Norfolk 3 Charlotte (White Sox) 4
(RHP) Kevin Gausman made his first start since his brief foray into the majors, and looked good...for four innings. Just 2 singles and a walk allowed with 3 Ks over those first 4 innings. But in the 5th everything went pear-shaped as he allowed 4 ER via 2 doubles, a single, and a home run. After allowing a lead off double he K'd the next two batters to put himself in a position to escape unscathed. The first K came via a 94 mph FB up in the zone, while the 2nd was induced via an 83 mph curve that followed a 97 mph FB. Nice combo. He quickly got ahead of the next batter 0-2 with that same combo, but another 'double' followed before a bloop single provided additional frustration. Now, about that 'double'...it was not a hard hit ball. In fact, it barely left the infield. Gausman delivered an 81 mph curve that hung a bit which allowed the batter to hit a chopper up the middle that glanced off the glove of a diving (2B) Steve Lombardozzi. The speedy left-handed batter then hustled his way to 2nd as the CFer had to change his course and retrieve the ball. After the single, the pitching coach made a visit to the mound. But whatever advice he may have imparted didn't have the intended effect as Gausman left a 1-0 curve ball up just enough for the batter to golf it out just over the LF wall, approximately 340 feet away. Again, not a hard hit ball. Gausman did manage to, eventually, strike out the side (all via swinging strikeouts). His night would be done after that though, as his pitch count climbed up to 87 (56 strikes).
So, while the results are certainly disappointing, keep in mind the process. Just one hard hit ball that inning, the lead off double that came off an 80 mph hanging curve to a LHB. After that he continued to show good stuff, including hitting 97 multiple times, but just ran into some poor BABIP luck before another curve was golfed out over the wall. He certainly does need to work on putting hitters away when he has the opportunity, as evidenced by the 0-2 double he allowed to keep the inning rolling. All the damage was done off of curveballs that hung. And the first three hits of the inning were each by left handed batters. So there are 3 things for Gausman to work on: getting hitters out when ahead of the count, refining his curveball, and figuring out how to work to lefties. The promise of his ability remains tantalizing, but it remains just out of reach for the moment.
As for the rest of the game...Evan Meek, Kelvin de la Cruz, and Heath Bell each tossed scoreless innings, with Bell walking one while K'ing 2. On offense, the Tides jumped out to a 3-0 lead courtesy of a ( C ) Brian Ward solo HR and a 2 RBI single by Steve Lombardozzi. (RF) Francisco Peguero added 2 hits as well.
Erie (Tigers) 6 Bowie 7 (10 innings)
(1B) Christian Walker and (CF) Dariel Alvarez are doing to Eastern League pitching what Chris Partlow and Snoop Pearson do to rival drug dealers in The Wire. Alvarez hit his 8th HR, while Walker went 2-4 with a double and a game tying 2 run blast in the bottom of the 9th that came with 2 outs to boot. Impressive. (2B) Garabez Rosa added a HR of his own en route to a 3 for 5 night. ( C ) David Freitas (part of the Jim Johnson trade) brought in the winning run with a 10th inning Sac Fly.
The Baysox were up 4-1 heading into the 9th before poor Oliver Drake took it on the chin. 4 hits and a walk led to 5 ER over just a third of an inning for the former mid-shipman. ouch.
Myrtle Beach (Rangers) 3 Frederick 1
How you doin', Parker Bridwell? Coming off his near no-hitter last outing, the 22 year old Texan faced off against a stacked Pelicans lineup and more than held his own as he went 6 innings while allowing 6 hits, 2 walks, and 3 ER. He struck out 8. Not dominant. But a good, solid outing, that if he could replicate on a regular basis would prove to be most exciting for fans of his potential; such as me!
Pelicans starter Alex Gonzalez allowed just a walk through the first 6 innings (2 other Keys reached via error). The lone Keys run came in the 7th following a lead off walk to Tucker Nathans. Beyond that, the Keys were limited to just one base hit. Get 'em next time, lads.
Delmarva 1 West Virginia (Pirates) 4
(LHP) Mitch Horacek pitched 5.2 innings, allowing 2 ER via 5 hits and 2 walks. He's had a quietly solid season for the Shorebirds as he sports a 3.33 ERA over 46 IP with 44 Ks to 12 Walks. But much like the Keys, the Delmarva offense couldn't generate any sustained pressure on Horacek's opponent. (RF) Mike Yastrzemski went 1 for 4 with a K. (CF) Josh Hart batted 2nd and went 1 for 4 with a run scored. (LF) Conor Bierfeldt hit a double, walked, and added an OF assist to boot, so he gets the gold star of the game.
Today's Probables are as such:
Norfolk: (RHP) Suk-Min Yoon
Bowie: (LHP) Jake Petit
Frederick: (TBD) The scheduled starter, (LHP) Matt Taylor, was placed on the DL yesterday.
Delmarva: Off-day, as they travel back to the friendly confines of the Eastern Shore.