Game Recaps (4/15/06)
Tacoma 4, Fresno 12 (SF)
Feels like a long time since I’ve written about the Rainiers… RHP Cha Seung Baek (2.00) got through four innings having given up two runs on four hits and five walks against one K. He only had three more strikes than balls, in terms of pitch counts. RHP Rich Dorman (3.00, E, L) also got into trouble, giving up three runs (one earned) on three hits, a wild pitch, and three walks with another K over two+ innings. RHP Aaron Looper (3.38) would get the worst of it, scoring two of Dorman’s runs and seven (two earned) of his own on five hits, a wild pitch, and three walks in an inning and two-thirds. RHP Jeff Harris (0.00) had to be brought in to get the final out of the game.
LF Shin-soo Choo (R, SB, .346) and 1B Todd Sears (2B, 2 R, .300) both had two hits in the effort by the Rainiers, and 3B Greg Dobbs (RBI, SB, CS, .308) was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks. CF Adam Jones (R, .185) was 0-for-4, but didn’t strikeout, and C Rob Johnson (.316) was 1-for-3.Midland 5 (OAK), San Antonio 1
Yet another loss to Midland… ugh…. RHP Brandon Moorhead (7.84, L) pitched for five and a third innings and allowed five runs to score on seven hits, a balk, a hit batter, and two walks against three strikeouts. LHP Adam Pettyjohn (0.00) was perfect, though without note for the next two and two-thirds, and RHP Nate Mateo (9.00) did the same plus a strikeout in one inning.
CF Sebastien Boucher (RBI, .278) had three hits on the night, and DH Gary Harris (.300) and C Justin Ruchti (2B, R, .333) both had two. Bizarro RF Wladimir Balentien (.303) was 0-for-2 with two walks and a K. High Desert 3 (KC), Inland Empire 7 (seven innings)
RHP Cibney Bello (3.72, W) went five innings and allowed just one run to score on three hits, a wild pitch, and two walks against three Ks. In addition, he had eight groundouts to four flyouts. If this went on for any sustained period of time, it might just be crazier than Balentien suddenly turning into an on-base machine. LHP Eric O’Flaherty (18.00) returned from the DL purgatory, finally (now if only we could find David Asher...), but allowed a couple runs to score on three hits and a walk against two Ks in an inning of work. RHP Jose de la Cruz (7.20) had a hit and a strikeout to show for working the seventh inning.
Pretty decent offense in this one, as evidenced by the seven runs and eight hits… LF Josh Womack (HR, 3 RBI, .600), who was 2-for-3, and RF Mike Wilson (HR, 2 R, A, .242), who was 1-for-2, both contributed home runs. 3B Ron Prettyman (.241), 2B Erick Monzon (.312), SS Matt Tuiasosopo (R, .387), C Luis Oliveros (R, RBI, .333), and CF Brent Johnson (R, RBI, A, .120) had the other hits for the Sixers.High Desert 0, Inland Empire 3 (seven innings)
What to say, what to say… well, I’ll just blurt it right out, through five innings of work, RHP Mark Lowe (0.75, W) was perfect, inducing six groundouts to one fly and striking out eight
. It’s a little early, but I wouldn’t be opposed to swapping him and Bello in the rotation at this point. RHP Aaron Trolia (0.00) allowed the only runners to reach via a hit and a walk, while he struck out one, and then RHP Stephen Kahn (0.00, S) struck out two of the batters he faced in the ninth. Wow.
DH Reed Eastley (HR, 2 RBI, .259) had two hits, and RF Mike Wilson (HR, .257) added another home run. It’s nice to see Wilson showing off that power. 3B Ron Prettyman (R, E, .250) had another hit, as did LF Trevor Heid (CS, .083).Cedar Rapids 5 (ANA), Wisconsin 3
Grar. The T-Rats probably should’ve won this one. LHP Jose Escalona (3.72, L) had a line in four and two-thirds innings of work that read like this: 3 runs, 6 hits, Hit batter, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts.
Notes on Escalona:
*He doesn’t seem to be afraid to throw his curveball in any count.
*Started out slow, throwing six of his first nine pitches for balls. His last nine pitches were exactly the same.
*One instance when the hitter probably should’ve been out on a check swing in the 5th, which could’ve prevented the rally in the same inning. Replacement umps, what can ya say?
*Five groundouts to six flies, but four of those flyouts stayed on the infield.
*Has trouble putting hitters away sometimes.
*I still like Vega better.
RHP Nick Allen (4.50) allowed a run to score on a couple of hits in the next two-thirds, then RHP Ruben Flores (3.38) went an inning and ahd a walk and a strikeout. LHP Rollie Gibson (3.00) gave up a hit in his two-thirds+, then RHP Joe Woerman (1.42) went he last two and gave up an unearned run on a hit and a plunked batter in the ninth. Though the T-Rats pen inherited six runners overall, not one of them came around to score.
SS Jeff Dominguez (CS, 2 E, .281) was 3-for-3 in the game, but he also made his sixth and seventh errors. CF Mike Saunders (3B, R, .281) and RF Eddy Hernandez (3B, R, .258) both had triples. Hernandez now has a hitting streak of eight games, I believe.
Tacoma: RHP Francisco Cruceta, at Fresno, @ 2:05 pm PDT
San Antonio: LHP Ryan Feierabend, at Frisco, @ 3:05 pm PDT
Inland Empire: Off Day
Wisconsin: Off Day
Tacoma Rainiers: 4-4, .500, 1 GB in PCL Pacific North
San Antonio Missions: 5-4, .556, T-1st in TL South
Inland Empire 66ers: 7-3, .700, 0.5 GB in CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 4-6, .400, 2 GB in MWL Western
Organizational Record: 20-17, .541
Game Recaps (4/14/06)
Tacoma’s game was postponed due to rain. It will be remade as a doubleheader tomorrow. Repetition with slight variation.Midland 6 (OAK), San Antonio 2
LHP Cesar Jimenez (2.70, PO, L) took the loss in the one, going four innings and giving up three runs on five hits and three walks against one K. RHP Chad Fillinger (7.20) took over for three innings after that, allowing two more runs to score after three hits (HR) and a walk against five Ks. It’s that “one bad pitch” scenario again, except this time, it’s not really an exaggeration. RHP Mike Flannery (6.23, E) pitched the final two and gave up an unearned run after two hits and two Ks.
From the hitters’ end of things, DH Michael Garciaparra (.308), 3B Jesus Guzman (.174), who apparently threw a runner out at first while lying flat on his back from diving for the ball, and SS Oswaldo Navarro (R, .285) all had two hits apiece, but there wasn’t much else going on. Thirteen runners reaching and only two runs is just unacceptable. But that they had thirteen reach without Boucher in the lineup is something, I guess. RF Wladimir Balentien (R, .323) continues to freak me out by going 1-for-3 with one walk and one strikeout. Consider me all the more freaked out if and when he reconciles his power with his newfound plate discipline, but I never really thought I’d see the day when his OBP was higher than his slugging. Check it.Inland Empire 4, High Desert 5 (KC)
The second round of LHP Shawn Nottingham vs the Mavericks went a bit better, though Nottingham eventually was given the no-decision. The 21-year-old pitched five innings and allowed a couple of runs to score on five hits and two walks against six Ks. RHP Mumba Rivera (3.38, BS) tried to cover for a thin bullpen, but ended up blowing it, giving up a couple of runs after four hits, a wild pitch, a walk, and a couple of strikeouts. Not quite as bad as RHP Jose de la Cruz (9.00, L), who gave up a walk-off home run to open the ninth. Give him time, even if he’s been awful the first few outings… According to the SBSun, had the game gone past the tenth, they would’ve had Trevor Heid pitch. Yikes.
3B Ron Prettyman (2B, R, .231), 2B Yung-chi Chen (2B, 2 R, RBI, SB, E, .367), and C Luis Oliveros (2B, .333) all had extra-base hits. This wasn’t a spectacular day looking at the lines, with runners only reaching safely six times, but the Sixers really took advantage of their opportunities, and that’s worth noting.Cedar Rapids 4 (ANA), Wisconsin 2
Last week, RHP Marwin Vega (0.89, L) got a no decision when he probably deserved to win, and this time, he got the loss. Vega went six innings and gave up four runs, just one of them earned, after five hits, a hit batter, and two Ks against three strikeouts. Again, his out ratios were about equal, but I’d expect that once he starts grooving, they trend a bit more towards groundouts with a good amount of Ks sprinkled in for flavor. RHP Jeff Gilmore (1.28) followed with an inning and two-thirds, giving up two hits and a walk while striking out one. Gilmore left two runners on base for RHP Edgar Guaramato (0.00), who easily eliminated them, only allowing one walk in his inning and a third and inducing three groundouts. Keep tellin’ ya….
The T-Rats only strung together two runs despite nine hits, so I wouldn’t exactly consider this a good night. LF Casey Craig (2B, R, CS, .407) went 3-for-4 with a walk out of the leadoff spot, RF Mike Saunders (RBI, SB, A, .296) and C J.B. Tucker (2B, .250) were both 1-for-3 with two walks, and 3B Rob Hudson (2B, SB, .276), 2B Luis Valbuena (2B, .206), and DH Eddy Hernandez (3B, RBI, .259) all had extra-base hits. Usually, that would be a run-down for a night with a few more runs, at least, but it seems like they couldn’t string those hits together.
Former M’s ST invite Eric Owens is Cedar Rapids’ hitting coach now. How time flies.
