West Virginia got another good start out of Tyler Glasnow with the 19-year old right-hander striking out eight while allow just three hits with three walks and no runs allowed in four and two-thirds innings of work on Sunday.
The West Virginia bullpen, however, would let in four runs in the sixth inning as the Power lost to visiting Hagerstown 4-1. Glasnow has only factored in one decision (a loss) in his last five starts and has not won a game since May 12, but as we all (should) know by now wins and losses are not good ways to judge the worth of a pitcher.
Despite his impressive day (even if he did allow more than two hits for the first time since late April) and impressive season to this point, Glasnow was quick to criticize his performance.
“Command definitely got away from me,” he said. “Fourth and fifth I just seemed to lose it a little bit. Later in the inning, especially in the fifth inning, I found it with that last guy. My pitch count was just too high and I had to get out of the game.”
My lack of trust in the stadium radar gun at Appalachian Power Park is well documented, so when Glasnow was blowing the doors off several Suns with his fastball I asked a more reliable source at the stadium Glasnow was throwing — 97 miles per hour (a few times) with more consistency in the 92-94 mph range.
Sunday was the sixth time in his last seven starts that Glasnow has tallied at least eight strikeouts, which is made even more impressive when you consider that he has not pitched more than five innings in any of those starts.
“I’m not really going out there trying to just strike people out. I really want to work on getting people out in fewer pitches so I can go longer in the game,” Glasnow said. “Just trying to get walks down. I’m not putting all my emphasis on that but (I’m trying to) get ahead of batters and just really trying to command the zone and get my pitches in there. My change has been getting a lot better. That’s been a goal of mine so I’ve been throwing that a lot more for strikes.”
Sunday’s loss dropped West Virginia to two games off the pace in the SAL Northern Division with seven games remaining in the league’s first half. It was the Power’s fifth loss in seven games this month, but despite that the team finds itself squarely in the middle of the race to claim a spot in the SAL playoffs, battling with Hagerstown and Hickory for the first half crown.
The Power have won two SAL division titles since 2005, but both came before 2009 when the team was affiliated with Milwaukee. The franchise has only won one SAL championship in its 26-year history (as the Charleston Wheelers in 1990 with a guy named Trevor Hoffman playing shortstop).
The ebb and flow of Stetson Allie continues to be a thing.
Allie has just seven hits in his last 10 games (35 at-bats), but of those three have been home runs and for the season his power numbers have been feast or famine. He has more home runs (16) than doubles (14), including zero during that same 10-game span. When he has been on — and that has been quite often — Allie has been one of the most exciting hitters to watch in perhaps all of the minors. He has had the occasional dip in production for a week or so at a time, which makes this most recent drop in production not something to be too worried about.
You’ve heard (and maybe even experienced) of little brothers trying to emulate big brothers. In this case, West Virginia is the little brother and the Pirates are big brother.
In the last week the Power have taken part in three 1-0 games, though unlike its Major League big bro, West Virginia has not fared so well. The Power lost back-to-back 1-0 games against Delmarva before riding a seven inning, two-hit performance from SAL All-Star Orlando Castro on Saturday to a 1-0 win against Hagerstown.
So far this season West Virginia has played 17 one-run games and won just seven of those.