Different day, same result for the Sky Sox as they battled both the Grizzlies and Mother Nature and came out with a 7-3 win. The big story was Brandon Woodruff who improved to 5-0 on the season, 4-0 at home, with six scoreless innings. He held the Grizz to three hits, walked one and struck out seven, en route to remaining undefeated on the season.
The other storyline was the offense, which once again delivered early and often. The bats heated up with a three run second inning and capped off the production with a four-run fourth. Andrew Susac was the spark plug in both innings as he put the Sox in front with a two-run single in the second and crushed a mammoth two run homer in the fourth. Eric Sogard and Garrett Cooper also connected for home runs in the fourth and upped the lead to 7-0.
Fresno did get on the board with a pair of runs against Wei-Chung Wand in the eighth and another against Michael Blazek in the ninth, but that was all she wrote.
Hitting Notes –
For the first time in three games the Sky Sox did NOT pick up 21 hits…And outside of the 19-minute rain delay and ceiling tile in the home radio booth, the sky did not fall. The Sox did plate their seven runs on 10 hits.
Andrew Susac led the charge with a 2-for-4, 4 RBI day at the dish. His two-run single in the second got the scoring going and hit two-run homer in the fourth game the squad all the runs they would need for the W. He now has his average on the rise with four hits in his last three games.
Eric Sogard brought some small ball and nerd power to the park with an RBI bunt single and solo homer. He’s back up over .300, sitting at .309.
Garrett Cooper tallied another two hits and connected on his sixth homer of the season, a solo shot in the fourth.
Ivan De Jesus picked up two singles in his first two ABs and went 2-for-4.
Kyle Wren was on base twice and scored twice with a hit and a walk.
Ryan Cordell went 1-for-5.
Lewis Brinson was held out of the hit column for just the second time all season and went 0-for-5 with a strike out.
Pitching Notes –
Brandon Woodruff was at it again…what more can you say. The righty tossed the six scoreless innings, scattered three hits, walked one and struck out seven Grizz. Fifty eight of his eighty seven pitches went for strikes. He now sits atop the PCL in wins with his 5-0 record and seventh in the league with his 1.83 ERA. Woodruff became the 10th different Sky Sox pitcher to reach to 5-0 on the season.
Wei-Chung Wang went two innings and allowed two runs on five hits, he struck out one.
Michael Blazek allowed a run in the ninth, his lone inning of work.
Play of the Game –
Andrew Susac’s fourth inning MAMMOTH YABO –
Pregame Interview with Dan Acheson and Fresno outfielder Derek Fisher –
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (18-8) vs. Fresno Grizzlies (13-18) – 6:40 p.m. MST
Sky Sox Starter: Josh Hader climbs the hill for the seventh time this season and enters 3-2 with a 4.40 ERA. The southpaw faced the Dodgers on the road his last time out and picked up the win on May 3. He gave up 3 earned runs on 5 hits in six innings. He has faced the twice Redbirds and Omaha, Iowa, Oklahoma City and Nashville once in his six outings this season. 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 not faced the Grizzlies in his career and it will be the first time he’s faced an Astros farm team since being traded in 2015.
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 27-26 with five saves and a 3.12 ERA in 121 career outings, 89 of which have been starts in five-plus professional seasons.
Last Time Out – May 3 – Win at Oklahoma City
Hader worked through six innings and earned the win over the Dodgers. He allowed three runs by scattering five hits, two of which were homers. He walked a pair and struck out four. The lefty threw 87 pitches, 53 of which went for strikes.
Grizzlies Starting Arm: Righty Francis Martes has been on the rise for the Astros and is slated to make the fourth Triple-A start of his career tonight in Colorado Springs. He enters 0-0 with a 2.92 ERA, allowing four runs on 15 hits, while walking 12 and striking out 12 as well. Opponents are hitting .300 against the 21-year old righty. Yes, that’s right, TWENTY ONE years old. He last pitched against the Salt Lake on April 22, lasting three innings and allowing four runs on eight hits. He’s faced Salt Lake twice and Reno once so far.
Martes enters 2017 as the top prospect in the Astros organization following a 2016 that saw him go 9-6 with a 3.30 ERA in 25 games (22 starts) with the Corpus Christi Hooks. The righty’s stuff is comped to what Lance McCullers Jr. displayed in the Minors. His fastball ranges in the mid-90s and tops out at 98, while his curveball is a plus-pitch too. He also features a changeup and slider that are also above average. He was third prospect in a trade that saw righty Jarred Cosart, LF Enrique Hernandez and OF Austin Wates go to the Miami Marlins for CF Jake Marisnick, 3B Colin Moran, and Martes.
Last Time Out – April 22 – No decision vs. Salt Lake –
Martes had the roughest and shortest outing of is Triple-A career last time out against the Bees. He allowed four runs on eight his and lasted just three innings. The right-hander walked three and struck out a pair on 74 pitches, 41 of which went for strikes.
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 at 6:40 p.m. Sky Sox Warmup will get fired up at 6:00 p.m. MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,