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6/29 Minor League Wrap-Up

I'm writing this while proverbially on the run in Downtown Seattle, so while it's a bit bang bang, I did try to include useful details as always.  I mostly succeeded ;P

The lower minors had good nights, but an unlikely shutout came along with a sadly likely shutout.  Never fear, though... to paraphrase Rowdy Roddy Piper, the Rainiers came to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and they ran out of bubblegum after Brad Thomas allowed two early runs.

VENEZUELA~!  VSL Mariners 13, VSL Mets 2

Jose Rios:  5 IP, 5 H, (2 R) 1 ER, 2 walks, 5 K, balk, hit batter
Mayckol Guaipe:  3 IP, 6 H, 2 K
Carlos Sanchez:  1 IP
Carlos Ramirez:  1-3, 3 R, RBI, 3 walks, K (.272)
Cesar Fuentes:  3-4, R, 2 RBI (.297)
Cesar Del Rio:  1-4, R, 2 RBI, walk, K (.290)
Rafael Torrealba:  2-4, R, 2 RBI, walk (.160)

They only knocked in 8 of these 13 runs.  That's kinda funny.  The bullpen threw it on cruise control after 4 runs in the 5th made it 7-2, and the VSLM's poured it on with 5 more in the 6th.

Know how good the MLB Mets are?  Well, the VSL Mets are the bizarro Mets.  They suck.

AZL:  Mariners 7, Athletics 1

Ivan Blanco:  2 IP, 1 H, 2 K
Philip Roy:  3 IP, 2 H, 3 walks, K, 2 hit batters
Robbie Dominguez:  3 IP, 1 H, (1 R) 0 ER, walk, K, wild pitch
Michael Renfree:  1 IP, 2 H
Daniel Carroll:  0-4, first hitless game this season
Mario Martinez:  2-5, R, RBI
Alfredo Mateo:  2-5, R, 2 RBI
Luis Nuñez:  3-4, 2 doubles, 2 R, RBI
Jonathan Arias:  1-4, RBI, walk, K
Wellington Dotel:  2-4, double, RBI

Ivan Blanco had another decent rehab outing, as the AZLM's poured on four runs in the 5th to turn this game into a wash.  TWO FOR TWO!

a:  Everett 3, Eugene 2, 11 innings

Edward Paredes:  6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 5 walks, 4 K
Brandon McKerney:  2 IP, 1 H, 2 walks
Ryan Moorer:  3 IP, 2 H, walk, 3 K
Jermaine Brock:  1-3, double, 2 K
Greg Halman:  1-4, solo HR, walk, 2 K
Edilio Colina:  1-5, RBI

It's kinda fresh to call any low scoring contest in short season A ball and below a pitching duel, as teams usually send their starters out for no more than 5-6 innings or, as in Eugene's case yesterday, send out a bullpen relay.

That said, Eugene's bullpen relay, six pitchers in all, struck out 14 Aquasox, and held them to one 1st inning run in the 1st frame.  Edward Paredes imploded in the 4th, walking four straight batters and making a bad pickoff throw inbetween to bring in a run and load the bases.  He did get a double play ball afterward, though that brought in one more run.  He surrendered his 1st flyball of the day afterward for the 3rd out, and was able to go 2 more innings despite that meltdown.  In fact, he was unbeatable save for that strange, sudden meltdown.

Flyballs:  4 (all in final 8 batters faced)
Groundballs:  11
Line Drives:  0
Walks:  5 (all consecutive)
Strikeouts:  4

That said, Everett needed a run to tie the ballgame, and they got it in an interesting bottom 8th.  Jeff Dunbar led off with a single, then Marquise Liverpool pinch ran for him.  Pitcher Allen Harrington got a little too preoccupied with holding Liverpool at 1st and he backfired, drawing a balk to move Liverpool to 2nd.  Ogui Diaz bunted him to 3rd for one out, and Jermaine Brock got lifted for PH Deybis Benitez (Mariners baseball: nights off don't exist!).  Benitez drew a walk, and Harrington, the fear of Greg Halman entrenched in his being, walked the Dutchman to get to Matt Mangini.

