Pawtucket W 5-1
Jantzen Witte, 3B: 3-4, 2 2B, 1 BB, 3 RBI
Rusney Castillo, RF: 0-4
Josh Ockimey, DH: 0-4, 2 K
Sam Travis, 1B: 2-3, 1 BB, 1 R
Gorkys Hernández, CF: 2-3, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB
Nick Lovullo, SS: 2-4, 1 2B, 2 R
Teddy Stankiewicz: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 K (91 pitches)
Josh Taylor: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K (20 pitches)
Jenrry Mejia: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K (17 pitches)
It’s been a slog for much of the system of late, so it was nice to see a relatively easy with for the PawSox to start us off on Wednesday. This one was all because of the pitching, which was a little surprising since it was Stankiewicz on the mound. The former second round pick isn’t terrible or anything, but he was my Tim Wakefield of Portland — in that I saw him every time I went to a game — and he just wasn’t that overwhelming. He does have stuff that can be tough to square up when he’s at his best, though, and that came in handy on a night where he walked more batters than he struck out and still managed to dominate. Offensively, it’s great to see Hernández go deep. It’s been a tough year for the outfielder and hopefully this can spark something.
Portland W 4-2
C.J. Chatham, SS: 1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI
Cody Asche, LF: 2-3, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
Brett Netzer, 2B: 0-3, 2 K
Bobby Dalbec, 3B: 1-3, 1 3B, 1 BB, 2 RBI, 1 SB
Joey Curletta, 1B: 0-4, 3 K
Marcus Wilson, CF: 2-4, 1 R, 1 K
Kyle Hart: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K (100 pitches)
The big story in Portland on Tuesday was Dustin Pedroia getting scratched. This was supposed to be an opportunity for him to play three games in a row, but it rained most of the afternoon in Portland and the game started in a delay, so they didn’t want to take a chance on a wet field. They could have asked me and I would have told them Portland doesn’t go three days without rain this time of year. As for the game itself, the Sea Dogs were actually down 2-0 at one point as they got shut down by Nate Pearson, one of Toronto’s top prospects. Once he left, though, the offense picked it up. Asche, who was just recently signed out of Indy Ball, had a nice game as did Dalbec. The latter actually showed off some athleticism, which isn’t typically what you expect from Dalbec. Throw in a bounce-back start from Hart, and it was a good day all-around for the Sea Dogs even without Pedroia.
Salem L 2-3
Jarren Duran, CF: 1-3, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 K
Marco Hernandez, SS: 0-4
Pedro Castellanos, 1B: 2-4, 1 RBI
Ryan Fitzgerald, 3B: 0-3, 1 BB
Jagger Rusconi, RF: 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
Enmanuel De Jesus: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 9 K (79 pitches)
Eduard Bazardo: 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K (30 pitches)
Salem’s offense has cooled off considerably over the last week or so, with Duran now hitting like a normal human being rather than a superhero and the rest of the lineup following suit. They did jump out to an early 2-0 lead after two innings in this game, but they gave up two runs themselves in the fourth before allowing the winning run to cross in the top of the ninth to eventually lose. It’s tough to win when the offense doesn’t score for the last seven innings. The pitching, however, was really impressive for Salem even with the loss. As you see above De Jesus and Bazardo combined for 15 strikeouts over seven innings, and Hunter Smith, who took the loss, set down three more in two innings. That’s 18 strikeouts for the day!
Player of the Day: There were some solid performances today, particularly on the mound, but I’m going to go to one of the more surprising performers of the year to date and give this to Kyle Hart. This is the second time he’s won this fake award, also grabbing it when he led the charge for Portland’s combined no-hitter last month. The lefty is a 26-year-old repeating the level, which is important context to consider when you see he’s pitched to a 2.60 ERA over six starts and 34 2⁄3 innings with 42 strikeouts and 11 walks. The strikeouts are most surprising because his stuff doesn’t really stand out when you see him, but he can be tough to pick up and the Eastern League has had trouble with it all year.