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10/12/07 Journeymen Starters Part 3 Hollywood Mike Bacsik or The Man Who Threw Too Much.

       On August 7, 2007 in San Francisco, the Washington Nationals left-handed starter Mike Bacsik cemented his place in baseball history with a full-count fastball to Barry Bonds that ended up twenty rows back in center for Bonds record breaking 756th career home run. Here's how it sounded...(here on Federalbaseball)...

     "...The Giants Left Fielder's due up second in the fifth. Randy Winn lines out to left. The Giants Left Fielder steps to the plate. Fastball high. 1-0. Breaker in the dirt. 2-0. Outside corner, strike one. 2-1. Fastball...fouled off. 2-2 count. Curve outside. Full count. Curve, grounded foul, still a 3-2 count. Uh-OH!!!! DEEEP TO CENTER AND GONNNEEE!!!! Barry Bonds is Major League Baseball's All-Time Home Run leader. How does that sound? 5-4 Giants in the fifth...Somebody caught it too...#756..."

      It had to be someone. Barry Bonds was not going to be denied, and more people probably watched Mike Bacsik pitch that night than had watched in his other 20 starts of 2007 combined, in which the twenty-nine year-old soft-tosser allowed 25 other less-significant-historically home runs, and allowed 67 runs in 118.0 innings for a 5.11 ERA when the season came to an end.

     118.0 innings is 62.1 innings more than Mike Bacsik had thrown in any of his 5 previous Major League seasons on the mound, and after winning three straight from July 21st-August 2nd, Bacsik did not record a win, eventually being moved to the bullpen, where he finished the season.

     Bacsik could be a useful assett in the Nationals bullpen, but one would have to guess that his days as a starter in DC are over. In his last two starting appearances of 2007 on September 11th and 26th, Bacsik surrendered 15 hits and 10 runs, with 6 home runs hit off of him in just 5.0 innings on the mound. In 5 relief appearances between those starts, Bacsik did not allow a run in 4.1 innings.

     With Ross Detwiler possibly ready for a look in the Big Leagues, along with left-hander Matt Chico, and possibly Mike O'Connor or John Lannan in Washington's 2008 rotation, the Nationals find themselves suddenly flush with lefty starters which would seem to leave Bacsik one of the odd men out of the Nationals starting rotation.

    Then again, Shawn Hill is due for two surgeries this summer, no one knows what John Patterson can contribute, Joel Hanrahan will be in just his second season, and Tim Redding, who seems to have earned another look, will probably be back in DC in some role. That leaves Bacsik behind a number of starters in my "unofficial book," but who can predict the struggles and injuries that allow veteran starters, and lefties in particular, like Mike Bacsik, to always find a willing suitor.