(8-3) Gwinnett Stripers 11, (3-7) Louisville Bats 1
- Drew Waters, CF: 1-1. BB. RBI, HBP .212/.297/.273
- Travis Demeritte, 3B: 0-3, 2 BB, .330/.450/.818
- Orlando Arcia, SS: 3-4, 2B, BB, 2 RBI, .383/.455/.830
- Kyle Muller, SP: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 8.18 ERA
- Dylan Lee, RP: 2 IP, 1 H 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0.00 ERA
The Striper offense went crazy against the Louisville bullpen scoring 10 runs in two innings to cruise to a win. Louisville jumped out to a lead in the top of the second inning of the game, but Gwinnett came right back in the bottom of the inning with a chance to score. Abraham Almonte led off with a single before Sean Kazmar doubled into left field. Almonte was unfortunately thrown out trying to score on the play and Gwinnett could not push in Kazmar so the score stayed at 1-0. In the fourth they did get that run back as Orlando Arcia led off with a walk and then advanced on a single from Almonte before coming across to tie the game on a sacrifice fly. Arcia had the only other Gwinnett hit until the starter was pulled after 6 innings and the bullpen imploded. The first guy out immediately allowed four pitch walks to Kazmar and Drew Waters, then after a single to load the bases Ryan Casteel doubled to clear them off and give Gwinnett a 4-1 lead. An RBI double followed after a pitching change to make it 5-1 but no more runs scored in the inning. In the ninth Kazmar led off the inning with a fly out, then a hit by pitch, two walks, a wild pitch, and another walk pushed in a run and left the bases loaded. A new pitcher came into the game and immediately threw two wild pitches and allowed a single to Ryan Goins and a double to Arcia to push the Stripers lead to 10-1. A couple of more walks loaded the bases, and then Drew Waters’s second plate appearance of the inning resulted in the final run as he ripped a single into center field against a position player and scored a run.
Orlando Arcia stays hot as the combination of wild pitches, walks, and this two-RBI double gives the Stripers a commanding 10-1 lead heading into the ninth. pic.twitter.com/wbSwrHBlxV— Gwinnett Stripers (@GoStripers) May 16, 2021
Kyle Muller shook off his first two starts and finally pitched reasonably well, though with the caveat he had pretty full basepaths all start and struggled with his control still. Muller’s first inning was a beauty, as although he allowed a soft hit with two outs and a throwing error allowed another batter to reach he also got three strikeouts in the inning. Muller allowed a home run to lead off the second inning then walked the next batter, but finished off the inning with no one else scoring as he got a strikeout, a pop out, and a ground out (also another error behind him). The third was a bit more of a struggle as he walked two batters, but he was able to pick one of those off so a two out single didn’t hurt him and then he finished it out with a strikeout. Muller looked good in the fourth inning allowing a lead off infield hit before getting a bunt out, a strikeout, and then a ground out to finish off his outing. The Stripers bullpen continued their dominant work this season, and Dylan Lee was the first through the doors. Lee pitched two scoreless innings with no walks and three strikeouts and so far this season hasn’t allowed an earned run or walk in six innings while striking out 8 batters. Lee is a soft tossing left handed arm so it’s unclear if he’d really have a shot to get to Atlanta this season, but he has looked good this season. Chasen Bradford pitched two scoreless innings with two strikeouts and no walks, lowering his ERA to 1.69. Trevor Kelley pitched a perfect ninth inning with a strikeout.
