Where were you during the most exciting, palpably thrilling moment of the Jays’ 2013 season?
No! Not Munenori Kawasaki’s home run [wank-off motion], or John Farrell tipping his cap at the frothing masses on that April Friday when we were all still so sure (mostly) that he’d fall on his fat fucking jaw as we romped in triumph through the 2013 season. I’m talking about Marcus Stroman ripping up the Arizona Fall League last night!
OK, so maybe that’s a stretch, but I don’t even know! There were great non-Jays moments in the postseason, and the winning streak lo those many months ago was pretty cool, I guess, but it has been a long, long time since I’ve been as giddy for baseball as I was last night, watching as Stroman worked a perfect two innings for the Salt River Rafters, striking out five.
Yeah, it was just the AFL. And yeah, his victims were “merely” Giants Double-A outfielder Jarrett Parker, Mets possible Rule 5 candidate Cory Vaughn, Pirates Double-A outfielder Alex Dickerson, one-time legit Giants prospect Angel Villalona, and Yankee A-ball prospect Peter O’Brian. But that’s kinda what 2013 has come to. Yet, while the competition may not have been terribly impressive, it was more about the way he did it, showing the mid-90s fastball and wipeout slider we’ve all heard about, while also getting rave reviews for a changeup he relied heavily on– which he explained was his plan in the video I posted in yesterday’s Daily Duce, as it’s the main pitch he’s been working on all year– and flashing a cutter as well. All of the pitches he commanded decently, though the impressive 19 strikes to six balls ratio is maybe a bit flattering, seeing as some of the swinging strikes were on pitches that more advanced hitters wouldn’t have chased.
Still, watching him was fun. It didn’t hurt, either, that Baseball America’s John Manuel was gushing over him on the MLB Network broadcast– and continued to do so into the half-inning following Stroman’s first three outs.
The chatter on Twitter– even before the game started, with Keith Law tweeting out that Stroman’s appearance was must-see stuff– certainly served to enhance the experience as well: