Because he pitched more than 100 innings this spring in college at Tennessee Wesleyan, the Wild Things’ Kobe Foster has been on a pitch count in each of his starts.
Reach the pitch count and Foster exits the game to save the wear and tear on his valuable left arm.
Against the Gateway Grizzlies on Thursday night, Foster threw 86 pitches in seven innings.
That was 86 pitches and seven innings too many for Gateway’s hitters.
Foster and two relief pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout as the Wild Things blanked Gateway, 2-0.
It was the first time Gateway has been shut out all season.
Foster (5-1) gave up two hits – both singles – did not walk a batter and struck out seven. He went to three-ball count on only one batter.
“He mixes his pitches well. He hits his spots. He challenges hitters. He knows how to pitch,” Washington catcher Alex Alavrez said about Foster.
Foster doesn’t blow away hitters with his fastball. He keeps them off balance and guessing.
“Kobe showed early on that he can land every pitch. He throws all four of his pitches for strikes. He establishes all four in the first inning,” Washington pitching coach Alex Boshers explained. “Then he changes speeds. That creates a 25 percent chance that the batter is going to guess right on each pitch.”
Gateway’s hitters were not guessing correctly very often on this night. Foster retired 14 consecutive Grizzlies after allowing a leadoff single by catcher Kevin Krause in the second inning.
The only potential hiccup for Foster came in the sixth inning. Gateway’s Andrew Penner singled to end the streak of 14 straight retired by Foster. Isaac Bernard then hit a towering fly ball to right field that the Wild Things’ Wagner Lagrange lost in the twilight sky. Second baseman Scotty Dubrule alertly raced deep into right field to make the catch with his back to the infield, ending the inning.
Foster left with a 2-0 lead and turned the game over relievers Isaac Mattson and Lukas Young.
Mattson became the second former major leaguer to play for the Wild Things when he pitched the eighth inning. The former Baltimore Orioles and Pitt reliever who was signed and activated earlier in the day pitched the eighth inning. Mattson, who pitched in four major league games for the Orioles last year, retired the first two batters he faced before issuing two walks, on eight pitches, but a groundout ended the threat.
Young walked Bernard to start the ninth and Zach Racusin followed with a single. Krause, the Grizzlies’ cleanup hitter, then bounced into a double play – the seventh turned by Washington in the series. Trevor Achenbach drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch to keep the Grizzlies’ hopes alive but Young struck out Clint Freeman to end the game and notch his 14th save.
Washington scored single runs in both the second and third innings against Gateway starter Jason Rackers.
In the second, designated hitter Tristan Peterson and center fielder Cole Brannen each hit one-out singles. Peterson scored when Nick Ward lined a two-out single up the middle.
In the third, Washington produced a run after having two outs and nobody on base. First baseman Andrew Czech sliced a single to left centerfield and moved to third base when Ian Walters lined a single to right field. A wild pitch allowed Peterson to race home and give the Wild Things a 2-0 lead.
The start of the game was delayed by 14 minutes because of rain. … The Wild Things begin a weekend series at home tonight against Lake Erie.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article. See official rules here.