For any pitcher, a leadoff walk is a bad thing. Two of them to start an inning, deadly. Follow it with a home run, and it’s a recipe for disaster.
That’s what happened in the first inning to Cameron Selik in a 5-3 loss last night. But while it was an “L” in the standings, how Selik responded to the adversity was the proverbial “W.”
After the three-run homer, Selik set down the next seven batters. Just two more runners reached base, both with two outs — neither by a base on balls. Five went down on strikes. His final line: 5IP 3H 3R 3ER 2BB 6K 1HR.
Selik was still leaving his pitches up, so as a convert from catcher, he still is learning the craft. But he was touching 92 on the gun and getting good separation on his breaking pitches.
Defensively, the P-Nats were a wreck last night. On a better night, it’s safe to say that they might have pulled this out. Only one of the four errors didn’t come back to haunt them — a pickoff throw in the first that moved up the first runner to second base before the second walk.
But the second and fourth errors directly led to the last two Kinston runs, with J.P. Ramirez dropping a flyball with two outs in the sixth and Steve Souza unable to make the scoop on grounder to short in the ninth.
Offensively, the P-Nats started slowly, going down in order the first three innings before Eury Perez blooped one over the second baseman’s head and Jeff Kobernus followed with a Texas leaguer to shallow center in the fourth. Kinston escaped the jam with a Destin Hood strikeout, and grounders to first and third with an intentional walk to Steve Souza sandwiched between.
Perez and Kobernus would both get on base and score in the sixth. Perez reached by way of a drag bunt up the first base line and scored on a double off the top of the left field wall by Kobernus, who himself came in when Ramirez redeemed his error with an RBI single to right.
A Jose Lozada infield single, followed by Cutter Dykstra double to right and a Perez sacrifice fly capped the scoring for Potomac. Just as the first nine batters were retired to start, the last eight would make outs to finish, with kudos to Kinston relievers Adam Miller and Preston Guilmet in the eighth and ninth innings.
With the loss, Potomac falls to 18-25 for the season, dropping its second straight decision and falling to eight games behind first-place Wilmington. Opening Day starter Danny Rosenbaum (2-1, 3.12) is scheduled to take the mound tonight against Clayton Cook (3-3, 3.98).