Far be it from me to actually give too much of a shit about the ins and outs of every spring training game– especially those with three weeks still to go until Opening Day– but with both Dustin McGowan and Kyle Drabek pitching today, at the very least their performances warrant some scrutiny. Y’know, as much as anybody’s performance does at this point in the spring. Or in a game against the damn hopeless Astros.
ESPN’s Keith Law was at the game and tweeted out some stray observations, including an assertion that McGowan, who pitched first, looked “very ordinary so far.”
That, however, was early on, and by the end of the outing, McGowan had come around.
Got 95 and 96 on McGowan’s last two fastballs that inning, best bolts yet
— keithlaw (@keithlaw) March 15, 2012
The Fan’s Mike Wilner echoed the sentiment that McGowan improved as his day went on. “He looked very good after the first inning,” he tweeted, “not so great in the first.” On the day McGowan went three innings, giving up one hit, an unearned run, walking one and striking out three, which on the whole is pretty successful. However, he threw 46 pitches, 27 for strikes, according to Wilner. That rate is close to the percentage of strikes he threw in his 21 innings in the Majors last year, which I think we can agree simply isn’t going to cut it– however, we’re talking about such small sample sizes here that just an extra strike or two one way or the other changes the way the rate looks pretty significantly. Still, it’s hardly doom and gloom, and any day that McGowan finishes where he’s still healthy remains, at this point, a pretty damn good day.
Not only that, Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star points out that McGowan threw a bullpen session between today’s start and his previous one, the first time he’s been able to do so since since 2008.