NWA Week in Review: August 13-19

NWA Week in Review: August 13-19
Weekly Record: 3-3
Overall Record: 61-64, 26-29 in the second half
Standings: 3rd  (5.5 GB)
Weekly +/-: +8  (29 runs scored, 21 runs allowed)

Transactions:
8/13 – Andrew Edwards sent on rehab to Arizona
8/19 – Scott Barlow assigned to NWA

Articles Over Naturals from this year’s team
Nicky Lopez (promoted)
Elier Hernandez (promoted)
Anderson Miller
Jake Newberry (promoted)
Jecksson Flores
Arnaldo Hernandez (promoted)
Pedro Fernandez
Samir Duenez
Foster Griffin

Overview.  The Naturals had a .500 road trip going 3-3.  That’s not a bad trip down to the Texas League South.  They did have a chance to win one more of those games losing to Frisco after having a 2-run lead when the starter left.  Nevertheless, the Naturals are still 5.5 games behind the Tulsa Drillers for the lead in the league with a 5 game road trip to Tulsa in two weeks.  They only have 7 home games left this season (!!!) with four of those coming over the next four days as they host the Springfield Cardinals. Make sure you are there.  

Jace Vines took a loss to start the week going 4.0 innings allowing 5 ER on 9 H, 1 BB, and 1 K.  Jecksson Flores went 2-4 with a double in the game while Anderson Miller went 2-3 with a pair of doubles and a walk.  

Emilio Ogando threw 6.0 innings of shutout ball getting a win while giving up 2 H, 2 BB, and 6 K.  Yunior Marte finished the last 3.0 innings of that game getting credit for the save allowing no runs, no hits, no BBs, and 1 K.  Erick Mejia went 2-6 in the game with a R and RBI. Kelvin Gutierrez was 3-3 with a home run, 2 R, 3 RBI, and a BB. Alex Liddi hit his 21st home run while Nick Heath added a double and had 2 BB on the night.  

Jon Perrin started on Thursday and took the loss despite giving up just 1 ER in 4.0 innings on 4 H, 3 BB, and 2 K.  Walker Sheller and Franco Terrero threw a combined 3.0 scoreless innings in relief. Mejia was 2-4 with a SB and Xavier Fernandez went 3-3 with a R and BB. 

Scott Blewett followed up his CG with another solid start throwing 7.0 innings while getting credit for the win on Friday.  Blewett gave up 2 ER on 4 H, 2 BB, and 5 K. Samir Duenez went 2-5 with a double and 2 R. Gutierrez went 2-5 with a R. Liddi went 2-5 with a triple, 2 R, and 2 RBI.  Alfredo Escalera was 2-4 with a home run, R, and 2 RBI.

The Saturday game was rained out but was made up on Sunday as part of a doubleheader.  Foster Griffin started the first game and ran his winning streak to 6 consecutive games with 5.0 innings allowing 3 ER on 7 H, 0 BB, and 1 K.  Andres Machado finished the game earning the save going 2.0 scoreless innings allowing 1 H, 0 BB, and 2 K. Liddi hit his 22nd home run of the season adding a single, R, and RBI.  Flores went 2-4 with a R and stole his 25th base of the season. Kort Peterson added a 3-run home run for the Naturals. Corey Toups had a multi-hit game going 3-4 with a SB. Alfredo Escalera was 2-4 with a R and RBI.  And Xavier Fernandez was on base three times with 2 BB and a single.

Finishing up the doubleheader on Sunday was Scott Barlow making a start for the Naturals coming down from Omaha.  Barlow had been on the DL and went just 4.0 innings in his no decision. Barlow allowed 1 ER on 3 H, 0 BB, and 4 K.  Miller went 2-3 in the game with a home run, 2 R, and an RBI. Dini went 2-3 with a R, 2 RBI, and a SB.

A couple Naturals are holding solid hitting streaks.  Escalera has a 9-game hitting streak and hit .381 on the week with a HR, 4 R, 4 RBI, 2 BB, and 6 K.  Xavier Fernandez has an 8-game hitting streak and was 5-8 in his 3 games this week. Fernandez also walked 4 times compared to no strikeouts.  Gutierrez has a 7-game hitting streak and was 9-24 for the week. Gutierrez also tripled, homered, and had 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K, and was 1-2 in stolen base attempts.  Miller has a 6-game hitting streak going hitting .438 for the week with 2 doubles, a home run, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, and a SB. Liddi has a 5-game streak going and hit .333 on the week with a triple, 2 HR, 5 R, 6 RBI, 2 BB, and 8 K.  

Flores recently lost a 15-game hitting streak.  Flores played 4 games at second last week and 2 at SS.  Although he had the hitting streak, he struggled over the last week hitting .214 with a double, R, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 3 K, and 2 SB.  

Mejia also lost an 11-game hitting streak this week playing 4 games at SS and 2 in CF.  He hit .250 on the week with a double, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K, and was CS.

Dini was 3-10 on the week with 2 R, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 3 K, and a SB.  Duenez was 3-19 on the week. Corey Toups was 4-9 in 3 games. Nick Heath hit .273 with a double, 3 R, 3 BB, 1 K, and a SB.  Peterson just had the one hit, the 3-run homer on the week in 2 games.

Vines made a second appearance on the week relieving Barlow but only going 1.1 innings giving up 4 ER on 5 H, 1 BB, and 0 K.  Vines took the loss making his weekly record 0-2.

Luis Lugo didn’t make an appearance this week on the mound.  Grant Gavin pitched in 1 G going 2.0 innings, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, and 0 K.  Cristian Castillo threw in 1 G going 1.0 innings giving up 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, and 1 K.  Machado threw in 2 games going 3.0 innings with 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, and 4 K. Sheller pitched in 2 games going 2.2 innings allowing 0 R on 2 H, 1 BB, and 0 K.  Gabe Speier threw in 1 game throwing 1.0 innings allowing 0 R on 3 H, 2 BB, and 0 K.

Upcoming.  The Naturals start their final swing through the Texas League North Division this week.  If the Naturals are going to make a move on a playoff spot, this is the time they must do it.  They have 7 home games left with 4 this week against the Springfield Cardinals. They finish the week traveling to Little Rock to play the Travelers who are ahead of them in the standings but exempt from claiming a playoff spot this half as they took the first half title.  The Drillers are the team the Naturals must catch who are 5.5 games ahead of them. That is likely at least 2 weeks of chase time but that includes 5 games against Tulsa to help them gain ground. The Naturals have played some great baseball lately and I hope to watch them continue to do it and I hope to be able to attend some playoff games in Springdale.  

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