Jun 23, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne (40) throws to the San Francisco Giants in the first inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports

Odrisamer Despaigne Shines In His Debut


Say it together; Ode-ree-sah-mer De-spahn-ay. He’s going to be around for a while.

The Giants offense had absolutely no answer for the Cuban rookie in his debut Monday night. His fastball sat low 90s, but his off-speed pitches were touching 60. His velocity spread made the Giants’ hitters look like they were in Rookie ball. Great pitch economy had him throw only 85 through 7 shutout innings, and gave up only four hits and no walks. Despite all the drama that has taken place the last few weeks, there’s a shining star among the team.

Despaigne had dealt with scouts calling his stuff average, and suffered from control problems in the minors. Heck, I even wrote about his “average” stuff back when he made his Triple A debut. But anyone who watched, could tell he is anything but. The amount of movement on all his pitches had some of the most awkward swings I’ve seen all year (not by the Padres).

The Padres were able to take the lead on what looked like a three-run blast by Yasmani Grandal, but was ruled fan interference and a ground rule double. The ruling was extremely controversial, as the umpiring crew held Seth Smith at third, even though he was running on contact on a ball hit to the part of AT&T Park named Triple’s Alley.You just can’t make this stuff up. Bud Black reacted in the same way every Padre fan did, by yelling and screaming until he was thrown out of his current occupancy. But Tommy Medica, the next batter, responded to the egregious call in the best way possible, by doubling down the left field line and scoring both Grandal and Smith.

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From then on, it was the Odrisamer Despaigne Show™. Holding the home team scoreless until he was eventually lifted, he should help ease the pain of Andrew Cashner‘s injury for the time being. He continued to emulate his idol, Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez on the mound, showing two different release points to add to his deception.

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The Padres managed to score some more runs, thanks to a single by Everth Cabrera, and an error by Hunter Pence. All of a sudden, the Padres offense looked like they weren’t just a bunch of high schoolers, and it was a 6-0 game.

Kevin Quackenbush and Tim Stauffer came on in the 8th and 9th innings respectively, to help combine for the three-man shutout.

Overall, this was a truly dominant performance by all ends of the team. The pitching was fantastic, the offense was potent, and even Bud Black got into it. These are the kind of outings that this team is capable of, which makes the losses just that much more infuriating. However, to focus on the positives, tonight was a great way to start the series, and a tremendous way to start the post-Josh Byrnes era.

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