Visalia had one more comeback than the Mavs did... the T-Rats need a rest and it showed last night... the DIAMOND JAXX probably do too, though the opposing SP isn't that bad... and Travis Chick... well, read and find out.
UPDATE: YIKES, I had completely forgotten that the VSL Mariners started their season yesterday! They took a 5-4 loss to the VSL Pirates, and at first glance I didn't catch any names of note. I will try and overlay a recap of this game onto this one, but it may not happen today. I'm hoping to get it in tomorrow or, if all else fails, this weekend. Meanwhile, take a peek at the box score if you're interested.
A: Visalia 8, High Desert 7
Cibney Bello: 4.1 IP, 8 H, 5 ER (HR), walk, 3 K, hit batter, sucked
Nicholas Allen: 2.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER (2 HR), K, hit batter
Paul Fagan: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 4 walks, K
Casey Craig: 2-4, solo HR, 2 RBI (.304)
Michael Saunders: 1-5, solo HR, 2 R, K (.279)
Jesus Guzman: 0-3 (.296)
Johan Limonta: 2-3, double, 2 R, 2 walks (.326)
Adam Moore: 4-4, double, solo HR, 3 RBI, walk (.275)
Reed Eastley: 1-5, RBI, K (.262)
Edilio Colina: 1-4, R
The Mavs struck first in the top 2nd when Adam Moore took Hector Ambriz deep to make it 1-0.
Bottom 2nd, and John Hester takes Cibney Bello deep to tie it at 1. WE MISSED YOU, CIBNEY. Leyson Septimo followed with a base hit to left, and Orlando Mercado doubled him in to make it 2-1. Cibney escaped further damage by retiring the next two batters but... yeah.
With one out in the top 3rd, Casey Craig took Ambriz deep to tie it at 2. Michael Saunders came up and also took Ambriz deep to go BACK TO BACK and make it 3-2. Jesus Guzman tapped back to AMbriz for two outs, but Johan Limonta snuck a grounder into left. Adam Moore smoked a grounder into right. Reed Eastley scorched one into left, scoring Limonta to make it 4-2 as Moore took 2nd. Jeff Dominguez was retired but HERE COME THE MAVS.
A single and a batter reaching via E-5 by Edilio Colina at 3B (!) weren't enough for Visalia to plate a run in the bottom 3rd.
Colina got karmic payback to lead off the top 4th, grounding to short and watching Pedro Ciriaco buckner the ball, allowing Colina to take 2nd. Josh Womach bunted him ahead for one out, and Casey Craig sac flied him home for two outs to make it 5-2.
Cibney made it through the 4th without incident despite giving up a leadoff walk and allowing the runner to steal 2nd with no outs.
In the top 5th, Johan Limonta doubled with one out, and Adam Moore doubled him in to make it 6-2, taking 3rd as 1B Bryan Byrne muffed the relay throw from center. Eastley and DOminguez went quietly but that should be enough for Cibn-
Oh wait, it's Cibney Bello. Cibney plunked Greg Thomson to lead off the bottom 5th, and Derek Bruce doubled him over to 3rd. Bryan Byrne grounded back to Cibney, who threw to... Jesus Guzman at 2nd, who threw to Limonta at 1st? Hope they were charging the bunt there. One out, but Thomson scored to make it 6-3 as Bruce took 3rd. Cyle Hankerd doubled Bruce in to make it 6-4, and that was it for Cibney Bello, who ceded to Nicholas Allen as he once again fails to finish the 5th inning.
Rusty Ryal immediately took Allen deep over the left field wall to tie the game at 6, and the meltdown is complete. John Hester grounded to 3rd for two outs, and despite a single from Leyson Septimo and a double from Orlando Mercado that moved him to 3rd, Allen got Pedro Ciriaco to ground out to end the disastrous frame.
The Mavs loaded the bases in the 7th with no outs on a HBP and two walks... except Reed Eastley grounded into the 1-2-3 double play, as reliever Daniel Pohlman got Guzman at home and catcher John Hester had enough time to get Eastley for two. You know the phrase Path of Rage? Well, Jeff Dominguez continued his Path of Uselessness, grounding to Bryan Byrne at 1B to end the frame.
Nicholas Allen had worked a scoreless 6th and went back out to work the 7th. And with one out, Leyson Septimo took him deep for his 1st home run of the season to give Visalia the 7-6 lead.
