FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The TinCaps were nearly able to squeeze a game in before the hail came – yes, hail in June – but not the thunder that came from the Great Lakes Loons’ bats as the Dodgers’ affiliate beat the home team 11-0 on Saturday night. The game was called midway through the eighth because of the weather.
The evening got off to a bad start as one of the Padres’ top prospects, left-handed pitcher Ryan Weathers, gave up a solo home run to the first batter of the game and then proceeded to allow the first four batters to reach base as he gave up three earned runs with another scoring on shortstop Justin Lopez’s error.
Weathers finished the night with 49 pitches in two and two-thirds innings, giving up five earned runs for easily his worst performance of the season. His velocity was down from his last outing as he was only able to touch 91 tonight and was sitting in the high 80’s for the majority of the game, in addition to missing his location.
Earlier in the year, his velocity had been as high as 97 and he was sitting in the mid-90s. Weathers came into the game with a 2-0 record and a 1.78 ERA and exited with a 3.00 ERA. The 19-year-old lefty, who spent two weeks on the Injured List earlier this month, had a visit from the trainer at the end of his last outing. While the club has said nothing about additional injuries, that has to be a concern at this point.
“AC [TinCaps’ manager Anthony Contreras] always says on nights like these you find out what type of player you are,” said TinCaps’ catcher Blake Hunt. “The at-bats count for the hitters, the innings count for the pitchers so you have to play on.”
On a bleak night, one of the few positives was again a performance by a forgotten player out of the bullpen, former position player, now pitcher, Carlos Belen. The right-hander came in and sat in the mid-90s with his fastball and even dialed one up to 98; striking out three batters in two innings against only one hit. The TinCaps’ bullpen in the last 11 games has combined to allow 13 earned runs in 46.2 innings (2.51 ERA) with 58 strikeouts against 17 walks.
“After a game like this the best thing to do is go home and forget about and get ready to play tomorrow,” said Hunt as the southern Californian departed into a driving downpour.
TinCaps’ Notes: Hunt had another rough night at the plate as far as results go, but the underlying performance is starting to come through. In the first inning, he was robbed of extra bases on a leaping grab by the shortstop and in the third, he just missed a home run to the deepest part of Parkview Field. Coming into tonight Hunt had a five-game hitting streak with four doubles, including a 2-for-5 night Friday.
Sunday, RHP Efraín Contreras takes the mound for the TinCaps as they try to avoid the sweep.