Tacoma: RHP Cha Seung Baek, at Fresno, @ 7:05 pm PDT
San Antonio: RHP Brandon Moorhead, in San Antonio, @ 5:05 pm PDT
Inland Empire: RHP Cibney Bello, in San Bernardino, @ 5:00 pm PDT
Second Game: RHP Marke Lowe, following the first
Wisconsin: LHP Jose Escalona (!), in Appleton, @ 11:05 am PDT
Tacoma Rainiers: 4-3, .571, T-1st in PCL Pacific North
San Antonio Missions: 5-3, .625, 1st in TL South
Inland Empire 66ers: 5-3, .625, 1 GB in CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 4-5, .444, 2 GB in MWL Western
Organizational Record: 18-14, .563
Game Recaps (4/13/06)
Tacoma’s game was postponed due to rain. It will be remade at a later date.Midland 4 (OAK), San Antonio 6
RHP Yorman Bazardo (3.48) didn’t do so well this time out, going four and a third innings and giving up four runs on five hits and five walks against two Ks. LHP Jason Mackintosh (1.59, W) would take the win as he went the next two and two-thirds, allowing just two walks while punching out two. RHP Craig James (0.00) had a walk and a K in the eighth innings, and RHP Jon Huber (0.00) got the save in the ninth after loading the bases on singles and striking out a batter.
At the dish, 1B Bryan Lahair (2B, 2 R, RBI, .393) and RF Wladimir Balentien (2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, .321) were both 1-for-3 with a walk. Balentien’s K:BB through seven games is 5:2, and the only thing that may be more crazy is that he hasn’t hit a home run yet.
In roster-related wacky news
, Clement is on the shelf with a sore elbow, which isn’t quite bad enough to DL him, so they called up C Tom Gregorio from Everett, where he was being stashed, and sent LHP Ryan Feierabend to Everett to make room. Ah, the joys of managing a minor league team… Lancaster 3 (ARI), Inland Empire 5 (fourteen innings)
Oh… my… LHP Robert Rohrbaugh (2.79) was pulled after four innings having given up three runs on five hits, a hit batter, and a walk against four Ks, and the rest of the bullpen might have wished that he stayed a bit longer. RHP Aaron Trolia (0.00), making his first appearance of the season, had a hit, a walk, a hit batter, and four strikeouts to show for his two innings of work. RHP Jon Lockwood (0.00) followed him with four even stronger innings, giving up just a hit and two walks (one intentional) while punching out five. RHP Stephen Kahn (0.00) continued the trend, with one walk, a wild pitch, and four strikeouts in his two innings, and while RHP Ivan Blanco (1.17) wasn’t quite up to par, three hits and two Ks over the course of two innings was enough to win it.
The walk-off in the fourteenth inning came on a walk by LF Josh Womack (R, SB, 2 CS, .583), who was 3-for-3 with three walks, followed by a home run by 3B Erick Monzon (2 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, .320), who was 7-for-4. The other Sixers that went 3-for were DH Mike Wilson (R, CS, .250) and SS Matt Tuiasosopo (2B, 2 RBI, SB, .440).Cedar Rapids 7 (ANA), Wisconsin 2
The second bad outing for LHP Paul Fagan (9.35, L), who went four innings and allowed six runs to score on six hits, two hit batters, two walks, and two strikeouts. On the plus side, the bullpen did a solid job cleaning up, with LHP Rollie Gibson (3.38) giving up one run on two hits, a wild pitch, and a walk against two strikeouts in the next three innings, and LHP Harold Williams (0.00) and RHP Joe Woerman (2.08) keeping it scoreless in the next two. Williams would allow a hit, throw a wild pitch, and strike out one, while Woerman would have two each of walks and Ks.
Not a lot going on for the T-Rats offense tonight, as the seven hits they recorded were scattered throughout the lineup. SS Jeff Dominguez (2B, RBI, .240) had the lone double, and 2B Luis Valbuena (.200), CF Mike Saunders (R, SB, .269), and DH Bryan Sabatella (.188) were all 1-for-3 with walks.
Tacoma: RHP Rich Dorman, at Fresno, @ 7:05 pm PDT
San Antonio: LHP Cesar Jimenez, in San Antonio, @ 5:05 pm PDT
Inland Empire: LHP Shawn Nottingham, at High Desert, @ 7:05 pm PDT
Wisconsin: RHP Marwin Vega (!), in Appleton, @ 4:35 pm PDT
Tacoma Rainiers: 4-3, .571, 1st in PCL Pacific North
San Antonio Missions: 5-2, .714, 1st in TL South
Inland Empire 66ers: 5-2, .714, T-1st in CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 4-4, .500, 1 GB in MWL Western
Organizational Record: 18-11, .621
Game Recaps (4/12/06)
Sacramento 5 (OAK), Tacoma 1
LHP Bobby Livingston (2.45, E, L) picked up the hard luck loss, giving up just one run on a home run with two walks against four Ks for the night. Interesting note, B-Liv had eleven groundball outs to three flyouts. RHP Renee Cortez (2.25) had it pretty bad too, giving up four runs, only one earned, after four hits, a wild pitch, a walk, and two strikeouts in two innings of work. RHP Sean Green (0.00) took the ninth and walked one batter and hit another before recording his usual three groundball outs.
