It’s no secret that last year’s Dash failed to impress, whether at the plate, on the mound, or in the standings. They spent very little time, if any, above .500. Their first month was their best month at 12-12, and everything went downhill from there.
But this isn’t last year’s Dash, it’s the similar-but-different-in-important-ways this year’s Dash, and this year’s Dash came very close to sweeping the week, going 5-1 to bump their overall record to 10-7. Let’s take a look at how they did it.
Top pitching performances
Matthew Thompson (two starts): 10 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 8 K, balk, HBP, 2 WP, error
Chase Solesky, April 22: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 3 K
Sean Burke, April 26: 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 7 K
Cooper Bradford (relief): 3.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K
Edgar Navarro (relief): 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K
Top hitting performances
Oscar Colás (CF): 9-for-26, 3 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 0 BB, 8 K (season: .324/.378/.515)
Adam Hackenberg (C): 6-for-17, 3 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP (season: .265/.333/.510)
Shawn Goosenberg (2B): 7-for-22, 2 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 8 K, 1 HBP, 1 SB (season: .291/.350/.455)
Harvin Mendoza (1B): 6-for-19, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 5 K, SF (season: .265/.355/.415)
Tyler Osik (1B/DH/C): 11-for-26, 1 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, BB, 7 K, 1 SB, 1 GIDP (season: .455/.478/.591)
Duke Ellis (LF): 6-for-16, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 3 K, 2 SB, 2 PO (season: .364/.432/.515)
Honorable mentions: Bryan Ramos, who only played in three games, went 7-for-13 with a double and a blast (season: .407/.444/.644, lmaooooo). Moises Castillo, who also only played in three games, had two hits in each (season: .357/.462/.452).
As is obvious above, Matthew Thompson was fantastic this week, and that was true on April 21, the only run he allowed that day the result of his own error. He did not come away with the win, though; Isaiah Carranza vultched that one. The game was tied at 1 from the third inning until the eighth, when noted power threat Duke Ellis cracked a solo shot to put the Dash ahead for good (this after Ellis manufactured the only Dash run of the day to that point in the third by hitting a bunt single, stealing second and third, then scoring on an error). Catcher Keegan Fish added a couple of ninth-inning insurance runs with his first double of the year.
Carranza and the rest of the bullpen — Cooper Bradford, Trey Jeans, and Gil Luna Jr. — threw four scoreless innings to keep the Dash in it. Ellis and Bryan Ramos had two hits and a walk apiece; DJ Burt hit a triple.
It feels like a large part of the win on April 22 was due to a nine-run fourth inning, and that’s true, but Chase Solesky did have a really nice scoreless start, even if four innings wasn’t enough to qualify him for the win. Jesus Valles and Zach Cable coughed up a couple runs apiece in relief, Valles over three innings (plus the win) and Cable over two, but Theo Denlinger pitched a scoreless ninth to gently send the Greenville Drive to rest.
The first run of that game for the Dash came in the second inning on Tyler Osik’s first home run of the season. The other nine came like this, all in the fourth: Jason Matthews single. Adam Hackenberg double. Shawn Goosenberg RBI single (Dash up 2-0). Goosenberg steal. Harvin Mendoza walk. Run-scoring wild pitch (Dash up 3-0). Osik reach on error (Dash up 4-0). Caberea Weaver strikeout. Ellis walk. Oscar Colás bases-clearing double (Dash up 7-0). Moises Castillo single. Matthews RBI ground out (Dash up 8-0). Hackenberg home run (Dash up 10-0).
April 23 was a rare (for this week) close game, featuring an 0-for-5 from Colás and a 0-for-0 for Ramos, who did not appear. Drew Dalquist delivered up what could arguably be classified as a clunker of a start with four runs over four innings and Jordan Mikel allowed two more over his two innings of work.
It was Double City for the Dash, though. Four of their five two-baggers came off starting pitcher Yusniel Padron-Artiles, and every single one of them scored. Goosenberg hit two of them, and Luis Mieses, Hackenberg, and Matthews contributed the others. Castillo had two hits and two RBI, and Osik went 3-for-4.
Fraser Ellard picked up the win with a scoreless seventh and Edgar Navarro struck out two over a two-run scoreless save. Navarro struggled going directly from the DSL in 2019 to Winston-Salem in 2021, but he’s had a good first seven innings here this year: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 11 K.
