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One Step Forward, Two Back – Game 25

May 2, 2012


Clicking on the line score takes you to the full box score
Record 12 – 13 (5.5 GB of Akron in the Western Division)
Attendance – 3,016
Time – 2:29

Zach Clark  started for Bowie tonight and by far had his best start of the season. He went seven innings, throwing 77 pitches (58 for strikes), allowing the only three hit the Flying Squirrels would muster all night and striking out three. Pat Eagen and Greg Burke both would work an inning to close out the game. Eagen struck out one, and Burke would walk one and strike out one in the ninth.

As efficient as Clark was, Michael Kickham was the exact opposite. He was in trouble early and often and could not make it through four innings. In his 3.1 innings he would throw 81 pitches, only 39 strikes. He amazing only allowed two runs on four hits, five walks, and four strikeouts. Andy Reichard made his second appearance tonight, after spending much of the early part on the DL. In his 3.2 innings of work he gave up only two hits and walked one. He alone saved the bullpen from overuse. Chris Gloor turned in a perfect inning, striking out two. Austin Fleet worked the ninth and gave up only one hit. He did however get absolutely drilled on a line drive back through the box. I would not be surprised if we do not see Fleet for a couple of games.

At the plate for Bowie, Brandon Waring had the best night. He went 2-for-4 with a triple and driving in a run. Caleb Joseph would drive in the other run, going 1-for-3 on the night. Zelous Wheeler, L.J. Hoes, Manny Machado, and Ronnie Welty all had one hit on the night.

Gary Brown was the lone bright spot offensively for Richmond, going 2-for-3. Chris Dominguez was the only other Flying Squirrel to record a hit.

Notes:

– Kickham was 89-92 with his fastball tonight, topped out at 93. However, everything was rushed. He already has a big of a whippy arm action, but add him opening his front side early, and you have a recipe for what he looked like tonight. Everything was left arm-side. And it was not even close the to corner. He had one wild pitch tonight. It came on a 3-2 pitch and went behind the left-handed hitter. That is how bad it was for him tonight. However, he had a good feel, and decent control, of his slider all night. I will put a little of this blame on Joseph for this. If you see something is working, and it clearly was, you need to stick with it. I am not saying completely abandon the fastball, but use the fastball as a ‘show’ pitch, instead of the slider.

Early on Kickham was 1.56-1.59 to the plate, but after a coaches meeting he slowed down to 1.67-1.72. The only reason Bowie did not run all over the place was Kickham could not throw strikes consistently. When he came out to start the fourth Kickham went directly to the stretch. This helped with one batter, but a single and a walk later and his night was done.

– Tonight I clocked Gary Brown going home to first at 4.12 and 4.07. He again showed his ability to go the other way, still waiting for him to consistently get he hands inside the fastball. On his infield single in the first he got jammed and was lucky to get it to deep short. Machado got to show off his arm. And from where I was, I am pretty sure Brown was out. His attempted steal in the top of the first was pretty ugly, he got a horrible jump and never had a chance.

– This game was frustrating to watch. For every good thing the Flying Squirrels did at the plate last night, they did horribly tonight. Not to knock on Zach Clark, guy did a tremendous job (and I am kind of surprised he did not stay out longer), but he is far from the best pitcher they have or will see this season. For the most part all the hitters looked completely lost at the plate and no idea what to do. Yes, it can still be considered early. But the time that one is allowed to continue saying that is drawing to a close, and quickly.

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