Yesterday at Bright House Field we saw a preview of the first round of the Florida State League northern division playoffs. The Clearwater Threshers won 10-6 over the Daytona Tortugas but it was not easy.
The Daytona jumped off to a 5-0 lead after five and half innings but the Threshers put up a six spot in the sixth and added on four more runs in the eight for a 10-6 win.
These teams will open the first round of the playoffs in a best of three series and it should be a good series. The first half champions Threshers battled Daytona to the final game of the first half to clinch.
In the win yesterday it was all about three players as left fielder Andrew Pullin hit two, two-run homers. Watch HERE, HERE. First baseman Rhys Hoskins drove in three more on a double and single. Watch HERE, HERE.
Pullin leads the Florida State League in homers with 14 and is third in runs batted in with 70.
Hoskins is having a season to remember. Combining his numbers with Lakewood in the Sally League he has a slash line of .314/.390/.519 to account for 16 home runs and 82 runs batted in. Only 15 or so players in minor league baseball at the AAA, AA and A+ levels have an OPS of over .900. He currently has an OPS combined of .909 and an .892 OPS in the pitching dominated FSL. Only one player even has an OPS over .800 at .808 in the FSL.
Young, 20-year old reliever, Alexis Rivero also called up from Lakewood in mid-season picked up his third save of the season. He came on in the top of the eighth yesterday protecting a 6-5 lead and struck out the side in turn. Watch HERE, HERE, HERE. It was his second appearance in row he has come in from the pen to strike out the side in turn in his first inning of work. He also did it Tuesday night against Dunedin for a save. In the ninth he also used his sinker to induce a 4-6-3 double play in the ninth. Watch HERE.
The Threshers and Tortugas will likely battle each other in the first round of the playoffs on September 8th in a best of three starting at Daytona and moving to Clearwater the next night. Right now they are evenly balance for the season with the Tortugas holding a .568 winning percent compared to the Threshers a .567 percent with two weeks left in the season. Hoskins, Pullin and Rivero will be the keys to the Threshers moving on to the FSL finals just as they were yesterday.