After getting knocked around in his first start of the season, Adrian Sampson has been much stronger his last two times out, including Tuesday night.
Sampson did a nice job of attacking the bottom portion of the zone and working both corners in his most recent outing. The only times he got some rare solid contact were when he got too much of the plate.
“It was a solid execution of his game plan tonight,” Indianapolis pitching coach Stan Kyles said post game. “The fastball command to both sides of the plate was solid. He used his off-speed pitches while staying aggressive with his fastball. He had very good mound presence and went after the hitters aggressively.”
Sampson’s game plan included setting up that fastball early and utilizing the changeup and the curve as the outing went along. The off-speed pitches also improved with movement and deception in his later innings.
He was extremely pitch efficient through the first two frames, with ten pitches in each and was only at 52 through four innings.
When Sampson gave up contact, it wasn’t elevated much, due to his pitches working down in the zone. This kept him out of trouble with a strong wind blowing to left field. He had six ground outs to three fly outs for the game.
Sampson ran into his first trouble in the third, as he had runners at the corners after a pair of hits and nobody out. After a visit to the mound from Elias Diaz, Sampson induced Francisco Lindor to ground one back at him. He looked the runner back to third and started a 1-6-3 double play to stomp out that possible rally. He got out of the inning on the next hitter.
Sampson struck the side in the fourth inning, with one on the fastball and a pair of off speed pitches. Prior to the frame, his breaking ball lacked some of the life that it typically does. However, that came back in the later innings of his start.
Once he got this movement back, he was able to start burying some breaking balls in the dirt, which came in the fifth inning, and he added another strikeout on the curve in the sixth.
The way that Sampson executed on Tuesday and the stuff that he had, he could easily be looking at a strong campaign in his first full season at Triple-A. The key to this success is going to be the consistency and moving the ball around to different locations like he did in this start.