Last night was terrible, aside from the requisite Griffey love.
Last night in the minors wasn't great, but it wasn't quite that bad.
VENEZUELA~! VSL Mariners 3, VSL Cardinals 2
Mayckol Guaipe: 5 IP, 3 H, 3 K
Jessie Nava: 1 IP, 1 H, wild pitch
Danny Ayala: 0.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, walk
Oberth Guanire: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 2 K
Jose Jimenez: 1 IP, K
Rigoberto Rangel: 1-3, RBI, walk, K (.270)
Cesar Del Rio: 2-3, sac fly RBI (.294)
Jonathan Loaisiga: pinch hit double (.291)
The VSLM's pounded in two runs in the 1st, allow Mayckol Guaipe to cruise through 5, then pounded in another run after Jessie Nava was taken off the mothballs to pitch a scoreless 6th. The VSL Cards managed their only runs of the game in the 7th off Danny Ayala (it's ALWAYS some dude named Ayala!) before Oberth Guanire saved his bacon.
a: Yakima 6, Everett 5
Doug Salinas: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 walks, 4 K, wild pitch
Keith Renaud: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 2 walks, 3 K, hit batter
Brandon McKerney: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER
Edilio Colina: 1-5, double, RBI
Manelik Pimentel: 1-4, double, R, K
Joe Dunigan: 2-3, R, walk
Danny Santin: 2-3, double, R, 2 RBI, walk
Ogui Diaz: 1-3, RBI, K
Yaktown struck in the 2nd, when Johan Pimentel (any relation to Manny?) doubled to cash in a run off Doug Salinas, the only line drive he would surrender all day, and Salinas uncorked a wild pitch with men on the corners to bring in another run.
The Aquasox responded in the bottom half, as with one out, four consecutive Aquasox reached base, TYING THE BALLGAME. Jermaine Brock's groundout to 1st brought in a 3rd run, and Edilio Colina's Magical Mariner Tour brought him to the plate to hit a lined double to cash in another run, 4-2 Aquasox.
And then it got quiet. Real quiet.
Line Drives: 1
Pop Ups: 2
Doug Salinas thought it safe to exit after 5 innings, and ceded to Keith Renaud, who worked a scoreless 6th. Manny Pimentel led off the bottom half with a double to wake things up, and after two outs, Danny Santin, Everett Veteran (and that's not a compliment) lined a double himself to cash in Pimentel and make it 5-2 Everett.
But the strikes woke up Yakima as well as Renaud went back out for the 7th. Mark Hallberg laid down a perfect bunt in front of home plate that Santin couldn't play in time. Shane Byrne walked to put runners at 1st and 2nd.
Renaud got Joe Batten on strikes for one out, and Aaron 'Mister' Hanke hit a DP ball to 3rd. Deybis Benitez threw to 2nd for one, Colina threw to 1st but COULD NOT get Hanke in time. Only two outs and runners on the corners. Also, I don't think the brown stuff on Hanke's helmet is pine tar.
Andy Beshenich lined a single to center and cashed in Halberg to make it 5-3. Renaud took a seat and Brandon McKerney came in for yet another outing, this one higher in leverage than the last.
And Michael Mee hit a towering triple to center to cash the runners in and tie the ballgame at 5. See what happens when you don't turn those 5-4-3 double plays? Yes, these kids are brand new at pro ball and still working things out, I know. It's a hard lesson.
Meanwhile, Ramon Ramirez smoked a grounder into right, easily scoring Mee to give Yakima the 6-5 lead.
The Aquasox went quietly in the bottom 7th, but after Mckerney rebounded with a scoreless frame, Everett went for it in the bottom 8th... well, with some help. Manny Pimentel grounded to 3rd with one out, and 3B Ramon Ramirez muffed it to put him on. Marquise Liverpool pinch ran as Joe Dunigan came up, and single to right to move the speedy Liverpool to 3rd.
Deybis Benitez got lifted for pinch hitter... MATT MANGINI!! THE DRAFT PICK HAS ARRIVED! Dunigan went ahead and swiped second, and Matt... went down on strikes. Ah, well, the guy was playing no baseball 3 days ago, so gotta give him time. But still, Mangini! Expect to see him in the lineup.
Danny Santin's veteran status got him intentionally walked to load the bases with two outs... for Ogui Dia- ERRR pinch hitter Kris Sanchez. And Sanchez popped up to end the threat. Damn. At least Everett worked the bench.
With three outs to go and down 7-6... the Aquasox went quietly.
