It's difficult to get excited about what's going on in September. The Mariners are essentially doing exactly what they did last year, except it's even worse. The team is now on pace for 73 games won, taking a step back from the season before. Even though it feels like this team is better, it really hasn't been, and the team isn't exactly drawing a crowd. There was under 10,000 fans at Safeco last night to see Taijuan Walker pitch, and football and soccer are the current draws in this city. I decided this was a good time to take a four day vacation, and have been out of the loop.
The first thing I did when I got back was watch Taijuan Walker pitch yesterday. He wasn't always sharp, and Patrick covered plenty of in last night's recap, but his eight strikeouts were jaw-dropping. Maybe you aren't paying attention anymore. Perhaps you've lost interest, and are frustrated with another lost season, with hope gone before it even arrived. You're missing out on something special.
Here are Walker's eight strikeouts, in .gif form. See it for yourself.
Stupid movement running away from RHB.
Simply blowing pitches by batters. Walker's delivery is so fluid and non-violent, yet the ball just explodes out of his hand. Chris Carter has no idea he's about to be playing catch-up on a pitch thrown 97 from a delivery that smooth.
Walker makes Carter look stupid again, this time with a hammer curve. Look at Zunino's adjustment, realizing he has to switch glove positions to catch/block this pitch spinning down into the ground. 73 mph plummeting to the ground after being way late on 97 mph the AB before. Remarkable.
Parades swings so hard trying to catch up that the bat goes flying.
Walker blasting high heat again.
The velocity isn't always going to be there for Walker, but it will for a while. As his secondary pitches continue to develop, Walker has the potential to be a superstar, and you can see it. Walker's done for the year, but if you missed out on this start, or any of his starts, I really suggest going back and watching them. There isn't much to root for right now, but Walker is worth the price of admission, even if the attendance didn't exactly show that. I won't pass up another opportunity to see Walker pitch in person, even though I have to wait until 2014 now.