The former fifth-round pick made his best start to date Tuesday, striking out 11 over seven scoreless innings as the Blaze defeated the Stockton Ports, 9-5.
"I had my location tonight with my fastball, and that always helps," said Kirkman, who improved to 4-1 while lowering his ERA to 2.06. "The slider was good and my curveball was actually very good, too. Of course, the defense had some good plays behind me to get me out of it."
To tame the sluggers in a league known for scores that often resemble football games, Kirkman came into the year with a simple plan: Just throw strikes.
"So far, I've pretty much done that," he said.
Font, we've all known about for quite some time. His game begins at 5:30p. How similar is Font's success in A-ball compared to Feliz's. Not very, other than the ability to utterly dominate hitters with their fastballs. Font's performance has suffered (but remember his ERA is 1.50) from his inability to keep the ball in the zone. BB/9 for Feliz last year and Font this year are 3.07 and 5.96, respectively. So, the similarity between Feliz's breakout last year and Font's fast start this year are superficial. The analogy basically ends with their awe-inspiring fastballs.
Font-Kirkman == Feliz-Holland? No. Feliz-Holland was an incredibly special one-two breakout. Still there is much to like about what Font-Kirkman have done this year (Font is actually a year younger than Feliz was at this time last year), and I'm looking forward to all of the eyewitness reports and analysis of stuff and velocity that will ensue this afternoon.
BTW, Hunter for the Hawks at 2p, and maybe T-Murph in Bakersfield tonight at 9:30.