Today’s game does not feature the promised Mike Blowers on the broadcast, but attempts to make up for that devastation by boasting a particularly prospect-heavy lineup. It softens, but does not erase, the blow of having no Blowers Power.
Yusei Kikuchi gets the start for the Pilots, and retires Shed Long on an easy grounder, but runs into the Mariners Prospect Buzzsaw on his next batter. This time it’s Evan White shooting a laser right below the home scoreboard:
Evan White launches his first homer of summer camp off Kikuchi. pic.twitter.com/SUZINSUiTh— Lauren Smith (@smithlm12) July 14, 2020
One batter later, Austin Nola almost gets to Kikuchi again, but the ball goes foul. Nola thought he had one, though:
Nola would instead settle for a walk, followed by J.P. Crawford with a sharp single up the middle. Tim Lopes grounds into a double play to end the “inning” but it was a shaky start for Kikuchi, who worked exclusively out of the stretch and seemed to have trouble locating any of his pitches.
Nick Margevicius gets the start for the Steelheads, and he opens by falling behind Jake Fraley, who dumps a flyball single into right field and then steals second off catcher Cal Raleigh. Large Marge then goes 1-for-Kyles by striking out Kyle Lewis with a well-located pitch on the outside edge but giving up a two-run home run to Kyle Seager, which we are hoping for a better angle on. Tom Murphy then scoots a ball past Austin Nola, third baseman, continuing Margevicius’s long inning before he strikes out Jose Marmolejos on a pair of curveballs and an outside-edge fastball, and then it’s on to drill work, including a nice backpick throw to third from Cal Raleigh.
Kikuchi is back out and walks Juliooooooo on four pitches which, while a good sign that Julio can avoid a curve spiked in the dirt, is not great for Kikuchi, nor is the back-to-back walks to Braden Bishop and Cal Raleigh. Kikuchi fell behind Raleigh 3-1 and Raleigh almost cranked one to Royal Brougham, just sending it foul:
Shed Long then stings a base hit into left to bring home two runs.
Shed Long Jr. drives in a pair of runs on this base hit after Kikuchi walks the bases loaded with no outs in the second. 3-1 Steelheads. pic.twitter.com/I9EpXmSgvw— Lauren Smith (@smithlm12) July 14, 2020
It wasn’t a poor pitch from Kikuchi—at least not comparatively, although it was probably too much plate for an 0-2 count—Shed just reached across the plate and lined the ball the opposite way. Make sure to watch to the end of that clip to see a dart of a throw from Kelenic, who handled left field ably today.
Evan White, who is Very Nice, strikes out looking to allow Kikuchi his first out of the inning, leading to the drill portion of the inning and a dreadful pop-up bunt from Crawford, so maybe we can count that as two outs.
Inning number two for Margevicius gets off to a similarly rocky start, with Sam Haggerty lining a ball over Shed Long’s head. Haggerty then steals second and moves to third on a poorly-fielded ball by Austin Nola, and then is brought home by a laser single off the bat of Jarred Kelenic. Kelenic later gets greedy and goes for a steal but is easily put out by Margevicius.
Noelvi Marte’s second intrasquad crack at a tall lefty starts similar to his first go this weekend, as he waves at a changeup from Margevicius to end the inning. The challenge, and ultimately hopefully value of these unique matchups is giving Seattle’s most talented youngsters shine for their accomplishments thus far, as well as a reality check on how far they have to go. For Marte, so far, there’s been a healthy public heaping of the latter in the past week.
Austin Nola is up to face Kikuchi again and gets the extra base hit he was denied earlier:
Crawford grounds out, moving Nola to third, and then Tim Lopes sends a deep flyball that turns Jake Fraley around for a sacrifice fly that was a couple feet away from being a two-run home run. The inning ends with one teenage Dominican prospect grounding out to the other:
Noelvi Marte throwing out his good buddy Julio Rodriguez pic.twitter.com/sQYNOW0M9R— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) July 14, 2020
Anthony Misiewicz is next out of the pen and he gives up a leadoff walk to Kyle Lewis but then gets Kyle Seager to pop up and gets himself out of the “inning” by getting Brian O’Keefe to ground into a double play. Then it’s drill time and Misiewicz is rewarded for his tidy inning by having to field a bunt ten inches from home plate with the bases loaded. It doesn’t go great for him, but then again, who cares.
Dan Altavilla is up next, facing Braden Bishop in a power-on-less-power matchup. He retires Bishop on an easy flyout. Cal Raleigh in a more traditional power-on-power matchup is up next and smokes a ball to right field, but Fraley nails Raleigh trying to go for two on a laser throw of his own:
Shed Long flies out to Kelenic in left field foul territory, who in Jarred Kelenic style runs TOO hard to the ball and almost overruns it, but makes the catch anyway. Alt nails Evan White on a beautiful sequence of pitches ending at 99 on a called strike three before drill time.
Recent podcast guest Joey Gerber is up next and is hitting 94 per the broadcast. We know Gerber likes the Seattle weather, so it makes sense that he cruises through his inning with two flyouts and a groundout. Also making it look easy today: Austin Adams.
One of those things you don't realize how much you missed it until you see it: Austin Adams's "I'm here to chew gum and strike you out" swagger pic.twitter.com/5MeXrUfgHw— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) July 14, 2020
With apologies to Julio:
The day ends, somewhat anticlimactically after Adams’s dominant outing, with Matt Magill making his first intrasquad appearance, and the most interesting thing that happens is Kyle Lewis’s reaction when Magill gets a little too far inside on him:
Very same, KLew! See you all tomorrow.