Before we get into the action, let me just point prospect watchers to a fine interview with the Detroit Tigers top prospect, right-hander Jackson Jobe, conducted by David Laurila of FanGraphs.
Jobe talks about his conversion to pitching full time back in 2020 and how so much of it just came naturally to him. What’s really interesting is in hearing his detailed breakdown and understanding of all the adjustments the Tigers had him make this season. From the two variants of his slider that give him the ability to shape more of a curveball out of the pitch when he wants it, to altering his fourseam grip and release to convert his high spin rate stuff into riding action, Jobe goes into a lot of detail and makes it obvious how well he understands his pitches and mechanics. This is well worth a read.
Toledo Mud Hens 12, Indianapolis Indians 3 (box)
The Mud Hens fell behind early and then stormed back to blow Indianapolis away yet again on Thursday. That’s three straight over Indy and four straight wins overall.
Bryan Garcia got the start and he allowed a solo shot in each of the first three innings, putting Toledo down 3-0. He eventually settled down to go six innings with five hits and a walk allowed with six strikeouts.
The comeback started in the fourth where four of their first five hitters either walked or were hit by a pitch, forcing in a run when John Valente drew a four-pitch walk with the bases juiced. As you might imagine, that produced an Indy pitching change, but things didn’t get any better for them. The Pirates had some issues with command at the Triple-A level, clearly. Zack Short greeted Cam Alldred in relief with a three-run double to left. 4-3 Hens.
In the fifth, Brendon Davis and Jamie Westbrook launched back-to-back solo shots to make it 6-3. An inning later, Corey Joyce led off with a single, and Valente followed with one of his own. Short walked to load the bases, and Josh Lester singled on a swinging bunt that Alldred threw away, allowing two more runs to score. An RBI single from Westbrook in the eighth, followed by a Dustin Garneau two-run double completed the scoring.
Westbrook: 3-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR, BB
Short: 2-4, R, 3 RBI, 2B, 2 BB, SO
Valente: 2-5, 2 R, RBI, BB
Garcia (W, 4-3): 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, BB, 6 SO
Coming Up Next: LHP Ricardo Sanchez (7-5, 4.63 ERA) takes on RHP Jerad Eickhoff (6-6, 4.70 ERA) on Friday night.
Richmond Flying Squirrels 8, Erie SeaWolves 7 (F/12)(box)
This was another pretty epic battle for the level, but things did not turn out Erie’s way last night as the Flying Squirrels walked this one off in 12 innings. The Bowie Baysox pummeled Akron 10-1, and so the divisional race is once again tied up with three to play.
Reese Olson a few keys mistakes in this one, starting with allowing a two-run homer in the bottom of the first. He then settled in to blank Richmond into the fifth inning from there. He wasn’t all that efficient, but that’s largely because he was busy striking everyone out. Olson racked up nine punchouts to one walk, allowing just two hits. However, in the fifth he walked the first two batters, then rebounded to strikeout the next two, and finally hit the fifth hitter of the inning to load the bases. Yaya Chentouf took over and allowed a two-run single to complete Olson’s rather odd line for the night.
Dane Myers opened the game with a solo shot, his 25th homer of the season, initially giving Erie the lead. Myers also has 21 doubles and 21 stolen bases. The utter lack of walks belies his somewhat wildly free-swinging nature, but I can’t help wondering a little bit about how things might have gone for him had the Tigers not tried to make him a pitcher in the early years of his pro career.
That didn’t take long! Dane Myers crushes the 3rd pitch of the game for his 25th home run of the year to put the @erie_seawolves up 1-0. Myers is one of only 5 minor leaguers with 25 home runs and 20 steals this year. pic.twitter.com/9yA6KF79zz— Tigers Minor League Report (@tigersMLreport) September 15, 2022
In the fifth, Michael De La Cruz led off with a double and scored on a Myers single into left field, and at that point the game was tied 2-2. Olson/Chentouf allowed the two runs in the bottom half as Indy pulled away again. However, Erie tied it right back up in the sixth. Parker Meadows walked to open the inning and stole second. Gage Workman singled him over to third with one out, and Meadows scored on a Josh Crouch ground out. De La Cruz, Daniel Cabrera, and Danny Serretti all walked in a row to score Workman. Indy went to the bullpen and new reliever Chris Wright struck out Myers to strand three. That one would come back to haunt the SeaWolves later.
Quincy Nieporte homered in the top of the seventh, for his 31st long ball on the year, but Billy Lescher allowed a run in the bottom half to re-tie the game at 5-5.
That’s where things stayed until the 10th when the two teams again traded runs. An RBI single from Meadows in the 11th briefly made it 7-6 Erie, but Richmond returned serve to tie it up again in the bottom half. Finally, in the 12th, the SeaWolves didn’t get their Manfred Man home, and an RBI single from Richmond’s Jacob Heyward brought this one to an end.
Myers: 2-6, R, 2 RBI, HR, SO
Nieporte: 1-5, R, RBI, HR, BB, 2 SO
Meadows: 1-4, R, RBI, 2 BB
Olson: 4.2 IP, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 9 SO
Coming Up Next: RHP Ty Madden (2-1, 2.03 ERA) takes on RHP Kai-Wei Teng (5-12, 5.36 ERA) on Friday night, and every game this weekend is a must-win.