Luis Heredia most likely pitched his last game of his first professional season today with the Gulf Coast League Pirates. I liked what I saw from him even though his pitching line didn’t look too great. In 3 innings, he threw 46 pitches with 31 strikes, a very healthy ratio that was in contrast to the last start I saw. He also flashed a nice change and curve which, when implemented in a “real” game plan, looks like it could keep batters off balance. Since the Pirates put such an emphasize on fastballs at this (and the next couple) levels, batters are really able to sit on the heat and not worry about looking silly on offspeed pitches.
In Heredia’s first inning, the first batter hit an opposite field bloop for a single. On an attempted hit and run, the 2nd batter grounded a ball right to second base, where Jarek Cunningham (rehabbing for the 2nd game in a row) caught the ball while on the base and threw to first. Somehow, the umpire decided the runner going to 2nd was safe. The next batter hit a laser right at RF Willy Garcia for out number 2 (which should have ended the inning). A line drive single to RF brought in the game’s first run. A groundout to SS ended the inning.
The 2nd inning didn’t start off well either as Heredia hit the first batter who promptly stole 2B (C Jonathin Schwind’s throw was in the dirt). A popup to CF became the first out. Then, on the 6th pitch of the next at bat (all fastballs, even though he was 0-2 at one point) Heredia gave up a bloop down the left field line that LF Gregory Polanco misjudged then dropped to allow the run to score. Heredia ended the inning with a strikeout and pop up.
Another 6-pitch, all fastballs, at bat turned into a leadoff double in the 3rd inning. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runner to 3B, Chris Duffy (no, not that one — the Phillies’ GCL hot hitter, with an .884 OPS) hit a deep fly ball that turned CF Candon Myles (playing only his 2nd professional game) around which fell for an RBI double. (Duffy later homered against Joe Parsons.) Heredia stranded Duffy by getting two flyouts to end his pitching day.
All in all, a good finish to the season as Heredia threw his fastball well, located his pitches well and didn’t walk anyone. Giving up 3 runs wasn’t the best result, but considering the first run should have been erased on a double play earlier in the inning and the last two runs were the result of 6-fastball at bats (couldn’t they have let him throw ONE curve ball?), I’m not complaining.
Isaac Sanchez looked very impressive pitching 2 innings of perfect relief. I must have caught him on a good day, as he had given up 10 runs in 5 1/3 innings in his previous 5 outings. However, he had the look of a good pitcher, using his 6 foot frame (although he looked taller) to throw downhill pretty hard — I didn’t have any access to radar guns. He was throwing strikes and getting weak contact from the Phillies.
Not much to say about the hitting side:
Cunningham looked like he was ready to return to the Marauders (hopefully for their playoffs) with a line drive single up the middle in his first at bat, and a hit-by-pitch (off his forearm — didn’t look like any damage!) the second time up. He also played in the field most of the game, as opposed to serving as the DH yesterday.
Jose Osuna had 3 hits today, including a 2-out RBI single for the Pirates’ first run in the 4th inning and double to LF to drive in a run in the 9th inning. No one else stood out, but Wily Garcia and Gregory Polanco have the “look” of decent hitters.