Chris Truby spent 15 seasons as a player, including four in the Major Leagues, before becoming a manager. And through all those innings, bus rides and pitching changes, he still managed to see something new on Tuesday night in Clearwater.
"Honestly, I don't think I've seen anything remotely close to 27," Truby said. "I've been a part of teams that have 20 -- and that's a big number -- but 27 is usually unreachable."
Twenty-seven hits, that is. Truby's Clearwater Threshers broke out the bats and tied the Florida State League record with 27 hits in a 15-6 romp over the visiting Daytona Cubs.
"It was fun, obviously, as a whole. The last couple nights, we haven't swung the bats too well, so it's good to see three guys with four [hits] and one with five," Truby said. "It just kept coming. Its nice. It's something you don't see every day.
From from it. The last time anyone saw a team collect 27 hits in an FSL game was June 14, 1998 when Daytona Beach did it in 10 innings. The record was set by Gainesville on April 29, 1939 and had been matched four other times -- all prior to 1958 -- before Tuesday.
For Truby, whose Threshers improved to 6-6, there really was no explanation.
"That's baseball," he said. "That's one of those things, you can't explain it. You can't blame the pitching or our hitters, we're not that good of a hitting team, but we have some guys that can swing the bat. To throw up 27 is pretty special."
Jose Mojica, the Threshers' No. 9 hitter, went 5-for-5, drove in two runs and scored twice. Carlos Alonso, Phillies No. 11 prospect Maikel Franco and Cameron Perkins added four hits apiece, with Perkins contributing four RBIs. Jonathan Roof, Chris Serritella, Aaron Altherr, Harold Martinez and Logan Moore all had two hits apiece.
What does a manager say to his team after a record-tying night at the plate?
"Honestly, I'm going to leave them alone and let them keep swinging," Truby said. "The more you talk, the worse you can get. Everyone had a good night, so we'll see what happens tomorrow."
Franco, the Phils' top third base prospect, raised his average 50 points to .333.
"Franco is a guy who stands out, as well as Altherr, who has been swinging the bat extremely well," Truby said. "And Perkins, a kid in the New York-Penn League last year who skipped a level, he's put together a solid start."
Daytona starter Ryan Searle (1-1) absorbed much of the damage, surrendering seven runs on 15 hits over 4 2/3 innings. Clearwater counterpart Perci Garner improved to 2-0, despite giving up five runs on eight hits and three walks with five strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings.
But baseball has a way of evening things out. Truby knows his team could be on the opposite end of the story on Wednesday. He hopes Tuesday can be a confidence-builder, at least.
"It could be, we hope it is," he said. "The fact is, it shows them they can hit. A lot of these guys are new to this league, their first time in this level, so it should give them some confidence and create some momentum."
Florida State League teams with 27 hits
|Gainesville||April 29, 1939|
|Leesburg||June 6, 1947|
|Daytona Beach||May 6, 1948|
|Cocoa||June 16, 1957|
|Daytona Beach (10 inn)||June 14, 1998|
|Clearwater||April 16, 2013|