There are going to be so many good pitching matchups in City Section baseball this season that fans might want to bring along a book to read when the games go on and on.
In particular, every West Valley League team returns its No. 1 or No. 2 pitcher and sometimes both.
Granada Hills left-hander Chris Murphy, a junior committed to California, made his season debut on Wednesday, striking out 10 while allowing one hit in six innings in a 4-1 win over Verdugo Hills.
And he wasn’t even at his best. He hit three batters and walked four.
“He’s trying to throw 94 mph when all he has to do is 90,” Coach Steve Thompson said. “We’re trying to get him to calm down and get in a better rhythm.”
Imagine the potential West Valley matchups ahead: Murphy vs. Chatsworth’s Tommy Palomera; El Camino Real’s Jeremy Polon vs. Birmingham’s Adrian Rodriguez; Cleveland’s Ben Kaser vs. Chatsworth’s Josh Garcia; El Camino Real’s Jordan Berg vs. Taft’s Max Mehlbaum.
There's also Narbonne's Daniel Rocha; Banning's Justin Yanez, and Kennedy's Gilbert Hernandez and Felix Rubi among the top pitchers to watch. And Palisades also has some quality throwers.
For Granada Hills, a key will be how well its No. 2 pitcher, sophomore Gerardo Ramirez, is able to perform. He’ll make his varsity debut next week.
Good luck to the hitters this season, because they're going to need plenty of luck to get hits.