Last night I took in the first game of the Appy League western division playoffs at Pioneer Park. It was nice to have playoff baseball back in Greeneville for the first time in nine years. Here are some of my observations from the game.
On The Mound:
Jandel Gustave got the start for Greeneville. He got off to a rough start as he wasn't quite hitting the right spots for the home plate ump in the first. Later in the game he appeared to be getting those calls but he didn't get them in the first inning. After giving up two runs on three hits and a walk in the first inning, he settled down and pitched the next four innings allowing just one run on three hits, a walk and a hit batter. Gustave struck out seven on the night.
Joe Musgrove relieved Gustave and pitched the final four innings in a dominate fashion. He didn't allow a single base runner while striking out four K-Mets.
At The Plate:
For the month of August, Brett Phillips was two for 15 at the plate. He was rusty after missing almost half the month with a hand injury. Last night, he appeared to shake off the rust and went three for four at the plate. After a bloop hit fell for him in the third, he had line drive hits in the fifth and the seventh.
Juan Santana and Brian Holberton had the only extra base hit for the G-Stros. Each had a double.
The G-Stros were 0-9 with runners in scoring position on the night and that sealed their doom. The most frustrating inning was the fifth. Tanner Mathis and Phillips led off the inning with back to back singles. The next batter tried to move them over on a bunt but Mathis was erased at third. The next batter hit a fly ball to right which allowed Phillips to advance to third. The next batter struck out. Greeneville has done well at manufacturing runs with small ball this season but they couldn't get it done last night.
In The Field:
Two plays deserve mention here. First, Alfredo Gonzalez made a diving catch of a bunt in foul territory in the first inning. Secondly, Thomas Lindauer made a very nice play ranging deep in the hole behind second to throw out a K-Met in the same batter in the seventh.
The G-Stros bats just couldn't get the big hit tonight. The pitching and the defense held up their end of the bargain. Greeneville is in a 0-1 hole in the best of three series heading to Kingsport. They face elimination tonight and will be sending Chris Lee to the mound.