|QTC bears down for another strikeout|
The Gems never once looked like they were going to put up that big inning as the 'Cat pitchers did it right - starter got deep in the game and the relievers shut the door. Angel Delgado and Ryan Keller each pitched a perfect inning and struck out one of their three victims. And there was clutch hitting to boot. Base hits with men in scoring position, back to back hits, with Nathan Lukes leading the way going three for four. Gems starter Jordan Kron entertained the very healthy weekday crowd of 1,635 with his flashy "El Tiante" delivery, but to no avail as he surrendered four of the seven runs off eight hits.
But the story of the game was Quintin Torres-Costa who has looked good in his last four, albeit short, outings, not allowing an earned run and firing a WHIP of just over 1.00. Up until tonight, QTC (or "Cutie"...you know, "QT", for short!) had pitched a total of twelve and a third innings, all from the bullpen except for one start way back on June 7th against Kelowna, where he lasted three innings. On his college team - the Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors - Torres-Costa was also primarily a reliever as well, also getting one start and throwing a max of 56 pitches. So net, he is a short inning, middle-relief kind of pitcher who has thrown a maximum of 46 pitches in an outing twice year for Victoria, most recently when he threw on back to back days against Kitsap. He also had Tommy John surgery back in May of 2013 so really, he was never expected to go much past four or five innings, even if they were to test his arm.
All was on track after his fourth inning of work when he was up to 54 pitches and he was looking solid having whiffed eight batters by then. So far so good. In the sixth, he struggled for a batter or two and the 'pen got busy. But he got out of it and left after throwing 84 pitches. Coming out some time in the sixth would have been exactly what was needed but he strolled out again in the seventh and BOOM...struck out the side. When all was said and done, he had tossed 100 pitches which normally would be about perfect...unless you were a guy who had never thrown more than half of that in a game all year, and making your way back from arm surgery. Hopefully though, he comes through it OK and can be that guy who can be the fourth starter and give the 'Cats five to six innings. Ice, Ice that arm baby! We want you back on the hill!
Highlight of the Night was reserved for Victoria third baseman Bryce Greager who ended the eighth by ranging to his right to snag a nasty grounder and gun out the runner at first. The only cheer bigger than that was when the "K batter of the game" - number eight hitter for the Gems, Jake Whisler - struck out for the third time giving some lucky fan a very nice Keg gift certificate. This dubious honour brought a lot of fan excitement to his at bat and littered the crowd with awesome Ferris Bueller references, thanks to the video board guy.
In other news, congratulations to pitcher Logan Lombana who was named to the All-Star team today making him the fourth 'Cat to be making the trip to K-Falls. Upon hearing the news, Hunter Mercado-Hood, Mikey Wright and Nathan Lukes were heard to ask if there was room for a couple more players...come on coaches??? That's the issue with every All-Star game I suppose, not every deserving candidate gets a shot and there is no one selection system that will fix that, especially in a league like this where coaches are way more focused on their own players vs. looking at the ones they face. Now let's see if Gabe can make some noise in the home run derby!
|The "K" guys were busy tonight!|