NWA Week in Review: May 14-20
Weekly Record: 6-2
Overall Record: 21-22
Standings: 3rd (1.5 GB)
Weekly +/- : +4 (37 runs scored, 33 runs allowed)
5/17 – Sam Selman placed on DL
5/17 – Samir Duenez placed on DL
5/18 – Corey Toups activated from the DL
5/20 – Michael Mariot assigned to NWA
5/20 – Pedro Fernandez activated from the DL
Overview. The Naturals have been hot. They clinched a series win yesterday for the fourth straight series. They are 11-3 over the last 14 and went 6-2 this week. The Naturals have moved into 3rd place and with a win today, they could surpass the Springfield Cardinals and move into 2nd place in the Texas League North. The TL North division is pretty close right now. There is no reason the Naturals can’t continue their hot streak and take the lead in the division.
Nicky Lopez is still hitting strong hitting .333 on the week. Lopez added a double and a triple while walking 4 times compared to 1 strikeout. Erick Mejia has been swinging well and continued hitting over .300 for the week with a couple doubles and a home run. Mejia also scored 6 runs. Donnie Dewees added a few hits on the week hitting .276. Nick Dini hit a walk off home run on Tuesday and then was hit in his first 3 at bats the following day. On the week Dini hit .316 with 5 RBI. Anderson Miller was on base 7 times this week but scored 6 runs. Miller stole 3 bases and added a double and a home run. Jecksson Flores played in all 8 games and hit .250 on the week. Elier Hernandez was the only other Natural to play in all 8 games this week and hit below the Mendoza line with 8 Ks. Alex Liddi hit a home run and a double over the course of the week while Corey Toups added a triple and a home run. John Brontsema has taken the majority of games at first base while Samir Duenez is on the DL and hit .313 with a double and a home run. In his limited duty as the backup catcher, Luis Villegas has quietly put together a 5 game hitting streak. He had 4 hits and 2 BBs on the week. Brandon Downes had a rough week going 0-13 with 7 Ks.
Foster Griffin logged the most innings from the starters this week with 11.0 innings in his 2 starts. His first start was a solid 7.0 inning outing while his second start he lasted just 4.0. Griffin gave up an alarming 14 hits on the week with 3 walks and 9 Ks. Opponents hit .406 on the week against him. Griffin will get better on the BABIP and that will help him out. Even so, he didn’t give up a lot of power. Andres Machado was the other Naturals pitcher with multiple starts this week. Machado ended up getting 2 losses and allowed a total of 2 ER. One in each game. Talk about bad luck. Now, that is a little deceiving as he gave up quite a few unearned runs in the first outing. The second outing the offense only recorded one hit against the Springfield Cardinals rehabbing Alex Reyes and Tyler Lyons. Emelio Ogando had his best start of the season going 7.0 while earning the win. Ogando allowed 7 hits, no free bases, and had 1 K. Scott Blewett had a rough start but still managed the win allowing 5 ER in 6.0 with 7 hits allowed, 3 walks, and no strike outs. Zach Lovvorn got a win in 6.0 innings. I thought he really labored in this game as he constantly had runners on base but managed to get out unscathed most innings. Lovvorn allowed 8 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, and had 6 Ks. Jake Kalish made a spot start for the Naturals getting a win in 5.0 innings. Kalish allowed 2 ER on 7 hits, no walks, and 4 Ks. Lovvorn also threw an inning in relief.
The Naturals relief corp was able to notch 5 saves on the week recorded by 4 different players. Michael Mariot ended up recording a save in his first outing with the team going 2.0 innings with no base runners and 2 Ks. Walker Sheller provided perhaps the funniest moment of the season on Wednesday when he lost track of the outs and sprinted onto the field with 2 outs to warm up Elier Hernandez in RF. Walked played it off like a pro but his teammates got more than a good laugh and will take him to court over this one and he will lose. Sheller did throw in 2 games on the week providing 5.0 innings with 2 ER, 3 BB, and 6 Ks. Jake Newberry notched one of those saves going 2.2 innings, allowing no runs on 2 hits, 1 BB, and 4 Ks. Luis Vasquez got two quick saves in 3 appearances. Vasquez got a win in the other appearance he had this week. Vasquez pitched a total of 2.0 innings allowing 2 hits, no walks, and had 5 Ks. Franco Terrero tallied the other save pitching in two games and going 3.1 innings with 0 runs, 1 hit, 3 BBs, and 5 Ks. Yunior Marte had perhaps the roughest week on the staff giving up 4 ER in just 2.2 innings over two games. Marte yielded 8 hits, 1 BB, and had 2 Ks. Alex Liddi was the unsung hero this week throwing 2.0 perfect innings.
After finishing up their series with the Cardinals today, the Naturals host the Frisco Rough Riders and the Midland Rock Hounds. This will be your only chance to see prospects from the Rangers and the A’s until the middle of August so make sure you get your tickets and pack into Arvest Ballpark. Hopefully the Naturals can continue the hot streak and be in 1st place at this time next week.