LEADING OFF: One lesson all young ballplayers must learn is to know exactly what they're going to do with the ball whenever it's hit their way. Each position player goes through a mental checklist before every pitch, and Wednesday night, Reading 3B Cody Asche helped save a 1-0 win with a terrific heads-up play with the bases loaded in the eighth inning.
SAFE AT FIRST: Curve 2B Jarek Cunningham ripped a one-out shot to Asche, who fielded it off balance. His first thought was to try for a third-to-first double play, but he realized instantaneously that he couldn't pull that off and instead fired home to barely cut down 1B Matt Curry. "You go through the different balls that are going to be hit to you in your head, and that one kind of caught me off guard because I caught it in a weird position," Asche said. "I didn't think I was going to get to third and then go to first for the double play, so basically my last resort was just throw it home."
STEALING SECOND: It was a good play on Asche's part to make the quick decision, but Curve manager P.J. Forbes was upset that the on-deck hitter, Quincy Latimore, failed to do his duty. "He's the coach, as soon as the ball's hit, he's got to be rushing to the plate telling [Curry] to get down," Forbes said of Latimore.
ROUNDING THIRD: Asche said C Bob Stumpo did a good job duping Curry into thinking the throw wasn't coming to the plate, so the runner never slid. "The guy on deck, that's why you've got to bust your [butt] up there and communicate," Forbes said.
HEADING HOME: RHP Phil Irwin has allowed just two runs on 13 hits in his last two starts (14 innings), striking out 13 with no walks.
- Cory Giger