Earlier this month, in just his second Triple-A start, Nabil Crismatt took the ball at Cashman Field and threw six scoreless innings. The righty got himself into trouble at times, but whenever he did, he was able to pitch his way out of it.
Since that point, Crismatt has struggled to adapt to the level, giving up six runs, then five runs and on Sunday, eight runs as the 51s fell 9-4 to the Redbirds at Cashman Field.
“His breaking ball has to get a little sharper, more consistent,” manager Tony DeFrancesco said. “He’s not throwing in the 90s so he’s got to be pretty good with his location but he just hasn’t given us a chance to win. Every game he goes in there, there’s always one big inning and he’s beating up our bullpen, not giving us any length.”
Crismatt was battered around early, giving up a solo home run in the first inning and four more runs in the second, three coming on an Adolis Garcia blast, his 19th of the season.
In just two innings, Crismatt had surrendered eight hits to the Pacific Coast League-leading Redbirds (68-39).
Things didn’t get much better for him as his start wore on.
After the 51s (51-56) scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the third on a Ty Kelly RBI double and a Zach Borenstein sacrifice fly to get to within three runs, Crismatt gave that right back in the top of the fourth.
Carson Kelly’s two-run single stretched the Memphis lead back out to five runs and the 51s didn’t get much closer than that.
“Anytime you can come through in a situation like that and give us a little bit more of a cushion, that definitely helps and then they came back that next inning so it’s important and I’m just glad I can help our team in that situation,” Kelly said.
Kelly, who entered this season as MLBPipeline’s second-best catching prospect, has tormented the 51s for three nights.
“You go through the ups and downs of the season and just coming into this series, just simplify everything and it’s been good so far,” Kelly said.
The catcher finished with a pair of hits on Friday and three more on Saturday. On Sunday, he added three more before he was intentionally walked twice.
“Sometimes you get a hot hitter and everything you throw at him, they put into play,” DeFrancesco said. “We tried to walk him twice to give ourselves a chance.”
Las Vegas added a pair of runs after that on solo blasts — one from Dominic Smith and one from Jose Lobaton — but were never able to overcome the early hole.
“Just a poor outing by Crismatt,” DeFrancesco said. “(He) never gave us a chance today.”
The 51s placed starter P.J. Conlon on the disabled list on Sunday.
“He pitched in Reno. He said he was OK. Then the other day he was throwing 82-86 and he felt like his arm was dead so we’re going to skip a start,” DeFrancesco said.