Next Game: 5/16 vs (3-7) Louisville Bats @ 1:05 PM ET
GWN: Bryse Wilson (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
LOU: Ashton Goudreau (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
(4-7) Mississippi Braves 0, (4-7) Biloxi Shuckers 1
- Justin Dean, CF: 0-2, 2 BB, .241/.436/.414
- Trey Harris, RF: 0-2, BB, HBP .273/.351/.273
- Shea Langeliers, C: 0-3, BB, .231/.412/.615
- Matt Withrow, SP: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 1.00 ERA
- Brooks Wilson, RP: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0.00 ERA
Mississippi got no hit in this game, so it’s not worth spending a whole lot of time on the offensive end of this game. They did get eight walks and a hit batter, but it was not a pretty sight. Instead, let’s get a season update on some of the prospects in this struggling MBraves lineup. Shea Langeliers has been fantastic this season with an OPS of 1.027, three home runs, and a gaudy 23.5% walk rate. He’s struck out 26.5% of the time, which is not great, but also only has a .214 BABIP. All of these numbers are wide right to his offensive profile so he probably won’t look anything like this in a month but it’s cool to see anyways. Braden Shewmake is the only of the four major hitting prospects that has truly struggled, as outside of his home run he has been pretty awful with a lot of softly hit ground outs and a 32.3% strikeout rate. He has missed two games since leaving in the 8th inning of game one yesterday, so we’ll see how long they’re giving him to deal with what I presume to be an extremely minor issue they just don’t want to push him on early in a season. Surface level numbers for Trey Harris don’t look good as he has only a .624 OPS, but a deeper dive isn’t as ugly. He is hitting .273 with a .351 on base percentage and an 8.1% strikeout rate. All of these are promising numbers for him, with the lack of extra base hits being a pure sample size issue as we know he’s capable of producing decent power numbers. Justin Dean is an interesting case as he has managed to hold his walk rate well at Double-A and thus has a .436 OBP, but his strikeouts are way up and he’s riding an unsustainable BABIP and increased power production. It’s hard to pinpoint what of this will stick, hopefully the walks and power do stay while he’s able to get his strikeouts back down.
Pitching was a much different story on the day as Matt Withrow stayed hot on the mound with three scoreless, hitless innings. His control has not been there early in the season and today he walked three batters and only threw 28 of 55 pitches for strikes. So far in nine innings this season he’s struck out 10 batters and allowed only two hits and one run, but the seven walks do loom large although it’s fair to expect to see a lot of rust given the injuries and time off he has dealt with. The most important thing is that he stays healthy and that so far the stuff seems to be back and good enough for him to get hitters out. Luis Mora was Luis Mora, he threw 18 strikes on 38 pitches and walked two batters while also giving up his first run of the season in two innings of work. Brooks Wilson was dominant as he went two complete, scoreless innings and struck out four batters with no walks. Wilson has nine strikeouts now over 5 1⁄3 scoreless innings this season. Brandon White finished off the game with a scoreless ninth and two strikeouts, although he did allow a hit and a walk.
Next Game: 5/16 @ (4-7) Biloxi Shuckers @ 2:05 PM ET
BLX: Luis Contreras (0-1, 2.45 ERA)
(6-5) Rome Braves 5, (6-5) Greensboro Grasshoppers6 7
- Riley Delgado, 2B: 1-4, HR, BB, RBI .333/.441/.526
- Logan Brown, C: 0-5, .271/.346/.357
- Beau Philip, RF: 0-3, BB, .205/.277/.329
- Bryce Elder, SP: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 6 K. 4.73 ERA
- Trey Riley, RP: 2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 0 K
Rome made a huge ninth inning comeback in this game, but represented the Braves well by losing in extra innings anyways. Rome went 9 up 9 down to start off the game. but the good work of Bryce Elder had them only down 1-0 going into the middle innings. They had a huge chance in the fourth with two walks and a hit by pitch, but two strikeouts and a caught stealing erased it. Trailing 4-0 they finally got on the board in the sixth as Riley Delgado hit his second home run of the year. That’s only the fourth home run of Delgado’s career and tied his career high from 2018, so that’s something isn’t it. The Braves were quiet until the ninth inning when they loaded the bases with no one out for noted slugger Kevin Josephina. Josephina hit a grand slam on the first pitch to tie the game and send it to extra innings. Then in the tenth Rome grounded out twice and struck out, then allowed a walk off in the bottom of the inning as they were unable to finish off a double play to end the inning.
Bryce Elder pitched well enough today, though his command was once again bad and while it’s early and he is still rusty it is surprising to see him walk as many batters as he has. Walks really didn’t factor into this outing, however, as it was the three singles within the first four batters of the game that led to the run against Elder. After a walk to the next batter Elder struck out the final two and then only allowed one hit the remainder of his start. Elder walked two batters and struck out two in the bottom of the second inning, then in the third worked around a hit batter for a scoreless inning. After a leadoff double and a two out walk in the fourth it was decided Elder was done for the day, and Trey Riley finished off the inning with a ground out. Riley then unfortunately was not able to continue his early season successes and allowed three runs on a walk and three hits in the fifth inning. He got two quick outs in the sixth but allowed a home run and then another walk and had to be pulled from a rough outing. Zach Daniels continued his good work early in the season by retiring all seven batters he faced and striking out four of them. Gabriel Noguera pitched a clean ninth inning, but struggled a bit in the tenth. Merrick Crouse was brought in to allow an intentional walk and then try to force an inning ending double play, but Rome couldn’t quite turn it in time and lost in extra innings.
