Tampa Bay Rays MiLB Recap: Buddy Borden Another Playoff Hero

By Robbie Knopf

The Charlotte Stone Crabs are certainly making the Tampa Bay Rays proud, pulling within one win of a Florida State League championship as they emerged victorious in their four consecutive postseason game. Right-hander Buddy Borden became the latest notable contributor as he moved past his second-half struggles to lead Charlotte to another victory.

High-A Florida State League Championship Series Game 2: Charlotte Stone Crabs 6, Daytona Tortugas (CIN) 1 (Charlotte Leads 2-0)

As we have discussed, the Stone Crabs were excellent in the first half of the FSL season, going 44-25, before slipping to just a 24-41 mark in the second half. Buddy Borden experienced something similar. He went 7-3 with a 2.25 ERA and a 46-18 strikeout to walk ratio in the first half before slipping to a 3.62 ERA and just a 49-40 K-BB ratio in the second. However, we have seen the Stone Crabs revert back to their dominant first-half form from the moment the playoffs began, and the same was true of Borden in this game.

Borden finished with 7 innings giving up just 1 run on 2 hits, striking out 8 while walking 1. His groundout to flyout ratio was also an excellent 9-3. Borden tied his season-high for strikeouts and had as good command as ever as he turned himself completely around. He tossed 7 innings after surpassing 5 just once in his last 10 regular-season starts! The Stone Crabs’ starting pitching has been magical this postseason as Brent Honeywell, German Marquez, Chih-Wei Hu, and now Borden have all been excellent. Hunter Wood will hope to join that list tonight.

Offensively, Granden Goetzman continued his huge playoffs by 3 for 5 with a stolen base and a run scored. He is hitting a preposterous .643, taking his .391 average from his final 7 games of the regular season up another notch. Pat Blair went 2 for 4 with a double, 3 RBI, and a run scored while Justin Williams went 2 for 4 with a double, a walk, a stolen base, and a run. Then there was Braxton Lee, who went 1 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base. Lee finds himself with a .467 postseason average while Williams’ isn’t so shabby either at .400.

The aforementioned Wood will take the ball for Charlotte at 6:00 PM tonight as the Stone Crabs hope to complete quite a playoff run. Elsewhere in the Tampa Bay Rays system, Jacob Faria goes for the Montgomery Biscuits at 7:15 PM as they try to rebound from a loss in their first postseason game.

Next: Tampa Bay Rays Game 140: Another Rally Vs. Junichi Tazawa