Yes, Allen Harrington walked Greg Halman to get to Matt Mangini.

To Harrington's credit, Mangini grounded to 1st, and 1B Robert Blauer relayed it YIKES AND AWAY past home to cash in Liverpool and TIE THE BALLGAME.  Manny Pimentel and Joe Dunigan went down on strikes, but we have a new ballgame!

Danny Santin came in to catch as Ryan Moorer came in to pitch and Eugene did get a runner aboard in the top 9th, but otherwise went quietly.  The Aquasox went quietly in the bottom 9th and we went to extras.

Both sides continued going quietly, until the bottom 11th.  Matt Mangini drew a leadoff walk, and Manny Pimentel followed suit with a walk of his own.  Roberto Mena pinch ran for Mangini, giving the Aquaox speed at 2nd to assure a run on a base hit.

That backfired when Joe Dunigan tapped back to the mound and pitcher Dustin Gibbs threw to 3rd to get Mena, one out.  Jairo Hernandez pinch ran for Manny Pimentel, now at 2nd, and they tried it again.

Edilio Colina made sure it paid off, smacking a flyball to right for a base hit.  Hernandez turned, broke for home, and got in ahead of the throw to seal the deal!  THREE FOR THREE!

NEXT:  Juan Carlos Ramirez tonight at 7:05 pm PDT in Everett.

A:  Quad Cities 8, Wisconsin 0

Ricky Orta:  3.1 IP, 7 H, 6 ER (HR), 4 walks, 2 K, hit batter
Brian Kappel:  0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, walk, K
Michael Wagner:  2 IP
Rollie Gibson:  1 IP, walk, hit batter
Justin Souza:  1 IP, 1 H
T-Rats batters:  4 hits, 4 walks, 5 K

D'OH, no org sweep.  The first inning for Ricky Orta was pretty bad and could've been a lot worse had James McOwen in LF not gunned down a runner at the plate.  But really, this wasn't a good start in terms of keeping the Swing offense at bay.  It was about as poor as the line indicates.  He walked two batters, one stealing 2nd on a strikeout and taking 3rd when catcher Jair Fernandez's throw went YIKES AND AWAY... before getting pulled for Brian Kappel.

Flyballs:  6
Groundballs:  3
Line Drives:  3
Pop Ups:  1
Walks:  4 (pls 1 hit batter)
Strikeouts:  2

Both of Orta's runners were allowed to score on a sac fly and a triple that brought in a few runners of Kappel's own.  Once he got the 3rd out, it was 8-0, and the Swing's well arranged tandem staff didn't give the T-Rats anything.

NEXT:  Eddy Fernandez (!) makes his 1st start against Quad Cities today at 5 pm PDT.

A+:  Lancaster 10, High Desert 0

Cibney Bello:  5 IP, 6 H, (6 R) 5 ER (2 HR), 3 walks, 8 K, wild pitch, 2 hit batters
Aaron Cotter:  2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, walk, K
Nick Allen:  1 IP, 1 H, hit batter
Steve Uhlmansiek:  1 IP
Michael Saunders:  2-4, K (.298)
rest of Mavs lineup: 2-26, 3 K

Who the hell is Justin Masterson?  He's the guy who shut down the Mavs, that's who.  Hardly a dominant pitcher, the Jamaican picked a great time to pitch his best game of the season... as if there's ever a bad time.

It really wasn't his doing, as he only struck out 2 batters, though 12 groundouts to 7 outs in the air indicate one reason why the Mavs got shut out at home in the space park.  Groundballs are a Cal League pitcher's rupees.

And Lancaster... Cibney Bello... yeah.  He actually looked okay, but Mark Wagner led off the 2nd witha solo shot and Bubba Bell, with two runners on, also went deep to pretty much derail the start no matter what happened afterward.

Flyballs:  3 (2 of them HR)
Groundballs:  8
Line Drives:  3
Walks: 3 (plus 2 hit batters)
Strikeouts:  8

NEXT:  Marwin Vega's turn in Adelanto at 7:05 pm PDT.

