With any luck, and he really hasn't had
much at the major league level so far, Australia's most recent
new big leaguer LIAM HENDRIKS may have enjoyed
a turning point in his career. Although he is a dominant force
at 'AAA' level, Liam has been largely unable to find the key to
consistent success against big league hitters and he hasn't had
much go his way either. That is until yesterday when the young
Aussie stood tall for a brilliant complete nine inning game
effort as he went toe to toe with Seattle's recent "Perfect
Game" superstar 'King Felix' Hernandez. While he was desperately
unlucky to come out on the losing side of a 0-1 ballgame, Liam
can be extremely proud of the fact that he more than matched
perhaps the best pitcher in the game right now. Hendriks allowed
just three hits with six strike outs from 103 total pitches to
compare favourably with Hernandez' tallies of five hits, 5K's
and 100 pitches. His 9.0ip 3h 1er 3bb 6k was damaged by just one
solo home run from a pretty decent pitch as his team could not
muster any run support despite threatening on a few occasions.
His record is now 0-7, 6.02ERA.
TOP1: Franklin Gutierrez poked a one out
single to left and moved to third on a throwing error by the
catcher while stealing second. Kyle Seager walked to place
runners at the corners but, in perhaps a game changing moment,
Hendriks was off the hook after inducing a terrific inning
ending double play.
TOP2: Liam posted a tidy 1-2-3 inning that he finished with a
strike out of Eric Thames.
TOP3: Just eight pitches
required to blast out the back end of the Mariners' lineup.
TOP4: A strike out, a pop out and a ground
ball took care of another blank inning.
TOP5: John Jaso walked to lead off the inning, but Liam hit back
to strike out both Justin Smoak and Eric Thames. A walk to
Trayvon Robinson did not threaten when he got Brandon Ryan to
pop up on his first pitch to end the frame.
TOP6: Gutierrez was on board again with one out when he was hit
by a pitch after crowding the plate. However, Hendriks again
summoned an inning ending double play.
TOP7: Another three up and three down as he fanned Justin Smoak
again to end the inning.
TOP8: The baseball gods arrived at just the wrong moment when
Eric Thames, who had struck out twice, found lightning in a
bottle with a second pitch home run that just barely cleared the
left field fence. Liam sat down the next three batters, but
Hernandez had the 1-0 lead that was all he would need.
TOP9: An uncharacteristic four pitch walk to Gutierrez put the
lead runner on base but
Hendriks completed the game with Kyle Seager struck out
swinging, Jesus Montero flying out to centre and Gutierrez
thrown out trying to tag and advance on the throw.
By any measure it was a quite brilliant performance from our
young Aussie star and one that should give him confidence to
build upon. Surely a major league win is just around the corner
for Liam Hendriks!
Hard throwing Aussie GRANT BALFOUR
remains on a positive roll with his 15th save of the
season coming after he pitched a decisive 1.0ip 0h 0er 1bb 3k
(2.54ERA) to lock down the Oakland Athletics' 3-0 victory
shutout win over the Cleveland Indians. Balfour threw 12 of 19
pitches to scythe through the bottom of the ninth as his part of
the combined shutout. He began the inning in hot fashion by
fanning both Jason Donald and Shin-Soo Choo before Carlos
Santana waited him out for a full count walk after being 0-2 in
the hole. Santana was allowed to take second base on defensive
indifference and, as the phrase suggests, it made little
difference when Michael Brantley was called out on strikes after
looking at all three pitches he faced!