A-Ball Monday: Michael Fulmer Fights Through Five Innings

A: @ Savannah Sand Gnats 4, Lexington Legends 3 

Michael Fulmer fought his control through 88 pitches and five innings. His line: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K. He dealt with baserunners in every frame and the Legends put the leadoff man on base in each of the last four innings. And, working mostly with his fastball and changeup, the 19-year old Fulmer limited the damage. He did not use his slider much at all.

After the game, Fulmer told MiLB.com, “”It was a little humid out, and I certainly let a few pitches get away from me there,” Fulmer said. “But overall, I thought the fastball and changeup were there when I needed them. When it got down to it, I just bared down and got the outs that I needed.”

Fulmer threw 73.1 innings combined between Deer Creek HS and the Gulf Coast League in 2011. After Monday, he’s up to 102.2 innings in 2012 and as long as the Gnats stay in turn, is on pace for three more starts and another 15-20 innings before the end of the year. An increase in the 30-50 innings range seems perfectly reasonable, considering he says he feels strong. For reference, the Mets shut down Rafael Montero over the weekend after a 51-inning increase over his 2011 workload.

Two of the top three staffs in fewest walks allowed in the SAL combined for 14 walks, eight from the Gnats and six from the Legends against a very tight strike zone from home plate umpire Mike Patterson that elicited barking from both dugouts when the staff thought their pitchers were getting squeezed much of the night.

CF Gilbert Gomez was 2-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base and a caught stealing.

Lexington starter Chris Devenski, who was part of the White Sox trade for Brett Myers, balked home two runs. #onlyinaball.

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