Tuesday, May 7 - Tourists 9, GreenJackets 3
Asheville right-hander Eddie Butler is ranked sixth in the Colorado Rockies system by Baseball America for good reason. He has really good stuff.
Butler held Augusta to one hit through six shutout innings, walking five and striking out five. He hurled a plus fastball in the mid-90s with heavy sinking action, limiting the GreenJackets to one fly ball over his outing (which he said he wasn't happy about). His slider was plus throughout, resulting in three of his five strikeouts, and he mixed in an above-average curveball or two.
Reports indicated Butler's secondaries outside the slider needed work to hold onto that No. 2 ceiling, and one could see it even through six one-hit innings. His curveball is inconsistent and his changeup was not really implemented. All he needed was the fastball/slider combination, and it worked to near perfection. In order to reach a No. 2 ceiling, he will need one of either the curve or change to reach at least average, and I think the curve could be capable.
Asheville center fielder David Dahl, the Rockies' No. 2-ranked prospect and first pick in 2012, went down with a pulled right hamstring in the first inning. In his second at-bat of the first, he hustled out a ground ball and crumpled to the ground beyond first base, clutching his right leg. He was able to put weight on it and was helped off the field. Asheville manager Fred Ocasio indicated after the game that the injury was the hamstring, and he didn't have a timetable at that point.
GreenJackets starter Justin Schumer, making his second spot start in the absence of the injured Joan Gregorio, lasted just two-thirds of an inning for the second straight outing. He allowed seven runs, including four doubles to the first five batters.
Mason McVay did a solid job in relief, halting Asheville and allowing just one run in three innings, including five strikeouts. Brandon Farley was again solid in long relief, pitching 3.1 scoreless innings.
Shayne Houck continues to swing a hot bat, picking up a two-RBI double in the eighth inning to break the shutout. Jesus Galindo reached base three times on two walks and a single.
Notable Augusta lines:
Mason McVay: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
Brandon Farley: 3.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Shayne Houck: 1-2, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB
Jesus Galindo: 1-3, 2 BB
Notable Asheville lines:
Eddie Butler: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 5 K
David Dahl: 2-2, 2B, 3 RBI
Rosell Herrera: 2-4, 2B, RBI, BB
"I was a little out of sync at some points. Felt like I was throwing across my body, but for the main part felt good. I was keeping the ball down in the zone. I wasn’t happy about that fly ball. I like to see the ball on the ground, let the guys work behind us, and they did tonight. They played real well behind me.
"That’s the main thing I throw is my sinker. That’s the big reason why I was picked up by the Rockies, where I was picked up at, because that sinker can get a lot of ground balls, which works out well at high elevation."
"Obviously, he threw the ball well. It’s normal Butler. He’s got good stuff and went after the hitters. He gave us six innings. His pitch count ran up a little bit and ran into deep counts and resulted in coming out.
"He was keeping the ball down, that’s for sure. Keeping the ball down and anywhere from 96-97 to where the ones he pitched with that velocity and down in the zone, that’s what you’re going to get out of him, a lot of ground balls.
"(Dahl) has a pulled hamstring. It might be a while. With hamstrings, you never know how it’s going to be, how he’ll feel tomorrow. He’ll be out a while for sure."