On face value the
pitching line of 5.0ip 8h 5er 0bb 2k recorded yesterday by
Australia's most recent new major leaguer, LIAM HENDRIKS,
does not look like a brilliant outing. Having watched the
recorded game last night I can inform anyone who didn't that his
start certainly wasn't brilliant, but it was by no means poor
and deserving of much better than he got in a 3-7 loss for his
Minnesota Twins versus the Kansas City Royals. 'Flintoff & Dunn'
has never been an apologist for Australian baseball and we don't
"sugar coat" the efforts of Australian players; however, this
truly was a case of "what could go wrong did".
First and foremost the
respected "FOXTRAX" technology showed that, on many occasions,
the plate umpire did not give Hendriks legitimate strikes,
especially in the lower part of the strike zone and this
eventually forced him to throw more pitches up that he would
prefer. Next was the fact that only one of the hits he allowed
was really hit hard and most just managed to find their way over
or into the shallow outfield, not off the fat part of the bats.
Finally, the infield defence behind him was dreadful and how one
routine double-play in the fourth inning that failed to get an
out was not ruled an error is beyond belief!
After a tidy 1-2-3
first inning Liam opened the second with three successive soft
singles to Eric Hosmer, Jeff Francouer and Mike Moustakas for
one run and Johnny Giavotella added another with a sacrifice
fly. Hendriks then induced an uplifting inning ending double
play to limit the damage. In the third he allowed just one
single to Alex Gordon in an otherwise neat effort that ended
with a punch out of power hitter Billy Butler. The bottom of the
fourth saw the "Circus Music" begin after Eric Hosmer chopped a
single up the middle just out of Hendriks' reach and Jeff
Francouer reached on an infield single to the short stop that
should have been ruled an error on a routine double-play. Mike
Moustakas followed with a RBI single and Johnny Giavotella added
another run on a fielder's choice play that produced another
error. A third run scored in the inning on the one and only
extra base hit when Salvador Perez doubled to deep right field.
To his credit, Hendriks re-grouped to finish the inning with a
pop out and a strike out. Even better, he finished his outing on
a most positive note with three up and three down in the bottom
of the fifth.
Above all Liam Hendriks
proved that he has the mental toughness and composure to take
the heat of the major league kitchen and he did not allow
adversity to affect his concentration. As we said, he was by no
means as bad as his current 0-2, 6.00ERA record may appear.
TRENT OELTJEN made another cameo appearance as
a pinch hitter for the Los Angeles Dodgers in their 3-2 win over
the Arizona Diamondbacks. Facing Daniel Hudson in the bottom of
the seventh, Trent didn't see a pitch worthy of swinging at as
he took a four pitch walk with two out in the inning. Oeltjen
moved to second base on a baulk but that was as far as he got.
Evergreen former ABL
import KEVIN MILLWOOD
(Melbourne Monarchs 1997) continues to roll back the clock with
his third win of the season coming after he pitched 6.0ip 4h 2er
2bb 2k to anchor his Colorado Rockies to a 6-2 win over the
Milwaukee Brewers. The win took his record to 3-2, 3.68ERA.