European baseball fans will have “one of our own” to cheer on this evening. Rick Vanden Hurk takes the mound for the Marlins against the Reds in just under an hours time (18.05 BST). The twenty-two year old Dutch pitcher was called up from Triple A last week and had a successful start against the Cardinals. He pitched five solid innings, conceded no runs, and was credited with his third Major League win. He notched six strikeouts, four with his low-nineties fastball and two with his excellent curve which is quickly becoming his out pitch. It has even gained a nickname: the Holland Hammer!
I’m looking forward to watching the “Incredible Hurk” on MLB.TV this evening and there are several other exciting match-ups to follow as well (Shields against Pettitte, Matt Garza making a start against Joe Saunders and the Angels, Jake Peavy going for win number ten against the Phillies etc). Later on, Five will be broadcasting the Cardinals against the Braves (no biased comments from Johnny though, I’m sure!) with coverage starting from 00.40. What a great way to round off the weekend!