It was an odd game last night at Bright House as the Clearwater Threshers downed the Bradenton Marauders 2-1 to keep their faint hopes to win the first half Florida State League Northern Division Championship alive.
The Thresher went 0 for 13 with runners in scoring position. Not the formula to win games but it worked.
Pitcher Ranfi Casimiro struck out only one batter in pitching a four-hit, seven inning shutout as he induced 15 ground ball outs including a double play and had no walks.
Because in part of all the ground ball outs, the Threshers first basemen had 19 putouts.
Kyle Martin had three putouts at first before leaving with an injury after one inning. Super sub Derek Campbell took his place. Not aware if Campbell ever played the position before but he handle 16 putouts at first flawlessly over the next seven innings. He had no chances in the ninth inning.
Casimiro was yanked out after throwing only 71 pitches in seven innings by the coaching staff standing for the vacationing manager Greg Legg. Legg had pulled Casimiro after 72 pitchers in his previous with a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning.
Closer Ulises Joaquin came on in the ninth and was touched up by hard hits. Only a great catch by Carlos Tocci in center on the leadoff hitter and two strikeouts to end the game by Joaquin saved it for Casimiro.
Casimiro picked up his sixth win in eleven starts to tie teammate Elniery Garcia for second place in wins in the Florida State League. The 12 wins combined by a starting left hander and right hander on the same team are one of the highest number of wins in minor league baseball, approaching the half way point in the minor league season.
In Casimiro’s previous start he was pulled with a 3-2 lead with one out and a runner on first in the seventh inning. Victor Arano came on in that game and allowed the inherited runner score to blow the save opportunity. Casimiro’s pitch count in that game was 72.
Cassie won over the Marauder pitcher who is the only pitcher in the FSL to have won more than six games in the first half. Austin Cooley went to 8-5 in taking the loss. Unlike the Threshers six- man rotation to keep their starters well rested, the Marauders obviously have a five-man rotation.
Below are three videos in the third inning of “Ground-ball Ranfi Casimiro” putting on a clinic retiring the side in order using his sinker to induce the Pirates’ farmhands to hit soft contact grounders to each of the other three Threshers’ infielders: shortstop Malquin Canelo, second baseman Scott Kingery and third baseman Mitch Walding. They each picked up an assist on throws to Derek Campbell at first in the inning. Watch videos of the outs HERE, HERE, and HERE.
In Wednesday’s action the Marauders savaged a win by jumping out to a big lead and held on to a 9-7 win.
Zach Green was the Threshers standout player going 3 for 5 with a homer in the 4th inning and three RBIs for the game. He slashing at .283/.346/.466 with 7 homers and 33 RBIs as the half way point of the FSL nears.
Green’s homer was a line drive into the Phillies bullpen in left and he capped the day off with a line drive two run RBI single to center in the ninth to help fuel the rally that brought the Threshers close to victory. Watch Green’s 9th inning single HERE.