Redemption, thy name is Vin Mazarro.
The last most of us saw of Vin Mazzaro, he was leaving a game with his head hung lower than low after finishing up one of the worst pitching performances in MLB history. Mazzaro got pounded for 14 runs in 2+ innings of work, a beating so bad he got demoted straight to the minors after that fateful day in May, possibly never to be heard from again.
Well, it seems that Mazzaro has managed to slink his way back up to the majors and he is making some noise, and this time it is of the good variety. Technically speaking, Mazzaro made his return back on June 7th and he showed some signs of "improvement" by allowing just six runs in five innings of work, not that anyone noticed, which is probably just how Mazzaro wanted it.
Now though, it is time to notice Mazzaro again. If you won't, we know the Angels will because Mazzaro just shut them out over seven innings with the bullpen finishing off the shutout.
Sure, Mazzaro gave up five hits, five walks and didn't strike anyone out, but a shutout is still a shutout and after getting pasted four 14 runs less than a month ago, Mazzaro will take whatever kind of shutout he can get. And don't even try and belittle his performance by suggesting that it doesn't really count since it came against the punchless Angels, who have now been shutout nine times already this year. Nor should you suggest that Mazzaro lucked into a shutout thanks to the Halos shooting themselves in the foot by hitting into five doubleplays in the first six innings.
Oh, did I just do that myself? Oops!
Nonetheless, brief as it might be, Vin Mazzaro is a bona fide MLB starting pitcher with a nice shiny win under his belt and is probably feeling good about himself for the first time in a month.
Now, if he can just do something to get that ERA back into the single digits...
Also last night: The Red Sox annihilated the Jays on their way to their ninth straight win... Tommy Hanson fanned 14... and finally, Francisco Liriano almost had another no-hitter, which is too bad because it would've been more impressive than his first.
What to watch tonight: One last chance for some fireworks in the Bronx as the Yanks and Indians finish off their heated series. Oh, and if Cleveland loses and the Tigers defeat the Rays, the Indians will fall out of first place for the first time since their surprising rise to to the top of the AL Central. So, you know, no pressure, Cleveland. Full schedule with probable pitchers here.