Trevor Cahill as I’ve noted multiple times now will look like he did tonight just about as often as you’ll see what he showed you in the first. A good team will take advantage of your low man on the totem giving you a nice start, a below average club will often squander the advantage.
Sure, tonight could be put squarely on the shoulders of Luis Oviedo, or Derek Shelton. Maybe the offense going silent.
But really, they got outplayed by a superior team tonight. Yu Darvish was tremendous, tossing 7 innings of 1 run ball eclipsing Cahill’s 5 innings of the same.
Derek Shelton went to Luis Oviedo in the 6th looking for length and to protect the tie game. The move at least raised my eyebrows. I like the trust in this kid, I like not trying to hide him in the pen and avoid using him unless the game is out of hand, but this outing while rough did show us something about the youngster who surrendered five runs over 1.2 innings via 5 hits and two walks. It showed he won’t fall to pieces when he gets hit. That said, there is a fine line between challenging a youngster and unproductive pushing in baseball, lets pay attention to how they play this from here on out.
Might expect them to use him in a low leverage situation next time out, unless the goal is to line him up with Cahill and or Kuhl and shoot to get 3 innings out of him most times out. Could be a good play especially if they’re looking to indeed try to keep starting on the table following this season.
For those who thought Shelton was just throwing a game away, I’m not sure I can say that. Oviedo is someone they do want to use, rather than hide, so it stands to reason they would not shy from using him. Just saying, this is something to watch, I’m genuinely curious here.
Back at ’em tomorrow. Pirates are 3-7 on the young season. Padres look like advertised.
News & Notes
- Trevor Cahill had the curveball working tonight, and if you want to know how he’ll do in any given start, watch the curveball early. Watch how he tries to avoid using it early in games because he wants to keep it tucked in his back pocket for when he really needs a strikeout or a bad swing. Even when not prolific, veteran pitchers are fun to watch. They know every trick in the book. Even watch his fastball constantly fluxuate by 4-5 MPH all night, never twice at the same velo. This is really nerdy I know, sorry.
- Difo pinch hit in Sundays game and hit a 2 run shot. Difo pinch hit today and hit a ringing triple to the notch. Difo isn’t going anywhere, nor should he. I’m convinced it’s Alford.
- Richard Rodriguez pitched the ninth. He’s done well this season but rarely has a game been close enough for any real leverage to face this season. Still it’s nice to see a coach not stubbornly hold out his ‘closer’ if that’s what we’re calling him, waiting for the perfect opportunity to get him work.
- Phillip Evans had another two hits tonight. Let’s not lose our minds, it hasn’t even been two full weeks, but it sure looks like they found somebody here. This is why you sign guys like this, because once in a while, this happens. Good for him, good for the Pirates.
- Of all the big names on the Padres roster, you rarely hear about Will Myers, he has a penchant for striking out that almost makes Polanco look like he should be more trusted in a hit and run, but man he is productive. 5 RBI tonight and 3 hits including a homerun. When you get to the point in building your team that Will Myers is your wily old vet and secondary scoring, you probably have a damn good team.
- Michael Feliz went 1.1 scoreless tonight including cleaning up a bit of a mess left by Oviedo. Hey, I give him heat when he does bad, gotta mention it when he does well.
- Hu Darvish is really good, but to see him decide that wasn’t enough and add a sparingly used curveball to his repertoire, well that’s what takes a player from great to extraordinary.
- Polanco was held hitless again tonight, he also didn’t play. I say this in advance for those who will blame him anyway.
- Old friend Keone Kela was brought in to finish the game off for the Padres and he did the job effortlessly.