The Week in Winston: Dash update, Aug. 11-17

Bryan Ramos (Jim Margalus / Sox Machine)

After starting their most recent series against the Rays-affiliated Bowling Green Hot Rods 0-2 last week, the Dash came back for three straight wins, two of those the walk-off variety. They dropped the finale to split the series at 3-3 overall and are not off to a hot start against the Hickory Crawdads, a Rangers affiliate, putting them at 3-3 on the week, 19-25 in the second half, and 52-58 overall. 

There was a bit of recent roster shuffling but nothing too major. The move with the biggest impact will likely be Chase Solesky to the Injured List; despite a 4-7 record and an ERA well over four, Solesky is their most consistent starter, throwing at least five innings in 14 of his 21 starts (and two earned runs or fewer in nine of those 14). Over his last 22 innings and four starts, Solesky had allowed just six runs and a batting average against of .173. Skylar Árias (reliever) was bumped back down from a very brief stint with the Barons and 2021 fourth-rounder Brooks Gosswein (starter) joined the team from the Cannon Ballers to accommodate for his loss.

Other than that, multi-instrumentalist Brandon Bossard has returned presumably to play the infield and pitch in blowouts (which he has, in fact, already done once since his promotion on August 12).

Top pitching performances

Tommy Sommer (August 13): 5.2 IP, 4 H, R, 0 BB, 6 K (season, two levels: 95.2 IP, 73 H, 37 R (30 ER), 33 BB, 104 K, 2.82 ERA, 1.11 WHIP)

Cooper Bradford (relief): 4 IP, H, R, 3 BB, 4 K (season: 48 IP, 42 H, 22 R (17 ER), 28 BB, 48 K, 3.19 ERA, 1.46 WHIP)

Ty Madrigal (relief): 3.1 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 4 K (season: 40.2 IP, 41 H, 26 R (24 ER), 24 BB, 41 K, 5.31 ERA, 1.60 WHIP)

Honorable mention: Cristian Mena had the bones of a tremendous outing on August 12, seven of his eight outs coming via strikeout, but he was removed with an injury yet to be specified.

Top hitting performances

Bryan Ramos (3B): 8-for-18, 6 R, 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB, K, SF, GIDP, SB (season: 95 games, .278/.350/.482, 19 HR, 72 RBI)

Alsander Womack (2B): 8-for-15, 5 R, 3B, BB, 2 K (season, two levels: 61 games, .289/.367/.427, 7 HR, 33 RBI)

Tyler Osik (C/DH/1B): 6-for-18, R, 3B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K, HBP, CS (season: 85 games, .315/.393/.460, 9 HR, 50 RBI)

Honorable mention: Colson Montgomery played in only three of six games this week, but went 4-for-10 with a home run and two walks.

Weekly rundown

Aug. 11

Drew Dalquist allowed three home runs in just under five innings and seven runs total, but he did not come away with so much as a decision as the Dash secured a come-from-behind victory culminating in a ninth-inning walk-off. 

Dalquist’s first put the team in a 3-0 hole early after a lead-off walk, triple, sacrifice fly, and home run to start the game. Undeterred, in the bottom of the inning, Alsander Womack hit his first career triple and scored on a Bryan Ramos single, making it 3-1.

The Hot Rods scored one more in the second on a solo shot and another in the third after two walks, two wild pitches, and a single allowed by Dalquist, so the Dash entered the bottom of the third trailing 5-1.

Caberea Weaver and Duke Ellis both flied out quickly to start the frame, then Womack singled to be driven in by Ramos again, this time on Ramos’s 18th home run of the year, shortening the deficit to 5-3. In his last 31 games played leading up to Wednesday, Ramos was batting .309/.376/.504.

For the first inning all game, the Hot Rods did not score in the fourth, but the Dash did: Tyler Osik drew a leadoff walk and Keegan Fish went deep for the third time of the year and his career to tie it at 5.

The tie un-broke in the top of the fifth, Dalquist getting through two outs before allowing his third and final dong of the night, a two-run blast that put the Hot Rods up 7-5. The Dash scraped one back in the bottom half, Ramos hitting his first triple of the season and scoring on a Luis Mieses sacrifice fly, 7-6.

Scoring began to peter out in the late innings, but the Dash were able to tie it in the seventh, again sparked by Womack, who hit a leadoff single, was wild pitched to second, and reached third when Ramos reached on an error. Mieses singled to load the bases and Osik’s ground ball out was able to drive in Womack, 7-7.

After Dalquist’s exit, Luis Moncada and Luis Amaya set the Hot Rods down with relative ease, and they were held scoreless for the last four innings of the game. Moncada struck out four over 2⅓ innings and Amaya, who received the W, was perfect over two.

They helped set the stage for a tied bottom of the ninth, one that opened with Womack striking out swinging on three pitches, then a Ramos full-count walk. Mieses singled him to second and Osik singled him to third, loading the bases with one out for Fish, who obligingly hit a fly ball deep enough for Ramos to tag up and score. Dash win 8-7.

Aug. 12

Despite Cristian Mena’s early exit after 2⅔ brilliant innings, the Dash didn’t have much trouble with the Hot Rods in a four-hit win. 

