8/27 Minor League Wrap-Up

- With Tropical Storm Gustav having passed, the DSLMs and DSL Twins played Game 2 of their playoff series in Santo Domingo, and the DSLMs bats finally awoke. Rudy van Heydoorn doubled in a run in a 1st and later scored on a wild pitch. Rudy doubled home another run in the 3rd, and the Twins did not respond off of a strong Miguel Celestino until getting a gift run in the 7th off a muffed catch in LF by Angel Zapata with a man on 2nd. But the DSLMs loaded the bases in the 8th and Hector Mercedes cleared them with a one out double to stretch the lead out to 6-1.

Bruno Mercedes pitched for the 2nd time in 3 days and struggled, giving up a couple runs on a 2 out double to make it close. But catcher Hassiel Jimenez caught runner Carlos Vasquez off the bag between 1st and 2nd, threw to 2nd and 2B Bertin Sanon ran him down to end the game and tie the series at one game apiece.

The DSLMs will see if they can bring their bats to Boca Chica this time, as they face the DSL Twins in the decisive Game 3 today.

- How's this for a name: the Vancouver Canadians reliever who pitched the 8th and 9th innings of Vancouver's 5-1 win over Everett was Mathieu LeBlanc Poirier. The last two names are his surname and would go on the back of his jersey... if NWL teams did that sort of thing. Other than that, there's isn't much else to say about the lefthanded Quebecois, who is getting a brief test run in the NWL after an unlucky but productive stint with the AZLAs.

- The Montgomery Biscuits sent their B lineup out against Edward Paredes, making his 2nd AA start, and go figure he had himself a good night, throwing 6 shutout innings and striking out 6 with 9 groundouts on only 3 hits and 2 walks.

1st: Line drive, groundball, groundball
2nd: Groundball, groundball, hit batter, strikeout (swing)
3rd: Groundball, pop up, strikeout (called)
4th: Flyball, groundball, groundball, walk, strikeout (swing)
5th: Hit batter, strikeout (swing), walk, groundball
6th: Groundball, strikeout (swing), flyball, strikeout (swing)

Groundballs: 9
Flyballs: 2
Line Drives: 1
Pop Ups: 1
Walks: 2 (plus 1 hit batter)
Strikeouts: 6

As the 1st half North division champs, the DIAMOND JAXX will likely face the much improved Mississippi AA Braves (I blame the brief but inspiring veteran presence of Jeff Francoeur's cameo appearance) in the Southern League playoffs, and chances are likely that they're going to get creamed, but their hopes will rest on the abilities of guys like Paredes, so if they can finish strong... never say never.

- Speaking of never saying never... you can say 'never' now to the Rainiers PCL playoff chances: the Salt Lake Bees, who matched the Rainiers step for step in the win column once they got within 5 games, have officially clinched the PCL Pacific North division.

The Rainiers shouldn't have even been in the race, with Salt Lake starting the season 21-1 and the Rainiers playing a hair under .500 ball most of the way. But then the Bees cooled off and played .500 ball, the Rainiers rattled off 12 straight wins, and suddenly, with about two weeks left, the Rainiers were 5 back and people suddenly pushed the idea of a Rainiers pennant race.

Sure enough, however, though the Rainiers stayed hot, the Bees woke up, kept pace all the way, and 5 games was as close as the Rainiers would get before the Bees locked it up. I'm a Rainiers fan as much as anyone and I would have loved to see them come all the way back, especially against the Angels' AAA affiliate... but I think the small sample size of the Astros miracle 2005 NL Central run (where they went from 8 back to tied in 8 days), the Phillies comeback on the Mets in the NL East last year, and the M's famous run in 1995... have colored some perspectives on how unlikely it is to make up a 5 game deficit in such a short span of time. Even after their winning streak closed the gap, the probability of the Rainiers making up 6 games (there is no one game playoff if tied, and the Bees have the tiebreaker) in less than two weeks, given a wealth of statistical precedence, was remote at best. Great run, Tacoma Rainiers, but the pennant race was over long ago, and in the big picture of the division title race, this excellent run is akin to making a 10-1 deficit a 10-7 loss. It looks better at first glance in the newspapers... until you take a closer look at the boxes.

