If, before last night, I had found a genie in a bottle who granted me three wishes, I would have at least considered using one of them to see Adam Dunn pitch. I mean, once you’re rich and have ensured long and healthy lives for yourself and your family, what better is there to do with the third one? World peace? Eh, let the next guy wish for that one. I wanna see the Big Donkey take the hill.
Well, I got my wish last night:
Not gonna lie: I’ve seen big bulky relievers with worse-looking mechanics than Dunner here. He was a college quarterback, after all, and football-throwing skills do transfer. Maybe not 100% cleanly after 15 years and a lot of beers and T-bone steaks like Dunn has likely seen come and go, but muscle memory can be pretty useful.
The line, alas, was not so great: one inning pitched, two hits, a walk and an earned run. But (a) he was more effective than the White Sox pitchers who gave the Rangers a 15-0 lead before he came in; and (b) he looked mighty damn fine doing it.
Mets manager Terry Collins says that he has scratched Noah Syndergaard, who was supposed to start this afternoon’s game against the Braves. In his place will go Matt Harvey.
Syndergaard, Collins says, has “tired arm.” But also says he has some discomfort in his right biceps. He will have an MRI, but Syndergaard says it’s not serious and that he could pitch as soon as Sunday. Collins says this is an abundance-of-caution type thing, saying “we can’t take a chance on this guy.” Which is true.
The Mets ace is 1-1 with a 1.73 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has walked no one this year. Not a soul.
James Paxton of the Mariners is 3-0 with a 1.39 ERA, 39 strikeouts and only six walks in 32.1 innings of work over five starts. Last night he shut the Tigers down, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing only four hits. With Felix Hernandez looking less than king-like lately, Paxton is asserting himself as the new ace of the Seattle staff.
And now the tall Canadian native has a nickname to match his ace-like status:
“Pax was really outstanding and we certainly needed it,” manager Scott Servais said of the Canadian southpaw. “Big Maple is what he was nicknamed tonight and I kind of like that. He was awesome.”
“Big Maple” is a fantastic nickname. That’s the sort of nickname guys used to get back when nicknames were great. Before managers just put “y” at the end of dudes’ names and before the “First Initial-First Three Letters of The Last Name” convention took hold in the wake of A-Rod.
“Big Maple.” That makes me smile. I’m gonna be smiling all dang day because of that.