Teahen Leads IBL in Walks as Season Concludes

Tommasin Padova finished its season with a two-game sweep at the hands of Angel Service Nettuno, which finished three games behind Italian Baseball League leaders Fortitudo Bologna 1953. Former major leaguer Mark Teahen finished on a high note, hitting a home run in the first game of the series and adding a walk to his league-leading total in the second.

In Friday’s series opener in Padova, the Tommasin men kept the pace with red hot San Marino, as the teams swapped runs through the first three innings, and it remained a 3-3 draw into the eighth. But, after a stellar performance last week, Roberto Canache gave up the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and two more one frame later as Nettuno won 6-3.

Midseason signee Kenny Rodríguez righted the ship after three straight blowouts, and his solid performance kept the Paduans in the contest. The Cuban righthander tossed six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks, collecting a season-high five strikeouts as his ERA dropped to 6.43.

Canache, however, who whiffed nine in four shutout innings a week earlier, gave up five hits and three runs in 2 2/3. The righty did strike out six, though, running his season total to 73 in 58 1/3 frames. That total ranks sixth among overall pitchers and first among relievers in Italy’s top league, while his 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings was second in the IBL.

Teahen had the big blow, launching a two-run roundtripper in the third inning to tie the game at three. He did strike out twice, though, as Nettuno pitching struck out 13 Paduans. Cesar Jiménez struck out 10 in six frames, though he was reached for three runs on five hits and a walk. It was one of his worst performances of the season, raising his ERA to 1.53.

Ronald Uviedo, who leads the IBL in innings (97) and is second in strikeouts (91), earned the win (9-6) with three stellar frames, allowing only two baserunners and send three down on strikes to lower his ERA to 2.60. He finished with the second-most victories in the league.

Ronald Bermudez, a former Red Sox prospect and South Atlantic League All-Star, led Nettuno’s offence with a 3-for-5 effort, while Giuseppe Mazzanti had a single and a double, driving in four.

The final game of the season for the Tommasin men was a thriller, as Nettuno scored an unearned run in the opening frame before the Paduans equalled the score in the third. Giuseppe Sciacca led off the inning with a walk, and Carlos Perdomo singled him to third. Lucas Montalbetti drove home the tying run with a one-base hit, but after a walk to Raffaele Medoro, Paolo Taschini struck out the next two batters as Padova left the bases loaded.

Diego Fabiani turned in one of his best pitching performances of the year, punching out nine batters without issuing a free pass, but was removed after four frames having surrendered only one unearned run on seven hits. He concluded his season with a 3.87 ERA in a team-leading 18 starts and 74 1/3 innings.

Nettuno struck against Enrico Crepaldi, as Tommasin’s shocking lack of bullpen depth was exposed yet again. Bermudez once more got things going for the visitors with a leadoff double and Vinicio Sparagna bounced a ball up-the-middle for the go-ahead run.

That was all for either side, as the bullpens finished off the game without any further damage. Crepaldi (1-1, 4.43) took the loss, while Simone Bazzarini (one innings) and Matteo Spada (two innings) also got in some work.

Paolo Taschini (1-1, 3.54) earned the win despite struggling with control, walking six and allowing three hits in five frames, sending five down on strikes. Simone Valerio earned his first save of 2017 with his best work to date, striking out five in four scoreless innings, surrendering only one hit to lower his ERA to 4.50.

Bermudez had another three hits, raising his average to .403, third in Italy’s top circuit. The 29-year old outfielder also finished third in hits (54) and total bases (75). Bermudez was also fourth in stolen bases (11) and slugging percentage (.560), and tied for fourth in doubles (11) in a performance that ought to attract suitors in the Americas.

Fellow Venezuelan import Carlos Perdomo finished up a stellar season for Padua despite having been out of baseball since playing in the Colombian Winter League in 2015-16. Only 25 then, the middle infielder hit a solid .280/.367/.325 but appears to have lack an offer for 2016.

Now 27, Perdomo made a triumphant comeback, with a base-swiping total that was tops in the IBL and finishing tied for fourth in home runs. He hit .310/.360/.480 and led the team in most categories, including average, slugging, home runs (4) and stolen bases (a perfect 15-for-15), while striking out a miniscule six times in 111 plate appearances.

Meanwhile, Teahen was 1-for-3, striking out twice again, but took his 29th free pass of the year, securing the title for most walks in the IBL. After three years in retirement, the beloved former Royal finished with a .211/.379/.321, with the .700 OPS a season high. Teahen did league the team in walks and doubles (6), and thrived when leading off the inning, recording a .444 on-base percentage. Teahen even stole three bases.

Padua finished a woeful 10-24 on the year, 15 games out of first place, though six above newly promoted Padule. The Tommasin club was 14-22 in 2016. The Italian league season continues with a playoff phase, and we will have more coverage, including an update on notable foreign players.

About Gabriel Fidler

Extra Innings UK covers baseball around the world, focussing on the sport at the national team level, with features on prominent players, scouting reports, and occasional breaking news. We are fully credentialled by MLB and have covered the World Baseball Classic, continental championships, and the U.S. minor leagues.
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