From the box score: Hickory at Kannapolis 4/8
I hope to do this on occasion for games I can’t attend. It won’t happen every game – or possibly not many at all – but there are things curious to me I notice that I will try and put into the blog.
Andy Ibanez is a professional hitter. After four hits on opening night, he dropped in two more on Friday, including his first home run of the season, a fly out to centerfield. That has to be some kind of power as Intimidators Stadium is not the easiest place to hit a ball out of in the first place. Secondly, although the game time wind was 6 mph (R to L), I spent Friday night in nearby Charlotte and it was much windier than that most of the night. Ibanez had to have killed that baseball to get it out to CF.
As I looked at Andy Ibanez hit this week, I tried to get in my mind who he looks like at the plate. Now, it’s never fair to make comparisons between an A-ball minor leaguer and a big leaguer, but that doesn’t stop most of us, and it’s fun anyway. With all that said, perhaps it’s the stock build of the 23-year-old, I have it in my head that Ibanez looks like Bill Madlock at the plate. (I can’t find a video of him hitting, but just for fun, I did come across this video of a brawl between Madlock and catcher Ted Simmons.)
Eric Jenkins didn’t register a hit (one walk in five plate appearances), but he created havoc on the bases with three steals and scored two runs. He stole two of those bases after reaching on a dropped-third strikeout in the seventh and scored on Yeyson Yrizarri’s sacrifice fly. He has a .200 OBP in two games and has scored three runs. This could be a fun player, ya think?
Dillon Tate allowed one unearned run on five hits and a walk with six strikeouts over 4.2 innings. He also hit two batters. What I found interesting? A) He went 85 pitches, which is the most I can recall a Crawdads starter going in a first start as a Rangers affiliate. B) It took 85 pitches (52 strikes, 33 balls) to get through 4.2 innings. Twenty of those went to three batters, including an 8-pitch AB to Seby Zavala in the first and he needed 22 pitches to get two outs in the fifth. Tate did start 14 of the 21 batters with a first-pitch strike.
Fourteen more strikeouts posted by the Crawdads pitching staff after 13 on opening day and one earned run allowed in 18 innings. Joe Palumbo struck out seven over 3.1 innings and Johan Juan added one, though he did give up an run on two hits in the ninth.
Dylan Moore homered, as did Tyler Sanchez. Sanchez’s blast came against his former St. John’s teammate Alex Katz.
Crawdads commit two errors for the second straight game, three of those on the infield.