Albuquerque has come into Colorado Springs and they’ve pitched, hit, and played solid defense en route to two wins to begin the series. They look like one of the best team’s in the league, despite being well under .500. Colorado Springs hasn’t played poorly in the two games they have just not had the best luck and have run into the buzzsaw that is the Isotopes electric offense. Game two of the series saw the Sox fall 13-7 despite picking up another 17 hits. Brent Suter climbed the hill and extended his scoreless innings streak to 20 before Stephen Cardullo ended it with a grand slam in the third inning. Colorado Springs would respond with four runs of its own in the bottom of the fourth, but that would be as close as they would get to taking the lead as another four spot was tacked on in the fifth, three more in the seventh and one each in the eighth and ninth to round out the scoring for the Isotopes. The Sox scored a single run in the sixth, eighth, and ninth wrapping up their seven run attack. Suter took the loss, dropped to 6-6 and saw his ERA inflate to 3.50. Former Sky Sox Christian Bergman got the win in his former home and improved to 2-2. ‘Topes first baseman Jordan Patterson connected for two solo homers, Cardullo had the grand slam, Pat Valaika tallied three hits and two RBI, and seven of the starting nine had multi-hit games in the season-high 18-hit attack. The win extended the Isotopes streak to seven games and the Sox have dropped two straight.
FULL RECAP HERE – You can find the Quick Hits portion of the blog below today’s preview
This Afternoon, the Sky Sox and Isotopes are set to face off in the third game of a four game series at Security Service Field. This is the first time in two years, and the first time as a Rockies Affiliate that the ‘Topes are in town. This will be the lone series between the two teams with the unbalanced schedule in the Pacific Coast League. The Sky Sox enter play looking to get back to their winning ways and come into Sunday’s tilt with a home record of 35-25. They are back to three games under .500 at 57-60 and sit in second place 9 games in back of the Dodgers. In hopes of gaining more ground on or keeping pace with OKC, Colorado Springs will send rookie left-hander Josh Hader to the bump, while Albuquerque will counter with highly-touted righty Jeff Hoffman. Hader is still in search of his first Triple-A win and enters the tilt 0-4 with a 5.40 ERA, while Hoffman has compiled a 5-9 record to go along with a 4.20 ERA in 21 starts. In 2016 the Sky Sox are 0-2 against Albuquerque, they are 148-154 all-time against them and 77-69 versus them between the lines of Security Service Field.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (57-60) vs. Albuquerque Isotopes (55-64) – 1:35 p.m. – Security Service Field – Colorado Springs, Colorado
Pitching Matchup: LHP Josh Hader (0-4. 5.40) vs. RHP Jeff Hoffman (5-9, 4.20)
Sky Sox Pitcher: Josh Hader is set to make his 11th Triple-A start, his sixth within the lines of Security Service Field, and his 22nd overall between Double-A Biloxi and the Sky Sox. Hader has dropped four of his first 10 Triple-A starts which have come against Omaha (2x), Memphis (2x), Round Rock (2x), New Orleans, Reno, and Nashville (2x). Last time out the lefty began with two scoreless innings and gave up three runs over the next two-plus. He is 0-4 with a 5.48 ERA allowing 32 runs on 48 hits, 27 walks, and 63 strikeouts in Triple-A. PCL opponents are hitting .258 against him. He allowed 2 runs on 1 hit, 4 walks, and a season-high 9 strikeouts against Memphis in his Triple-A debut on June 12 and tossed five scoreless against the Express on June 27. In 21 starts combined, Hader is 2-5 with a 3.03 ERA and has allowed 39 runs (36 earned) on 86 hits, 46 walks, and 136 strikeouts in 107 innings of work. He made an appearance in the MLB Futures Game and recorded a strikeout of Josh Naylor of the Marlins system with a 96-MPH fastball. The 22-year old is in his 5th professional season after originally being selected by the Orioles in the 19thround of the 2012 draft out of Old Mill High School in Millersville, Maryland. The Astros sent RHP Bud Norris to the Orioles in exchange for Hader in July 2013 and the Brewers acquired him from the ‘Stros in the Jul 30, 2015 deal that sent Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers to Houston for Hader, Adrian Houser, Brett Phillips, and Domingo Santana. What a haul that trade garnered the BrewCrew. The lefty is 23-21 with five saves and a 2.97 ERA in 111 career outings, 79 of which have been starts in four-plus professional seasons.
Last Time Out: 8/8/16 at Omaha – Hader made his 10th trip to the hill in a Sky Sox uniform and took his fourth Triple-A loss. The lefty pitched into the sixth inning before his outing came to an end. He allowed 3 runs on 4 hits, walked 4 and struck out 6 in 5 1/3 innings. He threw 96 pitches before he was pulled and 57 went for strikes.
