These Sky Sox are something else! They just continue to roll and roll and roll and roll, right to the best start in franchise history at 9-3 through the first 12 games of the season. Wednesday morning’s affair was just icing on the cake for these guys as they fell behind 2-0 after half an inning and were down 3-1 heading to the bottom of the second, but remained unfazed and bounced back with a four-run fourth inning, courtesy of a Brett Phillips grand slam.
Leading 5-3 wasn’t enough. The bats kept pounding out hits and notched a run in the fifth before exploding for seven runs in the seventh inning which put them up by the final score of 13-4. The Sox scored the 13 runs on 13 hits, upping their total through the first two games of the series to 27 runs on 31 hits. Holy moly. These guys continue to play at a high level at home and on the road. The win extended the streak to six-straight victories, longer than any streak the 2016 Sky Sox had.
Hitting Notes –
Brett Phillips had a monster day, both at the dish and in the field. The right fielder finished 2-for-3 with a grand slam, solo homer, two walks, SIX RBI, and an outfield assist, hosing a runner trying to stretch a single into a double. It marked the second time Phillips hit a grand salami, the second multi-homer game of his career and the second six RBI game in the pros. And the most important number that every one can rally around… 0 strikeouts. A great day from Brett usually means a great day for the team. He’s now tallied four multi-hit games in a row and is hitting .318 with three homers and 12 RBI through the first 12 games of the season.
Eric Sogard has shown that he can spray the ball all over the yard in any conditions. Yesterday with the wind blowing out to left he hit a solo homer that way in the first inning and got the Sox on the board. He finished the game 3-for-4 with three RBI as he added two RBI singles to his resume in the fourth and seventh innings. He is batting .316 with 12 hits in 10 games, he has reached base safely in 9 of the 10 tilts this season.
Yadiel Rivera joined in on the hit parade with a 3-for-5 day. He had a single and two doubles, an RBI and run scored. Rivera is off to a hot start with 13 hits in 10 games, a .342 average, and four extra-base hits (two doubles, a triple, and homer.
Kyle Wren joined the hit parade late with a two-run single in the seventh inning.
Ivan De Jesus went 0-for-2 with an RBI… How?, you ask… Well he hit by two pitches and for the third time in two games. The first time Wednesday was from Mike Mayers and De Jesus wasn’t too happy, the benches were warned after some words exchanged between hitter and pitcher. The second time was made a little easier because it came with the bases loaded, thus the RBI.
Tyler Heineman went 1-for-5 with a double and two runs scored.
Brandon Woodruff helped himself with a 1-for-2 day at the plate. He had a single, his first Triple-A hit, and then lined out to second on the 11th pitch of an at-bat. Very solid day at the plate.
Lewis Brinson extended his hitting streak to seven games with a 1-for-3 day. He was walked and hit by a pitch as well, reaching base three times.
One storyline we expected to have hit the pause button on was Garrett Cooper’s 11-game hit streak, as the first baseman was not in the starting lineup. As fate would have it Cooper came off the bench to pinch hit in the seventh, and was immediately awarded first on an intentional walk…the streak lives.
Brandon Woodruff took the hill for the third time in 2017 and second in a row against the Redbirds, and it started out a little rough. He recorded the first two outs with relative ease, but walked Tommy Pham and gave up a two-run homer to Chad Huffman. It was the first homer allowed by the righty and first two earned runs of the season against him. He would throw 30 pitches in that first inning. Woodruff settled in and went to work allowing two runs over the next four innings. He earned the win and improved to 3-0. He gave up the four runs on seven hits, he walked two, hit a batter and struck out three on 91 pitches, 61 strikes.
Tristan Archer gave up two hits, but struck out a pair in two scoreless innings.
Tyler Cravy and Wei-Chung Wang wrapped up the game on the mound with a scoreless eighth and ninth, respectively.
Play of the Game –
Brett Phillips grand slam in the third inning:
The streaking Sky Sox have won six straight, have the best record in the PCL, and have established the best start in franchise history at 9-3….soooo now what? On top game 13!
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (9-3) vs. Memphis Redbirds (7-7) – 4:30 p.m. MST- Doubleheader
Sky Sox Starter: Josh Hader is set to take his 2-1 record to the mound in the opener of the twinbill today at Security Service Field. The lefty is coming off a win on Easter Sunday over the Sounds. He has faced the Redbirds once, lasted three innings, and took the loss in the road opener. Hader got the opening day nod and earned the win with five innings of one-hit ball. The only downside was that he walked five, but struck out six. The Millersville, Maryland native has faced the Redbirds three times in his career and is 0-2 allowing 11 runs on 14 hits in 12 innings.
He enters the season rated as the Brewers’ top pitching prospect by both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline. BA labels him as the second prospect in the org behind Lewis Brinson and Pipeline tabs him as the third best prospect behind Brinson and Corey Ray, and the 36th prospect in all of baseball. The lefty will make his 18th start in a Sky Sox uniform when he climbs the hill tonight at Security Service Field. The 23-year old is in his 6thprofessional 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. The lefty is 26-25 with five saves and a 3.02 ERA in 118 career outings, 86 of which have been starts in five-plus professional seasons.
Last time out – 4/16 – Win at Nashville
Hader allowed one run on one hit in six innings of work and improved to 2-1 with the win over the Sounds on Easter Sunday. He walked four and struck out five on 89 pitches, 52 of which went for strikes.
Redbirds Starting Arm: RHP Josh Zeid (rhymes with tied) gets the call for the redbirds in the third game of a four game series tonight at Security Service Field. The 30-year old will make his third start of the season and looks to get on the right track after beginning 0-2 with an 8.31 ERA. He’s allowed 8 runs on 9 hits, 4 HOMERS, walked 5 and struck out 10. Three of the four bombs were hit by the Baby Cakes in his first start down in the Big Easy.
Zeid was drafted by the Phillies in the 10th round of the 2009 draft out of Tulane and has seen action within the Phillies, Astros, Tigers, Mets, and now Cardinals organizations. Even though Zeid has been in the Pacific Coast League for 69 games, mostly as a reliever, he has faced the Sox on two occasions, April 13 and 15, 2014. He picked up two saves and allowed a run on two hits in two innings of work.
The righty has 260 minor-league appearances under his belt, 60 of which have been starts. He is 37-26 with 33 saves and a 4.30 ERA in those outings and 0-1 with 1 save and a 5.21 ERA in 48 MLB appearances, all with the Astros. He earned himself a chance with the Cards after a tremendous WBC in which he worked four games for Team Israel and went 1-0 with two saves and a 0.00 ERA. He didn’t allow a run on 5 hits, he walked six, struck out 10 and was named to the WBC All-Tournament team.
Last Time Out: 4/15/2017 – L vs. Oklahoma City
Zeid ventured to the hill at AutoZone Park and couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning for the second straight start. He finished 4 2/3 innings and allowed 3 runs on 4 hits, including a homer, 4 walks and 6 strikeouts. He threw 90 pitches, 51 went for strikes. He allowed the solo homer to Chris Taylor of the Dodgers.
Game Two will be a bullpen game started by RHP Michael Blazek for the Sky Sox and RHP John Brebbia for the Redbirds.
Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 28th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he and I will have the call of tonight’s game from Security Service Field in Colorado Springs at 4:30 p.m. Sky Sox Warmup gets going at 4:00 p.m. MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,