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Cannonballs Coming: Tarpley still pitching well

Some extended comments on the GCL Pirates at the bottom.

-- Indianapolis beat Durham, 5-1.  Wilfredo Boscan threw six shutout innings and Bobby LaFromboise retired the side in the 7th and 8th, striking out four.  Alen Hanson was 2-5 with a double and Gustavo Nunez 2-5 with a triple.  Willy Garcia and Keon Broxton each went 1-3 with a walk.  After very slow starts in AAA, Garcia's overall line now borders on respectable at 252/288/413 and Broxton's actually is respectable at 242/341/414.  Josh Bell was 0-4, leaving him 1-17 since his promotion.

-- Altoona lost to New Britain, 6-1.  Zack Dodson gave up five runs, three earned, over five and a third innings.  The Curve had nine hits and seven walks, but they left 14 runners on base.  Adam Frazier was 2-3, and Jose Osuna and Erich Weiss each 2-5.

-- Bradenton got stomped by Jupiter, 9-3.  Starter Frank Duncan gave up seven runs, six earned, on ten hits in six and a third innings.  The Marauders had only five hits, with Wyatt Mathisen going 2-4.  Reese McGuire was 1-3.  Austin Meadows and Harold Ramirez were each 0-3.

-- The West Virginia Power dropped a 3-2 decision to Greeneville.  Stephen Tarpley, who was acquired for some guy who was dfa'd the other day, had another good outing.  He allowed two runs on four hits and a walk in six innings, while fanning eight.  John Sever allowed just one hit in three innings while striking out four, but the hit was a solo HR that decided the game.  Elvis Escobar was 2-3, and Taylor Gushue and Erik Forgione each 2-4.  Cole Tucker remained out of the lineup because his shoulder isn't injured.

-- Morgantown lost to Auburn, 8-3.  Starter Seth McGarry gave up only three hits and fanned six in five innings, but he walked two, hit two, and allowed four runs.  Kevin Kramer went 3-5 with a pair of doubles.  Albert Baur and Christian Kelley each went 2-4, and Casey Hughston was 1-3.

-- Bristol had 13 hits and benefited from seven Kingsport errors in a 10-8, ten-inning win.  The Pirates led by anywhere from one to four runs until they finally blew a one-run lead in the bottom of the 9th.  The game only went into extra innings because left fielder Henrry Rosario threw out the winning run at the plate.  Fittingly, Bristol won on a two-run error in the top of the 10th.  Carlos Munoz had a standard Munoz game:  2-3 with two doubles and two walks.  Trae Arbet also had a typical game for him this year, going 2-6 with a triple and three strikeouts.  He's somehow hitting .333 and slugging .518 with a 5:36 BB:K ratio, just shy of a strikeout every three at-bats.  Tomas Morales was 3-5, and Bealyn Chourio and Edgar Figueroa each 2-4.  Marek Minarik and Palmer Betts combined to strike out eleven in eight innings, but they allowed seven runs.

-- The DSL Pirates lost to the Yankees2 in eleven innings, 8-7.  Catcher Mikell Granberry hit his fifth HR, a three-run shot.  He's having a very solid year, one of the few players on the team who can say that, at 276/360/474.  Huascar Fuentes was 2-5 with a double and Ramy Perez 2-4.

-- The GCL Pirates split a doubleheader with the Tigers, winning the first game, 2-0, and dropping the second, 3-1.  Chris Plitt (pictured) threw five shutout innings in the first game, giving up just two hits and no walks, and fanning four.  Michael De La Cruz went 2-3, and Ke'Bryan Hayes and Edison Lantigua had RBI singles.  Shane Kemp started and lost game two, giving up two runs in three innings on three hits and three walks.  He struck out one.  Hayes went 2-3 and De La Cruz had a double in two at-bats.  Some comments on individual players:

The two players who've impressed me the most in the past week are Hayes and De La Cruz.  Hayes is pretty obvious, given what he's hitting, but he consistently puts good wood on the ball.  He was 3-6 overall today, but could have been 5-6 if the Tigers didn't have a center fielder who was tracking balls down all over the place.  He ran down a Hayes drive at the fence in straightaway center and made a diving catch on a liner in shallow center (he actually trapped it, but the ump missed the call).  I've seen Hayes in quite a few ABs in the last week and he seldom looks fooled on anything.  I haven't seen him get any tough defensive plays, but he has a good arm; pretty much every throw would hit the first baseman in the middle of the chest if he didn't catch it.  The GCL season ends about a week before the NYPL season and I'm curious to see whether Hayes gets a promotion then.  It might be good for him to face some pitching that was a bit more advanced.

De La Cruz looks very different from last year, when he looked anemic at the plate.  He has a good sense of the strike zone and makes hard contact a decent amount of the time.  He showed good range today, going back and coming in, and made a good, very accurate throw to the plate.  In fact, the team's outfield had a good day today, with Edison Lantigua (playing left) making a great diving catch in left-center and Victor Fernandez making a nice running catch on a line drive down the RF line.

Plitt and Kemp were interesting in part because they're extremely similar.  They both have the tall, lean frame the Pirates like with RHPs, with easy motions.  Plitt is the more advanced, mainly due to much better command.  He threw in the upper-80s with good movement, enough that he got a number of swings and misses from LH hitters.  He also got swings and misses with his slider.  Kemp threw 89-90 in his first two innings and 87-88 in his third.  He didn't miss as many bats and his command came and went.  He gave up a triple and walk to the first two hitters, then pitched well through the end of the 2nd.  In the 3rd, his velocity and command both faltered and he had to spear a line drive to get out of the inning.