On a beautiful night in Connecticut on Saturday, recently acquired starter Jeff Hoffman made the first start of his Rockies' career at New Britain Stadium. Hoffman threw 75 pitches, 50 of them for strikes, in a short outing.
Hoffman went 4 ⅔ innings, probably due to the fact that he had not taken the mound in over a week (he last started for the Fisher Cats on the 23rd of July). His fastball sat in the low to mid 90s throughout most of the game topping out at 96, with his curveball checking in between 72 and 76 MPH. The SeaWolves (Tigers) looked puzzled by Hoffman's curve, which was in pristine form all evening. Of Hoffman's six strikeouts, four came via the curve.
Hoffman only made two mistakes in his 4.2 innings, leaving two 93/94 mile per hour fastballs up in the zone that twice cleared the fences. Dean Greene pulled a mislocated fastball in the second inning that was obviously gone as soon as he made contact, and Jason Krizan did pretty much the same in the fifth inning. Hoffman did not last much longer after the second home run and was pulled for a father ineffective New Britain bullpen that allowed another five runs the rest of the way.
It was encouraging to see Hoffman's curveball working so well. The fastball looked good -- not great --- but that was mostly due to missing location and leaving it up in the zone. Over the next few weeks, Hoffman should start about another half dozen times for the Rock Cats. He probably could have thrown another inning-pluss, but ultimately ended with a line of 4 ⅔ innings, six hits, three runs, zero walks and six strikeouts.
The rest of Saturday night's game was a rather lackluster affair, as the Rock Cats never had the lead in the game and ultimately lost 7-5. The Cats lost the rubber match Sunday afternoon being bested 7-1.
New Britain looks to bounce back from the weekend series loss, and will be facing the Altoona Curve (Pirates) who will be in town Tuesday through Thursday.
Steven Martano is a Contributing Prospect Writer for the Colorado Rockies at Purple Row and Editor and Writer at Beyond the Box Score. You can follow him on Twitter at @SMartano.