“You try taking some of the positives out of the performance and it was a good game until the sixth inning,” Shawn Wooten said in a subdued locker room.
“With today’s game we can can try to go back and work on pitch sequences, what we should and should not be throwing in certain counts.”
As Wooten noted, it was a good game until the sixth with the Storm up 3-1 until left-handed starter Brandon Alger (0-6) ran into problems and gave up a three-run home run.
He was relieved by Matt Branham, who was able to get out of the sixth but opened the seventh with the following sequence: double, double, home-run, deep fly to center which was only prevented from being an extra-base hit by a running catch by centerfielder Travis Jankowski at the wall in right-center, which was then followed by another home run.
To Branham’s credit, after a talk on the mound with pitching coach Brian Lawrence, he was able to come back and strike out the next two batters to end the inning.
The Storm brought in infielder Justin Miller to pitch the ninth of an 8-2 game. After getting the first two hitters, he gave up two more home runs followed by three straight singles and a walk before getting the ninth batter ito tap back to the mound.
The Storm put together a brief rally in the bottom of the ninth with three runs across but it was not nearly enough to overcome the home run onslaught by the Nuts.
On a positive note catcher Robert Kral continues to hit with a 2-5 day pushing his slash line to .280/.410/.593. Kral is getting an opportunity to catch with Austin Hedges still out with a wrist injury.
“The big difference is Robert is just finally getting a chance,” Wooten said on Kral.
“He’s going through a little bit of a funk now just because he has been playing so much but on the other hand its tough to give him time off because he just keeps having so many quality at-bats.”
Storm Notes: Jankowski stole his twenty-sixth base today and now is 26 for 29 in stolen base attempts...Quietly Cory Spangenberg is having a solid season at .296/.367/.469 and looks much more comfortable defensively at second base than last year...with the return of Lee Orr, utility infielder Travis Whitmore was sent back to extended spring training.