Last night, I was in attendance for Robert Stephenson’s start in Louisville. In the first inning, Stephenson hit Edwin Espinal in the face, breaking his jaw. He also hit the first batter of the second inning and things got very tense for a while. And yet, he went 6 innings on 88 pitches, allowing 1 run. He retired the last 11 batters he faced. Except for the pitch count, it was vintage Stephenson. Control issues aplenty, but otherwise unhittable (he did not allow a hit after the first).
I talked to Bats manager Dick Schofield after the game and asked about the situation that occurred in the game and Stephenson’s pitching in general. “I think he gets so amped up trying to throw 100 mph when he [should] throw 92-95. When he starts settling in and wears down a little bit, then the arm works better for him.” This is, you will note, the narrative we’ve had with Stephenson for a couple of years now.
I also asked about Nick Senzel, but Schofield had nothing to say other than that he was getting treatment but with no ETA. Trent Rosecrans had a story at The Athletic that indicated that Senzel was improving, but not quite there yet.
Also, it has not yet been determined when Brandon Finnegan will have his first start for the Bats.