The downside of the game was it wasted a great effort by Rob Musgrave, MadFriars.com Pitcher of the Month for July, in his first start since May 20, 2009, he had one of the best outings of his career.
Musgrave pitched five innings, struck out eight against no walks and faced the minimum thanks to a great play by right fielder Dan Robertson who gunned down hot-hitting JetHawks catcher John Curtis trying to stretch a double into a triple in the third inning.
“He threw strikes early in the count, especially with his secondary pitches,” said Storm manager Carlos Lezcano. “He will be in the starting rotation going forward.”
In the third inning, Allan Dykstra hit a solo home run 400-plus feet to center field. Dykstra may be starting to turn the corner after posting a .921 OPS in July and is a poster boy for the “Three True Outcomes” statistic where the batter either hits a home run, walks or strikes out; all independent of any defense.
Going into the game – of Dykstra’s 364 plate appearances, 175 have ended in either one of these three categories.
In the sixth inning, the quality pitching by Musgrave went down the drain as Noah Mull, a 38th-round pick from Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia, in his second appearance for the Storm, was lit up for seven runs, four of them earned.
Curtis, who has had a huge series for the JetHawks, led off the inning with a walk, advanced on a wild pitch and was sacrificed to third. Mull came back to strike out the next batter but then the wheels fell off.
The JetHawks sent the next nine men to the plate which resulted in seven runs. The damage could have been limited to four runs after a three-run home run by center fielder Brandon Barnes, but Vince Belnome’s third error in the past two games kept the inning alive and allowed three more runs to score.
“It was really just one bad inning,” said Lezcano. “He had two outs before they scored any runs, he just couldn’t get that third out.”
Things got worse as second baseman Cole Figueroa was hit in the back of the neck by Robertson on an attempted throw to third base and had to leave the game.
Brad Chalk was thrown out of the game in the eighth inning, and for a few more, after arguing a close call at first base when he inadvertently bumped an umpire.
The Storm staged a two-out rally in the ninth, scoring once but Bo Davis, who replaced Chalk in center, struck out with the bases loaded to end the game and give the JetHawks their sixth straight win.
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