Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Gaby and Mendez
On Tuesday night, I saw my third game in person in a row – first time since 2003, I’m sure. Early in the year, I was worried that Gaby didn’t have enough power for a first baseman, but he won the game with his 19th of the year – a powerful shot into the left field blue seats, and he’s likely to gain some power with age, maybe into the 25-30 range. But the interesting surprise of this late season is Adalberto Mendez, who on Tuesday night against the New York Mets pitched seven solid innings, 89 pitches with only two walks. He’s the anti-Miller. Put the ball in play and hitters get out two-thirds of the time. He had three solid double plays behind him, a racing outfield that caught some solidly hit balls (Stanton in particular made a great catch), and Brad Davis (home run hero of the day before) threw out two runners at second. The Mets managed 10 hits against Mendez, but only one run. He’s 28, from Santo Domingo, listed as a skinny 6-2, 160, and this is his first stint in the Big Leagues, after eight years in the minors. He was a Rule 5 Minor League pick from the Cubs in 2007, was in Jupiter in 2008 and Jacksonville in 2009. This year, he was in Jacksonville and New Orleans, accord to MiLB.com. His career minor league ERA is 3.98. Not overpowering stuff, and he didn’t get the win, thanks to Veras blown save, but still he made for an enjoyable night. A possible No. 5 starter next year?