Savannah Sand Gnats (9-14, 5th, Southern) vs. Lakewood BlueClaws (10-13, 6th, Northern)
Game #24 – Road Game #15 – Monday – 6:35
RHP Erik Goeddel (0-1, 5.00) vs. LHP Jesse Biddle (0-3, 7.16)
FirstEnergy Park, Lakewood, NJ
Radio: News/Talk 630 and sandgnats.com
Tonight: The Gnats, SAL affiliate of the New York Mets, play game three of a four-game series in Lakewood against the BlueClaws, SAL affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. Tonight will be the eighth game of a nine-game road trip to Delmarva and Lakewood on which the Gnats are 2-5. Savannah returns home for Thirsty Thursday, on Thursday, May 5th.
Sunday: The Gnats beat the Lakewood BlueClaws 3-2 thanks to seven strong innings from the bullpen, which held the BlueClaws to one run following two innings from starter Yohan Almonte. The Gnats scored twice in the seventh inning to take a 3-1 lead. Cory Vaughn’s RBI single broke a 1-1 tie. Luis Rojas earned his first win for four scoreless innings with four strikeouts.
Now Pitching: RHP Erik Goeddel is scheduled to make his fifth start of the year for Savannah tonight. Last Wednesday, Goeddel held Delmarva to two runs on six hits in six innings, walking one and striking out four. He left in a game tied at 2-2 that the Gnats eventually lost 5-2. The six-inning start was the longest of Goeddel’s season and professional career. The Mets drafted Goeddel in the 24th round of the 2010 draft out of UCLA. Goeddel made one appearance for the GCL Mets on August 14, 2010 throwing one inning with one hit and one strikeout. Goeddel underwent Tommy John surgery during his senior year of high school at San Jose’s Bellarmine Prep in 2007 and missed most of the next two years at UCLA. In 2010 he was excellent for the Bruins out of the bullpen, striking out 59 and walking 23 while giving up 44 hits in 50 innings. In ratio form, he had a 10.6 K/9, 4.1 BB/9 and 7.9 H/9. Coming into the 2011 season, Goeddel was ranked as the Mets’ 17th best prospect by Baseball America, and the team’s 16th best by Baseball Prospectus. The Gnats are 2-2 when Goeddel starts and have supported him with 3.75 runs per game.
Rodriguez on a Roll: By going 1-3 with a double Sunday, Aderlin Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to eight straight games, tying Wilfredo Tovar and Sam Honeck for the longest by a Gnat this year. He’s hitting .294 (10-for-34) with two doubles and five home runs in his last eight contests with an .818 slugging percentage. Rodriguez is part of a four-way tie for tenth in the SAL with his five homeruns.
Cory’s Cuts: With his 2-4 evening last night, Cory Vaughn collected his team-leading ninth multi-hit game for the year and fourth in the last seven games on the road trip. He leads the Gnats in average (.313) and on-base percentage (.417). Vaughn is 14th in the SAL in on-base percentage. He is hitting .346 (9 H/26 AB) with two doubles and two RBI on the team’s current road trip. Baseball Prospectusranked Vaughn as the Mets’ #9 prospect entering the season, while Baseball America ranked him #15.
Pitch to Win: Last night, for the eighth time this season, Gnats pitching held their opponents to three runs or fewer. Savannah is 6-2 in such contests and 9-4 when holding the opposition to five runs or fewer. The Gnats are 0-10 when their opponent scores six runs or more. Gnats pitching gave up six runs or more in six of the seven games on Savannah’s seven-game losing streak which the team snapped Saturday.
About Sunday: Sunday’s 3-2 win was the Gnats’ first one-run win on the road…It was the first time the Gnats have won a game while scoring three runs or less…Sunday was the second game this year when Savannah pitching did not walk a batter.
Vs. Lakewood: The Gnats are 2-0 against the BlueClaws this year. The two teams split the four-game series 2-2 in 2010.