How happy is this guy?
That's Blake Beavan and he picked up his first big league win in his first big league start, pitching seven innings allowing one run on three hits, while striking out four and walking two.
Obviously, he didn't do it against the Yankees. Realistically, the Padres' offense or lack thereof, is comparable to the team Beavan pitches for. Regardless, the 22-year-old right-hander kept his emotions and nerves in check, had great location with his fastball and made the pitches necessary to earn his first big league win and a beer shower afterward.
What did Eric Wedge think?
Obviously, Beavan also benefited from pitching in Safeco Field. But he was outstanding, and if you look at his recent run in Tacoma - with the exception of a rough start in Tacoma - he has been solid.
"Just trying to hit the mitt and keep the ball down," Beavan said.
Sound simple? Well, it can be that simple.
"I think that's one thing that Carl (Willis) does a great job of, we pitch to our team, we pitch to the park," catcher Josh Bard said. "If you can locate a fastball, you can be a big league pitcher for a long time. Sometimes we make it so complicated trying to trick guys and do all this stuff. You can throw the perfect trick pitch, but if it's down the middle and hanging it doesn't matter. We really talked to him about execution with his heater. We probably only threw 20 offspeed pitches the whole game."
Against a team like the Padres you can do that.
Beavan isn't overpowering. He's very similar in many ways to Doug Fister. He won't dominate but he will keep you in most games. That's not bad to have.
The Mariners got just enough offense. Adam Kennedy delivered an RBI single in the first inning and Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley delivered sac flies in the third inning.
Smoak's deep fly ball to left with bases loaded was hit well enough to be a grand slam in about 3/4 of the MLB parks. But the vortex in left field knocked it down. While the fly scored Ichiro. Brendan Ryan, who was on second, tagged up and advanced to third, setting up Ackley's fly ball to center. It was a head's up play from Ryan, who seems to make plenty of those types of plays.