Here are my observations from the game tonight. First of all props to Astros owner Jim Crane who threw one of the best first pitches in the history of Greeneville Astros baseball. It had some zip on it. Now own to the game.
On the mound:
Starter Richard Rodriguez got off to a very good start. He threw 16 pitches in a 1,2,3 first but 11 of the pitches were to the third batter. He won the battle with a fly out to left. In the second, he threw 11 pitches and ten of the were strikes. In the third, he gave up an unearned run due to an defensive lapse on a two out pop fly. However that runner was on base due to a walk. In fact both of the walks Rodriguez issued tonight turned into runs. The other run came on a home run off a hung curve ball. His curve was very effective when he kept it down in the zone. It also looked like he used a change up with some success as well. Unofficially, I had him at 78 pitches on the night in six innings of work. Fifty of the pitches were for strikes, for a solid two to one strike to ball ratio.
Michael Lambson came in to pitch the final three innings. He faced just nine batters and only allowed one ball out of the infield. He threw just 26 pitches (unofficially), and 21 of those were strikes. He hides the ball very well.
In the field:
Ernesto Genoves looked solid behind the plate tonight. Three of the seven strike outs required additional work as the balls were in the dirt. In the fourth, he made a great block on a third strike that resulted in a K2-3 putout.
Brian Blasik was solid at second tonight with four assist and a caught pop fly.
De'Andre Toney made good breaks on balls hit to center. One ball was in no man's land behind second and he made the catch easily. A sinking line drive was hit towards center in the 8th. He broke well on the ball and easily caught the ball waist high.
Ariel Ovando did nothing spectacular in the outfield, though he was close to making a great sliding catch in front of the Astros bullpen. Yet I mention him because he is showing improvement in the routes he is taking to balls. He looks much more comfortable in RF than he did last year.
The Error: It was an infield pop up that cause trouble again. With two outs in the third and a runner at second, a high pop fly was hit in front of the plate. Rodriguez gave way to Genoves and the corners also converged. Angel Ibanez called for it and simply missed it. The batter never stopped running and realized that no one was covering third. So on the play, a runner scored from second and the batter reached third. He was stranded there but he never should have been there.
Second time in two games I have seen communication issues on a pop up. I thought the ball should have been Genoves', however he never looked like he found the ball. It appeared no one took charge on the play.
At the plate:
Ovando again is hitting the ball well. He hit a single to left in the first to plate two runs and then ripped a double down the left field line for a double. I don't have access to a spray chart for him but the two times I have seen him this year, his hits have been to multiple fields. He is being very aggressive at the plate. He saw nine pitches in four at bats.
Terrell Joyce also had two hits tonight. He scored both times he reached.
Genoves went 1 for 2 with a HR and two walks. He showed good discipline. Walking on a 3-1 count in the first. Lining to deep center in the third on a full count in the fourth. Walking on four pitches in the fifth and then homering to left center with a two ball count. He saw 19 pitches in his four at bats.
Michael Martinez went one for four with a single and two RBI's. His walk up music in the sixth was a great blues tune. My favorite walk up of the year. It also corresponds to the RBI single he hit. That single was hit on a 1-2 count after he had fouled off one other pitch. He got an off speed pitch, kept his hands back and roped a solid line drive to left field. It was an impressive piece of hitting to me.
Blasik's line isn't impressive one for three with a run scored but he reached on three of his four plate appearances. He reached on an E6 when their otherwise smooth shortstop couldn't field a hard hit shot from Blasik. That error came with two outs and started the two run first. He was also hit by a pitch.
Jean Batista was robbed in the first. The P-Rays first baseman was listed at 6'6" and he needed every bit of it to snatch a line drive that was headed over his head to right field. His other at bats were not remarkable.
Overall the G-Stros walked as man times as they struck out. So far on the year, the G-Stros have struck out 40 times in seven games. While that is more than five Ks a game, it is the second lowest in the Appy League.
I am excited about this team. I hope this report gives you deeper insight into the box score. I will get to see the G-Stros again tomorrow and then life gets in the way of baseball for a while.