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Week Two Review
Despite pitching woes, the Heat offense stayed red hot against Brisbane
11/27/2017 8:35 PM ET
 

Perth, WA - The Perth Heat lost their home opening series three games to one against the red-hot Brisbane Bandits, being outscored 47 to 28 in the four-game set. Anytime a team gives up an average of nearly 12 runs in a game in a series, obviously, there are going to be some concerns about the pitching staff, and that remains true for the Heat.

 

Perhaps most worrisome for the Heat was the performance of their bullpen, which as a unit yielded 25 runs in just 16.1 innings against the Bandits. Understandably, the relief corps can't be blamed for all of this damage as they were up against the hottest hitting team in the league in Brisbane, but regardless this weekend's performance surely sounded some alarms for manager Andy Kyle.

 

It is worth noting that the Heat were without top relievers Benn Grice and Scott Mitchison this weekend, making them a bit thin. The fact that these two high leverage arms should be back in the mix next weekend against Sydney is a welcome development for the Heat.

 

While the bullpen was the primary concern for the club, the starting pitchers did not fare much better. As a whole, Heat starting pitchers gave up 21 earned runs in 15.1 innings, putting their rotation ERA at 12.32 for the series. While this elevated ERA looks worrisome on the surface, this number is skewed by Kyle Simon's Saturday start (eight earned runs in 1.2 innings).

 

Simon has now given up ten earned runs in just 4.1 innings pitched on the season, as opponents have roped 15 hits in the process. With that said, it would not be a surprise if manager Andy Kyle opted to replace Simon in the rotation if he struggles again versus Sydney.

 

While the pitching woes were the biggest takeaway from the Brisbane series, there were certainly some positive signs from this Heat squad, namely the offense. After scoring eight runs per game in their first series, the Heat bats showed hardly any signs of slowing down, as they averaged seven runs per game against Brisbane.

 

Through eight games, Perth leads the league in total bases, walks and stolen bases, and rank second behind Brisbane in runs scored, batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.

 

The addition of Heat legend Tim Kennelly provided the offense with an added spark against Brisbane. Despite not playing in the first series, Kennelly wasted no time in mashing the ball around the yard as the third baseman went 8 for 18, with seven RBIs, six runs, and one homer in his first four games.

 

Kennelly spoke about how he was able to shake off the rust so quickly in an interview after Sunday's game.

 

"I've been getting some good reps in during the State league games, but it was certainly good to be back with the boys this week."

 

Kennelly also spoke about what it meant for the club to win the final game of the series after dropping the first three games of the homestand.

 

"Obviously nobody likes getting swept so hopefully winning the final game will give us some confidence heading into the upcoming road trip."

 

Overall, the Heat now stand at .500 on the season after playing the top two teams from last year in their first two series.

 

Next up for the Heat will be the Sydney Blue Sox, who are currently second in the standings with a 5-3 record, but are coming off a series loss at the hands of the Canberra Cavalry.

 

The series will get underway on Friday at 4:40 AWST and can be heard as always on the Talking Baseball Australia channel on Mixlr or the TuneIn app.

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.