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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Legends' Game Report

Thanks to Bryan in Greenville, South Carolina. He went to Lexington's game in Greenville last night and files this report:

"To get the most important part of this report out of the way first, Lexington got the W to avoid getting swept by the Greenville Drive.

Cold, windy conditions and a slow game pace seemed to contribute to sloppy play and an apparent lack of focus in the field on the part of both teams, as the two teams combined for 6 errors, despite an official scorekeeper who was being generous towards the batters all game. (The scorekeeper also seems to have changed a few of his decisions after the game, as the box score does not match my scorecard.) That said, the Legends looked very impressive with the bats, sending at least eight batters to the plate in each of the first three innings to jump out to a 10-0 lead. Drive starter Ryan Pressly was tossing extended BP as he peppered the strike zone with hittable pitches and got chased after just one inning, allowing the Legends to get into a groove at the plate that lasted all game.

Legends starter Brandt Walker tried to make the game interesting, though, as he lived on the razor's edge for three innings before giving up 4 runs in the 4th. While Walker seems to have an electric fastball, his location was off all game, causing him to constantly work from behind the count and depend on his outfield to battle the swirling winds as they tracked down hard hit flies and liners being shot out by the Drive hitters. In the fourth it all caught up to Walker as he gave up three doubles and a walk, though the damage would have been limited if not for an error on a pop up to Bray with two outs that allowed two runs to score. Bray seemed to have the biggest problem with the wind last night, as he misplayed three pop-ups during the game before being pulled in the eight for Simunic.

Following Walker's inability to stick it out for the easy W, Wander Alvino came in and looked very impressive, despite allowing two runs through 2 2/3 innings. He was staying ahead of hitters and only faced one three ball count-the first batter he faced-before giving way to soft-tossing lefty Colton Pitkin with two outs and a runner on second. Pitkin would give up double, resulting in Alvino's second earned run, before settling down, and the Drive never threatened to score again.

At the plate, J.D. Martinez looks like a stud, going oppo in the first for a two run homer, sending another shot just foul down the left field line later in the game that cleared the five story condos just behind the wall. Martinez would finish five for six with four runs scored. In the second, Kody Hinze hit a three run shot to right center, going four for six with five rbi on the night. In the third inning, diminutive second baseman Jose Altuve (he looks so tiny!) hit a slicing liner down the right field line that just cleared the fence 302 feet away(approximately 56 Altuves) for a solo home run. In all, the Legends lineup did a good job of working the count, fouling off pitches, battling, and waiting for good pitches to hit. Despite going 0 for 5, Jio Mier in particular seemed very patient, including drawing a two out walk on a full count after fouling off two, two strike pitches in the first inning. Additionally, Martinez, Jacob Goebbert, Hinze, and Jonathan Fixler showed good discipline at the plate.

On a personal note, it was strange rooting for a visiting minor league team, as I live in Greenville and have attended several Drive games before as a home fan. As is expected in a minor league stadium, despite sitting on the visitor's side this game my wife and I were surrounded by Drive fans, including a group of drunk Clemson students "celebrating" their upcoming graduation by mercilessly heckling the Legends (they conveniently ignored the scoreboard.) Despite the rush to get back to the bus for their trip to Savannah for tonight's game, several Lexington players made it a point to wave, smile, and nod towards their seemingly lone fans as they crossed the field back to the locker room following their well earned victory.



houston1030 said...

well the double pitkin gave up to give up alvino's run was a pop up to the first baseman that was never touched and pitkin is not soft he is actualy 87-89. you didnt call seaton a soft thrower when his vlo droped last year. maybe he was throwing off speed bc he know the hitters weakness

Bryan said...

Good point about the double...I misread my notation when going back through my scorecard for the recap. That would have been the third out, stranding the runner at 2nd. You could argue that Bray's difficulties in the field led to five runs for the Drive that night.

My description of Pitkin was based solely on my observations that night, as he only seemed to sit in the mid 80's on his fastball.