By: Mike Kaffee, Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
Miami coming over of its worse loss of the season, in desperate need to find a pitcher to pitch beyond 5 or 6 innings turned to redshirt freshman Alex McFarlane to do just that. After a 16 hit, 13 run breakout performance last night from from a red hot Boston team, McFarlane and the BP completing turned the tables on their hitting machine holding them to just 6 scattered hits. From beginning to end it was strictly a pitching performance at its highest level from both sides. Mason Pelio preseason selection for pitcher of the year, kept the Miami batters in almost lockdown through 6 innings. The Canes managed to come away with a run in the first with runners on the corners one out. A ground out to 1st which was bobbled by the 1B unable to turn the DP put Miami on the board. Holding a one run lead, McFarlane after a shaky first start giving up back to back singles with one out, held off the Eagles of tying the score. From the second inning on he was magical in pitching control striking out the sides in the second and allowing only one more hit through 5 innings. Miami looking for a Saturday starter definitely found one in Alex McFarlane needing 59 pitches to complete 5 innings. The BP took it from there holding onto a 2-0 after Miami scored another run in the 4th on an RBI single by Gil. Trailing 2-0 in the 6th, Pelio having thrown 110 pitches turns it over to their go-to Joey Walsh. Walsh did his job striking out 6, but so did the Miami‘s BP maintaining shutout ball until two outs in the 9th.
Gabe not having the best of days yesterday with a couple of errors and going hitless, sat on the sidelines today and DC taking his place in right for the second time. Adrian saw action in this position on Tuesday against Fl Gulf. This move was to keep a much needed Raymond Gil in the lineup. Carlos Perez behind the plate batting 9th. Rest of the lineup RTS. Alex McFarlane making his debut on the mound replacing Jordan Dubberly who struggled last Saturday giving up 5 runs in 4.1 innings.
Miami still struggling at the plate, the bats continued to provide little insurance in helping out their pitchers. Where Rosario was at his worse yesterday, McFarlane was at his best not allowing a run. Miami was first on the board in the first as related earlier and held on to this lead throughout the rest of the game, not by hitting but by pitching. Alex could have easily gone beyond 5 with only 59 pitches thrown, but Gino is very comfortable with the BP to get us beyond the 5th. Brought in Spencer Bodanza, who has not given up a run this season, to pitch the 6th. Not a run nor hit for 1.1 innings, then turning it over to Daniel Federman to finish the 7th . After giving up a single to the 1st batter faced finished the inning leaving a runner on second.
Holding onto a 2 run lead, the call is given to Closer Carson Palmquest to take it the rest of the way. Almost always automatic, after striking out two in the 8th, an opening double in the 9th brought the tying run to the plate with the heart of their order to bat. FO to right advanced the runner to 3rd, with Cody Morissette coming to the plate. One of their hottest hitters, coming off a yesterday’s 3 run HR in the 7th, his 5th of the year. Hard grounder back to Carson keeps the runner at 3rd throwing to 1st for the 2nd out. With a chance to turn the tables of pitching a shutout Luke Gold their leading hitter already 2-3 for the day singles (RBI) through the left side, putting the tying run on 1st and the winning run at the plate. Carson digs in and delivers with 3 straight strikes to earn him his 10th save of the year.
Offensively this team has a long way to go and they can not keep on hoping that the BP will be able to save their bacon every game. Ten strikeouts today, 6 coming in the final 3 innings. Of the 7 scattered hits, only one for extra bases which left CDC stranded at second in the 8th. The long ball which we started to see a couple of weeks ago have packed their bags and mysteriously disappeared. This team will not win games by going small ball, because they are too inconsistent with their hitting. Today batted overall .212 with .167 with runners in scoring position which was very rare today (1-6). Two players with multiple hits: Vilar 2-3 and Yoyo 2-4.
Defensively, no errors mentally or otherwise. Played sound ball but greatly assisted by the 10 strikeouts rung up by the pitching rotation and holding them to 6 hits.
The BP has been the heart and soul of this team for the pass several series. Today after Bostons batters hit .410, McFarlane and crew held them to .188. With the exception of Jake Garland and today Alex McFarlane our starting rotation has been in dire needs of patch-up. Working on a perfect midweek record we might see Jake Smith being rotated into weekend duty with Alex being promoted to Friday. Like Victor Mederos, Alejandro might be looking at a demotion to Wednesday or into the BP to work on his game. This late into the season we should be in a lock as to our starting rotation, but in reality we are the quandary as to who are starting three will be.
With the series very much in the balance, Jake Garland will be handling duties on the mound. Warmer temperatures expected for tomorrow which hopefully will warm up our bats. The BP better be ready because they are expecting about 30% of rain. First pitch set for 1PM. Always a possibility of a noon start to avoid the a 3PM forecast for rain. Standy for updates.