What a game. What a stellar baseball game. Last night was historic for the Sky Sox and no matter which way you slice and dice it, it was a tremendous game that finished 1-0 in 10 innings, Sox over Dodgers. How about that. It marked the first time in Colorado Springs’ history that the Sox took home a 1-0, 10-inning game on the road. And the historic 2017 campaign marches on.
The game began as a pitcher’s duel with Michael Blazek and Wilmer Font posting zero, after zero, after zero. If you want to split hairs, Font was more effective over the first few frames, retiring 12 of the first 14 batters, fanning eight of those. Blazek had to work around two baserunners in the first, another in the second before retiring the side in order in both the third and fourth innings. He was helped out by his defense, most notably Yadiel Rivera who made a tremendous play in the hole to begin the second.
Nate Orf led off the fifth with a double, but Font immediately picked him off to end the threat. Mike Freeman singled against Blazek to lead off the bottom of the fifth, but Blazek induced a double play to wipe him off the bases. Font completed six frames, while Blazek left with two on and one out in the bottom half of the frame. Andrew Barbosa took over and induced a pop up off the bat of Alex Verdugo for the second out and a lineout to second by Kyle Farmer closed the sixth. 0-0.
Believe it or not the final four innings had the most action, most of which was defensively. After a scoreless top of the seventh, the Sky Sox had to weave their way through a sticky situation in the bottom half. Charlie Culberson singled and Scott Van Slyke walked, before Barbosa was lifted for Tristan Archer with two down. A Ryan Cordell fielding error loaded the bases, but Archer bounced back and fanned Max Muncy with the sacks packed on the ninth pitch of the AB to keep the game scoreless.
The Sox had the go-ahead run sitting at third base with one out in the eighth, but Madison Younginer slammed the door shut, while Archer retired the side in order in the bottom of the eighth, courtesy in part to Kyle Wren making a great catch in the gap. OKC turned a 5-4-3 double play in the top of the ninth and it was Wren ending the inning with another tremendous catch against the wall in foul territory to get it to extras.
The 10th and final frame was upon us and the Sky Sox broke through. Garrett Cooper singled to leadoff the inning, was sacrificed to second and with two down he scored on Yadiel Rivera’s RBI single to left. Boom. 1-0. Not so fast, said the Dodgers…Wei-Chung Wang began the 10th on the bump allowed a leadoff single to Trayce Thompson and got a fly out off the bat of Muncy before David Goforth came on. O’Koyea Dickson walked and Kyle Farmer was hit by a pitch with two down, but Goforth induced a fly out to left, hauled in by Wren of course, to end the game.
Wow. 1-0. 10 Innings. Awesome. I guess the only complaint you could have is that the game took three hours and thirty-two minutes to complete.
Hitting Notes –
The Sox picked up a run on six hits in the 10 innings.
Nate Orf led the way with two hits, including the lone extra-base hit.
Yadiel Rivera went 1-for-3 with the RBI single in the 10th.
Lewis Brinson, Ryan Cordell, and Garrett Cooper each had singles in the win.
Pitching Notes –
Holy moly. What an outing. The Sky Sox used five pitchers to pick up the third shutout of the road trip and fourth of the season.
Michael Blazek is a new man! He continues to deal from the starters role and tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings in his fifth start. He gave up three hits, walked four and struck out four, while recording the 16 outs. He threw a season-high 88 pitches and got half of them over for strikes. He lowered his ERA to a mere 1.95. Not too shabby!
Andrew Barbosa went 1 1/3 innings and gave up a hit and a walk.
Tristan Archer came on in a high-leverage situation and pitched two scoreless innings, fanning three and allowing one hit.
Wei-Chung Wang earned the fourth win of his season with a two-out performance. He allowed one hit.
David Goforth earned his third save of the season and second in as many nights with a two-out outing. He walked one, hit another and fanned a Dodger in the process.
Play of the Game –
There were soooo many great defensive plays that can’t go unnoticed, but MiLB cut the Rivera single, so here it is!
Pregame Interview with Dan Karcher and Brent Suter –
The Sox upped their divisional lead to 4 games and gained another game on OKC, Omaha, and Iowa as all three teams lost their respective contests. Game three was listed as a pitcher’s duel on paper with the Sox throwing Brandon Woodruff and the Dodgers countering with the lefty phenom, Julio Urias, BUT Urias has been pushed back ’til Monday, so now it is Fabio Castillo. Let’s get to the preview!
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (31-20) at Oklahoma City Dodgers (27-24) – 6:05 p.m.
Sky Sox Starter: Brandon Woodruff gets set for his 11th start 2017, fifth away from Security Service Field when he climbs the hill against the Dodgers this evening at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. He is 2-1 with a 2.38 ERA on the road allowing 7 runs in 22 2/3 innings. He faced the Sounds in his last start and pitched sixth scoreless innings, returning to his early-season form, snapping a three start losing streak. In total he has allowed 23 runs (19 earned) on 49 hits; he has walked 13, struck out 50, hit four batters and given up five homers. Woodruff has held opponents to a .234 batting average against and has a 1.43 ground out to air out ratio. He faced the Dodgers on May 2 and went 6 innings in Bricktown, allowing three runs on seven hits, he struck out six, while Bobby Wilson took him deep.
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 25-21 with a 3.04 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 28 – Win at Nashville –
Woodruff completed six innings and did not allow a run to the Sounds. He gave up a hit, walked two and struck out five on a season-high 99 pitches, 63 of which went for strikes. He carried a no-hitter through five and two thirds before Franklin Barreto broke it up in the sixth.
Dodgers Starting Arm: Right-hander Fabio Castillo gets the nod for the home team in the third game of the four-game set. He enters play having made seven appearances for Oklahoma City and three appearances for Double-A Tulsa for a combined 10 outings. Through the ten appearances he is 3-3 with a 3.16 ERA, but broken down, in seven games with OKC (five starts) Castillo is 3-2 with a 3.60 ERA. In 30 PCL innings he’s given up 12 runs on 26 hits, three of which have been homers, walked seven and struck out 34. He started against the Sox on May 4 and earned the win with five innings of one-run ball. He allowed two hits, walked one and struck out eight Sky Sox.
Castillo is a journeyman at the age of 28, pitching in his 12th professional season with his sixth different franchise. He, like last night’s starts Wilmer Font, was signed as an international free agent by the Texas Rangers and pitched in the system for seven seasons before joining the Giants, Orioles, Reds, Padres and now Dodgers. In 345 minor-league games (55 starts) Castillo has accrued a 35-53 record with 25 saves a 4.43 ERA. He has made three appearances against the Sky Sox and is 2-0 allowing 3 runs in 8 1/3 innings. Two of the appearances happened with Round Rock in 2012 and Fresno in 2013, the start happened on May 4.
Last Time Out – May 27 – Save at New Orleans –
Castillo went three innings to earn the first save of his season his last time out against New Orleans in the big easy. He allowed a run on three hits, didn’t walk a batter and fanned five.
Dan Karcher (@SkySoxKarch) continues his 28th season behind the mic for Sky Sox games, he will have the call of today’s game from Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark beginning at 6:05 p.m. I will get Sky Sox Warmup fired up at 5:30 p.m. MDT on XTRA Sports 1300.
Thanks for reading – See you on the radio,