The Threshers were stymied in their attempt to take the third game of the four game series against the Stone Crabs. Jeb Stuart started and did a KK impersonation, allowing 3 runs on 1 hit in the first inning. The Threshers rallied for 4 runs in the fifth inning to tie the game but Stefan and Ethan Stewart combined to surrender 3 runs in the top of the sixth inning. The Crabs held on for a 7-5 victory.
Stefan has struggled in the first inning this season. Going into his 12th start, his first inning ERA was 14.34. After tonight’s first inning he had pitched 11.2 first innings and allowed 20 earned runs, raising his first inning ERA to 15.42. He has allowed the opposing team to score first in half of his starts.
Stefan’s night began with back-to-back walks to start the game. A double off Mora’s glove in left field started the scoring. A ground out and sacrifice fly plated the final 2 runs in the first inning. Stefan settled down allowing just a single until he gave up a two-out home run to left in the third inning. He followed that with 1-2-3 fourth and fifth innings.
Stefan had thrown only 82 pitches through the first 5 innings and started the sixth inning after the Threshers had forged a tie. He gave up 2 singles to start the sixth and was relieved by Ethan Stewart.
Stewart was greeted with a first-pitch triple to clear the bases. A single score the Crabs seventh run. A deep fly to Roman Quinn was followed by another single before Stewart retired the next 2 Crabs on strike outs.
Stewart pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning, and Kevin Walter came on to pitch 1-2-3 eighth and ninth innings, but the damage had been done. The Threshers could only get one run back and Stefan suffered his 9th loss against 6 wins.
The Threshers’ offense was anemic through the first 4 innings, managing 3 singles and a walk. The offense exploded with 2 outs in the fifth inning. Angelo Mora singled to start the inning but was erased on an Anthony Phillips fielder’s choice. Quinn followed with a strike out. J.P. Crawford kept the inning going with a single. Carlos Ruiz doubled into the left centerfield gap to score the Threshers’ first two runs. Art Charles then launched a mammoth home run to right. Brian Pointer missed a home run by a foot doubling off the top of the left field wall. He advanced to third on a passed ball before Harold Martinez’ deep drive to centerfield was caught over the shoulder by the center fielder.
Crawford drove in the Threshers’ final run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning. The Threshers managed 2 base runners over the final 3 innings but couldn’t mount another threat.
Random stuff –
- Angelo Mora started in left field, his 8th outfield start. It looked like he took an indirect route to the double that glanced off his glove in the first inning.
- Mora plays a little deep, and made a nice running catch on a ball down the left field foul line.
- Ruiz picked a runner off first base.
- Ruiz played all nine innings. He probably won’t start tomorrow’s day game. I expect he’ll be headed north rather than travel to Jupiter for Thursday’s game.
- Defense aside, Mora went 2-3 with a double and a walk, and was robbed of extra bases and a couple RBIs when the centerfielder made a diving catch on a ball in the gap that was headed for the warning track.
- Crawford had 5 assists on routine ground balls and a put out on a pop up.
- Quinn had 4 put outs. One on a sac fly that forced him back to the center field wall.
- Crawford saw 17 pitches in his first 3 at bats. He finished 1-3 with an RBI, run scored, walk, and sac fly.
- Quinn had a walk and a stolen base.
- Charles and Pointer each went 2-5.
- Both starters were charged with wild pitches that I thought were passed balls.
- Stewart inherited 2 runners and allowed both to score.
- Stefan threw 92 pitches/51 strikes. 13 of 23 were first pitch strikes.