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7/15 Minor League Wrap-Up

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It's a good thing I started working on this last night, as if I hadn't, I'd still be writing this by now.  I had today off so I got up late and started late.

With a new temp assignment forthcoming, it's likely I will start posting these the night of, rather than the morning after, as I'm not sure what internet access or flexibility I will have at the next assignment.  I could also get up real early to get them written but HAHAHA to that.  It's not impossible but it's not likely.

I could well be back at my previous assignment within 3 weeks, in which case things would revert back to normal.

Meanwhile, our org's teams are having some serious trouble starting rallies and winning games.

VENEZUELA~!  As always, the VSLM's took Sunday off.

Dominican:  AthleticsUno 8, Mariners 3, called with no outs in top 9th due to rain
DSLM's:  20-13... DSLA's1:  23-12

Walter Suriel:  4.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER (HR), walk, 5 K
Felix Bautista:  2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER (HR), walk, K
Victor Duarte:  1 IP, 3 H, (4 R) 2 ER
Anthony Fernandez:  came in just before the game was called
George Soto:  2-4, double (.255/.333/.412)
Hector Mercedes: 2-4, 2 RBI (.185/.274/.246)
Robert Rodriguez:  2-3, walk (.229/.279/.302)
Mario Flores:  2-4, triple, R, K
Ray Lebron:  0-2, sac fly RBI, walk (.137/.323/.316)

The DSLM's were nursing a 2-0 lead when Uno blew it open on Walter Suriel, chasing the starter from the game in a 3 run 5th inning to take a 3-2 lead. Felix Bautista got out of that inning, but allowed a run in the 6th to make it 4-2, A-1's.

The DSLM's did get a run back in the 8th, after Mario Flores hit a one out triple and Rey Lebron sac flied him in to make it 4-3. But then the rain came, and the floodgates opened... not just for the rainfall but for the AthleticsUno, as they pounded in 4 runs against reliever Victor Duarte without recording an out, before the umps hastily called the game amidst worsening conditions.  Even if they had wiped the 9th from the record, the A-1's were leading anyway, so can't say there's much harm there.

Arizona:  Mariners 3, Brewers 2, 10 innings
AZLM's:  14-6... AZL Brew Crew:  4-15

Robbie Dominguez:  5 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 walks, 4 K, wild pitch, hit batter
Ramon Romeijn:  2 IP, 2 H, (1 R) 0 ER, 2 K, 2 balks (!)
Johnny DuRocher:  1 IP, K, wild pitch
Travis Mortimore:  2 IP, walk, 5 K, balk
Juan Fuentes:  2-4, RBI, walk, K
Brandon McConnell:  3-3, double
rest of AZLM's lineup:  4-28, 3 R, 3 walks, 9 K

The AZLM's were actually trailing 2-0 in the 8th to the worst team in the AZL.  Anthony Phillips drew a leadoff walk.  Daniel Carroll walked.  Luis Nuñez bunted them over for one out.  Brandon Fromm flew to left for two outs, but with Juan Fuentes up, Yeison Cruz uncorked a wild pitch to bring in Phillips and move Carroll to 3rd.  Fuentes smoked a groundball into center and cashed in Carroll to TIE THE BALLGAME.

In the top 9th, the Brew Crew did have a shot at going ahead after Travis Mortimore walked a batter with two outs, then got called for a balk, the 3rd time yesterday that an AZLM's pitcher got called for a balk.  Mortimore, however, got the next batter on strikes to end the threat.

The AZLM's got two men on with one out in the bottom 9th, but Alfredo Mateo struck out and Daniel Carroll flew out to end that threat, and we headed to extras.

Mortimore showed us more than he had shown before, striking out the side in the top 10th.  It looked like more of the same in the bottom half when Brandon Fromm tapped back to the pitcher with one out.  Expect pitcher Anthony Drinkard looked like he was Drunkard and bobbled the ball to put Fromm on.  Then Juan Fuentes singled again.

