NWA Week in Review: July 2 – 8
Weekly Record: 1-6
Overall Record: 38-47, 3-12 in the second half
Standings: 4th (8.5 GB)
Weekly +/-: -20 (14 runs scored, 34 runs allowed)
7/5 – Zach Lovvorn assigned to Omaha
7/6 – Samir Duenez begins rehab in Arizona
7/8 – Dallas Beeler assigned to NWA
Overview. The Naturals got swept at home by Corpus Christi, lost the series at San Antonio two games to one, and are in danger of being swept at Corpus Christi. This had not been a good week. The Naturals averaged just 2.0 runs a game this week while giving up nearly 5.0 a game. They were outscored by 20 in 7 games putting their run differential at about -3.0 runs per game. This is not how the Naturals wanted to start the second half of the season.
I’m taking my family for vacation the next weeks so this won’t be nearly as detailed as normal so I apologize. I will be stopping in Danville, Virginia though to catch the Braves and B-Royals game next Friday. I am very excited about getting a chance to see the newest Royals.
The Naturals are getting a new pitcher this week in Dallas Beeler who the Royals signed as a free agent. The Naturals currently have four starters on their roster with the promotion of Zach Lovvorn. We will watch and see if they bring someone up from Wilmington or if they are stretching out Pedro Fernandez or Beeler.
The Naturals continue to carry 12 position guys and 13 pitchers. Kelvin Gutierrez has played some shortstop over the last week. He is a little rusty there, but will probably continue to get a few starts there as the season progresses.
Xavier Fernandez and Nick Dini combined to hit 7-21 over the week sharing the catching duty. John Brontsema and Corey Toups were both 3-9 this week. Khalil Lee was 4-19. Everyone one has been in a week long slump. They say hitting is contagious but it also works the other way around. Not hitting can be contagious as well and after facing the run of top 100 arms the Naturals faced last week it has infected the whole team. The Naturals just need one guy to get hot and it will spread through the rest of the team like the flu.
Foster Griffin made two starts last week and got a loss in both although he went 7.0 allowing 1 run on 4 hits, 1 BB, and 8 K. It’s tough to take the L in a game like that. The other game wasn’t as sharp. Griffin gave up 3 runs on 8 hits and 5 walks in less than 5 innings. He did manage 8 K in that outing as well.
Scott Blewett also made two starts last week. He got a no decision in the first and a loss in the second. Like Griffin, the first start was good and the second was more of a struggle. Blewett went 6.1 innings allowing 1 run on 6 hits, 2 walks, and 4 K. His second outing Blewett went 5.0 innings giving up 4 runs on 5 hits, 2 walks, and 4 K.
Emilio Ogando threw well this week getting the Naturals only win going 6.0 innings allowing 1 run on 7 hits, 3 walks, and 5 K.
Arnaldo Hernandez made a good start getting a ND in 6.0 innings giving up 3 runs, 2 earned, on 7 hits, 4 walks, and 3 K. Arnaldo is a guy to watch as he has good stuff.
Grant Gavin, Pedro Fernandez, and Andres Machado had a scoreless week. Pedro actually made a start last week throwing game two of the doubleheader. Also note that Walker Sheller did not throw last week.
The Naturals finish their series at Corpus Christi today before an off day for travel tomorrow. The Drillers will start a four game series in Springdale Wednesday before the Naturals go to Springfield for four starting Sunday. The Naturals have a long way to go to get back into playoff contention but if they can win a few series in a row they will be right there.