Will Krout tosses gem as RailCats edge St. Paul
By Michael Osipoff 648-3137 or email@example.com August 29, 2012 11:10PM
Updated: October 1, 2012 5:42PM
GARY — Despite a more-than-respectable 3.60 ERA, Will Krout had gone 0-1 in his last four starts, last winning on Aug. 3 against St. Paul.
He left little to chance on Wednesday night against the Saints, pitching the RailCats to a 2-1 win at the Steel Yard. Krout spun 81/3 sterling innings, allowing one run on five hits with no walks and six strikeouts.
“I was locating just about everything,” said Krout, also praising the game that catcher Ryan Babineau called. “I’ve felt really good my last four or five starts. It just seems like everything’s been moving in the right direction.”
Marco Gonzalez recorded the final two outs for his eighth save, after Adam Frost’s one-out double in the ninth against Krout.
“Maybe he’s really found his niche, because that was as good as you’re going to see,” RailCats manager Greg Tagert said of Krout, who converted to a starting role during the season after spending the first five of his career as a relief pitcher. “From the first inning, you could tell he was on. He was able to keep the ball down in the zone.”
After back-to-back losses, the RailCats (47-48) inched back toward .500. The Saints, trying to stay in the wild-card race, fell to 51-44.
With Alberto Rolon on the inactive list because of an ongoing hip injury, the RailCats will finish the season with a four-man rotation, something that Tagert admitted has been in a “state of flux” the last two seasons.
After Morgan Coombs started on Tuesday and Krout on Wednesday, they will go with Stephen Hiscock, Jon Gulbransen, Coombs, Krout and Gulbransen. The only real concern is with Gulbransen, who has not pitched on three days rest this season, taking that second turn in Monday’s season finale; there’s a chance someone else could start that game, depending on how the Valparaiso University product feels.
“We know we can have success with the right guys, and it gives us flexibility with the roster,” Tagert said of the four-man rotation. “This is not to sound arrogant, but we think what we have in place, taking care of the pitchers and the regimen, is as good as any major league organization.”
How the pitchers perform during this final week of the season could provide insight into next season, with Tagert not entirely ruling out the possibility of these four starters returning intact as a group.
“Each one of those guys can be better next year,” he said.