Sunday, June 2, 2013

Pitching? Let's Talk About Catching

Game 56, June 1RHE
Rail Riders (Yankees)
Durham Bulls (Rays)

Season: 35-21; Home Stand: 5-1
Wrap, Box, Herald-Sun

The Rail Riders’ pitcher, Chien-Ming Wang, had a good night. Two Bulls pitchers, Jake Odorizzi and Adam Liberatore, had their worst night of their season. So let’s talk about something else.

How about catcher Craig Albernaz’ performance last night? Wasn’t that something? It began with a foolish attempt by RR Ronnier Mustelier to steal on him in the 1st inning. A bullet throw and a 2-6 in the scorebook.

But it got very weird at the bottom of the 6th with runners on first and third, one out, and the infield in. On a pitch in the dirt judged a wild pitch, RR’s Melky Mesa broke for second base and was called safe after Albernaz’ throw to 2B Cole Figueroa. RR’s Thomas Neal on third base decided to try for home. Figueroa threw home, Albernaz blocked the plate, and made the out. Watching the play from second base RR’s Mesa broke for third, Albernaz made a perfect throw to 3B Vince Belnome who made the tag. That’s a 4-2-5 double play for your scorebook and maybe the only time I will ever make that entry in one of mine.

But wait. There’s more. For the 9th inning Albernaz shucked his catcher’s gear and took the mound for the second time this season. He got three quick outs, including a strikeout of former teammate Dan Johnson. That was Albernaz’ second appearance as a pitcher this year and preserved his perfect ERA, 0.00, the best on the pitching staff … a point he is surely making among his colleagues.

The other thing I noticed last night was the contrast between Brandon Guyer and Wil Myers in right field. Myers is an OK right fielder. Guyer, however, is much more graceful and has both a better range and gets the ball in more quickly and more accurately. I just liked watching him out there. He was also the only Bull to figure out Wang and have a good day at the plate, getting 3 of the 6 hits made off of him.

Outside the game —
  • The Tides won, so they are now just a game behind the Bulls.
  • Chris Archer did not have a very good first 2013 appearance with the Rays. He took the 5-0 loss. Analysis here.
  • Alex Torres, however, did just fine in his relief appearance. 4 innings, 6 K, 1 BB. Torres ERA with the Rays is 0.00 on the year.

No comments:

Post a Comment