After struggling some in Harrisburg last Sunday, Jesse was on the mound again Friday night against the Senators, but this time in Reading. And this time he had spent four days working on focus and command. Sometimes at the start of the season it takes a few games for pitcher’s to get the right feel on the mound. It seems that Biddle had the right feel last night.
He has been very quick to point out Friday night’s 6-2 win with 11 strikeouts and only 1 walk, giving up only 2 hits, was just one game. Still, the ball came out of his hand in that special way its supposed to and his curve and change-up were working well most of the game. With good fastball command down in the zone, it was simply a matter of mixing things up just right to get the win. He threw 94 pitches through 7 innings, 64 for strikes, and only had to deal with a 3 ball count three times.
What was really fun to watch in the game was the Fightins’ determination at the plate and then the combined lights out relief work of Tyler Knigge and Nefi Ogando in the 8th and 9th innings respectively. Knigge’s two-seam fastball was hitting 95 on the stadium gun consistently. He got three ground ball outs, just the way a sinker baller is supposed to. Ogando’s fastball kept registering 96 and 97, and although he gave up a hit, it was clear he too had stuff that couldn’t be easily handled by the Senators’ bats.
The game ended with a magnificent catch in center field by Zach Collier. Watch a quick recap of the game here and wait ’til the end to see Zach’s nifty outfield work.
Major leaguer Cesar Hernandez went 3-4 last night with three RBI, including a homer. He also scored two runs for the Fightins. Hernandez is working out with the Fightins to develop his third base capacity for the major league club. Other big contributors last night include Carlos Alonso and Edgar Duran who each scored twice as well. Tommy Joseph had a single and continues to hit the ball hard.
Jesse dropped his ERA to a fairly respectable 3.80. His record for the season is 1-2. He is scheduled to be on the mound for Reading again Wednesday night (4/23) at 6:35 p.m. against the Richmond Flying Squirrels.
Maybe we’ll see you out there.