most effective when he’s inducing opponents to hit ground ba

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most effective when he’s inducing opponents to hit ground ba

Messaggioda elvafeng » 03/08/2017, 7:35

Deep within the bowels of Toronto’s cavernous Rogers Centre, only seven or eight cubicles separate the lockers of Santiago Casilla and Paul Blackburn in the visitors clubhouse.

But when it came to their respective performances on the mound in the A’s 3 2 loss to the host Blue Jays Wednesday evening Max Muncy Jersey, these two pitchers were worlds apart.

Rookie Blackburn, 23, is in the first month of his big league career; veteran Casilla, 37, is in the twilight of his. And if ever there was a symbol of how the fates of these two right handers are screaming in polar opposite directions, this was it.

Making just his fifth start since being called up from Triple A Nashville July 1, Blackburn, the kid from the East Bay community of Brentwood, spun a masterpiece, shutting out the host Blue Jays over seven innings and allowing just a pair of hits.

And after recently acquired reliever Blake Treinen kept the Jays off the scoreboard in the eighth, A;s manager Bob Melvin handed the ball to Casilla to close out the game with his team coddling a 2 0 lead.

Instead, Casilla proved to be a dumpster fire in baseball cleats on this night, walking Josh Donaldson to lead off the ninth, then coughing up back to back moonshots over the right field fence to Justin Smoak and Kendrys Morales. And with that, the stunned A’s dejectedly walked off the field as 3 2 losers to the host Jays, still in shock at how Casilla had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

“I felt great in the bullpen but once in the game I just didn’t feel my mechanics were right,” Casilla said through an interpreter. “I was getting a little ahead of myself and rushing .”

Asked about the emotions of belching up a lead after a starter like Blackburn had pitched so well, Casilla replied “I feel bad. You always feel bad after a game like that. And I feel really bad because I feel great physically. I feel I’m going out there competing but today it didn’t work out.

“I feel bad for my teammate. I went out there trying to close out the game and I just didn’t do it.”

No one should be surprised at yet another Casilla implosion, especially the A’s brass. Just a year ago, disastrous endings such as this one were an all too familiar sight across the Bay Bridge in San Francisco, where he recorded a career high nine blown saves for the Giants – most in the majors.

The A’s nevertheless took a chance on Casilla, signing him to a two year deal worth 11 million during the offseason. In this instance, this was a case of buyer beware.

In the end, the colours of his jersey may have changed but his ineffectiveness has not. Indeed, in his past 16 outings, he has recorded four blown saves while allowing at least one run in seven of those contests.

The ninth inning meltdown cost Blackburn his second major league victory but that didn’t stop the product of Brentwood’s Heritage High baseball team from impressing the 41,984 fans in attendance, not to mention Melvin and the rest of the A’s.

For one brief two hour window Wednesday, even with the clock ticking down to the impending trade deadline, the A’s starter dominating the news was not named Sonny Gray.

That’s not to say Gray won’t be snapping up the publicity in the coming days. The expectation remains that he’ll be dealt by July 31, with reports out of New York continuing to suggest that the Yankees were making headway on a possible trade.

But on this particular humid July night, it was Blackburn who grabbed the spotlight, continuing the feel good story he’s managed to cobble together in the process.

Blackburn received offensive help courtesy of shortstop Marcus Semien, who cracked a two run homer off Jays starter Marco Estrada in the fifth. Blackburn has now produced quality starts in four of his five major league outings.

Blackburn won’t overpower hitters with his 89 92 mph fastball, but he’s most effective when he’s inducing opponents to hit ground balls. To that end, he was successful against the Jays, recording 12 outs that way.

“Any time I looked up, it was just big name after big name after big name,” Blackburn said. “That’s a really good lineup over there. For the most part, I just made my pitches and stuck to the gameplan.”

According to Melvin, Blackburn is probably pitching better in his brief time in the majors than he was at Triple A. As such, Blackburn was asked if the past month has been a whirlwind for him.

“It’s awesome,” he said. “It’s been a lot of fun.”

The same can’t be said for Santiago Casilla. Or, for that matter, an A’s team that has dropped seven of its past nine games.

NOTE Catcher Josh Phegley was in the original lineup but was scratched prior to the game with an abdominal strain. Bruce

Maxwell took his spot behind the plate. “I felt it about 40 swings in during BP and it just kept getting worse,” said Phegley, who was

sporting a thick bandage wrap around his waist after the game.
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Iscritto il: 03/08/2017, 7:27
Località: Italia

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