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7/29 Minor League Wrap-Up

So the big LL/USSM duo event is in three days and I haven't even formally arranged travel yet, and for good reason.  See, I'm in assignment limbo after last week's work assignment, currently waiting for my next assignment, and logistically, I need to set things up so I can cut out early enough to make it from wherever I am, to Everett/Tacoma in time.  At 30+ miles each way, it's not a quick trip.  I would rather bite the extra bullet to procure a Flexcar than to rent a car, as the extra cost (it's $75 a day, IIRC) would cover residual costs like insurance and gas... but until I know the location of my next assignment, it'd be impractical to rent a car in one location, only to end up working in a completely separate location.  Ditto for carpools: I don't want to arrange for someone to pick me up... without knowing where they're going to pick me up.

Worse comes to worse, I will think of something.  I always do ;P  I'll be there.

Meanwhile, not a lot to crow about in the system yesterday.  On to the wrap-up?

VENEZUELA~!  VSL Cardinals 3, VSL Mariners 2
VSLM's:  44-22... VSL Cards:  21-44

Yoervis Medina:  CG loss, 5 H, (3 R) 2 ER, walk, 3 K
Larry Gonzalez:  2-4, double, RBI, K
rest of VSLM's lineup:  3-26, 2 R, 6 walks, 8 K

Lost in the... well, loss... is Yoervis Medina pitching the first 9 inning complete game of the season for the VSLM's, even if it ended in a loss.  It was a solid effort of balls on the ground in play, though the end result was more runs than the offense bothered to score.  Scattered singles and walks were all the offense could really muster, save for Larry Gonzalez's double, and despite a couple of follow up runs in the middle innings, the VSLM's had no answer.  Five games left (so I was a bit off on yesterday's remaining games count).  Yoervis Medina should get another start.

Dominican:  They played two in Santo Domingo!

Game 1:  DSL Phillies 6, DSL Mariners 3, 13 innings

Michael Pineda:  3 IP, 3 H, (3 R) 2 ER, 3 walks, 3 K
Ariel Alcantara:  6 IP, 2 H, walk, 5 K
Tony Bremon:  3.2 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, walk, 3 K
Anthony Fernandez:  no outs recorded, 1 H, 1 ER (HR)
Ramon Morla:  0-3, sac fly RBI, K (.221/.359/.337)
George Soto:  1-6, double
Hector Mercedes:  2-6, solo HR (.269/.356/.385)
Mario Flores:  1-3, double (.277/.365/.523)
Rudy van Heydoorn:  1-3, R, RBI (and he pinch hit in the later innings!... .233/.350/.407)
Luis Peguero:  2-4, walk, K (.281/.388/.344)

The last thing the DSLM's needed in the front end of a doubleheader is to play a game as long as 2 seven inning games, and they gave it up in the bottom 13th to boot when Anthony Fernandez came in with two on and immediately got taken deep to end it.

Game 2:  DSL Phillies 5, DSL Mariners 1
DSLM's:  27-18... DSL Phils:  28-17

Bruno Mercedes:  5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, walk, 3 K, hit batter
Nelson Germocen:  two outs, 2 H, 4 ER, 2 walks (1 intentional), K, 2 wild pitches
Juan Franco:  one out, 1 H
George Soto:  1-3, RBI, K (.262/.335/.393)
rest of DSLM's lineup:  2-21, R, 2 walks, 3 K

Winded, the DSLM's lineup basically fell over, and after 5 solid innings from Bruno Mercedes, a name that belongs on a big league roster if only for its alliterative powers... Nelson Germocen got hammered in the 6th and the DSL Phils put away the sweep in short order.

Arizona:  Royals 5, Mariners 4, 17 innings.  SEVENTEEN innings
AZLM's:  2-1... AZL Royals:  3-0

Fabian Williamson:  5.2 IP, 8 H, 3 ER (HR), walk, 6 K
Tom Ellis:  3.1 IP, 1 H, 4 K
Eddy Fernandez:  3 IP, 4 H, 2 K
Travis Mortimore:  4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 7 walks (5 intentional), 3 K
Gregory Moviel:  no outs, 1 H, 4 walks
Luis Nuñez:  2-7, RBI (.261/.297/.359)
Daniel Carroll:  3-8, K (.355/.450/.427)
Juan Fuentes:  1-5, R, RBI, 2 walks, K (.303/.371/.382)
Alfredo Mateo:  2-8, 3 K (.256/.323/.389)
Tyson Gillies:  2-6, R

Speaking of playing two games worth at once... this came about because, down 3-2 in the 7th, the AZLM's tied it up when Maximo Mendez walked with one out, got around to 3rd and eventually scored on a Williams Farinas wild pitch (he had too much talent for just one William).

The problem is that no one made much of a push to score after that and we headed to extras.  Tom Ellis had relieved starter Fabian Williamson in the 6th and finished regulation before ceding to Eddy Fernandez, who threaded the needle through the 12th.

