Weekly Record: 4-0
Overall Record: 4-0
Standings: 1st place, 1.0 Games Ahead
Weekly Transactions: None
Opening week was grand for the Naturals. For the first time in their history, the Naturals won their first two games of a season. Not only that, but the Naturals swept the Cardinals and started the season 4-0.
The Naturals dominated on opening day winning 5-1. Conner Greene started and I did a Film Study on him. He is on the 40-man roster and someone the Royals obviously think will help them in the next few years. Greene went 6.0 innings allowing 1 run on 3 hits, no walks, and 4 Ks. Jake Kalish threw 3.0 perfect innings to close the game earning a save with 7 Ks. Kalish is not someone I expect to be in NWA long, but a roster crunch forced someone down and he is the guy the Naturals are benefiting from. Khalil Lee, Samir Duenez, and Taylor Featherston all had multi-hit games on Opening Day for the Naturals.
Jace Vines gave up a grand slam in the third inning of the Friday game. However, none of the runs were earned and even though he gave up 6 runs in 4.0 innings, none were earned. Vines actually posted the highest swing and miss rate at 14.3 percent of all the starters for the abbreviated week. The Naturals were able to put together a few big innings late by scoring four in the fifth and two in the seventh. They took the lead in the bottom of the eighth when Featherston squeezed in Travis Jones. Walker Sheller got a quick three-out save throwing only five pitches.
On Saturday, the Naturals walked it off when Featherston singled to drive in Xavier Fernandez. Franco Terrero blew the save by giving up two runs in the top of the ninth, but managed to threw 3.0 innings and earn the win. Emmanuel Rivera went 3-3 with a double in the game.
The Naturals late inning heroics showed up again on Sunday when they scored three in the bottom of the seventh and two in the bottom of the ninth for a second consecutive walk off victory. This time, Kort Peterson was the hero hitting a home run to right field scoring Featherston making a winner out of Gavin who threw 3.0 innings in relief. Gabriel Cancel and Featherston had two hits each for the Naturals. It is worth noting that DJ Burt played third base in this game.
So far, Meibrys Viloria has caught three of the four games while Xavier Fernandez has only caught one.
Here is how everyone did for the opening week.
Photo credit to Drew Osborne.
|Northwest Arkansas Naturals Weekly Totals|