Luis Mieses can’t make up for three months of struggles in one night, but Wednesday is what it would look like if he could.
Mieses, who hit .220/.247/.309 with two homers over the first half, is hitting 1.000/1.000/2.667 with three homers in the second half after a magical 6-for-6 night in the Magic City.
He hit a two-run shot in the second inning, reached on an infield single in the fourth,. then came to the plate a second time and doubled home the eighth and final run of that inning. He led off the sixth with his second homer, then made it two in two innings another another solo shot in the seventh. He had a shot at a fourth homer in the eighth, but settled for another infield single for a sixth hit, a sixth RBI and a perfect night.
Here’s hoping this signals a turnaround for Mieses, not just because of the obvious benefits, but because Mieses had never struggled like he did in the first half. Even when he stumbled through his first few years in professional baseball, he always showed promising contact abilities, including just 92 strikeouts over 129 games between Winston-Salem and Birmingham last season. This year he whiffed 71 times against nine walks over the first 63 games. If that’s in any way attributable to the enhanced-grip ball that’s caused strange extremes in performances across the Southern League, he’ll get relief from that in a couple weeks. But maybe a couple days off and a fresh set of standings helped clear his head as well.
The Barons as a whole also stand to benefit from the reset. After finishing with the worst record in the Southern League at 25-44 and the worst run differential in Minor League Baseball, Birmingham is 1-0 after their 18-4 stomping of Rocket City, and with the league’s best margins.
- Lenyn Sosa went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
- Oscar Colás continues to muscle up: 2-for-4 with a homer, double and strikeout.
- AJ Alexy: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 12 of 35 pitches for strikes.
*Alexy now has 41 walks over 21 innings with an ERA of 12.00. I stopped highlighting his lines on a daily basis a while ago, but occasionally there’s a particularly sad one.
- Terrell Tatum’s Double-A debut fits in with his Winston-Salem performances: 2-for-4 with a walk, HBP, strikeout and stolen base.
- Alsander Womack was 0-for-4 with two walks and a strikeout.
- Bryan Ramos went 2-for-5 with a walk and a strikeout.
- Yoelqui Céspedes, 2-for-5 with a double, walk and two strikeouts.
- Luis Mieses with a career night: 6-for-6 with three homers and a double.
- Adam Hackenberg went 3-for-4 with an HBP.
- Tommy Sommer: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K
- Luke Shilling: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR
- Jacob Burke is replacing Tatum nicely: 2-for-4 with a strikeout and two stolen bases.
- DJ Gladney was 1-for-3 with two walks, a strikeout and a stolen base.
- Wilfred Veras went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts.
- Wes Kath wore the collar and silver sombrero.
- Andrew Dalquist: 3.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 1 K, 35 of 74 pitches for strikes.
- Shane Murphy: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 2 WP, 51 of 67 pitches for strikes.