In game two of a three game series against Daytona, Matt Imhof shutout the Tortugas over six innings of one-hit ball. Miguel Nunez was touched for a meaningless two-out, two-run home run in the ninth, but Imhof recorded his first win of the season.
Imhof went 6.0 innings. He started the game by retiring the first 12 batters he faced. His string of consecutive outs was broken with a one-out walk in the fifth. Imhof cleaned that up three pitches later with a double play ground ball to Malquin Canelo. Scott Kingery mad the relay so quickly, I thought he was off the bag when he accepted Canelo’s throw.
Imhof finally allowed a hit in the sixth inning. He recovered from the lead off double, and escaped the inning without allowing a run, but not before issuing his second walk.
Imhof threw 93 pitches, 55 for strikes (59.1%). He started the game throwing 34 pitches in the first three innings (12, 10, 12). Daytona was able to extend their at bats as the game wore on. Five of his three-ball counts came after the third inning as well as 11 of their 15 fouled pitches. Imhof’s threw 59 pitches after the third inning (19, 18, 22).
Imhof struck out 3 batters. He got one swinging at a curve ball of unknown velocity. His other two were looking at 86 and 90 mph. Imhof’s strike breakdown was as follows (I didn’t see his earlier starts.) –
- 4/20 Innings 1-3 Innings 4-6
- Swing 2, 9.1% 5, 15.2%
- Called 9, 40.9% 9, 27.3%
- Foul 4, 18.2% 11, 33.3%
- Other 7, 31.8% 8, 24.2%
- Strikes 22 33
- Balls 12 26
- S/B% 64.7/35.3 55.9/44.1
Imhof’s velocity improved during the game. He threw one pitch over 89 mph in the first 3 innings, 17 above 89 after the third inning. The stadium gun failed to record a speed on 11 of his pitches (11.8%). I had him 89-91 mph on the 33 pitches at the top of his range. Twenty-eight fell 89-90 mph, five were at 91 mph.
Imhof’s line –
- 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 93 pitches, 55 strikes, 89-91 mph.
Matt Hockenberry relieved Imhof and the radar gun crapped out again. On the small sample that recorded, he looked like he was 89-91, t92 mph. He gave up 2 hits and struck out a batter. He was lifted with 2 out in the eighth after a ground single up the middle.
Miguel Nunez and was firing 93-96, t97 mph. He mopped up the eighth and had gotten 2 outs in the ninth after a ground, lead off single to center. Nunez got a pitch up and allowed a two-run home run to left. He followed that with a strike out.
The defense was solid. The most challenging plays were –
- a Tocci diving catch on a shallow pop fly to center for the first play of the game,
- the double play started by Canelo after Imhof’s first walk,
- and a couple of bullet short-hops handled by Walding at third.
Offensively, the Threshers stroked 9 hits. They didn’t work any walks but two of their batters were HBP. They bunched 8 of their hits during the first four innings when they built a 4-0 lead. Cord Sandberg, who reached base 3 times Tuesday night, was moved up to the 2-hole in the line up. He came through with 3 hits and a stolen base.
The Threshers got in the first when Scott Kingery ground a single to left. Cord Sandberg followed with a double off the left field wall. He lost the RBI when the third base coach held Kingery who then scored when the outfielder bobbled the ball. Kyle Martin drove Sandberg home with a ground single to right.
They scored again in the third when Tocci tripled to center field. He came home on Mitch Walding’s ground single to right. Tocci hit the ball hard to the right of center. The center fielder was playing him like a pull hitter (?) and was never able to catch up to the ball. Tocci hit a couple balls hard. He sent the right fielder back to the track his next at bat.
In the fourth, Kingery gapped a triple to left center with 2 out and scored on Sandberg’s second hit, a line drive single to left. Normally, a batter hits a ball that rolls to the wall in left center, and he’ll settle for a double. I watched Kingery from the moment I realized the ball wasn’t going to be caught. He ran hard to second so that he would have the option to take third. I’m sure he was thinking “Three!” long before I was. The kid can run.
The Threshers only got one hit after the fourth. Their only other base runner was on a hit batter.
The box score and recap for the game is here.
Extra Innings –
- The Threshers entered the game with a team ERA of 2.17
- They entered the game with a team WHIP of 0.95
- Opposing batters were hitting .192
- Each of the above should drop after today’s game.
- Their GO/AO was 1.53, today’s 8:14 will drive this down a little.
- Sandberg is now hitting .326