Spotlight on Quakes Pitcher Tom Windle.
Tom Windle, the southpaw from Maple Grove, Minnesota started for the Dodgers A farm team, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes of the California League against the Lancaster Jethawks at LoanMart Field. Windle was the Dodgers second-round draft pick in 2013 from the University of Minnesota. In eight appearances for the Quakes, he is 4-2 with a 4.39 ERA. He has 36 strikeouts and just 16 walks in more than 41 innings pitched. Windle and another top Dodger prospect, Chris Anderson, were cross-town high school rivals.
In his last start May 13 versus Modesto, Windle earned the 5-1 victory, giving up just 4 runs on eight hits in 5.1 innings of work. As a senior for the Minnesota Gophers, Windle was 6-4 with a 2.14 ERA. He led the team with 92.2 innings pitched and 86 strikeouts. He threw the first Minnesota no-hitter since 1931 against Wester Michigan University. He also excelled for the Great Lake Loons of the Midwest League last season going 5-1 with a 2.68 ERA in 12 starts. He struck out 51 batters while walking just 20 in 53.2 innings for the Loons.
Windle seemed to lose his concentration in the first inning, giving up one run on one hit, a walk, an error and a balk sending the third base runner home. In the fifth inning he hit a batter and then gave up a 3 run home run to Hernandez. Although his fastball was clocked at 91 mph, Windle had control problems through the inning.
Top of the seventh inning saw the first batter reach on the 3rd baseman’s error and then Windle gave up a single to put the tying run at the plate. That was all for Windle as Quakes Manager P.J. Forbes ended Windle’s afternoon. The scorecard read 4 runs, 3 earned runs on 6 hits with 5 strikeouts and no walks.
After the game we caught up with Tom Windle in the clubhouse for a few questions.
LL: Tom, you went six solid innings, but in the seventh were you getting tired?
Windle: No, I just happened to hang a fastball right over the plate and the batter was able to knock it out of the park. In every outing you learn things and you make some mistakes and next outing I will use it to get better. The defense helped me on the ground balls today.
LL: We were clocking your fast ball around 92 to 93 mph, you had great control we noticed. Your breaking ball was working most of the time, so those are your two pitches? Do you have a third pitch?:
Windle: I throw a change-up every once in a while. It’s a work in progress right now, I try to mix it in when I am ahead of the count. My fastball, I throw a two and a four seam that kind of works as two pitches. The four seam cuts a little and the two seam runs.
LL: You pitched six solid innings today, and we were wondering if Matt was going to let you go longer. We have noticed this season that you seem to be comfortable going into the sixth or seventh inning.
Windle: Yeah, I like to go as deep into the game as I can to help the team win.
LL: In the first inning you committed a balk. Did you just lose concentration?
Windle: I saw the batter move and I flinched.
LL: Our fans are curious. You grew up in Minnesota and in high school you were cross-town rivals with Chris Anderson. Did you ever face him in a high school game?
Windle: Yes many times and we pitched against each other in the high school all-star game.
LL: Who came out ahead in the face-to-face meetings.
Windle: Funny, it was years ago.
LL: Tom, thanks for your time. Looking forward to your next start.