Friday, May 17 - GreenJackets 11, Sand Gnats 0
I was prepared to write another pitching duel gamer until Mitch Delfino appeared.
Delfino popped an inside fastball over the ad boards in left field for a grand slam, sparking a six-run fifth inning. The GreenJackets rolled to 11 runs in the rout.
In games like this, it's tough to know where to start. Delfino went 2 for 3 with a walk, homer and four RBI. Ben Turner went 3 for 4 with three doubles and two RBI. Trevor Brown went 2 for 4 with a double and RBI. Andrew Cain went 2 for 4 with an RBI. Jesus Galindo picked up an RBI, as well.
That's definitely not where it ends. Starter Joe Biagini allowed one hit over seven shutout innings, walking two and striking out two. Biagini allowed four baserunners in the first two innings before retiring his final 16 batters.
The big righty found his release point and got on top of his pitches more after the first inning, resulting in better command and weaker contact. The first batter of the game was the only hit Savannah managed to record.
When Biagini is struggling, he has trouble staying on top of the ball at release. He has a pause at the top of a high leg kick, and he fades toward first base when coming forward, resulting in heavy spine tilt. This leads to inconsistent command and poor extension at the very worst. You could see both sides of Biagini in a matter of two innings, and it's something he'll continue to fight if he doesn't gain outstanding muscle memory.
Biagini also attributed feeling better from the stretch and staying on a better line as keys to the turnaround.
Notable Augusta lines:
Joe Biagini: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K
Mitch Delfino: 2-3, HR, 4 RBI, BB
Ben Turner: 3-4, 3 2B, 2 RBI
Andrew Cain: 2-4, RBI
Matt Duffy: 2-4, 2B
Trevor Brown: 2-4, 2B, RBI
Notable Savannah lines:
Robert Gsellman: 4.2 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
"I was proud of the guys for bouncing back after last night. Last night was a tough one to swallow. We know they played pretty good, they just didn’t swing the bats last night. Tonight they came out and swung the bats very well. Got a couple good at-bats from Galindo and Cain. Delfino with the big grand slam was a big blow. I thought Turner swung the bat very well, Brown swung the bat very well. Jones smoked the ball to right field. It’s nice seeing some of these guys attacking the fastball the way it’s supposed to be attacked.
"I think we hit the fastball very well tonight. I think we cheated to it, got ahead in the count. We cheated to it like we’re supposed to hit the fastball.
"Biagini gave us a solid seven innings of work. That was huge out of him. We’re slowly getting our bullpen back in condition it needs to be in after being beat down for about three straight weeks. Gave Mizenko another night off was huge.
"We got a couple guys banged up a little. Houck’s hamstring was a little tight, so gave him the night off. Get Delfino off his legs in the field for one night. We’ll give Duffy a breather in the next day or two. Knock on wood, we’re pretty healthy.
"I think the big thing for Biagini is strike one, not overthinking, throwing what the catcher puts down and not try to outthink. Turner did a great job handling him. Biagini tried to shake to a couple pitches and Turner wouldn’t allow it, which was outstanding. He got a lead, attacked the strike zone, minimized his pitch count and stayed out there for seven innings. That was huge after the first inning.
"Delfino has given us two outstanding at-bats in a row in two nights. I thought his AB last night was tremendous. Got a good pitch to hit and didn’t miss it. That was huge at the time."
"I’ve been working on being more consistent from the stretch. Trying to make adjustments. I’ve been leaving the ball up a little bit. Trying not to nibble but attack them more than I have him. I think that helped a little bit. Once I got out of that first inning I was able to make a mental adjustment and have a better idea of how it’s going to feel the next inning. From the stretch I was able to stay on line more. It’s really just try to fight and have confidence. If I’m able to do that and stay disciplined you get better results.
"I started to get on top of the fastball well. I need to continue getting back to that point because I have some sink on it, a good high angle, the hitters have a hard time getting underneath it. I think that’s really what helped because I was able to throw strikes with fastballs and not get as deep into counts as I have been in previous starts. It’s always nice to feel that groove feeling. I don’t know if it’s a real thing or not, but I haven’t experienced it recently. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back to that point more often just as consistency builds on itself."
"Going up looking for a fastball, looking to drive something into the gap. First two pitches were out of the zone, 2-0 count. I thought he’d be coming with the fastball. Fouled off two more fastballs in a row. Previous at-bat he got me to roll over a slider so I was telling myself to sit back, let it get deep, throw the hands. He came inside fastball and got the hands inside and got the barrel to the ball.
"I’ve been feeling good, just trying to see the ball a long way, put the barrel on it, drive the fastball, don’t miss the fastball, don’t get to his secondary pitch. If you can hit the fastball early in the count in the zone, then you’re going to have success."