The Threshers completed a three-game sweep of the Daytona Tortugas behind six shutout innings from Ranfi Casimro. The right hander was lifted after a 24-pitch sixth inning. Alexis Rivero and Victor Arano combined to complete the shutout over the last three innings. The Threshers pushed across an unearned run on Kyle Martin’s RBI single in the bottom of the sixth, just in time to make Casimiro the pitcher of record. The win was Casimiro’s third in as many starts.
Well, first the stadium gun was erratic again tonight. Thirty (42.9%) of Casimiro’s 70 pitches didn’t record on the radar gun. So, consider that when reading below.
Casimiro went 6.0 innings. He started strong with two strike outs and a pickoff in the first inning. He picked up another K in a 1-2-3 second inning. Casimiro pitched around a one-out double in the third, picking up his 4th K. He completed a 1-2-3 4th and picked up his 5th K. After four innings, Casimiro had a hand in 8 of the 12 outs – 5 Ks, 2 assists, and a putout.
Casimiro’s dominance reached its zenith in a 4-pitch fifth inning. Through five innings, he had thrown 46 pitches, 36 strikes (78.3%).
Casimiro’s night came to an end after a 24 pitch sixth inning. The umpire’s strike zone was erratic all evening (batters on both sides weren’t happy), but I could see that Casimiro’s control had dissipated some. He walked the first batter (#8) on 5 pitches, the strike wasn’t even close. The #9 hitter fouled off two bunt attempts before lifting a Texas Leaguer into left field. Daytona’s lead off batter was able to get a sacrifice bunt down.
Casimiro rebounded to strike out the next batter, but pitched around the #3 hitter. Again, the called strike during the 5-pitch at bat didn’t look like a strike. He got their clean up hitter to ground a 1-1 pitch back to the mound. First baseman, Kyle Martin, was able to stretch and grab the “ugly” throw to end the threat. But, after 24 pitches (12 strikes/12 balls) in the inning, Coach Legg decided to go to the pen.
Alexis Rivero came in to pitch two, one hit innings. The pitches that registered on the gun showed he was 93-94 mph with his FB and effective with an 84 mph off speed pitch. Both of his strike outs came on 93 mph FB, one swinging and one looking.
He gave way to Victor Arano for the ninth inning. He allowed a one out single. Gabriel Lino threw a strike to Scott Kingery on a steal attempt to record the second out. Arano induced a soft liner to Martin to pick up his first save.
Casimiro threw 70 pitches, 48 for strikes (68.6%). Before the sixth, he had thrown 46 pitches (11, 10, 11, 10, 4). He had run three 3-ball counts, one early in the game and the two walks in the sixth.
Casimiro struck out 6 batters. He got 5 swinging and one looking. Fortunately, I have velocity for all six –
- 91 swinging and 91 looking in the first (the rest were swinging after the first inning),
- 91 in the second (he touched 94 on the first pitch of the at bat),
- 82 in the third,
- 80 in the fourth (he started this batter with a 75 mph CB),
- and an 85 for the second out in the sixth with runners on second and third.
Casimiro’s strike breakdown was as follows (I didn’t see his earlier starts.) –
- 4/21 Innings 1-5 Innings 6
- Swing 12, 33.3% 5, 41.7%
- Called 7, 19.4% 3, 25.0%
- Foul 6, 16.7% 1, 8.3%
- Other 11, 30.6% 3, 25.0%
- Strikes 36 12
- Balls 10 12
- S/B% 78.3/21.7 50/50
Thirty of Casimiro’s pitches didn’t record on the stadium gun, greatly affecting the data. Fifteen of his FB came in at 90-91, 3 at 92, and 1 at 94. He threw first pitch strikes to 16 of 22 batters (72.7%).
The pitchers’ lines –
- Casimiro – 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 70 pitches, 48 strikes, 90-92, t94 mph.
- Rivero – 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 23 pitches, 19 strikes, 93-94 mph.
- Arano – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 16 pitches, 12 strikes, 93-95, t96 mph.
The defense was solid. The most memorable plays were –
- Casimiro’s scary sort of overhand throw to Martin to end the sixth. The crowd actually gasped.
- Lino’s throw to nab the base stealer in the ninth. It was a risk that a team that’s not hitting well right now thought they needed to take.
- Rivero had to make a toss to first to end the eighth. He was able to jog toward Martin and underhand the ball to the bag. (This situation was created by a passed ball by Lino after a one-out single. The runner advanced to third on a ground out to first. Rivero’s flip came after a come backer.)
Offensively, the Threshers were out hit 5-4.
- Carlos Tocci bounced an infield single to third that the fielder couldn’t handle while backing up and getting a high hop.
- Cord Sandberg lined a one-out single to center in the sixth. He was forced out by Tocci who was awarded second when the relay landed in the first base dugout on the fly.
- Kyle Martin came through with the RBI single that made Casimiro the pitcher of record. He beat the shift with a line drive to left.
- Sandberg dropped a one-out bunt down the third baseline in the eighth.
The Threshers worked 4 walks – Sandberg, Chace Numata, and two by Herlis Rodriguez.
Cord Sandberg batted in the two-hole again and reached base 3 times, going 2-3 with a walk. He raised his average to .348.
Six Threshers struck out last night. Five were caught looking. I think this is indicative of the problems both sides seemed to have with the strike zone. Nobody likes to be called out on strikes, but a lot of looks and maybe a few words were exchanged as players from both teams left the box.
The box score and recap for the game is here.
Extra Innings –
- The passed ball was Lino’s second.
- Rodriguez was picked off first by the catcher to end a Threshers’ threat in the seventh.
- Since giving up 3 runs in the first inning of his first start, Casimiro has thrown 15 consecutive shutout innings. He lowered his ERA to 1.69 and his WHIP to 1.00. He has 20 K in 16 IP.
- Rivero has pitched 8.1 innings over 5 appearances, hasn’t allowed a run, has a WHIP of 0.72, and 11 K.
- After giving up 2 runs in his first appearance, Arano has allowed 1 run in 6.2 innings and struck out 8.
- A flock of gulls camped out on and above the field between the third base line and the Threshers’ dugout. Some fan had left food on top of the dugout. The players weren’t distracted by the birds antics (although I have to admit, I wonderd if we might have a “Randy Johnson-like” moment). This was during the top of the third inning when the radar gun became more erratic. In the first two innings, 4 of 21 pitches (19%) didn’t provide velo. After the birds visit, 26 of 49 pitches (53.1%) didn’t provide velo. Dang birds.