Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ravin: 2 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back

Well, in the interests of full disclosure, I suppose I need to talk about Josh Ravin's less than stellar second game after talking about his impressive debut.

Ravin certainly got his 2009 season off on the right foot. Unfortunately, he didn't fare quite as well in his second start.

On Thursday, Ravin toed the rubber to face off against the Fort Wayne Tin Caps, which is the San Diego Padre's low-A affiliate. In the first inning, Ravin looked ready to build off his strong debut performance. set the Tin Caps down in order with a swinging strikeout, a fly out to center, and a line out to the second baseman. In the second, his control problem began to rear its ugly head. He walked the leadoff hitter. After getting a flyout to center, he uncorked a wild pitch to advance the runner to second, but quickly made that irrelevant by serving up a two-run homer to clear the bases. On a positive note, Ravin regrouped to get a called and swinging strikeout to get out of the inning. The worst was yet to come.

Ravin took the mound for the third inning and quickly found trouble. He hit the first batter and walked the second. He almost escaped the trouble by getting a groundout and a pop up, but he followed those positives outcomes by giving up a two singles and a walk before closing out the Tin Caps with a strikeout.

Ravin came back out for the 4th and got back on track. He set the Tin Caps down in order with a ground out, strike out, and a fly out. It was nice to see him finish out strong, so there were some positives mixed in among the negatives.

I listened to most of the game and it sounded like Ravin's problems stemmed from an inability to command his breaking ball. Since he couldn't get the breaking ball over for strikes, the Tin Caps simply waited for him to throw the fastball in the zone.

When all was said and done, Ravin worked 4.0 innings giving up 3 hits, 1 homer, 4 runs, 3 walks, 1 hit batter, 1 Wild Pitch, and 5 strikeouts. Certainly not the worst outing, but the fact that his problems were control driven is of concern. Still, the strikeouts and his ability to regroup were positives to be taken from his performance.

It'll be interesting to see what the next few starts hold for Ravin. Anyway, it seemed only right to mention his struggles in his second start after his success in the first start. Now we can get back to non-Josh Ravin programming.

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