First and foremost, the Sky Sox and Sounds were verrrrrrrry lucky to get two games in yesterday based on what happened Saturday night and how the forecast looked for Sunday. That being said, the two teams split the twinbill with Colorado Springs winning 8-0 in the opener, and Nashville taking the nightcap 2-1 in walk-off fashion.
In the first game it was all about Brandon Woodruff returning to form as the righty went six scoreless ad carried a no-hitter through the first five and two-third innings. Just awesome stuff. The A’s top prospect Franklin Barreto broke up the no-no with a single in the sixth before Woody wrapped up the frame. He didn’t allow a baserunner to get to second base and walked a pair to go along with five strikeouts. He threw 99 pitches, 63 of which went for strikes. Tyler Cravy wrapped up the game on the mound with a scoreless seventh.
What about the offense, you ask? Well they scored all the runs they would need in the first inning, with one stake in the run column courtesy of a Garrett Cooper single (of course) which came against starter Chris Smith. Ivan De Jesus crushed a leadoff solo homer in the second inning to make it 2-0, his second blast of the season.
With the game in hand, the Sox plated four more runs in the fourth. Brett Phillips, Nate Orf and De Jesus led off the frame with three straight singles, the last of which plated the third run of the game. Yadiel Rivera plated a run with a ground out before Rene Garcia circled the bases with his first Triple-A homer, a two-run shot down the line in left. 6-0 Sox.
Nashville sent two position players to the hill in the seventh and the Sox took advantage with two more runs to cap off the scoring. Phillips tripled home a run and Orf singled him in, both hits against Chris Parmelee in his professional pitching debut. Ryan Lavarnway recorded the final out.
Game two saw the better of the two pitching matchups, which caught everyone by surprise. Michael Blazek went for the Sox in his third start in a row, fourth overall, while righty Corey Walter got the nod in his second career Triple-A start.
Blazek allowed a run on a walk, two wild pitches and a sac fly in the first, but that was it. He has a stretch of 13 in a row retired and looked to his offense to pick him up.
They would do that in the third when Tyler Heineman doubled and scored on De Jesus’ single to tie the game. Unfortunately, that would do it for the Sox scoring, spoiling a tremendous start from Blazek.
The right-hander retired 13 in a row from the second until the sixth, when Matt Olson ended the stretch with a double. That also brought Blazek’s night to a close and David Goforth took over. He finished the 6th without a run scoring, but gave up a leadoff double in the seventh and Ryan Lavarnway tagged the game-winning RBI single against him to wrap up the game, 2-1 Sounds.
What a full day of baseball!
Play of the Doubleheader –
The final out of Woodruff’s stellar outing in game one.
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Dave Machemer Part Two –
Quick turnaround to this Memorial Day Monday morning affair, so let’s just get right to it…
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (28-18) at Nashville Sounds (24-23) – 11:05 a.m.
Sky Sox Starter: Josh Hader takes his eleventh trip to the mound this season and enters 3-4 with a 5.81 ERA. The southpaw is 2-2 with a 6.00 ERA in five road starts allowing 16 runs on 22 hits, 8 of the 14 homers allowed have been away from Security Service Field. In total he’s given up 32 runs on 47 hits in 48 innings. Last time out was a rough one as he gave up eight runs on nine hits in three-plus innings against the Baby Cakes. He allowed a career-high four homers, walked three and fanned a pair. 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 one start against Nashville this season and eaned the win in Music City with six innings of one-hit, one-run ball on April 16.
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 22nd 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 27-28 with five saves and a 3.28 ERA in 125 career outings, 93 of which have been starts in five-plus professional seasons.
Last Time Out – May 23 – Loss vs. New Orleans –
Hader had a tough time missing bats in his last trip to the mound. He gave up a career-high four homers, which put him at a career-high 14 homers allowed this season. He couldn’t work out of the fourth and left after three-plus, allowing eight runs on nine hits, three walks and two strikeouts.
Sounds Starting Arm: Right-hander Paul Blackburn is ready to make the 10th appearance and ninth start of his season today in Music City. The 23-year old righty enters 3-4 with a 3.33 ERA after allowing 19 runs (18 earned) on 40 hits in 48 2/3 innings against this season. He faced the Sox at home on April 15 and took the loss, allowing two runs on five hits in six innings. According to Brooks Baseball, Blackburn features a 4-seam fastball, a sinker, slider, curve and change. He primarily uses the sinker to record outs and has a 1.62 Ground Out to Air Out ratio in his young career. Today marks appearance 100 for the righty from Antioch, California. He is riding a two start win streak with victories against Sacramento on the road and Omaha at home, and has put together 14 scoreless innings in a row.
Blackburn was originally drafted by the Cubs in the Comp. A round of the 2012 draft and subsequently traded twice in 2016, once to the Mariners in July for Jordan Pries and Mike Montgomery and then to the Athletics in November for Danny Valencia. In 99 MiLB appearances, 93 starts, he has accumulated a 32-21 record with a 3.25 ERA. This is is first full season in Triple-A.
Last Time Out – May 24 – Win vs. Omaha –
Blackburn backed up his great start in Sacramento with an even better one against Omaha. He went SEVEN scoreless innings and limited the Chasers to five hits. He hit a batter, walked a pair and fanned six on 98 pitches, 64 strikes. He has now turned in three scoreless starts of five or more innings, 4/21 at OKC, 5/19 at Sacramento, and 5/24 vs. Omaha.
Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 28th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he will have the call of today’s game from First Tennessee Park beginning at 11:05 a.m. I will get Sky Sox Warmup fired up at 10:30 a.m. MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,