Lehigh Valley (37-50) beat the Pawtucket Red Sox 9-6. They scored 5 runs in the first inning and tacked on runs when the Sox pulled within one at 5-4 and 6-5. Nobody pitched particularly well, but David Buchanan started and pitched three innings. Nineteen of his 40 pitches were balls. Aaron Altherr (.321) went 1-3 with a walk and stolen base (3). Logan Moore went 2-4 with 2 RBI. Chase d’Arnaud had 2 doubles and an RBI. Russ Canzler had 3 hits, a double, HR, and 3 RBI. Edgar Duran had 3 hits.
Reading (45-39) beat the Portland Sea Dogs 8-6. Reading scored at least one run in each of the first five innings. When the Dogs pulled within one, they tacked on an insurance run before turning the game over to their closer. Jerome Williams pitched 3.2 innings that included 3 hits, 2 runs, 3 Ks, and a HR. Relievers Hoby Milner and Colton Murray didn’t pitch even that well. Stephen Shackleford threw a perfect ninth to rack up his 18th save. Brian Pointer led off and went 1-4 with a double, walk, and RBI. J.P. Crawford went 2-5 with an RBI. Kelly Dugan (.360) went 3-4 with 2 doubles, an RBI, and his first stolen base. Brock Stassi went 1-2 with 3 walks and 2 RBI (55). Andrew Knapp (.306) went 2-5 with an RBI. Cam Perkins went 1-3 with a HR (9), SF, and 3 RBI. Harold Martinez (.301) went 2-4.
Clearwater (47-36) beat the Lakeland Flying Tigers 3-2 in 12 innings. Brandon Leibrandt came off the DL and started the game. He was on a 5 inning or 75 pitch count. He was pulled after 4 innings and 65 pitches. He had given up 3 hits, 0 walks, and struck out one. He allowed a wind-aided, solo HR that barely cleared the LCF wall. Leibrandt had an uneven outing. While he allowed only the one run and retired the last 8 batters he faced, he threw a lot of pitches, pitched from behind a lot, and lost velocity at an alarming rate.
Number of pitches – Leibrandt needed only 10 pitches to get through the first. He recorded the first out on a fly ball to deep left field. He fell behind the next batter 2-1 and gave up a line drine single. That came to nothing when he got the next batter on a 6-4-3 double play. He faced only 5 batters in the second inning, but needed 28 pitches to survive the inning. Leibrandt retired the Tigers in order in the third but needed 18 pitches to accomplish that. He got his final 3 outs in the fourth on just 9 pitches, but 2 were deep fly balls that Carlos Tocci had to track down.
Pitching from behind – Leibrandt got ahead of all 3 batters he faced in the first inning. He fell behind 8 of the 11 batters he faced over the last 3 innings. He ran 4 three-ball counts. and 5 two-ball counts. In his middle two innings, he faced 8 batters. Six of the 8 saw at least 5 pitches in their at bats. The other 2 saw 4 each. In his fourth inning, he fell behind all 3 batters.
Velocity – One of the things you readers noticed earlier in the season was that Leibrandt relied on a high 80s FB. Well, he started in that range tonight. First inning – 9 pitches, 7 FB at 87-89 mph: 89 (2), 88 (3), 87 (2). In the long second inning – 28 pitches, 17 FB at 86-89 mph: 89 (2), 88 (5), 87 (7), 86 (2). After the Threshers saw a total of 6 pitches, Leibrandt came out to pitch the third – 18 pitches, 13 FB at 84-88 mph: 88 (1), 87 (2), 86 (5), 85 (3), 84 (2). The the fourth – 9 pitches, 3 FB: 86 (1), 85 (2). Now factor in the favorable 1 mph that the Bright House radar gun is suspected of adding. Hmm.
He also threw 25 off-speed pitches. A half dozen or more bounced a few feet in front of the plate.
The Threshers got pretty good relief pitching from Jesen Therrien, Edubray Ramos, Ulises Ramos, and Ethan Stewart. Therrien’s low 90s FB must have looked like high 90s following Leibrandt. Therrien allowed 2 hits in his 3 shutout innings. Ramos gave up a 2-out singles, but was virtually unhittable during the 2 strikes outs he got on his nasty change. Nastier when you consider it comes after being setup by his mid-90s FB. Joaquin blew the save when the Tigers teed off on his mid-90s FB. He then shut them down with his change to preserve the tie. Stewart pitched 2 no-hit innings and picked up the win.
The Threshers had fallen behind on a Tigers solo HR in the second inning. They finally tied the game in the fifth when Angelo Mora led off with a line drive double down the left field line. He moved to third on a ground ball to first, and scored on Chase Harris’ ground single to left through a drawn-in infield. They took the lead in the sixth when an errant pickoff throw allowed Andrew Pullin to score. (There were 2 outs, Pullin on third, Chace Numata on first, Willians Astudillo at the plate, Mora on deck. I don’t think I let my pitcher make that throw.)
