Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel did a spectacular job in his major league debut last Sunday, limiting a dangerous Rangers lineup to one run in five innings.
In his second major league appearance, the 24-year-old lefty from Tulsa, Oklahoma was even better.
Keuchel, a seventh-round pick of the ‘Stros in 2009, recorded a complete game on Saturday afternoon at Minute Maid Park as Houston rolled to an 8-1 victory over the American League Central-leading Indians.
Keuchel needed just 108 pitches — 70 of which went for strikes — to carve his way through the Cleveland lineup. He struck out three and walked just one while holding the Tribe to six hits and one earned run.
Keuchel had an underwhelming 4.26 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 46/15 K/BB ratio in 80 1/3 innings at Triple-A Oklahoma City before his promotion to the major leagues. But it’s hard to argue with the results he’s flashed thus far. The young southpaw got an opportunity to show his worth and is absolutely sprinting with it.
When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.
The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.
Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.
It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.
Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.
The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.
Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.
Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:
Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.