Renegades report, June 25

With yesterday being a very light day in major league baseball – there were just four games last night – I’d thought I’d take a look back at the first week of the Hudson Valley Renegades’ season.

John Farrell. (Photo via William & Mary athletics)

The Renegades won their first six games but have lost the last two against Brooklyn. Sunday, the Renegades’ bus broke down on the way to MCU Park, so the game started late. It also went late, as Hudson Valley lost in 14 innings.

Monday, John Farrell, Hudson Valley’s starting pitcher, allowed one unearned run in the top of the first. Then the rain hit. After a two-hour delay, the game resumed. The Renegades allowed the Cyclones to break a 2-2 tie in the top of the ninth thanks to a walk, a bunt, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly, losing 3-2.

Farrell, who I profiled in Sunday’s paper, only went 1 2/3 innings in his first pro start last week after getting hit on the leg by a line drive. Monday, Renegades skipper Michael Johns decided not to send Farrell back to the mound after the rain delay.

In Sunday’s paper I also profiled reliever Aaron Griffin, the younger brother of Oakland A’s starting pitcher A.J. Griffin.

Aside from Farrell’s two abbreviated outings, the Renegades have received terrific starting pitching, which was the key to their New York-Penn League title run in 2012.

It’s an almost completely new cast of characters, but Hudson Valley’s starters have been dominant, even with the strict pitch counts and innings limits put on them by the Tampa Bay Rays.

Through eight games, they’ve averaged 4 1/3 innings per start – Farrell’s outings are bringing that number down drastically. In 33 innings pitched, Hudson Valley’s starters have allowed 24 hits, four earned runs and struck out 31 while walking only six. That adds up to a 1.10 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP.

Time will tell if the starting pitching will continue to pitch this well the rest of the season. The Renegades play only Aberdeen, Brooklyn and Staten Island until July 7, so it’s a very small sample size against a very small group of hitters…in just four different ballparks. Still, it’s a very promising sign for the Renegades moving forward.

There are a full slate of games in the big leagues tonight, the best of which just might be Zack Wheeler and the Mets against Chris Sale and the White Sox tonight in Chicago.

Wheeler is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA after making his MLB debut in Atlanta last week, but he’ll need to get his breaking balls working against a powerful White Sox lineup. Trying to get through Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Paul Konerko with just a fastball – in a hitter’s park – probably isn’t going to be a great strategy. Sale, on the other hand, could pile up some strikeouts against this Mets lineup. Sale, who has a 2.69 ERA, is just 5-6. He’s been betrayed by a poor defense and a lack of run support this season.

The Yankees should have quite the pitcher’s duel tonight as well, as they send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound against the Rangers and Yu Darvish. Kuroda has been great at Yankee Stadium this season, going 5-2 with a 2.08 ERA in seven starts at the stadium. Darvish has made one career start against the Yankees, pitching into the ninth in a win in his fourth career MLB start. Kuroda was the Yankees’ starter in that game. This will be his Yankee Stadium debut. A few offseasons ago, the Yankees passed up a chance to bid for Darvish, signing Kuroda to a one-year, $10 million deal instead.

What to watch tonight…

  • Mark Buehrle and Matt Moore square off as the Blue Jays play a key AL East series at Tampa Bay. The Rays snapped Toronto’s winning streak last night, but the Blue Jays remain just one game behind Tampa Bay for fourth place in the division.
  • A number of interesting interleague series are going on, including Cincinnati at Oakland, Pittsburgh at Seattle, Atlanta and Kansas City and Colorado at Boston. In the much less interesting department, the Cardinals are in Houston and the Twins are at Miami.
  • The Giants and Dodgers are playing a series in LA…and it’s almost hard to believe, but those two teams are fourth and fifth in the NL West, respectively.

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  • Blog Author

    Will Montgomery

    Will Montgomery covers boys' soccer, girls' basketball, boys' and girls' swimming and diving, boys' lacrosse and baseball (including the Hudson Valley Renegades) for and the Times Herald-Record. Prior to joining the TH-R in November ... Read Full
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