By: Mike Kaffee, Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
Controversial call in the 6th inning changed the entire complexion of the game. The LONG ball would prove integral for both sides in shifting the balance of the game, but it was the BP not able to hold back the Panther’s onslaught of hits that would ultimately prove detrimental in Miami losing the series opener to Pitt.
No change in the normal weekend lineup. Alejandro Rosario was scheduled to start having fully recovered from his strain oblique but last minute illness had Jake Garland getting the call. There was question on whether Jake who did not pitch Wed. due to himself not feeling well would be ready to start today. With a limited BP, Gino did not have much of an option and went with his best choice. Rosario is not being ruled out and may see his number called to start tomorrow or Sunday. As of this time, no word as who will be starting Sat. If it is Alejandro, I would expect that Victor will pitch Sunday afternoon and have Dubberly standing by for relief.
It appeared that Jake might not have been 100% ready giving up a double on his second pitch to open the game. It didn’t get much better with the second batter he faced hitting him to put runners on 1st and 2nd no outs. Temporarily relief with a 4-6-3 DP advancing the runner to 3rd. Panthers struck back on first pitch following the DP with an RBI single to take the early lead 1-0.
Miami batters would struggle through the first 3 innings striking out 6 times before they were able to mount an offense in the 4th. Back to back single by CDC and Toral put runners on the corners with one out. Raymond Gil ties the game at one with a SF to center.
Panthers did not take long to answer retaliating with two of their own in the bottom half of the 4th. Pitt batters did not wait long in their time at the plate, swinging early in the count and generating hits. Lead off single was the beginning of the Panthers once again taking the lead. One out walk put runners on 1st and 2nd and their first of 4 doubles they would connect with during the game drove in 2 runs giving them the lead 3-1. If not for the throw by Lala to home on what could have been an RBI single, the score could have 4-1. Jake’s day was done just prior to the play at the plate. Andrew Walter who started on Wednesday came into pitch in relief.
Miami would get one back in the 5th with an RBI single by Anthony Vilar driving in Gabe who opened the inning by being hit.
The 6th would have the most impact for both sides. CD would open Miami’s half with a double to right. With the count 3-1 on Alex, Pitt decided to intentionally walk him putting runners on 1st and 2nd. With the count full on Raymond, Gil sends a towering shot to left to give Miami a 2 run advantage 5-3.
Gino gives the call to the BP once again and brings in Daniel Federman who has shown resilience in bouncing back to the pitching style he once had. Daniel’s problem is that he let’s his emotion sometimes get the better of him and we see unfavorable results come from it. Today, he appeared to lose all his composure over a controversial call which the officials upheld after review. Daniel thought the batter turned into the ball purposively getting hit giving him a free pass when the count was 1-2. If reversed, batter would have been called out and and rather than two out, now had a runner on base which would spark a 5 run inning. The call would have lasting effects for the remainder of Daniel’s time on the mound. The other Daniel, which lost him the Friday starting position earlier in the year raised its ugly head again and proceeded in giving up back to back singles to load the bases. The second single was from a PH who was 1-16 for the season. Daniel being on a short leash was replaced by Anthony Arguelles which happens to be Gino’s go-to guy and not my favorite choice. With an ERA of 5.25, he does not give me warm fuzzies. What should have been an inning ending DP,Dominic tried to showboat on a back hand stop which gets by him and ruled an RBI single. For me, record it as a mental error. Bases still loaded, Anthony has a pitching duel with Sky Duff only to coming out on the losing end of pitch #10 as Sky “sky”rockets one for the Grand Salami to right center. The lead would once again change hands and this for the final time 8-5.
Arguelles would finish the inning to be replaced by Alex Munroe who also pitched on Wednesday. Like the rest of the BP, he failed to do what he got the call for: stop the bleeding. Lasted 2/3 of an inning giving up two hits: a double and a 2 run Banger. Realistically nothing left in the BP to draw from and still have something left for tomorrow, Gino turns the rock over to Nicholas Regalado also having pitched Wednesday. He would remain for the rest of the game after giving up another two runs in the 8th and finally retiring the sides after facing 8 batters and leaving BL.
Miami trialing at the time 10-5 in the 8th, made one final effort with a solo shot by Raymond; his second in the game.Too little, too late. Damage was already irreparable and with Pitt answering with two of their own in the bottom half of the inning, Miami drops the opener 12-6.
Offensively, It was mostly Raymond Gil for the Canes with 2 HRS accounting for 5 RBIs. The only other person with multiple numbers was DC with a 2-4 afternoon.
Defensively, the scoreboard shows another game with 0 errors. Does not show the mental one which set up 4 of the 5 runs scored in the 6th.
Pitching was our Achilles Heel today. With a limited BP, and not our best still available to pitch, they failed miserably today to hold off the outpouring of hits and runs. Today the BP accounted for 9 of the 12 runs and 14 of the 18 hits pounded out. Bottom line: if the starter can not go deep to turn it over to Carson Palmquest to close it out, we are in for rough sailings ahead.
For those who watched the game, I am sure you noted the poor coverage provided which included no audio. Thankfully we had WVUM, but they were two pitches ahead on the pitch count . It appeared they had only one camera available which made it impossible to accurately rule on a replay or made for lousy viewing for balls hit to RC where the camera could not cover. Watched the entire game from CF with no zoom
Hopefully, the technical aspects can be rectified before game 2 which also includes on the question who will be tossing for us come tomorrow. First pitch 3PM.