Jacksonville Sports Day

GAMEDAY: Big Innings Plague Jumbo Shrimp in 7-3 Loss to Barons

Jorge Guzman (0-2) started on the mound for the Jumbo Shrimp. FILE Photo by Danielle Bleau

JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp fell to the Birmingham Barons in game four of a five game home stand 7-3 Thursday night at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.

Rightander Jorge Guzman (0-2) started on the mound for the Jumbo Shrimp.

Joe Booker fouled out to first baseman John Silviano to start the game. Guzman the struck out shortstop Ramon Torres before giving up a walk to Louis Gonzalez. Gonzalez was thrown out stealing second by catcher Santiago Chavez with Yermin Mercedes at the plate.

Righthander Felix Paulino (2-0) got the start for Birmingham. Lead off man Magneuris Sierra grounded out to Torres. Brian Miller and Silviano both struck out.

The Barons opened the scoring in the second.

Mercedes led off  with a walk. Designated hitter Gavin Sheets sliced a single down the third base line. Blake Rutherford’s first home run of the season made it 3-0. Guzman then struck out Trey Michalczewski, got Ti’Qquan Forbes to hit a ground ball to third baseman J.C. Millan. Mitch Roman flied out to Miller.

In the home half of the third Chavez drew a walk.  Sierra singled to right. They advanced on a wild pitch to set up an opportunity for Miller. He made the most of it, slicing a two RBI double into the right field corner. Dunand reached on an error scoring Miller, who had stolen third, to tie to the game.

The Barons added two runs in the fourth. After a walk to Garrett, Guzman struck out Rutherford and Michalczewski. Roman then smashed a two RBI double over the head of Garrett scoring Sheets and Forbes, who reached on an error.

With two on base and one out Guzman left in the fifth.  Elvis Araujo came on in relief and gave up an RBI double to Sheets scoring Gonzalez and Mercedes to to make it 7-3.

The Jumbo Shrimp wrap up their series with Birmingham in Friday’s 7:05 p.m. start.

GAME NOTES: Tanner Banks came on in relief of Paulino in the sixth with one out….the Barons committed three errors, the Jumbo Shrimp one….attendance was 6,397….  Magneuris Sierra extended his hitting streak to 12 games.

JUMBO SHRIMP NOTES: Bernardo Flores spun eight flawless innings on Wednesday to lead the Birmingham Barons to a 5-0 shutout of the Jumbo Shrimp. Flores needed just 81 pitches to get through his eight frames, surrendering just three hits without walking a batter. He struck out three. The Barons backed the southpaw from the get-go. Luis Gonzalez crushed a solo home run in the first inning. In the fourth, Joel Booker blasted a three-run shot to increase the margin to 4-0. Alfredo Gonzalez’s RBI double in the ninth inning put the tally at 5-0. Jacksonville right-handed reliever Tyler Stevens pitched two scoreless innings of relief in his Jumbo Shrimp debut.

NO STEALS FOR YOU: Jumbo Shrimp catcher Santiago Chavez nabbed both attempted base stealers against him on Wednesday against Birmingham. The Saltillo, Mexico native has now caught seven attemped base stealers, the most of any catcher in Double-A. As a team, Jacksonville has gunned down nine potential base stealers in 19 tries, a 47.4 percent caught stealing rate that places fifth in Double-A.

ELEVENTH HOUR: Jacksonville outfielder Magneuris Sierra went 2-for-5 on Tuesday, continuing a hot start to the season. The San Cristobal, Dominican Republic native is currently riding a 10-game hitting streak in which he is batting 14-for-40 (.350/.422/.450) with four doubles, two RBIs, four walks and one hit-by-pitch. Sierra ranks tied for third in the Southern League in doubles (four) while placing in a tie for fourth in hits (14) and ninth in batting average (.326).

LIGHT OF THE SEVEN: Jacksonville’s seven-man bullpen saw their scoreless innings streak end at 21 on Wednesday when Birmingham’s Alfredo Gonzalez notched an RBI double in the ninth. That run marked the second time in just 13 games this season that the Jumbo Shrimp relief corps had put together a streak of at least 20 consecutive scoreless frames (20 from April 4-8). Jacksonville relievers have worked 57.1 of the club’s 114.0 innings on the campaign (50.3 percent). The club’s bullpen has yielded just seven runs, six earned, on 28 hits (4.4 H/9), striking out 62 (9.7 K/9) against 18 walks (2.8 BB/9).

BLANK SLATE: Through just 13 games, Jacksonville has already suffered four shutout defeats, the most of any team in the Southern League. In 2018, the Jumbo Shrimp had the Southern League’s worst record in blankings in 2018, finishing just 4-16 (.200). The club’s 16 zeroes were the most in the circuit since Jackson suffered 21 shutouts in 2015 and represent Jacksonville’s second-most during the club’s Marlins era, which dates back through the start of the 2019 season (20, 2013).

HAKUNA MATATA: Jacksonville went 0-for-1 with runners in scoring position on Wednesday, stranding a total of four men. Through 12 games on the season, the Jumbo Shrimp are just 16-for-112 (.143/.254/.179) with ducks on the pond. The good news is that, throughout every single level in the history of baseball, situational hitting numbers normalize with bigger sample sizes as the season goes on. The 2019 Jumbo Shrimp’s overall batting line is .210/.278/.276, which, while not great, is an improvement over the club’s numbers with runners in scoring position.

DEFENSIVE ONIONS: Jacksonville committed one error on Wednesday, pushing their season total of 12, which ranks bottom half of the Southern League. The Jumbo Shrimp have also played just four miscue-free games on the season, but there is an argument for the Jumbo Shrimp being a strong defensive team. Jacksonville has converted 74.3 percent of batted balls put in play into outs this season. For perspective, the Oakland Athletics’ 73.0 mark led Major League Baseball in 2018. The Shrimp’s strong early defensive numbers, coupled with the small sample size of one week of play, can partly explain why the club’s 3.82 FIP, an ERA estimator based on strikeouts, walks and home runs, is significantly higher than their actual 2.45 ERA.

SHRIMP SCOPES: Jacksonville enters play on Thursday having lost six of their last eight games. One more loss in their set against Birmingham will mark the Jumbo Shrimp’s second straight series loss… Rodrigo Vigil’s 73.3 percent ground ball rate is the highest in the Southern League.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *