The Week in Winston: Dash update, May 26-June 1

Matthew Thompson (Sox Machine photo)

It was a 3-3 week for the Dash, who continue to linger around .500 like a consumptive Wessex royal. Terrell Tatum’s insane .583/.643/1.000 six-game stretch ended, Duke Ellis is in a mini-slump, and Oscar Colás continues to not play every day, contributing to a general offensive decline. This combined with less-than-solid starting pitching and a bullpen ERA that keeps sliding higher led to some harsh losses. 

Top pitching performances

Chase Solesky (May 27): 5 IP, 5 H, R, BB, 4 K (season: 38.2 IP, 20 R (18 ER), 14 BB, 28 K, 4.19 ERA, 1.63 WHIP)

Jordan Mikel (May 29):  4.2 IP, 5 H, R, BB, 4 K (season, two levels: 33.1 IP, 18 R (18 ER), 10 BB, 30 K, 4.86 ERA, 1.14 WHIP)

Matthew Thompson (June 1): 5.2 IP, H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K, 2 HBP (season: 45 IP, 32 R (24 ER), 19 BB, 35 K, 4.80 ERA, 1.33 WHIP)

Everhett Hazelwood (relief): 4 IP, 6 H, 1 R, BB, 1 K, 2-2 inherited runners-scored (season, two levels: 25.1 IP, 16 R (14 ER), 14 BB, 21 K, 4.97 ERA, 1.46 WHIP)

Garrett Schoenle (relief): 5.1 IP, H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K, 1-0 inherited runners-scored (season, two levels: 25 IP, 5 R (4 ER), 14 BB, 33 K, 1.44 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)

Top hitting performances

Luis Mieses (RF): 5-for-20, 3 R, 2 2B, RBI, BB, 3 K (season: .299/.348/.451)

Tyler Osik (DH): 6-for-19, 4 R, 3 2B, 2 RBI, BB, 4 K (season: .304/.376/.424)

Adam Hackenberg (DH/C): 6-for-20, 7 R, 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 BB, 3 K (season: .266/.336/.445)

Alsander Womack (2B): 6-for-19, 3 R, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 BB, K (season, two levels: .273/.349/.364)

Weekly Rundown

Matthew Thompson only allowed one hit as he pitched into the fifth inning on May 26, but he also walked four and hit a batter, which led to five runs scoring. His final three runs were let in by Cooper Bradford, who entered with the bases loaded and two outs and gave up a grand slam.

Isaiah Carranza relieved Bradford in the seventh and gave up three straight singles, a stolen base, a sacrifice fly, another single, two more stolen bases, and two more singles before he exited. Personally, he allowed four runs, then Everhett Hazelwood allowed both inherited runners to score for six total credited to Carranza. Hazelwood finished out the game with no runs of his own allowed.

The Dash trailed from the first inning and never came close to tying it. Their first runs came in the sixth, Alsander Womack and Jason Matthews reaching via base hit and walk with one out and scoring on a Duke Ellis single and Terrell Tatum groundout. Their other three runs all came on one swing in the eighth; Womack and Matthews again both reached with one out (another base hit for Womack and a fielder’s choice + error for Matthews), then Tatum smashed one over the fence for three runs. Dash lose 12-5. 

Once a month, Adam Hackenberg is allowed to hit two home runs in a game, and he took advantage of that for the second time this season on May 27. Before his shelling of the hated and camera-less Hickory Crawdads, the Dash had generated a lone but game-tying run in the fifth on a Matthews RBI triple that scored Womack (base hit). Hackenberg’s dongs both had massive game implications: His first was in the seventh, breaking the tie and putting the Dash up 2-1, and his second was a huge ninth-inning blast in the first at-bat after a lengthy rain delay, breaking another tie, scoring three runs, and putting the score would it would remain, 5-2 Dash.

Chase Solesky has had a pretty OK year results-wise, although he’s still trying to whittle his ERA down from a couple of rough starts to begin the season and another disastrous-but-abbreviated outing in early May. His start here was his third of five in the month where he allowed one or fewer earned runs in five innings. The bullpen didn’t have much trouble behind him, either; Garrett Schoenle made his High-A debut and pitched two scoreless innings. There was a hiccup when Luis Amaya walked his first two batters faced, then with one out, Vince Vannelle relieved him and escaped the inning with one inherited runner scored (almost both, but the second ‘Dads runner was caught in a rundown at the plate for the third out). Trey Jeans pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts. Dash win 5-2.

May 28 was not so good for the pitching, bullpen, offense, or defense. Drew Dalquist labored after a 1-2-3 first, allowing a lead-off home run in the second inning and giving up two more runs in the fourth after a walk, single, and double. Karan Patel didn’t fare much better, two singles, two walks, and an errant pickoff attempt by Hackenberg after Patel had already given way to Ty Madrigal combining for another two runs. Madrigal, at least, was not otherwise scored upon, although Wilber Perez was twice. One of those was a bases-loaded walk issued by himself, the other a bases-loaded walk issued by Jesus Valles to force in an inherited run.

