Brandon Maurer spent his first two outings finding the strikezone but missing his catcher's mitt. In AA, Maurer might have gotten away with these types of outings, but against the world's most elite hitters (and the Houston Astros) there is an added emphasis on command within the strikezone.
Maurer found more success in his third outing at home against the Texas Rangers, peppering the good parts of the strikezone and getting more hitters to reach during a 6 inning performance.
Now that the Rangers know what to expect, they've invited Maurer to their inhospitable ballpark to try and prove that he is indeed capable of getting Major League hitters out. Maurer will have to keep pounding the low corners of the zone with his slider, and could benefit from getting a little more out of his changeup against Lance Berkman, A.J. Pierzynski, David Murphy and other lefties.
Blake Beavan was booted for Aaron Harang, but the pressure is still on for Maurer as Danny Hultzen has now strung together four strong starts with AAA Tacoma. Beavan has what it takes to succeed at the big league level, but how many stinkers does he have before the Mariners decide he'd benefit from some fine tuning in a lower pressure environment? As with any game against the Rangers lineup in Arlington, this one has the potential to get out of hand.
Or not. Because baseball.
|5:05 pm PDT||Ballpark in Arlington||ROOT Sports||Q&A with Lone Star Ball|