ALLENTOWN - After Tuesday night, Ryne Sandberg spoke about setting a tone and blah blah blah…
With Tampa Bay Ray starter Jeff Niemann taking the hill for Durham, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs got the boost they were looking for. Vance Worley and Brandon Moss set the tone and provided the spark to ignite the IronPigs to a 6-0 shutout win over the Bulls.
"When asked how we were going to bounce back, Vance Worley was the first one I mentioned," IronPig manager Ryne Sandberg said.
In setting the tone, it was Worley that looked the part of the Major League Baseball player. The righty pitched a solid seven innings of shutout ball while surrendering just three hits, walking two and striking out six.
After pitching in the bullpen for the Phillies, Worley has not been the same since he returned to Lehigh Valley. The change in role caused a change in mechanics. He was pummeled in a three inning start against Scranton and after recall to Philly a week later he was blistered for eight runs at Citi Field against the Mets.
"I'm feeling better just working on things mechanically to work on my off-speed stuff and locate my fastball," Worley said.
Last night, those mechanics were back in snyc enough to out pitch Niemann, especially in the fourth an sixth innings when the Bulls looked likely to score. Dan Johnnson doubled and Russ Canzler walked for a one out rally that was snuffed with two straight outs that ended with Jose Lobaton watching a Worley pitch slide past him.
"When guys got on base and in scoring position, he really gets tough and bears down," Sandberg said. "That's what he's done all year."
In the sixth inning, Durham had a golden opportunity to score off a pair of IronPig miscues. After Worley struck out Ray Olmedo for the first out, Brandon Guyer grounded one to shortstop Brian Bocock. The usual sure handed fielder could not grab it cleanly leaving Guyer safe at first.
Johnson lifted Worley's full-count offering high into the night in left field. Veteran outfielder Scott Podsednik was introduced to the "twilight fly ball" at Coca Cola Park and lost the ball in the night sky. The ball landed 15-feet behind him leaving runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out.
Worley struck out Canzler and got Chris Carter to ground out to Bocock to end the threat.
"I like the battle, I like competing," Worley said. "When I am in that position I like to give more and battle myself out of it."
"It was a big inning right there and that is when we saw him at his best. He makes it tough on the hitters and they really have to earn everything they get off them."
Moss sparked the IronPig offense by singling and scoring in the third inning for a 1-0 Iron Pig lead.
In the fourth, Brian Bocock led off with a single and moved to second on Scott Podsednik's sacrifice bunt. Pete Orr followed with the first of his two hits with Moss following with a crushing 2-run double and a 3-0 IronPig lead.
Five IronPigs had multiple hit games including Delwyn Young. Young's three hit effort saw his batting average raise ten-points to .228.