Opening Weekend Recap: Northwest Arkansas Naturals

NWA Week in Review: April 5-8

Weekly Record: 1-3

Overall Record: 1-3

Standings: 3rd (2.0 GB)

Weekly +/- : -11 (20 runs scored, 31 runs allowed)

The Naturals started the season off with a bang as they rallied to tie it in the bottom of the eighth and then walk it off in the bottom of the ninth on a 2 out RBI from Elier Hernandez. Foster Griffin started the game for the Naturals but struggled to put batters away in a timely fashion throwing 67 pitches in 3.0 innings. Griffin gave up 1 run, 4 hits, 1 BB, and had 2 K’s. Griffin worked mainly in the high 80s. Franco Terrero got credit for the win, the first of his AA career. Samir Duenez also hit the first home run of the season for the Naturals hitting a line drive out to right center early in the game. He also doubled later in the game.

And that’s when the bang fizzled out as the Naturals dropped the next three. The Naturals blew a comfortable lead in game two against the Hooks by giving up 6 runs in the top of the ninth against Sam Selman. Zach Lovvorn started the game and received a no decision.

Scott Blewett made his much anticipated Naturals debut to start the rubber game of the Hooks series. The first two innings did not disappoint as Blewett struck out 5 in the first 2.0 innings. But then things got a little rougher. Blewett gave up 4 straight hits in the third giving up a 1-0 lead. Anderson Miller hit a solo home run in the game.

The Naturals got behind early in the opening game against the San Antonio Missions. Emilio Ogando had a rough start and got tagged for the loss. Selman pitched better in this game throwing 1.2 scoreless in relief. Selman had 2 BBs and 3 K’s. Jake Newberry also threw 2.0 scoreless in relief with 2 K’s. Corey Toups got a comeback attempt started when he homered in the 9th. Mejia tripled in two later in the inning before the comeback was shutdown.

Nicky Lopez is just 1 for his first 10 but has 4 BBs in 3 games and has added 2 stolen bases without being caught.

Donnie Dewees has also started out slowly going 1 for his first 14. That one was a triple. Dewees also has 3 BBs so far.

Samir Duenez is 6 for 18 for a .333 average with 2 doubles, a home run, and 2 RBI.

Elier Hernandez has started 4 for 17 with a double and an RBI.

Erick Mejia is 6 for 14 with a triple, RBI, and a SB.

Anderson Miller is 4 for 14 with 2 doubles and a HR. Miller also has 5 RBI and a SB.

Corey Toups also has a home run and SB while going 4 for 14 with 3 RBI and 3 BBs.

As far as pitching is concerned the Naturals need a series of quality starts this week. They’ve gotten only 14.2 innings in 4 starts which is only 3.2 per start. That means your bullpen throws on average 5.1 innings a game. That is way too many innings. Their fortunes will change, they just need it to start now.

The Naturals finish their homestand Tuesday before heading to Corpus Christi and San Antonio. It looks like Glenn Sparkman will be the only pitcher making two starts this week. Griffin will make a day game start Tuesday at Arvest if you want to see how he fares.

Photo Credits: Shane Roper—

One thought on “Opening Weekend Recap: Northwest Arkansas Naturals

  1. Pingback: Minor League Minutes: 4/10/18 | Royals Farm Report

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