Chris Stratton's Augusta debut got off to a rocky start, allowing a run in the second and several baserunners throughout. However, as manager Mike Goff mentioned afterward about both starters, he made a pitch when he needed to, and it resulted in seven left on base for Lexington.
Stratton's fastball had good life in the high-80s/low-90s, but he had trouble hitting spots, leaving several up and over the plate. After having the pitch get knocked around some, he turned to his secondaries to get him through the outing. His slider was sharp, while he relied less on the curveball and changeup.
Joan Gregorio's outing was impressive, allowing just one baserunner after a shaky first inning. His pace noticeably quickened after the first, and he seemed to show more confidence in his stuff as the game went on. Gregorio's delivery has a lot of arm, whipping it around his body and recoiling slightly at the end. His motion seems repeatable and is not high effort. He works high-80s with a little wiggle in his fastball, while his breaking ball has some late break to it. I still need to see more from him.
Stephen Johnson, a college arm taken in the sixth round last year, made his Augusta debut for a save in the second game. Johnson has a long arm motion, almost stabbing in the back before whipping around. There's a lot of arm in the delivery, but he gets a lot out of it, with the ability to kick it up to the high-90s. He has a sweeping slider that almost reminds me of Sergio Romo's, but Johnson's is harder and has later break.
(AUG) Chris Stratton: 5 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
(AUG) Joan Gregorio: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
(AUG) Matt Duffy: 2-3, RBI
(AUG) Mitch Delfino: 1-2, 2B, 2 RBI
(AUG) Shayne Houck: 2-3
(AUG) Ben Turner: 2-3, 2B, RBI
(LEX) Miguel Almonte: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
(LEX) Christian Binford: 5 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
(LEX) Fred Ford: 2-3, 2B, RBI
(LEX) Cameron Gallagher: 2-3, 2B
(LEX) Humberto Arteaga: 2-3
GreenJackets manager Mike Goff:
"Allowed some baserunners early but made some big pitches when we had to. We've only given up solo runs in situations where we could have given up multiple runs; that's been the difference in the series so far. We haven't given up the crooked number and fortunately offensively we've been able to get crooked numbers.
"Defensively as a whole our goal every single night is to go out there and make all the routine plays. You can't control the great plays, but you can control the routine plays. That's our goal as a team every night is to go out there and make all the routine plays. You can't give the other team extra outs. So far we've done a pretty good job of doing that.
I think (Gregorio) had some first-start jitters, but once he settled in, his tempo was good and started trusting his stuff and the pitch that was called. I thought he threw well. He was solid. He gave us a solid five innings of work."
GreenJackets starter Chris Stratton:
"My fastball command wasn’t really there, and I had to flip a few curves and sliders to get through it. The fastball had good life, but I had trouble locating it and left some up. I just have to work on keeping the ball down in the future. All in all, when you get a win and hold them to one run without your best stuff, it's always a good day."