RF T.J. Bohn (SB, RBI, .364) kept hitting, going 2-for-3 with a walk, but the Rainiers didn’t do a lot at the plate in this one. CF Adam Jones (R, E, .217) and C Rob Johnson (.312) were both 1-for-4.
Speaking of Jones, new journal up
at MiLB.com.Midland 2 (OAK), San Antonio 0
LHP Travis Blackley (0.90, PO) took the mound for four innings and gave up a couple of hits, walking four and punching out two. I kind of thought that he might be starting, but I didn’t expect that San Antonio Express-News to list the wrong probable pitcher two days in a row. Eh. Good to see him get some work in, even if he did walk four. RHP Nate Mateo (12.00, L) gave up both of the Rockhounds’ runs on three hits, a hit batter, and a walk against three Ks in the next two innings, then LHP Adam Pettyjohn (0.00) took the mound for the final three, giving up three hits and striking out one.
What to say about the offense… well, in this case, I think I’ll opt to go with the blunt truth: they were one-hit and struck out eight times (once against former Mission LHP Tim Rall). It’s hard to say anything positive about that, but if I have to dig, I’d like to point out that the one hit was a double by 1B Bryan Lahair (2B, E, .400) and even though he struck out in his only at-bat, SS Oswaldo Navarro (.421) walked in his other two plate appearances.Lancaster 1 (ARI), Inland Empire 10
Here’s a game worth writing about, and a real beating at that. LHP Julio Santiago (4.35, W) rebounded and went seven innings, giving up just the one run on five scattered hits, a balk, and a walk, while striking out nine
. Gotta dig him when he’s on. RHP Jose de la Cruz (6.00) followed with a hit and a strikeout to show for the eighth inning, and RHP Ivan Blanco (1.59) struck out one in the ninth.
There was only one batter in the lineup tonight that went hitless, and one other who didn’t record a multi-hit game. LF Josh Womack (R, RBI, .444) had three singles and a walk as the ninth hitter, and C Luis Oliveros (2B, HR, 4 RBI, .333) was 2-for-3 with a pair of walks out of the eight spot. The group of 3B Ron Prettyman (R, RBI, E, .227), 1B Reed Eastley (R, .278), RF Mike Wilson (HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, .182), DH Marshall Hubbard (2B, 2 R, .286), and SS Erick Monzon (R, RBI, .222) all went 2-for. Wisconsin 7, Beloit 1 (MIN)
Another game that was rather nice all-around. LHP Justin Thomas (0.69, W) picked up the W, going seven innings and allowing a run on five hits while striking out six. If this is what we’re to expect from him, I’ll take it, but I’d also like to see him do it against tougher hitters, of course. RHP Ruben Flores (4.15) struck out one in the eighth, and LHP Harold Williams (0.00) walked one and K’d two in the ninth. Williams has 8 Ks in 3.2 innings right now. Yowch.
LF Casey Craig (HR, .348) and 2B-SS Jeff Dominguez (2 2B, 3 R, .227) both collected three hits on the night. Yes, you’re reading that correctly, Dominguez has started hitting. 3B Ronald Garth (2B, 3 RBI, .250) also continued hitting, with another double and three RBI out of the leadoff spot.
Tacoma: RHP Rich Dorman, in Tacoma, @ 6:05 pm PDT
San Antonio: RHP Yorman Bazardo (yeah, really), in San Antonio, @ 5:05 pm PDT
Inland Empire: LHP Robert Rohrbaugh, in San Bernardino, @ 7:11 pm PDT
Wisconsin: LHP Paul Fagan, in Appleton, @ 4:35 pm PDT
Tacoma Rainiers: 4-3, .571, T-1st in PCL Pacific North
San Antonio Missions: 4-2, .667, 1st in TL South
Inland Empire 66ers: 4-2, .667, T-1st in CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 4-3, .571, T-1st in MWL Western
Organizational Record: 16-10, .615
Game Recaps (4/11/06)
Sacramento 8 (OAK), Tacoma 3
RHP Clint Nageotte (4.91, L), eh, not so good this time around, giving up eight runs (six earned) on nine hits (HR), two wild pitches, and four walks against just two Ks over the course of six innings. Nags was throwing only a few more strikes than balls this time out, so that may provide some explanation. He had twelve groundouts to three flyouts, so I don’t think it was any regression in that direction. RHP Emiliano Fruto (0.00) pitched the last three, giving up two hits and a walk while punching out five, which is a much better start for him than I anticipated given his ST track record.
