Home > Uncategorized > The Rapure Did Occur Saturday. But It Came By The Hand Of Michael Pineda, Not Jesus

The Rapure Did Occur Saturday. But It Came By The Hand Of Michael Pineda, Not Jesus

Well, looky there! Saturday came and went without the apocalypse. Of course, that’s really bad news for some people who were literally banking on the rapture. While it’s hard to have sympathy for naive simpletons, I do feel bad for those who took Harold Camping’s dubious bait and now have nothing left. Only now when it’s too late do they realize they’ve been had. It reminds me of a child left bewildered as to the location of their quarter that vanished behind their ear during a magic act.

But a divine event did take place yesterday: The continued dominance of Michael Pineda. And it was the San Diego Padres who were left unsaved. The 22-year-old Seattle Mariners pitcher threw seven scoreless innings against the Padres and moved his record to 6-2 while his ERA moved down to 2.16. WHIP? How about 0.94.

If Felix Hernandez is “King,” Pineda is becoming “The Prince.” The kid is dominating right now. After last night’s start, he has a current scoreless-innings streak of 14.1 innnigs. Now, all but one of those outs were recorded against the Twins and Padres, two of the most offensive offenses in baseball. But Pineda is doing what any good pitcher should do to weak opponents: mercilessly crush them.

He gave up five hits combined in those two starts. He struck out 16 batters and issued just one walk. So far, that’s what I think is the most impressive part of Pineda’s first two months in the big leagues. For a player who throws as hard as he does, Pineda has superb control. He walked 93 batters in 404 minor-league innings. And over his past four stars, nearly 73 percent of his pitches have been strikes.

I give credit to the Mariners for not overworking Pineda so early in his career. He has thrown more than 100 pitches just twice in nine starts and never more than 103. But Pineda is 6-foot-7, 260 pounds. He is built to last, and you could see last night that he had plenty left in the tank when he struck out the side in the seventh. Just watch the highlights and look at the absurd biting action on his slider in the seventh. Cameron Maybin had absolutely no chance.

Just wait until he develops and trusts his changeup a little more.

I should have trusted my gut instead of going with the popular choice when going on record about my pick for American League Rookie of the Year. But hindsight is 20-20, and Jeremy Hellickson hasn’t done too bad for himself either.

Pineda’s next start should come Friday at home against the Yankees, who entered Sunday tied with the St. Louis Cardinals for the game’s best OPS mark at .780. That’s due in large part to their home run tendencies. However, I’ll be watching to see if the Yanks are neutralized by Pineda, who has allowed just three homers in 58.1 innings.

Everyone should be watching Michael Pineda at this point

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