By: Mike Kaffee, Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
Miami completed its 3 game series with a SWEEP over the Eagles in a very decisive fashion. It was pitching by committee where Miami over the course of the evening utilized 6 pitchers to hold the Eagle team to just 3 hits and no runs. Miami set the tone of the game in the first inning on the second pitch which Lala took over the RF fence. This was followed with back to back doubles by Yoyo and DC after Vilar struck out with Raymond Gil climaxing the opening inning with an RBI single bringing DC home. After Lala HR the offense could have literally taken the night off because the Jake Smith and his fellow pitchers caged the Eagle hitters the entire game. The BP took over after 3 innings of one hit ball which Jake was in total control requiring just 35 pitches to do so. Victor Mederos who has been struggling having lost his weekend slot needed only 19 pitches to complete the 2 innings required of him. Gino feeling confident with his BP ability to keep the Eagle’s in check utilized the pitching arms of Bodanza, Arguelles,Mcfarlane and Walters each pitching with an inning of hitless ball. After the first, while the offense could have taken the rest of the night off, they added to the lead in the third with a run and capping it off with 2 more in the 6th. It was more of pitching display tonight rather than an offensive crunch with the bats that made the difference.
Tonight’s lineup a bit of a change after the realization that Raymond Gil needed to be in the mix with the way his bat has been lighting up recently. Gino took him out in the second game of the series against NC after batting 3-4 in game 1 and paid the price for doing so. With Perez behind the plate doing midweek duties and DC normally the DH,Gino shuffles the manning charts having DC in RF for the first time since 2019 and Raymond as the DH. Strategy worked in Raymond having a 2-3 night with an RBI which normally would have been his night off. Unless he goes into a slump, don’t expect to see Raymond out of the lineup for the foreseeable future.
Behind the initial pitching of Jake Smith and the leadoff HR by Lala, the dye was cast for the remainder of the game. Putting three runs up on the board in the first, which included a pair of doubles set the stage which the Eagles were unable to respond to. As stated, tonight was not a display of an offensive outbreak but that of keeping the bats of the Eagles in check. The closest threat came in the 6th following two outs. Yoyo opened the door with an error on a ground ball which would have ended the inning and instead a man on first. Bodanza who has not given up a hit all season walks the next batter on 8 pitches. Facing their cleanup hitter took everything in Bodanza’s repertoire to get Wilmer to strikeout looking. The BP made it look easy the rest of the way.
Offensively, it was not an evening of overwhelming bat display. Did have ten hits with everyone in the line up getting a hit with the exception of Anthony who ended his streak of reaching base at 21 games. Two with multiple hits: DC 2-3 (double,RBI); Gil 2-3(RBI). Yoyo and Pitelli each had a double along with Lala 4th homer of the year. As for streaks, Toral now at 9 for hitting safely and Lala at 8 and DC has reached base in 16 games. Overall hitting tonight was .313. With RISP .308.
Pitching, it was their night to shine. Holding the Eagles to just 3 hits their batters batted only .103. In the games ahead, they have to keep the level of performance at this high level. Sadly, it is difficult to say what to expect from our offense, but if they can keep pitching like they have we should expect to see a lot more victories. The key is for our starters to get beyond the 5th which they have been fighting all season. Tonight, was a 4 star performance for the BP.They will make the difference of how far we will progress postseason.
The Eagles of Boston are next. Should, and I say should be a weekend that both the bats and pitching arms should take center stage. Then again, it is anyone’s guess how this roller coaster ride will go.