This one began really well for the Gnats. Three batters into the bottom of the first, the team had a 2-0 lead. Chad Zurcher doubled down the left field line, CF Brandon Nimmo lined a single over the shortstop and LF Jayce Boyd ground a single up the middle to plate Nimmo who had advanced to second on a throwing error.
Nimmo also bunted for a base hit against a left-handed reliever brought on specifically to face him in the fifth inning. After going 2-for-4 with a walk, he’s sitting at .476 (10-for-21) with three walks. It’s a long season, but that’s a very nice beginning in the South Atlantic League for Nimmo whose 10 hits currently lead the league.
Boyd with nine hits and six walks in five games is leading the league with a silly .652 on-base percentage. See, first week stats are fun!
On the hill Logan Taylor was awfully effective, putting together five shutout innings with five strikeouts zero walks and four hits allowed. I had him at 66% strikes (52 of 79). He worked heavily off his fastball and got into deep counts when he did not use any other pitch. He threw a few good sliders, mostly when he was ahead in the count. It looked like he even tried a few changeups in the last few innings of his outing. The 6’5″ Taylor, the Mets’ 11th round pick last year, is a pretty deep sleeper as the team went slightly overslot to sign him. I’m intrigued.
Taylor gave way to Matt Koch, who had no trouble in the sixth, but allowed six runs in the seventh. Yeah, sure, all but one of the runs were unearned, but the reason they were unearned was that he threw the ball down the rightfield line on a bunt attempt. He gave up six hits, all cleanly struck, in the six-run seventh. Koch simply looked like he was catching too much of the plate with his fastball. The good news for Koch is that the Louisville product got to catch most of the thrilling second half of the Cardinals’ NCAA championship win.