AA:  Mobile 4, West Tenn 2

Justin Thomas:  5.1 IP, 6 H, (4 R) 3 ER (2 HR), 2 walks, 6 K
The Aircraft Carrier:  2.2 IP, 3 K
Matt Tuiasosopo:  1-4, double, R, 2 K (.274)
Charlton Jimerson:  1-3, 2 run HR, walk (.253)
Luis Oliveros:  2-4, 2 K (.296)
Casey Craig:  2-3

How many awesome starters do the D-Backs HAVE in Double A ball?!  Greg Smith became the latest Mobile SP to pitch a gem against the DIAMOND JAXX, pitching into the 7th while holding West Tenn to 2 runs and striking out 8.  That's no fluke: 56 Ks and 13 walks over 63.2 IP this year proves the southpaw is one of the BayBears stronger pitchers.

The DIAMOND JAXX may be struggling as a team, but they're not nearly this poor.  Tis Mobile pitching staff is one of the best they've seen this season.  The future is looking bright in Arizona.

Meanwhile, Justin Thomas gave up a homer to the 2nd batter he faced, and set the tone for the occasional miscues that would do him and the DIAMOND JAXX's chance in over his 5.1 IP.  Meanwhile, the Aircraft Carrier, getting in some serious work lately with the bullpen depleted, pitched well over the final 2.2 innings, but again, the DIAMOND JAXX weren't coming back against this Mobile staff.  Justin Thomas:

Flyballs:  7
Groundballs:  6 (plus 1 bunt)
Line Drives:  2
Pop Ups:  1
Walks:  2
Strikeouts:  6

NEXT:  MC Baldwin Twentay Nizzle (also dubbed 'Two Nine Double A Grounda' and 'Moyer Trade Bait') tonight at 5:05 pm PDT in Jackson.

AAA:  Tacoma 5, Portland 2

Brad Thomas:  6.2 IP, 5 H, (2 R) 1 ER, 2 walks, 7 K
Kam Mickolio:  1.1 IP, walk
Wife Vulture:  1 IP, 2 K
Sebasten Boucher:  3-4, R, RBI
Jeremy Reed:  2-4, R, SB (.284)
Adam Jones:  3-4, R, RBI (.315)
Bryan LaHair:  2-4, double, R, RBI (.263)
WLAD:  0-2, sac fly RBI (.320)
Jeff Clement:  0-3, K (.280)
Oswaldo Navarro:  1-3, double, R, K (.233)

Portland did score 2 early runs on Brad Thomas, but Brad held the fort while pitching into the 7th, while the Rainiers slowly charged back and took the lead for good.  Bryan LaHair doubled in the 4th and was eventually sac flied in by WLAD... Oswaldo Navarro doubled in the 5th before Sebastien Boucher (leading off yesterday!) singled him in... Jeremy Reed led off the 6th with a single, stole 2nd, took 3rd on an Adam Jones single, then scored when Bryan LaHair candyarsed into a 6-4-3 double play... and in the 8th, Sebastien Boucher singled on a bunt (!) with one out, Jeremy Reed singled, Adam Jones singled to cash in Boucher, but Reed got thrown out trying for 3rd, and Bryan LaHair singled to cash in Adam Jones... before getting thrown out trying for 2nd.  MARINERS IN THE MAKING!

Brad Thomas racked up K's when he could and got groundballs early, but was fortunate that he only allowed two runs, as the line drives and flyballs were a bit too frequent as the game wore on.

Flyballs:  4
Groundballs:  6
Line Drives:  5
Pop Ups:  1
Walks:  2
Strikeouts:  7

Kam Mickolio continued his ascent into Big Powerhouse Reliever, relieving Brad and working through the 8th without incident, before Wife Vulture came in and worked a perfect 9th for his 6th save in Tacoma.

NEXT:  ES CAMPILLO TIEMPO in Tacoma tonight at 7:05 pm PDT.