Pineda Day Gamethread 8/2/10
For those of you that weren’t able to heed Dave’s advice and come out to Cheney Stadium tonight, here’s a gamethread.
First, many of you wondered if Rob Johnson was sent down to catch Pineda in Tacoma, but that’s not the plan, at least for tonight. Eliezer Alfonzo gets the start tonight.
Second, this will be an interesting opportunity to watch how Pineda faces hitters who’ve faced him before. This isn’t the first time he’s facing an opponent for the second time (he’s faced Fresno twice too), but it should be a decent test. He was sharp in his first game against Reno, but managed only 3 strike-outs in 6 2/3 IP. That’s quite a contrast from his 11 Ks in 5 IP in his next start in Sacramento.
Gametime is 7pm.
4: Nelson (DH)
6: Carp (LF)
Pineda leads off Doug Deeds with a FB at 92 MPH. Second pitch is an interesting 88 MPH cutter or something, then a 94 MPH FB. Have to find out more about that cutter/2 seamer. Gets a fly out on a high away FB.
Game scoreboard just flashed 101 on a Pineda FB. I’m not sure I buy that. 95 on the next pitch.
Chris Rahl lifts a 94 MPH FB to deep, deep left, but you can do that in Tacoma.
1-2-3 inning capped with a swinging K of Jeff Bailey on a 95 MPH fastball. 97 is the top speed assuming the 101 was a mistake, and he threw 2 sliders at 83/87, the one oddball cutter, and the rest FBs. Lots of them up in the zone, same as his debut. Something to watch.
95 on the hands to lefty Brandon Allen. Tough pitch. Slider down and in at 85, then maybe a change away, FB away at 96. He appears to have more FB command than he did in the first inning. Swinging strike-out! Split/change.
Good, low and away FB at 96 to Ryan Roberts. Perfect spot, and he follows it up with another away FB at 97. Then blows him away with a high FB at 97. Too much good stuff.
Starts Rogers with two high FBs, then down and in (fouled off a tough, tough pitch), then a FB gets drilled back through the box. Think he wanted that higher, but a 93 MPH fastball at the bottom of the letters is a hittable pitch.
Corporan lines a 95 MPH pitch straight to Mike Wilson in right. That inning started amazing, but ended a bit more pedestrian. Keep the ball down, Mr. Pineda.
Well-located FB, then a slider/change for strike two. Another slider in off the plate. FB away? No, split/change low. Full-count and *there’s* the away FB, fouled off. Another foul, then and a slider that gets ripped down the 1B line for a double. Not a lot of vertical break; not one of his ‘diabolical’ pitches, unfortunately.
Starts Yunesky Sanchez with a really good FB that misses the outside corner. I like the approach today, but again his FB command isn’t amazing for a guy who simply never walks anyone. He’s not wild per se, he’s just missing his spots at times. It’s kind of remarkable that I even note that. This is a young fireballer whose command is good, just not Cliff Lee-level.
Pineda gets a fly ball that takes Macias to 3rd. Infield in for the R’s. Aaand it pays dividends, as Doug Deeds grounds out weakly to Matt Mangini.
That low-in fastball to Chris Rahl was his best pitch of the night. 97MPH and even if he’d made contact, it’d be a foul or a comebacker. 96 MPH, almost the same place (this one is fouled off, almost humbly). And swings at strike 3, a slider well off the plate. Easily the best at-bat of the night.
Slider to Jeff Bailey for strike one. And another split/slider (?) for strike two. Inside corner, which set up an away FB that gets Bailey swinging. 0-2 pitch was off the plate away, then the next pitch was right on the black and low at 96. Good luck.
Brandon Allen gets a triple on a deep fly ball to right that goes off Wilson’s glove. Hit midway up the wall; would’ve been a tough catch.
First pitch to Roberts is smoked to 3B, Mangini boots it right to Woodward who throws him out. Lucky play.
Pop-up to Halman off the bat of Rogers, and Pineda escapes another jam.
Halman makes the first put-out in the fifth with a very, very good running catch in right center. Great jump.
Macias goes to 3-1, and walks on an outside fastball.
Good slider to start off Sanchez. Then Sanchez takes a second one out of here to LF. 2-0 Aces.
Comes back with two 97 MPH FBs to Deeds; looks like Pineda’s pissed. Pop-out to SS.
Rahl takes him deep as-well. FB that he took out to LF.
Bailey hits a FB to deep left center, but Halman catches up to it. He’s tiring, and that’ll probably be it for Pineda. 5 IP, 3 R, 5Ks, 1BB, 5H, 2HRs. 75 pitches, 49 for strikes.
OK, I was wrong. Here comes Pineda for the 6th.
Levale Speigner’s warming up now.
Pineda’s velocity is still solid at 95. Breaks Allen’s bat on a GB out to 1B.
96 MPH to Roberts, then a great slider that buckled his knees. 97 MPH away (fouled off somehow), and then a diabolical slider away for the strikeout. LIKE THIS, PLEASE.
Good slider to Rogers for a called strike; he’s having some success starting the pitch inside, and having it catch the inside corner. Good split/change too. And another for another K. Impressive inning.
Pineda ended up at 86 pitches, 57 strikes, 7Ks, 1 BB, 5H, 3R, 2HRs on the night. Forgotten man Shawn Kelley came in for a pretty sharp inning after that, getting two strikeouts, then Levale Speigner had a shaky 8th, giving up a run. Mumba Rivera worked around an HBP in the 9th. The Rainiers loaded the bases in the 8th for Dustin Ackley, but the 2B struck out on a 3-2 breaking ball. Eliezer Alfonzo hit a home run in the 9th to end the shut-out, but it ended 4-1. Pineda’s now 3-2 for Tacoma.
Pineda was dominant at times, particularly in the 6th, where he was able to spot two pitches and hit 97 repeatedly. One inning made the difference. It was somewhat reminiscent of his debut, when he lost the strike-zone for a while. This time, he caught the plate, but his slider had zero vertical movement and he left a number of fastballs above the belt in the middle of the plate. That hurt him today, but he’s still as exciting a player come through the system in a while. He’s got things to work on, but he’s so freakishly talented, I’m looking forward to seeing him react and adapt.