Pearson lives up to the hype, dominating hitters in his debut. He dueled Nationals’ ace Max Scherzer. Pearson went five innings, with five strikeouts and only two walks. In addition, he only gave up two hits.
Pearson got the nod for the Blue Jays “Home Opener” at Nationals Park. Until Sahlen Field is ready, the Blue Jays will play all of their home games at opposing ballparks.
The Blue Jays bats fell silent against Max Scherzer. The Blue Jays were only able to scrounge three hits against the Nationals’ ace. Scherzer beat up the Blue Jays, striking out ten over 7-1/3 innings. The contact made against Scherzer was weak, with the only ball hit hard by Derek Fisher, hitting a double in the 3rd.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. struggles continue, going 0-4 with 2 strikeouts. In this series, he is 1-11, his one hit being a home run and a walk.
All Aboard the Pearson Express
Pearson dominated hitters with his fastball. Sitting 96-99 mph, Pearson overpowered hitters. Growing stronger as the game went on, Pearson’s velocity increased. Starting off the game sitting 95 mph, Pearson climbed the ladder, averaging 96-97 mph in his later innings.
In addition, Pearson’s slider was sharp. Throwing it in all counts, Pearson’s slider was arguably his best pitch. Pearson struck out Trea Turner on his slider for his first MLB strikeout.
Unfortunately, Pearson did tend to hang his slider. In the third, Pearson was bailed out on a hanging slider to Asdrubal Cabrera. However, Pearson was able to play his slider off his fastball. Hitters continually chopped at pitches they thought were fastballs.
Control was a bit of an issue for Pearson. Throwing 75 pitches in total, 48 were for strikes. Pearson generated thirteen swinging strikes, eight of which came on his slider. When Pearson got ahead, he was able to keep hitters off balance.
Should the season not hit any road bumps, Pearson’s next start should be against the Atlanta Braves. Pearson is slated to face Max Fried in Atlanta. This will be a true test for Pearson, as the Braves are led by Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman. If Pearson’s slider is as sharp as it was in his debut, the Braves will be in for a long night.
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