Today in Timber Rattlers history: May 3, 2008

Brought to you by Rasmussen College

May 3, 2008

Timber Rattlers win 5-2 in Lansing.

The reason this is notable today is due to the starting pitcher on that day at Oldsmobile Park.

A younger, skinnier, Michael Pineda took to the hill and…

He pitched 5-1/3 innings and struck out a career high seven batters while walking only one.

Pineda….Whatever happened to him?  Perhaps this ESPN article from a few days ago will let us know.

Throwing a high 90s fastball — which he isn’t at all afraid to throw in tight — Pineda just finished his first month in the majors with a 4-1 record, a 2.01 ERA (fourth in the league) and 30 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings. Opponents are batting .198. He struck out the first four batters in Thursday’s 7-2 victory over Detroit, including Miguel Cabrera on an 84 mph slider that followed several fastballs touching 97 and 98. “He’s not afraid to throw the ball,” catcher Miguel Olivo told reporters. “No matter who’s hitting, he just goes and gets him.”

And in perhaps his most personally rewarding feat of April, the 22-year-old from the Dominican Republic aced his American driving test on the first attempt last week. Now all he needs is a car. Or maybe not. Pineda rides to work with Mariners bullpen coach Jaime Navarro, with whom he shares an apartment in a southeast Seattle suburb.

Navarro says Pineda approached him about living arrangements in Seattle after making the team at the end of spring training. “He said, ‘I don’t have a place yet but would you mind if I live with you until I find a place? I’ll live with you and relax and be myself. I trust you more than anybody else and I have someone I can count on.”’

“That’s my daddy in America,” Pineda said of Navarro. “I had him my first year in America. On the field, outside the field, he helps me all the time. … Jaime says, ‘If you want to go out, go shopping, the car is here. Go ahead.’ Thank you, thank you. He’s a pretty good guy.”

It isn’t every landlord who provides transportation, cable and advice on how to grip a slider.

Scott Robinson hit a two-run homer and Eddy Hernandez drove in two runs for that game in Lansing three years ago today.  That was enough for the Rattlers to get the victory in the game and take two out of three from the Lugnuts in Lansing.

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