The offense wasn’t exactly putting anything together in this one. LF Shin-soo Choo (R, SB, .333) was 2-for-3 with a walk, and CF Adam Jones (SB, .211) was 2-for-4, but none of the Rainiers managed an extra-base hit. SS Asdrubal Cabrera (PO, .333) only had two plate appearances, as in the fourth inning, he walked and twisted his ankle while being picked off. I’d expect Morban at short for a while.
For additional Rainiers info, check out Mariner Morsels
, as the guys have been checking out quite a few games of late and have some good insight to bring in.Lancaster 0 (ARI), Inland Empire 1 (ten innings)
Quite the opposite of the game in Wisconsin, there was very little scoring in this one, but since I had no radio feed, I can’t offer much insight. RHP Aaron Jensen (0.00) recovered after two hits, a wild pitch, and a walk in the first inning, and only allowed three more hits and a walk while striking out three over the next four. This is definitely a good thing. The Jethawks had even less success against RHP Mark Lowe (1.29), who only allowed a hit and two walks while striking out six
in the next four innings. RHP Mumba Rivera (0.00) got the win in the tenth, having given up two hits, but there’s one thing that’s been bugging me… anyone seen LHP Eric O’Flaherty? Anyone? Five games are in the books now and he’s yet to make an appearance, even when it seemed appropriate for him to do so.
There wasn’t much offense to speak of in this game, with both sides pitching quite well. The tenth inning consisted of a walk to Marshall Hubbard (.250), who was replaced by PR Josh Womack (R, .200), a sacrifice by C Luis Oliveros (.267) that was botched badly enough to allow Womack to move to third and Oliveros to take first, a groundout by Chris Colton (.333) to move Oliveros to second, an intentional walk to LF Brent Johnson (.154), and finally, a single by 3B Ron Prettyman (RBI, .176) to score Womack. The only Sixer with multiple hits or an extra-base knock was SS Matt Tuiasosopo (2B, .421), who was 2-for-4 and had no part in the deciding rally. Wisconsin 10, Beloit 11 (MIN) (twelve innings)
This one was rather wacky. RHP Jason Snyder (4.66) pitched four and two-thirds, allowing six runs (four earned) to score on eight hits and three hit batters against three Ks. RHP Nick Allen (3.38) followed with three innings, giving up a pair of runs on four hits and another hit batter with three Ks, and then LHP Rollie Gibson (3.86) gave up a hit before striking out the final batter of the eighth. RHP Edgar Guaramato (0.00, E, BS) came in during the ninth and didn’t fare so well. After just barely missing strike three on the first batter, he hit him, threw a wild pitch to move the runner to second, and then walked the next batter he faced. The third batter grounded back to the mound, but Guaramato rushed the throw to get the lead runner at third and allowed the tying run to score. After the decision to walk the next batter, the bases were juiced with no outs. Guar induced a groundout, which Valbuena used to make a play at the plate, then there was a foul popout to Flaig and a force grounder to Garth at third to end the inning. That Guar got out of the mess with minimal damage is impressive, but the situation certainly wasn’t ideal. RHP Jeff Gilmore (1.59) pitched solidly through the next two innings, walking one and striking out two, but RHP Ruben Flores (5.40) was unable to save it in the twelfth inning, giving up a hit followed by a disputed home run to the Snappers’ cleanup hitter, which the T-Rats fielders played like a ground-rule double. Horner came out to argue, but the decision stood.
Had the T-Rats pulled this one in either of their two opportunities, I would’ve given the game ball to C J.B. Tucker (2 HR, PB, .286), who hit go-ahead home runs in both the ninth and the twelfth innings before the ‘pen coughed up the lead, but I’d also bring 3B Ronald Garth (HR, 2 RBI, CS, E, .263) into consideration for hitting a leadoff home run to start the game and going 4-for-6 the day after he picked up his first hit. 1B Jeff Flaig (R, E, .176) added two hits, and 2B Luis Valbuena (2B, 2 R, RBI, E, .192) doubled, but the defense is starting to become a concern for the Rattlers. I don’t expect them to make quite as many errors as the season goes on, but it’s very difficult to win when there are five errors and a passed ball on the board.
Tacoma: LHP Bobby Livingston, in Tacoma, @ 6:05 pm PDT
San Antonio: RHP Yorman Bazardo, in San Antonio, @ 5:05 pm PDT
Inland Empire: LHP Julio Santiago, in San Bernardino, @ 7:11 pm PDT
Wisconsin: LHP Justin Thomas, at Beloit, @ 4:30 pm PDT
Tacoma Rainiers: 4-2, .667, T-1st in PCL Pacific North
San Antonio Missions: 4-1, .800, 1st in TL South
Inland Empire 66ers: 3-2, .600, 1 GB in CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 3-3, .500, 1 GB in MWL Western
Organizational Record: 14-8, .636
Game Recaps (4/10/06)
Sacramento 8 (OAK), Tacoma 4
And so, the last falls. RHP Jesse Foppert (2.25) got the start and went only four innings, giving up a run on three hits, a wild pitch, and four walks against four Ks. Gameday says half of his 68 pitches were balls, but that might not tell the whole story. Check with JAC over at Prospect Insider
later on, he’s promised some additional content. LHP Thom Oldham (5.40, E, L) took the loss after going an inning and a third and giving up six runs (only two earned) on four hits (HR) and two walks against two Ks. There were three errors while Oldham was on the mound that contributed to that mess, but RHP Aaron Looper (0.00) also let two of those runners score on three hits in his inning and two-thirds. RHP Scott Atchison (6.00) pitched the last two innings, punching out three and giving up a run on three more hits.
