The Crawdads scored three runs in the top of the 13th against Savannah reliever Jared West, but the guy who matters most, and this will be true every time he pitches in 2012, is RHP Domingo Tapia.
His line: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K. Four of the six hits and both runs he allowed came in the first two innings before he really settled into the game and retired 15 of the final 17 to face him. Four of the six hits were on the ground. It's not just that he throws hard, his fastball sinks something mean. (I don't know how hard, since I really do not trust the stadium gun, but it was mid-90s or better, easily.) Tapia was able to use his slider and change-up well from the second inning on. It was really an impressive performance. He's starting to work his pitches in combinations and set up hitters nicely. For example, after a 1-1 change-up for a strike a hitter had no chance at the two-strike heat, or after getting ahead with the fastball, he could make a batter flail at a slider away for strike three. The only walk he issued was to the first batter of the game, and even that was a seven-pitch confrontation.
It's not like fans have to dream on Tapia. He's doing it now. Through 17.2 innings and three starts in the SAL, he's allowed just 13 hits, two walks and struck out 20. A whole bunch of those hits will turn into ground ball outs when he has more proficient and rangy fielders behind him.
Friday, Gnats' pitching struck out 23 Crawdads, but the hitters managed just five hits as the team dropped its second in a row. In the first two games of the series against Hickory, Gnats batters have hit just .098 (7-for-71).
St. Lucie was postponed by rain, they'll pick it back up at 4 pm today.