A-Ball Friday: Gnats Clinch First Half Title

A: @ Savannah Sand Gnats 2, Greenville Drive 1 (12 innings)

Tuesday, Brandon Nimmo drew a bases loaded walk to force in the winning run in the bottom of the 11th inning. Friday, he lifted a sacrifice fly to shallow center to drive home Jeff Reynolds with the game-winner.

Friday started out as the Steven Matz show. He fanned the first five batters he faced on his way to a season-high 10 batters. His line: 5.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K. He threw some very pretty changeups that produced swings and misses. He had good arm speed and sink. He does not use his slider much, but snapped off a few that were useful.

If you want a story to be positive about from the first half of the minor league season, Matz’s health and effectiveness has to be near the top of that list.