You won’t find betting lines on minor league games in Las Vegas, but if you did it would be hard to find a much bigger favorite than Great Lakes heading into Thursday’s game against the Dayton Dragons.
The Dragons rolled into the game a woeful 1-11, while Great Lakes was sending 2008 first-round pick Ethan Martin to the mound against Curtis Partch (0-2, 8.03) and the Dragons.
It was, as you would expect, a Loons’ win. Martin threw five shutout innings before handing it off to the bullpen in a 10-0 Great Lakes’ victory. The loss was Dayton’s 11th straight, as they dropped to 1-12.
But while the win was easy, Martin was still very impressive. His fastball sat rock solid at 93-94 mph in the early innings, although he did show trouble sustaining that velocity. By the time he left the game after five innings, he was sitting at 91 mph.
But probably just as impressive, when David Sappelt, Dayton’s center fielder and the league’s leading basestealer, got on, Martin was still 94 mph with his slide step.
Martin is not the only impressive Great Lakes’ pitcher. Javier Guerra was expected to head back to high Class A Inland Empire after a difficult 2008 season (6-9, 6.27). Instead he’s been sent back to the Midwest League as a closer. While he’s too advanced for the league, his stuff looks like it would play at higher levels right now. Coming out of the pen he’s been able to focus on using his 95 mph fastball, paired with an 88-89 mph slider that leaves Midwest League hitters with little chance of making solid contact. Up to now, no one has touched him, as he’s allowed one hit and no walks while striking out eight in seven scoreless innings of work.
Watch Out Cal League
Last year, Madison Bumgarner had a 4.09 ERA in April as he got warmed up, then rolled to a 0.97 ERA over the final four months of the season. This year, he didn’t need any time to get acclimated to high Class A San Jose, as he didn’t allow an earned run in either of his first two starts.
Bumgarner finally allowed a run last night in his third start, as he gave up a solitary run and five hits in five innings. But it’s also now been over a year since Bumgarner’s last start in which he allowed more than three runs. Over the past calendar year, Bumgarner is now 17-2, 0.86.
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