(78-58) Gwinnett Stripers 5, (74-62) Durham Bulls 6
- Cristian Pache, CF: 1-4, 2B, .247/.309/.382
- Drew Waters, RF: 1-4, .290/.356/.376
- Johan Camargo, 3B: 1-3, BB, RBI, .519/.559/.741
- Austin Riley, DH, 0-3, BB, .304/.378/.652
- Ian Anderson, SP: 3.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 6 BB, 2 K, 6.57 ERA
Well readers, we’ve come to my last recap of the season and I got an absolute stink fest of games so buckle your seat belts, grab any alcoholic beverages you may need to get through these recaps, and let’s get on it. Ian Anderson’s last start of the season was quite easily his worst, and it was the key factor in a Stripers one run loss. With Anderson struggling the offense quickly found themselves in a 5-0 hole after four inning, but this is when the action got started for the bats. Cristian Pache hit an extra base hit for his third straight game and for the eighth time in his last nine, doubling with one out in the fifth. Jack Lopez followed him up with a single to score the Stripers first run, and then he scored on a Johan Camargo base hit. Camargo has now hit safely in all thirteen of his games since his demotion. Drew Waters made his presence felt in the eighth inning, singling to lead off what would be a big rally in the game. After an Austin Riley walk the stage was set for the biggest bat in the lineup, and Adam Duvall crushed his 31st home run of the season to tie the game at 5-5. This lasted all of one inning before the Bulls were able to walk it off in the ninth and undo all of these efforts. Cristian Pache has significantly narrowed the gap between he and Drew Waters of late, showing more pop as the extra base hits have begun piling on. Over his past ten games Pache has hit .333/.366/.615 with a 17.1% strikeout rate, while the strikeouts have piled up and taken a toll on Drew as he has hit .243/.395/.270 with a 37.0% strikeout rate. The one obvious positive is that Waters has continued to get on base at a high rate as he’s shown a lot more discipline than in months prior and has a 17.4% walk rate over this span of play.
Ian Anderson had no feel for his command in this outing and it took a huge toll on him, as he threw 82 pitches over 3 1⁄3 innings, managed only half in the strike zone, and walked six batters. It started off with two walks and a base hit to load the bases with no outs in the first inning, and he allowed his first run but got his first two outs on a double play ball. Another walk and a single brought in a second run before Anderson was able to finish off the inning. Anderson worked a 1-2-3 second inning and then got a couple of strikeouts in a scoreless third that allowed him to skirt around a hit and another walk. After getting a bunt out to lead off the fourth inning it all fell apart for Ian, as he walked the next two batters and then allowed a double and a base hit to score three runs. He was lifted from the game for Tyler Matzek, departing with his highest run total since April, tying a season high in walks, and striking out the fewest batters in any of his starts this season. Tyler Matzek was a key piece in relief for the Stripers, getting five strikeouts over 2 2⁄3 hitless and scoreless innings as the offense attempted to make a comeback. Darren O’Day made another rehab appearance and went 1-2-3 in the seventh inning with a strikeout. After the Stripers tied it up in the eighth inning they turned to Grant Dayton, and though he walked a batter in the inning he was able to send it to the ninth inning and AJ Minter. Sigh. Minter allowed a leadoff single to Emilio Bonifacio, then a single and a walk loaded the bases up with one out. Minter needed only three pitches to record his first strikeout and get his second out of the inning, but he couldn’t get that final out and a base hit into left field ended the game.
Next Game: 8/31 vs (74-62) Durham Bulls @ 6:35 PM ET
GWN: Kyle Wright (10-4, 4.27 ERA)
(62-74) Mississippi Braves 1, (60-73) Chattanooga Lookouts 4
- Trey Harris, RF: 1-3, .271/.312/.406
- Ray-Patrick Didder, SS: 1-2, BB, .207/.338/.291
- Jasseel De La Cruz, SP: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 3.83 ERA
Mississippi and Chattanooga played a close game, but the Braves suffered the same fate as their elders above and couldn’t take advantage when they were able to come back in the late innings. The offense for the Braves was dead through much of the game, but in the fifth they did manage their first hit on a Connor Lien double with one out. Carlos Martinez followed that by knocking a base hit into center field that put Lien at third base, but two strikeouts ended the inning and kept the Braves down 1-0. A sixth inning single from Trey Harris did nothing the aid a comeback, but in the eighth the breath of life was drawn for the Braves. Ray-Patrick Didder led off the inning with a base hit, then stole second base on a Braden Shewmake strikeout to put himself into scoring position. Riley Unroe singled into left field and Didder was able to streak around the bases for the tying run. Then Chattanooga struck for three in the ninth, and the Braves went down in the bottom of the inning in order with the game ending on a relief pitcher ground out as Mississippi had run out of bench players.
