On August 23rd, 2013, Edinson Volquez made his last start as a member of the San Diego Padres, a game in which he gave up 6 runs and lasted a woeful two-thirds of an inning. The organization released the beleaguered right-hander four days later.
Around that time I was writing a Beer Comp for Volquez and foolishly thought it could wait to be published because, Hey, Volquez isn’t going anywhere! – boy was I wrong. Ol’ Ed was gone in a Breakfasttown minute.
Rather than post the Beer Comp during the week of Volquez’s wake (see: thought provoking pieces from Padres Trail and Son of a Duck), on the grounds of overkill, I decided to hold off and wait for a more opportune time (see: the off-season).
With yesterday’s article from Jonah Keri, a baseball dictionary describing some of the more prevalent memes on twitter, Edinson Volquez has reemerged into our collective consciousness. That’s right – EVHAU has gone mainstream. So the time to revisit the Edinson Volquez Beer Comp has officially arrived.
On December 17th, 2011 the San Diego Padres traded the powerful arm of Mat Latos to the Cincinnati Reds for Edinson Volquez, Yonder Alonso, Yasmani Grandal, and Brad Boxberger. By moving one young player the Padres felt that they had obtained four players who would each slot themselves into the 25 man roster within a couple of seasons.
Losing Mat Latos would sting , but the Padres felt (presumably) that Edinson Volquez could not only absorb the innings but perhaps also regain the form that once saw the Dominican traded for Josh Hamilton. Stranger things have happened (That’s Baseball?) and with Darren Balsley (The Arm Whisperer) on staff there was always a chance for hope.
While Edinson Volquez’s numbers were nothing special in 2012 he did manage to pitch more innings than he had since 2008 when he won 17 games for the Reds. His ERA also dropped to its lowest point (4.14) since 2008 while his WHIP was its lowest since 2009.
On July 19th, 2012 Edinson Volquez rewarded our patience by throwing a one hit, complete game, shutout against the Houston Astros. In attendance with my father and daughter we saw Edinson Volquez come very close to throwing the first no-hitter in franchise history allowing only an infield single that Volquez himself could not get to quickly enough to prevent the lone hit on the night. This game forced me to hold on to the glimmer of hope that Edinson Volquez could be something – something more.
But Edinson Volquez is not something more. He is simply Edinson Volquez: an unfulfilled experience and fraudulent member of a starting major league rotation.
Edinson Volquez is a Ballast Point Pale Ale.
When I hear the name Pale Ale I tend to think of a toned down IPA – less hoppy but still bitter. Bitterness is measured in IBUs (International Bittering Units) and my palate has moved up the scale over the years. Take a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, for example (IBU of 38). This use to be my go to beverage of choice when I’d visit a restaurant or bar that hadn’t yet began stocking their inventory with local beers. When I drink a Sierra Nevada now, it doesn’t seem very bitter at all. My palate has adapted to the bitter IPAs and more bitter American pale ales like Green Flash’s 30th Street Pale Ale (45 IBUs).
Which brings us back to Ballast Point’s version of a Pale Ale which tips the IBU scale at . . . 23? What does this even mean? Do the math – 23 is far less than 45 (Green Flash) or 38 (Sierra Nevada) which means Ballast Point’s Pale Ale is far less bitter than the typical American pale ale. This is not without good reason, as a Ballast Point Pale Ale is not in fact a Pale Ale – it “is skillfully crafted in the style of the Kolsch beers of Cologne, Germany.”
You might be wondering, A Kolsch? Isn’t that false advertising?
Indeed, it is false advertising on Ballast Point’s end . . . just like Edinson Volquez and his electric arm.
Disclaimer: I am not a beer expert. I just enjoy it from time to time.
I contribute to Padres Public on Thursday mornings and when I’m feeling particularly inspired. I can also be found on twitter at @AvengingJM. The dusty archives of AJM are located at avengingjm.blogspot.com