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Things We Like - Oakland Breakouts

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Here at Modify, we like lots of things. And that makes sense, because we manufacture, package and sell things, or at least a certain type of thing. Either way, they intrigue us. Some that intrigue us are expensive — like the Patek Philippe 1953 Heures Universelles Model 2523, which fetches $2.9 million, for those in the market — but most of them — like MLB Starting Lineup action figures, or Modify Watches — are not. But not all things are material. Some things are ideological, like the ability to customize products, or freedom of speech. And then some things are just that, things. And for the inaugural Things We Like post, we're going with the last door.   The Thing: Oakland Athletic's pitcher Jesse Chavez's First Four Starts.   Who's Jessie Chavez? Great question. Jesse Chavez is the guy designated to replace injured-for-the-year A's starter, Jarrod Parker. Parker, in the words of announcers emulating Al Michaels everywhere, "is out with an elbow." Chavez — no relation to past A's slugger/diving virtuoso Eric — is a 30 year old first-time starting pitcher from Fontana, California. 12 years ago, the Texas Rangers drafted him out of Riverside Community College in the 42nd round. He pitched predominantly in the minors until 2009, when he started getting bullpen work with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Then, last year he started getting a lot of work out of the A's bullpen, eventually winning over the A's front office. This spring, he was named to the A's rotation, and since, he's basically put opposing lineups into a rat-tail-rocking woodchipper. wood-chipper Yeah, but what exactly about his first four starts makes this "thing" that he's done so impressive? More literal than the woodchipper reference? Fine. Even if Fargo is sort of back in our lives on Tuesday nights. Through his first four starts, Chavez has compiled a 1.38 ERA, a .92 WHIP, fanned 28 batters, and has yet to give up two runs, a stat that begat this stat (per the Oakland Athletics' Twitter account): "Jesse Chavez is the 1st Athletics pitcer on the Opening Day Roster to allow 1 ER or less and 6 IP or more in each of his last four starts." Did we mention he was drafted 12 years ago? By the Rangers? Out of community college? What's not to like about a comeback?!?   Why is this considered a thing, not a person? Because if we were to get too excited about Jesse Chavez the Pitcher, rather than Jesse Chavez's Recent Success, then we most certainly will be let down. It's not that he's going to turn into the second starter on the Bad News Bears on May 1st, but his current numbers are on par with a season that literally caused baseball to lower the mound by 33 percent*, so "sustainable" probably isn't an adjective we should use to describe the run. But that's not to trivialize what he's already done. That's why it's a thing. The same way Shane Spencer's September of 1998 is definitely a thing for those who were there.   Why are you so excited about it? Because it's baseball's first breakout story of 2014! And 2014 is a breakout year for MLB Modify Watches. And to commemorate both, you can get an Oakland Athletics watch, made exclusively by Modify.     Footnote * From 15 inches to 10 inches. Oh right, the season. It was 1968, and Bob Gibson essentially allowed two baserunners all season, and they were only allowed to reach base because Gibson was doing favors on those particular days. But for real, he went 22-9 with an ERA of 1.12, 13 shutouts and triple-slash against of just .184/.233/.236.  

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