Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
Sunday, for so many is set aside as a day of rest. So it was for the Miami offense. After a grueling two days for the pitching crew, which saw 47 runs on 50 hits, they needed some redemption. Redemption they got in the name of Ben Chestnutt. It was siesta time for the offense who totally dominated the pitching staff for the past couple of days with a display of hits and runs not seen in a long, long, time; if ever. Ben went out on the mound with one thought: “enough is enough.” Pitched the entire 5 innings of scoreless ball allowing for just a single to open the second only to have Edgardo hit into a 6-4-3 DP with the next at-bat. He dominated over the hitters who just in the last two days put shame on the pitching staff. A ray of sunshine that he hopes will spread to his teammates who have struggled all preseason.
Coming off an explosive two days of firepower, the offense returned to normalcy as Ben Chestnutt and Karson Ligon took to the mound for one final attempt to prevent an all-out firesale of the pitching crew. Ben more so than Karson had each and every number of those who came before him. He opened with an eye open 1st inning striking out the first three he faced (Cyr, Farrow, Torres) and announcing to all “bring it on”. Dario Gomez took the challenge and opened the second with what was to be the only hit given up for today’s session. A single to left was quickly erased with Edgardo hitting into a 6-4-3 DP. In the third, Dominic Pitelli earns a free pass to open the inning but gets nailed attempting to steal. The 4th a pair of strikeouts to add to the 3 he already had in his collection. The 5th ended as quietly as the previous four only giving up a 2 out walk to Zach. Hopefully, JD’s and Gino’s antenna was fully raised in the alert position and took definite notice that the name Ben Chestnutt might be the one to relight the flame sucking the lifeblood out of our young hurlers.
Karson Ligon, basically facing the same batters today, was not as impressive as Ben in keeping numbers off the scoreboard. Last year’s starter, in the run for the same this year, got off to a very rocky start as so many of his compatriots who have gone before him. Jacoby Long definitely put a crimp in Karson’s day with a lead-off triple to left center. Renzo Gonzalez 3-1 groundout was enough to bring home Long for the first score of the day. The bases cleared but not for long with Yoyo reaching first on a Jason Torres error at third. That brings Carlos Perez to the plate also not for long. Sends the rock outward clearing the fence in left for a pair of runs which would be the only scoring until the 4th inning. Carlos Perez would open the 4th with a single, his second hit of the day, and advance to third on a Gaby Gutierrez double. A 6-3 groundout by Dominic Pitelli scoring Carlos from third. The 5th ended on an up note for Karson with a 3up/3down inning with the last two outs via the K.
Today, pitching returned to normalcy for the most part. Only 6 hits punched out, 5 coming from Karson, which saw a major downside of runs scored,4, compared to oh so many in the prior two days. Can’t have enough words for Chestnutt’s performance today. This is my first time seeing him in action, so I can’t relate to past performances, but today was the best I have seen during the preseason.
According to the schedule, the next scrimmage scheduled won’t be until Friday when the non-draftable pitchers will pitch 10 innings. Saturday is Scout Day where all draftable pitchers will have 2 innings each to impress those who will be watching. Start times are 2:50PM on Friday and 11:30 Saturday. These times are subject to change and the itinerary for Saturday regarding events prior to the scrimmage (running, hitting, throwing, infield work competition)yet to be decided. Scout Day wraps up the preseason so this is your last chance to see the team until Jan when they return for spring training.