It came down to the final three outs in the top 9th with Daniel Stange coming in to shut it down. Michael Saunders grounded to 2nd, but Derek Bruce misplayed it at 2B to put him on. Jesus Guzman bunted him over to 2nd for one out because Jesus sac bunts for your sins. Adam Moore, already 3 for 3, smoked a grounder through the hole into center to score Saunders and tie the ballgame. If it's any consolation to Stange, the run was unearned and Reed Eastley grounded out to end the frame.
Paul Fagan escaped a 1st/2nd one out jam in the 8th and with the game tied and nothing in the Mavs bullpen resembling a stopper, Fagan came back out for the bottom 9th. That should be fine, right? Given Fagan was a starter, there shouldn't be any endurance issues, right? Wait, why was he pulled from the rotation again?
Fagan walked John Hester. Fagan walked Leyson Septimo. Orlando Mercado bunted the runners ahead for one out and we're in trouble, because only one of them needs to score to end this ballgame. Paul Fagan wisely put Pedro Ciriaco on intentionally to put the force at any base. Greg Thomson, however, lifted a flyball to right, and Michael Saunders couldn't get it before the grass did. Oaks win, thhhhhhe... Oaks win. A packed house of 817 fans goes hog wild.
NEXT: Visalia again at 6:30, OOH but they don't know who's gonna pitch! No advance scouting and strategy for you!
A: Kane County 3, Wisconsin 1
Kyle Parker: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 walks, 3 K, wild pitch
Joe Kantakevich: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER
Justin Souza: 2 IP, 4 K (JUSTIN SOUZA~!)
Carlos Triunfel: 1-4, K (.288)
Leury Bonilla: 2-4, 2 doubles, R, 2 K, SB (.277)
Carlos Peguero: 0-3, walk, 2 K (.259)
Alex Liddi: 0-4, K (.206)
Kuo Hui Lo: 1-4, SB #7 (.218)
Juan Beltran: 2-3, K (.200)
Funny thing: I had to double take while scanning the game log for the High Desert game, as Visalia sent a reliever to the hill in the later innings named... Kyle Parker. Meanwhile, the T-Rats' Kyle Parker took the hill and gave a passable effort, which sadly was not enough for the tired T-Rats hitters, as they only managed one run against an unimpressive trio of Kane County pitchers (though TJ Franco Jr, who finished the 5th for Andrew Bailey and worked through the 8th, has had a good year so far).
With no score, Kyle Parker got chased in the 5th. With one out, Michael Massaro hit a grounder to Ogui Diaz at 2B that Diaz couldn't play in time. Michael Affronti popped up for two outs, but Massaro stole 2nd, and Greg Dowling drew a walk. Then Parker uncorked a wild pitch, allowing the runners to take 2nd and 3rd. Haas Pratt lined a single to center that scored both runners and that was that for Kyle Parker. Joe Kantakevich came in, and Pratt got gunned down trying to steal 2nd by Juan Beltran to end the frame.
The T-Rats got a run in the top 6th. Leury Bonilla led off with a double, as he awoke from his recent slump. Carlos Peguero flew to left for one out. Leury Bonilla took off on strike two and Kalian Sams, of course, struck out swinging, but catcher Jacob Smith hurried to gun down Bonilla and threw YIKES AND AWAY, allowing Bonilla to turn and score to cut the lead to 2-1.
In the bottom 6th, Kantakevich got lit up. Jermaine Mitchell led off with a double, and Isaac Omura immediately doubled him in to make it 3-1. Kantakevich put down the next three batters, but there would be no rally.
NEXT: DAY OFF for the T-Rats! And they need it.
AA: Montgomery 4, West Tenn 0
Doug FISTER: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 5 K, hit batter
Juan Sandoval: 3.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, walk, 2 K, hit batter
The Aircraft Carrier: 0.2 IP, 2 walks
Brent Johnson: 1-3, walk (.295)
Charlton Jimerson: 1-3, double, K
Those were the only DIAMOND JAXX batters to reach base.
Prentice Redman: 0-4 (.273)
Matt Tuiasosopo: 0-3, K (.323)
Rene Rivera: yeah, you know what happened
The West Tenn baserunners in this game:
One: Brent Johnson led off the game with a grounder through the hole into left. Brent stole 2nd with one out. Prentice Redman grounded to 2nd for two outs, allowing Johnson to take 3rd. But Marshall Hubbard, who has gone ice cold, grounded to 3rd to end the inning.