James Davenport pinch hit for Guy Welsh, and Davenport smoked a grounder into center to load the bases (runners go station to station to play it safe).  Israel Nuñez came to the plate, and Drinkard uncorked a wild pitch that brought in the winning run.  That boy needs to work on his suck pitch.

a:  Salem-Keizer 2, Everett 0
EVE:  12-14... S-K:  21-5

Edward Paredes:  7 IP, 6 H, (2 R) 1 ER, walk, 3 K
Keith Meyer:  1 IP, 1 H, walk, wild pitch
Greg Halman:  2-4 (.333/.287/.595)
Matt Mangini:  2-3, walk, K (.291/.398/.418)
Wellington Dotel:  1-3, double
rest of Aquasox lineup:  1-20, walk, 6 K

The good news was that Edward Paredes continued to do a good job of keeping the ball down and rendering most hitters impotent.

The bad news is that they still got two runs in the 6th, on back to back extra base hits and a Matt Mangini error at 3B, plus the Aquasox bats were completely punchless: only 4 Aquasox got hits yesterday.  Ryan McGrath and his bullpen were hardly dominant: the Aquasox just couldn't string together any offense.  The end result: a 2-0 loss.

To Paredes' credit, he finished that ghastly 6th inning and still threw a 1-2-3 7th before taking a seat.  In the battle between the starters, Paredes won the battle, but Salem-Keizer won the war.

Fastballs:  8
Groundballs:  12 (plus 1 bunt)
Line Drives:  0
Walks:  1
Strikeouts:  3

If Kalian Sams doesn't learn how to work a count and do something useful with breaking balls, he's not gonna have a future.  0-3 with 3 strikeouts, again.  His OPS makes Willie Bloomquist look like Barry Bonds.  Greg Halman is still struggling with pitch recognition, but he's also making contact and getting hits.

A:  Lansing 6, Wisconsin 2
WIS:  8-14... LAN:  14-9

Anthony Varvaro:  5 IP, 1 H, (3 R) 2 ER, 3 walks, 3 K
Tony Butler!:  2 IP, walk, K, hit batter
Michael Wagner:  0.1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, walk (intentional)
Shawn Kelley:  0.2 IP, 2 H, walk, K
Juan Diaz:  2-4, R (.328/.385/.429)
Reed Eastley:  1-3, double (.278/.389/.422)
Joe White:  2-4, RBI, K (.317/.400/.467)
Alex Liddi:  1-4, double (.228/.313/.395)

Lansing got Anthony Varvaro for 3 runs in an awful 1st inning that featured a bad pickoff throw from catcher Juan Beltran, Beltran passing a ball, Varvaro muffing a relay throw to 1st on a grounder, and a triple.  However, Varvaro settled down and worked the minimum, allowing us to witness the triumphant return of Tony Butler!  Butler, back from a lengthy injury layoff, worked a scoreless 6th and 7th while allowing no hits and giving free passes to two batters (one of which hurt the batter more than it hurt Butler).

However, just as I was about to fire up the Michael Wagner Has Found His Form bandwagon, the guy has to go and implode in the 8th.  3 runs and Shawn Kelley later, a 3-2 ballgame was now 6-2 and out of reach.  Sure, it's one game, but awful timing, man.

Varvaro's numbers were okay:

Flyballs:  5
Groundballs:  7
Line Drives:  2
Walks:  3
Strikeouts:  3

A+:  Lake Elsinore 21, High Desert 5.  That was not a typo.
Mavs:  7-17... Lake:  14-10

Alfredo Venegas:  3.1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 4 walks, 2 K
Juan Zapata:  2.2 IP, 7 H, (7 R) 4 ER (2 HR), 2 walks, K
Ivan Blanco:  1.2 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 3 walks, 2 K
Ruben Flores:  one out, 2 walks.
Steve Uhlmansiek:  1 IP, 4 H, (6 R) 2 ER (2 HR), walk, K
Michael Saunders:  1-4, double, walk, 2 K (.294/.392/.476)
Carlos Triunfel:  2-5, double, 2 R, RBI, K
Jesus Guzman:  2-4, double, 2 run HR, 4 RBI, K (.277/.339/.494)
Jeff Frazier:  2-4, K (.333/.412/.480)
Jeff Flaig:  2-4, R, K (.218/.267/.297)

Let's not discuss this game.  It was 11-0 before the Mavs got on the board in the 6th, and then Lake poured on 10 more runs in the final 2 frames.

