The game started as a pitching duel between Mike McClendon and Wilson Lee, but the Heat busted the game open in the fourth inning scoring three runs, followed by another three in the fifth inning and a one run sixth. Adelaide’s defence and starting pitching was lacklustre throughout the entire evening, practically forcing them to give up the game late int the fifth inning.
Perth Heat shortstop Joey Wong said the main reason for their victory was a huge start from pitcher Mike McClendon, as well as some below par defence from Adelaide.
“We got a huge start from Mac [Mike McClendon]… they didn’t play sound defence like I think they’re accustomed too and we took advantage of some mistakes and had some big hits to expand on the lead.”
“Hopefully we can come out and get another good start from Waz [Warwick Saupold] tomorrow and try to keep the pressure on, try to get on the board early and extend the game just like we did tonight.”
ADELAIDE’S QUESTIONABLE COACHING STYLE
The most obvious aspect concerning Adelaide’s style of play was the lack of coaching and help the players were receiving from their managers, who looked almost completely absent throughout the entire game.
It seems Adelaide’s plan for this series is to simply walk away with a split and not try anything too drastic. If they are able to keep Perth on a 0.500 record and Brisbane and Canberra have a tough series, it is almost guaranteed they will finish in top position come the end of round 14.
ADELAIDE’S QUESTIONABLE STARTING ROTATION
Adelaide made a bold decision to play their number two starting pitcher Wilson Lee against Perth Heat ace and the league ERA leader Mike McClendon for the first game of the series. Lee gave up seven runs to Perth, and despite this was kept in for the majority of the game. It looked as if Adelaide were happy to give up the opening game of the series to Perth’s ace after they gave up the first six runs. Even with Lee struggling they had no one warming up in the bullpen, and simply looked prepared to let this game slide.
Adelaide ace Morgan Coombs is scheduled to start Sunday against Perth’s number three starting pitcher Daniel Schmidt. The only justifiable reason for Adelaide to do this is so they have a guaranteed win in the last game of the series, with the hope they will take either the Friday or Saturday game and split the series 2-2.
Perth right fielder and two-hole hitter Tim Kennelly does not seem worried about Adelaide starting their ace later in the series, saying it’s expected Adelaide will always come out with good pitching.
“All their starting pitching has been good this year, their bullpen has been pretty good so we are ready for it,” he said.
“We have got a pretty good offence so we will be ready to swing the bats.
“Hopefully our pitchers can keep us close in ballgames and we can score some runs at some crucial times in the game and win a few more.”