3B Mike Morse (2B, 2 RBI, .300) was the only Rainiers player with two hits on the night, though RF T.J. Bohn (2B, 2 R, .375) contributed a double and two walks. SS Asdrubal Cabrera (CS, .357) and C Rob Johnson (E, .333) both went 1-for-3, with Cabrera taking a walk as well, but CF Adam Jones (.133) was 0-for-4 and K’d three of his times at the plate.Midland 5 (OAK), San Antonio 6
Well, at least we got to stick it to one A’s affiliate. LHP Ryan Feierabend (0.00) exceeded expectations in his double-A debut, going five strong and giving up just an unearned run on four hits, a wild pitch, and two walks while he struck out six. No pickoffs this time, but there was something very close to it that ended up going as a caught stealing. RHP Mike Flannery (11.23) followed and was solid initially, but ended up allowing three runs to score on two hits and two walks against two Ks in his inning and a third. LHP Jason Mackintosh (3.00) score two of those runs after two hits, a walk, and a couple of strikeouts spread over an inning’s worth of work, and in turn, had RHP Craig James (0.00, BS, W) score one of those on three hits in the final inning and two-thirds.
What pulled the Missions out this one was a key rally in the ninth that opened with RF Wladimir Balentien (R, .364) singling, being sacrificed over by 1B Bryan Lahair (2B, 2 R, .409), and driven in on a double by PH-DH Jason Bourgeois (2B, RBI, .333) after an intentional walk to LF Jon Nelson (2B, 2 R, .350). Balentien, who only K’d once, had two hits, as did Lahair and 2B Michael Garciaparra (PO, .333), but the real surprise was the three hits out of the nine spot by SS Oswaldo Navarro (2 RBI, E, .444). How about the early strong returns by Nelson and DH Gary Harris (R, 2 RBI, .300) as holdovers from last year’s squad? Nelson was 1-for-3 with two walks and Harris was 1-for-2. Both appear to be playing as if they have something to prove.Lancaster 5 (ARI), Inland Empire 6
Another one run win on the day. RHP Cibney Bello (5.79) started out stronger than anticipated, recording three of his four Ks in the first three innings, when he retired nine straight, but trouble came knocking after that. Over the next inning and two-thirds, he let five runs (three earned) score on four hits, a hit batter, and a walk. I don’t think the two groundouts to seven flyouts will necessarily cut it in the Cal League either. RHP Jon Lockwood (0.00, W) came in to bail him out, and did let a run score, but only had a hit, a wild pitch, and a walk while punching out three batters in two and a third. RHP Stephen Kahn (0.00) took the last two innings on with similar results to last time, one hit and four strikeouts. In three innings of work, Kahn has recorded seven Ks. KAAAAAAAAHHHNNN.
The decisive rally for the Sixers came in the seventh, when 2B Yung-chi Chen (HR, 2 R, E, .583), who was 2-for-4, singled, advanced on a wild pitch, and scored on a hit by DH Matt Tuiasosopo (2B, R, RBI, .400), who was 3-for-4. In addition to Chen, 1B Marshall Hubbard (HR, .231) and LF Josh Womack (HR, 2 RBI, SB, .200) also had their first home runs of the season. Womack walked twice as well, as did CF-LF Brett Johnson (R, SB, CS, .222). C Luis Oliveros (E, .333) added two hits to the mix, but neither amounted to much. He remains a mystery to me.Wisconsin 7, Beloit 2 (MIN)
Hey, here’s a game that wasn’t decided by one run. LHP Jose Escalona (1.80, W) squared off against a Beloit team that has seven of BA’s Top 30 Twins Prospects, three of which are hitters. While he didn’t dominate them like Vega did to the Chiefs the night before, he survived giving up only one run after six hits and two walks against four Ks.
Notes on Escalona:
· I’ve heard of him as using a FB and a slider, but the pitch that stood out for me was the curve, which was breaking so hard it bit the dirt (and induced swinging Ks) on a few occasions. He wasn’t afraid to throw it in any count either.
· He actually started out throwing more strikes than Vega was, with nine of his first ten pitches being marked as such.
· His command seemed to waver a bit as he reached the end of the fifth, but with runners on second and third, he struck out the Snappers’ four and five hitters, again utilizing that nasty curveball.