Karan Patel got the start on April 24, a quasi-bullpen game. The 2019 seventh-rounder has pitched in relief for most of his career, but he started a few games in 2021 in an opening-type role. He pitched into the fifth inning in both of his first starts this year, so it looks like they seem him as a starting pitcher, but this game was more of a reversion. Patel was removed after 1⅔ innings and two runs, allowing two hits but walking four.
Overall, it was a sloppy control game, nine walks total from Dash pitching, but they were mostly able to keep the Drive down until late. Ty Madrigal has had a great start to his season, so it makes sense that he gave up a leadoff home run to the first batter he faced. Luna and Cable also have impressed early, so they were both dinged as well, Luna for two runs without retiring a batter. Bradford went 2.1 scoreless innings for the win, and Wilber Perez and Carranza were perfect in three innings between them.
The Dash just couldn’t stop hitting in this one with three crooked numbers on the scoreboard. Mendoza and Osik both headed home with three hits (plus a walk for Mendoza, who hit a home run and scored three times). Colás, Castillo, and Goosenberg also had multi-hit games, with Goosenberg the front half of a back-to-back dinger event with Mendoza in the eighth. DJ Burt hit another triple.
Monday is the Designated Minor League Baseball Off-Day, so the Dash returned on April 26 with a series-opening 14-4 victory over the hated Asheville Tourists, who do not have video cameras in their ballpark in the year 2022. It was not quite a laugher until the ninth, when they scored seven runs for some reason (the reason is being ready for some baseball).
Before the ninth, Sean Burke finally picked up his first win, five innings of three-run ball enough to do it. The newly-added and quickly-ascending Vince Vannelle put down two scoreless innings in his Dash debut (season line between here and Kannapolis is 8.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 15 K). Fraser Ellard struck out three over 1⅓ innings, one unearned run scoring on Ramos’ first error at third, but who can blame a guy batting well over .400?
Speaking of, Ramos was an eye-popping 4-for-6 on the day with a double, a home run, two runs scored and two batted in. It was his fourth straight game with more than one hit, and his 11th straight game with at least one hit. Colás wasn’t far behind, his 3-for-6 also including both a dinger and a double, three runs scored for him and three batted in. Hackenberg, Goosenberg, and Matthews all contributed to the scoring effort with various singles, reaching on errors, and wild pitches, putting the Dash up 7-3 entering the ninth.
Which went like this: Matthews HBP. Wild pitch. Ramos single. Mieses strikeout. Hackenberg two-RBI double (Dash up 9-3). Alsander Womack RBI single (Dash up 10-3). Mendoza walk. Osik single. Ellis RBI single (Dash up 11-3). Colás RBI ground out (Dash up 12-3). Matthews RBI infield single (Dash up 13-3). Ramos RBI infield single (Dash up 14-3). You love to see it.
No good thing can last, though, and that includes the Dash winning streak, which stretched to six games between this week and last before snapping cruelly at the hands of the despised Asheville Tourists on April 27. The bats were stymied for much of the game at the hands of Spencer Arrighetti, who scattered four singles as his only baserunners. In the eighth, down 4-0, Mendoza led off with a dong, Osik doubled, Dash hitting coach Nicky Delmonico was tossed, and Colás hit a two-out, two-run bomb to put the team within reach. Matthews then walked and Ramos kept his hitting streak alive with a single, but with those two on, Mieses was called out on three pitches to end their last scoring threat.
On the mound, Matthew Thompson was just about as good as his last start, this time going 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K with a wild pitch. Mikel and Valles gave up two runs apiece in the sixth and seventh, just enough; Madrigal and Navarro were scoreless in their outings, Madrigal’s just one batter.
The Dash currently sit tied for second in the South Atlantic League South (This Time It’s Really South). While it is perhaps too early in the season for this to matter, at least they are not the 3-14 Tourists, whom they continue to play through May 1 before departing for Hickory.
I know they’re all on different timelines, but, assuming good performances keep rolling in, when would you expect Colas, Ramos, and Thompson to be promoted?
I thought colas starting in high A was already below where he should of been so probably any day would be a good day to bump him up…. id keep thompson and ramos there most of the year… they are age appropriate and no need to rush them if they each get like a month long taste of AA and start 2023 in AA they are already on a fast track.
I mean if Ramos keeps destroying hi-A pitching, there’s no reason to keep him there. FG thinks he’s the best prospect in the system, so a little preternatural performance is nice to see.
Sometimes players force your hand but he is 20 and he had a decent but not crazy slash line last year in low A of 244 345 415 , its been 15 games or so this year so I would really need him to keep up a torrid pace to push him. Age 21 AA, age 22 AAA with a possible call up is still way ahead of the game .