Chris Paddack and Storm Cruise Past Modesto Nuts 8-3

Credit” EVT Sports

LAKE ELSINORE, CALIFORNIA

The Lake Elsinore Storm had a great offensive day against the Modesto Nuts, as they churned out 12 hits and 10 runs. Chris Paddack, making his second start since returning from Tommy John surgery, threw four innings and 78 pitches, striking out nine batters while allowing three hits and one walk. The Storm, backed up by this effort, took the win 8-3 in front of 2,008 fans.

Paddack was electric through the four innings he pitched and was rarely in trouble. His fastball was on point throughout the game and he collected at least one strikeout in every inning pitched. He would get nine strikeouts in total, and only had to dance out of danger in the fourth inning when runners were on second and third. He would strike out Gareth Morgan to end the inning to put a cap on his day.

Storm manager Edwin Rodriguez was impressed by Paddack’s start, saying that “he is not only a thrower… his pitch ability is above most other pitchers his age,” while praising his strong arm, citing it as a plus for his development.

The Storm offense was quiet as well despite hitting deep fly balls to the warning track on two occasions. They were able to scrape a run across in the third inning thanks to two doubles by Eguy Rosario and Luis Torrens. The Storm couldn’t capitalize with the runner in scoring position as Jorge Ona flied out to end the inning.

The Storm would break through in the fifth inning after Buddy Reed was hit by a pitch and stole second base. He moved to third on a wild pitch that also served as ball four to Rosario. A sacrifice fly by Edward Olivares brought home Reed, while Torrens also got plunked the very next at-bat.

Ona would make Modesto pay for the wildness and smash a line drive that skipped under the glove of Morgan in center field. All three runs scored and Ona was credited with a two-RBI double. After Zunica struck out, Hudson Potts turned on a pitch and parked it over the 425 feet sign in deep center field for a two-run homer.

With Austin Smith pitching in the sixth inning, the Nuts jumped on the chance to score some runs. Back-to-back base hits to start the inning put runners on second and third. A strikeout inspired hope, but a single by Garrett Kennedy cleared the bases and gave Modesto their first runs of the game. Smith got a double play to end the inning, but the shutout was over.

Lake Elsinore saw what Modesto did, and decided to take those runs back for themselves. A Reed walk and back-to-back singles by Rosario and Olivares brought a run home for the Storm. Luis Torrens, continuing his fine day at the plate, singled to bring home Rosario before Ona bounced into a double play.

Credit: M.Kreg/EVT News

Rodriguez was proud of his team’s offense the past few games, but also wanted his team to make “a little adjustment when it comes to situational hitting…we have to be a little more patient and wait for our pitches.” Rodriguez still praised his hitters for a strong showing on offense and was hopeful to see the streak last longer into the month.

Despite Modesto scoring another run, the Storm bullpen would hold their own and finish the game to preserve the win. Elliot Ashbeck got the win for the Storm in relief, while opposing starter Randy Bell absorbed the loss.

Storm who stood out

Chris PaddackWhat can be said about Paddack that hasn’t already been said? The right-hander, acquired from the Miami Marlins for Fernando Rodney in 2016, was very efficient in his start today. His second start coming off of Tommy John surgery, Paddack said that his arm was feeling fine, and credited catcher Marcus Greene Jr for “calling a hell of a game”, while saying that he calmed him down after missing some pitches in the zone. Paddack wants to “show them (the Padres) that I can go five or six innings every start.” Paddack threw only four innings, but all four innings were scoreless, and he will look to build on this start in his next game.

Hudson PottsThe former first round pick had an excellent day at the plate while handling himself well at his position of third base. Potts’ swing looked very smooth and natural all game long, and it showed when he cleared the fence in left-center field. The fence in that part of the park is at least 425 feet, so for Potts to clear that with little help from the wind is a testament to his power. His other two hits happened to be extra base hits as well, and he didn’t record a strikeout all game. If Potts continues to have performances like this, expect him to be on board a flight for Double-A San Antonio by the end of the season.

The Lake Elsinore Storm are off on Monday and will begin a series with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Tuesday, May 8.

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Jason Freund
I am currently attending San Diego State University while working on achieving a major in journalism. At SDSU, I write for The Daily Aztec while also hosting the sports radio show "Picked Off", for KCR Radio. A loyal fan of San Diego sports, I hope to bring content that you will enjoy reading.
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Roddy Reta
Roddy Reta
3 years ago

Thanks for all your hard work on this. I found it very informative!

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