Chris Stratton was born August 22, 1990. On the day he was born the Los Angeles Times published an article about the demise of the video phone:
Then reality set in. Consumers were disappointed in what the system actually offered. It projected only static black-and-white photos, about 3 inches square. Only one picture at a time could be transmitted across a telephone line, and during the two or three minutes it took to send the picture, no conversation was allowed.
Finally, there was the sticker shock. The units were priced at $1,599 each, and consumers quickly learned that the system was useless unless purchased in pairs because the person on the other line needed one too. "At those prices people said they would rather wait until the phone offered full motion video and color," recalls Fochtman.
It was a rough period in our collective history. We’re here in the future, though. And in the future, Stratton is throwing 94 mph, and he struck out three batters over three scoreless innings.
Stratton grew up in Tupelo, Mississippi, birthplace of Elvis Presley. On Wikipedia, the two are listed next to each other.
While Elvis was known as the King of Rock and Roll, it’s debatable if he deserved that title. He never wrote a single song, at least nothing that he recorded, instead covering established stars like Carl Perkins, Little Richard, and Ray Charles. His charisma and stage presence were legendary, and he is definitely a rock legend. But it’s a nickname that’s harder to explain to each subsequent generation.
One thing is certain, though: Chris Stratton was the king of the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings in this game.
Stratton was drafted out of Mississippi State in 2012.
The last time the Giants drafted a player in the first round out of Mississippi State, he played eight seasons for them, making five All-Star Games, hitting .299 with 176.
That player’s name was Will Clark.
While we can’t know for sure if Stratton will be the Will Clark of the Giants’ bullpen in the future, one thing is certain: Chris Stratton was the Will Clark of the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings in this game
Stratton’s first pitch of his outing was a 91-mph four-seam fastball down the middle, a get-it-in pitch that’s just about the best pitch in the world, so long as the batter isn’t looking for it.
He followed that up, however, with several 94-mph fastballs, painting corners and getting several swings and misses. He picked up nine whiffs out of his 43 pitches, getting ahead of every hitter he faced in his first two innings, save one.
In his third inning, the velocity dropped and the location waned, which doesn’t prove anything. It’s certainly something to file away, though, when considering his future role. For two innings, his stuff was electric, and the Rockies would agree.
Later in the game, Neil Ramirez came in, and he allowed five hits and walked in a run, but only one of those runs was earned, thanks to a questionable error given to Joe Panik.
Because of the error, Ramirez’s FIP didn’t take a huge hit, and while it still rose to 0.85 on the year, up .80 points, it’s still an excellent indication of how he’s missing bats and limiting free baserunners.
While I’m not sure if that means Ramirez has been unlucky, or if it means that FIP can be entirely useless in small samples, but I do know this: Chris Stratton was the Neil Ramirez’s FIP of the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings in this game.
Denard Span strained his shoulder colliding with the outfield fence, the second starting outfielder in the last week to hurt himself that way. The other starting outfielder hurt himself in the field on Friday, and he looked hurt after being forced into the game.
Madison Bumgarner is still out for at least a month, probably two, and maybe more.
Also, the Giants lost, 12-3, and they just might be terrible.
Chris Stratton, though, was a revelation. If he can become a late-inning presence for the Giants over the next couple of years, showing the dominant stuff that made him a first-round pick, we’ll look back to this game, where it all began. He was the Chris Stratton of the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings in this game.
For three innings, that was exactly what the Giants needed.