Austin Wood tossed his second gem in as many tries last night, racking up five no-hit innings with five K's to two walks and ten groundball outs. No hit batsman, no wild pitches. Just plenty of gas, that nasty breaker, and another 'W'. He's looking good.
Before breaking out the champagne, however, let's note that Wood has yet to face a lefty so far this year. Pre-draft scouting reports really knocked his off speed stuff, so just because he's suddenly found a slider that chews up righties doesn't mean he'll dominate lefty bats in quite the same way.
Don Roach pitched a 'beaut of his own for the 66er's, striking out seven and inducing eleven groundball outs over six innings of one run ball. That's the only run he's coughed up so far in thirteen innings this season. He's a guy to keep an eye on, even if his ceiling isn't outrageously high. He throws a good, low 90's sinker with improving command, especially since he's toned down his high leg kick and otherwise cleaned up his mechanics. We got a snapshot of his curveball and splitter in spring training, both of which induced ground ball outs. Baseball America and some other publications have consistently labelled the splitter "fringy," but a scout told me last year that he thought it might be Roach's best weapon.
Matt Shoemaker added a quality start for Salt Lake. The Bees' lineup backed him up big time, with Kole Calhoun and Jorge Cantu rapping out three hits apiece, including two doubles for Kole. Mike Trout pitched in with a single and a triple. Ryan Langerhans was the only Bees' regular who failed to notch a hit, but he still worked two walks and scored once. Altogether, the team plated 11 runs. When they get Alexi Amarista back next week, as they should, the Bees will likely field their best line-up since at least 2008. Add that to a rock-solid rotation (especially with Garrett Richards remaining there for the time being) and a shutdown bullpen, and Salt Lake looks like the class of the Pacific Coast League.