West Virginia Game Recap: 8/8/11

West Virginia’s offense broke out tonight, scoring six runs in the 4th inning but couldn’t hold on to a 7-3 lead against Lakewood due to some poor pitching from a very unlikely source. The Power lost 10-7 and the two teams split the four game series with the Power taking the first and third games.

Maggi, Vasquez and Diaz combined for 3 runs and 5 RBI's tonight

Eliecer Navarro got the start tonight despite not being listed as the starter. As I said last night, I saw Porfirio Lopez get up in the pen so I had my doubts about him actually making the start tonight. He again got up in the pen at one point tonight without actually pitching. I’ve now seen Navarro pitch three times and he pretty much looks the same each time, sits high 80’s with his fastball and gets some good results with his off-speed pitches but can be very hittable at times.

The next pitcher in was Colton Cain and I was hoping to see him finish out the game after Navarro went five and left him with a four run lead. Cain had gone 4 innings his last outing with no runs allowed so I expected with a decent outing he would repeat that total. What I didn’t expect was an outing by Cain that you could say he was fortunate to allow only 7 earned runs in just 1.2 innings.

The first batter he faced laced a double to the right field gap. One pitch later he had given up his first run on a single up the middle. The next batter up went down looking but not before crushing a long foul ball that missed going fair by a few feet. I wrote last year that Jarek Cunningham hit the furthest ball I had ever seen at that ballpark in Lakewood, this ball was probably hit just as far. Cain gave up another single before Mel Rojas Jr saved him more damage with a great running catch in center field right at the wall. The next batter drove in both base runners with a double off the top of the wall to make it 7-6, which is where it ended after six innings.

The 7th inning for Cain was just as ugly, four more hard hit balls chased him from the game with a 9-7 deficit. Brooks Pounders came in and gave up a bloop that landed just in front of a diving Justin Bencsko, making it 10-7 and closing the book on Cain. You don’t know how long they would’ve stuck with Cain but without the great play by Rojas and the ball that went just foul, his line could’ve looked much worse.

The worst part may have been that all this damage came on just 30 pitches thrown. Cain threw a lot of strikes, 23 to be exact and he was throwing a lot of off-speed pitch but his fastball was very mediocre, hitting as low as 84 once and topping out once at 90 with a lot of 85’s mixed in.

Brooks Pounders finished the game and looked the same as he did the other night. He was throwing hard, 92-93 but he was throwing a ton of pitches to get his outs. He was pounding the inside of the plate and he had batters flinching on his breaking balls but many of his pitches just missed the zone so his final line with 3 walks, a hit batter and a hit allowed in just 1.1 IP doesn’t look so good.

Bencsko scored a run and added an outfield assist

The Power scored a run in the 1st inning due to the hustle of Andy Vasquez and some poor throws by the Lakewood fielders. He led off with an infield single, stole 2B right after that, went to 3B on a poor throw from the catcher, then another poor throw from center field allowed him to score all the way from 1B on the play.

Lakewood got on the board in the 1st inning on a walk and a 2 run homer by Jim Murphy who tied the team season record for home runs with his 22nd on a long drive to LF. They added another run in the 3rd by a hit by pitch, walk and a bloop single which all came with two outs. That was the only damage Navarro would allow.

West Virginia looked like they broke the game open in the 4th inning when they put up 6 runs thanks in part to some wildness on the mound and more poor fielding by Lakewood. Elias Diaz had the big hit of the inning, a solidly hit triple into the right field gap which cleared the bases. Kevin Mort drove him home with a single and two batters later Andrew Maggi drove in Mort and Bencsko with a single up the middle that made it 7-3 at that point. It was all downhill after that for the Power.

With two series now complete, coming up soon I will give my scouting reports on the pitchers and hitters I saw first in June and now these past four days. I want to thank photographer Lauren Lechner for providing many of the photos for this series and future use.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

Indians Work Around Season-High 10 Walks; Wood Saves #23

Next Story »

Tribe Falls To Mud Hens In Ohlendorf’s Rehab Start

Latest Analysis

  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    18 hours ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    2 days ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    3 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    5 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    6 days ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    7 days ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    1 week ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    1 week ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    2 weeks ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Third Base Mathisen Luplow Joe

    Who’s on Third? In the Pirates’ Farm System, It Could Be Anyone

    2 weeks ago

    If you have ever played third base in your life — professional, college, high school, slow pitch softball — then the Pittsburgh Pirates might be contacting you ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles