A’s rookie Vince Mazzaro tossed 6.1 shutout innings against the White Sox in his MLB debut last week and followed that up with 7.1 scoreless innings against the Orioles yesterday afternoon.
Mazzaro becomes just the ninth pitcher since 1954
to begin his career by allowing zero runs in back-to-back starts of at
least six innings. No pitcher during the past 55 years has turned in
three such starts to begin a career, so he’ll try to become the first
to do so Friday against the Giants.
Unfortunately for Mazzaro, the other eight guys who’ve tossed
shutout ball in back-to-back starts to begin their careers aren’t
exactly the greatest company: Scott Lewis, James Parr, Carlos
Hernandez, Vaughn Eshelman, Dave Ford, Larry McWilliams, Tom Phoebus,
McWilliams leads that group with a 78-90 career record and as a
rookie was the starting pitcher when the Braves snapped Pete Rose’s
44-game hitting streak in 1978. Phoebus ranks second with a 56-52
record, which includes a no-hitter against the Red Sox in 1968. And the
other six guys have just 44 career wins between them.
On Sunday, Blue Jays closer Ken Giles spoke to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star. Giles said, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston.” Giles won a World Series with the Astros last year, but talked about communication issues with the Astros and compared them unfavorably to the Blue Jays. Giles described the communication as having been “lost” and credited the Jays for staying patient with him.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch responded to Giles’ comments on Monday. Per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, Hinch said:
I think he’s wrong and I’m disappointed that he would go down that path given how much work and time and energy and communication that our front office, our coaching staff, me, we all went through this with him. And I understand, there was some disappointment in his tenure as an Astro because of the turbulent way things went about. We gave him every opportunity, we communicated with him effectively, we have an incredible culture where every single player will tell you it’s one of the best cultures they’ve had, one of the best communication envrionments they’ve had. They all know their roles. They all know their situations. To have one person out of all the guys in our clubhouse come out and claim otherwise is flat wrong.
While Giles certainly could be embellishing or deliberately misconstruing his time there, Hinch’s rebuttal doesn’t actually disqualify anything Giles said. Giles certainly could have had a negative experience in Houston even if everyone else was enjoying the “incredible culture” and “one of the best communication environments.”
Given how the Astros — including Hinch — responded to criticism about their acquiring an accused domestic abuser, they’re not in the best position to boast about an “incredible culture” anyway.
At any rate, this is a he-said, he-said situation. If anything more comes of it, it will be Giles further torching a bridge.