AA:  Carolina 5, West Tenn 4, 12 innings
WTN:  8-17... CAR:  12-13

Mark Lowe:  0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, walk
Andrew Baldwin:  6.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER (HR), 6 K, wild pitch
The Aircraft Carrier:  1 IP, 1 H, K
Mumba Rivera:  2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 walks, 3 K
Craig James:  2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, walk (intentional), 2 K
Marshall Hubbard:  2-5, 2 run HR (.249/.338/.406)
Matt Tuiasosopo:  2-4, double, R, walk, 2 K (.273/.386/.421)
Charlton Jimerson:  2-4, double, triple, R (.276/.336/.556)
Prentice Redman:  2-3, 2 walks (.264/.371/.429)
Luis Oliveros:  1-5, 2 RBI, 3 K (.288/.306/.356)

After Andrew Baldwin bailed Mark Lowe out of a less than stellar rehab outing (walk, steal, pop out, flyout, line drive single), Phat Andy 29 held down the fort as the DIAMOND JAXX built a 4-1 lead.  Sure, Grant Psomas took him deep in the 4th... and three singles against Baldwin in the 5th produced another run, he still left after the 7th with a 4-3 lead.

Flyballs:  8
Groundballs:  8
Line Drives:  1
Pop Ups:  1
Walks:  0
Strikeouts:  6

So it's still 4-3 in the 9th and Mumba Rivera comes on to close it.  Except Ryan Bear led off with a double, and when Jai Miller bunted him ahead, Mumba Rivera threw the easy out YIKES AND AWAY to allow Bear to score the tying run.  Do you think Mumba Rivera sleeps at night, knowing he is assbagging his career away in the later innings of game after game in AA?  Do you think he retains eternal optimism despite it all, just going about his business and figuring he'll turn things around?  Does he submit applications to Denny's in anticipation of the future?  Does he want to feel SO ENERGETIC?

... oh yeah, we're tied.  Extra innings.  In the bottom 11th, Tui led off with a double, Charlton Jimerson bunted him over (!), Prentice Redman got intentionally walked, took 2nd on defensive indifference... and Luis Oliveros struck out before Chris Minaker grounded out.  AAAAHHHHH.

Then Craig James gave up the ghost in the top 12th.  Grant Psomas hit a double with two outs, and Ryan Bear drove him in to give Carolina the 5-4 lead.  The DIAMOND JAXX had no response in the bottom half.

AAA:  Tacoma 10, Fresno 9
TAC:  42-53... FRE:  47-48

Justin Lehr:  5 IP, 8 H, (6 R) 5 ER (HR), walk, 3 K, hit batter
Juan Sandoval:  2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 K, wild pitch
Brodie Downs:  one out, 1 H, 2 ER
Jason Mackintosh:  one out, 1 H, walk
Wife Vulture:  1.1 IP, 3 K
Sebastien Boucher:  2-4, double, 2 R, 2 RBI, walk
Adam Jones:  3-4, solo HR, 2 R, 2 RBI (.308/.373/.591)
Bryan LaHair:  2-5, 2 R, RBI (.264/.311/.386)
WLAD:  2-5, 2 run HR, 2 K (.326/.395/.590)
Jeff Clement:  1-4, RBI, walk, K (.269/.360/.516)
Nick Green:  2-4, R, RBI (.273/.312/.580)
Ronnie Prettyman:  2-4, double, R (.276/.310/.372)

Well, I'm glad SOMEBODY decided to show up and win last night.  The Rainiers powered to a quick 2-0 lead thanks to a Fresno error and a Jeff Clement single.

