Jarrod Parker off to a fast start

Updated: June 9, 2012, 10:27 AM ET
By Buster Olney

It took 23 batters for the Texas Rangers to get their first hit against Jarrod Parker five days ago, and that took a lot of pressure off Oakland manager Bob Melvin. Parker's pitch count was at 111 after eight innings, and Melvin would've had an awful quandary -- much like Mets manager Terry Collins did three days before, late in Johan Santana's no-hitter -- in trying to decide whether to let the rookie try to finish his gem.

Parker paused when he passed his manager after he was removed from the game. "Don't worry," he drolly told Melvin, "I wasn't going to get you fired."

Parker has so much poise that it's easy to forget that he's 23 years old, and that his near-no-hitter against the Rangers came in just his ninth start in the majors. Parker, who makes his 10th start Saturday against the Diamondbacks, has appeared completely underwhelmed.