Two of those hits came off Mena in the second with a double, passed ball, and single scoring a run, but then Bowling Green passed under the shadow of the Dash bullpen and faltered. Ty Madrigal, Nick Gallagher, and Alejandro Mateo combined for 5⅓ near-perfect innings, the only baserunners allowed a sixth-inning hit by pitch and seventh-inning walk by Gallagher (who anchored the overall effort with three scoreless innings).

In the ninth, Skylar Árias entered and had one of his worst outings of the year, allowing two singles, balking both runners a base over, and giving up a run on a ground ball out before hitting a batter with a pitch and mercifully inducing a double-play ball. It doubled the Hot Rods’ hit output, but not enough to give them the lead.

The Dash scored first in the first, Ellis singling, then Colson Montgomery and Womack both walking to load the bases with nobody out. After Mieses popped out, Ben Norman walked to force in a run, but Adam Hackenberg and Fish both struck out to end the inning.

They added another in the second to go up 2-1; Jason Matthews was hit by a pitch to start things off, was grounded to second by Ellis, then scored on Montgomery’s single. The 2-1 lead held until the fifth, when it increased to 3-1 after Norman doubled in Womack from a single, then 4-1 in the seventh when Mieses went deep for a solo bomb. Final score, a 4-2 Dash victory.

Aug. 13

Another close game ended in a walk-off win on Saturday the 13th, Montgomery and Osik accounting for five of the eight Dash hits. Tommy Sommer pitched 5⅔ strong innings, the only blemish a first-inning solo home run. He walked none and struck out six.

Ramos tied it up at one in the fourth, his sacrifice fly scoring Ellis from a leadoff double. The team went ahead in the sixth on a long ball by Montgomery, his fifth in 34 games at the level and ninth overall.

After 1⅓ scoreless innings from Karan Patel, Cooper Bradford tossed a game-tying blast in the eighth. This both set himself up for the individual win with a scoreless top of the ninth and set the Dash up for the team win in the bottom of the ninth, both scenarios coming to fruition. Montgomery led the ninth off with a single and Ramos matched him. Mieses lined out and Osik singled the bases loaded with one out. Norman, like Fish two days earlier, was able to come through with a sacrifice fly for the walk-off. Dash win 3-2.

Aug. 14

Norge Vera made his long-anticipated Dash debut on the 14th but the team fell to the Hot Rods for a series split. Vera, whose season and career high in innings is four (achieved once this year in nine starts), threw two perfect innings. 

Wilber Perez walked one in relief but kept it scoreless, then Moncada entered and allowed two runs in a two-triple fourth. He gave up another run in the fifth, unearned thanks to Ramos’s error at third base. Everhett Hazelwood pitched two scoreless innings, Chase Plymell gave up an eight-inning solo shot, and Madrigal contributed a scoreless ninth.

Four of the seven Dash hits were in the first three innings, all singles and none of them coming around to score. The offense finally stirred meaningfully with one out in the eighth: Womack singled, Ramos walked, Mieses was hit by a pitch, and Osik was hit by a pitch to force in the first Dash run. Norman grounded out for another run, making it 4-2, but that was the final score as the Dash lost.

Aug. 16

Avert your eyes; not only did the Dash lose 15-1 to the Hickory Crawdads (the Hickory Crawdads!!), they gave up those 15 runs on just 10 hits. They walked 12 batters and struck out six. Garrett Schoenle’s baffling year continues as he cannot figure out starting but seems to have a pretty good handle on relieving. He departed with one out in the third, having allowed six runs on four hits and three walks.

Gallagher relieved him with a runner on third after a triple and allowed that runner to score after a walk, stolen base, and two-run single, one run credited to Schoenle and one to Gallagher. Another two runs were soon credited to Gallagher on a subsequent home run, sending the Dash down 9-0 in the third inning.

Bradford came through with two scoreless innings that certainly stand out in this box score. Patel walked in a run and so did Perez, who gave up three other runs besides as he walked four in the eighth, getting only two outs. 

Utilityman Brandon Bossard was called upon to put the game out of its misery, a role he’s played before. Entering with the bases loaded and two outs, he allowed a two-run single before getting a fly ball for the last out of the inning. He is up to 3⅔ career innings spanning six appearances with four walks, two strikeouts, and five runs allowed (zero earned; lifetime ERA 0.00, lifetime runs allowed per nine innings 12.27).

Adding insult to injury, the Dash only picked up five hits all game, all singles and two belonging to Mieses. Their lone RBI was a seventh-inning sacrifice fly off the bat of Hackenberg, scoring Ramos from a leadoff single. Dash lose 15-1.

Aug. 17

It wasn’t quite 15-1, but the Dash didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory in their 8-1 loss to the Crawdads on Wednesday. Dalquist only allowed one home run over 4.2 innings but still gave up six runs total; he walked none but served up 10 hits.

Mateo struck out three of his four outs, then Amaya entered for a shaky seventh that featured two singles, a wild pitch, a walk, and a sacrifice fly that generated two more Crawdads runs, Dash trailing 8-0.

Ramos lofted his 19th home run to lead off the eighth for the Dash’s only run; he leads the team by eight in that category, Mieses second with 11. In the organization, he trails only Craig Dedelow’s 22.

Looking ahead, the Dash try to salvage the remaining four games of this Crawdads series, then welcome the Asheville Tourists for a six-game set. With only three and a half weeks left of the season and the team in fifth place and 12 games out of a playoff spot, it’s starting to feel like maybe this isn’t going to be the year for them.

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