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Carlos Misell, who struck out the side to earn his first career save Sunday, replaces ex-closer Emilio Pagan.
Monday, September 2, 2013
PULASKI — Like many people, the Pulaski Mariners had Labor Day off. That didn’t mean they weren’t working.
Fresh off sweeping the Bluefield Blue Jays in the opening round of the Appalachian League playoffs, the Mariners (43-27) were back at their Calfee Park headquarters for an afternoon workout Monday in the first of two nights off from playing a baseball game.
That was a privilege they earned with the Jays sweep as well as a convenient weather delay in the Greeneville-Kingsport matchup in the other semifinal now gone to a decisive Game 3, first pitch 7 p.m. tonight in the Mets ballpark. The Astros (39-31) bounced back with a 7-2 Monday night triumph that followed a 3-1 loss at home in the opener. The Mets (41-28) were the regular season winners of the West Division.
That means the first game of the title series will not be until Wednesday at the home of the Mets-Astros winner. The next game and Game 3, if necessary, will be at Calfee Park. Home field for the championship alternates between the divisions.
Pulaski manager Chris Prieto was glad to have the opportunity to workout away from the pressure of a game day.
“We’ll get to take BP on the field and we haven’t had the opportunity to do that in four days,” he said. “To be able to do that and take infield and not play in a game is a positive and not a negative.”
When the Mariners were finishing off Bluefield (40-28), the pitcher they sent in to close was hard-throwing Venezuelan right-hander Carlos Misell. A 20-year-old, he signed with the Mariners just this year. When he took the mound against the Blue Jays, he’d had 42⁄3 innings of pro work. Big moment for a guy with that level of experience.
Misell was sensational in striking out the side for his first career save. He would have done it in order if a two-strike, two-out pitch to Tim Locastro hadn’t gotten away from him.
“I was trying to set him up inside but the ball went too much and I hit him,” Misell said through pitching coach and translator Nasusel Cabrera.
Misell hasn’t had too many wasted pitches so far. Out of 17 outs recorded, 13 of them were by strikeout. He has yet to yield a run. That’s shades of predecessor Emilio Pagan, who went 12 for 12 in save chances before graduating to Everett of the Northwest League in August.
Missell signed in the spring, spent a month in Arizona at extended spring training, then reported to Pulaski
“When we lost Pagan, we thought nobody was going to replace him,” Cabrera said. “But this guy has done a great job for us.”
When the next save situation arises, it’s likely Misell will be the one ordered to get ready in the bullpen.
“That’s the way it’s looking,” Prieto said.
It’s been that kind of year in Pulaski. Pagan and fellow Appy all star Ian Miller got promoted and somebody else stepped up and did the job.
“Typically in the minor leagues, every team that wins a championship loses players during the year,” Prieto said. “If you use that as a crutch and say, ‘You know, we lost our guys’ — but good teams have guys who step into roles and step up and keep winning.”
Weather Journal70 Thursday to ice Sunday?