But that is not to detract from what the Rainiers did this past month. Winning games and playing great in August? That's awesome. Winning streaks despite half the team getting called up to the Mariners failboat? That's awesome. A lot of awesome things happened in Tacoma this month, and the comeback in the standings, though not enough to prevent a walkover, was a statement in itself.

And hey, there are still games left, so if you live in Puget Sound and want to be reminded what winning baseball looks like, take the chance to head to Cheney Stadium one more time before the season ends.

- Chris Jakubauskas became the latest injury-lister to come back. He relieved another fellow Team DLer, Robert Rohrbaugh, in the 5th, worked through the 6th, and though he allowed 2 unearned runs on 4 hits, he struck out 5 on 48 pitches, 34 for strikes. We'll see if he finished strong, and then we'll see if the org keeps him around or cuts him loose. Normally, these Indy vets come and go, but the 29 year old Jakubauskas appeared to be on his way to forcing himself into the 25 man conversation when he got hurt.

DSL PLAYOFFS: THIS TIME, IT COUNTS (...SORT OF)

Game 2: DSL Mariners 6, DSL Twins 3
Series tied 1-1

Miguel Celestino: 8 IP, 4 H, (1 R) 0 ER, 2 walks, 4 K, wild pitch
Bruno Mercedes: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, hit batter
Victor Ozuna: 2-3, 2 R, walk
Rudy van Heydoorn: 2-4, 2 doubles, R, 2 RBI
Hassiel Jimenez: 3-4, double, R, K
Hector Mercedes: 2-4, double, 3 RBI

Rk-AZL: Mariners 7, Athletics 6, 11 innings
AZLMs: 12-14... AZLAs: 9-17
(League: 265/346/376... 4.40 ERA)

Luke Burnett: 2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 walks, K, wild pitch
Kenta Suda: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, walk, 4 K (7 GS +5, 3.15 ERA, 54.1 IP, 3 HR, 33/40 BB/K)
Eddy Hernandez: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 3 walks, 3 K, wild pitch (14 app, 11.64 ERA, 19.1 IP, 1 HR, 17/14 BB/K)
Nick Love: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 K, wild pitch (14 app, 8.22 ERA, 23 IP, 6/16 BB/K)
Richard Ortiz: 1 IP, K (16 app, 2.92 ERA, 24.2 IP, 1 HR, 22/23 BB/K)
Cesar Fuentes: 3-5, double, R, RBI, walk, K (269/327/373)
Scott Savastano: 4-5, double, R, walk, SB (306/379/435)
Alfredo Mateo: 1-5, 2 R, sac fly RBI, K (239/324/356)
Henry Contreras: 2-5, double, R, 2 RBI, K (325/342/390)
Randy Molina: 2-4, double, R, RBI, 2 walks, K (246/318/313)
Joel Mendez: 2-5, walk (278/312/335)
Peter Whatley: 4-6, double, R, 2 RBI, K

Rk+: Game 1 of the Appalachian League Championship Series... was postponed due to weather, and will be played in Pulaski today.

A-: Vancouver 5, Everett 1
EVE: 29-40... VAN: 29-40
(League: 257/345/375... 4.22 ERA)

Walter Suriel: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, walk, 3 K (13 GS +1, 5.59 ERA, 75.2 IP, 11 HR, 24/65 BB/K)
Javier Martinez: 3 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, walk, 5 K (20 app, 4.21 ERA, 25.2 IP, 1 HR, 21/25 BB/K)
Bradley Reid: 1 IP, hit batter (14 app, 6.63 ERA, 19 IP, 4 HR, 10/9 BB/K)
Tyson Gillies: 2-2, walk (322/426/448)
Jharmidy De Jesus: 2-2, double, 2 walks (254/292/448)
Anthony Phillips: 2-4, double, R (197/285/291)

A: Cedar Rapids 3, Wisconsin 2
WIS: 22-43... CED: 38-27
(League: 252/323/372... 3.69 ERA)

