Clip & Dirty: 5/25
Team Hitting: 3R, 8H, 3 XBH, 3BB, 1 three-and-out inning
The Clippers were retired in order only once during this entire game. Six out of the nine frames saw multiple hits/walks or at least one XBH for the Clippers. Yet, two of the three runs came via the solo shot and the third was pushed across on a Charlotte error. Even that rally was quickly snuffed out by an inning-killing double-play. There were chances to score, but it was just one of those days where the hits didn’t come in bunches.
Nick Weglarz (1-15, BB, RBI, 3K) is struggling to get himself situated at AAA, but this isn’t too worrisome considering the significant jump from AA. He wouldn’t appear to be pressing as he is seeing roughly 4 P/PA and is actually striking out at a lower rate (17.6%) than his career rate (20.3%). If he can stay slim enough to man LF and still maintain his ~.200 ISO coupled with a .~.380 OBP, he will be a valuable TTO player for the Indians. I was surprised to look up his defensive stats and see that he actually is a net-average outfielder. Defensively, I thought he was closer to Adam Dunn than Jason Bay in terms of slowly plodding after baseballs. Pleasant surprise, indeed.
Carlos Santana (2-3, HR, BB, 1.020 OPS) hit more baseballs this afternoon, but this isn’t really news at this point.
Team Pitching: 5(5) R(ER), 8H, 3BB, 10K, 65% strikes, 10:4 GO:FO
Those last few tidbits are indicative of a very strong pitching performance. Striking guys out and keeping the ball on the ground generally lead to good things. However, as the Clippers were evenly distributing their 8 hits, the Knights were bunching them up. In fact, the timing of the hits was the entire difference in the game. Both teams had 8 hits, 3BB, 2 solo HR and one 2B. The Knights had 4 hits in the bottom of the 6th en route to knocking out Germano and putting up the 2 runs that ended up being the difference in the game. The Clippers grounded into a double-play in the top of the 6th in the only inning that saw more than 2 batters reach base safely.
Vinnie Pestano continued to pitch brilliantly by striking out a pair to limit the damage in the 6th and keep Columbus within striking distance. Jeremy Sowers is still toiling away and had a perfect 7th to show for his journeys. Finally, Jess Todd worked around a single and IBB to pitch a scoreless 8th.
The Clippers travel back to Columbus to take on Lehigh Valley this Thursday after a much needed off-day tomorrow. The streaking Josh Tomlin will get the start against the Iron Pigs with the first pitch at 6:35pm.