In arguably the second best outing of his Triple-A career, Chris Stratton entered the ninth inning having allowed just two baserunners — two singles — while striking out nine in eight scoreless frames. A Christian Adames solo home run to lead off the ninth ended his night, but not before he walked off to a standing ovation from the Raley Field crowd braving the heat for one-dollar hot dogs and ice creams.
His outing Tuesday falls just short of a day Stratton had last season in Round Rock where he punched out a career-high 12 and walked one in eight innings.
Stratton's fastball topped out at 94 multiple times throughout the night, including a swinging strike three for strikeout number nine in the eighth inning. Otherwise, it comfortably sat 91-93 while he kept hitters off-balance with a mix of his two breaking balls — a slider and a curveball.
I was sitting on the third-base side with a terrible angle to judge whether a pitch thrown in the mid-80s was a slider or a changeup. So I can't comment on the changeup much at all. But considering the slider is arguably his best secondary offering, I could deduce that a mid-80s pitch producing swing throughs while being caught in or near the dirt were in fact sliders.
He set a season-high for swinging strikes with 15, though it wasn't his best outing in terms of swinging-strike percentage. He reached 14.8% Tuesday night, and on May 4 coaxed 13 swing-throughs in just 71 pitches for a 18.3% mark.
— Miguel Gomez recorded some rare right-handed plate appearances on Tuesday, and used one of them to club his first righty home run of the season — his eighth overall. A mere 19.1% of his 267 plate appearances in 2017 have come from the right side. In those 51 trips to the plate, Gomez is slashing .333/.412/.467 with only four strikeouts.
— Sam Coonrod got back on track after a rough seven-hit, five-walk outing last week. On Tuesday, he struck out seven and walked one in seven innings. Despite a high ERA (4.67), Coonrod still has solid peripherals like a 22.4 K%, a 9.1 BB%, and .235 OBA, which includes just three home runs in 61.2 innings.
— Exciting stuff from center fielder Malique Ziegler, who is doing it all in his first six games with the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes. He went 3-for-6 with his second home run of the year and stole a base for the fourth game in a row.
— Volcanoes starters have been solid, other than one rough outing from Jose Marte. They've posted this combined line in six games: 27.1 IP, 20 H, 17 BB, 24 K with a 2.96 ERA. Considering the team is averaging 4.8 runs per game, you would think their record wouldn't be 1-5. Unfortunately the bullpen has been brutal. They've surrendered 29 of the total 38 earned runs given up in six games.
TOP-30 PROSPECTS ROUNDUP
- Tyler Beede: DNP
- Christian Arroyo: DNP
- Bryan Reynolds: DNP
- Steven Duggar: DNP
- Chris Shaw: DNP
- Sandro Fabian: DNP
- Heath Quinn: DNP
- Joan Gregorio: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K
- Jordan Johnson: DNP
- Andrew Suarez: DNP
- Sam Coonrod: 7 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
- Matt Krook: DNP
- Aramis Garcia: DNP
- C.J. Hinojosa: 1-for-3
- Reyes Moronta: DNP
- Rodolfo Martinez: DNP
- Austin Slater: 1-for-4, R, HR
- Kelvin Beltre: DNP
- Dan Slania: DNP
- Cory Taylor: DNP
- Chris Stratton: 8 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 9 K
- Chase Johnson: DNP
- Jalen Miller: DNP
- Melvin Adon: DNP
- Garrett Williams: DNP
- Dylan Davis: 1-for-4, R, HR, SO
- Ryder Jones: DNP
- Hunter Cole: DNP
- Miguel Gomez: 3-for-4, R, HR
- Ryan Howard: DNP