The Dash only scraped up four hits but still scored three runs, mostly because half of those hits were home runs. The first was another mashed Tatum tater to score two runs (he went 3-for-21 on the week but two of those left the park), and the second was a solo shot off the bat of Bryan Ramos in the sixth. Ramos also doubled. Dash lose 7-3.

Jordan Mikel pitched well over 4⅔ innings but the bullpen and defense absolutely fell apart later in the game on May 29. Mikel only allowed one run, but Bradford gave up a run in relief, as did Carranza, who in fact gave up four (but only one earned due to his own dang error). Two of those runs were allowed in on his behalf by Jeans, who entered with two on and one out, quickly got the second out, then walked the next batter, gave up a two-RBI single, threw a wild pitch, then served up a three-run bomb before getting the hook. Hazelwood faced one batter and got one out; the Crawdads scored seven runs total in the eighth inning.

Two runs scored for the Dash with two outs in the fourth. Hackenberg singled, took second on a wild pitch, and scored on one of Tyler Osik’s three hits on the day. Osik scored on the next better, with Harvin Mendoza doubling him in. Their only other run came in a promising ninth where Hackenberg reached on error and Osik reached on single to lead off the frame. endoza then lined into a double play at first base, and although Womack did single in Hackenberg, the Dash dropped this one 9-3.

There were several frankly improbable comebacks in the Dash’s walk-off victory on May 31. This game featured eight Dash doubles (two apiece for Mieses, because who else, and Osik), two Dash home runs (both from Ramos), and an 8-for-17 performance with runners in scoring position.

Starting pitcher Luis Moncada was pretty terrible, bailed out in the first inning when the Greenville Drive decided to test the defense and ended up with a runner thrown out at second base trying to stretch his RBI single into an RBI double. The Dash answered with three in the bottom of the first when Ellis doubled and was himself doubled in by Mieses, who was himself doubled in by Osik, who was himself doubled in by Hackenberg.

Moncada gave up another run in the third, followed by a whopping five in the fourth, walking four, throwing two wild pitches, and allowing two singles. Madrigal entered and also threw a wild pitch, then gave up a two-run single before he was able to end the inning. Hazelwood replaced him in the sixth and was not able to stop the bleeding, allowing a lead-off dong to Joe Davis.

This meant they entered the bottom of the sixth trailing 8-3. Undeterred, Ramos led off the inning with his sixth homer of the year (8-4 Drive), followed up by Mieses’ 19th double. Osik singled, Hackenberg singled, (8-5 Drive), Mendoza walked, and Womack singled (8-6 Drive). Ellis hit a sacrifice fly to make it a one-run deficit at 8-7.

They more than made that up in the seventh inning, Ramos leading off with his seventh home run of the year to tie it. Osik doubled, Hackenberg walked, and with two outs, Womack hit a two-run double and was wiped out trying to make it a triple, Dash leading 10-8. However, the status quo returned in the top of the eighth. Amaya walked the first batter, hit the second with a pitch, retired one, and allowed a single to set up a bases-clearing triple on a 3-0 count, putting the Drive back up 11-10.

Still trailing by one in the bottom of the ninth after Perez relieved Amaya and was not scored upon, Mieses singled and was immediately erased on a double play hit by Osik. With two outs, Hackenberg walked, then made it to third on a deflected Mendoza infield double. This gave the Drive the opportunity to totally blow it on an infield error, which they did when Womack hit the ball to shortstop, tying the game at 11.

In the 10th, Moisés Castillo played the role of ghost runner. Ellis sacrificed him to third base and Tatum hit the walk-off, singling to left field for the winning run, Dash 12-11.

Thompson made one of his best starts of the year on June 1, going 5⅔ innings and allowing just one hit. He left in the sixth after walking two batters. Between this start and his first of the week, he went 10⅔ innings and held opponents to just two hits. And five runs. But two hits!

Garrett Schoenle took over in relief, shutting the Drive down for the rest of the game. He pitched 3⅓ hitless innings and has yet to give up a run for the Dash.

At the plate, the only gasps of offense came from Castillo and Colás in the third inning (Colás playing in just his second game in the last seven days). Castillo doubled and scored when Colás tripled, his second of the year. The teams combined for four hits and six walks. Dash win 1-0.

Coming up, the Dash finish up the Greenville series, then stick around at home for the upcoming Greensboro rivalry series as well. All teams involved are currently under .500.

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The nice thing about the marriage of Sox Machine and Future Sox is that when the big league team sucks, I don’t need to go very far to find extra coverage of the farm system.