Bradley and McKenzie Lead the RubberDucks

Myworld made his second visit in three days to Prince George Stadium to watch Triston McKenzie pitch. He went seven innings, facing trouble in only one inning when he tried to use his change up more. The Akron RubberDucks went on to beat the Bowie Bay Sox 6-4, with three three run homers accounting for most of the scoring.

Luis Ysla got the start for the Bay Sox. He was acquired from the Dodgers for Jesus Liranza. We liked the potential of the 100 mile per hour fastball of Liranza better, but when you put a player on waivers you rarely get an equal return. Ysla had trouble finding the plate. A single and hit batsman in the first inning put two runners on for Bobby Bradley. He had already hit three homeruns in this series against the Bay Sox. He made it four with a high, majestic shot over the second wall in right field to give the Rubber Ducks an early 3-0 lead.

Ysla got in trouble again in the fourth. A walk and hit batsman put two runners on for Joe Sever. Sever lined a pitch over the left field fence to give the RubberDucks a commanding 6-0 lead.

McKenzie was sharp for Akron. His fastball sat at 90-91, but with two strikes on the hitters he gassed it to 93. At 6′5″ his arms are long and at 165 his frame is thin, so he needs to fill out. His curve ball has a decent break but still needs more consistency. The pitch that still needs a lot of work is his change. He tried using it in the fourth, but it comes to the plate at 87-88, which is too near his fastball velocity (myworld is assuming that was his change). In the bottom of the fourth McKenzie walked the leadoff hitter Anthony Santander on four pitches. A single by Ryan Mountcastle put two runners on for Aderlin Rodriguez. He pulled a pitch high toward the left field line for a three run homer, pulling the Bay Sox to with in three.

McKenzie got away from his change after that and gave up just two hits in his last 3.2 innings, facing just 12 hitters. Myworld remembers him having greater velocity when we first saw him pitch in Rookie ball. We dropped him down a notch in our prospect rankings.

Matthew Grimes came in for the Bay Sox and threw five innings of shutout relief to keep them in the game. He gave up one hit, walked two and hit a batter during that stretch. The only strikeouts he recorded were to the last two hitters he faced. At 26 he could see some time with the Orioles before the season ends, if he continues to pitch this well.

Ryan McKenna was a fourth round pick of the Orioles in the 2015 draft. Don’t know what his bat will be like but his defense is excellent. He made two over the shoulder catches on balls hit to deep center field. The RubberDucks have a smooth defensive second baseman in Mark Mathias. He was a third round pick of the Indians in the 2015 draft. Can’t say his bat will get him to the major leagues.

A couple other interesting notes. Joe Sever, the RubberDucks third baseman is the nephew of John Elway. Another RubberDuck quarterback link is outfielder Ka’ai Tom, who played backup quarterback at Saint Louis High School to Marcus Mariota. At only 5′9″ myworld can see why he was not the starting quarterback. In a basketball note, Bay Sox outfielder D’Arby Myers is the cousin of Shaquille O’Neal. D’Arby only stands 6′3″ and at 185 appears better suited for playing baseball.

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