Back to .500....

Friday, May 22, 2009

(5) Comments

(pictured, Matt West)

.... again

After winning the first two games of the series against Delmarva, Hickory managed to drop the last two to return to the .500 mark for what seems like the 15th time this season. Hickory has not been more than 3 games over .500 or 2 games below .500 in the 2009 season.

As opposed to Wednesday night's loss to the Shorebirds' Nathan Morneau, the offense really did not have much of a shot at Rick Zagone, the Orioles' 6th round pick in 2008 from the University of Missouri. Other than a minor control blip in the 5th inning, the 6'4" lefthander pretty well had things under control. He threw an OK fastball, but changed speeds enough to keep the Crawdads hitters off balance all night. Zagone gave up two hits, one was a high hopper that perhaps a 6'5" Zagone would've fielded with an outstretched glove.

Carlos Pimentel did himself proud, allowing just the unearned run in the 6th inning. His undoing-- his failure to field a dribbler by Joe Mahoney between the mound and first base. Mahoney eventually scored the only run. Pimentel threw 95 pitches in 6.2 innings and pretty well controlled the Shorebirds' offense. Tyler Tufts was outstanding, setting down all 7 batters he faced.

Have to give props to Shorebirds' shortstop Greg Miclat, Baltimore's 2008 5th round pick out of the University of Virginia. Very strong arm, can flat out track down a baseball. Made several plays in the hole at short, including a very impressive sliding stop of a ball deep in the hole, before firing a strike to retire Mike Bianucci in the 2nd inning. Miclat put on a defensive display throughout the series.

So now, its on the road to Hagerstown as the team bus left after the game Thursday. Still anyone's division, but with 30 games to play and 3.5 out in 5th place, its time to make a move or wait until the second half.

Clark Murphy was sent to extended spring on Thursday with Leury Garcia taking his spot on the roster. Garcia started at short on Thursday and looked quite smooth with the glove and displayed a strong arm.

Matt West managed to collect the hat trick on back-to-back nights as he struck out 6 times in 2 games. He looks lost as to where the strike zone is-- taking lots of pitches!

Mark P.

Mark Parker

5 Responses to "Back to .500...."

Mike W. said :
May 22, 2009 at 9:57 AM
I am starting to get concerned by Hickory's inabilitiy to make adjustments at the plate. I don't want to throw the hitting coach under the bus, but something's got to give. Clark Murphy killed the rookie league last year but could barely stay above the Mendoza line? Bolden, who killed the ball in college has done nothing. Bianucci has been streaky. Matt West was awesome after Servais visted town but has reverted back to the same old habits. The list goes on...
syrupmaker2 said :
May 22, 2009 at 11:33 AM
I think Murphy's overmatched in this league for now. Its seems to be the year of the pitcher in the SAL and we've seen a few good ones. Plus, his defense has been pretty suspect.

This seems to be purely a fastball hitting team that, perhaps as you said, are not making adjustments to the off speed pitches. Zagone was pretty decent, but to look lost against Morneau on Wed was real troubling.
Mike W. said :
May 22, 2009 at 11:52 AM
I don't understand why a guy (Murphy) that hit almost .350 with an ops of .450 in the rookie league last year couldn't perform better at this level.

Hopefully he will benefit from going back to Arizona and getting more instruction before short season A-ball starts in Spokane.
XXZ said :
May 25, 2009 at 2:42 AM
Do you think anyone drafted in this year's draft will help out the Dads?

Someone like Shaver Hansen, Robbie Shields, or even a highly advanced prep bat like Bobby Borchering could fill an organizational need as well as provide an offensive boost for the dads.
Mike W. said :
May 25, 2009 at 10:34 AM
Don't call me to task on this, but I believe that the younger draft picks will play in the rookie league and the older (college experienced) draft picks will play short season ball in Spokane. At least that's how my memory tells me these things work.

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