Recap: Canes Drop Series Opener To Wolfpack

By: Mike Kaffee, Hurricanes Baseball Reporter

Post game interview Gino pretty much summed up today’ game: ” It is a complete mess up”. For a little over 3 hours Miami floundered like a fish out of water struggling to grasp it last breath. Time and time again it was the same thing over and over: NO DEFENSE, NO OFFENSE, NO PITCHING, NO NOTHING. Hate to say Gino was wrong in his pregame interview when he stated our only consistency is our inconsistency. Sorry Gino, but from what has been produced so far has been CONSISTENTLY BAD  in all aspects of our game. How many more Friday starts under Daniel Federman before Gino realizes that Daniel never has and never will be someone you can trust to be consistent. Now 0-3, today only lasting 3 innings and tossing 72 pitches of 4 hit, 5 run baseball. He serves the ball up and they serve it over the fences. Once again he has put the burden on our two freshman pitchers in the hope that they can bail us out. Gino, wake up and move on. Last year, Daniel failed as a closer and now as a starter. Of course, he also has not had the support of his teammates both in the field and with the bat. For a team that looks so great on paper, they have yet to find themselves in all aspects of their game. Our veterans look like the walking wounded. May be it is time to let the youngsters warming the bench the opportunity to turn things around. They can’t do much worse than what we have already  seen. We saw a little bit of that today from McFarlane, Munroe, and Walters coming out of the BP.

Not much change in the line up. 1-4 no change. Lala,Vilar, Yoyo, DC who managed only 2 hits among them. Gil moving up to 5th from 7th continued in his record setting performance of two more strikeout to add onto his 6 already this season. Toral also moved up one spot to 6th with Chad Born (DH), CDC, and Tony Jenkins rounding out the 7th ,8th and 9th slot. Daniel Federman starting.

Miami once again showed consistency in their scoring in the early innings. Once in the first and again in the second. Also once again showing consistency in shutting down for the remainder of the game. Lala did offer a slight alteration in the format with a 3 run HR in the 3rd to tie the game only to see this vanish through poor defense and and pitching which couldn’t keep the ball away from their bats. NCS put up 10 runs in the 3rd,4th and 5th inning.Like the Hokies of last week , they were HUNGRIER.

We opened the 1st with Lala getting on via being hit and advancing to second on a pass ball. Vilar grounding out 6-3 didn’t advance Jordan from 2nd, but makes it to 3rd on a WP. DC drives the ball to CF for the first score. Their pitcher looked shaky and it appeared early that we were taking advantage. It has been shown that we can’t hit LH pitching which every team has been throwing at us, but we can score every now and then via walks, HP, or WPs. 

The lead we managed to get in the 1st, they answer with a run of their own, compliments of a 3 base error by Lala dropping the ball in left. This was the first of 4 recorded errors and several more that should not have been ruled hits. If a team is going to move forward they are going to have to make the plays which we consistently don’t. The error by Lala and the PB on the 3rd strike which would have been the final out resulted in the Pack tying the game at one.

In the second, we once again took advantage of Toral leading off with a walk, having him score on a subsequent single by Chad Born and two ground outs advancing Alex. The lead in the first and second would be the only glimmer of light besides Lala wind assisted 3 run shot to tie the game at 5 in the 4th. 

The 3rd is when the Wolf Pack took charge of the game for the next 3 innings and never looked back. They really did need to, sporting a 10 run outburst in the 3rd, 4th and 5th. In the 3rd, Daniel totally shut down like he did last week where he started doing so in the 2nd last Friday. Back to back HRs to lead off the 3rd appeared to totally rattle him in that it took 34 pitches and 7 batters with a couple of more runs to catch Gino’s attention.

So ended the day for Daniel and hopefully the end of his Friday starts. The 4th brought in Jake Garland who had a great relief last week but failed as bad as Daniel in not putting up back to back pitching performances. Like Daniel, also gave up a pair of HRs(not back to back) for three runs and one more coming off of a double and a ball getting under Toral’s glove which he should have been able to stop. 8 runs in 2 inning and to top the cake in the 5th with 2 more compliments of sloppy defense and Jake just not having the magic touch of last week. It opened with an error by Gil throwing an airball to first  and two plays later Lala letting a ball get by him down the LF line scoring one and having a runner now on 3rd because of it.Runner at 3rd would come home two batters later on a walk and groundout.Between Federman and Garland they would give up 11 runs (8 earned) for the combined 4 innings pitched.

Alex Mcfarlane had to come in to end the 5th with runners on the corners, 2 outs. He would stay in to pitch the 6th without giving up a hit or run striking out two. This was his first appearance this season and strong possibility we might be seeing him shortly as the mid week starter. He was impressive last year and has been my concern on where he has been during the first 2 series. We also got our first looks at Alex Munroe and Andrew Walters who each pitched one inning and only gave up 1 hit (Walters) between the two. The hit the scorer recorded should have been an error by Yoyo who had the time but appeared lazy in his fielding the ball with the resultant throw to first. Still these three deserve an early return to the mound for their efforts today.

Offensively, our batters just can’t handle left hand pitching. NCS used 2 LHers and held us to just 4 hits with 14 strikeouts. Our overall batting today was just .129 and batted .077 with RISP. We did not have anyone hit in multiple numbers . 6 times we had the lead off batter reach first and only twice able to capitalize on it. The sad highlight was in the 9th after Perez reaches 1st by being hit, followed by Lala, Vilar, and Yoyo all striking out capping off the type of performance we put out on the field today.

Tomorrow, our best takes to the mound, Alejandro Rosario, in hopefully will be a repeat of last week’s showing. First pitch 2PM.

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