“We got champagne on deck!” one Glendale player yelled following the Desert Dogs’ 1-0 win over the Salt River Rafters on Friday. It marked their first win of this Arizona Fall League season.
The victory, improving the Desert Dogs’ record to 1-8, avoided tying the longest losing streak in league history.
“Monkey off the back!” another player hollered.
When the final out was recorded, the Glendale bullpen let out a collective roar from right field. An energetic hand-shake line formed at the mound. Music boomed from clubhouse speakers.
The song? “Who Let the Dogs Out?”
“It feels good,” manager Dave Anderson said before entering an animated clubhouse. “We’ve been pitching well and playing defense very well. We’ve just had some trouble scoring runs, and some of it’s been bad luck.”
“There’s been some good things happening. We just haven’t been able to put a full nine innings together.”
The game’s only run came in the second inning when Steven Sensley ripped a double into the right-center field gap that scored a runner from first base.
He’s now hit safely in five of his first eight games, including the three-game hit streak he’s currently riding.
“[He] swung the bat very well. A lot of the focus right now has been on his hitting because he’s hit left-handers and right-handers, but he’s also played pretty good defensively. Those are the guys we need right now.”
Protecting a one-run lead, Harris, and Wivinis teamed up for four scoreless innings.
Wivinis didn’t surrender a single hit over two perfect frames. Dating back to his October 9 debut in which he gave up a run, he’s since turned in three scoreless outings.
Harris has now worked 5.1 innings for Glendale and has allowed two runs.
“They both have been pitching well,” Anderson said.
The other Yankees prospect in the lineup today was the outfielder and number two prospect Estevan Florial. His struggles have been well-documented this fall, considering he’s been 1-for-24 (.042) with 12 strikeouts in 24 at-bats.
Said Anderson: “Obviously he’s not swinging the bat very well right now. I’m going to give him a chance to work on some things. I like him as a player – he’s got a lot of tools. He can run, he can throw, he can do some things. I think it’s just a matter of getting his confidence back more than anything else.”
Again, this is a league where prospects can refine some of their incredibly raw skills before they make the jump to the next level. There was no concern in Anderson’s response about the current stretch the 20-year-old is on. Like any slump, he’ll hit his way through it.
In a league where prospect development takes precedence over wins and losses, this one felt good.