Already it was a battle between the two best teams in the North and South divisions of the Florida State League. The Clearwater Threshers won 4-2 over the Bradenton Marauders to even the best of four series at one game a piece. Each team’s record now stands at 9-4.
But what stands out for each team is the outstanding pitching. The pitching staffs of both teams are high up in many FSL categories. For example the Threshers are first in saves and fewest hits allowed. The Marauders staff leads the league in WHIP.
Also the Threshers lead the league with four starting pitchers with an ERA under 1.00 including Alberto Tirado, 0.00, Seranthony Dominguez 0.69, Cole Irvin, 0.69 and Jose Taveras, 0.93.
The bullpen is strong too with Jeff Singer with a win and three saves and Luke Leftwich with three saves and Jacob Waguesback with a hold and a save.
Dominguez leads the league in 20 strikeouts over 13 innings as a starter while in relief Leftwich leads in strikeouts per innings pitched with 14 in 7.1 innings.
The Threshers staff threw hard last night striking out a combined 14 batters. During the game, Threshers Webcast play-by-play announcer Kirsten Karbach said that Dominguez (six strikeouts) was at 96 mph in his fifth and final inning while Waguespack (four strikeouts) fastball in the sixth and seventh innings was at 94 mph and Leftwich (four strikeouts) finished up the last two innings with his fastball at 95 mph.
This was a far cry from back in the day when we first came to Florida watching the Phillies spring training games when we would go to the Blue Jays’ Dunedin Stadium. This was only place we could find pitch speeds on the scoreboard at the time. I will never forget Jamie Moyer’s cut fastball sitting a 82 mph in one B game there. Pitch speed is not everything, Moyer won 269 major league games.
The two teams meet again tonight and tomorrow night. Last night was sort of a first for us. We watched the game live on MiLB-TV but the TV audio did not work. We were only a pitch behind listening to the Threshers audio. Can’t have everything.
I have never before watched a Florida State League regular season game live on MiLB-TV. It was good the game was televised because the Threshers right fielder Zach Coppola hit his first professional home run in his 563rd at bat in the fifth inning. Watch HERE.