Bill Hass on Baseball:Drive pitching, defense thwart Hoppers

Posted by Guest Columnist on July 22, 2017 at 12:15 am under Professional | Comments are off for this article

Final:Greenville Drive 4, Greensboro Grasshoppers 1
WP:David Hernandez(3-1)/LP:Michael King(8-6)/SV:Matthew Gorst(3)
Drive’ Line-4-9-1
Hoppers’ Line-1-4-0
Hoppers’ record(50-44/13-13)…Drive’ record(55-41/14-13)

Drive pitching, defense thwart Hoppers
from Bill Hass with Bill on Baseball at www.gsohoppers.com

The obvious takeaway from Friday night’s game was the way Greenville’s pitching shut down the Hoppers in a 4–1 win.

A trio of Drive pitchers limited the Hoppers to four hits and issued just one walk. But Greensboro manager Todd Pratt, while giving credit to the pitching, thought shortstop Santiago Espinal’s defense was just as important.

“He put them in a great situation to win the game,” Pratt said. “He took a lot of hits away, probably four.”

The biggest play Espinal made came in the bottom of the fifth inning with the Drive holding a 1–0 lead with one out. Luis Pintor sliced a ball into the right field corner that rolled along the fence. By the time it was fielded, Pintor was on third base with a triple.

Brian Miller then slapped a hard grounder that Espinal fielded cleanly. Pintor broke for home with the contact but Espinal’s throw was on the money and Pintor was tagged out by catcher Isaias Lucena.

“It was a contact play,” said Pratt, meaning that Pintor was supposed to go home no matter where the ball was hit.

“It was a good time to call it but the shortstop made a great throw and a great play.”

That was pretty much the extent of the offense until Walker Olis hit a solo home run in the sixth inning. The combination of Drive starter Darwinson Hernandez and relievers Daniel Gonzalez and Matthew Gorst allowed only two runners to reach scoring position.

Hoppers starter Michael King matched Hernandez with four shutout innings and was nicked for a run in the fifth. He faltered in the sixth and gave up two runs before being relieved by Jared Lakind. The Drive added an insurance run in the eighth when Bobby Dalbec hit a solo homer off of Michael Mertz.

“King was pretty solid through five innings,” said pitching coach Mark DiFelice. “It was similar to Ethan Clark (Thursday night)?—?he seemed to hit a wall in the heat. His fastball flattened out and he elevated it a bit. But these guys have to learn to pitch in the heat.”

The Hoppers remain at home for a four-game series against Asheville that begins Saturday. Dustin Beggs will start the opener.

Another starting pitcher will soon be added to the roster. Brandon Miller, one of four players the Marlins acquired from Seattle in the David Phelps trade, will be assigned to the Hoppers. Pratt doesn’t know when he will arrive.

The right-hander, rated the ?16 prospect in the Mariners’ farm system, has been with Clinton in the Midwest League. In 18 starts he posted a 9–4 record with an ERA of 3.65. In 101 innings he struck out 94, walked 23 and gave up 11 home runs. The Marlins have yet to decide how Miller will fit into the rotation or how the roster spot will be cleared for him.

NOTES: James Nelson has assumed the DH role while his shoulder injury heals … Pratt said the goal is for Nelson to be ready to play third base again when the team heads to Delmarva next week … The other three players in the trade have also been assigned … Outfielder Brayan Hernandez, considered the top prospect in the deal, will go to Batavia while pitchers Pablo Lopez and Lukas Schiraldi will head to Jupiter.

Final

           1	2	3	4	5	6	7	8	9			R	H	E
Greenville 0	0	0	0	1	2	0	1	0			4	9	0
Greensboro 0	0	0	0	0	1	0	0	0			1	4	0

W: Hernandez, D (3-1, 3.30) ; L: King (8-6, 3.26) ; SV: Gorst (3)
HR: GVL: Dalbec (4) . GBO: Olis (2) .

