Pitchers Helping Themselves At The Plate

Sox blow out 51's

Pitcher Jorge Lopez helped his own cause with two hits on Friday night. (Paat Kelly)

By Aaron Cheris

Sky Sox shortstop Orlando Arcia is currently on an 11 game hitting streak, but that is definitely not the most unlikely hitting streak on the Sky Sox at the moment.

In their last five games against National League affiliates, Sky Sox pitchers have gotten six hits during a current five game hitting streak, with the Sky Sox winning four of the games.

The streak began with reliever Tim Dillard’s unlikely home run last week in New Orleans, and four other Sky Sox pitchers have continued the trend.

“I think as an organization we try to emphasize the pitchers getting some opportunities so they can do what they’ve done here,” Sky Sox manager Rick Sweet said. “If they’re good enough athletes and good enough hitters, we want them to keep a good inning going.”

The day after Dillard’s home run, Tyler Cravy notched his first hit of the season with a double, and he later scored the first run of the game for the Sky Sox. After tying the game in the ninth, the Sky Sox would eventually win the game in 12 innings.

Cravy’s mentality is simple, and he hopes that some hitters may be able to follow it as well.

“It definitely helps to simplify things,” Cravy said. “The problem is they try to do too much sometimes and when they see a pitcher just go up there and swing and hit a ball through the hole, I think it makes it a little easier on them.”

Pitchers take batting practice maybe once or twice a week, so they try to make the most of their opportunities at the plate, as Taylor Jungmann did during the series finale in New Orleans.

Down a run with runners on second and third, Jungmann drove a single to the outfield to score the pair of runs and give the Sky Sox the lead. The next batter, Keon Broxton, homered to score Jungmann and keep the rally going.

“I was just trying to put the ball in play and make it a tough at-bat for the pitcher,” Jungmann said. “Anytime you can extend the inning, no matter who you are, as long as you can get the bat in the hands of the next guy, that’s the goal.”

Jungmann also earned his first win of the season on the mound in that game to give the Sky Sox a series win in the Big Easy.

Back home against the 51s on Thursday, Brent Suter hit a ground ball single to left for his first hit of the season.

“It’s a big part of the club because it doesn’t make that one position an easy out,” Sweet said. “It can be a rally killer.”

Last night, Sky Sox starter Jorge Lopez had the best night at the plate for a pitcher this season as he produced a pair of singles, one an RBI single to right with two outs, and scored a run in the Sky Sox 14-6 win over Las Vegas.

“It felt good. That’s one thing that helps the team,” Lopez said. “That little help to the team feels good, those ground balls in the hole. Sometimes we’re lucky, that’s what we work on every day.”

Hiram Burgos will look to continue the Sky Sox streak tonight against Las Vegas.




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