The outside world invades our sporting entertainment: on Colombian Independence Day, tens of thousands of Venezuelans are thankful to the neighbors for opening the border for a short period and allowing them to buy the household necessities which are nonexistent in Venezuela. Why cross the border?
Over a 24-hour period Tuesday and Wednesday, a variety of story lines evolved with Venezuelan pitchers in the mix. Which one will be king of the hill at season’s close?
Carlos @Cookie_Carrasco, the big righty from Barquisimeto, has 20-game-winner potential. He showed that in the last two months of 2015 and in the past month, when he’s struck out a batter per inning with a Gibson-like ERA: 7 starts, 5-1, 1.37 ERA. Shame he missed more than a month with a hamstring injury, but he’s off the post-ASG blocks at 2-0 and overall, 7-3. He pitched six shutout frames to get another win Wednesday. I think the Cookie can still win 15 and the Tribe is hard to beat, man.
@AnibalSanchez19 had a nightmare first half but Tuesday night’s start against Minnesota holds great promise. Anibal pitched 6 great innings of 10-strikeout, one-run ball, but his bullpen let in the inherited runners in the 7th and he still took a loss. The Twins are no great shakes, but hey, a step in the right direction for the Tiger from Maracay.
The next day the Minnesota jinx hit @El_kid_rod57 Frankie Rodriguez, who went into the game with 26 saves but gave up two home runs in the ninth to emerge as the loser for the first time this year.
@RealKingFelix Hernandez came back after his longest career stint on the DL and was rustier than the Tin Man on his first meeting with Judy Garland. 6 and 2/3 innings, 5 earned runs, and 10 hits: El Rey was lucky to escape with a no-decision as the M’s rallied to beat the ChiSox in 11.
@MartinPerez33D the lefty from Guanare, had a left-coast start against Artie’s Angels of Anaheim. At 7-6, it was a chance to reverse his second-half momentum after a couple of poor starts. A first-inning Jefry Marte home run gave the Angels a 4-0 cushion as we retired to bed-lam on the East Coast Wednesday. He ended up surrendering 7 earned runs in six innings to finish the evening at an unlucky 7-7.
There you have it: three rights and a left and you end up in Anaheim at 1-3 with one no-decision.