Greenville Drive

Player	        Pos	AB	R	H	2B	3B	HR	RBI	BB	SO	AVG*
Lorenzo Cedrola	CF	4	0	1	0	0	0	0	0	1	.285
Santi Espinal	SS	4	1	1	1	0	0	0	0	0	.244
Tyler Hill	LF	4	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	1	.278
Bobby Dalbec	3B	4	1	1	0	0	1	1	0	3	.246
Tucker Tubbs	1B	4	1	2	1	0	0	1	0	0	.256
Ryan Scott	DH	3	1	2	2	0	0	1	0	1	.252
Isaias Lucena	C	4	0	1	0	0	0	0	0	0	.248
Grang Studdard	RF	4	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	2	.292
Carlos Tovar	2B	4	0	1	0	0	0	1	0	2	.192
Totals	               35	4	9	4	0	1	4	0	10	.252

BATTING
2B: Scott 2 (17, King, King); Espinal, Sa (14, King); Tubbs (21, Mertz).
HR: Dalbec (4, 8th inning off Mertz, 0 on, 2 out).
TB: Cedrola; Scott 4; Tovar, C.; Tubbs 3; Espinal, Sa 2; Dalbec 4; Lucena.
RBI: Tovar, C. (11); Tubbs (29); Scott (47); Dalbec (18).
2-out RBI: Tubbs; Scott; Dalbec.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Dalbec; Studdard; Cedrola; Lucena; Scott.
Team RISP: 2-for-12.
Team LOB: 5.

Greensboro Grasshoppers

Player	        Pos	AB	R	H	2B	3B	HR	RBI	BB	SO	AVG
Brian Miller	CF	4	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	.256
Aaron Knapp	LF	4	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	3	.237
James Nelson	DH	3	0	1	0	0	0	0	0	1	.316
Eric Gutierrez	1B	3	0	0	0	0	0	0	1	0	.275
Walker Olis	RF	4	1	1	0	0	1	1	0	0	.172
J.C. Millan	2B	4	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	1	.083
Jar Rindfleisch	C	3	0	0	0	0	0	0	0	2	.233
Rony Cabrera	3B	3	0	1	0	0	0	0	0	0	.184
Luis Pintor	SS	3	0	1	0	1	0	0	0	0	.212
Totals	               31	1	4	0	1	1	1	1	7	.245

BATTING
3B: Pintor (2, Hernandez, D).
HR: Olis (2, 6th inning off Gonzalez, D, 0 on, 2 out).
TB: Pintor 3; Cabrera, R; Olis 4; Nelson.
RBI: Olis (7).
2-out RBI: Olis.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Olis.
Team RISP: 0-for-2.
Team LOB: 5.

FIELDING
PB: Rindfleisch (6).
Outfield assists: Miller (Lucena at 3rd base).

Greenville Drive

Player	                        IP	H	R	ER	BB	SO	HR	ERA*
Darwinzon Hernandez (W, 3-1)	5.0	3	0	0	1	5	0	3.30
Daniel Gonzalez (H, 1)	        3.0	1	1	1	0	2	1	3.61
Matthew Gorst (S, 3)	        1.0	0	0	0	0	0	0	3.38
Totals	                        9.0	4	1	1	1	7	1	3.52

Greensboro Grasshoppers

Player	                IP	H	R	ER	BB	SO	HR	ERA
Michael King (L, 8-6)	5.2	7	3	3	0	6	0	3.26
Jared Lakind	        1.1	0	0	0	0	1	0	2.08
Michael Mertz	        2.0	2	1	1	0	3	1	2.31
Totals	                9.0	9	4	4	0	10	1	3.80

Game Scores: Hernandez, D 67; King 57.
HBP: Scott (by King); Nelson (by Hernandez, D).
Pitches-strikes: Hernandez, D 78-52; Gonzalez, D 35-24; Gorst 18-12; King 76-54; Lakind 14-11; Mertz 25-19.
Groundouts-flyouts: Hernandez, D 6-3; Gonzalez, D 5-2; Gorst 1-2; King 8-1; Lakind 3-0; Mertz 2-0.
Batters faced: Hernandez, D 20; Gonzalez, D 10; Gorst 3; King 24; Lakind 4; Mertz 8.
Inherited runners-scored: Lakind 1-0.
Umpires: HP: Reed Basner. 1B: John Benken.
Weather: 88 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 7 mph, L to R.
First pitch: 7:00 PM.
T: 2:26.
Att: 6,928.
Venue: First National Bank Field.
July 21, 2017


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