Kyle McPherson epitomizes the ups and downs of minor league baseball.
Except for a pair of two-out mistakes in a six-inning performance, McPherson was solid if not spectacular on the mound Sunday afternoon in the West Virginia Power’s 11-9 South Atlantic League victory over the visiting Lake County (Ohio) Captains.
McPherson allowed six runs on seven hits, including three-run home runs by Michael Valadez and John Allman in the second and sixth innings, respectively.
McPherson had allowed only one home run in his previous nine appearances.
“It’s a good learning experience for all of our guys,” said Power pitching coach Jeff Johnson, 42, a former Major League pitcher who posted an 8-16 record and 6.52 earned run average in three seasons with the New York Yankees. “Just because we have two outs, the inning isn’t over. We have to finish innings.
“The first three-run homer, (Valadez) did his job. The guy hadn’t hit a ball to right field all year long against us. Then, he hits one up in the wind in right-center and gets it out. I don’t worry about that too much.
“I thought in the sixth, (McPherson) got a little tired. I was trying to let him finish the inning since he had two outs. But his pitches got elevated pretty badly in the sixth. It ended up costing him.”
Wade Taylor – Johnson’s rotation-mate back in the day – was a scout with the Yankees until 2005. I wonder where he is today?
All of the pitchers in Yankees history with at least 30 starts made for the team, Johnson has the worst ERA in the bunch: 6.52 – followed by Ed Whiston (5.38), Jeff Weaver (5.35) and Andy Hawkins (5.21).
Gotta stop here…too close to bed-time…and I don’t want to have nightmares.