Instant Analysis: Frisco at Wichita (8/18)

Lone Star Dugout provides observations and analysis from Frisco's 6-5 loss in Wichita on Saturday night. Also included is a short Q&A with relief pitcher Brennan Garr after he made his Double-A debut with the RoughRiders.

• Starting pitcher Scott Shoemaker, a 25-year-old product of Long Beach State University, did a solid job of keeping the RoughRiders in the game. Though he was shaky at times – allowing nine hits in five innings – he gave up just two runs. Shoemaker walked none and struck out two.

• The hurler benefited from a solid defensive effort behind him, particularly from first baseman Kevin Richardson. A catcher by trade, Richardson has been forced to play some first base since Taylor Teagarden's promotion gave Frisco three catchers.

Although he hasn't played first base lately, Richardson says he got experience there early in his professional career.

"I played some first base in my first season and a little bit of my second season," said Richardson. "It was when I started playing pro ball five or six years ago."

Richardson's highlights included a diving stop followed by a smooth toss to pitcher Scott Shoemaker for a 3-1 putout in the bottom of the second inning. He also started a clean 3-6-1 double play later in the contest.

The 26-year-old enjoys the position, partly because he believes it will make him a more valuable player in the long run.

"If you can play more than one position," he said, "it's always an asset."

• While left-handed hitters historically struggle against left-handed pitching, Frisco sluggers Chris Davis and Steve Murphy seem to be the exceptions to that rule. Both hit left-handed pitchers better than righties. That trend continued on Saturday, as Davis was 2-for-4 with a double and Murphy went 2-for-4 with a triple. Both also chipped in with solid glovework on multiple occasions.

• Second baseman German Duran may be without a home run in August, but he has crushed the ball in the last few days. Against Wichita starter Michael Connolly, Duran perfectly executed a first inning hit-and-run with a line drive to right field. He was later robbed on a line drive up the middle. In his third at bat against Connolly, Duran hustled out a double that ricocheted off the glove of Wichita's third baseman.

• Leadoff hitter Anthony Webster entered the game hitting well under .200 against left-handed pitching, but the centerfielder managed a single and two doubles off lefties in the game. Webster credits the success to a recent adjustment.

"I changed my batting stance a little bit," said Webster when asked about his recent success. "I've started staying back on the ball instead of trying to pull everything. I'm trying to take it the other way and just take whatever they give me."

With Brandon Boggs suspended, Webster was able to move into the leadoff spot against a left-handed pitcher – a spot Boggs typically occupies – as well as play his natural position in centerfield.

• Relief pitcher Danny Herrera was charged with the blown save, but he was a victim of bad luck on Saturday.

The 5-foot-8 lefty saw his seventh inning begin by allowing an infield single to Mike Stodolka. Then, with the shift on for right-handed hitter Jorge Padilla, he allowed a single right to where the second baseman would typically be playing. Herrera eventually yielded the tying run on a slow ground ball to third base.

• The game's winning run scored in part because of a boneheaded mistake from catcher Salomon Manriquez. With Irving Falu on first base and two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, Manriquez overthrew pitcher Brandon Puffer on a routine throw. Falu was able to go from first to third and later scored on a bunt single from leadoff hitter Adam Greenberg.

Brennan Garr made his Double-A debut on Saturday, giving up one run on one hit and two walks in two-thirds of an inning. Lone Star Dugout caught up with the former ninth round pick after the game.

Jason Cole: Did you have any nerves or adrenaline out there in your first time out?

Brennan Garr: Yeah, of course I did. It was alright. I just tried to stay within myself and treat it like any other time out.

Cole: In his report today, Jamey Newberg had a stat that said you had thrown 80 percent strikes this year. You struggled a little with control last season. What changed?

Garr: I worked on a lot of mechanics. It's just me becoming more of a pitcher and working on pitching everyday. Mechanic-wise it started at the beginning. I'm able to find the same arm slot on every pitch.

Cole: Is that something you weren't able to pick up because you weren't throwing consistently in college?

Garr: Yeah, for sure. In college I never really threw bullpens. The only time I ever got on a mound was warming up. I couldn't really work on anything. Most of the time I was in a hurry.

Cole: Your pitching coach, Terry Clark, went out there to talk to you in the middle of your outing. What did he tell you?

Garr: He just told me to be more confident with my curveball and changeup and to show them I could throw it for a strike. He said don't be afraid to throw it for a strike. I threw some curveballs in the dirt and I was trying to get them to chase, but they don't chase as much as the lower levels. He told me to prove I could throw my offspeed stuff for a strike.

Cole: Even though your first Double-A outing didn't go as you had hoped, are you happy to get it out of the way?

Garr: Oh yeah, definitely happy to get it out of the way. The first time out, you learn a lot. In Bakersfield, I also had a little rough start at the beginning of my first outing also. I was mostly looking to get a feel for the hitters in my first outing there, here, and also in Clinton. I struggled a little bit at the beginning, but I'm just getting a feel for the hitters. Also you hear the zone is a little smaller here. I was getting a feel for that. That's basically what I'll take out of this first outing.

Cole: When I saw you in Bakersfield, I asked what it was like to be out of a playoff race all of the sudden. Now you're right back in one.

Garr: I definitely want to be pitching when there is stuff on the line. It's easier to pitch. I always have more confidence when there are more people watching. I like the attitude here. It is definitely a winning attitude. I got that right off the bat with the manager when I sat down and talked to him. It's all about winning here and that's what I like.


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