· Escalona only has a high mark of 53.1 IP in his first two pro seasons, and a high of six innings in a single game. Being a smaller guy (listed 5’11, 170 lbs), it’ll be interesting to see if he has the endurance to handle the rigors of full season ball so soon, and how the M’s handle it should he falter.
· Right now, I’d say that Wisconsin has one of the best 4-5 punches in the league, and maybe one of the best rotations with a 1.75 ERA in the first go through, bumped up a bit by Fagan’s outing.
LHP Harold Williams (0.00) came in for an inning and two-thirds after that, giving up three hits and a walk, though four of his five outs were Ks. RHP Joe Woerman (2.70) followed him for an inning and a third+, with all outs coming consecutively on three Ks and a pop out, but when Woerman opened the ninth with a single, a wild pitch, and two walks, RHP Edgar Guaramato (0.00) had to come in and bail him out with just one run scoring out of a bases-loaded situation. Guar rules! Heh heh, he rules!
From the hitting end of things, DH Luis Valbuena (R, .200), SS Robby Hudson (3 R, CS, .267), C J.B. Tucker (2B, R, 2 RBI, .222), and LF Casey Craig (2B, R, 2 RBI, PO, .286) all went 2-for, with the latter three taking a walk each. CF Alex Gary (2B, RBI, CS, .200) added a double, and 3B Ron Garth (R, RBI, .077), hitting third, finally got his first hit of the season with a single in the ninth, going 1-for-3 with a free pass in the game.
Tacoma: RHP Clint Nageotte, in Tacoma, @ 6:05 pm PDT
San Antonio: Off Day
Inland Empire: RHP Aaron Jensen (?), in San Bernardino, @ 7:11 pm PDT
Wisconsin: RHP Jason Snyder (!), at Beloit, @ 4:30 pm PDT
Tacoma Rainiers: 4-1, .800, 1st in PCL Pacific North
San Antonio Missions: 4-1, .800, 1st in TL South
Inland Empire 66ers: 2-2, .500, 1 GB in CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 3-2, .600, T-1st in MWL Western
Organizational Record: 13-6, .684
Game Recaps (4/9/06)
Colorado Springs 0 (COL), Tacoma 9 (seven innings)
In the first game of the doubleheader, the Rainiers annihilated the Sky Sox, with the pitchers collectively giving up only one hit. RHP Cha Seung Baek (0.00, W) allowed that one hit, and two walks against five strikeouts in five innings pitched. Perhaps this Baek revival thing I’ve been hearing about has some substance to it, but it’s not like the have put anything together against the Rainiers yet. LHP Thom Oldham (0.00) pitched the last two innings and gave up a walk while striking out three.
1B Greg Dobbs (2B, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, .500) was practicing his power stroke in this own, going 3-for-3 with a walk and having every one of his hits go for extra bases. His slugging is easily over 1.000 right now, and I don’t expect THAT to continue, but any power development on his part has to be good. The two catchers in the lineup, C Rene Rivera (2B, R, .667) and DH Corky Miller (R, 1.000) added two hits each, and I was initially a little spooked by their presence in the lineup, but with the pitching how it was and RF T.J. Bohn (HR, 2 R, .455), LF Mike Morse (HR, 2 RBI, .167), and 3B Hunter Brown (HR, .250) all adding home runs, it seems there was nothing to worry about. 2B Scott Youngbauer (2B, 2 RBI, .333) also had a double. Colorado Springs 0 (COL), Tacoma 6 (seven innings)
Neither party let up in the second game either. RHP Francisco Cruceta (0.00) pitched four innings and give up four hits, a balk, and a pair of walks against four Ks, and RHP Sean Green (0.00, W) pitched another two innings after that, giving up a walk, hitting a batter, and punching out two. RHP Rich Dorman (0.00) had one each of hits, walks, and Ks in the seventh.
For the offense, DH Greg Dobbs (HR, 2 R, .538), LF Mike Morse (3B, 2 R, .267), and 3B Hunter Brown (RBI, .429) continued their hot hitting with two hits apiece, and 1B Todd Sears (HR, 4 RBI, .250) added a home run.San Antonio 13, Corpus Christi 6 (HOU)
RHP Brandon Moorhead (7.20, W) got knocked around a bit in his double-A debut, going five innings and giving up four runs on seven hits (2 HR!) and a hit batter against one K. RHP Chad Fillinger (9.00) followed him with two innings where he gave up a couple of runs after three hits and a walk, but the bullpen was nails the rest of the way, with RHP Craig James (0.00) and RHP Jon Huber (0.00) splitting the last two scoreless innings. Huber gave up a hit, but no one else reached.
