Lucas Giolito is one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. Baseball America dropped an 80 on his fastball, and he pairs it with a curve that grades as high as 70. Coming into the season he was a consensus Top 15 guy in all of baseball, and with the promotions we have already seen this season he is almost certainly a Top 10 guy now. He was the opposing pitcher facing the Myrtle Beach Pelicans yesterday.
While it is important to remember that Giolito is himself still a prospect and is still developing, it is generally interesting to see how young hitters fair when they face truly exceptional stuff. And in the case of some Pelicans, they did not fair too badly (those details are further down the page).
Also not fairing badly was the Pelican’s pitcher, Jen-Ho Tseng. In short, Tseng flatly out-pitched Giolito. The Game Score for each pitcher: Giolito 45, Tseng 74. Tseng has had some struggles this season, but games like this are what we saw from him very frequently last year. Hopefully out-dueling one of the best will serve as a spring board to the rest of his season.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – Iowa led for a time, but lost 8-3.
Tennessee – The Smokies turned an early lead into a 6-4 win.
Myrtle Beach – Great pitching lifted the Pelicans to this 3-0 win.
South Bend – It was a high scoring game, but not a good one for the Cubs. They lost 12-8.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Arismendy Alcantara finished 3 for 4 and stole his 4th base of the year. He has now hit safely in 8 straight games.
- [Iowa] Rubi Silva homered (his 3rd) and stole a base (his 4th) as he finished 2 for 4. Taylor Davis also homered, his 2nd.
- [Iowa] Armando Rivero allowed 2 hits and struck out 2 in his 1.2 innings on the mound.
- [Tennessee] Willson Contreras homered (his 3rd), doubled, and finished with 3 hits as the DH in this game.
- [Tennessee] Kyle Schwarber did not have a hit, but he walked 2 more times.
- [Tennessee] Felix Pena struck out 9 over 6 innings while allowing 3 runs on 7 hits and a walk.
- [Myrtle Beach] Jen-Ho Tseng needed just 80 pitches to pitch 6 innings of shutout ball. He allowed just 2 hits and struck out 6.
- [Myrtle Beach] Jeimer Candelario had 2 hits off the Nationals’ best prospect, including a double. Chesny Young matched Candelario hit for hit.
- [Myrtle Beach] Mark Zagunis also doubled. Pin-Chieh Chen was hitless, but did walk twice.
- [South Bend] Home runs in this game came from Cael Brockmeyer (his 3rd) and Jesse Hodges (his 3rd). Brockmeyer also singled.
- [South Bend] Gleyber Torres finished 3 for 5, as did Gioskar Amaya.
- [South Bend] On the mound, Francisco Carrillo pitched 2 hitless innings of relief, striking out one.
- Dan Vogelbach exited the Tennessee game early, and it looked like he may have hurt something when he did. So far there has been no word on his condition.
- Curious about the pitching stat “Game Score” I referenced in the introduction? This is a Bill James calculated statistic for measuring the effectiveness of a pitcher in a particular start. It does not apply to relievers and is based purely on the results the pitcher achieved. To calculate it, we start with base score of 50 points. For every out the pitcher records, add 1 point. For every inning completed after the fourth inning, add 2 more points. Add 1 point for every strikeout. Then subtract 1 point for each walk given up, 2 points per hit allowed, 2 points for each unearned run allowed, and 4 points for each earned run allowed. In the case of Tseng’s game, that means we have the equation: 50 + 18 (one per out) + 4 (for innings after the fourth) + 6 (strikeouts) – 4 (two per hit) = 74. That is a pretty good score.
- According to Wikipedia, the best game score ever earned in a nine inning game goes to none other than the Cubs’ Kerry Wood for The Twenty Strikeout Game, arguably the greatest game ever pitched. Wood that day posted a game score of 105. It may be a very long time before we see another game quite like that one, but we did not need a Bill James statistic to tell us that.