The Modesto Nuts got some incredible pitching during the month of April, as their 3.51 team earned run average helped them overcome a team batting average of .229, leading to a 14-6 record. Four of their starters put together earned run averages under 3.25, and their closer was perfect in nine opportunities. Some hitters played well, but only one regular batted above .300, and most of their other position players batted under .250.
Radames Nazario was the key offensive player for the Nuts in April, as he was the only regular to bat over .300. In fact, Nazario batted .324, as he split time between both of the left side of the infield positions. He scored 12 times, smacked a team-high 23 hits, and had seven doubles. Charles Blackmon was the only other Nut to hit close to .300, as he batted .297. Blackmon, one of the top prospects in the organization, had 22 hits, and led the team with 13 runs scored.
Despite hitting .237 for the month, Brian Rike was pretty productive at the plate, as he drove in a team-high 14 runs. The outfield prospect smacked four doubles, hit a home run, and walked 12 times. He did struggle with the strikeout, as he led the team with 22.
Bruce Billings was great on the bump in his three starts, as he compiled an earned run average of 1.17. The right-hander struck out better than a batter per inning, and walked only six. Batters hit only .151 against him. He was joined in the rotation by Connor Graham (3.24), Brandon Durden (2.35), and Kenneth Durst (2.70), all of whom were stellar in April.
Craig Baker did a phenomenal job as the team’s closer, going a perfect 9-9 in save opportunities. The right-hander struck out 12 batters in 10.0 innings of work, and walked only four. One thing he needs to work on is his command, as he walked four, hit a batter, and had four wild pitches.
The Nuts also got some great help from the other members of the bullpen, as Austin Chambliss (2.95), and Edgmer Escalona (2.61) both appeared in nine games. Matt Reynolds tied Baker for the team lead in appearances, as he appeared in ten games, and posted a 2.25 earned run average. In all, then team had a 3.51 earned run average, and was the key to all those Modesto wins in April.