I watched Frisco take on the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (KC affiliate) at Arvest Ballpark last night from about four rows behind home plate. This was my 2nd time to see these two teams this year, and my first chance to see Joey Gallo in person. Gallo struck out swinging twice against starting pitcher Jason Adam (a 2010 5th round pick), flied out to left on the first pitch of his third at-bat (he appeared to hit the ball weakly off the end of the bat), and struck out swinging again in his fourth at-bat. The first and fourth at-bats both ended their respective innings with men on base.
He did make two difficult-looking plays in the field. With one out and men on 1st and 3rd (I forget which inning), he gloved a hard-hit ball hit down the third base line, going toward his left to get it then making an off-balance but accurate throw to 2nd for an out, but the relay to 1st was too late and the runner scored from 3rd base for the final run in what would be a 3-0 win for the Naturals. Later in the 7th or 8th inning, there was a high chopper that bounced over the pitcher and Gallo charged from third base to cut off the ball in front of the shortstop and make a running throw to 1st to nail the runner. It was a Beltre-esque play IMO.
Jason Adam hasn't been good this season (17 starts at AA, 5.54 ERA, 89.1 innings, 80 Ks, 28 BBs, 102 hits, and 9 HRs allowed) but he was effective last night, though he did go deep in the count to several guys and threw a lot of pitches. I don't know what his pitch count was but he was pulled after 5 innings, holding a 2-0 lead and having struck out 4, against 2 walks and 4 hits allowed. He made a spectacular behind-the-back catch on a Jake Skole grounder with a runner on 1st that should have resulted in an inning-ending DP, but he made a wild throw to 2nd, which put Roughriders on 1st and 3rd with one out, but Frisco was unable to capitalize. In Gallo's two at bats against Adam, he showed a good eye in laying off fastballs just off the outside of the plate, but swung and missed on at least five pitches (including both third strikes), all of which were over the plate and coming in at 91-93 mph, according to the stadium radar gun. I couldn't tell if they were straight four-seamers or cutters or what, but whatever they were Gallo couldn't make contact with them.
Instead it was the Naturals' third basemen who had the hardest hit ball of the night, as their first run of the night came on a towering solo HR to left off the bat of 2013 1st round pick Hunter Dozier, a native of Denton and former Stephen F. Austin star. Dozier also homered in Saturday's game vs. Frisco. Also homering off Jerad Eickhoff was 2009 13th rounder Lane Adams, a 24-year-old OF who has really heated up in the second half, hitting .378 with 4 of his 10 HRs on the season coming in his last 11 games.
I'll be at tonight's game as well and I'm excited to get to see Chi Chi Gonzales on the hill for Frisco, and hopefully Gallo and the rest of the Frisco lineup will actually get on the board this time.