Henry Owens Pitches Well In Paw Sox Win Despite Troubles Throwing Strikes
Henry Owens made his 9th start of the season this afternoon against the Tampa Bay Rays AAA affiliate, the Durham Bulls. Owens came into Sundays start with a 3-3 record with a 3.19 ERA in 42.1 innings for the Paw Sox.
The number one problem for Owens on the season has been his control. He hasn’t been able to throw strikes. His last time out against Buffalo on Sunday the 21st, he had 3 walks in 6 innings of work. Before that, he had a season high 7 walks against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on May 16th in 4.2 innings of work.
Today, Owens had his same old stuff. He went 6 innings, giving up 4 hits, 1 run, 4 walks, and had 7 K’s on 110 pitches (63 strikes). In the 1st inning, he gave up a leadoff walk to Mallex Smith, who later scored on a single by Mike McKenry. That was the only blemish on the afternoon by Owens.
There were a lot of deep counts on the afternoon for Owens. He was allowing Bulls hitters to extend the count to 3-2 on many occasions, which raised his pitch count very quickly. Owens had a season high 110 pitches today. He was pitching well enough to stay in this game, but couldn’t because of the high pitch count.
Besides the fact that Owens trouble throwing strikes this afternoon, he pitched pretty well. All four of his hits were bloop singles by the Bulls. The only hard hit ball on the afternoon was the single by Mike McKenry in the 1st inning that drove in the only Bulls run on the day.
Owens was getting swing and misses on his breaking pitches, which is a good sign. But, you will not see Owens pitching for the Boston Red Sox until he can throw strikes on a consistent basis. Throwing strikes 57% of the time, like he did today, is not an acceptable number at the major league level. The professional hitters of major league baseball will score against a pitcher who struggles like that.