Jumbo Hooks: Shrimp at their Sharpest

The Jumbo Shrimp won the first three games over the Jackson Generals (27-23) to take another homestand at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville. Following those three victories, Jacksonville (22-28) had won seven straight games, which surpassed the team’s previous-best of five consecutive wins this season. Most importantly, it’s the first time the Shrimp have won back-to-back series. The Bold City squad has been playing their best baseball over the last 12 to 15 games. Jax will need its sharpest baseball with a five-game road series at Pensacola, who leads the Southern League South at 28-22 overall and 16-9 at home. The Blue Wahoos have the league’s best home record.

  1. It took until the 10th series of the season for the Jumbo Shrimp to have a game postponed at home. With Wednesday’s rain, Friday was turned into a doubleheader of 7-inning games. The rain also reached south to DeLand where North Florida and Jacksonville University baseball were delayed and postponed. But our lawns are thankful.
  2. In Thursday’s game one shutout of the Generals 5-0, Jeff Locke had his second rehab start for the Jumbo Shrimp. Jackson came to the Baseball Grounds leading the Southern League in scoring, batting average and home runs. Locke, who has four rehab starts between Jupiter and Jacksonville, held the Generals to six singles while fanning five over six shutout innings. Three of the four Shrimp pitching shutouts in 2017 have come at home.
  3. A big call-up for second baseman David Vidal sends him to Triple-A New Orleans. He held one of the best league batting averages and his 51 hits was top-five in the Southern League. Vidal, who played 45 games with the Jumbo Shrimp, makes his way past Double-A for the first time in his six minor league seasons. He will be missed with the Jumbo Shrimp, and we hope he can make the Miami Marlins 40-man roster this summer. In a corresponding move, Jax took catcher Chris Hoo off the disabled list where he had been from May 15 to May 27 with a right wrist contusion.
  4. Jumbo Shrimp left-handed pitcher Mike Kickham had one of the most memorable pitching performances on Saturday in tying a career-high with 12 strikeouts. Over 6.2 innings pitched, he struck out six straight Generals and retired the final 13 batters he faced. Kickham – who pitched at the Triple-A level from 2013-15 – was one half of the strikeout-fest at the Baseball Grounds. In a game that featured 35 total Ks, Jackson starter Taylor Clarke struck out a career-high 12 Jumbo Shrimp in 5.1 innings. Clarke’s impressive outing helped the Generals win game four, 4-2.
  5. With Vidal’s promotion to New Orleans, Alex Yarbrough will have more of a role as an everyday starter at second base. To begin the month of May, the 25-year-old had a 10-game hit streak. He’s been on base safely in eight of his last 11 starts. The Jumbo Shrimp return to Pensacola for the second time this season. In the first go-around, Jacksonville got swept while the Blue Wahoos (28-22) outscored the Shrimp 27 runs to 15. The road series – all five games, Tuesday to Sunday will be 7:35 p.m. starts – will provide the best indication as to how sharp the Jumbo Shrimp are currently playing.

Jumbo Shrimp play-by-play voice Roger Hoover joined “Manze & Miller on Sports” this week to discuss the improved play of the Shrimp.

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