert seems to be messing up one of our favorites — Dylan Unsworth, who gave up 8 ER Saturday. Of course, that happens a lot, and let’s hope he can get over it. He did get support from Jabari Henry’s 10th home run. Jordy Lara also stayed hot with four hits.
- Clinton lost in the 10th, with Emilio Pagan failing to put things away for the second time this week. The LumberKings did get strong offense from Joe DeCarlo (3rd HR and first triple). Austin Wilson also added three hits.