Folks were skeptical when the Colorado Rockies signed the most veteran of veteran relief pitchers this off-season, 41-year-old LaTroy Hawkins, to be their closer in 2014.
There was merit to said skepticism, as Hawkins’ stuff is not necessarily dominant. Sure, he throws in the low-to-mid 90′s. Who doesn’t? Sure, he has a nice cutter and an average change-up. Who doesn’t and who cares? Because really, it was for his veteran know-how as much as anything else that the Rockies were so anxious to name him closer instead of the younger
and unproven Rex Brothers.
Hawkins earned his first save of the season Wednesday night in what also happened to be his season debut. He recorded the final three outs of the team’s 6-5 victory over the Miami Marlins. The process was an adventurous one, however, as Hawkins surrendered two hits, one walk, one run, and one frightening, absolutely murdered foul ball that would have ended the game had it been on the other side of the foul pole.
As if I need to tell you as much, Giancarlo Stanton batted said foul ball:
If, off Stanton’s bat, that shot reminded you of a certain home run delivered by the slugger in that very same park against a previous version of the Rockies, then you are onto something indeed:
And so it was nearly disastrous for LaTroy Hawkins. But it wasn’t a disaster, and such is the beauty of baseball.