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5/27 Minor League Wrap-Up

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No rain!  The T-Rats played 2 abbreviated games but took one of them off... the Mavs played 2 games worth despite no doubleheader being scheduled... the DIAMOND JAXX watched Doug FISTER take more lumps while the Rainiers took the chance to make some lineup changes, and then beat the snot out of some crappy AAA tomato can.

YOUR VSL Mariners had the day off, and it appears there is no hurry to resume the suspended game, which, given it's rookie ball played in a common location, I can understand.

High Desert 7, Bakersfield 3, 16 freaking innings

Jose Escalona:  5 IP, 8 H, 3 ER (HR), walk, 2 K
Nicholas Allen:  3.1 IP, 2 H
Steve Uhlmansiek:  1 IP, walk, K, hit batter
Austin Bibens-Dirkx:  1.1 IP, 1 H, walk
Paul Fagan:  3.1 IP, 2 H, 3 K
Roman Martinez:  2 IP, 1 H, 2 K
Casey Craig:  1-7, 2 R, walk (.317)
Michael Saunders:  2-6, double, 2 R, walk, K (.281)
Johan Limonta:  2-5, double, R (.321)
Reed Eastley:  1-3, double, 2 RBI, walk, K (.259)
Travis Scott:  1-5, R, 2 walks, 3 K (.348)

Little did the Mavs know when Jose Escalona allowed that two run homer to Thomas Berkery in the 5th that he had just set the stage for an epic holiday weekend marathon.

The Mavs actually almost won this in the top 9th.  Reed Eastley drew a walk with two outs.  Chris Colton came in to pinch run for him, and Travis Scott singled him over to 3rd... but Jeff Dominguez grounded to 2nd to assure the Mavs of no more than extra innings.

Colton took a seat for Edilio Colina, who it appears will remain in High Desert for now despite the arrival of newly signed Omar Pena.  Colina took 3rd base while Jeff Flaig, playing positively Oswaldolike at 3B, moved to 1B.  Nicholas Allen got one more batter before ceding to Steve Uhlmansiek, who got the next two batters without incident to send us to extras.

Bakersfield again had a chance to win it in the bottom 10th.  Truan Mehl got plunked to lead off, and Thomas Berkery bunted him to 2nd for one out.  Uhlmansiek gave John Mayberry a free pass to create the force at 3rd, and Austin Bibens-Dirkx came in.  Taylor Teagarden (THERE'S a name for you) grounded to 3rd, but Colina took the easy out at 1st for two outs as the runners advanced.  This appears to be a case of Colina snagging a sharp grounder well off the bag.  Nonetheless, Chris David popped up to end the threat.

Omar Pena finally made an appearance in the top 11th, pinch running for Johan Limonta, in a fruitless top half.  Pena stayed in as the DH, and Micah Furtado led off the bottom 11th with a double.  UH OHS.  But Brian Valichka tapped back to the mound, Furtado went and ABD gunned him down at 3rd for one out.  Paul Fagan replaced him with two outs and got out of the inning.

And neither team could get a runner past 2nd base for several innings.  In the top 16th, some dude named Kevin Altman, likely a mop up guy, came in to pitch.  Casey Craig drag bunted to get on for his only hit of the game.  Michael Saunders drew a walk and, with Jesus Guzman batting, Craig stole 3rd, then Guzman smoked a grounder into right to FINALLY cash in a run, 4-3 Mavs.  Omar Pena flew to right for one out, but Jesus Guzman stole 2nd base, and Kevin Altman later uncorked a wild pitch to let Saunders score and move Guzman to 3rd, 5-3 Mavs.  Colina popped up for two outs, but Travis Scott walked, then Jeff Dominguez walked, then Jeff Flaig smoked a grounder into right to cash in Guzman, 6-3, while keeping the bases loaded... for Josh Womack.

And Womack himself drew a walk off the hopelessly wild Altman to make it 7-3, bases still loaded... for Casey Craig... though Craig grounded to 2nd to end the frame.

And given Bakersfield couldn't put a guy on 3rd for 5 innings, let alone cash in a run, you can guess how the bottom half went.  MAVS WIN.

THEY PLAYED TWO IN APPLETON!

