The MVP of the Clinton-Wisconsin series so far is a white Canadian rapper.
For the first time this season, a game runs so late that you are left with incomplete boxscores pending a recap. It's 10:45 and High Desert is still playing, in a tie ballgame. High Desert played a barnburner, which finished after I turned in for the night, and a rather rushed but lengthy recap awaits you.
Rain shortened the DIAMOND JAXX's game with Huntsville. Find out if they won and who was the impact player.
And another old face comes back to haunt us in the Rainiers' game, but thankfully his counterpart today did him one better.
On to the (mostly complete) wrap-up!
A: Snow wipes out another game or two for Wisconsin. The T-Rats wish Snow would go back to its old day job.
SB Nation really needs to enable video embedding.
A+: High Desert 11, Inland Empire 10
HDM: 5-3 INL: 1-7
Steven Richard: 3.2 IP, 6 H, (5 R) 4 ER, 3 walks, 2 K, wild pitch
Julio Santiago: 1 IP, 1 ER, 3 walks
Austin Bibens-Dirkx: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 2 walks, K
Michael Wagner: 1 IP, 2 H, K
Joe Kantakevich: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER (HR), 2 walks, K, hit batter
Jamie McOwen: 2-4, double, 2 R, SB
Kuo Hui Lo: 1-4, 2 R, RBI, walk
Johan Limonta: 2-5, double, R, 2 RBI, K
Ogui Diaz: 2-4, 2 R, K
Chris Minaker: 2-3, 3 run HR, sac fly RBI
Greg Halman: 1-4, double, 2 R, RBI, SB
Travis Scott: 2-4, 2 RBI, walk
Matt Mangini: 2-3, double, R, RBI, walk
Okay, where do we begin with this train wreck? We'll start with Chris Minaker shocking us with his pop gun power and going yard with two men on in the 1st to make it 3-0. But the 66ers struck back on Steven Richard in the top 2nd with three of their own, sparked by Carlos Santana's one out double. Oye Como Va indeed.
Carlos Peguero took a curiously early exist for Ogui Diaz in the 3rd, and in the top 4th, Empire cashed in a couple runs to make it 5-3 and chase Richard, giving us the season debut of Julio Santiago, who did alright in rookie ball last year, and he got the Mavs out of trouble.
The Mavs did get a run in the bottom 4th when Matt Mangini doubled home a run with two down to cut the lead to 5-4 before Leury Bonilla bloomquisted the rally with a strikeout.
Santiago then regressed with three walks, though he mixed in a GIDP before getting yanked for Austin Bibens-Dirkx. ABD aka Hyphen II allowed a Jamie Pedroza single to cash in a run and make it 6-4 Empire before getting out of trouble.
The aptly named Alberto Bastardo came in to pitch for Empire and got three groundouts in the bottom 5th.
It actually stayed quiet until the top 7th, when Josh Bell led off with a triple, Matt Berezay walked, Carlos Santana Supernaturaled a walk and ABD got the hook for Michael Wagner. Eduardo Perez (not THAT Eddie Perez) smoked a grounder through the right side to cash in a run and keep them loaded, 7-4 Empire. Pedroza K'd and Thomas Giles grounded out to 2nd, but another run came in to make it 8-4. Ryan Rogowski smoked a grounder to short that Minaker couldn't play in time to cash in Santana and make it 9-4 Empire. The rout was on.
High Desert got out the big sticks in the bottom 7th and showed us that NO lead is safe in the Cal League. Mangini led off with a single. With one out, Jamie McOwen doubled, then Kuo Hui Lo smoked a comebacker at Bastardo that... Bastardo... couldn't play, cashing in Mangini, 9-5, runners at corners. Johan Limonta doubled to left to cash them both in, 9-7. Ogui Diaz singled to move Limonta over and Bastardo got adopted yanked for Jordan Pratt. Chris Minaker sac flied Limonta in, 9-8. Then Greg Halman doubled to right to cash in Diaz, TIE BALLGAME. Travis Scott singled to cash in Halman and just like that, it was 10-9 Mavs. Mangini came up again and drew a walk... but Leury Bonilla bloomquisted ANOTHER rally by grounding out.
