Hello again! It has been too long since we’ve posted here. Things have been a little busy recently, but the good news is the Generals are still scoring more runs than the other team! Jackson is off Tuesday, and right now the Generals are atop the Southern League with a 27-17 record.
Much of the team’s success is coming at home. The Generals are 17-6 at The Ballpark at Jackson after winning 23 home games all of last season. The team is 5-0 in home series after winning just four series in West Tennessee last year. The turnaround has been remarkable.
The team is coming off taking four of five from Chattanooga. The Generals finally got a comfortable 7-0 win in Monday’s finale, but the team has made a habit of winning close games this year. They are 16-6 in games decided by two runs or fewer. On Sunday, it was Tim Lopes completing a comeback from three runs down with a walk-off single in the 11th.
On Monday, the team won by more than three runs for the first time since May 5. The team’s ability to win six of 12 in a stretch where it failed to score more than four in a game is quite impressive. The offense seemed to find itself in the finale thanks in large part to D.J. Peterson who had three hits including this moonshot.
If Peterson starts to hit like he has been consistently, the offense goes from good to great. In the last four games of Jackson’s series against Chattanooga, Peterson went 8-for-16 with two doubles, a home run and three RBI. He raised his average from .213 to .242.
The Generals embark on a big road trip Wednesday morning. The team currently leads Montgomery by 3.5 games in the North Division. The Generals and Biscuits are set to play six games in Montgomery before Jackson plays five against the Tennessee Smokies. This trip will play a big role in whether or not the Generals can win the First Half.
The offense came through against Chattanooga, but the pitching has been splendid of late for the Generals. Monday’s win was the team’s seventh shutout of the season, the most of any team in the Southern League. Ryan Yarbrough pitched seven scoreless frames to give the Generals their 17th quality start of the season. Last year, Jackson had 11 shutouts and 29 quality starts all season long.
Jackson has lowered its team ERA to 3.51, good for fourth-best in the league. Three pitchers — Dylan Unsworth, Ryan Yarbrough and Edwin Diaz — rank among the top ten in the league in earned run average.
The staff has a new look, as top pitching prospect Edwin Diaz was moved to the bullpen at the beginning of the month. This move surprised some, but his stuff plays up in relief and I think he has a real shot to make it to the majors later this season. The early returns are good. In six outings, the lanky right-hander has allowed just an unearned run on three hits while striking out 11 and walking no one. This is a guy that hadn’t pitched in relief since 2012, his first year as a pro.
David caught up with Edwin and talked to him about the adjustment and some of the changes he has had to make.
Diaz is getting used to pitching more regularly, as he appeared in games one, three and five of the series against the Lookouts.
The staff managed to get even stronger Tuesday, as the Mariners announced that righty Andrew Moore would be making the jump to Double-A from Bakersfield. Moore led the California League in ERA (1.65), WHIP (0.90) and average against (.188) at the time of his promotion. Seattle took Moore with the 72nd overall pick in last year’s draft out of Oregon State.
Moore gets the ball in game one of the big series between the Generals and Biscuits. It’ll be exciting to see him in a high-pressure situation. Lets hope the Generals can put some distance between themselves and the anthropomorphic breakfast food.
Until next time!