My mind doesn’t think right sometimes. Even though I KNOW that one start doesn’t a season make, I couldn’t help shaking the feeling that how Erasmo Ramirez fared against the Angels last night would define his season.
Ramirez has a lot to prove this year. He’s shown flashes of brilliance and he’s also dropped neatly-coiled turd piles. The difference between Ramirez and the rest of our young starters – Walker, Paxton, Elias – is that we have a pretty good idea of what Ramirez can do. He just needs to go out and do it. He needs to stay healthy, he needs to throw strikes, he needs to stay down in the zone, and he needs to mix in his off-speed pitches to effectively get hitters out on a regular basis. He needs to “put it all together” and find a way to do that every five days. 2014 is a VERY big year for Ramirez. And last night was a VERY big first step.
A lot could have gone wrong for him last night. Unless I’m mistaken, this was the first time in his career that Erasmo Ramirez made the Opening Day starting rotation. Not only that, but due to injuries, he’s the #2 starter for this team! That’s a lot of excitement and anticipation to put on such a young pitcher. And, on top of all that, we’re starting out on the road, against the Angels. I don’t know how good the Angels are, but I continue to see them as a dangerous hitting team. Just the sort of team to take advantage of a young, strike-throwing individual such as Mr. Ramirez in his first start of the new season.
So, to be able to shut them down over 7 innings, giving up only 6 hits, 2 runs, and 0 walks, while striking out 6, is a great sign of things to come! Of course, it’s just that – a sign – and doesn’t mean he’s going to be in the running for the Cy Young Award or anything. Nevertheless, being 2-0 always beats being 0-2.
Here’s to the Angels taking our spot in 4th place in the division in 2014!