Colin Kleven posted his 4th consecutive quality start, and third win among those starts, with a solid 105-pitch effort against the Lakeland Flying Tigers. The offense, which was non-existent in Kleven’s 5-hit, 1-0 loss in his last start, staked him to 6 runs Saturday night. Kleven rebounded from a couple of mistakes and left after 6 innings with a 6-2 lead. The big righty kept the Tigers’ batters off balance most of the night and the Threshers held on to win 7-5. Kleven’s final line was –
- 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 2 HR (and 1 WP that wasn’t charged)
Lino Martinez came on to throw a 2-strike out seventh inning. Martinez has had some rough outings lately, and has seen his ERA climb from 4.20 to 5.35 over his last 10 appearances. He has given up 17 ER in his last 19.1 innings. So, it wasn’t surprising when manager Nelson Prada pulled him after the Tigers got a bunt single to open the eighth inning.
Aaron Baker was brought on to face the heart of the Tigers order. In his first appearance with the Threshers, Baker faced 4 batters and retired 2 on line drives to J.P. Crawford. The first batter lined a single to right field that Brian Pointer mis-played into runners on second and third. With 2 outs, Baker surrendered a 2-run double.
With 5 consecutive left-handed batters due up, Prada pulled the right-handed Baker for right hander Lee Ridenhour (going for that righty-lefty matchup I guess?). Ridenhour gave up a run-scoring double before inducing a ground ball to Crawford to end the inning. Ridenhour got the save with 2 strike outs in the ninth inning.
The Threshers struggled with the Tigers’ Yorfrank Lopez early, but got to him the second time through the line up. Brian Pointer smashed a majestic home run off the back fence of the stadium to plate the team’s first three runs in the third inning. They scored three more in the fourth inning on an RBI double by Chris Serritella and RBI singles by Roman Quinn and Crawford.
After the Tigers closed to 6-5, they pushed across an insurance run on another Crawford RBI single.
Game notes –
- Kleven faced 24 batters.
- 105 pitches/72 strikes.
- 16 first pitch strikes.
- 4 three-ball counts (K, HR, BB, ground out)
- 6 two-ball counts (fly out, K, ground out, HR, ground out, K)
- All 7 strike outs were of the swing-and-miss variety
- Of the 72 strikes – 11 swing-and-miss, 16 called strikes, 29 foul balls, 16 balls in play.
- Of the 16 in play – 4 fly outs, 7 ground outs, 5 hits (bunt single, ground single, double, and 2 solo home runs.
- On the bunt single Martinez gave up in the eighth inning, Martinez had fielded the ball but Serritella had charged to field the ball and Angelo Mora didn’t cover in time from his second base position.
- Baker inherited the runner and allowed him to score.
- One of the line drives Baker allowed in the eighth almost resulted in a double play when Crawford caught it and immediately fired to third. Harold Martinez caught the ball while still back-pedaling to the bag and the runner just beat him to the bag.
- Ridenhour inherited a runner from Baker and allowed him to score.
- The double Ridenhour allowed nullified the error by Pointer and converted Baker’s line from 1 ER to 2 ER.
- Ridenhour recorded his 8th save in 10 opportunities.
- Quinn struck out twice on off speed pitches before his RBI single. He stole a base (could have been defensive indifference), and was hit on the foot by a pitch.
- Crawford went 2-4 with a walk, 2 RBI, and a stolen base.
- Ponter had 3 RBIs and a walk.
- Serritella went 2-4 and raised his average to .198. He is 6 for his last 15, .400.
- Gabriel Lino went 1-2 with 2 walks.
- Anthony Phillips went 1-2 before being replaced by Angelo Mora. Didn’t think much of this at the time, but it is rare for a position player to be replaced during a game here. I wonder if this has anything to do with Jesmuel Valentin?
- Crawford was in the line up for the first time since August 11th (missed 3 games). No idea why he was kept out.
- Crawford had 7 chances, 2 line drives and 5 ground balls. No errors.
Up top I alluded to a mystery wild pitch. Here is the sequence. First inning. With one out, batter bunts in front of the plate. Lino fields the ball and bounces the throw off the batter as he approaches first base. Batter takes second on the error. The next batter strikes out on a ball in the dirt that bounces off Lino up the third base line. While Lino retrieves the ball and tags the batter, who is arguing with the home plate umpire about something (check swing or foul tip?), the runner on second moves up to third. The runner wasn’t awarded a stolen base. Lino wasn’t charged a passed ball. Kleven wasn’t charged a wild pitch. The recap simple states “Jared Reaves strikes out, Chad Wright to 3rd.” I originally scored it a wild pitch, but I routinely check my score sheet against the official box score. Apparently there is a new category, “to 3rd”. What do you think?