NWA Week in Review: August 20-26
Weekly Record: 5-1
Overall Record: 66-65, 31-30 in the second half
Standings: 3rd (3.5 GB)
Weekly +/-: +12 (26 runs scored, 14 runs allowed)
8/24 – Scott Barlow assigned to Omaha
Articles Over Naturals from this year’s team
Nicky Lopez (promoted)
Elier Hernandez (promoted)
Jake Newberry (promoted)
Arnaldo Hernandez (promoted)
Overview. The Naturals again had a great week going 5-1. Their only loss came in the 11th inning on Thursday. They continue to make a late playoff push and closed within 3.5 games of division leader Tulsa. Emilio Ogando made another great start on Tuesday getting the win and going 7.0 innings while allowing no runs on just 1 H, 2 BB, and 5 K. Erick Mejia went 2-4 with an RBI and a stolen base while Samir Duenez hit a home run.
Jon Perrin faced off against the rehabbing Adam Wainright on Wednesday. Perrin got a no decision going 5.0 innings allowing 2 ER on 6 H, 2 BB, and 5 K. Kelvin Gutierrez went 1-2 with a run scored and a walk while Alex Liddi and Alfredo Escalera both had an RBI in the win.
Scott Blewett threw on Thursday getting a no decision in 5.0 innings allowing no earned runs on 3 H, 2 BB, and 3 K. Liddi went 2-5 with a double and Nick Heath went 1-2 with a BB and 2 SB.
Foster Griffin put together an interesting quality start getting a win and going 6.0 innings allowing 3 ER on 11 H, 1 BB, but not striking out a single batter. It’s not often a starting pitcher gets credit for a win without a K but Griffin showed he can get it done on a day that he doesn’t have his best stuff. Duenez and Xavier Fernandez were both on the cycle watch as the game neared completion. Duenez ended up 4-4 with a home run, double, and two singles. He added a R, 3 RBI, and a BB. Fernandez ended up 3-5 with a home run, triple, and single. Fernandez also scored 3 R and had 2 RBI. So on Friday, not only did you have a starting pitcher get credit for a win without recording a strikeout but you had two Naturals almost complete the cycle in the same game. That’s amazing.
On Saturday, Jace Vines got a win going 5.0 innings allowing just 1 ER on 5 H, 1 BB, and 2 K. Jecksson Flores went 2-4 with a double and a R while Duenez went 1-3 with 2 RBI.
Ogando made his second strong start of the week on Sunday getting a no decision in 6.0 innings allowing 1 ER on 3 H, 1 BB, and 5 K. Anderson Miller went 2-4 with a double and an RBI while Heath went 2-4 with a R and SB.
Upcoming. This week the Naturals finish their series with Arkansas and go to Tulsa for a very important five game series. The four game series is being pushed to five with a double header on Wednesday. This series is important because the Drillers are sitting in first place for the second half. If the Naturals can sweep the series, they can leave Tulsa in 1st place and holding the final playoff spot. At minimum, the Naturals must win the series and cut Tulsa’s lead to 2.5 games. At that point, they’ll have to sweep the final three games against Arkansas and get some help from Springfield. Basically, the Naturals playoff hopes are hanging by a thread and it all revolves around this series. I want to see some playoff baseball in Springdale this year so I hope they get it done!