Published: May 12, 2013
Sunday provided the perfect example of why major league teams expect detailed reports from their minor league managers and often have their own representatives in the seats.
Box scores just can't tell the whole story, and that was certainly the case for Sky Sox starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood in a 14-4 loss to Omaha.
A glance at the numbers suggests Chatwood had what was seemingly a rare off-day in a season that saw him go 2-0 with a 1.14 ERA over his first four Triple-A starts. He gave up seven runs on 11 hits in five innings. But in there were also two missed tags, a dropped ball that should have resulted in a caught stealing, a bang-bang call that went the other way on an infield single and another single that leaked through a drawn-in infield.
As a result, Chatwood had to make extra pitches to account for outs that didn't happen. It all adds up in a hurry.
'You can't control it, ' said the right-hander, 23, who tossed a nine-inning shutout Tuesday - the first such performance by a Sky Sox pitcher at home in 10 years. 'Some of those plays go the other way, who knows what happens. It's probably a two-run ballgame. '
Chatwood felt he made just two true mistakes on curveballs left up, and both were hit into gaps - one against Johnny Giavotella and the other to Willy Taveras, both of whom have major league experience. Other than that, he felt me made positive strides.
'You've just got to be able to control what you can control, ' he said. 'I felt good, felt like I was pounding the zone again. That's the biggest thing. I made some progress, threw some changeups to right-handed batters, which I don't usually do. '
The Sky Sox nearly made a game of it despite their early deficit. DJ LeMahieu and Ryan Wheeler drove in runs with groundouts in the third inning and Charlie Culberson launched a two-run home run in the seventh that cut the gap to 8-4.
Colorado Springs then put its first two runners on in the eighth but couldn't capitalize on the situation. It was close enough that Omaha's Louis Coleman was credited with a save after quelling that jam in the 8th.
The Storm Chasers then scored six runs against Nick Schmidt - none of these coming cheaply - in blowing the game open in the ninth.
The Sky Sox had allowed 17 runs over the first five games of the homestand before allowing 14 Sunday. The Storm Chasers' 20 hits were the most this season for a Colorado Springs opponent.
Sky Sox manager Glenallen Hill wasn't offering any excuses for either Chatwood or Schmidt, saying it just wasn't either pitcher's day.
In the case of Chatwood, Hill felt his pitch sequence was off just a bit.
'It's just one of those days, ' Hill said. 'When you play in this league, you're going to have days like this. We've been on the other end of games like this. You've just got to wash it off. '
Sky Sox shortstop DJ LeMahieu went 0-for-5, snapping a 20-game hitting streak that was the longest this season in the Pacific Coast League. It was the 18th streak of at least 20 games in team history. . The Sky Sox placed starting pitcher Justin Berg on the disabled list with right forearm tightness and promoted pitcher Michael Solbach from Double-A Tulsa.