Last 10 Games for Hader:
Isotopes Pitcher: Right-hander Jeff Hoffman gets the call to the mound fo rthe 22nd time this season. The Latham, New York native is 5-9 with a 4.20 ERA allowing 60 runs (53 earned) on 116 hits, 43 walks and 115 strikeouts in 113 2/3 innings spanning 21 starts. This will mark the righty’s 11th start away from home where his is 3-4 with a 3.28 ERA as opposed to 2-5 with a 5.14 ERA in 11 home games. He is holding PCL opponents to a .267 batting average. Hoffman was selected by the Blue Jays in the 1st round of the 2014 draft out of East Carolina and was acquired by the Rockies in the deal that sent Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins to the Jays and RHPs Hoffman, Miguel Castro, and Jesus Tinoco to Colorado. After signing in 2014, Hoffman did not pitch professionally until the following season. Thus, in 2015-16, the righty has combined to go 10-14 with a 3.64 ERA in 41 starts across three levels. According to MLBPipeline.com he is ranked as the third-best Rockies prospect.
Last Time Out: 8/7/2-16 vs. Las Vegas – Hoffman took the hill at Isotopes park and limited the 51s to just three hits in four innings. The righty went four scoreless frames allowing the three knocks, walking three and striking out four. He threw 75 pitches in the four innings and 43 went for strikes. He did not qualify for the win with the short outing, but Albuquerque won the game 9-2.
Last 10 Games for Hoffman –
Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 27th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he and I will have the call of tonight’s game from Security Service Field at 1:35 p.m. Sky Sox Warmup will get off the ground and running at 1:00 MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
QUICK HITS – From Colorado Springs’ 13-7 loss Saturday night
Hitting notes –
For the second night in a row the Sky Sox bats picked up 15+ hits, but could not get the big hits when needed and were out-slugged 13-7. Seven runs on 17 hits usually gets it done at home, but not last night. Six Sky Sox tallied multi-hit games in the loss.
Josmil Pinto led the attack for Colorado Springs and went 3-for-4 with two solo homers, a single, a walk, and two RBI. The catcher wasn’t in the original starting lineup, but due to Andrew Susac’s placement on the DL and scratched from the lineup Pinto was submitted and made the most of it with the two homers. He now has 10 homers on the season to go along with 47 RBI.
Nate Orf bounced back from a tough night Friday with a 3-for-4 performance Saturday. Orf had two singles, a double, an RBI and picked up a walk as well. He is now back up to .290 on the season with the Sky Sox.
Yadiel Rivera went 2-for-5 with a 2-run single in the fourth inning which got the scoring going for the Sky Sox. He continues to swing the bat well, albeit a little streaky still, but he’s batting .235 with 37 RBI.
Garrett Cooper, Garin Cecchini, and Michael Reed, hitters 4-5-6 for the Sox each went 2-for-5 with two singles and a run scored.
Brent Suter, Brandon Macias and Kyle Wren had a single each and Lewis Brinson drove home a run on a sac fly in the late frames, but went 0-for-4 otherwise.
Pitching Notes –
Brent Suter entered Saturday’s game with the fourth lowest ERA in the PCL (3.07) and riding an 18-inning scoreless streak, but those figures weren’t around for long. Albuquerque started the scoring against Suter with a grand slam in the fourth inning and tacked another four runs against the lefty in the fifth, his final inning. Suter didn’t miss many bats and finished five innings and allowed 8 runs (7 earned) on 12 hits, he walked one and struck out 3. He threw 96 pitches, 66 for strikes and took his 6th loss of the season. His scoreless innings streak went to 20 games before ending and his ERA ballooned to 3.50.
Tyler Cravy pitched a scoreless inning of relief and struck out one.
Sam Freeman went two innings and allowed four runs on five hits. He threw 36 pitches and was around the zone with 28 in the strike zone.
David Goforth pitched the ninth and gave up a run on a hit and three walks.
Play of the Game –
The bright spot for the Sky Sox offense was Josmil Pinto. The catcher stepped up to the in the sixth inning and took the first pitch from rehabbing right-hander Chad Qualls deep over the wall in left for a solo home run. He was back at it again in the ninth inning with his second homer of the game, a MAMMOTH solo blast over the wall in left off of Nelson Gonzalez. Pinto tallied the two home run game and now has 10 on the season.
Pregame interview with Dan Karcher and Isotopes pitching coach Darryl Scott (Part 1) –
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,