The roadie has taken a big chunk out of our schedule at this point, and certainly taken me out of rhythm, but it hasn't taken the microphones out from in front of the players and coaches (as you'll see with the Sweet Scoop finally launching this afternoon).
Let's roll all the way back to Saturday, with Micah Gorman on the mound and dominating Yakima Valley for six scoreless innings. What did the young VMI right-hander think of his outing?
Mutz is a big fan of Gorman, and Skipper went into detail about why he likes what Gorman brings to the rotation.
Joe DeMers followed on from Gorman to make his WCL debut and got the side in order for the first two innings. Pretty impressive work for a kid straight out of high school, and Frank Mutz was impressed.
That upcoming start was Tuesday in Bellingham, and the youngster from Northern California didn't disappoint - a quality start, with two runs allowed in six innings and seven strikeouts, a new season-high for a Sweets starter.
How about a little offense before we move forward? The team seems to really be buying into the notion of going back through the box for hits. Here's Skipper:
That was a big part of the four-run fifth inning that gave Walla Walla a win on Wednesday night in Bellingham.
Let's fast-forward to that win in Bellingham, where Easton Lucas got the start. He spoke to us about battling through hitters despite having lower-than-usual velocity and coming back from home runs.
His relief was Chris Tate, who pitched four scoreless innings for the save, Tate talked about his approach in relief of Lucas, and the importance of a lead like the one he had coming in.
Tate might be pitching to contact, but not many guys are making contact against him - Tate leads the West Coast League with 20 strikeouts in 16.1 innings. I'll pause while you guffaw at that number. Go ahead, I'll wait.
Back to the bats. Parker Coss made his debut with the Sweets on the road trip, and Frank Mutz loves what he's seen from the rising sophomore at UC Irvine so far.
Coss has settled in now, having been with Walla Walla almost a week, and capped the four-run fifth-inning that won the Sweets the game with an RBI single. He talked to us on the importance of those big innings.
Then there's the outtake for this edition of The Soundboard. Before our interview, Frank Mutz patted Tate on the back and said, "Good thing you found your uniform today!" I asked Tate what he meant, and he said this:
We've all been there, forgetting something important somewhere else. Just so long as he doesn't leave his off-speed pitches in the hotel, he should be just fine.
And that's the Soundboard from Bellingham. Rubber match tonight at 7:05!