Preston Guilmet closed out another game for the Clippers yesterday afternoon in Huntington Park and earned save number, uh, what?
“I don’t know,” Guilmet said. “I don’t keep track. I just try to get wins for the team.”
For the record, Guilmet picked up his ninth save in nine opportunities in the 3-2 win over the Rochester Red Wings.
He entered the game in one of those now-familiar eighth-inning high-wire situations with the bases loaded, two outs and a one-run lead. The plan that he brought from the bullpen was as simple as not falling.
“Throw strikes,” Guilmet said. “You want to be competitive and make good pitches. Obviously, the last thing you want to do is walk in a guy. So going out there, you just want to pound the zone with good pitches.”
Guilmet coaxed Evan Bigley to hit a pop fly to shortstop Juan Diaz and followed that with a perfect ninth inning that included two strikeouts.
The precision is nothing new to Clippers manager Chris Tremie, who handed the ball to Guilmet at the end of games last season in an Eastern League championship season for double-A Akron.
“He’s had a little bit of a history in the minor leagues of doing what he does,” Tremie said. “ He’s been very good at it. Last year, I saw him all year and he’s very dependable. This year, (he is) as well. So I have a lot of confidence in him.”
Guilmet navigates batting orders without being able to reach into his tool box for a mid-90 mph fastball.
“It’s really about making adjustments and going with what you’ve got that day,” said Guilmet, who put away Bigley with a slider.
On the whole, the Clippers adjusted a little better than the Red Wings did to get a split of the four-game series.
Carlos Carrasco (1-0) pitched six solid innings while holding Rochester to one run and four hits. He struck out seven and showed no lingering ill effects from the line drive that struck him on the right forearm on April 25 at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Cedric Hunter, Diaz and Cord Phelps each contributed an RBI hit in the win, but a passed ball and a Red Wings error helped the Clippers score two of the runs.
The Clippers will have Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Bourn (lacerated finger) in the lineup on an injury rehabilitation assignment tonight against the Charlotte Knights at Huntington Park.