It took a ten-hour drive over two days, but the Vermont Lake Monsters did not disappoint, delivering a 2-0 win on mild summer Monday night.
Pitching was the name of the game. Both teams would get four hits, but two of the Lake Monsters’ would leave the yard, courtesy of Stephen King and Ronnie Labrie.
They would be the difference, but it wasn’t nearly that simple. With eleven baserunners total, Tri-City would threaten to score in each of the first seven innings.
Taylor Jordan’s line of 5IP 3H 0R 2BB and 5K looks a lot more dominant today on virtual paper than it did in person yesterday. Which is not to say that he was lucky, only that it didn’t feel like he was cruising at any point last night.
To his credit, he worked out of every jam regardless of whether he created it (two walks, a hit batsmen) or his defense failed him (two errors), mixing his fastball, change and curveball just enough to be effective.
Jordan was followed by Ben Graham, a sidearmer that had sharp movement on nearly every pitch, except for his curve, which tends to float and then softly break. Prediction: That will be shelved once he faces more disciplined hitters.
Graham would provide three solid innings of relief, then turn it over to Dustin Crane for a 1-2-3 ninth, punctuated by a strikeout.
Some more Quick Hits…
…Leadoff hitter Chad Mozingo displayed a patient eye, working the count full in his first at-bat. Out in left, has a very strong arm nearly tossing out one runner at second base, and freezing that same runner at third base on a flyball to medium left to keep the game at 0-0
…Stephen King looked much better than I’ve ever seen him before on defense, highlighted by turning an awkward feed from second into a smooth double play in the sixth
…Ronnie LaBrie’s and Blake Miller’s errors, however, were of the high-school variety, neither getting in front of the ball to knock it down.
…Connor Rowe struggled with breaking pitches in both of his first two at-bats before drawing a walk. Defensively, covers a lot of ground in center.
…Centennial Field may be the oldest ballpark in affiliated baseball, but it’s not the worst by any means. Most of its disrepair and decay are reversible, and attributable — like most older ballparks — to a lack of proper maintenance, not structural problems.