Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Starting Grades!

This is the real grind of the yawning All-Star Gap:  the day AFTER the game.  Which is why we're here to entertain you as best we can.

(No, that doesn't mean more Spanish ladies!)

The grades for our starting pitchers:


What's not to like?  He has very much blossomed into the pitcher we all hoped he could be.

Another telling stat from the All-Star Game last night, in which he pitched a scoreless frame:  Sevvy has reached 99-mph or more on 128 pitches this season, as opposed to just 47 for Chris Sale.

That's impressive—maybe TOO impressive.

This grade would be an A+, but for the fact that Sevvy's velocity and his performance have plummeted in his last few outings.  Maybe this is just hot weather or the usual fatigue of the long season.  But management ought to watch him like a hawk down the stretch.


There are few guys you'd rather see on the hill for a big game—even if his conditioning is such that, as a 29-year-old professional athlete, he pulls hamstrings in both legs while called upon to sprint for 90 feet.

The "B" is mostly for the astonishing fact that he has managed to keep his arm, reportedly dangling by a thread for over three years now, still attached and useable.

Someday, somebody ought to open a Hall of Fame of Sports Ligaments, one that would feature most prominently Tanaka's arm and Mickey Mantle's torn ACL, reportedly never fully repaired after being ruptured at the START of an 18-year, Hall-of-Fame career.

That said, Tanaka has settled into a prematurely aged career as a sort of late-model Catfish Hunter, a home-run machine able to surrender most of the many blasts he does with nobody aboard, thanks to his pinpoint control.  He is also still able to get key strikeouts when he needs them, averaging a K an inning.

How long can this—or the arm—hold up?  The barking hammies might have been a blessing in disguise, saving him three weeks on the back end of the season.  We shall see.


This is another guy doing it with mirrors, and who can fail to admire it?

At the same time, his outings are getting shorter and shorter, and as some here have pointed out, why would a team NOT bunt on him repeatedly at the start of a key game?  (Why would we NOT have bunted on Schilling in Game Six, 2004 ALCS?  Why, that Torre— #@!%)

But I digress.  We love The Bear, and just hope he can endure.


What's left to say?  He doesn't quite fail, because of his decent work on the road...but that just underscores how much of his floundering in the Bronx is due to nerves.

Fact is, Sonny Boy is not going to be corrected by changing his delivery, or his grip on the ball, or any other quick fix.  Currently, he lacks the confidence and intestinal fortitude to pitch big games in a big market, and unless that changes—fast—he always will.

A perfect candidate for a trade, but our GM doesn't think like that.  Coops is just lucky the prospects he dealt for Mr. Softee here aren't panning out—so far.


He's a rookie, so we allow for rookie blow-ups, and there have been flashes of brilliance.  On the other hand, the guy is 25 already.  He needs to show consistent improvement down the stretch.


How does this guy keep getting back in the mix?  He turned in that very nice outing for us, when we badly needed it, in the back half of a twin bill against the Birds that was fast going south, so we give him his props.

Is this just a repeat of last year, when he pitched surprisingly well against another very bad team—the Mets—then got hurt?  We shall find out, I think.  And again, it's about time:  Cessa is 26, though I know it seems like we picked him up with Bob Turley.


Sad to see him get hurt so quick.  Anyone heard an update?  Let's hope it's not the knife; the kid looked like he had something.


I never really thought he had major-league stuff, but he surprised us last year, and the injury is a crying shame.  Let's hope we have not seen the last of him.


What stands out from all of this:  how thin our staff really is.  No one quite seems ready in our supposedly bountiful farm system.  Or are they?  Another reason to stop worrying about the One-Game Wild Gard Play-In, and try out everything we have in Scranton, and maybe in Trenton, too.

Next up:  Closing grades!  Get it?  Huh?  Uh, boy.


Local Bargain Jerk said...

This is the real grind of the yawning All-Star Gap: the day AFTER the game. Which is why we're here to entertain you as best we can.

HC66, my friend, you're doing a fine job of it. I have enjoyed this series and look forward to the "closing" installment.

Gee, hmmm, what might you say about Chasen Shreve...?

HoraceClarke66 said...

Thanks, LBJ!

As for Chasen, heh-heh-heh...

Leinstery said...

When it comes to German I feel like John Adams in 1776. I say vote F

TheWinWarblist said...

Domingo will be fine. I know he's not "still young" for a starter, but he has hellacious stuff. He may never pan out, but is upside is very very high.

HoraceClarke66 said...

A "1776" reference! I love it!

Were that Coops and company "cool, cool, conservative men."

Leinstery said...

I'd say Hal fit that bill until 2016. Now Ma Boone kind of has the role.

I also wish I was clever enough to find a Richard Henry Lee and the Lees of old Yankee Stadium

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