Two: In the bottom 2nd with one out, Charlton Jimerson doubled on a liner to left, meeting his quota of at least one well-hit base hit per ballgame. Jeff Frazier and Rene Rivera came up after that and you can figure out what happened.
Three: With one out in the bottom 3rd, Brent Johnson drew a walk, but Erick Monzon struck out and Prentice Redman grounded to short for the 3rd out.
And that was it. Every batter after that was retired. The Biscuits starting pitcher, James Houser, pitched one out into the 7th for the win. The D-Rays' 2nd round choice in the 2003 draft, Houser keeps his walks down, his K's high and the lefty is like Dave Bush without the hittability problem. His ERA was in the mid 4's with Visalia last year, but it's the Cal League, and his 136/47 K:BB in 151 innings shows he's no chopped liver (though katal's GF is, because she said so). This was his first start since April 23rd (likely out to heal some minor injuries) and this return outing as rather impressive. He's on the fast track to Durham and, given some breaks, the D-Rays. Can you imagine what that D-Rays pitching staff will look like in 2-3 years? Man.
NEXT: Joe Woerman, as I type this, is trying to snap this 3 game losing streak in the rubber match with Montgomery before the DIAMOND JAXX get on the bus and head to Huntsville.
AAA: Albuquerque 9, Tacoma 5
Ryan Feierabend: 5 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 2 walks, K, hit batter, not the PTBNL in the Jason Davis trade
Travis Chick: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 5 ER (2 HR), 2 walks, K, has back spasms. I'm not even joking.
Jim Parque (!): 0.1 IP, 1 H, walk
Thomas Johannesen-Ellis (?!?!?!?!): 1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, K
Rob Johnson (DH): 0-4, K (.266)
Jeremy Reed: 1-4 (.278)
WLAD: 1-4, solo HR (10), K (.322)
Mike Morse: 1-3, double, 2 R, walk (.336)
Jeff Clement: 1-3, 2 run HR (5), 2 R (.226)
Jon Nelson: 1-4, double, 2 RBI (.244)
The box scores alone are full of mystery. Why is Travis Chick still sucking? Why was Jim Parque called on the pitch relief? Who in the blue hell is Thomas Johannesen-Ellis and why do the Mariners have so many prospects with hyphenated names?
They should just give everyone on the 25 man a hyphenated name. Felix Hernandez-Tutenkamen. Raul Werewolf-Ibanez. Richie Funk-Blast-Sexson. I learned from PositivePaul last night that, had Ryan Rowland-Smith made an appearance in a game during his short time with the M's, that he would've been the first player in MLB history with a hyphenated last name to appear in a ballgame. We could have 25! But then again, RRS not getting the chance only maintains the remote chance that Austin Bibens-Dirkx can beat RRS to that honor.
The Rainiers batters were held to five hits and Albuquerque used one of those canned Six Run Isotope Park Rallies to pull out of reach. Soft tosser Paul Mildren shut down a Rainiers lineup set on dead red over 6.2 IP and his bullpen did the rest. Down 3-1 in the top 6th, WLAD went yard, as did Jeff Clement, to give the Rainiers a 4-3 lead.
But then Travis Chick... you'll love this. I'll let Mike Curto sum it up for me:
The Isotopes quickly regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth after Travis Chick relieved Tacoma starter Ryan Feierabend.
Chick walked the first batter he faced, Scott Seabol. The next hitter, Brett Carroll, hit an 0-2 pitch over the left-field fence, giving the Isotopes a 5-4 lead.
Albuquerque (20-19) made it 6-4 on a Chad Hermansen home run in the seventh.
After a two-out walk to Seabol put runners at first and third, catcher Clement called for Rainiers trainer Tom Newberg to look at Chick. Moments later, Chick was walking off the field.
"He had a back spasm," Brown said. "He should be fine, but we'll know more on Thursday."
Yes, folks, Travis Chick has back spasms. I think I know the cause: find that man a toilet, and quick.
Jim Parque, yes, JIM PARQUE, warmed up and came in to finish the inning, but he gave up a seeing eye single and a walk before he could get the out. Then Thomas Johannesen-Ellis, a 19 year old making his pro ball debut in the states, worked the 8th, did what he could and finished the inning, but the game was still out of reach, and the Rainiers only managed a token run in the top 9th before going quietly.
The good news is that the bullpen will not remain short for long. Byron Embry's excessive suspension comes to an end, and the Mariners have sent back Sean Green and RRS.
NEXT: The Rainiers have the DAY OFF!! They're on their way home to start a series with Tucson.