Some of you may not know who Vincent Velasquez is. If you don’t, know that he is a pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies. Know that he’s 23 and that he was a second round pick of the Astros in 2010. Know that last year was his rookie season with Houston and he was nothing remarkable in 19 games of swingman work, but that he has a mid-90’s fastball and upside as a top-of-the-rotation starter or, depending on how his secondary stuff develops, a top bullpen arm one day.
Know also that Velasquez was the centerpiece of the Ken Giles trade to Houston. And know that Giles got blown up for the Astros last night and had a rough spring to boot.
And know that today Velasquez just eviscerated the San Diego Padres. He went the distance, striking out 16 batters, didn’t walk anyone and allowed only three hits in tossing a shutout. Not just a __ shutout innings thing, a real, bonafide, now rare big boy shutout. He needed 113 pitches to do it. He even got a hit, which is the first of his career. The Phillies won 3-0. Here’s a video of one of his strikeouts. Here’s a video of another.
Phillies fans already knew him. Astros fans already knew him and, after Giles’ early struggles, were probably already missing him dearly before this afternoon. Just imagine how they feel now.