By: Mike Kaffee, Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
St. Patty sprinkled nothing but 4 leaf clovers over a very dominating Cane team tonight as they put the shillelagh to the ball tonight batting in 15 runs on 15 hits. The green shirted Eagles were outmatched decisively from the 5th inning on. Miami blew the game wide open with a 7 run inning highlighted by a Grand Salami by Gabe Rivera’s blast over the LF fence that is probably still soaring somewhere over the Ft Myers skies. Miami didn’t let off the throttle scoring 7 more runs (2,3,2) over the next 3 innings. Jake Garland pitched brilliantly for 7 innings only having to throw 78 pitches and giving up only a solo HR in the 5th. It was a night where everyone in the starting lineup, with the exception of Alex Toral, padded their average with at least a hit. 5 of the starting 9 scored multiple hits(Lala,Yoyo,DC,CDC,Rivera). Streaks continued with the Canes making it 6 games in a row, Lala reaching safely in his last 20 of 22 games, Vilar continuing his pace of hitting safely in his last 10 games as Yoyo making it 6 games for him. In the 7th inning it was wholesale clearing of the bench with only three starters (CDC,DC, Pitelli) seeing to the conclusion of the game. For the 5th ranked Hurricanes,this was a night to celebrate for everything fell into place and hopefully provide the confidence for a solid series against the Noles this weekend.
Little shuffling in the lineup for tonight’s game. No change in the top starting six with the exception of DC getting a rest and serving duty as the DH. Alex who was the DH last game still batting 6th but playing 1B tonight. Gabe Rivera tonight batting 7th and starting in right with CDC moving over to play center replacing Jenkins who continues to spiral downward in an unprecedented slump. Continued to do so tonight PH with a strikeout and walk. Batting average now at .081. Behind the plate batting 9th was Carlos Perez. On the mound Jake Garland with a 1-1 record.
As earlier mentioned things did not start warming up until the 5th inning. Miami put up the first run in the second with a lead off triple by DC followed by Big Brother with a RBI single to make the score 1-0. The second could have been the start of the blowout having had BL one out. Strikeout by Perez and Lala grounding out put the hold on until the 5th.
The 5th, brought 10 players to the plate With Perez starting the inning with a leadoff single and ending it with a strikeout. When the dust had finally settled 7 runs on 5 hits highlighted by Yoyo’s 2 RBI double and Gabe River’s sonic boom grand slam over the LF fence. Eagle’s managed to answer with a solo HR to lead off their half of the inning but the damage had been reckoned,8-1, and it was just the start.
The 6th brought in a pair of runs with CDC 2 RBI single with the BL. This was set up with Lala and Vilar both singling and DC reaching first on an error by 2B.
The scoring continue in the 7th with 3 more on an unearned run from a botched DP 4-6 scoring Pitelli on SS throw to first. Yoyo would follow up with an RBI double and concluding with DC next at bat with an RBI single.
The 8th inning would conclude with the 14th and 15th runs on Jose Izarra PHing for Vilar collecting his 1st 2 RBI single. Did so with BL.
Garland who easily could have gone the distance handed the ball over to Jake Smith who had a rough beginning with back to back hits (single,RBI double) but then proceeded to striking out the next 3 batters. Andrew Walters came in the 9th to finish off the Eagles after they opened with back to back singles only to see it falter with a 5-3 DP and concluding with a strikeout which pretty much was a reflection of their entire evening of a crushing lose of 15-2.
Kaffee’s Scouting Report
Offensively, the bats were slow to get started but after the initial start in the 2nd with the Brothers putting the initial run on the board, there was no stopping them from the 5th on. 5 as mentioned were with multiple numbers: Lala 2-4, Yoyo 2-5 (2 doubles,3RBIs), DC 2-4(triple,RBI), CDC 2-4 (3RBIs), Rivera 2-4 (HR,4RBIs). Only negative in the hit department was from Alex Toral whose 3 strikeouts gives him a team lead of 16 Ks for the year. Watching him he just seems very uncomfortable with a lazy swing with the bat. Both him and Tony Jenkins alongside Raymond Gil have just not live up to last year’s expectations.
Defensively, one error and one mental (ruled a hit) both by Yoyo at third but fortunately neither resulted in a run.
Pitching, another excellent outing by Jake Garland going for 7 solid innings only giving up the solo HR in the 5th. At 78 pitches and still going strong, Gino decided to go to the BP and yet save the arms for the big series against the Noles. Felt disappointed in Gino’s decision not utilizing the opportunity of the cancellation game on Sunday to use Federman instead to try to bring his game in line to what a weekend starter should look like. Felt with 3 bites of the apple and failing to produce with an ERA of over 8, the love affair that Gino has with him should end. Hopefully we won’t regret it come Sunday. Loyalty can go only so far. Jake has earned the promotion and Daniel the demotion.
Weekend series with the Noles with always brings a fierce rivalry no matter what each record’s is and where they are ranked. All that means nothing when these two meet. First pitch 7 PM with Alejandro Rosario on the mound.