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.
While newly-acquired talent Danny Espinosa was off collecting hits for the Blue Jays against the Orioles, Marcus Stroman led a youth-filled roster against the Canadian Junior National Team in a split-squad game on Saturday. In the eighth inning, 17-year-old Canadian pitcher Braden Halladay took the mound to honor his late father’s memory against his former team.
Halladay accomplished just that, wielding a fastball that topped out in the low-80s and setting down a perfect 1-2-3 inning against the top of the lineup. No one batter saw more than a single pitch from the right-hander: Mc Gregory Contreras and Mattingly Romanin flew out to the outfield corners and Bo Bichette laid down a ground ball for an easy third out.
MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm has a fantastic profile of the high school junior, including his approach to the game and his attempt to do Roy Halladay proud while carving out his own path to the majors. “From a pitching standpoint, it was everything I could have asked for and more,” Halladay told reporters. “Especially now, every time I make mistakes, I still hear him drilling me about them in my head, just because he’s done it so many times before. From a mind-set standpoint, I don’t think with any bias that I could have had a better teacher.”