Sunday, June 25, 2006

Sowers power

Jeremy Sowers got the loss in his big-league debut Sunday. But if first impressions are worth anything, this kid is a keeper.
I don't pin Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Reds on Sowers. I pin it on the offense, which was incapable of picking up their rookie pitcher. The team's hitters knew they had a pitcher making his major-league debut on the mound, and weren't able to give him any run support.
But let's not go off on a tantrum about the offense. Let's concentrate on the good.
Sowers gave his team five innings of strong pitching. He lost his command and composure for about 20 pitches in the fourth inning, and it cost him the game. He fell behind to Ken Griffey Jr., hung a pitch, and gave up a two-run homer. He did the same to Adam Dunn.
But after the pair of homers, with Guillermo Mota warming up behind him in the bullpen, Sowers collected himself and got the final two outs of the inning.
For a first major league appearance, it was a remarkable show of intestinal fortitude by Sowers that he didn't let the inning get away from him to the tune of seven or eight runs.
Jason Johnson and C.C. Sabathia could learn a thing or two about toughness and perseverance from Sowers' outing.
I don't doubt there will be bumps in the road as Sowers adjusts to the majors. But, after spending most of the season antagonizing the Indians roster, I finally have someone to root for even as the season continues to take on water. I really hope Sowers is here to stay. His first outing was very encouraging.

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