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Minor League Wrap-Up: 5/16/06

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Albuquerque finished off Tacoma, 7-5. Believe it or not, I was a bit curious as to just why Cha Seung Baek has been so lousy over the past two seasons, so imagine my disappointment when my conclusion after watching him was "I don't know." Baek has this uncanny ability to throw very well, strike batters out, get them to swing at junk and then allow a single/walk/error and the wheels fall off. Albuquerque's second inning was painful because it should have never happened. After getting two very quick outs, UnNomar pulled the Dobber off the bag with what should have been a routine throw to first to end the inning. What followed? Walk-single-single-mound visit-pick-off. 3-0 Albuquerque. This repeated itself in the 5th and 6th innings where Baek just lost focus and allowed guys to SMOKE the ball anywhere on the field they pleased. I hesitate to call someone like Baek enigmatic because chances are he just sucks, but I don't know why he had no composure on the mound and if he developed some, he'd be markedly better. A few notes from the game:

  • Adam Jones is strong for a scrawny guy. His double landed about 20 feet from the center field wall (it's 425ft away) and was just a bullet off the bat.
  • Chris Snelling doesn't swing unless it's in the zone. And even if it's in the zone, he might not swing if he doesn't think he can poke it somewhere. He had one swing and a miss and verbally bashed himself for about 10 seconds before stepping back into the box. He looked just fine in right field and made a nice play in the first covering a lot of ground to catch a James Shanks foul ball near the Tacoma bullpen.
  • Greg Dobbs argued balls and strikes with the umpire. Who does he think he is? A ballplayer?
  • I texted Jeff joking that I finally got to see Matt Cepicky live. Good thing Albuquerque has since left town.
  • Back to Adam Jones for a second, does he think he's the team clown or something? During warmups between innings he had some funny little waddle going in center that was apparently amusing to Choo and Bohn. He showed his true colors by slamming his helmet and chucking his bat after going down swinging in the next inning.
  • I figured because it was an 11:35am start time on a weekday it would dead at Cheney. Wrong again. Yesterday was field trip day (update: Thanks to Knuckles, I now know it was "WASL Relief Day" -- I never got one of those in high school) for seemingly every elementary school in Western Washington. The announced attendance was 5,873 with no less than 4,500 being under the age of 10. My ears are still ringing.
  • Nate Bump pitched. This really cracked up the kids.
  • Aaron Looper pitched. This really cracked me up.
  • Asdrubal Cabrera seems to field his position quite well and has nice range. He's no Betancourt, but if you remember, I didn't think much of Betancourt's defense when he arrived in Tacoma.
  • Because there were so many kids, they had to have TWO Run With Rhubarbs. During the second, they were packed so tight that one child fell and subsequently knocked down 40 others.
  • PA announcement of the day: "The B&I is a wonderful place to shop!" Yeah, especially if you're looking for wigs, fake nails or phony cosmetics.
  • Finally, I didn't get the go the whole day without hearing some kind irrational Michael Garciaparra comment: "He's going to be just like his brother, I mean look at his stance, just like his brother's. How did we get this guy? Rainiers never get good prospects." Seriously.
Notables:

Cha Seung Baek: 5.1 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR.
Shin-soo Choo: 2-5.
Adam Jones: 2-5, 1 2B, 2 RBI.
Chris Snelling: 0-1, 2 BB.
Mike Morse: 2-5, 1 2B.
Asdrubal Cabrera: 1-3, 1 2B.

Frisco edged San Antonio, 3-2. A very nice start for Travis Blackley was thrown down the drain as he held the Roughriders in check for seven innings before Jon Huber allowed three in the ninth to score to give Frisco the lead and the game. Blackley allowed on five hits and two walks and he fanned four in the effort. He hasn't yet taken the form we saw a few years ago, but Blackley's making the case that he shouldn't be forgotten yet and he hasn't flamed out. The Mission offense collected only four hits all day but Jason Bourgeois homered and that was the difference until the fateful ninth.

Notables:

Travis Blackley: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K.
Sebastien Boucher: 1-3.
Jason Bourgeois: 1-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI.
Jon Nelson: 1-2.
Bryan LaHair: 1-4.

Lake Elsinore shutout Inland Empire, 2-0. Cibney Bello took the ball in this one which means IE's win expectancy dropped 37% before the first pitch. In anycase, Bello was typical by walking six batters in only four innings while somehow managing to allow only one run. Amazing. None of this mattered however as Cesar Ramos and the Storm bullpen combined to toss a five hit shutout. Mike Wilson was the only bright spot on the offense as he collected a double.

Notables:

Cibney Bello: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 6 BB, 6 K.
Brent Johnson: 1-3, 1 BB.
Yung Chi Chen: 1-3, 1 BB.
Mike Wilson: 1-4, 1 2B.
Matt Tuiasosopo: 0-4.

Wisconsin blanked Kane County, 4-0. What's this? A win in the Mariners organization? No way! Give it up for Justin Thomas who continues to pitch well this season as he went six very strong innings scattering three hits and a couple walks while sitting down five on strikes. Jairo Hernandez, Curtis Ledbetter and J.B. Tucker all went multi-hit to lead the Rattler attack.

Notables:

Justin Thomas: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K.
Curtis Ledbetter: 2-4.
J.B. Tucker: 2-3, 1 3B.
Eddy Hernandez: 1-4, 1 RBI.
Jairo Hernandez: 2-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI.

On the docket:

Tacoma: Off.
San Antonio: Yorman Bazardo vs. Corpus Christi. Game time is 5:05pm PDT.
Inland Empire: Someone at Lake Elsinore. Game time is 7:05pm PDT.
Wisconsin: In a rain delay with Kane County right now. 2-0 Kane County, T7.