Game 9: Post-Game Notes (Arreola Released)

— I’ll get to the game itself in a minute, but a roster move was made immediately after the game.  Reliever Daryl Arreola (pictured) was released by the Somerset Patriots after posting a 0-0 record and 17.18 ERA in four appearances. 

The 27-year-old righty allowed nine hits (including one home run) and four walks and struck out just one batter in 3 2/3 innings of work.  Heading into the game, he and Brian Henderson led the team with four relief appearances.

He was coming off of a season where he struggled, pitching for the Lincoln Saltdogs of the American Association.  In 35 games there, he went 1-4 and posted a 6.09 ERA.  It is believed that an Atlantic League veteran reliever will be brought into replace Arreola.

Arreola was called into the manager’s office shortly after the game had ended and was informed of the move.

— OK, the game.  Somerset won, 7-3, but it was a little closer than that.  A three-run bottom of the eighth — keyed by a great at-bat by Joe Burke — broke the game open for the Patriots, who swept the series and improved to 4-5 on the season.

“We’re in a tight spot right there (in the eighth),” said Matt Hagen.

“You obviously want to get that insurance run.  Burkie comes in to play defense, and of course he makes a nice play in the hole.  Then, the next thing you know, he comes up in a real big spot and does what he’s done ever since he’s been here.”

The guys you expect to get big hits for the Patriots did just that; Josh Pressley gave Somerset their first lead with a two-run home run in the first inning, and Matt Hagen hit a lengthy blast to left field.  Each had two RBI on the day.

The return of Sparky Lyle — albeit a somewhat temporary one — shouldn’t be overlooked either. 

“As much as we don’t want to admit it,” Hagen joked, “there is something to having Sparky in the corner.  It adds a little bit of fire to the guys, without a doubt.  He expects to win, he’s always won, and especially for the new guys who haven’t had him in the dugout yet, it changes the feeling just enough.”

However, under some curious Atlantic League judgement, Lyle’s suspension goes back into effect on the road.  While Lyle will be with the team in York, he won’t be allowed to manage the team again until his suspension has expired, which is slated for Friday night when the team returns home to play Southern Maryland.  Lyle or no Lyle, Hagen said Somerset needs to keep doing what they’ve been doing these last three games.

— As for Lyle, he didn’t seem to think his team carried a different mentality on the road as compared to TD Bank Ballpark…

“I don’t think it’s so much the road, it’s just the freaking weather there was just atrocious,” he said.

“To start seven games on the road, that’s pretty tough, it is.”

— Jesse Darcy’s start was pretty average.  He wasn’t bad, he wasn’t good, but he did enough to give his team a chance to win, and ended up getting the “W” himself after struggling early on.

“You always want to come out and throw strikes right away,” Darcy said.

“I came out and threw too good of a strike, and the guy led off the game with a triple.  The guy was in there, and we’re down before you know it.  But our offense has been great, and they scored two right away.  That’s big, it gives you momentum, and you’ve got to try to throw up a zero in that next inning to keep that momentum.”

The line from Darcy’s first start five days ago (5 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 4 K) looks rather similar to the one he took home after this one (5 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 1 K).  So how would Darcy compare those two outings?

“I had to work a lot more in this start,” Darcy told me.

“The first start, I was hitting my spots a lot more consistently.  I was more up in the zone today.  I definitely had to work a lot harder to get the ball to go where I needed it to.  I caught a few breaks, but I definitely have something to work on.” 

— Ryan Houston was sitting at 93 MPH on the stadium radar gun.  I believe it.  You look at both what he’s done and what he’s doing now, and it’s hard to believe he’ll be here too much longer.

— Houston came into the game with two outs in the eighth due to a tough outing by Matt Reilly.  That was the first time Reilly had really struggled all season, and Lyle said he believed he got a little riled up — no pun intended — after giving up a long double.  

The Triple-A veteran needed a grand total of one pitch to escape the eighth before locking down his second save of the season an inning later.

— It’s also just as hard to believe Wayne Lydon is hitting just .267.  Seems the guy is on base all the time.  He’s an ideal leadoff hitter…and while he doesn’t have the name value of a Ryan Freel or a Pete LaForest, he may be the best acquisition Brett Jodie made this off-season.

— Speaking of Freel, it’s somewhat odd to see that he hasn’t been used every day.  He played only one game of this three-game series against the Bluefish.  He was under the impression that he’d be playing every day, and I certainly was as well. 

— I’ll have an article in the Democrat and the Messenger Gazette on the Patriots home opener.  Also, keep an eye out on here for features on Matt Reilly and Travis “Coach” Anderson, who long-time MLB’er Ryan Freel recently said is the best hitting coach he’s ever had.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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