THE NEWBERG REPORT — AUGUST 25, 2006
Because of what happened in front of 35,003 fans in Tampa Bay (the four-game total, that is), to say this is a big three-game set starting tonight with Oakland is not exactly making the point. When the A’s series ends on Sunday, Texas will either be four games out of first, six games, eight, or ten. This home series can’t quite cement playoff hopes, but it sure as heck can destroy them.
I need a distraction to keep me from thinking about Edinson Volquez vs. Barry Zito. How about this:
Down in the Dominican Summer League, 17-year-old righthander Fabio Castillo did this in his last start that shows up online:
Seventeen years old. Seventeen outs. Fourteen on strikes.
And his 22-year-old teammate, converted outfielder Alexi Ogando, is pumping his high-90s stuff in with the following results:
27.2 innings, 21 hits (.214 opponents’ average), two runs (one earned: 0.33 ERA), no home runs, three walks, 41 punchouts. Record of 4-0 with two saves.
Yeah, it’s a pitcher’s league, with a very big strike zone, but not many of those kids are sporting 14-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratios.
Not even the ones who aren’t just now learning how to pitch, on the job.
There. Momentary distraction over. I’m ready for Alexi Ogando’s current club to take on his former club.
As the comically self-important Len Pasquarelli would say: Time to move on, or move out.