Tacoma shutout Portland, 2-0. Another day, another ERA-lowering outing for Felix Hernandez. He looked much better in this one than last Thursday, but that control still looks suspect. Hernandez walked another four batters in six innings, but three were in one inning alone. Hernandez seems to "get comfortable" after the third inning. He works faster and throws more pitches for strikes. This could be a result of just being a bit more fearless the second time through the lineup or it could be just some weird adjustment period he goes through on the mound. Whatever it is, it works, since he looks better after some time has passed. As for the offense, there wasn't much until Ryan Christianson came up in the sixth and hit an absolute moonshot. Christianson parked it well over the 385 mark in right-center field, yes, that would be OPPOSITE FIELD for him. Jaw-dropping blast. Other than that, Aaron Rifkin and Yuniesky Betancourt had multi-hit games and Shin-soo Choo had the play of the game in the third. Top prospect Wilson Valdez (tee-hee) smoked a 2-1 fastball that plunked the wall in left. Valdez, against any other leftfielder, would have been safe. Instead, he was going up against Choo who gunned him down at second by ten feet. Choo's arm is amazing and I am surprised more people don't talk about it.
Felix Hernandez: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 7 K.
Jamal Strong: 1-3.
Shin-soo Choo: 1-4.
Chris Snelling: 1-4.
Ryan Christianson: 1-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI.
Aaron Rifkin: 2-3.
Justin Leone: 0-3. (Bounced into two DP's and struck out in his return. Ouch.)
Yuniesky Betancourt: 2-3.
Corpus Christi topped San Antonio, 5-2. Ryan Rowland-Smith wasn't death, but he didn't get much help and when that happens, you can't allow a hit per innings. That exactly what Rowland-Smith did as he went six innings giving up two runs on six hits while walking two and fanning two. Luckily, Rowland-Smith didn't get tagged with the L, that distinction goes to our very own Renee Cortez.
Cortez's actions leading to the loss:
Pitcher Change: Renee Cortez replaces Tim Rall.
Carlos Rodriguez strikes out swinging.
Mark Saccomanno pops out to pitcher Renee Cortez.
Dax Norris grounds out, shortstop Eriberto Menchaca to first baseman Jesse Hoorelbeke.
Corpus Christi Top 9th
John Fagan hit by pitch.
Wade Robinson hits a sacrifice bunt. Throwing error by third baseman Jesus Guzman. John Fagan to 3rd. Wade Robinson to 2nd.
Junior Zamora strikes out swinging.
Pitcher Change: Cesar Jimenez replaces Renee Cortez.
The Missions had a few opportunites to get things going with the sticks but didn't nail down any runs until the 6th when T.J. Bohn grounded out and ended up driving in a run (no RBI) and Nate Espy followed with an RBI single. That was that and the Missions were done producing.
Ryan Rowland-Smith: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K.
Jamie Bubela: 1-3, 1 2B.
Jesus Guzman: 1-1, 1 BB.
T.J. Bohn: 0-4.
Gary Harris: 1-4, 1 2B.
Nate Espy: 1-4, 1 RBI.
Ismael Castro: 0-4.
Lake Elsinore handled Inland Empire, 5-1. Much like Ryan-Rowland Smith, Mumba Rivera didn't cast his team into a huge pit to climb out of, but still didn't do many favors. Free passes weren't an issue this evening for Rivera, but he still gave up more than a hit per inning and ended up allowing three runs but the time it was all said and done. The offense should be at least partly to blame here as they were anemic. No one had more than one hit and despite ten baserunners, couldn't put much in the bank.
Little Garciaparra: 1-3, 1 BB.
Matt Rogelstad: 0-3, 1 BB.
Adam Jones: 1-4.
Bryan Lahair: 0-4.
Justin Ruchti: 1-4. (Had an error and two passed balls, as well)
Clinton smashed Wisconsin, 11-5. Many of you know why I have a strong dislike for Casey Abrams. It's not so much him, as I am sure he's a great guy, but what he represents. Abrams can't pitch with any kind of effectiveness or consistency at ANY level. He wasn't good in college and he's be downright awful in the low minors. Abrams is terribly old for the league and symbolizes stubborness on part of the organization to not cut ties with players who just don't have any kind of future. Earlier in the year I blasted the acquistion of Albie Lopez, whom the Rainiers quickly and smartly let go. However, Abrams is a recurring theme. He goes out every five days, gets pummeled or walks a hundred batters and gets ready for his next beating or walk-fest. It's tiring and with the plethora of draft picks signing, I am hoping this is the end. Again, I don't hate Casey Abrams the person, I just don't like Casey Abrams the pitcher or his continued employment in the organization. All that said, Abrams was...suprise, destroyed again! Abrams lasted only two-thirds of an inning giving up five runs (four earned) on three hits and three walks and managing to strike out one. Abrams wasn't the only bad pitcher in this one, either. Eric O'Flahtery also got his ass handed to him in 2.2 innings and by the end of the fourth, it was 11-0 Clinton. Climbing out for such a deficit is nearly impossible, but the T-Rats at least tried. They put up five runs before everything was over as Oswaldo Navarro had three hits including a homer and Josh Womack also had a multi-hit night.
Casey Abrams: 0.2 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K.
Sebastien Boucher: 1-5, 1 RBI.
Yung Chi Chen: 1-5, 1 RBI.
Asdrubal Cabrera: 0-4.
Matt Tuiasosopo: 1-4.
Oswaldo Navarro: 3-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI.
Josh Womack: 2-3, 1 3B, 1 BB, 1 RBI.
On the docket:
Tacoma: Damian Moss vs. Portland. Game time is 7:05pm PDT.
San Antonio: Jon Huber vs. Corpus Christi. Game time is 5:05pm PDT.
Inland Empire: Ryan Feierabend at Lake Elsinore. Game time is 6:05pm PDT.
Wisconsin: Randy Frye at Clinton. Game tims is 5:00pm PDT.