Published On: Thu, Apr 5th, 2018

5 dynamite starting pitching performances from Wednesday

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It was a good night to be a fan of pitching.

Wednesday had several ace-level starting pitchers toeing the rubber from Noah Syndergaard to Corey Kluber, but neither of them can be labeled the best of the day. Kluber was truly only victimized by a monster home run by Shohei Ohtani, but he was saddled with the no decision, which is enough to disqualify him from consideration.

Five other starters were even more impressive on the bump, however, and they deserve a little extra attention for their efforts. In a sport full of the constant threat of long balls, a night with five (or more) pitching gems is becoming increasingly rare.

Sean Manaea, Athletics (vs. Rangers)

Manaea gets top billing even though he allowed a run in the fifth inning, largely because he became the first pitcher in the majors to record an eighth inning out on two separate occasions in 2018. He’s looking like the true ace on the Athletics’ staff with a 1.15 ERA over his first two starts. The big key to his success on Wednesday: he threw 64 of his 94 pitches for strikes.

Carlos Martinez, Cardinals (vs. Brewers)

8.1 4 0 2 10

CarMart very nearly finished the Brewers off single-handedly, but just couldn’t close out the ninth. It wasn’t entirely his fault, as a Yairo Munoz fielding error helped put two Brewers on base. Martinez had his good stuff working, though, as evidenced here:

This made up for a wilder, more erratic opener where he issued six free passes and didn’t finish the fifth.

Patrick Corbin, Diamondbacks (vs. Dodgers)

7.1 1 0 1 12

The Dodgers’ offense has been struggling, but Corbin was purely dominant. The lone batter to even reach base while Corbin was on the mound was Matt Kemp, who managed a double and a walk. Otherwise, they couldn’t touch the lefty hurler. His slider, in particular, was borderline unhittable.

Jon Gray, Rockies (vs. Padres)

Great pitching and the Colorado Rockies have never been synonymous, but that may be on the verge of changing. Gray made easy work of the Padres lineup with only Corey Spangenberg registering an extra-base hit. He executed with pinpoint accuracy, not once hurting his cause with walks.

Luis Severino, Yankees (vs. Rays)

Severino allowed only one earned run through his first seven innings of work, with a late one plating in the eighth on a Denard Span sacrifice fly. The young right-hander showed he can rebound after a shaky start, and was impossible to figure out. Even when he allowed baserunners, he either forced the next batter to ground into a double play or punched him out.

On a day where the Yankees flexed their offensive muscles, Severino’s efforts shouldn’t be lost in the shuffle.

These five starters combined to yield only three runs through 37 innings pitched, while striking out 40 helpless hitters.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

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