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Minor League Wrap-Up: 5/15/06

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Five games and zero wins.

Tacoma dropped a yawner to Albuquerque, 1-0. Some people enjoy pitching duels, and on occasion I love them, but did it have to be on my first Cheney visit this season? This was by far the most boring game I've attended since an 8-1 Mariner loss to Baltimore right before my eighth birthday in 1993. That game featured Jamie Moyer shutting down Seattle for nine grueling innings and I've been a mild disliker of Jamie Moyer since. To hell with his heroics in a Mariner uniform. A few notes from the game:

  • Cesar Jimenez looked good early on. He mixes things up surprisingly well and has a nasty little breaking ball he likes to use as an out pitch. He can keep hitters off-balance when he's zeroed in. Despite his early struggles at the AAA level, I think he'll be fine.
  • Who the hell is Nic Ungs? It's frustrating to watch a 26-year-old with a lousy fastball shut down the home team. His mannerisms, for some reason, remind me of Clint Nageotte sans the wildness. Take that at face value.
  • At certain points during the game, the strikezone was about 72 inches wide. A ball that seemingly wasn't close was a called third strike on Tom Wilson and sent him into a frenzy. I was sure it was out of the zone when Wilson got in the face of the homeplate umpire, yelled about six or seven profanities, walked back to the dugout and threw his helmet and was allowed to stay in the game while the ump just stared blankly into right field.
  • Robert Andino got into an argument with a fan from the dugout when the fan came over to personally boo Tom Wilson. The homeplate umpire stopped the game and told the fan to go sit down. That's comedic gold.
  • Most people were giddy to hear Michael Garciaparra would be playing. The misconception that he's "just like his brother" has a chokehold on the Tacoma populace. I heard no less than six people talk about how he's destined to be good because he has great genetics. Yeah, right.
  • Adam Jones acts as if center field is his natural position. He wasn't really tested, but he seems smug when trotting to catch a fly ball -- if that makes sense.
  • The Fun Squad still sucks. So does the Chicken Dance. Enough of that nancy-boy sissy crap. I'm sure Positive Paul's son is way too manly to do the Chicken Dance.
  • Best PA announcement of the evening: "Folks, if Scott Youngbauer hits a grand slam in this inning, a lucky fan will win a Scott Youngbauer autographed bat!" First, what are the odds that Scott Youngbauer will hit a grand slam? Second, if those insurmountable odds are beat, don't you think you should win like $500m and not a Scott Youngbauer bat?
  • Bobby Livingston made a relief appearance. He's still wondering when his life will become normal again.
  • When compared to Scott Seabol, my 6-year-old cousin's arm is a cannon.
  • There was a Cranky Yankee sighting in the row box behind home. She looked as cranky as ever. It's pretty obvious that she was pissed off that Greg Dobbs wasn't in the lineup again.
  • Speaking of no-shows in the lineup, Chris Snelling was absent. Thanks for being a bastard, Dave Brundage.
  • The Rainiers had runners picked off twice and Brundage sent T.J. Bohn on a hit and run. Sears whiffed and Bohn still made it (he's not slow) but a hit and run with two outs in the bottom of the first of a 0-0 game? The woman sitting directly in front of me said she enjoys the new aggressive baserunning scheme because it "puts more runs on the board". Whatever you say, random old lady.
I could think of more relevant baseball info, but I took shoddy notes (read: no notes at all) and didn't really plan on watching closely anyway. That's what tomorrow is for.

Notables:

Cesar Jimenez: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K.
Shin-soo Choo: 1-4.
Adam Jones: 0-4.
T.J. Bohn: 1-4.
Rob Johnson: 1-3.
Scott Youngbauer: 1-3. Dream-crusher thanks to not hitting a grand slam.

Frisco topped San Antonio, 5-3. Brandon Moorhead's struggles continue as he was touched up for four runs on nine hits in only 4.1 innings moving his season ERA to an unflattering 7.85. The Mission offense had only three hits on the evening off of John Danks, but two of them left the yard. Danks got the last laugh, however, striking out twelve and picking up the win.

Notables:

Brandon Moorhead: 4.1 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HR.
Bryan LaHair: 0-4, 3 K.
Wladimir Balentien: 0-4, 4 K.
Jesus Guzman: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 RBI.
Jon Nelson: 2-3, 1 HR, 1 BB, 2 RBI.

Lake Elsinore got by Inland Empire, 8-7. It didn't take long for the Storm to weather (horrible pun, sorry) Shawn Nottingham as they jumped on him in the first for two runs before he finally escaped after the sixth having given up five runs on nine hits while walking two, striking out three and giving up a bomb. The 66ers pounded out fourteen hits on the evening with three apiece coming from Josh Womack, Yung Chi Chen and Marshall Hubbard and two baseknocks off the bat of Mike Wilson.

Notables:

Shawn Nottingham: 6.0 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HR.
Josh Freakin' Womack: 3-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI.
Yung Chi Chen: 3-5, 1 RBI.
Mike Wilson: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI.
Marshall Hubbard: 3-4, 2 RBI.
Omar Falcon: 1-1, 1 2B, 1 RBI.

Wisconsin dropped both games in their doubleheader against Dayton, 7-2 and 6-0. Game one had Jose Escalona starting and getting smoked for three runs on seven hits in just 3.2 innings. Escalona did manage to strike out five however and only walked a single batter. The offense wasn't up to doing much as they collected three hits, one being a homer off that bat of Jairo Hernandez.

Notables:

Jose Escalona: 3.2 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K.
Luis Valbuena: 1-3.
Michael Saunders: 1-3.
Casey Craig: 0-3, 3 K.
Jairo Hernandez: 1-2, 1 HR, 1 RBI.

Game two saw Jason Snyder try his best to mimic the miserable outcome of Game One and he did an okay job of attempting to make that happen. Snyder went five inning and allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits while walking one and fanning seven. Casey Craig, Robert Hudson and Jairo Hernandez all went multi-hit to pick up six singles and that's all the T-Rat bats could accomplish.

Notables:

Jason Snyder: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K.
Casey Craig: 2-3.
Robert Hudson: 2-3.
Jairo Hernandez: 2-3.

On the docket:

Tacoma: Cha Seung Baek vs. Albuquerque. Game time is 11:35am PDT.
San Antonio: Travis Blackley vs. Frisco. Game time is 9:05am PDT.
Inland Empire: Cibney Bello at Lake Elsinore. Game time is 7:05pm PDT.
Wisconsin: Justin Thomas at Kane County. Game time is 4:05pm PDT.