The Threshers won when Chace Harris led off the 12th with an infield single to the left side. Malquin Canelo failed to move Harris to second on 2 bunt attempts and struck out on a poor swing at a ball that bounced 5 feet in front of the plate. Tocci lined a single to right and Coach Hill held Harris at second. The throw missed the first cutoff man (or was allowed to go through to the third baseman) and hit the grass/dirt seam and bounced wildly. Both runners advanced an additional base. With one out, the Tigers opted to intentionally walk Pullin and pitch to Rhys Hoskins. Up to this point, the patient Hoskins had walked 3 times, flew out to deep center when given a green light on a 3-0 pitch, and grounded out sharply to short. On another favorable count he had driven a foul ball HR distance to left. So, with the game on the line, Hoskins lifted a fly ball to left field close to the foul line. The fielder made an accurate throw but he needed a bounce to reach the plate. The speedy Harris beat the throw and scored the winning run.
Carlos Tocci (.264) went 3-6. Rhys Hoskins (.295) went 0-2 with 3 walks, a SF, and his first stolen base. Chace Numata (.281) went 2-5. Willians Astudillo (.309) went 1-5. Angelo Mora (.297) went 2-5 with a double. Chase Harris went 3-5 with an RBI.
Other stuff – Hoskins popped up another 3-0 green light into the Threshers’ dugout. Victor Arano successfully positioned himself to block the third baseman from reaching cleanly into the dugout to catch the ball. Good job, Victor! Coach Legg told an interviewer that Numata has the best pop time off all catchers in the organization. Astudillo entered the game with the 3rd highest AVG in the FSL. Pullin came in tied for second with 49 RBIs. Justin Verlander’s younger brother Ben plays for Lakeland. So does Jiwan James who went 0-5 and struck out twice.
One final thing. The Threshers batters are very, very aggressive at the plate. Most of them have no compunction swinging early in the count. After Leibrandt’s 28-pitch second inning, they saw 6 pitches in their half of the inning. When Leibrandt threw 18 pitches in the third, they saw another 6 pitches in their half of the third. While Leibrandt threw 46 pitches, they saw 12 pitches. This disparity continued through the game. It is exasperrating for me to watch this. I can’t argue with their success, but the opposing pitcher warmed up longer for the second and third innings than it took him to retire the Threshers those innings.
Only Rhys Hoskins seems to want to work a pitcher. In his first 4 ABs, he saw – 5, 4, 6, and 6 pitches. He saw 4 in his 5th AB and I think he hit the SF on the first pitch.
The win lifts Clearwater 11 games over .500 for the season. They have started the second half 10-3.
Lakewood (39-42) lost to the Hagerston Suns 6-3. Tyler Viza allowed 3 earned runs in seven innings, Alexis Rivero allowed 2 in two innings. . Kyle Martin (.340) went 0-3. Herlis Rodriguez (.304) went 1-4. Cord Sandberg went 1-4. Jose Mayorga went 1-3 and picked up their only RBI.
Williamsport (13-4) No game scheduled.
GCL Phillies (10-3) beat the GCL Blue Jays 5-4 in 11 innings. Felix Paulino allowed one run and 3 hits in five innings while striking out nine. Will Stewart pitched one inning and blew the save opportunitty. Jairo Munoz and Sutter McLoughlin pitched one-hit, shutout ball over the last five innings. Sixteen-year old Jonathan Arauz (.275) went 4-6 with 2 doubles. Cornelius Randolph (.341) went 2-4 with a double and 2 RBI. The Phillies faced the Blue Jays rehabbing Aaron Sanchez. They touched him up for 3 hits, a walk, and 2 earned runs in the first two innings. Arauz hit his first double of Sanchez
DSL Phillies (18-14) lost to the DSL Athletics 3-2.
VSL Phillies (19-25) beat the VSL Tigers 9-6. Lenin Rodriguez went 2-5 with a double and 2 RBI.
Here’s the affiliate scoreboard from MiLB.
Extra Innings –
- The Phillies top two affiliates beat the Red Sox top two affiliates. Do we really want them as a trade partner for Hamels???
- Philadelphia Phillies sent RHP Jerome Williams on a rehab assignment to Reading Fightin Phils.
- Philadelphia Phillies recalled Severino Gonzalez from Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
- Designated RHP Kevin Correia for assignment.
- Philadelphia Phillies sent RHP Sean O’Sullivan outright to Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
- Philadelphia Phillies recalled Hector Neris from Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
- Clearwater Threshers activated LHP Brandon Leibrandt from the 7-day disabled list.