Emeralds vs Volcanoes June 25th
Tonight the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes will host their in-state rival the Eugene Emeralds in the first of a three game series, and a six game home stand for the Volcanoes. Although these two teams come in to the series as the bottom two in the West division, both are still at or above a .500 win percentage and are both well in range of the first place Vancouver Canadians.
Tonight’s starting pitchers matches up two soon to be 21 year old pitchers. Bryan Rodriguez (Born July 6th, 1991) will get the start for the Eugene Emeralds. Rodriguez missed all of last season with an arm injury but has quickly returned to his 2010 form where he went 4-1 with a 3.14 era in the Dominican Summer League. Although Rodriguez got the loss in his last start he only gave up one earned run in his 2.1 innings (6 total runs).
Lorenzo Mendoza (Born Aug. 6th, 1991) takes the hill for the Volcanoes. Mendoza was one of the stronger pitchers for the Volcanoes last year and was the opening day starter for the team this year. Mendoza has two starts this season but has not gotten his first win just yet.
The Emeralds and the Volcanoes are two of the top three teams for team batting average but the Emeralds have shown a lot more power with 7 home runs compared to the Volcanoes 2 home runs.
Keys to the game
- Mendoza needs to keep the ball down. The Emeralds have the ability to make a pitcher pay with one swing of the bat, but if Mendoza can keep the ball down his defense has shown to be solid behind him.
- For the Emeralds to win they will need to have strong pitching from their relief pitchers if they have the lead late into the game. The Volcanoes already have quite a bit of experience winning late in ball games which means they won’t be afraid going into the later part of a game being down. Sometimes confidence is a powerful asset for a team.
- Both teams need to play to their strengths. Too often players will try and become a type of player that they weren’t meant to be. Speed guys need to get on base and challenge the pitcher and catcher by stealing bases. Gap hitters need to focus on hitting solid line drives and not trying to hit the mammoth home run. Playing to your strengths is what got you to where you’re at, and that is how you will move on farther.
Also check back tomorrow for photos of the first game which will be located on the Emeralds vs Volcanoes page.