Friday, August 2 - Augusta 6, Charleston 0
Another impressive outing for Chris Stratton, who completed eight innings for the first time this season on 105 pitches.
Stratton was efficient throughout, getting a solid amount of swinging strikes on a fastball/slider combination early in the game, and flashing a good curveball and changeup late. He induced 11 swinging strikes with seven strikeouts while mixing a near-equal amount of ground balls and fly balls.
Stratton consistently had a plus slider that showed very good late break and tight spin. He set it up well with the fastball either up or away, but he didn't go in on batters as much as he might have to in the future. That will come with time.
His late stuff was solid. He stayed on top of the curveball and kept it down in the zone, not showing a hump or spinning it early. He showed good feel for the changeup in its limited amount, working with good arm action and separation.
Perhaps the most impressive part of Stratton's start was his final batter. Sitting around 100 pitches and battling to get through the inning with two baserunners, he took advantage of an aggressive Angelo Gumbs by starting the at-bat changeup, curveball for two swinging strikes. After getting worked back to 2-2, Stratton went slider to change the pace and get a third swinging strike in the at-bat. It showed Stratton's excellent pitchability and how he's able to recognize his strengths and a batter's weaknesses at that point in the game.
Shayne Houck put solid backspin on a hard line drive to right field that drilled the foul pole for a two-run homer in the sixth. It might have been the hardest hit ball I've seen Houck hit this season, and it showed how he's able to cover the plate pretty well. In a more hitter-friendly park, Houck might hit a few more home runs, but his strengths will always be discipline and plate coverage.
Notable Augusta lines:
Chris Stratton: 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 7 K, 11 swinging strikes, 6 ground balls, 9 fly balls, 2 line drives, 105 pitches
Shayne Houck: 1-3, HR, 2 RBI
Shawn Payne: 2-4, 2B, RBI
Chuckie Jones: 2-4, RBI
Notable Charleston lines:
Dan Camarena: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
Ericson Leonora: 1-4, 3B
Angelo Gumbs: 1-4, 2B