Tuesday night’s game against the Lowell Spinners (Red Sox) demonstrated the key to this year’s success of the Staten Island Yankees. Simply put pitching, pitching and pitching.
A look at the Yankees offensive production (or lack thereof) immediately raises eyebrows in light of their terrific record as they enter the final stretch of the Penn-League season.
With so many hitters struggling, the Staten Island pitching staff has carried this team into the playoffs. Last night was the perfect example of how stellar pitching and some timely hits turn into wins.
The lineup put together nine hits but only drew one walk, and the Yankees struck out 12 times. Welfrin Mateo was the offensive star with three hits (a double and two singles), scored a run and drove in a run. Jose Polonia also drove in a run as did Kendall Coleman.
Jio Orozco made his seventh start for Staten Island and pitched well, completely silencing the Lowell bats for five innings, allowing only two hits (both singles). The only Lowell hitter to reach second base against Orozco was the result of a single and stolen base.
Orozco walked more batters (3) than hits allowed (2) and also struck out three. While Orozco’s stuff does not grab your attention, he did not give up much hard contact.
Orozco’s fastball sits anywhere between 85-89 MPH, and he was able to hit 90 MPH on one pitch. He was able to use the fastball to set up his curve, which at this time is his best pitch.
Orozco throws two different curves, a long loopy slow curveball between 68-71 MPH and a much tighter one between 73-75 MPH. He can throw both for strikes and keep hitters off balance.
A National League scout I was able to talk to throughout the game told me that although Orozco does not throw hard, there is potential for his velocity to tick up given the fact that he is still only 20 years old. He was more impressed with Orozco’s curveball and his ability to change speeds with it.
Justin Kamplain was very effective out of the bullpen after taking over for Orozco in the sixth inning. The lefty pitched three innings allowing a single and a walk while striking out two.
Like Orozco, Kamplain did not overpower hitters and relied heavily on his 86-89 MPH fastball to get outs. For the most part, Kamplain was 88-89MPH and mixed in an occasional change up at 81 MPH. He has a nice smooth delivery and works quickly.
Eduardo Rivera came in to pitch the ninth and earned the save getting the side in order.
These two teams play the final game of the series Wednesday night with Juan DePaula facing the Red Sox 1st round pick in this year’s draft, Tanner Houck.