It's Yordano Ventura Day

And boom goes the dynamite. - Ed Zurga

It's sort of like Greinke Day. Only harder.

While the season is still very young, today's game seems eerily similar to the many starts of Zack Greinke in his historic 2009 season. The on-the-field product is woeful--a distasteful assemblage of underachievers, disappointments, and misfits--but amidst the dross there is one shining beacon of hope.

In Greinke's stead, we find the 22-year-old phenom Yordano Ventura, who despite his slight frame shoots lightning bolts from his right hand. Standing less than six feet tall and listed at what appears to be a generous 180 pounds, Ventura throws heat that a starter--a starter of any size--simply should not throw. In his last start, one of his heaters was clocked at 102.7 MPH at 55 feet from the plate. Don't believe me?

That's right, Dan; that is pretty absurd.

Maybe Ventura does have Greinke's seemingly endless arsenal. He doesn't possess that vicious slider that lefties would flail at or that jaw-dropping slow-curve that Greinke would flash once every couple of starts that would send the bats of righties flying into the stands on the heels of a 98-MPH fastball. His velocity, however, inspires awe. His change-of-pace cambio comes in so hot that it gets misidentified as a fastball half the time, largely because it is faster than many pitchers' fastballs. We're all looking at you, Bruce.

Thanks to a rain day and Ned Yost, this is just the second time we get the chance to see Ventura throw this season. With the Houston Astros--a team almost on the rise--occupying the other dugout, this could be the opportunity to see something special.

It is such a special opportunity in fact that yours truly will be heading to Houston to see the hurler in person. Connor will be picking up my slack.

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