The Missions offense was in “see ball, smash ball” mode all through the game. The only batter to not get a hit was CF Sebastien Boucher (2 R, RBI, SB, .316), who walked two times anyway. C Justin Ruchti (2B, R, 2 RBI, .600), of all people, led the charge with three hits in the game, and 2B Michael Garciaparra (HR, 2 R, .250), DH Jeff Clement (3B, 2 R, 2 RBI, .294), RF Wladimir Balentien (2B, 3 RBI, .353), 1B Bryan Lahair (HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, .389), LF Jon Nelson (HR, 2 R, .353), and SS Oswaldo Navarro (R, SB, .357) added two each. 3B Jesus Guzman (2B, R, RBI, .083) even added a double for his first hit of the season. You know your pitching is hurting when you give up a triple to a guy who is usually a catcher, but to give some semblance of sanity to the game, Balentien did strike out three times in six plate appearances.Inland Empire 8, High Desert 10 (KC)
LHP Shawn Nottingham (18.00, L) got bumped up a day in the rotation, but he didn’t do so well with the change, going three innings and giving up six runs on nine hits (HR) and a walk against two Ks. RHP Jose de la Cruz (9.00), the pitcher coming in exchange for Carvajal, followed by giving up three runs (two earned) on four hits in his two-inning system debut. For those of you keeping track at home, de la Cruz is taking the spot of RHP Aaron Trolia, who went on the DL with back problems, IIRC. RHP Ivan Blanco (1.93, PO) took the next two and a third and would allow one runs to score on four hits (HR), a balk, and a walk against two Ks, and RHP Mark Lowe (0.00) would strike out the final two batters of the game.
As bad as the pitching was, the hitters didn’t go down without a fight, and managed to capitalize on limited opportunities. RF Chris Colton (2 R, .500) had a couple of hits, 2B Yung-chi Chen (2B, R, 2 RBI, .625) had a double, and CF Brent Johnson (2 R, RBI, .333) and C Omar Falcon (2 R, .000) both walked twice.Peoria 2 (CHC), Wisconsin 1
The first start by RHP Marwin Vega (0.00) was everything I’d hoped it would be, save the extreme groundball tendencies (six grounds to five flies, though a couple of those were weak pop ups on the infield). I have Vega down for 63 pitches through five innings, and I don’t have the exact breakdown due to someone in the T-Rats studio tripping over the cord in the top of the third (at which point I switched to the Chiefs feed), but his ratio of strikes to walks was better than two to one.
Some fun notes from the game…
*Vega threw six pitches to the Chief’s cleanup hitter first time through the lineup before getting the strikeout. The second to last pitch in that sequence was a 92mph fastball that was fouled back, and he followed it up with a sub-70mph change to strike him out. It’s rare for right-handers with such good stuff to change speeds with such bad intentions, but those that do tend to be rather successful.
*The next time up, Vega struck him out on three pitches.
*Another important note for him came against the Chiefs six-hitter in Jesus Valdez. Vega threw twelve pitches in the sequence, coming back from a 2-0 count to throw nine out of his last ten pitches for strikes, ultimately catching the outside corner for the K. He did not give in.
* When Vega misses, he tends to miss low.
Following Vega, RHP Jeff Gilmore (2.45) took the mound and went two innings, giving up a couple of hits and an unearned run, which scored on after a passed ball by the catcher. Gilmore also struck out one. LHP Rollie Gibson (4.50, L) would take the loss after giving up a run on a couple of hits and a strikeout in two-thirds of an inning. RHP Ruben Flores (0.00) let that runners score after a walk and a wild pitch. Flores would go the rest of the way and strike out a batter while he was at it.
As good as Vega was, the Chiefs starter in Yepez was matching him pitch for pitch most of the way. The only run came after RF Eddy Hernandez (2B, R, .273) doubled, then ran like a madman on an infield single by LF Casey Craig (RBI, .200) two at-bats later. Craig hit it to the second baseman, but the 2B couldn’t seem to decide where he wanted to throw the ball, eventually tossing it over to the pitcher covering, who fired to home plate, but not in time to get Hernandez who had been chugging on through at top speed. DH Mike Saunders (.333) was one of three Rattlers batters to draw a walk, but was doubled off in an ugly double play that 2B Luis Valbuena (.133) popped into. Yes, he popped into a double play. That’s how bad it was.
Tacoma: RHP Jesse Foppert, in Tacoma, @ 6:05 pm PDT
San Antonio: LHP Ryan Feierabend, in San Antonio, @ 5:05 pm PDT
Inland Empire: RHP Cibney Bello, in San Bernardino, @ 7:11 pm PDT
Wisconsin: LHP Jose Escalona (!), at Beloit, @ 4:30 pm PDT
Tacoma Rainiers: 4-0, 1.000, 1st in PCL Pacific North
San Antonio Missions: 3-1, .750, 1st in TL South
Inland Empire 66ers: 1-2, .333, 2 GB in CAL South
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers: 2-2, .500, 1 GB in MWL Western
Organizational Record: 10-5, .667