Legends On Deck

Minor League Pitching Duel of the Day: May 18th

Blake Snell pitched six shutout innings on Monday extending his scoreless streak to 46 innings to start the season and 49 innings dating back to last year. Offensively for the Biscuits, Patrick Leonard hit a solo homerun in the third inning, Justin O’Conner hit a two-run double in the fifth, and they added a fourth run late on a Johnny Field RBI single. the Lookouts got close in the seventh on a two-run homer by Max Kepler, but that was all they could muster as Biscuits win 4-2. Blake Snell got the win and is 3-0, Jose Berrios took the loss and dropped to 4-2, and Bryce Stowell pitched a clean ninth earning his second save.

Not only did we have Blake Snell going in this one but he was opposed by top prospect Jose Berrios, easily making this the minor league pitching duel of the day.

Other than the Biscuits Patrick Leonard‘s leadoff homerun to start the second inning, both starters cruised through three. In the top of the fourth, Johnny Field led off with a line drive single to left extending his hitting streak to eight games (12 hits in 34 AB’s during the streak). After a flyout, Patrick Leonard hit a line drive single to left (two straight multi-hit games after a slow start, could be starting to heat up) and Justin O’Conner plated them both with line drive double to left center. In the bottom of the frame the Lookouts had an excellent chance to get on the board vs the Blake Snell. Jorge Polanco hit a leadoff single to left (has hits in eight of his last ten games, 16-42 during that stretch for a .381 average) a wild pitch got him to second base, he advanced to third on a ground out, but Snell struck out Travis Harrison, issued a walk to Adam Walker and struck out Stuart Turner.

Both starters cruised through the fifth. Berrios was through after five, as Nick Burdi pitched a clean sixth and seventh for the lookouts. In the bottom of the sixth, Jorge Polanco once again found himself on third base with one out, and once again Snell escaped, this time with a strikeout and a flyout.

Matt Lollis replaced Blake Snell to start the seventh, he issued a one out walk to Stuart Turner, Max Kepler followed with a line drive home run to right field (Kepler’s hit in nine of his last ten games and is 16-37 during that stretch hitting at a .432 clip) temporarily cutting the Biscuits lead to 3-2.

Dallas Gallant replaced Burdi to start the 8th and was greeted with a Daniel Robertson double (his 13th hit in his last six games) after a Richie Schaffer walk, Johnny Field rounded out the scoring by singling to left scoring Robertson.

Blake Snell went six innings allowing just two hits and three walks and he struck out six. In addition to not giving up any runs, he’s now allowed just 18 hits in 46 innings (3.5 hits per 9), walks are a tad high but no one’s perfect. He throws a low to mid 90’s fastball with sinking action, and mixes in a change, slider and curve. the change is the best of his secondaries to this point. potential middle of the rotation starting pitcher at this point but at 6’4″ 190 LB’s there’s plenty of projection left.

Jose Berrios went five innings and gave up three earned on five hits, he allowed a walk and struck out five. He features a mid to upper 90’s fastball, high 70’s curve but also throws a faster one and mixes in a mid 80’s change. The Change lags behind the other pitches right now but there’s potential. Mid rotation starter.

The two teams are back in action Tuesday in game four of the five game set

This is a new series as I will choose one minor league game with a compelling pitching matchup and write a recap for it and I’ll include a scouting report for the pitchers.

John is a contributor for Legends on Deck. A Red Sox fan and Minor league enthusiast, he's usually writing about minor league baseball on his own blog - Notes from the Sally. John also loves Bruins hockey and Syracuse basketball. John is married with two grown daughters and lives in Asheville, NC. you can find John on Twitter @SALNotes

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