I will be watching tonight with more interest than usual. I'm very eager to see Balester pitch.
I very much want him to be The One.
The One pitcher you know is going to get it done almost every time.
I watch Hamels, Lincecum, Webb, Peavy (you get my drift) with envy. When do the Nationals deliver a guy like that?
Is this The One?
We won't know for sure after one start, be it an arse kicking or a no hitter. But we should get an idea, a hint. I've watched Clippard and Mock twice each (three of them in person) and I haven't been blown away. They'll maybe make good big leaguers one day. They aren't The One.
I have a theory, backed by zero research, that every ragarm good enough to get to the majors will have a minimum five games a year when they are "on." They'll win four. The other guy will be more on or they'll have bad luck of some kind in the fifth. Heck, even Ramon Ortiz had a near no-hitter (with a home run). They'll have five games when they are way off and lose four. The other guy will be more off or they'll have good luck in the fifth.
It's those 25 starts in between that make the difference. If you are The One, most of those starts are games where you have your top stuff. Where you go to All-Star games, threaten to win 20, make someone talk about you in Cy Young discussions. Where you consistently get into the 7th, 8th, even 9th innings.
We need The One. Badly. I don't know all that much about Balester but I'm hopeful. We keep hearing about the improved farm system and the future and all that. Let's hope we see a significant piece of fruit from all that labor tonight.
An aside - don't get too excited if I eventually come on and declare Balester (or anyone else) as The One. My track record isn't good. I saw John Patterson pitch a number of times during that glorious first season and was convinced he wasn't just The One - he was The One and Only. We see how well that worked out.