Favorite Edgar Martinez stat of the day: Against left-handed pitching this year, he’s drawn 15 walks and struck out 3 times in 54 at-bats.
I’ve also realized that we could come up with a great stat like that for Edgar every single day and not run out until the end of the year. The man’s a machine. Somebody tell him he’s 40 years old and not supposed to be contending for the MVP award.
It’s probably about time for us to talk about Ryan Franklin.
After last night’s game, he’s got a 3.58 ERA in 50 innings. He’s averaging nearly 7 innings per start and is on pace for 204 innings this year. He’s got a higher ERA at Safeco than he does on the road, meaning he’s not being overrated by park effects. He’s pitched better in May than he did in April. His WHIP (walks + hits per innings pitched) is 1.29, a very solid number.
However, he also ranks 104th among the 109 major league pitchers who qualify for the ERA title right now. His 3.58 K/9 innings is remarkably low, even for a contact pitcher. Among other pitchers with K/9 under 4.00, Kirk Rueter is the only one having anything resembling a successful season. His Groundball/Flyball ratio of .71 ranks 105th out of 109 (Gil Meche is 108th).
He’s not keeping the ball down. He’s giving up home runs, as usual. He’s not striking batters out. Yet he’s working deep into ballgames and consistently shutting people down. Paul Abbott won 17 games with smoke and mirrors doing similar things. Do we think Franklin’s in for a similar type season, or do we start waiting for the inevitable implosion?
Quick note — the Big Board (see the link on your left) has been updated.
Minor League Highlights for Thursday, May 15
Tacoma 8, Edmonton 2. RHP Rafael Soriano returned to the starting rotation in style (6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K), but wasn’t around to pick up the win as he left with the scored tied. Despite the 8-2 final this was actually a pitcher’s duel for most of the game, as neither team had scored after seven innings. The Rainiers then exploded for six in the 8th and two more in the 9th, with RHP Brian Sweeney (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K) getting the win in relief. LF Adrian Myers, C Julio Mosquera and SS Ruben Castillo each had three hits for Tacoma, including a pair of doubles for Castillo. Myers stole two bases on the night, and Pat Borders drove in three runs with a bases-clearing, pinch-hit double in the 8th.
San Antonio 11, Round Rock 8. The wildly inconsistant season of RHP Clint Nageotte continued, as he left the game after allowing five runs in the 3rd inning (3 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 5 K). Fortunately the Missions had their hitting shoes on, scoring 11 runs on 11 hits thanks to homers from SS Jose Lopez and 1B A.J. Zapp. Zapp had three hits in the game to go along with two runs scored and three RBIs, while Lopez had a pair of hits, scored once and drove in two. RF Elpidio Guzman was also a key contributor, driving in four runs on the night. Finally, CF Michael Curry’s exploits on the basepaths continued, as the speeder stole his 21st base of the year in 23 attempts.
Rancho Cucamonga 2, Inland Empire 1. RHP Glenn Bott (6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) and two relievers combined to hold Rancho Cucamonga to just three hits, but it wasn’t enough as the 66ers managed just one run on four hits of their own. The lone run came in the 7th, when 1B John Castellano doubled and then scored on a DH Richard Pohle single. Newly acquired Cristian “Vlad’s cousin” Guerrero, picked up on waivers from the Brewers (which should tell you pretty much everything you need to know about him as a player) made his debut in the M’s system with a pinch-hit single.
Wisconsin 2, Lansing 0. Despite being out-hit 10-5 in the game, the Timber Rattlers won behind a strong start from LHP T.A. Fulmer (7 IP, 9 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K) and a pair or runs in the 3rd inning. Fulmer, who threw a complete game his last time out, has now allowed just two runs in his past 16 innings pitched. Wisconsin scored their runs with a bit of small ball, all started with a SS Michael Garciaparra single. A walk to LF Dustin Delucchi and a 2B Tim Merritt sacrifice bunt later, Garciaparra scored on a sacrifice fly by CF Gary Harris and Delucchi moved to third. Delucchi then scored on a wild pitch, giving Fulmer and two relievers all the runs they’d need.