The Altoona Curve sit at 35-29 on the season, but over the past week or so injuries have begun plaguing the Eastern League Western division leader.
It was announced Sunday that second baseman Kevin Kramer was placed on the disabled list after taking a pitch to the hand Saturday. The broken hand puts a halt to a spectacular Double-A season for Kramer who was hitting .297 prior to landing on the DL.
The injuries began piling up throughout the week as this time the pitching staff took the lumps in the injury department with pitchers Brandon Waddell and Yeudy Garcia both getting bit by the injury bug.
Waddell spent time on the DL in April with a forearm strain and it looks as though he reaggravated the injury resulting in a Platelet Rich Plasma injection in said forearm. As a result of the injection and injury, the Pirates are remaining cautious as Waddell is expected to be back in 6-8 weeks.
Garcia was knocked around in his start against Portland Thursday night in the inning and a third he was in the game getting lit up for five earned runs on five hits. The right-handed pitcher lasted only a pitch in the second inning before exiting the game with discomfort in his back. A timetable for Garcia’s return has yet to be set as he was to be reevaluated Thursday, an off-day for the Curve.
Regardless of the severity of his back injury, a DL stint might not be the worst thing for Garcia as he has struggled mightily at times this season.
McRae dazzles in bounce back start
Alex McRae got rocked in his last start prior to Thursday’s outing against the Portland Sea Dogs. Lasting 5 and a third innings, McRae gave up seven earned runs on 14 Sea Dogs hits while striking out three and walking one.
McRae has grown accustomed to following up an abysmal start with a superb one so far this season doing so twice prior to Thursday afternoon’s game. The righty failed to get out of the first inning in a start on May 19th but followed that up by lasting seven innings and surrendering only three runs in his next outing. In his outing following that appearance, McRae lasted only four innings giving up two runs on seven hits.
The Jacksonville University product went seven strong innings allowing only one earned run on four hits while striking out five and not allowing a free pass. Thursday’s start brought McRae to 5-2 on the season with a 3.63 ERA.
Curve advance to Final Round of Ballpark Digest’s Best of the Ballparks
Last week we wrote about the Altoona Curve reaching the elite eight in the Best of the Ballparks competition, this week, the Curve were announced to be a part of the Final Four then Final Round as they face-off against upcoming opponent and Double-A foe, Hartford in hopes of winning the coveted Best of the Ballparks title.
The Altoona Curve hit the road to visit the Hartford Yard Goats for a three-game series beginning tonight at 7:05 pm before returning home Tuesday to face the Trenton Thunder. Austin Coley is projected to start game-one while starting pitchers have yet to be announced by the Yard Goats. Tanner Anderson will toe the rubber in game-two before J.T. Brubaker takes the mound for game-three Sunday. Following the three-game series, Altoona will return home for a six-game homestand that features the Thunder as well as Hartford.