defensive struggles propel chiefs past bats
By Mike Gilpatrick
April 20th, 2018
April 20th, 2018
While the Louisville Bats play a big game on Thunder of Louisville Day Saturday; they opened their homestand Friday. The Bats played the Washington National’s Triple-A affiliate, the Syracuse Chiefs. The Chiefs ultimately won the game 7-1.
Robert Stephenson received the nod from new Bats manager Dick Schofield. He didn’t have his sharpest outing, only going five innings, and giving up three runs, only one earned; on four hits and two walks. Stephenson recorded five strikeouts, and received the loss. Stephenson did reduce his ERA from 3.65 to 3.12.
Syracuse entered the game with a 2.74 team ERA in 101.2 innings pitched. They proved why. They were also helped by Louisville's three errors. Syracuse also held Louisville to just six hits.
Stephenson toed the rubber against Erick Fedde. The 25 year-old native of Las Vegas, NV threw 15.1 innings in three starts for Dusty Baker and the Nationals last year. Fedde pitched well, giving up no runs on two hits, one walk, and recorded 7 strikeouts, receiving the win. He reduced his ERA from 2.70 to 1.80.
The Chiefs jumped out in the first inning. Shortstop Adrian Sanchez recorded a sacrifice fly to right, scoring center fielder and leadoff hitter Rafael Bautista.
Syracuse tacked on another in the top of the fourth. Catcher Spencer Kieboom hit his first home run of the year, hitting a pitch down near the heart of the plate to the rarely hit left field 379 feet.
Stephenson gave up his third run of the game in Syracuse’s next inning at bat. Fedde was at second, and attempted to steal third, when Robert Stephenson’s pickoff attempt at third went long, and into Louisville’s dugout. The pitch scored Syracuse’s pitcher easily.
David Hernandez was in Louisville for a rehab assignment, and gave up another few runs in the eighth. Right fielder Alejandro De Aza hit a double to center to score one, and then Kieboom recorded an RBI single to center. Then, third baseman Michael Almanzar singled to left to score Syracuse's next run. Tuffy Gosewisch then recorded an RBI on a sacrifice fly to Tyler Goeddel. Overall, Hernandez gave up four runs, all earned, in just 0.1 innings pitched.
Louisville finally got on the board in the bottom of the ninth. Sebastian Elizalde led off the inning with a single to left. He scored on a catching error by the third-baseman which scooted into foul territory. The Chiefs struck out Goeddel to end the game
The Bats move to 4-7 after the loss. They’ll take on the Chiefs again tomorrow, while the Thunder over Louisville air show is taking place less than a mile away over the Ohio River. Jackson Stephens will look to get on track against former major-leaguer Edwin Jackson. The game will be at 2 pm, and is almost guaranteed to be a sellout.