There is definitely something weird about Danny Hultzen's success when he has success, but I try not to question it when he does something positive. Hultzen, who has been slowed to a snails pace since the end of July as the team tries to limit his innings, went 5 innings yesterday against Reno and gave up 0 hits, 1 ER, while walking 3 and striking out 6.
He's just one of those pitchers where I don't bat an eye to see him throw a hitless start and still allow a run.
The control is still an issue, as it has been throughout his AAA season, but he did what he's good at: limit runs, hits, and rack up strikeouts. Somehow at the end of most of his days, Hultzen leaves a game without too much damage where it really counts; the scoreboard.
In two August starts, Hultzen has pitched 8.2 innings, allowing 2 hits, 1 R, 5 walks and 9 strikeouts. In total with Tacoma he's struck out 50 and walked 29 in 41.1 innings with a 4.35 ERA. There are at best a couple of Hultzen starts left this year as the team probably prepares for him to join the major league rotation at some point next season, if all goes well. It appears that maybe Hultzen is pitching better after some rest, because he had allowed 10 earned runs over his last two starts of July.
Hultzen wound up with a no decision as he left the game with a 1-1 tie. Reno took a 2-1 advantage in the top of the sixth, but Nick Franklin tied it up with a solo shot in the bottom of the inning. Brandon Bantz and Alex Liddi homered over the next two innings, respectively, as Tacoma went on to win 4-3.
Franklin Gutierrez was 2-for-4. The consistently-injured veteran has more plate appearance with Tacoma this year than he does with the Mariners.