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Javier Vazquez wows with seven shutout innings vs. Rays

May 22, 2011, 9:56 AM EDT

Javier Vazquez AP

The Marlins signed veteran right-hander Javier Vazquez to a one-year, $7 million contract this winter, hoping that he might be able to return to form back in the National League.

Vazquez posted a frightening 5.32 ERA and 1.40 WHIP last season for the Yankees, but he earned NL Cy Young Award votes in 2009 with a dominant campaign in Atlanta and the Marlins believed that the 34-year-old had some of that magic left.

The experiment got off to a disastrous start this year as Vazquez registered a 7.55 ERA over his first eight outings, but a glimmer of hope arrived Saturday afternoon in the form of a seven-inning shutout against the cross-state Rays. The Puerto Rico native struck out seven Tampa Bay batters and issued just two walks while surrendering only three hits.

It was only Vazquez’s second quality start of 2011 and the seven strikeouts were a season-high. The Marlins, who just lost Josh Johnson to the disabled list, will hope for more of the same from Javy next week.

  1. henryd3rd - May 22, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. Put him in a must win game and he chokes.

    • pisano - May 22, 2011 at 11:43 AM

      I agree 100%, lets ask the Yankees if they’ll take a flyer on him again.

      • uyf1950 - May 22, 2011 at 12:12 PM

        I’d rather let the opposing teams players hit off a tee then have him in Yankee pinstripes again.
        But I do have to admit yesterday was the best game he’s pitched for the Yankees (not as a Yankee but for the Yankees). If you understand what I mean.

  2. Old Gator - May 22, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    I wish I could be more enthusiastic. The Feesh badly, badly needed a start like that out of him after playing sub-.500 ball for the week and a half or so prior to the Citrus Series – they were just awful against the Accursed last week – and especially after JJ went on the DL. But yeah, blind squirrels. Let’s see him keep it up for a string of starts and then I’ll believe it.

    But perhaps more important, both Hanley Ramirez and Omar Infante looked like they have begun to weary of their flirtation with the Mendoza Line and had a couple of authoritative hits, Hanley a dinger, and the team as a whole so far this series seems to have found an antihisthamine for its collective allergy to RISP. We shall see.

  3. pisano - May 22, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    uyf1950… I know what you mean, in two stints with the Yankees, yesterday was one of his best starts to help the Yankees. As we know good starts for Javier when he was with the Yanks were few and far between. That being said, I do wish him well because I honestly feel he gave it all he had, but as we know some guys just can’t play in NY and he was one of them.

    • uyf1950 - May 22, 2011 at 12:40 PM

      Not only that my friend but he did right about agreeing not accept arbitration so the Yankees could get a pick in this years draft.

      • pisano - May 22, 2011 at 12:51 PM

        Good point, I forgot about that. He probably wanted to do something to ease the pain for himself and the Yankees.

  4. The Common Man/www.platoonadvantage.com - May 22, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    He might have had success in New York the second time around if he had decent velocity.

  5. aceshigh11 - May 22, 2011 at 4:55 PM

    Same thing happened with Dice-K when he thought his career with the Sox was on the line.

    He had that two-game streak of brilliance where he pitched something like 15 straight scoreless innings.

    Of course, he reverted back to form afterwards, strained his elbow and is now on the DL.

    I have my doubts that Javy’s dominance will last.

  6. swisher4mayor - May 22, 2011 at 8:12 PM

    why couldnt he pitch more like this while with the yankees.

  7. Elwood Larf - May 22, 2011 at 10:42 PM

    Is MLB actually trying to turn Rays-Marlins into a rivalry, or do they just happen to play each other this year? I find it hard to believe all four of the Marlins fans harbor any hostility toward all six of the Rays fans. Some of the best rivalries aren’t geographical, they’re based on familiarity. Raiders-Chiefs. Lakers-Celtics. Cowboys-Redskins. The idea that you’re going to make a rivalry out of Rays-Marlins is a stretch.

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