I should’ve written this earlier but I’ll admit that it was my first game with a press pass and I wandered around taking videos too much to actually have time to write. Then I almost fell asleep on the way home on I-4, Friday and Saturday night were consumed by family stuff.. so here we are 3 days later.
Baseball America’s Ben Badler was at the game and wrote up Gohara’s start much more eloquently than I could dream of. I’ll put my 2 cents in though of my first look at Gohara - he works fast, had great command of his fastball and his slider. He was changing speeds and inducing a lot of weak contact. After the game Gohara said he throws a harder slider, a slower slider and a cutter/changeup. So in addition to his plus fastball which sits 94-96 and can run up to 99-100 he has four pitches as a 20 year old lefthander. Add him to the list of potential future aces.
Jonathan Morales played the best game of anyone on the offensive side of the ball recording the team’s first ever hit, run and stolen base. Ray-Patrick Didder went 0 for 2 with 2 walks and 2 stolen bases and committed an error that was an amazing rocket throw from center field, his arm is something else. Austin Riley made some nice plays at 3rd base, like I said in my Spring MILB write up of him he really looks like he’s improved his defense from last year and is in better shape though he is still a massive human being.
Andres Santiago came on in relief of Gohara in the 6th and looked good in that inning striking out a pair but fell apart in the 7th giving up 3 runs and not getting out of the inning. Sean McLaughlin entered and worked a scoreless 8th striking out one and walking one. Corbin Clouse did his thing sitting down 2 Tortugas in a shutout 9th inning. The Frogs brought the tying run to the plate in Ronald Acuna after Didder walked but was unable to seal the deal falling 3-1 in their first ever game.
If you are ever in the central Florida area I highly recommend taking in a game here as there isn’t a bad seat in the house and it is a very nice facility for a minor league stadium. There were 3,283 people there which is a lot for a MILB game and the concessions lines all moved swiftly and there is an abundance of parking as it is in a larger events complex. I will definitely be back there soon.