José Rodríguez’s call-up to Birmingham is the biggest news of the day, but on a 2-1 Sunday there was a two-homer performance from Carlos Pérez and four shutout innings from Matthew Thompson
The biggest news out of Birmingham is that José “Popeye” Rodríguez is heading to the Barons on Tuesday. He should get a few extra games, as Birmingham should be going to the playoffs.
The Barons got closer to clinching a division this year with a 9-2 win today against the Trash Pandas, completing the series sweep. The offense was clicking, and clicking often. Carlos Pérez had himself a day to lead the offense to the win. He hit not one, but two homers to give Birmingham an early lead. His first homer came in the first inning, a three-run shot. The second was a solo homer in the very next inning. Unfortunately, he did not hit one every inning — but two is pretty good. Craig Dedelow and Ian Dawkins added two hits apiece, as both hitters stay hot.
On the pitching side, it was a bullpen game through and through. Ofreidy Gómez had the start, and went seven-for-seven in batters retired with two strikeouts to set the tone for the rest of the game. The only bullpener who struggled was Félix Paulino in the seventh inning. He allowed both of the runs the Trash Pandas scored. Of note for the rest of the pitching staff today, Jake Elliott went 1 2⁄3 shutout innings and Vince Arobio had two shutout innings with four strikeouts. The Barons have a three-game lead in the division, so it should be all wrapped up heading into the last week of the season.
Just a few more games left for the Dash, who are now 31 games below .500. Three months ago, the Dash stood at 17-15, and they have gone 24-59 since.
José Rodríguez and Luis Mieses are two of the good hitters on the team but only Rodríguez came away with a hit on the day, as the entire offense just struggled today. Gunnar Troutwine was best, with his 2-for-4 game and two RBIs, while Luis Curbelo showed good patience at the plate today with three walks.
The pitching started out fine with Dan Metzdorf. He went four good innings and allowed one run. He left with the game with it tied at one, and then the bullpen imploded to allow eight runs in five innings. The only saving grace from the pen was Taylor Broadway. The 2021 sixth round selection had a 1-2-3 inning with a couple Ks. He was as impressive as he has been all season, which is probably why he went from being drafted to High-A pretty quickly.
In the final home game for Kannapolis, they came out with a victory that improved the team to just 44 games worse than .500, so a really important win there. In all seriousness, the middle order of the lineup looked really good. Bryan Ramos, Adam Hackenberg, and Samil Polanco combined for five hits, three runs, and four RBIs, so the heart of the lineup really showed out. Wilber Sánchez had two hits on the day as well, batting ninth. Caberea Weaver also had a pretty fun day. He did not have a hit but did reach base a couple times. Thanks to that, he stole three bases to put his season total at 25. Since his demotion back to Kannapolis, Weaver has been running wild, with eight steals in six games.
On the pitching side, well it was Matthew Thompson pitching well — or, at least the results were good. He went four innings and did not allow a run, with four strikeouts. However, the command was iffy, with four walks. Thompson wasn’t burned on any of the free passes. This could be Thompson’s final start of the year, and in the interest of ending on a good note, perhaps it should be. The bullpen was not as good as Thompson, but it was good enough. Well, it was basically just Kohl Simas who was not as good; he went three innings and allowed two runs. Theo Denlinger and Zach Cable closed out the win and did not allow a run in the final two innings.