Ortiz and More

I usually don’t write about an opposing player, but Hickory relief pitcher Joseph Ortiz dominated the Shorebirds for a third time this season last night.  The good news is that he won’t pitch in the finale tonight because he went 3.2 innings last night. 

In 9.2 innings pitched against the ‘Birds this season, he has allowed two hits.  He has also fanned 19 batters!

He has this nasty slider that works down and in to right-handed hitters and works away to lefties.  Ortiz still needs to throw the slider for a strike more often and develop a better fastball to become a big time prospect.  He is only 19 years old so time will tell. 

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Lakewood crushed Charleston last night 10-1 to push the lead in the division to 2.0 games over Delmarva and 1.5 games over Hickory.  The ‘Claws snapped a four-game losing streak for the. 

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The Shorebirds are both second in the league in team walks (321) and strikeouts (810).  It’s interesting to note that Lakewood, maybe the best team in the league, leads the circuit in strikeouts (837).

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Here is something to think about regarding the schedule.  Hickory and Lakewood, both in the Northern division, have not played each this season.  They only meet for one series at the end of August (four games).  The Shorebirds will wind up playing Lakewood 23 times by season’s end.

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Tyler Townsend has 19 RBIs in 20 games during the month of July.  I think those statistics are pretty self explanatory.  He has been on a tear. 

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Steve Bumbry has five multi-RBI games in his last ten. 

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Critical game tonight against Hickory.  Let’s hope that the Shorebirds can get back into second place to set up a battle for first place at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium this coming weekend against Lakewood.

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