Game 101: York 3, Southern Maryland 2

Dating back to his days playing at the University of Miami, there’s one place you would never find Matt Dryer.

The bench.

But the additions of bonafide sluggers Shea Hillenbrand and Chris Ashby to the York Revolution’s sizzling lineup have forced Dryer to a reserve role. Luckily for York, though, Dryer has remained ready. And he showed that Tuesday night before an announced crowd of 4,271 at Sovereign Bank Stadium.

Dryer laced a one-out, two-run double to the right-center field gap in the eighth inning that propelled York to a 3-2 comeback win over Southern Maryland. Dryer’s clutch hit scored Matt Esquivel from third and pinch runner Kaz Tanaka from first after Hillenbrand perfectly executed a hit-and-run to set up the big inning.

Dryer also accounted for the Revs’ first run on an RBI single in the second and finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs after entering the game 2-for-21 over his last six appearances. York (17-14, 47-54) has now won five straight, tying its best streak of the year, and also opened a 1½-game lead in the Freedom Division.

“At every level I’ve ever played at I’ve never sat before,” Dryer said. “But it happens when you have guys at your position who are raking. … I can only do what I can do when I’m in there. It’s more of a relief than a good feeling (to get the big hit).”

That feeling wouldn’t have been possible without the performance of reliever Travis Phelps. Phelps (pictured) came on with the bases loaded and only one out in the eighth after a Chris Ashby error allowed the Blue Crabs (18-12, 54-46) to start a rally. But Phelps responded with a strikeout of pinch hitter Eric Crozier and forced Adam Shorsher to ground out to the shortstop to end the threat.

Phelps, who consulted six different doctors in search of advice on how to heal a strained armpit muscle earlier in the year, has stranded 13 of 14 inherited runners.

“In that situation you’re going for the double play, but once you get ahead you have to go for the strikeout,” Phelps said. “I’ve always seemed to be able to make the pitch in those situations.”

The Revs’ late-game heroics were set up by new starter Rolando Viera. The recently acquired left-hander struck out 10 over six innings while approaching 130 pitches. It was the fifth time in Revolution franchise history that a starter struck out 10 or more hitters and York will be counting on Viera for similar performances over the season’s final 39 games.

“For two or three innings he seemed like he was 3-2 on everybody, but he came back to get them out,” Revolution manager Chris Hoiles said. “I’d like to see him cut down on that, but all-in-all it was a great start for him and a huge one for us.”

Notes: Ashby extended his hitting streak to 27 games in the first inning with a single. He had three hits on the night and tied the single-season Atlantic League hitting streak and needs one more hit Wednesday night to tie the all-time mark held by Joe Jiannetti. Jiannetti hit in 28 straight games over the ’06 and ’07 seasons. … Closer Franklin Nunez was signed and activated Tuesday but did not appear in the win over the Blue Crabs. … Matt Trent surrendered the go-ahead homer to John Ramistella in the game and also created the mess Phelps was brought in to clean up — although he wasn’t helped by Ashby’s error. … Juan Padilla nailed down his first save for the Revs. … Chris Maples and Ramistella went deep to account for all of Southern Maryland’s scoring.

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9 Responses

  1. Who was #14 that did the catching for the ceremonial first pitches?

    I might be wrong about that being the number, but he wasn’t listed and the name announced was one I didn’t recognize.

    If I had to guess…a new pitcher?

  2. His first name escapes me at the moment, but that’s York’s bullpen catcher. His last name is Blosser, if I’m not mistaken.

  3. Brett Blasser

  4. It’s great to hear that Nunez was signed. Any sense of how the pecking-order is going to go in the pen now that Veres and McCurdy are gone?

    I would imagine that Nunez probably is going to close., but Padilla might have a case, too.

    Is Foli going to remain in the rotation?

  5. Thanks for the info on Brett, RevsFan.

    Foli, who actually has some starting experience in his career, will remain in the rotation with Thurman, Rakers, Franklin and Viera.

    I have to imagine Nunez will close considering his success last year and the numbers he put up in Mexico. Having the trio of Phelps, Padilla and Nunez at the end of games is going to be a nice luxury for Chris Hoiles.

  6. I like Foli in the starting rotation. He pitched a great game on Sunday and I think he’ll continue to flourish as a starter. However, I think I prefer Franklin out of the bullpen. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great pitcher…actually my favorite on the team..but he is so much better as a reliever. Sometimes it seems like he thrives on tough situations. Like he’ll load the bases & then strike the next few batters out to leave them stranded when some pitchers would freak out & probably walk a run in. And I think he can do that more as a reliever. But Hoiles knows way more about baseball than I ever will so I’m sure he knows what he’s doing with his starting rotation.

  7. Oh and you’re welcome. Quick question though..is Blasser the bullpen catcher or batting practice pitcher? The Revolution playbills have him listed as BP pitcher…it makes more sense that the bp stands for batting practice.

  8. I think Blasser catches a bit in the bullpen, but that job often falls to either Aracena or Taveras, whoever isn’t catching that night.

    I’ve seen Blasser throw a bit of BP. Sam Snider throws a good bit of it as well.

  9. Okay thanks!

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