Thursday, May 16 - Sand Gnats 6, GreenJackets 0
From my gamer: Savannah entered on a four-game losing streak, but the Sand Gnats exploded for more runs in one inning than they had in the previous two games combined.
Augusta entered on a four-game winning streak, having totaled 32 runs over the past four games. The GreenJackets were held to four hits while failing to score.
Mike Goff said it best after the game: "That's baseball."
Sand Gnats starter Rainy Lara was a mirror of his reports, completely shutting down the GreenJackets, like every other South Atlantic League team so far, and showing enough stuff for a possible major league role. But the stuff probably doesn't have enough depth to last as a starter.
Lara recorded 15 swinging strikes over eight scoreless innings (most among starts at Lake Olmstead this year), allowing just two hits with nine strikeouts. He featured a tailing fastball in the low-90s with some sink, and a sweeping slider that is no more than average. Lara has good arm action on his changeup, but he needs to continue working on it if he wants a three-pitch mix.
This isn't meant to take away from Lara. He's an excellent starter with stuff that overmatches hitters at this level. But it will be interesting to see how it plays in the upper levels.
Augusta starter Kendry Flores pitches in a similar way, although he doesn't have the same swing-and-miss stuff as Lara. Flores induced plenty contact and used the spacious outfield to record 10 fly balls. He ended up with seven strikeouts and nine swinging strikes, as well.
Flores flashed a solid breaking ball to work off a fastball that he spotted very well throughout the start. He was very efficient, something the GreenJackets obviously preach.
Notable Augusta lines:
Kendry Flores: 8.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K, 9 swinging strikes
Andrew Cain: 2-5, 2B
Shayne Houck: 1-4, 2B
Charles Jones: 1-4, 2B
Notable Savannah lines:
Rainy Lara: 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K, 15 swinging strikes
Maikis De La Cruz: 1-1, 2 RBI
Jayce Boyd: 2-4
Eudy Pina: 1-5, 3B