Sharp as Glasnow
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In the case of West Virginia Power starter Tyler Glasnow, it really is a case of less is more - as in less walks equal more efficient outings and more success.
A little more than halfway through the South Atlantic League season, that concept really seems to be taking hold and was on full display Saturday night.
Glasnow (4-1), who has some of the best stuff and gaudiest strikeout numbers in all of minor league baseball, walked just one while punching out 10 as the Power earned its second straight win over Lakewood 8-2. A crowd of 3,992 attended.
His lone walk was issued to the second batter of the game, sandwiched between three strikeouts.
The first eight Lakewood outs came via punchout as Glasnow was nothing short of dazzling, mixing mid-high 90s fastballs with a high 70s biting curveball.
Starting in the fourth inning, he started pitching more to contact and while he only struck out two more hitters, he kept his pitch count down to 60 in his five-inning limit, a personal season low through that many frames.
"I was a little wild in first three [innings] and I was kind of head-whacking and just trying to throw it," Glasnow said. "I tried to get away from that in the fourth and everything slowed down. I felt really good in the first three but I think I really need to do what I did in the fourth and the fifth and calm down, throw where I need to throw, and not throw 1,000 miles per hour."
Saturday marked the third time Glasnow has reached double-digit strikeouts in his last 10 starts and over his last two, his strikeout-walk ratio is 15-2, showing real progress from a 19-year-old prospect whose occasional wildness has been his one true bugaboo.
Glasnow, who lowered his season ERA to 2.60 on Saturday, believes he has turned over a new leaf in his approach.
"I think I was just afraid to see what would happen if I just chilled out and just tried to pitch, as opposed to just trying to throw really hard," Glasnow said. "It took me a while to get confident and see what would happen. Last game, my velocity was down and everything felt better. I wasn't nervous and my confidence was up between innings and I actually had an idea what was going on. I feel like just keeping it low key and throwing it where I want as opposed to throwing it really hard not where I want."
For a while, BlueClaws starter Yoel Mecias (4-3) was keeping pace with Glasnow, striking out eight and holding the Power to a pair of runs in his 32/3 innings before leaving the game with an apparent arm injury.
Josh Bell came up with a clutch two-run, two-out single to center in the third to start the scoring, giving Glasnow a cushion to work with in the process.
RBI hits for Dilson Herrera and Jordan Steranka, and an RBI groundout for Max Moroff in the fifth inning gave Glasnow a 5-0 lead, which was more than enough for the Power bullpen to hold on to.
In all, the Power (2-1) collected 12 hits after racking up 10 Friday.
Steranka finished 3 for 5 to lead the charge, with Bell and Moroff getting a pair of hits apiece. Moroff also collected two RBIs.
Herrera's RBI double in the fifth inning extended his hitting streak to nine games dating back to June 11. He had a pair of seven-game streaks earlier in the season.
Larry Greene had the only multi-hit game for Lakewood (1-2), and Josh Ludy recorded a pinch-hit two-run double in the eighth inning to account for the BlueClaws' scoring.
The teams close out the series at 2:05 p.m. today. It will mark the much-anticipated first start for 18-year-old right-hander Luis Heredia of the Power, while Lakewood will counter with righty Miguel Nunez (5-4, 4.91 ERA).
Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948 or firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him at twitter.com/RPritt.