Sox Scribbles: Wacky Start to Series Halted By Rain…Twinbill Today with Woodruff and Blazek on the Bump

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Brandon Woodruff looks to turn things around tonight in Music City after dropping his last three starts. (Bobby Stevens/MiLB)

Saturday night may have provided the weirdest start to any game I have seen…Only five outs were recorded before the skies opened up and halted play, but that didn’t stop the oddities.

The Sox got a runner on in the first thanks to an Ivan De Jesus single, but he was picked off on a close play and didn’t agree with the call. Nor did Sky Sox manager Rick Sweet, for he was ejected in between the top and bottom of the first inning for arguing the call.

Hiram Burgos then climbed the hill and gave up a leadoff single, tried to pick the man off of first and came up lame with a leg injury… So, one batter in the Sox went to Tristan Archer out of the bullpen and the Sounds took advantage and plated five runs before the skies opened up and play was halted.

The game was suspended and will be made up on TUESDAY in what is now a makeshift doubleheader…In addition to the doubleheader today and Monday’s day game. Lotsa baseball to be played!

Let’s get to the preview of the double dip!

Colorado Springs Sky Sox (27-17) at Nashville Sound (23-22) – 3:05 p.m. – Doubleheader

Game Notes / Listen Live at 2:30 p.m.

Game One – RHP Brandon Woodruff (5-3, 3.40) at RHP Chris Smith (2-1, 2.72)

Sky Sox Starter: Brandon Woodruff readies for his 10th start 2017, fourth away from Security Service Field when he climbs the hill against the Sounds this evening at First Tennessee Park. He is 1-1 with a 3.24 ERA on the road allowing 7 runs in 16 2/3 innings. He faced the Baby Cakes in his last start and pitched into the sixth, but allowed six runs on 10 hits and took his third straight loss. In total he has allowed 23 runs (19 earned) on 48 hits; he has walked 11, struck out 45, hit four batters and given up five homers. Woodruff has held opponents to a .253 batting average against and has a 1.46 ground out to air out ratio. He faced the Sounds on April 24 at home and earned the win with six scoreless innings.

The righty had a tremendous 2016 season in which he combined to go 14-9 with a 2.68 ERA in 28 starts between High-A Brevard County and Double-A Biloxi. He allowed 51 runs (47 earned) on 121 hits in 158 innings. He walked 40 and struck out a Minor League best 173 opposing hitters. Drafted by the Brewers in the 11th round of the 2014 draft out of Mississippi State, Woodruff has compiled a career record of 24-21 with a 3.09 ERA. He is rated as the 7th best prospect and the labeled as the pitcher with the best fastball in the Brewers organization.

Last Time Out – May 23 – Loss vs. New Orleans  – 

Woodruff dropped his third straight start and allowed six runs, four earned, on 10 hits to the ‘Cakes. He gave up a homer, walked a pair and fannes three on 90 pitches, 54 of which went for strikes. During this three game stretch he’s 0-3 and allowed 14 runs (12 earned) on 22 hits.

Sounds Starting Arm: The Nashville Sounds will counter with veteran righty Chris Smith, in the opening game of this doubleheader. Smith is 2-1 with a 2.72 ERA after eight appearances, six starts this season. He’s faced the Sox twice so far this season and is 0-1 allowing 3 runs on 12 hits in 11 innings. Smith has won his last two decisions, the last coming on May 4 at Round Rock. He has appeared out of the ‘pen in his last two outings, both in relief of Daniel Mengden, and has completed four innings allowing two runs on two hits . The 36-year old Smith is in his second season with the Sounds. He faced Colorado Springs three times last season, twice at First Tennessee Park and once in the Springs. He finished 1-0 and allowed 4 runs on 13 hits in 18 innings across the three outings. He walked two and struck out 11 Sky Sox. On August 3rd he pitched in with six scoreless innings. He advanced to Oakland and appeared in 13 games out of the bullpen giving up 9 runs (8 earned) on 14 hits in 24 2/3 innings.

The righty was originally selected by the Red Sox in the 4th round of the 2002 draft and has pitched in the Boston, Milwaukee, Seattle, San Diego, and Oakland systems. He has made 63 appearances in the Bigs and is 1-0 with a 4.58 ERA in 92 1/3 innings. Over his lengthy minor-league career Smith is 56-56 with 61 saves and a 3.87 ERA in 309 career appearances, 158 of which have been starts.

Last Time Out – May 23 – Relief appearance vs. Omaha – 

Smith went two scoreless and struck out a pair, while firing 23 pitches, 14 of which went for strikes.

Game Two – RHP Michael Blazek (0-0, 2.53) at RHP Corey Walter (2-1, 2.68)

Sky Sox Starter: Right-hander Michael Blazek readies for his fourth start of the season and his third in a row. The Las Vegas native has no record and a 2.53 ERA through his first 13 appearances of the season. He has given up six runs on 18 hits, walked 12 and fanned 20. Opponents are hitting .228 against the righty. He has been outstanding as a starter allowing a run on eight hits in 11 innings. His first start came on April 21 against Memphis. He threw three scoreless and limited the Redbirds to two hits and two walks while striking out three. He has since started against El Paso and Albuquerque, both of which have come on the road.

Originally selected by the Cardinals in the 37th round of the 2007 draft, Blazek has pitched for both the Cardinals and Brewers organizations. He is 39-42 with 15 saves and a 4.08 ERA in 230 minor league outings, 91 of which have been starts, and 8-5 with a 4.09 ERA in 104 MLB games.

Last time Out – May 22 – No Decision at Albuquerque 

Blazek turned in another four-inning start and limited the ‘Topes to a run on four hits, he walked one and struck out five on a season-high 68 pitches, 42 of which went for strikes.

Sounds Starting Arm: Right-hander Corey Walter will go for the Sounds in the second game of the doubleheader and make his second Triple-A start in the process. He enters with no record and a 6.75 ERA following his Triple-A debut which saw him go 2 2/3 innings against the Dodgers on April 20th. He was called up to Nashville from Double-A Midland on May 25th and went 2-1 with a 2.44 ERA in 10 appearances, nine starts with the Rock Hounds. Walter was selected by Oakland in the 28th round of the 2014 draft out of West Virginia University. In 106 MiLB outings, 26 starts, the righty is 8-6 with nine saves and a 2.10 ERA.

Last time Out – May 23 – Loss at Arkansas 

Walter took the loss and allowed a season-high 7 runs, albeit 4 earned, on 11 hits in six innings. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out a pair on 91 pitches, 57 of which went for strikes.

Lineups (Game 1)

Lineups (Game 2)

Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 28th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he will have the call of today’s games from First Tennessee Park beginning at 3:05 p.m. I will get Sky Sox Warmup fired up at 2:30 p.m. MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.

Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,

@Dan_Acheson

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