Hultzen’s first couple of pitchers were way outside to a right-handed hitter but he was able to get it back over the plate to get a couple of strikes before an inside fastball was pulled to the warning track. He was getting some late fouls on his fastball. He was throwing 91-93 MPH pretty consistently early on. He was able to get his slider to drift from left to right and catch the corner against lefties. He was throwing a lot of them to lefties, along with the changeup. They had good movement on them and he could bury them (especially the change) in the dirt. After a pitch was hit hard up the middle, he started locating his fastball low and got a strikeout swinging followed by a foul fly-out. The 2nd was a quick inning littered with weak contact. He did have a little bit of a problem putting away hitters, giving up some fouls. The 3rd started with a good low fastball that was hit pretty well anyway, a pulled line drive single for a right-handed batter. He struck out the next right-handed hitter with a quality change low and away. His control was actually much better than it has been in most of his AAA outings, despite the long lay-off. He did hit the next batter with a bouncing off-speed pitch. He got a couple of whiffs in the next at-bat though, finally get a strikeout on a high outside fastball to a lefty hitter. A one pitch fly-out ended the inning. Hultzen started the 4th with the bullpen working, and quickly got a couple of strikes, almost struck out the lefty (only for the batter to barely foul it off), and got him to chase and fly-out to shortstop. His velocity tapered off a little bit though, falling to 89-91 MPH. After Hultzen’s first walk (to put him at 55 pitches), he fell behind the next hitter but got him to fly-out on a low fastball. He was taken out after a 6 pitch walk, after 64 pitches.
Nick Franklin pulled a weak grounder in his first at-bat, but hit a hard ball the other way (left-handed) to the wall. He was also able to pull a ball left-handed for a line drive single. Darren Ford flew out in his first couple of at-bats. When he reached in his 3rd at-bat, he was caught stealing at 2nd. Despite his very good speed, he has been caught stealing way too much this season. Alex Liddi took inside fastball to strikeout. Then his next at-bat ended when he chased a breaking ball to weakly ground-out. He did take a few breaking balls in his next at-bat on a full count and walked. He also got a huge jump on the pitcher and got a rare steal. He would later fly out to the warning track in center. Luis Jimenez ripped the first pitch he saw, which was low, to deep right-field for an out. He was being shifted on, but got a single going the other way. He drew a walk in his 2nd at-bat after taking some breaking pitches, fouled off a fastball that caught a lot of the plate, but then took another breaking pitch to walk. Carlos Peguero got absolutely fooled and got a bloop hit anyway. In case you were wondering, he hasn’t changed, swinging and missing at just about anything. It is still April and May in Vinnie Catricala‘s world. He is, still, getting chewed up by breaking balls. When he got a fastball, he was able to shoot it the other way. Carlos Triunfel had an awful day at the plate. There really isn’t much to say other than he can’t lay off breaking balls. Brandon Bantz was ahead of changeups and couldn’t stay off breaking balls.
Steven Hensley just missed giving up an extra base hit to Edwin Maysonet but it just went foul. Maysonet then hit a ball the other way all the way to the warning track but Peguero came up with it. Charlie Furbush came into pitched the 5th, still on rehab assignment. He threw 2 innings, even after the 2nd hitter bounced a ground-ball off of him (the trainers came out but Furbush quickly waved them off). He only struck out 1 hitter, but he only gave up 1 hit and immediately got him out on a double play. David Pauley started with a rare strikeout (of the looking variety) before giving up 3 soft hits. He limited the damage by getting a ground-out and a strikeout swinging with a breaking ball. The 8th started with a sinker below the zone that was driven over the center-field wall by Khris Davis in an impressive display of power. Bobby Lafromboise came in and got a quick fly-ball to the infield on a low breaking ball. He then had to face a right-handed batter but struck him out. He was doing a good job locating his fastball outside to lefties and inside to righties. He used a good sweeping breaking ball to get swings and misses after setting up hitters with the fastball. A bloop hit on a good pitch was canceled out by a ground-ball to get out of the inning. In the 9th, he gave up a drive to the warning track to end the game.
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Favorite general sports moment: The Texas versus USC college football national championship comes to mind, as does Gary Matthews Jr. catch on July 1st 2006.
Favorite Seattle Sports Moment: King Felix throwing a perfect game against the Rays
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