Next Game: 5/16 @ (6-5) Greensboro Grasshoppers 2:00 PM ET
GBO: Carmen Mlodzinski (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
(4-6) Augusta GreenJackets 1, (5-5) Myrtle Beach Pelicans 5
- Cam Shepherd, SS: 1-3, 3B, .182/.289/.303
- Stephen Paolini, CF: 1-2, 2 BB, .100/.289/.133
- Willie Carter, RF: 2-3, .393/.485/.571
- Chad Bryant, SP: 1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 4.15 ERA
- James Acuna, RP: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 3.38 ERA
Augusta allowed five unearned runs in a game they lost 5-1. Oops. It wasn’t for lack of baserunners that the Pelicans struggled as they outhit Augusta 7-4, but they stranded a runner each in the first three innings and then only got a run out of a big opportunity in the fourth. They had three hits in the inning and scored a run but that was all they got in the inning and the score stayed at 5-1. Augusta had a runner on in each inning of the game, but never could string together hits and grounded into two double plays. The RBI came from Braulio Vasquez who also stole second base for his fifth of the season.
Chad Bryant wasn’t exactly fantastic in the first inning so the three unearned runs is a bit misleading as the error came with one out. Still, had everything stayed the same after that error the inning would have been over with no damage. Bryant allowed three hits and a walk in the inning, however, so it wasn’t a banner day. Estarlin Rodriguez also allowed two unearned runs in his 3 2⁄3 innings on the mound, but he was the one who made the error on the first batter of the third inning so you can’t really not blame him. Rodriguez only allowed two other baserunners in the game, all that inning, and got an absolutely insane eleven groundouts in 3 2⁄3 innings. James Acuna pitched the last 1 1⁄3 innings and didn’t allow any hits or runs while walking one batter and striking out one.
(5-6) Augusta GreenJackets 2, (5-6) Myrtle Beach Pelicans 1 F/8
- Cam Shepherd, SS: 0-3, BB, .167/.286/.278
- Stephen Paolini, CF: 0-3, BB, RBI, .091/.286/.121
- Willie Carter, RF: 0-3, BB, .355/.459/.516
- Joey Estes SP: 4.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2.57 ERA
- Justin Yeager, RP: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0.00 ERA
Augusta had a somewhat more fun game two, mostly because it ended with them winning the game in extra innings. The game started out absolutely marvelously as after a leadoff strikeout the next three batters drew walks and the fourth got hit by a pitch. They didn’t score a run that inning. One runner got picked off and the final batter of the inning struck out. Nine straight GreenJacket hitters were retired before a two out single from Javier Valdes turned to nothing in the fourth inning. Then eight more GreenJackets were retired in a row until Valdes singled again in the seventh inning, this time representing the tying run with two outs to go. A hit by pitch and walk loaded the bases with two outs for Stephen Paolini, and thankfully no one got picked off this time and Paolini walked to tie the game up. Augusta’s first two hitters in extra innings struck out, but Landon Stephens came through with a clutch two out double to give Augusta the lead.
Joey Estes was lights out on the mound early in this game, as he didn’t allow a hit until there were two outs in the third inning. The only runner he had allowed to that point was a hit batter, and he forced a double play to erase him. Estes finished out the third inning with his third strikeout, then once again retired the side in order in the fourth. Estes got the first out of the fifth inning, but a double with one out ended his day and he was replaced by Benjamin Dum. A passed ball, a walk, and a wild pitch allowed what has to be the most brutal earned run charged to Estes in his life. Dum also pitched a scoreless sixth inning before turning the ball over to Justin Yeager who finished it out with a fantastic outing. Yeager struck out two and got an infield pop out to send the game to extra innings, then in the bottom of the 8th got the win by forcing a ground out and striking out the final two batters. Yeager has eight strikeouts in four innings pitched this season, and for his career is up to 45 strikeouts in 29 1⁄3 innings pitched.
Next Game: 5/16 @ (5-6) Myrtle Beach Pelicans @ 6:05 PM ET
MB: Adam Laskey (0-1, 8.53 ERA)