Friday, September 3, 2010

Wimmers Tosses Five Hitless Innings

First-rounder earns first victory in third start

Courtesy Fort Myers Miracle

By Alex Raskin/Special to

Having thrown only 5 2/3 innings as a professional, Fort Myers starter Alex Wimmers had to take a seat after five hitless frames Tuesday.

The 2010 first-round pick struck out six and walked one en route to the Class A Advanced Miracle's 4-1 win over the Palm Beach Cardinals.

"I felt great," Wimmers said. "I could have kept going, but then again I was on a pitch count, 70-75. Once I hit that mark, that was my day."

Wimmers knows how to gauge his tank. As a sophomore at Ohio State in 2009, he tossed the only nine-inning no-hitter in Buckeyes' history and felt nearly as dominant against the Cardinals on Tuesday.

"I couldn't guarantee that I would have thrown a no-hitter," he said, "but I felt I had the stuff that it possibly could happen.

"To look at the long run, the Miracle and the Twins probably felt it is in the best interest of me to stick to the pitch count."

After retiring the side in order in the first inning, Wimmers walked Palm Beach's Alex Castellanos to begin the second frame. The right-hander recorded 10 outs in a row before Ryde Rodriguez reached on a fielding error by third baseman Nicholas Romero in the fifth.

Wimmers wrapped up his third start with six strikeouts to earn his first professional victory.

"My fastball location was my key," he said. "I was able to pinpoint it when I wanted to throw it. My changeup was working as well."

The first player in Big Ten history to be named Pitcher of the Year in consecutive seasons, Wimmers maintained his spotless ERA on Tuesday. He has allowed only two hits in 10 2/3 innings this year.

"I'm still getting acclimated," he said. "There is a bunch of learning I've got to do. I'm still getting in the five-day rotation routine. I have one last start of the season, and I'm just going to do whatever I can to prepare."

Wimmers' year won't be over when the Florida State League draws to a close.

"So far, they're still letting me get used to this and be myself right now," he said. "With Instructional League coming up, I'm sure I'm going to have to make adjustments. I love the suggestions, though."

Opponents are hitting just .105 against Wimmers in his brief career, but he's savvy enough to know the competition will get better.

"It's definitely an advancement from college," he said. "I'm not getting as many swings and misses. I had a lot more strikeouts (in college) than I had here.

"Guys have a lot better approach to the strike zone than what college hitters are used to," he added. "The umpires are not going to give you too much outside. You're going to have to be at your best and hit the strike zone consistently or else the umpires won't give you those borderline calls."

Daniel Osterbrock, who like Wimmers, is a native of Cincinnati, and Kane Holbrooks each pitched a hitless inning of relief before Matt Schuld yielded a run on two hits over the final two frames.

Fort Myers' Deibinson Romero went 4-for-4 with an RBI and Allan de San Miguel added a three-run homer in the fourth.

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