The Lakewood BlueClaws returned home on Thursday night, following a seven-game road trip. With a 6:35 first pitch, the Claws welcomed the Kannapolis Intimidators to town, On what was an extremely overcast evening, Lakewood would take the field looking to improve their record to 12-10.
Right-hander Adonis Medina would take the mound for the Claws. He would be opposed by lefty Bernardo Flores, who was sporting a 2-1 record with a 3.45 ERA entering Thursday.
Medina got off to a rocky start, with his command being the main culprit. After a leadoff walk to center fielder Joel Booker, Medina eventually put down two guys via the strikeout. The only problem, he was now facing a bases loaded jam following a few soft hits. Third baseman Zach Remillard would proceed to single to right, driving in two. 2-0 Kannapolis after one inning.
Medina’s control issues would continue into the second. While this time it did not lead to any runs, it was clear at this time that Medina would not be long for this game. While he did settle into things a little in the coming innings, he would only last four innings.
Meanwhile, the Claws offense was virtually non-existent in the early portion of the game. Last year’s number one overall pick, center fielder Mickey Moniak, singled to right with a sweet swing in the first inning. After that, Lakewood would not get another hit until the sixth inning.
It was in this sixth inning that the BlueClaws would finally put one on the board. But it was mainly thanks to a defensive blunder by Intimidators’ right fielder Micker Adolfo. Catcher Henri Lartigue would single to right. But the ball would skip past Adolfo, leading to Lartigue reaching third. The following hitter, third baseman Danny Zardon, grounded out to short, bringing home Latigue.
So as they entered the last third of the game, Lakewood was down 2-1.
The BlueClaws had a chance to tie things up in the ninth, but to no avail. After DH Darick Hall led off the inning with a walk, Cord Sandberg bunted over pinch runner David Martinelli over to second. Martinelli would wind up on third following a groundout by Lartigue. The inning would come to an end when Zardon flew out to left.
Mike Morrison was on for the ninth to close things out for Kannapolis. He entered the game two-for-two on save attempts to go along with 16 strikeouts over the course of 10 innings. He immediately got strikeout number 17. Daniel Brito would put a charge into one, but it was knocked down by the wind, resulting in a fly out to center. Carlos Duran would ground out to short to end the game.
So the BlueClaws first game back home resulted in a 2-1 loss. Lakewood falls back to .500 with an 11-11 record, while Kannapolis improves to 10-10.
Some notes I took away from the game:
- Mickey Moniak is a great young talent. But the key word is still young. There were a couple of big swings that were not necessary. He was also picked off of first in the first inning following his hit. He is fresh out of high school essentially, so this comes as no surprise. But that swing is still really sweet.
- Zach Remillard can swing it. I felt like anytime the Intimidators had something brewing, Remillard was in the middle of it. He went 2-4 on the day with the two runs batted in. But it was not all positive, as he did get caught up between second and third in the sixth inning, killing any momentum the team had in the inning.
- Adonis Medina has some nice stuff, but he needs to hone the control if he wishes to move up the ladder. He was hitting the mid to upper 90s with his fastball, and he did rack up six strikeouts over his four innings.
- Jonathan Hennigan, a relief pitcher for Lakewood, can bring it. In the eighth inning, he put down two batters via the strikeout and got one to ground out weakly to first base. Mike Morrison is another relief arm that I walked away wanting to see more of.
- Pork Roll had no chance in the famous race held between the fourth and fifth innings. Egg and Cheese battled it out from the very beginning, with Cheese grabbing the win at the very end.
So there you have it folks. I will be back in attendance in Lakewood tomorrow for the third game of the series.