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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:24 am 
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Nine's "Invisible" Ace Wins 13th.


It is, admittedly, sometimes a little hard for an ex-Nebraska winner to be completely invisible, but with the performances of Crash LaLoosh and Eduardo Lopez swirling around the Yellow Springs Nine this season, Jose Chavez has had a bit of a quiet time of it so far. Which is fine with him. “I was coming off the injury, so I wanted to be invisible anyway.”

What seemed to be invisible last night was Chavez’s 101 mile an hour fastball, which he used to strike out eight Valencia hitters in seven innings. The team won 4-0, with the guy the fans love to call “Dogface” collecting his 5th victory in a row, raising his record to 13-4 on the season.

“It’s been an on and off year since I got back” Chavez told reporters, “but I’m feeling pretty good now. I’m feeling blessed.”

Those words might be the understatement of the season. In so many ways this has been a miracle year for the 29-year-old lefty. It’s hard to remember that Chavez started the year on the disabled list, not making his first start until a month in, on May 7 when he dominated what turns out to be a very good Vancouver team. And, the fact is that other than two very rocky outings against Calgary later in the year, Chavez has been awfully good, as in 13-3, 3.40 ERA good. Give him back that 5 weeks he missed, and take away those two oddities, and the guy would be in the hunt for another Nebraska. A dark horse, maybe, a guy that others might see as a notch below what LaLoosh and Lopez had been doing, but ladies and gentleman, this Dogface would still be in the hunt.

“Jose is a brilliant pitcher,” said pitching coach Robert LaLoosh. “He’s got that extra gear that you don’t find on everyone. We’re really glad to have him back at pretty much full speed.”

Another group breathing a pretty big sigh of relief right now is the Yellow Springs front office, who had to be looking at Chavez’s contract with some trepidation. Dogface is scheduled to get $15.5M next season, a figure that will continue to escalate gently until 2035 when he’ll be 33.

“Looks like another 5 Award-quality seasons to me,” one fan said.

Yes, Jose Chavez is feeling pretty blessed right now, and given the mix of pitchers he’s throwing with today, so are the team’s fans.


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