Andrew Moore was magnificent for High-A Bakersfield Friday night, tossing seven no-hit innings in the Blaze's 10-0 victory over Lake Elsinore. Moore, who sat at 97 pitches entering the eighth inning, was pulled despite the no-no being on the line. Reliever Ryan Horstman recorded two quick outs before surrendering the first hit of the night to Lake Elsinore catcher Ricardo Valenzuela.
It was a heck of a start for Moore. The 72nd overall pick in last year's draft frustrated Storm hitters all night, inducing weak contact over and over while fitting in three strikeouts. After allowing a walk in the second inning, Moore retired 15 straight batters before a Jay Baum error with one out in the seventh mixed things up a little. The performance dropped Moore's ERA down to 1.14 through 28.2 IP.
While Moore lacks overly-dominant stuff, he excels at mixing his pitches and locations and keeping hitters uncomfortable in the box. MiLB Gameday doesn't give readings for velocity or pitch types, but you can get a pretty good idea of how he attacks hitters in these locations:
Moore isn't on the fast track yet, but his overwhelming early success in the hitter-friendly Cal League has been a pleasant development for a farm system severely lacking in starting pitching prospects.
Shifting back to the game, the Blaze managed to reach double digit runs on the night. The biggest contributors were Austin Wilson (3 for 5, 2 2B, 2 RBIs), Kyle Petty (2 for 4, 2 2B, 4 RBIs), and Daniel Torres (3 for 4, 2 2B, 4 RBIs, BB). All nine starters reached base at least once, and five players recorded multi-hit games. It was an all-around great night for the Blaze.
And now for some notes:
- Ryan Horstman continues to shine in 2016. The lefty out of St. John's did blow Moore's no-hitter, but he looked damn good doing it. Of the 12 pitches he threw, only one or two weren't surgically placed on the edge of the zone. Horstman picked up two more strikeouts and if he manages to stay healthy, he could be headed for a massive year.
- Nick Wells allowed just four hits and two walks in six shutout innings in Class-A Clinton's 5-1 victory over Cedar Rapids. It was the first strong start turned in this year by Wells, who was acquired from the Blue Jays in the Mark Lowe trade last season.
- Braden Bishop went 2 for 3 in the win and is now slashing .283/.345/.358.
- MIKE ZUNINO WATCH: The best little power hitter in the PCL went 2 for 3 with a line drive home run and a WALK in Triple-A Tacoma's 7-5 loss to El Paso.
- Donn Roach was roughed up again for the Rainiers. After watching him dominate in Spring Training as a reliever only to immediately struggle when switched back to a starter in Tacoma, it really makes you wonder if a permanent switch might be coming in the future. Perhaps he's having a hard time readjusting to a starting role, but he's never been particularly good as a starter, especially by MLB standards. Someone will need to take those innings if he does switch, though. Perhaps it could be...
- 23-year-old Dylan Unsworth, who threw six shutout innings in Double-A Jackson's 1-0 win over Pensacola. The righty out of South Africa struck out three while allowing five hits. Unsworth has dominated Double-A competition to start the year, and his command has been decent enough to where he should be able to hold his own in Triple-A in the very near future. He doesn't have great stuff and in a lot of ways reminds me of Blake Beaven (in terms of stuff, not size), but if I had to pick out a candidate, he'd be near the top of the list at the moment. That is, unless Brian Sweeney is still a thing?
- Ian Miller had one of Jackson's three hits on the night, raising his line to .343/.395/.400. I haven't paid a ton of attention to Miller since he arrived in the system, but a lot of people seem to like him and the Wagner product just keeps on hitting wherever he goes.
- Not MiLB related, but the Mariners beat the Angels tonight and that's always relevant.