The Diamond – Lake Elsinore, California
“Sharks don’t nibble.” – Mason Fox, RHP, Lake Elsinore Storm. Evidently, neither do the Storm and on a warm, smoky Wednesday night, they bit the Quakes arm off.
A rehabbing Garrett Richards opened the night with a strikeout against Jeren Kendall. After a double by Jacob Amaya, he proceeded to strike out the next two Quakes hitters with his fastball looking considerable more well-spotted than in recent outings, if not still slightly inconsistent. He would go on to dominate the first four innings of the game before passing the torch to Padres’ southpaw prospect Osvaldo Hernandez, a man whom it would take the Quakes an inning and two-thirds to get a hit off of.
When asked about the differences between Richards’ last outing against Rancho Cucamonga, which concluded with four walks, Storm pitching coach Pete Zamora commented- “I think he thought he was really close the first three starts… he was moving in the right direction and he finally felt that in this fourth one he’s gonna put it all together, he’s gonna attack with everything he has.”
On Richards’ potential to start successfully for the San Diego Padres this season, Zamora explained, “I know that he’s a competitor, I know that he wants to get up there, and when you have those two attributes, why would I bet against him… Yeah, let’s go for it.”
Storm catcher Luis Campusano lead off the scoring for the Storm with a shot that caromed off the top of the left-field wall, driving in Xavier Edwards and advancing Jeisson Rosario to third. The second-appearing of the surname in the order, Eguy Rosario, drove in J. Rosario with a sacrifice fly, stretching the lead to two.
After two shutout innings, Hernandez, positioned for the win, was relieved of his duties by Henry Henry, the man with one name twice. Henry would strike out three in two innings of work, but the real star of the relieving duties was Mason Fox. “Sharks don’t nibble” himself. The phrase is a reference to the plushy shark attached to his bag, as well as the mindset that “sharks always attack, they’re always hungry,” as Fox put it. When asked if he elevated to another level for the playoffs, Fox was nonchalant, explaining, “I know it’s an important game… but I don’t really try to think about that. It’s just, ‘get in there, do my job, and that’s it.”
The Storm looks to extend their series lead to two as they host the Quakes at home again tomorrow, September 4th.
Xavier Edwards: 2H, 1 BB, 2 SB, R
Garrett Richards: 4.0 IP, 2H, 5K, 1BB
Osvaldo Hernandez (W): 2IP, 1H, 2K, 1BB
Mason Fox (S): IP, 3K