A: Quad Cities 3, Wisconsin 0
Nathan Adcock: 7 IP, 6 H, (3 R) 2 ER (HR), 2 walks, 5 K
Joe Kantakevich: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 K, wild pitch
Michael Wagner: 0.2 IP, K
Kuo Hui Lo: 2-3, double, walk (.267)
Trevor Lawhorn: 0-4, 4 K: The Golden Sombrero (.268)
Alex Liddi: 1-4, triple, K (.217)
Juan Diaz: 2-2, double, walk (.317)
Nathan Adcock pitched a decent game overall, but with his offense unable to get going, it sadly wasn't enough yesterday, thanks in large part to this guy.
The Midwest League's friendly neighborhood overhanding freak, Eddie Degerman, was on the hill for Quad Cities again, and managed 4 innings of befuddling 2 hit baseball, striking out 5 while walking 4. Shaun Garceau, the tandem reliever, was just as impossible to face, and he gave the Swing 4 more innings of nearly unhittable ball. The end result was an easy shutout win for the Swing. Experience wasn't much of a factor here: just about any MWL squad would've been hopeless at the plate against the Degerman/Garceau tandem yesterday. In fact, that Kuo Hui Lo and Juan Diaz managed two hits against them is quite impressive. KHL is probably, for the time being until Triunfel heals up and returns, the hitting star of this team.
So, Adcock. He actually pitched one ofthe best games you'll see, getting nothing but groundballs for extended stretches, but suffering from 4 errors, including 2 passed balls. One of the 3 line drives he surrendered went over the wall for a home run. His performance was actually far better than the line score would indicate, but again, it wasn't enough.
Line Drives: 3
Pop Ups: 1
A+: High Desert 10, Lancaster 8
Aaron Jensen: 4 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, walk, K
Nick Allen: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, walk, hit batter
Roman Martinez: 2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER (HR), 3 K, wild pitch
Paul Fagan: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER (HR), walk, K
Austin Bibens-Dirkx: 1 IP
Jeff Dominguez: 2-3, double, 3 R, RBI, 2 walks (.245)
Jesus Guzman: 1-3, double, 2 R, RBI, walk (.287)
Johan Limonta: 1-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, K (.300)
Adam Moore: 3-4, 2 doubles, R, 3 RBI, walk, K (.302)
Eddy Hernandez: 1-5, 2 RBI, 2 K
Jeff Flaig: 1-5, double (.227)
Kevin Reynolds: 2-4, R, K
Aaron Jensen, who has been largely AWOL since the start of the year, made his first start in a long while and did a pretty decent job tiptoeing through 4 innings, especially considering how his bullpen did afterward. Jensen ceded down 2-1 to Nick Allen to start the 5th after the Mavs pounded away in a 4 run top 5th to make it 5-2.
High A All Star MVP Bubba Bell drew a one out walk, then Ryan Khoury smoked a grounder into left, then Zach Daeges smoked another grounder into center to cash in Bell and move Khoury to 3rd, 5-3. Aaron Bates got plunked to load the bases, uh ohs... for Scott White.
White's flyball found Michael Saunders in CF for the 2nd out, but Khoury tagged up and scored to make it 5-4. Mark Wagner popped up to end the threat.
The 6th went quietly, and High Desert answered in the 7th. Jeff Dominguez drew a one out walk and stole his 10th base of the season, allowing him to score easily on Jesus Guzman's double to left, 6-4 Mavs. Adam Moore also doubled to left to cash in Guzman and make it 7-4.
But Lancaster's always got their finger on the red button. WIth one out in the bottom 7th against Roman Martinez, Ryan Khoury swung and missed a bad pitch for strike three, as Roman's pitch sailed way wide of Moore, so Khoury took off for 1st and made it safely. Zach Daeges singled to left, and then Scott White atomic bombed a Roman meatball for a 3 run blast, White's 13th HR of the year, to tie the ballgame.
The Mavs gave it a go in the top 8th, as Kevin Reynolds singled with 2 outs and Reynolds swiped 2nd base... but Michael Saunders' liner found Ryan Khoury at 2B for the 3rd out.
Paul Fagan came in to work the bottom 8th and it looked alright, as Michael Hall struck out and Christian Lara harmlessly bunted back to the pitcher.
But Bubba Bell doesn't bunt. BOOM: Bell sent HR #18 way over the RF wall to make it 8-7. It was the only hit Fagan allowed.
So the Mavs came up in the top 9th with three outs to spare and one run to make up. Jeff Dominguez drew a walk, and Jesus Guzman sac bunted for his sins, one out. Johan Limonta smoked a grounder into right to score Dominguez and TIE THE BALLGAME!
