Daily Dish: May 22
Wood ouduels Davis in match-up of aces
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See also: Today's Baseball America Prospect Report
It's a tough pill to swallow when you lose a game in which you don't allow an earned run, but that is what happened to Wade Davis last night. However, because he lost it to Travis Wood, another stud prospect, and lowered his ERA to 0.97, it makes it a little easier to swallow.
Davis threw 5 2/3 hitless innings before a single by Mike DeJesus broke up the no-hitter. The Devil Rays righthander then suffered a bit of bad luck when his pickoff attempt broke the webbing of first baseman Rhyne Hughes glove. DeJesus advanced to second on the play and then scored on a bloop single by Jay Bruce. Low Class A Dayton would tack on two runs against the Southwest Michigan bullpen in a 3-0 victory.
"That's baseball and that's how it goes," Davis told the Battle-Creek Enquirer. "I'm just focused on going out there and pitching my butt off to help this team. Things are going to happen either way, good or bad, and you can't find fault in that."
Davis had the full repertoire working last night as he fanned nine in 6 1/3 innings but took his first loss of the season to fall to 3-1.
"Wade didn't do anything wrong today," pitching coach R.C. Lichtenstein told the paper. "It's hard to win when you don't score runs. He struck out three guys with changeups and looked real comfortable with that pitch, which is what we're trying to build on."
Wood had a lot to do with the Devil Rays not scoring any runs. He allowed a bunt single in the first and then did not allow another hit through 5 1/3 innings of work while striking out seven. As a team, Dayton would not allow another hit until the ninth inning thanks to stellar relief from Bo Lanier and Blake Hendley. In the game, the Dragons only let three balls get out of the infield.
With the win, Wood is now 4-0, 3.74 with 50 strikeouts and 20 walks in 43 innings. While his numbers are not as good as Davis', he won their first head-to-head battle.
"There's more to the game and there's more competition," Wood told the paper about facing Davis. "You have to pitch your game and do what you do but there is a little added motivation there. I had to make sure to stay calm and hit my spots."
Pitch Recognition A-Go-Go
High Class A Kinston outfielder Ryan Goleski went from Mr. Helium in 2004 at low Class A Lake County to Mr. Anonymous for the K-Tribe last season.
And while he hasn't yet reached the point where he's the talk of the organization like he was two years ago, he's gone a long way to putting 2005 squarely behind him.
Goleski, a 24th-round pick in 2003 out of Eastern Michigan, exploded on the scene with the Captains, hitting .297/.372/.527 with 28 homers in 505 at-bats. But the 24-year-old outfielder took advantage of hitting in a league where quality offspeed pitches are a rarity.
He learned the value of pitch recognition last season in the Carolina League, where he finished the season hitting just .212/.276/.382 in 458 at-bats. The huge raw power was still there, as Goleski belted 17 home runs.
But the game-to-game consistency was not.
This season, Goleski has been making consistent hard contact while improving his plate discipline: In 104 at-bats, he's hitting .327/.435/.654 with 10 bombs and sits among the minor league leaders in RBIs with 39.
He's also gotten a better handle on breaking balls--or laying off them--with a 27-22 strikeout-walk ratio compared to last season's abysmal 134-39 numbers.
Sunday night capped off a solid week for Goleski, as he went 3-for-4 with three homers and five RBIs--and he's hit six home runs and driven 16 since last Sunday.
"The first reason as to why he's improved so much is his work ethic," Kinston manager Mike Sarbaugh said. "The second is Ryan's very driven and he wanted to prove to everyone that last year was a fluke.
"He came out with a solid mental approach, worked hard and really has shown people he can play--that he's for real."
• The Orioles called up righthander Hayden Penn, who will start Tuesday at Seattle. Penn, who started the year in extended spring training with some minor shoulder soreness, went 2-2, 1.48 with 29 strikeouts in 30 innings at Triple-A Ottawa this season. "He's really been the guy that we thought would fit into our rotation at some point in time," O's manager Sam Perlozzo told the Washington Post. "The fact that he's doing well solidified his case." Penn made eight starts for Baltimore last year, going 3-2, 6.34 with 21 walks in 38 innings . . . Pirates outfielder Chris Duffy still hasn't reported to Triple-A Indianapolis after being re-assigned last week. Duffy, who was hitting .194/.255/.276 in 98 at-bats in the big leagues, returned home to Glendale, Ariz., and says he'll return to Indianapolis at some point. "We're working some things out," Duffy told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Everything will be OK." The Pirates placed Duffy on the restricted list after not reporting to Triple-A within 72 hours of being sent down.