However, Justin Lehr got hammered in the 4th, and I'm not talking about liquor.  Clay Timpner reached on an error to leadoff, Lehr loaded the bases, and Scott McLain hit the GRAND SLAM to make it 4-2.  To Lehr's credit, he only allowed a line drive single before quickly getting out of the inning.

The Rainiers responded in the bottom half, as Nick Green and Ronnie Prettyman singled, Oswaldo Navarro bunted them over, and Sebastien Boucher lined a single to cash them both in and TIE THE BALLGAME... before Boucher got thrown out trying for 2nd.  D'OH.

The Grizzlies sorta did the same thing in the top 5th, loading the bases for Tomas De La Rosa, who lined a two out single off Lehr to cash in 2 runs and make it 6-4 Fresno.  De La Rosa was safe at 2nd, however.

Adam Jones came up to lead off the bottom 5th and promptly took Chris Begg deep for his 23rd HR of the year to make it 6-5.  Bryan LaHair's grounder to 2nd was candyarsed and he got on... then WLAD came up and HE went deep for his 21st of the year, a 2 run shot to give the Rainiers the 7-6 lead!  Ronnie Prettyman did double later in the inning with two outs but Oswaldo Navarro struck out.

That was good enough for Lehr and he took a seat for the always dubious Juan Sandoval.  Lehr's BIP featured a few too many line drives for comfort but, otherwise, what you would hope for from a 5 inning effort:

Flyballs:  3
Groundballs:  9 (plus 1 bunt)
Line Drives:  5
Pop Ups:  1
Walks:  1 (plus 1 hit batter)
Strikeouts:  3

Sandoval promptly gave up a single, wild pitch, and single to put runners on the corners, no outs.  Justin Knoedler grounded to 3rd and Prettyman took the easy out at 2nd, conceding the tying run.  Knoedler stole 2nd, but Clay Timpner harmlessly lined to short, and Luis Figueroa's lined found 1B Bryan LaHair to end the threat.

Sebastien Boucher led off the bottom 6th by grounding to short, and Figueroa candyarsed it to put him on.  Jeremy Reed reminds us he's still alive by bunting him ahead for one out... except the pitcher Carlos Hines threw YIKES AND AWAY to give Reed 2nd and give Boucher 3rd.  Adam Jones flew to right and it was caught for two outs, but that cashed in Boucher and gave the Rainiers the 8-7 lead!  Reed also took 3rd on the sac fly.  Bryan LaHair came up and blooped a single to center, cashing in Reed and making it 9-7 Rainiers!

WLAD smoked a grounder to short and Figueroa just had no play.  LaHair got to 2nd as WLAD made it to 1st.

Erick Threets relieved Carlos Hines... then walked Jeff Clement to load the bases... for Nick Green.

Green smoked a grounder past short, into left, cashing in LaHair and making it 10-7 Rainiers!  Bases still loaded... for Ronnie Prettyman.

And Prettyman brings along some of his West Tenn offense, grounding into the 6-4-3 inning ending double play.

Sandoval, to his credit, worked a scoreless 7th, and Brodie Downs relieved him in the 8th.  William Bergolla led off with a lined single, then stole 2nd.  Justin Knoedler walked.  Clay Timpner flew to right for one out, but Bergolla tagged up and took 3rd.  Luis Figueroa walked and loaded the bases... for Daniel Ortmeier, and that was in for Brodie Downs, ceding to Jason Mackintosh.

Ortmeier smoked a grounder into RF, cashing in Bergolla and leaving them loaded, the score now 10-8, for Scott McClain, who had hit the grand slam earlier.

But McClain tapped right back to the mound, and Mackintosh obviously threw to home plate for two outs, bases still loaded... for Tomas De La Rosa.

And Mackintosh walked him to force in another run, 10-9, bases still loaded, so let's go get the Wife Vulture, and Wife Vulture laid the smack down on someone his own size, getting Nate Schierholtz to ground out.  He then struck out the side in the 9th to seal the victory.