Thursday, June 26, 2008

June 26, 2008 Boise 10 Everett 1

Our first game of the year. The sky was cloudy and a light wind blew in from left field for the cool (but not cold) night game against the Boise Hawks.

Everett's starting pitcher Kenta Suda had a tough first inning throwing 37 pitches and 23 strikes. The Hawks scored 4 runs on 3 hits, a hit batter, and one Aquasox error (a throwing error by Suda trying to pick off Josh Harrison on second base). The 18 year old Japanese pitcher (with a Japanese interpreter when the pitching coach made a trip to the mound) fell behind batters and never really looked too confident. Suda is only 18 years old.

At the start of the second Suda was relieved by Marquis Pettis who threw two innings (47 pitches, 25 strikes) and had a tough time finding the strike zone. he gave up one run. He also notably gave up a screaming line drive to Ryan Flaherty, one of 3 (or was it 4?) first round draft picks playing for Boise in this game. The ball hit by Flaherty never was more than 6 feet off the ground and was caught on one hop by Royster in center. I thought it might bury itself in the ground rather than bounce with the velocity that it had!

Pettis was relieved by Matthew Renfree who gave up more runs and soon the game was far out of hand.

The Boise pitching was handled by Casey (son of former major league pitcher Joe) Coleman for the first 4 innings (he threw in the low 90s) and then by Mike (son of former major league second baseman Jack) Percante for the next 4 innings 9 (with 6 strikeouts). Muyco came in and struck out 2 in the 9th. Apparently that's the Hawks' pitching plan - have two starters go 4 innings each if they pitch effectively.

Notations on my scoresheet included:

Boise ("best uniforms in minor league baseball!" - Bob Rosenzweig)
Josh Harrison is a very fast leadoff hitter and a favorite of Bob Rosenzweig's. Harrison stole second on Suda in the first and was probably half way there before Suda even started to the plate. Had Suda stepped off the rubber he would have had a play easily. That seemed to rattle Suda and after making a throwing error trying to pick off Harrison during the next at bat, Suda was pretty much a mess for the rest of the inning.
Ryan Flaherty hit everything very hard. Two line drives (one for a single and another for a double) and a home run (a line drive just over the right field fence). The one time he was put out (4-3) was on a hard hit grounder. He was also hit by a pitch.
Boise Centerfielder Andrew Rundle made a nice sliding catch on a hit by Howell in the 4th inning.
Third baseman Josh Vitters made a nice bare handed play on a slow roller by Soto in the 8th inning.

Nate Tenbrink hit a majestic home run over the short wall in right center n the 4th inning for the Aquasox first hit (they only had 1 other on the night to go along with 2 walks). Tenbrink also made a very nice play at third base on a sharply hit grounder. He made a diving pickup and was able to tag out Ryan Keedy who was on his way to third and then throw to first to complete the double play. There were two men on with nobody out at the time of the play - so it was important (though the score was already 6-0, so maybe not that important...).
Welington Dotel in right field let one ball bounce past him and it was ruled a double. He seems to be very slow to get the ball back to the infield - though he has a good arm. There's no quick release when he has to make a throw. At the plate Dotel still is not master of the strike zone. He was struck out in the 5th inning when he swung at a ball up near his eyes and then took a half swipe at a curveball down and away - both pitches were nowhere near the strike zone.
Kevin Reynolds in left also let a ball get past him and this one was an error.
Luis Nunez is fast and had a nice stolen base in the 5th inning.
Manelik Pimentel played first and looked adrift on any play that called for anything out of the ordinary. On one pickoff, the runner was easily beaten and Pimentel turned to his left and seemed to not really know where the runner was or where the bag might be. The runner should have been easily out. Then he almost misplayed a short hit by Josh Harrison that the pitcher fielded - Pimentel was very slow getting to the bag and seemed to be watching the play (though he was only about 6 feet from it!) and just barely made the play.

Overall, it appears that Boise is the superior team. But they had several high round picks playing. Everett countered with more latin players who might be of equal quality - it's hard to tell. Everett has problems with taking pitches - the "starters" for Boise went 4 innings and threw 48 and 49 pitches - an average of just 12 per inning. The Everett defense was average at best. Only the defensive play of Tenbrink at third stood out during the night.

Everett Herald Newspaper Report

Box Score

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