By: Mike Kaffee, Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
Daniel Federman earned a well deserved first win of the season not as a starter but in relieved. Not only was he solid on the mound but his key defensive play in the 7th averted a lead change where the momentum kept shifting throughout the game. This game was decided on pitching from the start with Jordan Dubberly making his debut as a starter through Carson Palmquist needing just 8 pitches to secure the series.
Weather played a factor to the start of this decisive game changing from the original 1PM start to 10AM late last night and changing back this morning with with a revised time of 2PM. This had to be a bit unsettling for both teams and the question hanging over Gino’s head, was how a rain interruption would affect the BP. The rains held off and luckily we could not have asked for more from the BP. This was the positive. The negative was the mental mistakes with fielding where singles turned into doubles resulting today in costing a run and over sliding a base which cost us a run. Laziness on the bases and in the field is not new for this team and fortunately the mistakes made today did not cost us the game.
No change from yesterday with the starting nine. With six LH in the starting lineup, VA goes with a RH who leads the team in ERA. Miami batting .190 for the first two games against LH pitching, still this was break they needed if they were going to come out on top. Miami got the hits, 11 but 10 of those were singles and you don’t win games playing small ball. Too much work and we don’t have the consistency of tying them together to run away with the game. They are still struggling to find their way at the plate, and they better do it quick as we are coming up against serious opposition who will take advantage of our deficiencies both in the field and at the plate.
Like Victor Mederos, Jordan was commanding on the mound during the early innings. The first three innings, Va were sending batters back to the dugout quicker than they could send them to the plate. 9up/9down requiring 28 pitches to do so. Va would not see their first hit until the start of the 4th. An opening double which should have only been a single but lack of responsiveness by Lala and the aggressiveness of Nic Kent he is standing on second rather than first which would cost us a run and tie the game at 1.
We would be the first on the board coming in the first as a result of two errors opening with Lala reaching first on a E4 and advancing to second on APO getting by the 1B. Vilar would advance Jordan to 3rd and Yoyo brought him home on a SF to left.
The 5th, Va takes the lead setting it up on a 2 out double by Devin Ortiz who has been their Angel of Death this series. HR on Fri, triple on Sat, and now a double. This was the guy coming into the series batting below the Mendoza Line. Ortiz double marked the end for Jordan having thrown 53 pitches. Must have been on pitch count after pitching on Tuesday and having thrown 52 pitches/4 innings. Gino decides to go with Daniel Federman which honestly had me cringing based on past performances. For now, I am whistling a different tune. Maybe this is where he should have been all season; in relief.First batter faced, What should have been an inning ending ground out to short was misplayed on the throw resulting in the go ahead run 2-1.
Miami answers in the 6th going small ball.Gabe led off with a single,Pitelli moves him over with a SAC 5-3, and Lala follows it up with a second single to tie it a 2.
The 7th was the turning point as well as being decisive in the outcome of the game. It was also the best miss opportunity of blowing this game wide open. Inning opened with back to back singles by CDC and Toral putting runners on the corners. Gil goes to RF on a SF. Gabe and Pitelli follow this up with a pair of singles of their own.This loads the bases for Lala. Hits a grounder to first who throws home getting Alex and with base still loaded Anthony lines out to Left. Only one run from 4 small ball hits. Still even with this misfortune, on top by 1.
Cavaliers respond in the bottom half, but Daniel saves the day with the play of the game. One out single starts the drama, Again Ortiz to the plate and completes the cycle (series) with a single advancing the runner to third. Steals second putting the go ahead run in position with another hit. Daniel preserves the lead by striking out the next batter and then making a Hail Mary stop on a liner back to him. if his reflexes were a microsecond slower, would have brought in the runners at 2nd and 3rd and another lead change
Yoyo provided an insurance run on a solo HR in the 8th, 5th of the year, to extend the lead 4-2.
Virginia had nothing left to answer with in the 8th. Daniel returned to the mound and make very short work in taking the Cavaliers down in order. Daniel was on a mission today and he definitely showed not to count him out. I already had him put out to pasture based on his last showing, but today he showed that he has the making to be an important factor in middle relief.
Gino gives the call for the STOPPER in the 9th and in Carson style needs 8 pitches to get save number 6 and Daniel win #1. They could not have accomplished this without Jordan Dubberly setting it all up. Great pitching performance all around
Offensively, hitting has been a roller coaster of twists and turns, highs and lows. We have the power hitters up and down the lineup but when they decide to hit rarely is it more than a small ball. Eleven hits today, ten of which for singles. Not to take away from Va., but this should have been a sweep with big numbers coming from the bench. .212 and .167 for the first two games and today .314. We should be seeing double digits in runs and a proportionally more extra bases than what we are seeing in every game. At least our strikeouts are down to single digits after recording 13 on Friday. Four players with multiple hits. Lala 2-5(RBI); Yoyo 2-3(HR,2RBI); Gabe 2-4; Pitelli 2-3.
Defensively, need to be more aggressive in fielding hits and preventing singles from turning into doubles and so forth. We are going to continue to make errors, but proportionally there will be more outstanding plays to override the miscues. We just can’t make mental mistakes like not covering a bag or bad base running. This seems to follows us at the most inopportune times.
Wednesday it is the Battle of the 305 with cross town rival FIU. We return LIGHT for a 3 game series next weekend with Duke with both games starting at 7PM.