Playoffs Game 2, Fastballs from Ross, TinCaps Video
The TinCaps came, they saw, and for one game to open the 2013 Midwest League playoffs, they conquered. A dominating 6-1 final score at Bowling Green Ballpark is what the TinCaps left in their wake as they left Kentucky last night, turning the series back to Parkview Field. Fort Wayne now needs to just win one of the next two games at home in order to move on to the next round of the playoffs and send Bowling Green packing for the second time in three years.
Joe Ross was magnificent Wednesday night, going six innings while allowing just one hit. Of the 18 outs he recorded, 12 of them were ground ball outs and three of them were strikeouts. Catcher Rodney Daal told me the plan was to go fastball heavy, especially with the two-seamer in on the hands against the Hot Rods, and the plan worked to perfection.
“Joe Ross is an incredible pitcher. He’s got tremendous stuff. I think when we’ve seen him the three times this year he was working on stuff and developing as a pitcher. He was using his four-seamed fastball a lot. Today he went to his two-seamed fastball – I felt more than normal for him. I know he is a ground ball power pitcher and he got a lot of ground balls today. That was the performance that they needed. Sometimes you run into that.”
The performance was the second straight time that Ross had gone six shutout innings against Bowling Green, and it was his fourth one-hit outing of the season, although two of those were in the first two starts of the season.
Here’s the good news now for Fort Wayne:
In the 24 first-round Midwest League playoff series dating back to 2007, the team that won game one went on to win the series 17 times, or 71% of the time. The TinCaps have never lost their first playoff game and have swept their first-round opponent (Bowling Green in 2011, Lansing in 2012) each of the last two seasons.
It’s no easy feat keeping Bowling Green off the basepaths, either. The Hot Rods led all of MLB and MiLB with 230 stolen bases, yet didn’t have an attempt last night.
Talking to TinCaps catcher Rodney Daal today, he said the plan, once again, is to try and work in on the hands of the Hot Rods hitters. Simply put, he said if it worked yesterday, why not try it again today? Fort Wayne throws MWL regular-season ERA leader Zach Eflin tonight against Bowling Green’s Reinaldo Lopez.
First pitch is at 7:05. I’ll have the TV call with Kent Hormann on XFINITY 81, while John Nolan and Mike Maahs will call the action on The Fan 1380 and TheFanFortWayne.com.
END OF THE (REGULAR) SEASON
As the regular season comes to a close each year, the TinCaps Video Production Department puts together an end-of-the-year video for fans to enjoy. Check out this year’s version, featuring the hard work of Melissa Darby, David Hentz and Jimmy Mitchell. Enjoy!
REO Speedwagon…take it away!