Mock and Goocher Good, But Good Enough?
Garrett Mock
Managing Editor
Posted May 25, 2005


Clint Goocher is at his best, but the Smokies hitters weren't; Garrett Mock undone by his defense; Angel Rocha lost the plate; Andy Green crosses the dish again.

Albuquerque 6 @ Tucson 2

Bill Murphy cruised for four innings, taking a no hitter into the fifth, before the Isotopes picked up three runs on two homers to take a lead they would not relinquish.  Murphy allowed only five hits in his six innings of work, allowing four runs (three earned) while walking four and striking out six.  In four starts this season Murphy has walked 15 hitters.

Shortstop Sergio Santos extended his hitting streak to five games and raised his average to .209.  During the streak Santos has eight RBI, and had two hits in four of the five games.

Second baseman Andy Green was 3-4 on the day with two doubles.  He extended his hitting streak to seven games, but this was the first of the seven where he had more than one hit.

Birmingham 1 @ Tennessee 0

Only two Birmingham Barons got hits off Tennessee starter Clint Goocher on Tuesday.  There was never more than one runner on base, and Clint Goocher threw nine innings of one run ball.  But in the top of the seventh Birmingham first baseman Casey Rogowski hit a long fly ball to right field that reached the seats, part of his 3-4 performance, and that one mistake was enough to cost Goocher the game.

Goocher, who started the season going 4-0 in his first six starts, has now dropped his last two decisions.  It was Goocher's second complete game of the year, but his first nine inning complete game, he threw a seven inning complete game shut out April 26th as part of a double header.

Jerry Gil, in his first rehab start, lead off and played shortstop for the Smokies.  He was 0-4 on the day.

Left fielder Noochie Varner was 3-4 with a double, extending his hitting streak to eight games.  Varner, who hit .262 with five extra base hits in 21 games in April, is hitting .360 with seven doubles and a home run in through 21 games in May.

After two days off Marland Williams returned to the starting lineup in center field.  Batting eighth in the order Williams was 2-3 with a double and a stolen base, his 18th of the season.

Lancaster 1 @ Lake Elsinore 2

Catcher/DH Miguel Montero had his hitting streak ended at 19 games Tuesday, but still represented the tying run in the ninth inning when Steve Garrabrants came in to run for him in the top of the ninth inning.  Garrabrants advanced to second on a Jay Garthwaite bunt, but Chris Carter struck out swinging and Jeff Cook grounded out, leaving Garrabrants stranded and the JetHawks a run short.

During the streak Montero scored 13 runs and drove in 16.

Garrett Mock was outstanding, throwing seven innings and giving up two runs, but only one of those was earned as the JetHawks made back to back errors in the fifth inning allowing the game winning run to score.  Shortstop Danny Richar made his 16th error of the year, and that was followed by a Jeff Cook error in left.

After struggling through his first month Garrett Mock has been locked and loaded in May, but doesn't have the record to show for it.  This month Mock is 2-2 in five starts.  He's averaging more than six innings per start, and has struck out 31 against only six walks with an ERA of 2.81.

Derek Bruce saw a significant amount of playing time when Danny Richar was on the DL with a strained knee but since Richar has come back time at short has been tough to come by, so in the last three games Bruce has started at second base, DH, and Tuesday manned the hot corner, getting his first start of the year at third base.  He was 2-2 with a double, a walk, and a run scored, raising his season average to .300.

Burlington 9 @ South Bend 6

Starter Angel Rocha has had trouble with his control, coming into Tuesday's game he'd walked 13 hitters in his last 7.2 innings pitched, but he seemed to be fine early on.  He cruised through the first two innings, and his teammates gave him a 2-0 lead to work with, but after Rocha retired the first hitter of the third inning, the wheels came off.  Rocha walked three straight hitters to load the bases, gave up runs on a sac fly and a single, walked another hitter to load the bases again, and then gave up a two run single.  Four walks in the inning, four runs scored in the inning.

Rocha would record only one more out, leaving him with an uninspiring line of 2.2 IP, two hits, five walks, four earned runs, and two strikeouts.  On the season Rocha has now walked 32 hitters in 36.1 innings pitched.

Still the Silverhawks battled back behind catcher Wilkin Castillo's second homer in as many nights and the hot bat of third baseman Mark Reynolds, who was 2-3 with a double and a run scored. 

The Silverhawks held a 6-4 advantage heading into the ninth, but closer Matt Elliot was shelled for four runs, five earned, in just two-thirds of an inning in the ninth.  Elliot faced six hitters, giving up three hits and a walk before he was replaced by Esmerling Vasquez.  Vasquez got the first hitter he faced to ground the ball to Reynolds who threw it away allowing two more runs to score.

It was Elliot's third loss in his last five appearances, and the fourth and fifth earned runs Elliot has allowed in his last four innings pitched.



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