Friday night and Saturday morning I was able to watch all of the Bakersfield Blaze game on Milb.tv. I thought I would share some notes on starting pitcher Ben Lively and center fielder Junior Arias.

Ben Lively threw five shutout innings with four hits allowed, no walks and had six strikeouts. He only threw 78 pitches and 56 of them went for strikes. He showed four pitches during the game. He worked with his fastball, change up, slider and curveball in the game. His fastball was 89-91 MPH most of the night and he had inconsistent control of the pitch. At times the catcher didn’t have to move the mitt at all, but at times he would miss quite a bit with the pitch. Where Lively really stood out on this night was the offspeed stuff. He was able to locate his slider, curveball and change up all game and often left the San Jose hitters looking at called strikes on those pitches.

Junior Arias has been on fire to start the year for the Blaze after really struggling there last season. In 2013 he had five walks and 60 strikeouts. So far in 2014 he has three walks and five strikeouts. It doesn’t appear that he has changed his stance or mechanics up at the plate, but he did seem to be seeing the ball better. Several times he stayed back on offspeed pitches that he would often be flailing at in the 2012 or 2013 seasons. Small sample size alert of three plate appearances aside, he simply looked different in how he was approaching things. The downside of the game was that he had to leave the game after an overslide of the third base on a caught stealing that led to him rolling his ankle. He didn’t play on Saturday, but the injury isn’t thought to be serious and he is day-to-day with the injury.

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Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

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