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Withrow Fights Through Control Issues, 66ers Win Going Away


Chris Withrow, fresh off his excellent 10-strikeout performance in relief of Hiroki Kuroda last Wednesday, struggled with his control tonight, but still hung on for the win, as the Class A Inland Empire 66ers crushed the High Desert Mavericks 11-1 at Stater Bros Stadium in Adelanto on Monday night.

Withrow, the 20-year old 2007 first-round draft pick, rated as the Dodgers' 9th best prospect by Baseball America heading into the season, was making only his 19th professional appearance and 11th career start.  He showed flashes of his stuff throughout the game, as his fastball echoed throughout the stadium as it hit the catcher's mitt and his curveball buckled a few knees along the way.

However, Withrow strugled with command as well, fighting to control his pitches for most of his five innings.  By my highly unofficial count, Withrow threw a first-pitch strike to only nine of the 24 batters he faced.  He threw 92 pitches, and only 50 for strikes.  Still, he showed some mound savvy in getting out of bases loaded jams in both the third and fourth innings, and only gave up one run in five innings.

Withrow's final line:  5 innings, 5 hits, 5 walks, 1 HBP, 3 strikeouts

The 66ers offense came alive tonight, hitting four home runs.  Nine of the 11 runs they scored were via the home run.  Catcher Alex Garabedian hit a three-run shot in the second inning, centerfielder Trayvon Robinson hit a two-run homer to right in the third, shortstop Justin Fuller hit a solo shot in the fourth, and leftfielder Preston Mattingly added a three-run home run to round out the scoring in the eighth inning.

For the Mavericks, an affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, their centerfielder Tyson Gillies is quite a fast runner.  He was rated by Baseball America as being the fastest baserunner in the organization, but one of the Mavericks' employees swore that fellow outfielder Gavin Dickey is faster.  If he's faster than Gillies, that's accomplishing something.

Tonight's Box Score

For some more photos of the game and the stadium, keep reading after the jump.

Here is the entrance to Stater Bros Stadium, home of the Advanced Class A High Desert Mavericks


Here's a look at the field, about 30 minutes before first pitch....


Here is pitching coach Charlie Hough and catcher Alex Garabedian counseling Withrow in the fourth inning...


Here is a closeup of Withrow just before throwing a pitch...


And another shot of Withrow pitching from the stretch..


Here's a look at 3B Pedro Baez in the field...