Based on this performance I could say Ishii could be in for a great start as he initially confuses batters, but beware the second half of the season, when batters get to know his stuff. That's the real test. Some qoutes:
"He had the curveball going early in the game, and later on he had that changeup that kept us off-balance," Benny Agbayani said. "He had an advantage because this was the first time we've seen him. But now that we've seen what he's got, we can make our adjustments off of that the next time."
Ishii (1-0), the second Japanese-born pitcher in Dodgers history, allowed two hits and struck out 10 in 5 2/3 scoreless innings. In his final spring tuneup last Sunday at Seattle, he surrendered five runs, five hits and seven walks in 2 1-3 innings.
"The biggest difference was my concentration level," Ishii said through a translator. "Virtually all my teammates came up to me after that game and gave me encouragement. And for them, I wanted to win this game."
Ack sooo, who is the hottest pitcher in baseball right now? Randy? Curt? only if you've eaten bad sushi! It's Ishii! Ishii has been dominating through his first two starts, posting a 0.00 era, 15 K's in 11 innings, and an incredible WHIP of 0.86. Don't chug your saki in celebration too quickly though. Ishii's first two oppents where Colorado (in pitcher frield L.A.) and the mediocre Padres. Ishii's next start comes AT Colorado tommorow, so it will be interesting to see if the bats remain confused or if the oxygen deprived air of Denver will get to Ishii. (great investigative story on ESPN tonight about the air in Denver and the effect on the baseball btw).
Ishii has officially arrived as a star of baseball, with his third win of the season, and he didn't get rocked at Colorado. Giving up 3 earned runs in 6 innnings, with 6 Ks', allowing 8 hits and 3 BB. Ishii gave up two runs in the first inning, and had everyone a bit worried. But here are a few words from L.A. catcher Chad Kreuter:
Kreuter said the ball was slick from the low humidity and slipping out of his pitcher's hand, even though Ishii spent 20 minutes during batting practice throwing to a catcher in left field.
"He did a great job controlling the damage," Kreuter said of Ishii. "When a pitcher is scuffling like that, you have to be creative. After the third inning, I thought it was time to make some changes, so I made him throw the splitter and he got some big outs with it and got a better feel on his other pitches.
"He steamrolled with the splitter and it made his fastball better. In his first two starts, he dominated, but today he had to pitch. Today he wiggled out of some situations and really pitched."
Now for my opinion. I'm not entirely sold on Ishii. Yes, he has good stuff, but many new pitchers with unique styles initially confuse batters. It's hard to argue with two great games and a solid game at Coors field, so I won't try, but I will point out the Rockies really stink this year. I have a feeling Ishii will be on my list to consider trading away for the second half for non-keeper leagues. But until mid-season, expect to get some great starts from Ishii.
If you're looking for reasons to quibble with Ishii's performance in Colorado, keep in mind that he had quite a bit of help from his defense - without some big plays, things might have gotten out of hand.
I like the idea of sticking with Ishii for the first half, and then letting someone else carry the risk once the league has had a chance to see his stuff for a while. It's too early to commit to a strategy, of course, but this idea looks very wise at the moment.
Ishi pitches tonight against the breakout Pittsburgh Pirates. I don't think it's on any cable networks though. An additional sidenote to this game should be if Kendall can put together back to back offensive. For those desperate for a catcher, keep your eyes on who has Kendall in your league, he could be heating up.
Oh my. On Tuesday, the 23rd, Ishii gave up 6 earned runs in 5 innings against the 1st place Pittsburgh Pirates, raising his ERA to 3.57, while striking out a respectable 5 batters, giving up 7 hits, and walking a miserable 4 batters. He did get the all-important win, however.
Well, I warned you didn't I? Sort of, at least? Anyways, Ishii's start may be too good to be true. I see him now in a Nomo-ish light, put up solid numbers, but having the occasional rocky start. I think he's worth having as a fantasy starter, but merely someone to round off the bottom of a nice staff. He'll be good for K's and maybe W's, but it looks like he's a WHIP killer. so if you start struggling in this area, you'll know why.
In other Dodger news, look like K. Brown might be back next week, sending Omar Daal and his 1.06 era back to the bullpen. Great, now we'll have to listen to his whining even louder about not starting.