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Christopher Fee

Rochester Recap: Vance Worley's Debut

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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.

After a dismal 1-5 start with the Twins, an ERA over seven and a WHIP of almost two, it was no real surprise that something had to be done. The Twins are hoping that he can become the pitcher they were hoping to have acquired this past off-season, after a brief stint in Rochester.

Pete Orr led the game off with a lead off single up the middle, something that Vance had been struggling with all year, getting out of the first inning.

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 then was able to get another fly ball to center to get out of the first inning unscathed.

The second, third and fourth innings, Worley allowed one runner to reach, and
it wasn’t until the 8th inning 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 and 74 for strikes, while he did walk four batters; they were spread out throughout the game, limiting the damage that could have been done. The eight and ninth innings were really the only ones that Lehigh Valley had the potential to put together a small rally in the game.

“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. Strikeouts have been something that he had been struggling with getting up in Minnesota (25 in 48.2 innings pitched), it was encouraging to see 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 (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 as of late, a complete game shutout victory. While I wouldn’t expect Worley to be called up immediately, it was definitely 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 the Wings scored 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 have one each. For Worley, this was not his first CG shutout; July 9th, 2010 he pitched a CG shutout, while he was with Reading (AA Phillies). Rochester broke Lehigh Valley’s six game winning streak, which started after Kyle Gibson almost threw a CG shutout against them last Sunday.

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