Reading took on Binghamton on Tuesday night and lost 5-2 so let’s get right to the good stuff:
Thomas Eshelman started and did not impress. He only lasted 4 innings and threw first pitch strikes to 9 of the 18 batters he faced. His fastball was recorded at 91-92 with one 94 and a few 93’s. On the low side, He was usually around 83 and one pitch registered 76 (change-up I’m sure). Here are his innings:
1) Nice easy 1-2-3 with two 6-3 groundouts and a foul popout to Alfaro
2) Leadoff 5-pitch walk/flyout to deep right/hard line single to left-center/Flyout ro RF/hard RBI single up the middle. Alfaro deked the runner at home and acted as if there was no play at the plate and then tried to scoop the ball and make a sweep tag in one motion. It didn’t work, but it was an interesting move. The inning ended 0n a lazy pop up to 1st.
3) Another leadoff 5-pitch walk was followed by a long HR to RF. After that, Esh settled in and finished with two line outs to left and a line out to right. Sandwiched in there was a routine liner (not hit very hard) right to Cozens who dropped it for a 2-base error. Cozens is anything but fluid in the outfield, and the way he catches the ball is kind of awkward (reminds me actually quite a bit of Domonic Brown the way he holds the glove). He can’t afford to use one hand to catch anything. I like Cozens a lot but his play in the OF is a concern for me.
4) Nice inning for Esh with 2 swinging K’s sandwiched around a lineout to RF.
Esh was lifted at 63 pitches (only 34 strikes). Mark Leiter came in and looked very good. He pitched the final 5 and had 4 scoreless innings until he gave up a 2-run homer in the top of the 9th. Leiter was recorded at 91-92 reaching 94 once. On the bottom end, he threw some 85-86 and some 70-71. I would assume those were curve or slider and changeup. All totaled, Leiter struck out 8 in his 5 innings (3 looking) and only gave up 4 base-runners.
Scott Kingery played his second game at Reading and went 1-5. Line single into RC with 2 strikes/Flyout to CF- didn’t seem like he got much on it but it was pretty deep/hard lineout right at the CF/6-3 chopper/5-3 routine groundout
The reborn Andrew Pullin batted second and went 1-5 also. His only hit was a bloop single to CF that should have been caught but the CF seemed to get a slow jump on it. His other 4 AB’s: Hard lineout right to CF/very high Flyout to RF and 2 swinging K’s on off-speed pitches
Jorge Alfaro was 0-3 until his last AB in the 8th when he clocked an opposite field solo HR that landed right in the pool in RF. He also K’d on a curve away, had a broken bat 6-3 groundout and a 4-3 groundout during which he showed outstanding hustle and made it a pretty close play. Only one runner tried to steal on him and he was caught though it was because he overslid 2nd base. In Alfaro’s defense, he had a great jump and the play was still very close.
Dylan Cozens batted clean-up and was also 0-3 until homering in the 8th. It was a moon shot to right-center that cleared everything including the back wall. His first 3 AB’s- swinging K on a 78 mph curve/hard liner to RF that was dropped for an error/very hard one hopper that the 1st baseman made an impressive pick-up on. All in all, he hit the ball very hard 3 of 4 AB’s.
Rhys Hoskins had a perfect day at the plate walking 3 times (first two on full counts) and hitting a hard ground single right between the SS and 3B. He showed excellent patience and was willing to take the walk- which is becoming a trend for him as he does not have the protection in the lineup that Alfaro and Cozens do. Rhys looked smooth at first and even stole a base.
I figured I’d track Osmel Aguila since he is new to the organization. He went 0-4 with 1 K and only one hard hit ball.
The highlight of the game was definitely the back-to-back jacks in the 8th from Alfaro and Cozens which pulled the Fightins to within one run. After another walk to Hoskins, Jake Fox pinch hit for Harold Martinez which brought the crowd to its feet (he didn’t start since there was no DH) but he lined out to LF.