Rochester Recap: Vance Worley's Debut
When the Minnesota Twins acquired starting pitcher Vance Worley from the Philadelphia Phillies in the off-season trade involving Ben Revere, no one thought that the opening day starter would be spending Memorial Day pitching in Rochester, NY, for the Red Wings.
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Rochester Recap: Vance Worley's Debut
After a dismal 1-5 start with the Twins, an ERA over seven and a WHIP of almost two, something had to be done. The Twins are hoping that he can become, after a brief stint in Rochester, the pitcher they were hoping to have acquired this past off-season.
Pete Orr led off the game with a single up the middle. Getting out of the first inning is something Vance has struggled with all year.
Worley said, “It was definitely in my head for sure, that’s what I’ve been struggling with too, giving up first inning runs. I knew that I needed to not let that guy score.” After getting the number two hitter to fly out to center, Eric Fryer threw a strike to shortstop Doug Bernier to get Orr stealing, and Worley then was able to induce another fly to center, getting out of the first inning unscathed.
In each of the second, third and fourth innings, Worley allowed one runner to reach, but it wasn’t until the 8th that he allowed a runner to reach second base. “He used all of his pitches and was aggressive with them, he got some quick outs at times. Everything that you look for in a big league pitcher right there, he is a good pitcher that belongs in the Major Leagues.” manager Gene Glynn said regarding Vance Worley’s start this afternoon.
Worley pitched a complete game shutout, throwing 119 pitches with 74 strikes. While he did walk four batters they were spread throughout the game, limiting the damage that could have been done. The eighth and ninth innings were really the only ones where Lehigh Valley had the potential to put together a rally.
“It was pretty good, I haven’t had a whole lot of strikeouts. There were a couple that were looking. That’s normally how I strike guys out. I’m not a guy that’s going to try to go out there and punch everybody out. I’m the guy that’s going to put the ball in play and that’s what is going to allow me to go deeper into the games”, Worley said regarding his four strikeouts in the game. Getting strikeouts has been something that he was struggling with in Minnesota (25 in 48.2 innings pitched); it was a hopeful sign seeing him controlling the strike zone.
“I was trying to keep my pitch count down, go deeper into games and to keep the ball down. That’s what I’ve been struggling with up there (in Minnesota). I needed to get back to being myself.”
Outside of striking out the Taco Bell K-Man, Vance Worley gave the Frontier Field crowd of 5,226 something they’ve seen a few times this year: a complete game shutout victory. While I do not expect Worley to be called up immediately, it was encouraging to see him getting through innings without major damage.
“It’s very important to get one of these types of games in”, Worley, said. “I’ve been struggling all year, starting in the spring. I haven’t been myself. The velocity has been there, the break on everything is there, and it’s just a matter of getting it down. I needed this, I need to find myself down here so that I can go back up and help those guys.”
Rochester scored one run in the 2nd inning on an Eric Fryer RBI single, then added four more in the 6th inning to secure a 5-0 victory over the Iron Pigs.
For the Red Wings it was their fourth complete game shutout of the season. Kyle Gibson has two of them. P.J. Walters and now Vance Worley each have one. For Worley, this was not his first career complete game shutout; on July 9th, 2010 he pitched a complete game shutout while he was with Reading (AA Phillies). Rochester broke Lehigh Valley’s six game winning streak, which began after Kyle Gibson nearly threw a shutout against them eight days ago.