A: Game 1... Peoria 4, Wisconsin 1, 7 innings

Kyle Parker:  6 IP, 4 H, (4 R) 1 ER, walk, 7 K, wild pitch
T-Rats lineup:  3-26, R, 4 walks, 8 K

Yeah, they clearly took this one off.  Chris Shavers is a decent Single A pitcher holding a deceptively good ERA after making his return on May 16th.  He shut the T-Rats down over 5 innings and shutdown closer Rocky Roquet worked the last two innings for his 11th save.  Meanwhile, Kyle Parker continued his stud season by working an abbreviated CG and keeping the depleted bullpen rested.

Game 2:  Wisconsin 3, Peoria 1, 7 innings

Justin Souza!!!:  4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER (HR), wild pitch, balk.  All 15 batters faced put the ball in play.
Joe Kantakevich:  2 IP, walk
Brian Kappel:  1 IP, 2 H, K
Kuo Hui Lo:  1-4, 2 RBI, 2 K, SB #12 (.258)
Carlos Triunfel:  1-3 (.315)
Carlos Peguero:  2-3, solo HR, SB (.246)
Alex Liddi:  3-3, R, SB (.200)

Peoria's joy and amazement at getting embattled T-Rats reliever as a surprise SP allowed them to score a quick run, but that was all Justin Souza allowed them to score in his 4 innings of work.  The T-Rats came through in the 6th with four singles equaling TWO mamafreaking runs from Danny Santin, Alex Liddi, Alex Meneses and Kuo Hui Lo... though Meneses got thrown out at 3rd on the 4th run scoring single.  Phenom watched Kuo Hui Lo steal his 12th base of the season, then lined into a 5-4 double play to end the frame.  But a 2-1 lead is a 2-1 lead in a short ballgame, and Carlos Peguero piled on by leading off the 6th with a solo HR to make it 3-1, a lead the pen would not give up.

AA:  Chattanooga 6, West Tenn 1

Doug FISTER:  4.2 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 2 walks, 5 K
Juan Done:  4.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 K
Prentice Redman:  1-2, solo HR (8), 2 walks (.302)
Matt Tuiasosopo:  1-3, walk (.302)
Luis Oliveros:  1-4 (.356)

Wow, has Doug FISTER hit the wall this past month.  Another bad outing where he did not escape the 5th has his ERA at 5.13, and it appears a huge adjustment is going to be needed if he's going to get back on track.

The bulk of the damage came today in the 3rd, where he got pounded for all four of his runs surrendered.  It looks like his prime ailment is a bad case of Gil Meche Syndrome, i.e. being prone to the Big Inning.  I don't think FISTER is pitchbing stupid, but I'll guess that when he gets touched up in an inning, he begins to lose focus, composure, resolve, whatever, and given he's a finesse pitcher that needs control in order to thrive, it does more to undo him than the average pitcher.  This is why a guy like Jamie Moyer is an incredibly special pitcher: to consistently succeed with a slow heater and offspeed/breaking stuff, you need to be in complete control of yourself and the game when you're on the hill, every frame, every start.

I'm sure he knows this and he's working on it as we speak.

AAA:  Tacoma 7, Tucson 4

Jake Woods:  6 IP, 9 H, 4 ER (HR), 2 walks, 3 K
Byron Embry:  2 IP, 0 H, 2 walks, 2 K
Wife Vulture:  1 IP, 1 H
Rob Johnson:  (leading off!) 0-4, R, walk (.263)
Jeremy Reed:  2-4, double, triple, R, RBI, walk (.286)
Adam Jones:  (batting 3rd!) 2-4, 2 doubles, R (.306)
Jon Nelson:  1-5, solo HR, K (.230)
Jeff Clement (DH):  2-4, double, solo HR, R (.235)
Gookie Dawkins:  3-4, R, K (.205)

The Rainiers beat the crap out of crappy Evan McLane('s pitching) for all 7 runs in his 4 innings of work.  Tucson scored 2 off Jake Woods in the 1st and 2 more in the 6th but whatever.

Meanwhile, some lineup tinkering, as Adam Jones moved to 3rd to try and derive some RsBI out of his bat, while Rob Johnson moved curiously up to leadoff, leaving Jeff Clement behind in the 6 slot.  Time will tell if this has any tangible effect or these lineup switches even stick (never a certainty).  Meanwhile, Ronnie Prettyman's shocking ascension to AAA regular status has netted the guy a not-as-useless line of 259/322/296, compared to 200/298/240 in West Tenn.  Granted, the different in that line is literally four singles, but 5 fewer strikeouts in 4 more ABs indicates some sort of boost, however slight.