Oh what a night
And I’m not talking about the Lake County-West Virginia game I was at that took 3 hours and 35 minutes to complete, meaning I didn’t get home to B3 Headquarters in Pittsburgh until nearly 3 a.m. Just take a look around the playoff landscape and you’ll see what I mean…
On Wednesday night, four 2007 first-round picks (I’m talking pitchers) started playoff games for their respective clubs. The combined line of the four: 3-1, 1.42 ERA, 25 1/3 IP, 12 hits, 9 walks and 26 strikeouts. Not too shabby. Here’s the rundown:
No. 1 pick David Price only went five innings for Durham, but he danced in and out of trouble (three walks) to put up zeroes for the win. He struck out six as the Bulls took a 1-0 lead against the Louisville Bats.
No. 9 pick Jarrod Parker got the win for South Bend in a Midwest League playoff battle against West Michigan. Parker went six frames, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits and one walk while striking out five.
No. 10 pick Madison Bumgarner continued his dominance of the South Atlantic League with a 1-0 victory against Asheville. The Minor League’s ERA champ (and thus, the Most Spectacular Pitcher) outdueled Asheville’s Connor Graham (a fifth round pick from a year ago, by the way). Graham gave up just one hit, but allowed a run. Bumgarner went eight shutout innings, gave up just three hits, walked no one and struck out 10.
No. 17 Blake Beavan is the only one who got an ‘L,’ though he pitched well enough to win. The Rangers prospect went 6 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs (three total) on seven hits and one walk. He struck out four, but Clinton got beaten by Cedar Rapids, 3-0.
That doesn’t even include Rangers 2006 draft-and-follow Derek Holland, who’s certainly pitched like a first-rounder in his first full season. He pitched at three levels, finishing in the Texas League and he got the ball in Game 1 for Frisco against San Antonio. All he did was go 7 1/3 innings, yielding just two hits, one walk and one run, while striking out five and giving the RoughRiders a 1-0 lead.
I’m sure I’m missing some other stellar performances. Want to nominate one or more? Leave them in comments.