It’s Officially September

There is an ugly truth about baseball in September: rosters expand, talent dilutes, top young pitchers shut down to preserve their virginal arms. It doesn’t jibe with the hope-flavoured yearnings of hardcore baseball fans, all ready to jump on the Next Big Thing’s hot cameo as proof-positive that he’s ready for the show.

It’s sad but it is true. Don’t believe me? Two pitchers made their seasonal debuts with new teams in the National League last night. They pitched well, effectively even. Their names? Dana Eveland and Miguel Batista.

Journeyman weirdo Miguel Batista started for the Mets at Citifield last night, throwing six workmanlike innings of six hit, three strikeout ball. It was just Batista’s second start of the season, his first since an aborted April start in which he was put a pawn in Tony LaRussa’s elaborate war against the weather.

Batista hasn’t started regularly in the Majors since 2008, when he was awful for the Mariners. He walked more than he struck out in 115 glorious innings that season, giving up 19 home runs in the process. Yet there he was, back in the big leagues for the first time since June, mowing down my beloved Mike Stanton and the last-place Marlins.

Meanwhile, in Lotus Land, Dana Eveland took the hill for the sadsack Dodgers against the rotting hulk of the Good Ship Pirate. Eveland twirled EIGHT INNINGS, allowing but a single run on six hits. He struck out three Buccaneers and surrendered zero walks. Zero.

This was Eveland’s 2011 d├ębut after spending the entire season with the Dodges Triple-A affiliate in Albuquerque. Eveland actually made a reasonable account of himself in the PCL, which makes me wonder if soft-tossing lefties draw strength from the San Andreas Fault line. Belly-high 85 mph fastballs are the Spirit Animal of the Pacific Coast League.

Eveland hadn’t pitched in the Major Leagues since June of last year! Please bear this in mind when David Cooper comes up and swings a reasonable enough bat that you start to wonder if he might push Adam Lind for the Jays first base job next season.

Comments (8)

  1. bare this in mind, i’ve heard a lot of folks say batista had amazing stuff, just could never put it together. zaun said just the other night he was the hardest pitcher to catch because he had about 8 pitches he could throw that all had good movement.

  2. @ plain_g:
    So…we should be baring in mind that Batista has a lot of pitches and that Zaun had difficulty catching him?
    Lotsa dudes in the Bigs have/had “amazing stuff”… it’s the “put it together” part that makes pitchers good. Who cares how many pitches a guy has/had? The guy has been hit hard and often, so the pitches likely weren’t moving that well….or maybe they moved too much, cuz he also walks a lot of guys.

    In conclusion, Batista is not very good and nothing about him should be barred in anyone’s mind.

    Happy Friday.

  3. Regarding the Jays in Septmeber, they won’t be playing too many minor league callups. They have 6 against the Red Sox and 6 against the Yankees, who we can assume will still be playing to win, 4 against the Angels, that may be a last gasp for Anaheim, and only 9 other games total. 3 against the Orioles who throw out AAA pitching in every game of the season, 3 against the Rays who simply don’t have a bad pitcher, and 3 against the White Sox to end the season. May be no small sample size eye poppers in there.

  4. i just wanted to say ‘bare in mind’ because drew made a typo.
    i do find it interesting, though, that batista was considered to have some of the best ‘stuff’ but never had any sustained success.

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