Reed pitches Flying Squirrels past Senators
Recent acquisition from an independent league struggled in first 2 starts
Lancaster Barnstormers manager Ross Peeples pulled Nate Reed into his office and let him know he had been acquired. He told him the Giants had purchased his contract and gave him a phone number to call.
For the first time since Reed played at the Class A-Advanced level in for Salem, a Red Sox affiliate, he had a contract in “affiliate ball.”
“Here’s a number to the guy you got to call, and they handle it from there,” Reed said of how the meeting went.
Reed struggled in his first two outings with the Flying Squirrels. The Giants acquired Reed from Lancaster of the Atlantic League, an independent league in
which no teams are affiliated with teams in Major League Baseball. At Lancaster, Reed put up a 3.53 ERA with a 1.206 WHIP. In parts of every season since 2013, Reed has played in the Mexican Pacific Winter League or Mexican League, which is considered to be at the Triple-A level and is organized by MLB but isn’t affiliated with any MLB teams.
Sunday, however, Reed had his best outing since he’s joined the Flying Squirrels. He pitched seven innings and gave up just two runs and eight hits. He entered the game with an 11.74 ERA but left with a 7.36.
The Flying Squirrels won 6-2 and split the four-game series with Harrisburg.
The Squirrels gave Reed the run support he needed before he left the game. In the fourth inning, Jerry Sands’ triple brought home second baseman C.J. Hinojosa and third baseman Myles Schroder, giving the Squirrels a 2-1 lead. Although Richmond left the bases loaded at the end of the inning, it solidified its lead by scoring two more runs.
“I don’t want to change too much in my game because that got me here,” Reed said of his prior struggles.
The Richmond lefthanded pitcher has a sinking fastball that manager Kyle Haines said is a key to Reed having good outings. If he throws it well, it opens up Reed’s other pitches, which will lead to better starts. Haines said his breaking pitches are the best in his repertoire.
“The first outing was tough because of a lot of cheap hits and a lot of breaks didn’t go his way,” Haines said.
On Sunday, Reed induced six consecutive groundouts, starting with a double play on the last out of the first inning. He struck out four batters and used his breaking pitches to tame the Senators’ lineup, which scored 16 runs in the first three games of the series.
Reed was acquired before the All-Star break and pitched June 30 before pitching again July 9. The Flying Squirrels pitcher said he had to adjust to being added, pitching right away and then taking nine days of rest. During the All-Star break, Reed said he kept the same routine as he had in the Atlantic League.
After he pitches, he’ll rest his arm the day after. On the next three days, he’ll play long toss, throw in the bullpen and then “take it easy,” respectively. In Double-A, Reed said players hit more aggressively than in the independent leagues, where there are more ex-major league players and older players. On Sunday, he handled them well.
“I said as long as I keep getting opportunities,” Reed said, “I’d keep wanting to play the game.”
Notes: The Squirrels travel to Erie (Detroit Tigers) to start a three-game series at UPMC Park in Erie, Pa., at 6:35 p.m. on Monday. Richmond righty Cory Taylor (2-8, 5.14 ERA) will face righty Beau Burrows (2-2, 5.59 ERA).
See photo highlights from the Squirrels’ win at Richmond.com.
Nate Reed delivers during the Squirrels’ win over Harrisburg at The Diamond. Reed was acquired before the All-Star break from the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League.