Michael Pineda: 6.2 IP, 4 H, (3 R) 2 ER (2 HR), 6 K, hit batter (20 GS +5, 2.09 ERA, 129.1 IP, 7 HR, 35/114 BB/K)
Natividad Dilone: 1.1 IP, 2 K (24 app, 3.53 ERA, 35.2 IP, 2 HR, 16/37 BB/K)
Jeff Dunbar: 1 IP, K (16 app, 3.26 ERA, 19.1 IP, 1 HR, 6/13 BB/K)
Joe Dunigan: 2-4, solo HR (233/294/418)
Denny Almonte: 0-3, sac fly RBI, 3 K (241/298/409)
rest of T-Rats lineup: 1-20, 6 walks, 9 K

A+: High Desert 6, Rancho Cucamonga 5
Mavs: 23-42... Quakes: 35-30
(League: 273/340/413... 4.53 ERA)

Alfredo Venegas: 6 IP, 6 H, 4 ER (3 HR), walk, K (15 GS +9, 4.89 ERA, 106.2 IP, 11 HR, 30/84 BB/K)
Nick Hill: 1.2 IP, walk, 3 K (34 app, 4.58 ERA, 92.1 IP, 10 HR, 32/69 BB/K)
Steven Richard: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, K (30 app, 4.73 ERA, 40 IP, 2 HR, 23/40 BB/K)
Jamie McOwen: 0-2, sac fly RBI (268/328/400)
Ronnie Prettyman: 1-4, solo HR (297/342/469)
Travis Scott: 3-4, 2 doubles, 2 R (269/337/455)
Chris Minaker: 1-4, double, R, RBI (291/320/421)
Kuo Hui Lo: 0-3, sac fly RBI, 2 K (254/311/413)
Joe Simokaitis: 2-3, R, K (257/311/404)
Geraldo Valentin: 1-3, double, R, K (245/284/343)

AA: West Tenn 8, Montgomery 1
WTN: 28-36... MON: 34-30
(League: 264/342/400... 4.20 ERA)

Edward Paredes: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 walks, 6 K, 2 hit batters
Ryan Ketchner: 2 IP, walk, 2 K (20 GS +4, 4.57 ERA, 114.1 IP, 11 HR, 36/69 BB/K)
Shawn Kelley: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER (HR), 2 K (28 app, 2.16 ERA, 41.2 IP, 2 HR, 16/43 BB/K)
Brent Johnson: 2-5, double, R, RBI (288/380/448)
Mark Kiger: 1-5, double (227/354/295)
Johan Limonta: 2-5, R, RBI, K (300/369/510)
Mike Wilson: 1-3, double, 2 R, walk, K (282/392/563)
Adam Moore: 2-3, double, 2 run HR, sac fly RBI, 2 R, K (316/394/505)
Marshall Hubbard: 1-3, double, R, RBI, walk, K (289/402/493)
Jeff Dominguez: 2-4, double, 2 RBI, K (209/274/271)

AAA: Tacoma 15, Sacramento 6
TAC: 76-63... SAC: 80-59
(League: 277/347/443... 4.84 ERA)

Robert Rohrbaugh: 4 IP, 3 H, 2 ER (HR), K (17 GS +1, 5.23 ERA, 93 IP, 8 HR, 27/73 BB/K)
Chris Jakubauskas: 2 IP, 4 H, (2 R) 0 ER, 5 K, 2 wild pitches (9 GS +2, 2.79 ERA, 51.2 IP, 5 HR, 14/40 BB/K)
Jon Huber: 1 IP, K (50 app, 6.19 ERA, 68.1 IP, 6 HR, 21/54 BB/K)
Matt Renfree: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER (HR), 2 K
Prentice Redman: 2-4, solo HR, solo HR, 3 R, 2 walks (306/386/566)
Matt Tuiasosopo: 2-6, double, R (272/358/439)
Shawn Garrett: 2-4, double, 3 R, RBI, 2 walks (304/346/446)
Victor Diaz: 2-4, 2 doubles, 3 R, 2 RBI, K (282/370/528)
Craig Wilson: 4-4, 2 doubles, R, 4 RBI, walk (276/287/526)
Rob Johnson: 1-5, double, R, 2 RBI, K (304/364/444)
Oswaldo Navarro: 2-5, double, R, 3 RBI (262/328/335)

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