SAN ANTONIO – After having arguably his worst start of the season in Arkansas seven days ago where he gave eight runs, four of them earned, Cal Quantrill bounced back allowing a single run in six innings as the Missions prevailed 4-1 or their second victory in over the Arkansas Travelers, clinching the three-game series.
“Cal really competed tonight. He had some adversity with some traffic on the bases, but he beat it,” said Missions’ manager Phillip Wellman. “The only thing that got my blood pressure up was the two walks to lead off the seventh inning.”
“It got my blood pressure up too,” laughed Quantrill in response to his manager. “But bless Eric Yardley and what he was able to do.”
“I didn’t think I pitched well today, but I did compete. I didn’t have any of my good stuff but I wasn’t going to let them beat me.”
Tied at one, Quantrill walked the first two batters before getting a force out on a sacrifice bunt. Eric Yardley came in struck out the first batter and got the second to fly out to right field.
“That’s just my job, it’s why I’m here,” said Yardley. “Cal ran into some problems and I was able to get some outs.”
“It’s why we play. It’s one of the things that makes the game so amazing, there are so many things that you can’t control.”
Yardley got himself into some trouble in the next inning, as the first two runners got on by his own error and a walk, before getting the next batter to fly out and the second to hit into an inning-ending double-play.
“He’s been doing that ever since I’ve had him,” Wellman said on Yardley’s performance. “There is nothing that fazes him.”
Offensively the star of the game was shortstop Fernando Tatis, Jr., who returned after sitting out a pair of games. In the seventh inning with the bases loaded he hit a double, that was stretched into a triple on an error by the left fielder, plating all three runners.
“My body had been hurting a little bit, but the days off didn’t affect my timing. I thought I had three good at-bats and I was staying short to the ball.”
One of the more interesting things about Tatis is how relaxed he looks in the field – almost sleepy – and how quickly he can accelerate out of the batter’s box or move laterally in the field.
“I don’t know,” laughed Tatis. “It’s just part of me that helps to slow the game down and allow me to react and let my abilities take control.”
What his manager has noticed is how much Tatis likes the big moment.
“He went up to the plate with the game on the line and I said, ok, show me; and he did what he has been doing all year, he did.”
Mission Notes: San Antonio goes for the series sweep tomorrow night with Lake Bachar taking the mound.