On this date 39 years ago — April 22, 1970 — Cito Gaston suited up for the Padres and out onto the field at Shea Stadium for a tilt against the Mets. New York’s Tom Seaver went on to strike out 19, including 10 in a row to finish the game.
Gaston was victim No. 9 in the amazing stretch.
“He’s a Hall of Famer,” Gaston said on Wednesday. “He didn’t need any help. But, there were a lot of shadows at Shea that day. The ball got on you quick.”
There is Seaver and then there is Toronto’s David Purcey. Honestly, it’s hard to know what to expect from the young lefty tonight. He’s coming off two rough performances — one in Cleveland that was downright confusing (10 Ks, 6 BB) — and Texas will be throwing a tough lineup at him.
The Rangers will be without slugger Josh Hamilton, though. He bruised his ribs during a catch attempt at the wall in center last night and is out of the order today. Hamilton expects to be back in the lineup on Thursday. On the mound for Texas is another struggling lefty in Matt Harrison.
As simple as it sounds, and I know I have written this before, the key for Purcey is just to pound the strike zone. The Jays would probably be a little more understanding if he was throwing strikes and getting hit, but issuing so many walks is not acceptable on this stage.
“You don’t survive by walking people. You really don’t,” Gaston said. “You can go back and look at Doc. Doc got hit, but he threw strikes. You can look back at young guys that came through this organization — Jimmy Key threw strikes, David Wells threw strikes. You do have to throw strikes to stay at this level.
“You can’t stay here throwing balls, because sooner or later it’s going to hurt yourself and hurt the team.”
So, another really rough performance and the Jays might ave to discuss Purcey’s immediate future.
“We don’t want to damage him, either, get him to where he has no confidence at all,” Gaston said.
Spoke with catcher Michael Barrett this afternoon. Still doesn’t know if he has a fracture — there’s still too much swelling. He said he can move his arm better — even mimicked a throwing motion for me — and he “got a lot accomplished” in the training room today.
1. Ian Kinsler, 2B
2. Omar Vizquel, SS
3. Michael Young, 3B
4. Andruw Jones, LF
5. Hank Blalock, DH
6. Marlon Byrd, CF
7. Nelson Cruz, RF
8. Chris Davis, 1B
9. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Starter: LHP Matt Harrison (0-2)
1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Alex Rios, RF
4. Vernon Wells, CF
5. Adam Lind, DH
6. Scott Rolen, 3B
7. Kevin Millar, 1B
8. Rod Barajss, C
9. Jose Bautista, LF
Starter: LHP David Purcey (0-1)