The AZLM's had a good shot in the top 11th, as Tyson Gillies, who hadn't done much of anything before today, lined a single with one out, took 2nd on a Maximo Mendez groundout, got to 3rd when what should have been an inning ending Luis Nuñez grounder was horked YIKES AND AWAY, putting runners on the corners with two outs... but Daniel Carroll, one of the team's most reliable bats, went down swinging to end the frame.

In the bottom frame, David Wood doubled to lead off but likely gave away what would have been the winning run by trying for 3rd, and CF Daniel Carroll gunned him down.  The next batters went quietly.

Mario Martinez lined a single with two out in the 12th, then stole 2nd to try to get something going... but Brandon Fromm struck out to end that frame.  The Royals then got a leadoff single in the bottom frame, sac bunted the runner over for one out, got runners on the corners via stumble-job fielding by Alfredo Mateo with two outs, but Lifete Jose struck out to end the threat.

Then in the 13th... BREAKTHROUGH.  Tyson Gillies singled again with one out.  Maximo Mendez came up, and pitcher Eric Van Slyke tried to be clever and pickoff Gillies at 2nd, except Van Slyke threw YIKES AND AWAY and Gillies took 3rd.  Irony is such a bitch.  Mendez struck out for two outs, but Luis Nuñez hit a pop up that Lifete Jose ran to get... and could not get.  Gillies scored to give the M's the lead!... and Nuñez, running as fast as he could off the bat, had turned for 2nd and was firmly no-man's-landed between 1st and 2nd.  Jose tosses to 2B Dennis Donovan and Nuñez was out by a mile to end the frame.  Still, the run counted, and the Royals had three outs to come back or toast.

Travis Mortimore, at this point the defacto closer, came on to finish.  Anthony Phillips came on to play SS and Dwight Britton supplanted the aforementioned Gillies in RF.  Leadoff batter Vinny Pennell walked.  David Wood singled, the ball got past Daniel Carroll in CF, and then when he retrieved it, Carroll threw the ball YIKES AND AWAY in an indeterminate direction.  Pennell had already scored and was at the water cooler, as Wood coasted into 3rd.  Tied again and now the Royals threatened to win.

Mortimore decided his best shot to win was to create a force at any base, so he intentionally walked the next two batters to load them... for Dennis Donovan.

And Mortimore struck Donovan out for one out.  Salvador Perez flew to center, and Daniel Carroll made the catch and gunned for home as David Wood tagged up and broke for home. The throw was dead on, Juan Fuentes took the ball, applied the tag... OUT AT HOME.  INNING OVER, ballgame still on.  You want to talk about win probability swings... Daniel Carroll on his own had a manic depressive performance.

Meanwhile, David Wood absolutely did not concur with the call on what would have been the walkoff run, and home plate umpire Matt Benham basically said STFU zero-tool player, this is rookie ball and tossed him.

Josh Santerre relieved Eric Van Slyke for the Royals and put down the side in order. The Royals tried again in the bottom 14th.  The teriffically named Ian Craze led off with a single, Ryan Angel bunted him over for one out, so Mortimore, left in for the haul, intentionally passed Lifete Jose.  Vinny Pennell grounded to short, and Anthony Phillips muffed it to put runners on 2nd and 3rd, one out.

But Mortimore did not walk Sean McCauley, electing topitch to him.  And McCauley struck out for two outs. Diego Cruz smoked a liner.. right to Brandom Fromm at 1B to end the threat. WHO WANTS THIS GAME LESS?

Both sides went peacefully until the bottom 16th.  Ryan Angel led off with a double.  Lifete Jose bunted him over for one out, and here we go again.  So Mortimore decides to intentionally walk the bases loaded again.  This is now FIVE intentional walks he's issued, some sort of record, and something to note if any of your friends cites his "high walk rate in rookie ball."

And again, Mortimore gets a strikeout to render it moot, this time of Diego Cruz.  Fernando Cruz grounded to 1st to end the threat.

Daniel Carroll led off the 17th with a single, and was sac bunted over to 2nd, but Alfredo Mateo and Anthony Phillips struck out to end that.

And then Mortimore was out of gas, so the VSLM's went and got Gregory Moviel, who unintentionally walked four consecutive batters to force in the winning run and end the ballgame.  Who knows, maybe he had every intention of doing so, just to end this ballgame, and just pitched around all four batters.

a:  Everett 5, Spokane 3
EVE:  15-25... SPO:  18-21

Alfredo Venegas:  4 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 walks, 5 K, wild pitch
Philip Roy:  1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 walks
Aaron Brown:  2.1 IP, 3 H, walk, 4 K
Bryan Harris:  1 IP, K
Ogui Diaz:  1-5, double, R, 2 K (.263/.294/.394)
Greg Halman:  1-3, RBI, walk, 2 K (.331/.408/.594)
Jermaine Brock:  4-4, double, R, 2 RBI (.198/.280/.229)

Spokane tied the game in the 4th at 3, and it stayed that way until Jermaine Brock busted out with a 2 run 2 out double in the top 9th to give the Aquasox the lead for good.  Bryan Harris came in and got the last three outs without incident for the save.