Everything is fine though because Jasseel De La Cruz gave us a little something to smile about in his final start of the season. De La Cruz had some struggles down the stretch and it was obvious that him pitching almost double his career high in innings had taken a toll on him, but in this start he was back to his best over five great innings. The first three batters of the game reached against De La Cruz, as he allowed a single, a double, and hit a batter to load the bases, but after this he nearly perfect. A double play brought in the first run but significantly lessened the trouble against Jasseel, and then a ground out ended the inning. De La Cruz went through the next three innings in order then got a strikeout and a walk in the fifth to top off a streak of thirteen straight batters retired. That snapped on an eight pitch battle that ended in a walk, but De La Cruz finished off his start by forcing a weak ground ball back to himself to complete the fifth. Eight of De La Cruz’s outs came on ground balls, as he kept the Lookouts off balance and was able to force a lot of weak contact despite only recording two strikeouts. He was efficient with his pitches and threw 38 of his 59 total for strikes, and was only removed that early in the game because the Braves have put him on a strict pitch count to limit his workload over this season. Jason Hursh was the first man out in relief and he continued the good work of Jasseel, going two perfect innings with two strikeouts. This left the game in the hands of Josh Graham, and he came out firing in the eight with two strikeouts as part of a 1-2-3 frame. Then he gave up three in the ninth inning and took the loss. Thanks Josh.
Next Game: 8/31 vs (60-73) Chattanooga Lookouts @ 7:05 PM ET
CHA: Johendi Jiminian (4-5, 4.53 ERA)
(64-72) Rome Braves 1, (66-71) Asheville Tourists 4
- Bryce Ball, DH: 0-4, .351/.385/.581
- Michael Harris, CF: 1-4, .171/.263/.229
- Shea Langeliers, C: 1-4, .250/.306/.335
- William Woods, SP: 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 3.35 ERA
Rome trailed this game from the second inning on, with the offense not coming through with much production in the absence of Justin Dean for the second consecutive game. Shea Langeliers had a single in the first inning, and over his last ten games he has had at least one hit nine times and has 18 total hits. No one brought in Langeliers to score, and in the second the Tourists took a 2-0 lead. A Connor Blair double scored Brendan Venter and brought the Braves within a run, but that was the closest they would get in this game. Asheville added runs in the third and fifth innings to make it 4-1, and the Braves squandered opportunities down the stretch to make it close. Jeremy Fernandez led off the third inning with a base hit, but he was thrown out stealing and the next two batters went down easily to end the inning. Michael Harris and Brendan Venter each had its in the bottom of the fourth inning, which brought the go ahead run to the plate with two outs, but Connor Blair grounded out on the first pitch to end the inning. Another chance came in the seventh as the eight and nine batters for Rome reached on a walk and an error, respectively, but the top of the order couldn’t get it done and stranded both runners. Brendan Venter recorded his third hit in the ninth inning, but nothing came of it as the Braves never threatened to tie in the inning. Langeliers has really come on over the past two weeks for the Braves, and in his last ten games he is hitting .429.
William Woods got the start for Rome and didn’t pitch all that poorly but also got little defensive help behind him. It started in the second inning on a fielding error from Hagen Owenby, and then a single scored the first run of the game. After that single Langeliers made a poor throw to second base on a stolen base attempt and the runner was able to come all the way around to score to give Asheville a 2-0 lead. Two hits in the third brought in another run, with a bloop double with two outs doing the damage to bring in the run. Woods allowed one more run on a double play in the fifth inning, then got a strikeout to end the inning and send it to the bullpen. Ryan Shetter came in to relieve Woods, and he made quite the splash with four scoreless innings in which he allowed only one baserunner on an infield single. Shetter needed only 31 pitches to get through his four innings and lowered his ERA with Rome to 1.81.
Next Game: 8/31 vs (66-71) Asheville Tourists @ 6:00 PM ET
ROM: Ricky DeVito (0-2, 3.86 ERA)
ASH: Frederis Parra (3-4, 4.23 ERA)