Midwest League: Solid pitching a winning formula for Cougars
By Mike Knapp For Sun-Times Media May 13, 2012 7:24PM
Updated: June 15, 2012 8:08AM
Through the first five games of the Kane County Cougars’ current seven-game homestand, the story has been all about the starting pitching.
Over that span each starter has gone six innings, and each has allowed two earned runs or less. In 30 innings of work, the starters have tossed 30 innings and given up only eight earned runs. That 2.40 ERA has been a recipe to success, as the Cougars are 4-1 so far after a 5-4 win over Wisconsin Sunday afternoon.
This time it was Edwin Carl’s turn as he threw six innings and gave up two runs on seven hits while striking out three to improve to 3-2 on the season while lowering his ERA to 1.87.
“They are doing a good job,” Cougars manager Buck Buchanan said. “He (Carl) did what he has been doing all year, he is commanding his fastball and attacking hitters.”
Carl has now allowed two earned runs or less in six of his seven starts. He has given up just three runs in 17 innings of work in his three appearances in May.
“I felt good, it was a nice, warm day out there so I have nothing to complain about,” Carl said. “Being as consistent as possible is the key to getting on a roll and winning series, and I think everyone is in a groove right now. I kept the ball down and located it when I needed to. I try to keep the same game plan as always and just tried to go throw strikes.”
He got a lot of offensive help as well as the Cougars, who have had to play tied or from behind the last several nights, took the lead for good with three runs in the sixth off Wisconsin starter Drew Gagnon (3-1). The third-round pick of the Milwaukee Brewers out of Long Beach State a year ago, the tall right-hander had allowed only four runs all year before the Cougars tagged him for five in his five innings of work.
Three of those came with two out in the fifth, as the Cougars jumped into the lead for good at 5-2. Jorge Bonifacio drove in the first run with a single to plate Justin Trapp, then Lane Adams followed with a homer to the picnic deck in left field.
The homer was the first for Adams since his grand slam in Quad Cities on opening night (April 5), and his two RBI increased his total in that column to a team-high 24 on the season.
“I got a good pitch to hit,” Adams said. “After my second at-bat Bruno (Cougars hitting coach Julio Bruno) told me I should get loaded a little bit earlier so I see the ball and see it well, and I hit it in the right spot to get it out through the wind.”
Game three of the series is a noon matinee Monday featuring right-hander Kellen Moen (1-1) for the Cougars and Chad Thompson (1-0) for Wisconsin.