Vancouver Canadians one win away from championship following Game 3 victory
2 months ago
The Vancouver Canadians are just one win away from their fifth Northwest League Championship.
On Friday evening, the Canadians hosted the Everett AquaSox for Game Three of their four-game series, with Vancouver winning 1-0. This gives them a 2-1 series lead, with the two remaining games at home.
Let’s take a look at some storylines from last night’s game.
Hunter Gregory, more like Houdini Gregory:
The 24-year-old right-handed pitcher made the start for the Canadians, finishing with a line of 4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K.
That’s a solid stat line on the surface level, but there was a lot of traffic, especially in the first two innings. Mariners’ top prospect Cole Young hit a single in the first at-bat of the game, while Harry Ford walked. However, Gregory got out of it with a flyout and two strikeouts. And he was pumped, to say the least.
In the second inning, Gregory struck out the first batter and got the next to ground out, before he beamed Bill Knight in the helmet with a 1-2 pitch (and the Mariners prospect absolutely sold the hit-by-pitch.)
Like in most cases where a pitcher hits a batter above the shoulders, Gregory was pretty rattled as he walked the next two batters, before striking out Ford on a 3-2 pitch. Again, he was pumped.
It was smooth sailing from there, as he faced the minimum in his next two innings. Overall, it was a solid start with a little bit of traffic, but great composure.
The 2021 draftee finished the season with a 4.34 ERA and a 4.08 FIP in 56 innings pitched this season, along with a 25.9 K% and a 10.5 BB%.
The bullpen shuts it down… again:
After Gregory finished his four innings, Ian Churchill took over and finished with a line of 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K. Like with Gregory, he got out of some trouble (walk + error) to strand runners in his first inning. The 24-year-old lefty had a smooth sixth, before running into some trouble and being replaced by Ryan Boyer in the seventh.
Boyer, 26, finished with a line of 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, and 3 K, including one of those strikeouts coming with runners on the corners. This season, the righty finished with a 0.29 ERA and a 2.24 FIP in 30.2 innings pitched,, along with a 33.6 K% and a 6.9 BB%.
Conor Larkin was the last Canadians pitcher, and he went 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, and got the game-winning out, along with a strikeout.
Just a great job by the bullpen.
Josh Kasevich has the defensive game of his life:
Kasevich excels in two areas, his hit tool, and his defence at shortstop. On Friday, he went 1-4 with a strikeout, but it was his defence that stood out.
The first was a diving catch in the top of the third inning to retire the first out. This showed off his quick-twitch athleticism.
Kasevich made another nice play the inning after, as he snagged a tough hop and made it look easy, ending the inning.
The third spectacular play was arguably his best, as he ranged to his right, and uncorked a strong throw to get the speedy base runner.
His last good play came with runners on the corners with two outs, as he showcased his great IQ to flip the ball to the second baseman.
All in all, Kasevich made some great plays that kept runners off the base paths.
The Canadians only needed one extra-base hit:
Out of the 10 hits in this game (five apiece), Gabriel Martinez was the only batter to hit an extra-base hit. Thankfully, the Canadians had runners on first and second with no outs as Martinez gave it a ride to the deepest part of the ballpark. Had there been two outs, this would have likely scored both runners, but it was enough to get the win.
The Canadians will have a chance to win the Northwest League Championship on Saturday at 10:05 PM EDT. Ryan Jennings will take a mound for the Jays High-A affiliate.
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