The Threshers beat the Lakeland Flying Tigers in a game that amounted to a pitching duel between their respective pitching staffs. They won the game 4-3 on a single by Dylan Cozens in the seventeenth inning.
Early in the day, Domonic Brown was reassigned to Lehigh Valley. This was happy news since now we could get another young prospect into the game.
Friday’s line up.
Miguel Nunez got the start and pitched effectively against a line up that included the Tigers #1 prospect, the rehabbing Steven Moya. Moya is 98th on MLB’s top 100 and saw time in Detroit last season. He went 3 for 8 during a September call-up. This was his second game since coming off the DL.
Nunez was 91-94 thru the first 3 innings but dipped to 91-92 during a 30-pitch 4th inning when he walked 2 to load the bases and gave up a bases clearing double. He was only 89-91 during his 5th and last inning. He left trailing 3-1 thanks to Aaron Brown’s first home run of the season halfway up the berm in right field. Immediately after Nunez’ departure, the Threshers pulled within one. Drew Stankiewicz doubled to the right-center field gap when “small ball” showed up. Brodie Green sacrificed him to third and he scored on Andrew Pullin’s ground out to short.
Lino Martinez was the first of 4 relievers who all turned in spectacular performances over the next 12 innings. Martinez was 90-92, T94. He also was effective with his off-speed pitches racking up 3 Ks in 2 innings.
Lee “R.A.” Ridenhour was next. I was concerned when, after 2 shutout innings, he came out to pitch the 10th inning. Ridenhour made 42 appearances last season. He totaled 55 innings. I couldn’t remember an outing where he was asked to pitch more than 2 innings. I was wrong. He breezed through a 1-2-3 10th on 10 pitches, 6 at 93 mph. In all he threw 40 pitches and his fast ball was 91-93 with 6 of his eight 93 mph pitches coming in his final inning. In his first 2 innings, he looked to be up in the zone more than he was in his last appearance. (They are playing “Rocket Man” as his walk-on music. Tonight they played it all through his first warm ups.)
The Threshers tied the game during Ridenhour’s stint on Andrew Pullin’s first home run of the season to deep right-center field leading off the eighth.
Edubray Ramos was next. His second pitch rocked the house at 97. Three innings later his last pitch was at 96. I had stopped charting and had moved down behind the plate. Ramos mixes his pitches well, keeping the batter off balance. His movement is nasty.
Cody Forsythe threw the final 4 innings. His velocity is lower, but he keeps his pitches down and his delivery seems to make him more effective against right-handed batters. His pitches bear in on them while remaining low in the zone. I think he may have touched 90 once. But he gave the Tiger batters a hard time squaring him up. He struck out 6.
The Threshers’ bullpen produced the following line after Nunez’ departure –
- 12.0 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 16 K
In the 17th inning, Pullin singled and was balked to second. An intentional walk followed by an unintentional walk set the stage for Cozens’ game-winning base hit.
All the Threshers’ starters had hits except Andrew Knapp who was mercifully removed on this humid night at the start of the 14th inning. Six Threshers had 2-hit games – Greene, Pullin, Cozens, Green, Brown, and Astudillo. The Threshers drew all 8 of their walks against the Tigers’ bullpen while the Threshers’ bullpen only allowed one.
The box score for this game is here.