It was a battle of Bruin v trojan brain surgeon this afternoon in Pittsburgh, as the Padres rolled out their recent pick-up, one-season-wonder and major league baseball’s number one headhunter, former brain surgeon ian kennedy, to face the Pirates’ fabulous rookie, 2011 number one draft pick from the UCLA Bruins, Gerrit Cole.
kennedy took his 4.85 ERA into the game, and didn’t disappoint, giving up six runs, all earned, in 3.2 innings, raising his ERA to 5.06, and raking up his 10th loss of the season, against six wins, as the Pirates snuck by the Padres, 10-1. Cole, continuing perhaps his hottest streak since his recall, was again magnificent, giving up one run over six innings, while striking out 12. That’s three straight wins for Cole, who has struck out 28 in 20 innings and has a 0.90 ERA over those three starts which raised his record to 9-7.
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|Last night in Houston, designated base-stealer Billy Hamilton had his first major league start, and if he continues to pay as he did last night, add him to that short list of out-of-this-world young talents, next to Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and Yasiel Puig. Hamilton got to the majors based on his amazing speed and base-running ability. Many thought him to be the reincarnation of Herb Washington, a guy that could hang on awhile as a designed pinch runner, stealing a few bases, then falling into oblivion. Boy, where they all wrong.|
Before yesterday, Hamilton had pinch run five times and had gotten on the field and to the plate in two prior games, and despite only having come to the plate three times (0-for-3), he had scored four runs and was five of five in stolen base attempts. Last night was his opportunity not just to get a few at bats, but to play an entire game in the field. He did not embarrass himself in center field, handling six total chances in the outfield, and in six plate appearances, he walked twice, singled twice, doubled, scored two runs, and stole four more bases. He’s had a debut that just about ranks up there with the one earlier this season
by that guy Puig.
And speaking of Hamiltons, the Angels’ Josh played his best ever game as an Angel last night, for one of the very few times this season coming close to earning a bit of his $17.4 M salary. He hit a
game-tying two run, ninth inning home run off of the A’s great closer Grant Balfour, then drove in the winning run in the 11th. It was only Balfour’s third blown save of the year, as against 38 saves.
And speaking of the Angels, manager Mike Scioscia is missing a great opportunity as the season draws to a close. When the team acquired Grant Green, I said then his future should be at third base. Green has played well filling in for Howie Kendrick at second base, but now with Kendrick back, Green should play the rest of the season at third, but Scioscia has not made this move, using the likes of Chris Nelson, Luis Jimenez, and Andrew Romine. None of those guys are long term solutions to the vacuum created by the trade of Alberto Callaspo, who was himself never seen as “the” long term guy. Despite him being a trojan brain surgeon, Green should get that tryout now.