Last Thoughts Before First Half Title Chance
We are less than an hour away from Winston-Salem’s biggest game of the season. The Dash clinch the first-half championship with a victory over the Wilmington Blue Rocks. First, we give you the lineups, with a few thoughts below that.
RF Michael Earley
SS Carlos Sanchez
LF Brady Shoemaker
1B Dan Black
CF Trayce Thompson
DH Cyle Hankerd
C Mike Blanke
3B Juan Silverio
2B Daniel Wagner
- I love Dash skipper Tommy Thompson’s decision to move Michael Earley to the leadoff spot. With Marcus Semien on the disabled list, Earley is the best option at the top of the order. His seventh-inning double sparked the Dash’s lone scoring frame less than 24 hours ago.
- Winston-Salem starter Jon Bachanov needs to have his command early. The righty has walked 31 batters this season, which somewhat balances out the fact that opponents are hitting just .201 against him. Bachanov has been a huge asset in the rotation since he joined it more than a month ago, and limiting walks will make him even more successful.
- Behind Bachanov, expect to see Chris Bassitt out of the bullpen at some point tonight. Bassitt, who has been a late-inning option for much of the season, has not pitched since Wednesday and was warming up in the ninth yesterday. My guess is that Nick McCully will also appear in this ballgame if it is close.
- Thompson told me yesterday that his managing style is winning this weekend. He is not acting with just a developmental approach with the Dash’s magic number at one. Don’t be surprised if he takes a few more risks and makes a substitution or two that wouldn’t normally take place during April or May.
- The Dash are loose prior to this contest. Last night’s victory was huge for a number of reasons, including this team’s mental makeup. This should be a dandy tonight.
Pre-game coverage begins at 5:50 p.m., with first pitch shortly after the top of the hour. I would love to have you join me here. Talk to you then.