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Mazzaro Starts for Royals Tonight - 365 Days After Nightmare Outing

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 12:  Vin Mazzaro #35 of the Kansas City Royals throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on June 12, 2011 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 12: Vin Mazzaro #35 of the Kansas City Royals throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on June 12, 2011 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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Today is a big day for the legend that is Vincent Mazzaro. Even though he has pitched in 6 games since his infamous outing, he will always be remember for that night 365 days ago. In case you have been able to purge your fragile/warped mind of that outing, here is a summary of it:

Kyle Davies had the start that day. He faced 4 batters and walked 3 of them. After that game he would go on the DL with shoulder inflamation.

Nate Adcock relieved Davies and went 1.2 innings.

Mazzaro then relieved Adcock in the 3rd inning after Adcock had walked one batter. Mazzaro then got 3 straight outs to end the inning. Now it is time for the 10 run 4th inning:

LaPorta: Single to RF (Line Drive)
Hannahan: Groundout, 2B-SS/Forceout at 2B; Hannahan to 1B
Brantley: Walk; Hannahan to 2B
Cabrera: Single to SS (Pop Fly to Deep SS-3B Hole); Hannahan Scores; Brantley to 2B
Choo: Flyball: CF (Deep LF-CF); Brantley to 3B, Cabrera Steals 2B
Santana: Walk
Hafner: Double to CF (Fly Ball to Deep CF); Brantley Scores; Cabrera Scores; Santana Scores
Cabrera: Single to RF (Fly Ball to RF Line); Hafner Scores
Buck: Single to SS (Ground Ball to Weak SS); Cabrera to 2B
LaPorta: Double to LF (Line Drive to Deep LF); Cabrera Scores; Buck Scores
Hannahan: Single to RF (Ground Ball thru 2B-1B); LaPorta to 3B
Brantley: Home Run (Fly Ball to Deep RF); LaPorta Scores; Hannahan Scores
Cabrera: Strikeout Swinging

A person would think that the Royals would not send someone that has allowed 10 runs to score in one inning to pitch the next inning. We are talking about the Royals and out came Mazzaro again for the following additional carnage:

Choo: Flyball, LF (Deep LF-CF)
Santana: Double to RF (Ground Ball)
Hafner: Walk
Cabrera: Single to 3B (Ground Ball to Weak 3B); Santana to 3B; Hafner to 2B
Buck: Single to LF (Line Drive to LF-CF); Santana Scores; Hafner to 3B; Cabrera to 2B

Mazzaro's final line for the game:

  • 2.1 IP (more than any other Royal pitcher during the game)
  • 77 Pitches (22 more pitches than Cleveland's starter, Tomlin, threw in 6 IP)
  • 14 Earned Runs
  • 3 Walks
  • 11 Hits
  • 2 Strikeouts

That start put a horrible dent in his career stats. Here are his stats with and without the 5/16/11 appearance added:

Date K/9 BB/9 ERA
Before 5/16/11 5.8 3.9 4.72
After 5/16/11 2.3 3.1 3.91
Combined without 5/16/11 5.5 3.8 4.64
Combined with 5/16/11 5.5 3.9 5.12

The major change in his stats, compared to the ones that don't include the start, is the 0.5 jump in ERA.

His combined stats are pretty bad, with or without the start. I have heard some fans and radio hosts state that he should not be starting today. Back in November, I stated that Mazzaro, along with O'Sullivan and Mendoza, should not be part of the Royals solution at starting pitcher. Since the Royals did not have 8 possible starting pitchers to start the season as I feel any team should, Mazzaro will unfortunately be starting tonight.

Truthfully, the situation isn't that much different than most other games. The Royals will be using a sub-average starting pitcher. Heck compared to some other Royals starting pitchers used recently, he doesn't look half bad. Here are the career stats for starters the Royals have used over the last couple of years:

Name K/9 BB/9 ERA
Luis Mendoza 4.5 4.0 6.79
Sean O'Sullivan 4.2 3.4 6.13
Kyle Davies 6.4 4.3 5.59
Luke Hochevar 6.0 3.3 5.39
Danny Duffy 7.8 4.7 5.28
Bruce Chen 6.8 3.4 4.51
Nathan Adcock 5.4 3.9 4.39
Jonathan Sanchez 9.3 4.9 4.34

He has easily out performed Mendoza, O'Sullivan and Davies, even with the horrible outing included. Those 3 pitchers have gotten 128 starts for the Royals over their careers. His stats are comparable to Adcock and Hochevar which have had an additional 106 starts.

If anyone doesn't think Mazzaro doesn't fit in with the caliber of starting pitching the Royals display on a nightly basis is wrong. While he had a historically bad pitching night, the Royals have had a historically bad starting pitching decade with the exception of Greinke and Meche for a couple of years.

Tonight will be big for Mazzaro. He can try to continue the streak of good pitching in the last 3 games and prove that he is past the blow up. It will be tough to do going against a Texas team that has scored more runs than any team in the league. They have score 72 more runs than the Royals. That works out to over 2 more runs per game. It could get ugly out there tonight for Mazzaro. While it would be nice for him to go deep into the game to help the bullpen get some rest, it would probably help his confidence more if he is able to have an extended outing. I think a line for him to aim for tonight is 5 innings, 4 runs allowed. That kind of start will be right in line with the rest of the starts the Royals have gotten from their starters this year.

365 days have passed since Mazzaro's 14 run, 2 inning nightmare. While he didn't look like a major league pitcher at the time (and still may not be), he is really not that more different the sub-standard starting pitchers the Royals use on a nightly basis. I wish Vincent good luck tonight. He is going to need it.