Adam Moore drew a walk, and with Eddy Hernandez at the plate, TJ Large uncorked a wild pitch to move the runners into scoring position. Eddy lined a single to cash in the runners and give the Mavs the 10-8 lead.
ABD came in to shut it down, and he shut it down, getting a harmless flyout and two groundouts to seal the deal.
AA: West Tenn 7, Mississippi 5
Travis Chick: 6 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 3 walks, 3 K
Michael Hrynio: 2 IP, 2 H, walk, K
David Asher: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER (HR), 3 K
Charlton Jimerson: 1-4, solo HR, 3 K (.263)
Prentice Redman: 2-3, double, R, walk (.267)
Marshall Hubbard: 1-4, double, R (.256)
Matt Tuiasosopo: 0-2, R, sac fly RBI, walk (.285)
Brent Johnson: 1-1, 2 R, 3 walks (.279)
Luis Valbuena: 2-3, R, sac fly RBI, K (.244)
Luis Oliveros: 1-4, double, 2 RBI (.287)
After a nice beginning as a starter, Travis Chick met regression against the AA Braves, giving up a run in the 1st and 3 more in the 3rd. The 1st inning was poor luck, as all four baters he faced hit groundballs. The 1st batter, JC Holt, snuck his grounder into right, stole 2nd, and eventually scored as the other grounders moved him along. After a leadoff walk in the 3rd, a grounder found a hole into right and a bunt got the batter on as the runners moved over to load the bases. From there, sacrifices and a stolen base cashed in a run, and the one big blemish of Chick's night, a lined double from Matt Esquivel, cashed in two more runs to make it 4-0.
Chick settled down and gave the DIAMOND JAXX 6 innings, though those groundballs became flyballs as the game progressed. It's just that those flyballs found fielders, compared to the early grounders that kept finding holes earlier.
Meanwhile the DIAMOND JAXX finally got on the board in the 5th. Brent Johnson led off with a ground single into right. Luis Valbuena line a single. Luis Oliveros, getting more playing time as Rene Rivera continues to suck, lined a double to left to cash both runners in and make it 4-2
In the 6th, Prentice Redman, silent since his early hot start, led off with a lined single, then Marshall Hubbard lined a double to move him to 3rd. Tui sac flied to bring him in and make it 4-3 as Hubbard tagged up and took 3rd, then Luis Valbuena hit a sac fly to cash him in and TIE THE BALLGAME. When was the last time you saw two sac flies in an inning?
Chick ceded to Michael Hrynio with the game tied after what was actually another solid outing with some negative variance.
Groundballs: 10 (plus 1 bunt)
Line Drives: 1
Pop Ups: 1
The DIAMOND JAXX took the lead for good when, with two outs in the bottom 7th, Charlton Jimerson destroyed a Michael Nix pitch, sending it over the RF wall to make it 5-4. The DIAMOND JAXX cashed in two more runs in the 8th when, with one out and the bases loaded, Chris Minaker grounded to Diory Hernandez at SS, who stepped on the bag at 2nd for one, and threw YIKES AND AWAY for zero. 7-4.
Mark Jurich led of the top 9th with a solo shot off David Asher to cut it to 7-5, but the pesky Braves could not get anything else going.
AAA: Sacremento 12, Tacoma 4
Jake Woods: 6 IP, 10 H, 8 ER (HR), 2 walks, 4 K, wild pitch, 2 hit batters
Byron Embry: 0.2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, walk, K
Juan Sandoval: 0.1 IP
Jamie Cerda: 1 IP, 1 H
Jeremy Reed: 1-4, double (.286)
Adam Jones: 0-2, 2 walks, K (.316)
WLAD: 3-4, 2 solo HRs, K (.322)
Jeff Clement (DH): 2-4, double, solo HR, 2 R (.276)
Rob Johnson: 1-3, double, walk (.261)
Oswaldo Navarro: 1-4, RBI, 3 K (.220)
Jake Woods sucks.
Byron Embry's toast. Something's wrong with the guy, besides needing to mix in a salad. He hasn't had a good outing in a long long while.
Adam Jones has been cold throughout this Sacremento series, but Jeff Clement's doing damage and WLAD went off for two solo shots. WLAD is hot and cold, and when he's hot, I'd say he's the best hitter in this lineup, but Adam Jones is more consistently productive, this series notwithstanding, and that's the key separator. If consistency weren't a key issue, Charlton Jimerson would be in the majors right now.