Patrick Sandoval strikes out 5 in home debut with 66ers

LA Angels pitching prospect, LHP Patrick Sandoval, found success in his home debut as a 66er last night (August 4th). Despite facing trouble throughout, Sandoval shut the door on the Modesto Nuts en route to a scoreless 5.1 inning, one hit affair.

Patrick Sandoval, the highly talented lefty starter, has tacked on another scoreless start after pitching 4.2 with nine strikeouts and zero runs allowed against the San Jose Giants on the road in his last outing. Last night saw Sandoval strike out 5 in a start that also saw him facing command issues early on. Sandoval opened the game on a strong frame with 2 K’s and a fly out before finding himself in danger during the second inning. In that second inning Sandoval saw an error and two walks put the pressure on him early; despite his fastball being sharp his secondary pitches saw command issues, which led to four walks including a hit-by-pitch.

While Sandoval is typically a strikeout pitcher he relied heavily on ground balls and help from his defense to get him through this outing, noted by his 6 groundouts with one being a 4th inning double play that erased a leadoff walk. After two groundouts and a strikeout in the 5th, Sandoval started the 6th with a hit-by-pitch and followed with a strikeout before being lifted from the game for the right-handed reliever Dayan Diaz.

On his start, Sandoval had this to say:

H.H: Early in the game you had to pitch around a couple of errors and some walks. Did that affect your game plan coming into the game?

Sandoval: Yeah, it’s not ideal to start the game that way, but I gotta make adjustments and I think I did a pretty good job of that tonight. I think that was the theme of this outing, making adjustments and not letting things get out of control.

H.H: How were you feeling with the command of your secondary pitches?

Sandoval: The change-up wasn’t as fine as I’m used to. The curveball was alright tonight, same thing with the slider. It wasn’t as sharp. I definitely have a lot of work to do over these next 5 days.

H.H: You typically have high strikeout games, but today you relied on groundouts to get you out of trouble. What was your mental process like throughout this start?

Sandoval: To just attack every hitter with 100% intent on every pitch and make them get themselves out if they’re gonna swing early. That’s always better for me.

H.H: Overall, how are you feeling with your 1st two starts as a 66er?

Sandoval: There’s a little bit of mixed emotions there with so many walks. It’s not like me this year. Strikeouts are good and everything, guys are making plays behind me. It’s good, but it also shows I have a lot of work to do.

66ers have allowed no runs in last 27 innings.

Sandoval found a plethora of run support as the 66ers put up 6 runs on the night, including a HR from Brendon Sanger in his 4th game as a 66er. Capping off the night was a huge night from 3rd baseman Richie Fecteau, a game which saw Fecteau hit a triple alongside a single to a total 3 RBI night. A one out single in the second inning brought the 66ers a quick lead. In the 6th Fecteau smashed a two out triple which scored catcher Julian Leon. Included in the offensive affairs was second baseman Zane Gurwitz and his 2 RBI, 4th inning single; the second baseman appearing in his third game as a 66er.

Offensive star of the night, Richie Fecteau, gave a few words after the game regarding his standout performance.

H.H: Tonight you had 3 RBI’s with a single and a triple. How locked in were you feeling at the plate?

Fecteau: I was feeling pretty good. I’ve made a few adjustments in the past week or so to kinda slow everything down, really try to get into a better zone when I’m hitting. That’s all I try to do, I try to see the ball up a little bit more instead of chasing everything down. I’ve been able to make some nice adjustments in the middle of an at-bat.

H.H: Over the last 7 days you’ve hit over .300 and slugged over .600. What have you been working on this season to get your offense to this point?

Fecteau: Mainly just getting good pitches to hit. I know I attack early in the count, I always have. I’m trying to get away from that and really settle for a good pitch to hit. Try to drive it and do some damage with it.

H.H: What was it like defensively backing up Patrick Sandoval in his home debut as a 66er?

Fecteau: Oh he’s awesome to field behind. He’s a really good pitcher. He dominates every time out it seems like. He’s got a good pace, he keep us in the game and consistently throws strikes. He does unbelievable every time he goes out there.

Twelve runs scored in last three games.

After the game Patrick Sandoval was interviewed on field in honor of his home debut, being regarded as the games standout MVP. Sandoval had multiple coolers dumped on him by teammates throughout the interview as well as a healthy share of peanuts pelted at him. It’s great to see not only the organization, but the team welcoming Sandoval with such open warmth. Welcome home Patrick.