It was a tough night at Pioneer Park last night. The G-Stros were swept by the Johnson City Cardinals. Here are a few observations:
GAME ONE: Cards 8 - Gville 2
On The Mound:
Adrian Houser got the start in game one. He didn't pitch as badly as the line indicates. Two of the doubles were not hit hard but were placed right down the opposite field line. Batters appeared to have been fooled on the pitch. The triple that was hit to lead off the second was aided by a bad line to the ball by Ariel Ovando.
Houser's poise was good until the fifth when you could see the frustration in his body language on the mound.
Mike Hauschild relieved Houser with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth. He allowed a single, a walk, and a fielders choice to allow all the inherited runners to score. The ground ball was a slow roller that couldn't be turned for a run saving double play. He pitched a scoreless sixth inning.
Andrew Walter finished the game for Greeneville. He pitched around three hits for a scoreless seventh.
At The Plate:
Not much to write about here. The G-Stros only mustered three runs off of Cardinal pitching. Angel Ibanez had a two RBI double D'Andre Toney also had a double and Ricky Gingras has a single. Ovando took a four pitch walk and showed better pitch recognition in all at bats. He already has four walks in August. It appears the scouting report is don't throw him strikes and he has made some adjustment.
In The Field:
Ricky Gingras did a nice job behind the plate blocking balls. His caught stealing was on a ball that got away from him and he corralled it and made a good throw to third.
Other than Ovando's bad route, the only other misplay was by Toney who ran past a ball on the ground in an error that was possibly due to lack of focus late in a blow out game. It did not result in additional runs but it did give up an extra base to two runners.
GAME TWO: Cards 5 - Gville 1
On the Mound:
There was a buzz in the air before game two. It was the Greeneville debut of 1st round supplemental draft pick Lance McCullers. Part of the buzz was created by his pre game warm up routine that included long tossing a neon yellow softball. It was the first time I had seen that in a pitchers pre game routine.
Once he took the mound, he showed good poise and solid pitching. The first inning was an adventure as he got the first two outs and then walked the bases loaded. Two of those walks came on full counts. After a pitching visit, he settled down and got the final out on a strike out. I sat near a scout so I could peek at his radar gun. It was reading 91-93 on fastballs and 80-84 on his breaking ball. Those numbers stayed consistent throughout his start.
After his 26 pitch first inning, McCullers settled down and pitched very well. He allowed one hit and one walk in his next three innings of work while striking out three more batters. An impressive first showing for Mr. McCullers
He was relieved by Joe Musgrove. The scout didn't have his gun out for him so I can't give you numbers but he appeared to be throwing harder. However, they were being hit and hit hard. He lasted an 1 2/3 innings and was helped by defense.
Euris Quezada came in and put out a fire in the sixth and then was pulled with two outs in the seventh in favor of a lefty. Hindsight being 20/20, I wish he would have been left in.
Scott Zuloaga came in to face Bruce Caldwell who was pulled for a pitch hitter who hit a line drive that should have been out #3 but was a three base error instead.
After one batter, Michael Dimock came in to finish the game.
At The Plate:
The Astros hitters were baffled by slight Stalyn Lopez. He pitched a complete game four hitter and fanned eight G-Stros. He got better as the game went along. He was throwing mid 80's at the start of the game and hit 90 in the sixth inning.
Angel Ibanez had the big hit again with another RBI double. He was responsible for knocking in all of Greenville's runs last night. He now has a seven game hitting streak and in his last five games, he is 9 for 20 (.450) with four doubles and eight RBI.
Jean Batista hit a double, and Toney and Jose Monzon added singles to complete the G-Stros hit totals.
In The Field:
It a mixed bag for Ariel Ovando.
The Good: With a runner on second, he caught a fly ball in right field. He runner went back to tag and Ovando unleashed a throw that the third baseman caught head high. It was slightly off line but the throw created a buzz in the park.
The Bad: He hot dogged one catch in right. It was a high fly ball on the warning track and he caught the ball about bell high on his right side. He had plenty of time to catch it in a fundamentally sound way. He also misplayed a line drive that got by him and was the difference in the game.
Jose Monzon also had a mixed result. He nailed the potential tying run at the plate in the fifth with a great throw. He later let a throw slip out of his hand that almost ended up in the seats behind third.
Angel Ibanez had a solid game at third; making several plays coming in towards the grass.
D'Andre Toney made a diving attempt in each game on balls in front of him. He failed to come up with either one but you have to like the effort.
Welcome to Appy Astros, a blog dedicated to following current & former Greeneville Astros, the Appalachian League affiliate of the Houston Astros. Here you will find reports on current G-Stros, updates on the development of former G-Stros and occasionally an update on what has happened to the guys who have hung up their spikes.