Joe Kantakevich came on to set up the save, except he blew it instead when Josh Bell crapped all over a one-out pitch, over the LF wall to tie it at 10. Joe K looked like he was going to melt down with two walks, but he got two quick outs to escape.
In the bottom 9th, Ogui Diaz bunted himself on, Minaker sac bunted him over for one out, Greg Halman was intentionally walked... and Travis Scott singled Diaz in to seal the deal in a walkoff, 11-10.
AA: West Tenn 3, Huntsville 2, 5 innings (Thanks, rain!)
WTN: 4-3 HUN: 5-2
Rich Dorman: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 walks, 3 K
Shawn Garrett: 1-2, double, R, K
Marshall Hubbard: 2 run HR, sac fly RBI
Marshall Hubbard's 4th inning liner over the LF fence with Adam Moore on was the difference maker, as the rain began coming down around then, and the umps pulled both teams off the field for good with two down in the West Tenn bottom of the 5th. While the 9 groundballs in 19 batters from Rich Dorman is encouraging, I'm not sure how much the weather had to do with that.
Groundballs: 9 (plus 1 bunt)
Line Drives: 3
AAA: Tacoma 2, Fresno 1
TAC: 5-2 FRE: 2-5
Robert Rohrbaugh: 6 IP, 3 H, 5 K
Cesar Jimenez: 2 IP, 5 K
Jon Huber: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, walk, K, wild pitch
WLAD: 2-4, double, RBI, K
rest of Rainiers lineup: 3-23, 2 R, 5 walks, 5 K
Never mind that this was a pitcher's duel through the 6th. The big deal is Robert Rohrbaugh's opponent in this duel: former Mariner wifebeater Julio Mateo.
Who would've thought that Hargrove's former pet would pitch one of the better games of his life for the Fresno Grizzlies against the AAA affiliate of his former team? And it's not like Mateo is an SP at heart: the last time he was tried as a starter was in a 2005 spot start with the Mariners that ended as badly as his wife's stay at a NYC hotel.
Thankfully, Robert Rohrbaugh isn't too bad at this 'flyballer tiptoes his way through minimal hits and runs over several innings' thing himself, though he didn't get a single groundball until the 3rd inning, and was definitely getting hit. Thank goodness for Cheney's spacious dimensions, and thank goodness that Wifebeater's luck finally ran out in the 6th when WLAD shellacked one of his meatballs into left for an RBI double to score Jeremy Reed, chase Julio out of the game like he- okay, I met my wifebeater wisecrack quota... and give the Rainiers a 1-0 lead, just in time for Rohrbaugh's exit.
Line Drives: 4
Pop Ups: 4
Rohrbaugh starts at home are not as scary as Rohrbaugh starts on the road, for flyball-related reasons. I shudder at the thought of Rohrbaugh starting in Colorado Springs or Albuquerque. That could get ugly.
Cesar Jimenez came in and just shut out the lights on the Grizzlies, not too hard of a challenge given these guys aren't good enough to play for the Giants, but still. He struck out the side in the 8th, and the Rainiers looked for more damage against the aptly misnamed Bartolome Fortunato.
Rob Johnson tapped back to the mound, and Fortunato misplayed it to put him on. Johnson stole 2nd as Tui struck out, then with two outs, Brent Johnson walked and Jeremy Reed walked to load the bases. Fortunato then helped himself with a wild pitch that cashed in Johnson. Yung Chi Chen drew a walk to load them again, but Bryan LaHair showed us why Richie Sexson's job is secure by grounding to 1st to end the threat.
FWIW, Jimenez would've struck out the side in the 8th too had Julio Cordido not popped out with two down. And Jon Huber surrendered a run in the 9th because he felt bad for these losers.