Erlin’s first MLB outing of the season in Colorado last week did not go anywhere near what he had hoped for lasting only three innings and allowing seven runs on nine hits. With the addition of Kelly to the rotation Robbie got an extra day’s rest and it seemed to do him good. He was a completely different pitcher from the first batter on. The fastball command was outstanding as he lived on the corners most of the night and when he did miss it was off the plate. He also used his changeup and cutter effectively so that in spite of not having a consistent curveball he was still able to carve the AZ hitters up.
He was so effective that he flirted with a no-hitter until two outs in the 6th when he finally yielded a triple to Inciarte. No worries as he struck out the next batter to strand the runner at third. That was as close as AZ got to scoring throughout the evening. He would end up going seven excellent innings allowing only two hits and showing everyone why he was so highly touted in the trade that brought him over from the Rangers back in 2011.
With that kind of an outing he didn’t need much offense and he wouldn’t get much. In fact it wasn’t until the 6th that he was given a lead to work with. Spangenberg doubled to start things off and reached third on a wild pitch. Gyorko hit a medium fly ball to right-center-field that set the stage for an exciting play at the plate. Spangy had to go for it, and Inciarte made the catch with his momentum coming through the ball on the run, crow hopped, and fired a bullet home. It was just a couple of feet up the first base line but that was all it took for Spangy to tag up and score just ahead of the swipe tag by the catcher Castillo. The play was challenged and after three minutes was upheld to confirm the Pads a 1-0 lead.
Two innings later Spangy again started the rally, this time with an infield single. He would round the bases on Upton’s double. Gyorko would then drive in Kemp, who singled earlier, on a sac-fly and the Pads had a comfy 3-0 lead to hand over to Kimbrel.
For the 38th time this season Kimbrel shut the door and the Pads were able to play some loud postgame victory music in the clubhouse.
A really well played game by the Friars all around. Erlin was surgical with the fastball. Spangenberg’s speed factored in two of the three runs that scored. The defense was solid. The bullpen held the line for the final two after Erlin’s effort. Fun game!
Tomorrow Shields will go for his 14th win of the season. First pitch will cross the plate at 1:10 and Uncle Teddy will be back with me in the booth for all the action on the Mighty 1090. Look forward to you joining us!