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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 7:29 pm 
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Sharp Outing Stymies Kernels

With Eduardo Lopez taking a bench seat for a week, the YS9 called on Randall Thomas to save their backsides once again, and once again Thomas responded, beating Des Moines in a critical FH division tilt. It didn’t hurt that the Nine offense, behind a double from Victor Guerra, dropped six runs on the Kernels in the first two innings, but we’re not sure it would have mattered anyway.

“Randall did his job out there,” said pitching coach Robert LaLoosh. “That’s what he does, you know? He gets lost in the flurry of press this staff gets, but he’s really a fine pitcher.”

Thomas went 7 and a third innings, striking out 4 and walking 2. He hadn’t pitched since July 25th, and it showed as he gave up a run in the first on a lead-off single and s series of stolen bases, but he settled down quickly.

“It was good to get into a rhythm again,” the right hander said.

Thomas, who came to the Nine in a deal with Vancouver some years back, is 28 years old and will be entering his last arbitration season. He’s got a nice four-pitch arsenal that features a slider and a sharp cutter. There was some activity between his agent and the team early in the year to come to an agreement, but that’s cooled after the Nine added a lot of names. Thomas says he understands the situation, and he’s fine with it. “I’ve got an arbitration year left,” he said. “Then we’ll see where it goes.”

If the Nine have a lot to say about it, one expects Thomas will go nowhere. This may wind up being difficult, though, as the team has a few too many contracts going into next year, and may need to find relieve valves.

“These things work out,” said GM Ron Collins. “We’ve got options to deal with, and then there’s arbitration situations that might change. I like Randall a lot. We all want him here.”

That’s probably true, unless you’re a fan of the kernels, in which case you’re just as happy if the Nine were to drop the whole thing.


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