Chicks might dig the long ball, but nothing beats a good pitching match up. Two of the best young pitchers in the game just went toe to toe at Tropicana Field, and they didn't disappoint.
Both Scott Kazmir and Dontrelle Willis are plying their trade on struggling teams. Willis in particular is experiencing the effects of this. Florida's fire sale has made it nigh on impossible for him to even come close to his twenty-two win total from last season. The D-Train also suffered slightly coming out of the World Baseball Classic (during which he struggled with his pitching mechanics). Kazmir meanwhile has had to take some knocks as a very young pitcher in the majors.
You got the sense that the two pitchers themselves knew today's match up was going to be a bit special. Two young aces taking the mound and hoping to outshine the other. The Fish had suffered from two painful defeats in the series, and sadly for them the trend continued. Willis followed his previous nine inning outing against the Braves with eight innings of eight hit ball today. He wasn't completely on his game, but it was only the fifth inning which let him down.
Willis was good, but Kazmir was masterful. He had excellent command of his three pitches, and the Fish couldn't handle his slider. Scott gave up just four hits in eight scoreless innings, striking out eleven and walking just one. He is one of those young players that leaves you speechless right now, yet his future could be even more amazing. Mets fans must be absolutely sick of the sight of him. Talk about one that got away! As many better qualified than me have said before, trading away Kazmir looked stupid at the time, and it looks even worse now (i.e. Lima Time!).
So Kazmir and the D-Rays came out on top this time around (3-0), but baseball was the real winner. Another highly touted young pitcher, King Felix, also takes the mound for the Mariners in about ten minutes time. Despite the impression given by ESPN and the Fox Sports coverage at the moment, there's a lot more to baseball than just Mr Bonds.
Oh, and just in case you had noticed, yes I do have both Scott and Felix in my Fantasy team!