Monday, June 24 - Augusta 3, Savannah 2
It's been a much different six starts from the first six for Augusta starter Joe Biagini.
Biagini has gone at least five innings in each of his past six starts, allowing no more than two earned runs in each. He has allowed just three runs in 21 innings against the Sand Gnats in their last three meetings over that span.
Totaling it up, the right-hander has allowed seven earned runs and eight total in his past 32.2 innings. That includes 21 strikeouts to six walks.
Prior to his six-start stretch, Biagini pitched six full innings just once in his first six outings. That included half his starts where he allowed four earned runs in each.
Biagini said there's nothing he can really put his finger on regarding the change, but he acknowledged throwing strikes and getting ahead of hitters is a big key.
Manager Mike Goff agreed, saying pitching coach Steve Kline has worked with Biagini to clear his mind and throw strikes to get ahead of hitters, not nibble on the corners and go for strikeouts. It's made a major difference over his last six starts.
Shortstop Matt Duffy has been hot since coming off the disabled list, totaling seven hits and five RBI in five games. He has three multi-hit games over that stretch.
Duffy said he's feeling "OK" at the plate since coming off the DL, but Monday's game was the first where he felt comfortable in knowing where the barrel was in the zone. Six strikeouts in his past three games is uncharacteristic of Duffy, and it shows he's still shaking some rust.
Savannah center fielder Brandon Nimmo showed excellent bat control from a quick-twitch swing. He should develop an above-average to plus hit tool with above-average power. The swing doesn't project for plus power, however, as there isn't much lift. But this doesn't take away from Nimmo's solid bat ability and zone awareness.
Notable Augusta lines:
Joe Biagini: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Matt Duffy: 2-4, 2 RBI
Jesus Galindo: 3-4
Stephen Branca: 2-3
Notable Savannah lines:
Jake Kuebler: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Stefan Sabol: 1-4, HR
Phillip Evans: 2-3, 2B, BB
Eudy Pina: 2-5, 2B