Brandon Short was in the line up today for the Williamsport squad . He has begun a rehab assignment that will hopefully end in his being activated on the Threshers’ roster. He led off and started in centerfield. Unfortunately, this pushed Cord Sandberg to the GCL squad and the DH position. Still, Trey Williams, Jan Hernandez, Jake Sweaney, Jose Pujols, and Herlis Rodriguez would be in the Williamsport line up and Ricardo Pinto would get the start.
Short reached first on an infield single in his first at bat. He finished 1-4 and failed to get a ball out of the infield. He looked tentative on defense.
Jose Pujols went 1-2 with a strike out and a solidly hit double to the warning track.
Trey Williams went 0-2 with a strike out and a walk.
Justin Parr went 1-3 with a 2-run home run.
Jan Hernandez went 0-2 with a walk.
Jake Sweaney went 1-3 with a strike out.
Herlis Rodriguez went 2-3 with a double and a triple. The double was pulled into the right field corner and would have been a triple but for H-Rod losing his footing after touching second base. He was an easy out when the relay came in. He had been struck on the knee with a pitched ball on Monday, and I wondered if he had some lingering effect from this. Nah. He tripled into the right field gap on his next at bat. The ball caromed off the wall.
Ricardo Pinto was getting hit hard but most of the balls were being hit at somebody. He gave up single runs in the 1st and 3rd innings. He unraveled in the 4th when the Pirates started jumping on his pitches early in the count and put 4 consecutive batters on base. A sac fly and triple blasted over Short’s head cleared the bases. Pinto rebounded from the 5-run 4th inning with a 1-2-3 5th inning. He called it a day with the following line –
5.0 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
He was followed by Elniery Garcia who managed to load the bases with a single and 2 walks and escape without allowing a run in his one inning.
Will Morris finished the final 2 innings facing the minimum batters. The 1 single he allowed was erased by Jesus Posso on a steal attempt to end the top of the 8th inning.
On two occasions, the middle infielders were victimized by the aggressive base running of the Pirates lead off batter, Enyel Vallejo. In the 3rd inning, he reached first when his attempted sac bunt resulted in a force out at second. The next batter grounded a ball into centerfield. Vallejo went first to third. When the relay was mishandled or slow coming in, he bolted for home and arrived standing without a throw. In the 4th inning, Vallejo hit that bases clearing triple I mentioned above. Once again, he caught the relay man napping and continued home. Standing. Without a throw. Embarrassing.
While going through the Pirates XST roster, I came upon a familiar name – Vance Worley. He must have made a rehab stop on his way back to the International League.
Before leaving, I checked the GCL game and found the Phillies batting in the bottom of the last inning. As I walked up William Cuicas was crossing home. Jiwan James came to the plate and lined a single into left field scoring Wilber Torres. Cord Sandberg then lined an extremely hard hit ball off the back of the pitcher. It landed near the shortstop and Sandberg easily beat the throw. Bryan Martelo followed with a double down the left field line scoring James. With the infield in, Luis Encarnacion chopped a ball toward the third baseman. Sandberg dove back to the bag, avoiding the tag, and Encarnacion beat the throw to first. Lots of hustle and a lot of excitement in four batters.
For those who have asked, no Julsan Kamara sighting.