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August 30, 2011 at 10:04 PM

Anthony Vasquez doesn’t fool anyone, Mariners get clobbered as a result

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The highlight of the night for young Anthony Vasquez was in somehow getting Torii Hunter not to crush a juicy little hanging curve he left up in the zone with two on and the count full in the first inning. After that, it was pretty much a disaster, as his slow-moving stuff got demolished twice by Mike Trout for home runs and then collapsed entirely during an eight-run fifth inning.
In the end, a 13-6 loss for the M’s, who should give serious thought as to whether they want to start Vasquez in another game — at least in front of their home fans.
In two starts thus far, Vasquez’s stuff hasn’t done much to fool anybody and his 12.54 ERA could be a lot worse if not for some breaks his last time out and stuff like the Hunter pitch he got away with in this one.
Not to pick on the guy, who is clearly a rookie and somewhat nervous up here. But he just doesn’t look ready.


And so far, with all the rookies the M’s have played this year — some good and some not so good — one constant has been that the team was able to stay competitive night after night in spite of it. But not in this game. Not when it’s the starting pitcher who looks so out of whack. One bad start from a guy like Vasquez can be five times as damaging as a bunch of strikeout games by Carlos Peguero.
In this case, the game was over in the fifth inning.
The M’s scored some runs in garbage time, with Ichiro getting a two-run single when it was 12-2 in the seventh and then two more crossing when it was 12-4 in the eighth.
Otherwise, this was a disaster for the M’s. To their credit, they haven’t played this poorly all that often this season. But they can’t start doing it every sixth day now. There is still a month left to go and the playing time has to go to guys who have a realistic shot at making the team next season.
Vasquez, for all his good numbers in the minors, is not one of those guys. If the M’s want to protect Michael Pineda’s arm down the stretch, it’s probably best they find someone else to be the sixth starter and send Vasquez to the bullpen.

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