On the second pitch to the leadoff batter, Mitchell Parker gave up a long HR to left-center.
“Don’t worry, the same thing happened last night,” someone said in the press box. But then came a seeing-eye single on the very next pitch. Narrator: There was cause to worry.
Parker would go on to strike out the side but needed 25 pitches to get through the 1st inning. It took 26 pitches to get through the 2nd, with another run coming in on just one hit, with a LaLoosh-like two walks and two strikeouts.
It would be very tempting to look at the boxscore from Fredericksburg’s 7-3 loss to Delmarva and write off the three unearned runs—”thanks” to a passed ball and a two-out error—but the fact of the matter is that Parker just never looked comfortable, even if his “stuff” was good. He was almost never ahead of any batter and got to two balls on 14 of 19 batters faced. That’s why he needed 85 pitches to get just eight outs.
It’s also an object lesson about why you can’t get too excited about a prospect until the whole league has seen him. And in 2021, that will be harder than usual, since schedules this season are built to minimize travel.
Against Down East, Parker is a beast (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 3BB, 22K in 12IP). But against Delmarva, he’s neither all that (0-2, 7.11 ERA) nor a bag of potato chips (10H, 9BB in 6⅓ IP). Later this week, he’ll face Salem again – seven starts against only four different teams (Lynchburg being the other). Just reminder No. 87 or so about why promotions don’t come nearly as fast as fans want them to.
Troy Stainbrook (3⅓ IP) and Tanner Driskell (3IP) both gave up a run, but did their jobs: stopping the bleeding and eating some innings to give the offense a chance to catch up… which they almost never do.
2021 in a nutshell for the Nats minors.
Considering that the leadoff man got on base just once in nine “ups,” that the F-Nats were able to score three times on six hits without the help of an error and only one wild pitch is almost impressive. Yes, one of their hits was a home run (Geraldi Diaz’s first in the 7th), but without runners on it’s not that hurtful, except maybe to the opposing pitcher’s pride.
Cole Daily didn’t double but singled twice and drove in the second run to lead the Fredericksburg hit column while Jake Arruda drew a pair of walks. They were the only two batters to reach base twice.
The series concludes this afternoon, with Rodney Theophile (0-3, 4.50) taking the hill for the F-Nats for the chance to split the six-game series. He’ll be opposed by Shane Davis (2-0, 4.50).