Since Andrew Case became a closer the phrase "Case Closed" has been used by team broadcasters to signify the save. On Wednesday Case came into the game with a two run lead and turned it into a two run deficit. The Fisher Cats lost. The Bisons fought back from a two run deficit themselves to tie the game but lost in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the ninth. Dunedin had a lead but then had a nightmare inning and lost. Lansing cruised to their usual win scoring six times with their strong offense. It was the lone affiliate win on Wednesday.
Suddenly the Jays have a surplus of second basemen. At the major league level Lourdes Gurriel has just taken over and bounced Devon Travis down to Buffalo. The arrival of Travis in AAA has bumped Tim Lopes out of his normal second base spot. Lopes is sporting a .429 average despite an 0-3 Wednesday. Lopes .429 batting average is built off of an unsustainable .500 plus BABIP. But Lopes has lowered his K rate this season (yes, small sample size) while holding his walk rate steady. Lopes has a good eye at the plate and controls the zone well. At age 23 in AAA he is doing well and if he can develop a bit more he could be a major league, or trade, option. At AA, Cavan Biggio continues to hit the cover off the ball, he hit another home run on Wednesday, and while he strikes out more than Lopes, he has more pop than Lopes. And he too is 23, albeit 10 months younger than Lopes. Biggio turned 23 just after the start of the season. Dunedin does not have a true second baseman at the moment but Samad Taylor is playing second in Lansing at 19 years old. The Jays second base pipeline is in good shape, as is the shortstop pipeline with Urena, Bichette, Warmoth, Smith and Vicuna in the ranks.
Buffalo lost in the bottom of the ninth, Murphy Smith was the loser in relief. Sam Gaviglio started and pitched very well over 7.1 innings. He has eight strikeouts. The Bisons had just five hits. Devon Travis was 0-4, at DH, and is 1-9 since his demotion. The regular at-bats should help him get his stroke back. Anthony Alford didn't hit, day game after a night game. Dalton Pompey was pulled from Sunday's game and hasn't played since. He has not been DL'd so it is likely he has a minor injury.
As mentioned, New Hampshire lost in the bottom of the ninth. Andrew Case was charged with six runs on five extra base hits. It ruined the potential fifth win for Sean Reid-Foley who once again was excellent. SRF pitched six innings, five hits, two runs, no walks and ten K's. I don't know which is more impressive, the no walks or the 10 K's. SRF threw 90 pitches, 60 strikes and 30 balls for a 2:1 ratio. That's the kind of ratio that pitching coaches like to see. Justin Shafer pitched two strong innings to get to the ninth. He and Conor Fisk have been the standouts in the bullpen so far.
Offensively Vlad Jr. had the day off. Bo Bichette had a couple of hits to get his average back to just under .300. Cavan Biggio homered and added another hit to keep his average at .319. Juan Kelly also homered, his first, and he and Harold Ramirez also had two hits each. Ramirez has six hits over his last three games to raise his average by 40 points. He is still primarily a singles hitter without much plate control so no excitement yet. Max Pentecost had a two run double but his average is just at .218.
Dunedin jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first. Rodrigo Orozco doubled, Logan Warmoth walked and Nash Knight drove both in with a double. Knight doubled again in the sixth and scored on a single by Ivan Castillo. The Jays were up 3-0 and starter Josh DeGraaf was working towards a shutout. But in the bottom of the sixth two hits were followed by a Warmoth error, then another hit, then a Castillo error, then another hit. Nick Hartman came on to replace DeGraaf and he allowed an RBI double. DeGraaf was charged with six runs, two earned.
The Jays did have ten hits, Nash, Castillo and Bradley Jones had two each.
Lansing just keep on winning, they now have a record of 17-9. They had 11 hits and good pitching. The three errors were a blemish. The usual hitters kept hitting, two more hits for Kevin Smith, Chavez Young and Kevin Vicuna. Christian Williams did get his season off to a slow start but two more hits on Wednesday took his average up to .299 and to the fourth position in the batting order. Brock Lundquist also had two hits. Smith, Young and Lundquist homered, as did Kacy Clemens, all of them were solo shots.
Zach Logue continued to pitch well, running his record to 3-0. Logue has a 2.51 ERA with a WHIP of 1.22. His K9 is around 7, and he doesn't walk many. Logue was a ninth round pick last year. Matt Shannon, a 12th round pick last year who barely pitched in 2017, pitched the last two innings and now has four innings pitched this year.
3rd star: Chavez Young
2nd star: Kevin Smith
1st star: Sean Reid-Foley