A:  Great Lakes 8, Wisconsin 5
WIS:  11-23... GLK:  11-23

Nolan Gallagher:  3.2 IP, 7 H, (6 R) 3 ER, 3 walks, K
Keith Renaud:  2.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 K
Drew Fiorenza:  1 IP
Justin Souza:  2 IP, walk, 2 K, hit batter
Calvin Beamon:  1-4, double, RBI, K, SB (.256/.353/.325)
Kuo Hui Lo:  1-5, double, R, 2 K (.274/.332/.373)
Alex Liddi:  1-5, double, RBI, K (.232/.304/.379)
Carlos Peguero:  2-5, double, R, 3 K (.262/.313/.463)
Jair Fernandez:  2-4, double, RBI, 2 K (.275/.351/.405)
James McOwen:  3-4, 2 RBI (.256/.269/.278)

Nolan Gallagher's MWL debut did not go well, as he got tagged with 6 runs with help from his defense, and did not make it out of the 4th.  Keith Renaud got touched up for two more in the 5th, and it took a 3 run rally in the 6th for the T-Rats to make the score respectable.

A+:  Inland Empire 16, High Desert 7
Mavs:  9-28... Empire:  18-19

Juan Zapata:  3.2 IP, 5 H, 6 ER (2 HR), 3 walks, 4 K
Steve Uhlmansiek:  1.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, walk, 2 K
Nick Allen:  1.2 IP, 6 H, 5 ER (HR), walk, wild pitch
Paul Fagan:  2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER (HR), walk, K
Jesus Guzman:  1-2, solo HR, 2 R, walk, K (.285/.356/.504)
Adam Moore:  1-3, R, RBI (.284/.353/.541)
Johan Limonta:  2-4, 2 triples, R, 2 RBI, K (.299/.369/.470)
Jeff Frazier:  2-4, double, triple, R, RBI (.372/.420/.545)
Jeff Flaig:  1-3, R, RBI, walk, K (.247/.293/.333)
Jeff Dominguez:  2-4, double, R (.266/.319/.364)

4th inning:  Empire led 7-2
6th inning:  Empire led 12-4

Only in the Cal League can 7 runs seem like a poor offensive performance.

AA:  Tennessee 9, West Tenn 7
WTN:  15-22... TEN:  19-18

Doug FISTER:  6 IP, 9 H, (4 R) 3 ER, walk, 3 K
David Asher:  two outs, K
Chris Jakubauskas:  1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 2 walks
Brodie Downs:  1.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER
Brent Johnson:  3-5, 2 doubles, R, RBI (.292/.372/.401)
Luis Valbuena:  3-4, double, R (.248/.313/.375)
Marshall Hubbard:  0-4, sac fly RBI, 2 K (.245/.340/.387)
Charlton Jimerson:  2-5, solo HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 K (.282/.347/.578)
Matt Tuiasosopo:  1-3, R, walk, K (.272/.387/.418)
Prentice Redman:  1-4, 2 run HR, K (.258/.366/.430)

The back end of the bullpen, full of new faces, melted down for 5 runs in the final two frames to turn a likely win into a 9-7 loss.  Some fun facts:

  • The starting pitcher for the Smokies was Mike Nannini, he from Green Valley HS in Vegas who can't seem to crack the bigs and probably never will.
  • Charlton Jimerson's solo HR today pushes him past Evan Longoria for the Southern League HR lead with 21.  And Jimerson didn't play the first month of the season.  Think about that.
  • DIAMOND JAXX batting coach Tommy Cruz was ejected before the bottom 8th for an unspecified reason that isn't clear from the game log, likely because his team's offense is so crappy.  Local news sources don't even mention the ejection in their recaps of the game.
AAA:  Oklahoma 9, Tacoma 4
TAC:  48-62... OKL:  54-53

JA-SON Da... vis...: 3.1 IP, 10 H, 7 ER, 3 walks, 4 K
Cesar Jimenez:  2.2 IP, 3 H, (2 R) 1 ER, walk, K
Kam Mickolio:  1 IP, 1 H, K, wild pitch
Jason Mackintosh:  1 IP, 3 H, K
Nick Green:  3-5, double, R, 2 K (.313/.353/.604)
Jeremy Reed:  2-3, R, 2 walks, K (.288/.346/.436)
Adam Jones:  1-5, double, R, RBI, 2 K, SB (.315/.383/.584)
Bryan LaHair:  1-4, RBI, K (.267/.316/.402)
Mike Morse:  2-4, R, RBI, walk (.315/.384/.475)

The Rainiers defense and pitching (namely, Jason Davis) spent the first 6 innings slowly hemorhaging the game away, undoing a 4 run 1st inning and pushing the Redhawks comfortably ahead for good.  So much for AT&T Bricktown supressing offense!