Dash Do Not Get Their Ducks In A Row, Drop Doubleheader

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Dash played two against the Down East Wood Ducks on Sunday, and like many things in life, there was both good and bad. They dropped game one 2-1 in extras (“extras” in the world of minor league doubleheaders is anything after seven innings) and game two 9-0, gathering exactly one hit in doing so.

John Parke made his seventh start of the season for the Dash in game one. Parke was a 21st-round pick in 2017 and makes his living in the 80-89 mph range. He’s not a big strikeout guy, instead making his living off (ideally!) weak contact. That was on full display on Sunday; backed up by strong defense and his own pickoffs, the 6’4” lefty went six innings with no strikeouts and one run given up. I’m not reeeally comparing him to Mark Buehrle, the definition of “crafty lefty with a good pickoff move,” but Parke did come into the day with two pickoffs on the season and added two more during the game. This, in addition to catcher Carlos Perez’s strong throw to nab a runner stealing, helped Parke keep the Wood Ducks off the scoreboard until the fifth inning. He was frequently in trouble, but frequently worked out of it, and ended up with a nice final line of 6.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R (earned), 1 BB, and 0 K.

Parke was relieved by Luis Ledo, who is also 6’4”, but is dissimilar in every other way. Ledo spent his first four — four!! — seasons in the organization with the DSL White Sox, where his innings were limited and walks were rampant. He’s had mixed results since coming stateside, walking 38 in 56.1 IP with Kannapolis last season, but throws in the mid-90s range. He wasn’t bad on Sunday, giving up the winning run in the 8th mostly due to the new-ish MiLB rule of placing a runner on second to start any extra inning.

Defensively, game one was, if not a 180-degree turn from Friday’s game, at least a solid 150-degrees away. There were the aforementioned Parke pickoffs and Perez caught stealing; Perez had two passed balls, but turned the second one into an out, nailing the runner trying to advance to third by a full five steps. Jameson Fisher made a couple of very nice plays at first; he’s been impressive there this year, his first at the position since his college days. Zach Remillard had a tough-luck error, but made up for it by knocking in the Dash’s only run of the game. He then made up for THAT by trying to stretch his hit into a double and easily getting thrown out at second, ending the inning.

Otherwise, the Dash bats were fairly quiet. Jameson Fisher’s preceding double in the 4th inning was their first of six hits. Craig Dedelow had two of them, a ground ball to the right side and, hilariously, a bunt against the shift to the left. Remillard had another two, although the one he'd probably rather forget. Steele Walker drew two walks; Nick Madrigal went 0-4, although he did hit one to the wall. They wasted a few scoring opportunities, including a bases-loaded, one-out eighth inning that ended with back-to-back strikeouts.

That turned out to be a portent for game two. Just like in game one, the Dash didn’t pick up their first hit until the fourth inning. Also just like Remillard in game one, Jordan George tried to stretch it into a double and was out by a mile at second. That was it for Dash bats. Evan Skoug and Steele Walker both (steele) walked; Fisher was hit by a pitch. Nobody went anywhere.

To complement this tepid offensive performance, Lincoln Henzman gave up six runs in five innings. Henzman went on the IL after one out of his very first start of the year and has had a couple of rough starts since his return. He gave up some hard contact on Sunday, including two vast dingers, hit a guy, and threw a wild pitch. Henzman is like Parke in that he’s tall and he doesn’t strike out a lot of guys; he is unlike him in that he sits low-90s on his fastball and is a righty. He’s also got this great leg kick.


Watch this 100 times and you’ll have an idea of what a Henzman complete game looks like. I can’t diagnose the cause of Henzman’s early-season struggles, but based on his performance last year, I can’t imagine his ERA will still be verging on 7.00 come August.

Really, there’s not much more to say about game two. Wyatt Burns, undrafted free agent signee in 2018, came on in relief and had his second-worst outing of the year, handling his first inning with no trouble but giving up three (two earned) in his second. He was aided in this endeavor by some imperfect outfield defense by both Walker and George. The Down East Wood Ducks placed not one, not two, but THREE beautiful bunts today, something that I never thought I would type, and two of them went for base hits. The Dash played at least six different songs with duck themes (and many more duck sound effects than that), and I cycled through amusement, rage, and resignation, finally settling on appreciation of their commitment to the bit.

That’s three straight the Dash dropped to the Ducks, who are actually a very decent team. Luckily, they get to play them three more times in the next week, all at wherever Down East is! I guess down, and east. They’ll return home to face the Fayetteville Woodpeckers next Monday. Until then, may the memory of Rally Chicken sustain us all.

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