The G-Stros were back in town last night and Little Appy and I were there to take in the game. The game had a playoff tension to it due to the G-Stros position in the standings. Here are my observations from last night.
On The Mound:
Starter Frederick Tiburcio went four innings and was struggling with his control. Here are his pitch counts inning by inning:
1st - 21 pitches 12 for strikes
2nd - 11 pitches seven for strikes
3rd - 20 pitches 10 for strikes
4th - 11 pitches only four for strikes
That is a combined total of 63 pitches and 33 for strikes (52%). Ten of his first pitches to batters were for balls. To my untrained eye, it looked like he couldn't locate his off speed pitches and batters were sitting on the fast ball. The good news is he was mostly getting ground balls; but many of them were hard hit. He gave up three runs and two of them reached due to walks. One of his runs was scored when he balked a runner home from third.
Mike Hauschild came in to provide two innings of relief. He gave up one run on one hit and a hit batter. The most impressive at bat during his time on the mound was his final batter. He fanned a batter on the eighth pitch of the at bat.
The run that scored was on base due to a hit batter. The batter, Met's 2012 first round draft pick Gavin Cecchini, had an 0-2 count and Hauschild came inside and the ball hit him on the hand/wrist area. Cecchini was writhing on the ground for some time before being replaced by a pinch runner. The runner then went to third on a single and scored on a ground out.
Euris Quezada shows again he can pitch well in the rookie leagues. He pitched two innings with two strike outs and no hits. One think I didn't like was when Quezada came off the mound after each inning, he made a slashing motion across his throat.
Jordan Jankowski was impressive in the 9th. He threw 12 pitches and 10 were for strikes. He got one strike out looking and one swinging.
So, of the four runs that scored for the K-Mets, three of the reached without the benefit of a hit.
At The Plate:
Greeneville also benefited from free passes. They walked six times and half of those scored; all in the seventh inning. It is interesting that they earned that many walks. as they averaged just over 3.2 pitchers per plate appearance. Their aggressiveness was evident in the 3rd, 4th and 5th when the Kingsport starter threw a combined 26 pitches (8.7 pitches per inning) and Greeneville batters didn't get a hit.
Angel Ibanez went three for five with two runs scored. He hit two singles and a double. He hit the ball hard all night. His hardest hit ball was a line drive up the middle that was turned into a double play because the shortstop was standing one step on the third base side of second. Kingsport shaded that way all night long. The defensive shift worked as several balls that would have been hits up the middle turned into outs.
Jean Batista went two for four and extended his hitting streak to 15 games. The G-Stros record is 19, set by Jordan Scott last season. His double in the 7th was the big blow in the game. It was a hot shot that ate up the 3rd baseman and went into the tarp area.
Brian Blasik went one for two with two walks. He was on base all for times thanks two a throwing error by the K-Met third baseman. He was stranded in scoring position twice.
D'Andre Toney went one for four with a walk but he did a good job as the lead off man of seeing pitches. Leading off the first, he saw six pitches before lining out to left. In the second he singled on the fifth pitch scoring the G-Stros first run of the game. The fifth, he flied out on the second pitch. In the seventh, he struck out looking on the fifth pitch. In the 8th, he walked on the sixth pitch of the at bat. That is a total of 24 pitches seen in five plate appearances for an average of 4.8 pitches seen. He did make a big gaff on the bases in the 2nd when he ran through a stop sign at third and was tagged out at home for the final out in the inning.
Ricky Gingras went one for three with a walk and scored each time he was on base. He hit the ball hard tonight.
In The Field:
Blasik made a solid play to get the first out in the second inning. He charged a ball headed towards the hole and threw across his body for the out.
Ibanez made a great catch on a high pop foul ball in the fourth. The wind blew the ball back toward to field and he stayed with it and made a nice grab. He also started a nice 5-4-3 double play to limit the damage in the third inning.
The K-Mets are now 1-18 on the road.
The G-Stros move to 13-6 at home and are still six games back of Elizabethon for the West Division lead but added a game over Johnson City for the wild card spot.