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7/7 Minor League Wrap-Up

Being here in Las Vegas, an obvious baseball suggestion I've been given from outsiders is to go see the 51's.

Well, never mind that they aren't even in town this weekend or through the day I depart (Wednesday).  In the dead of summer, there is no worse place to watch a baseball game than Cashman Field.  In fact, I've never gone to see to Stars/51's game for this reason.

(Thanks to Ballpark Digest for the photos)

It doesn't look like a bad park at all, but there is one huge problem.  The sun is still brightly shining at gametime (usually 7:05 pm PDT), and the temperature last night at 7 pm?  About 106 degrees.

Do you see any awnings covering the seats in those photos above?  Yeah, and with only 9334 seats, what you see above is basically what you get.  The park has about as much character as a single A ballpark, yet the 51's feature the top minor leaguers in baseball.  It's amazing to me that, for all the sports lobbying for new teams, going as far as to build a new minor league arena at the Orleans, and given the movement towards building new minor league ballparks or renovating old ones, that no one has even thought to at least renovate Cashman Field or, hell, PUT SOME SHADE OVER THE SEATS.  And this city was trying to land a relocated MLB franchise?  The Marlins would have better luck in Omaha.

I can't believe the 51's manage to sell tickets in this weather.

Also, I played the Nintendo Wii for the first time ever yesterday (my younger brother recently got one).  Wii Sports is crazy fun, especially (of course) Wii baseball.  And now I'm sore.  I totally want to get one now, and I haven't felt that way about a game system in a long time.

On to the wrap-up!

VENEZUELA~!  VSL Mariners 4, VSL Tigers 0

Jessie Nava:  5 IP, 1 H, walk, 6 K
Edlando Seco:  2 IP, 1 H, walk, K, wild pitch, hit batter
Carlos Sanchez:  1 IP, 2 H, walk
Jose Jimenez:  1 IP, walk
Yidid Batista:  2-5, 2 R, RBI (.275/.356/.313)
Carlos Ramirez:  0-3, R, sac fly RBI, walk (.262/.361/.355)
Humberto Espinoza:  2-4, double, 2 RBI (.357/.464/.486)
Rigoberto Rangel:  2-4, double, R, 2 K (.245/.345/.430)
Roberto Velasquez:  1-4, double, K (.227/.312/.289)

The pitching staff, led today by Jessie Nava, who faced the Tigres lineup twice before taking a seat after 5 innings, was brilliant.  Token offense from the VSLM's was more than enough, and they finished off the shutout.

The VSLM's are now 31-15... 2 back of the VSL leading Astros, if you're into that sort of thing.  The Tigers aren't terrible but at 21-25, they're not a factor in the race.

Fun fact:  Humberto Espinoza has only struck out ONCE in 82 plate appearances, while drawing 12 walks!

Dominican:  I made a mistake yesterday.  They actually got RAINED OUT on the 6th.  TODAY was an off day.  This is what I get for not taking 5 seconds to look at the DSL schedule.  They should be back in action todat against the DSL Phillies.

AZL:  Mariners 5, Athletics 4

Javier Martinez:  5 IP, 8 H, 3 ER (HR), walk, 2 K, wild pitch
Stephen Bills:  1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, K, balk
Jacob Wild:  3 IP, 2 H, 2 walks, 2 K
Daniel Carroll:  2-2, R, RBI, walk
Maximo Mendez:  1-4, triple, R, RBI, walk, K
Mario Martinez:  2-4, walk
Brandon Fromm:  1-3, double, walk, K
James Davenport:  1-4, RBI, 2 K
Anthony Phillips:  1-2, double, 2 R, 2 walks

Javier Martinez took a seat in the 6th with the game tied at 3 after a hittable performance on his part.  Stephen Bills made his AZL debut, gave up a leadoff single, balked, then allowed the go-ahead run on a subsequent single.

The AZLM's finally responded in the bottom 8th.  Brandon Fromm led off with a double to center, and Luis Nuñez of all people came in to pinch run.  James Davenport bunted him over for one out.  Guy Welsh got lifted for pinch hitter Juan Fuentes, who sac flied Nuñez in to TIE THE BALLGAME.

The AZLM's came up in the bottom 9th with the game STILL tied.  17 year old Anthony Phillips drew a leadoff walk.  Daniel Carroll bunted him over for one out.  Pitcher Michael Mitchell uncorked a wild pitch to move him to 3rd and it only looked like a matter of time.  But the AZLA's made an interesting tactical move, intentionally walking both Maximo Mendez and Mario Martinez to load the bases and create a force at any base.  Luis Nuñez lined a shot... right to 1B Carlos Morales for two outs.  But James Davenport hit a flyball that landed in front of RF Herbert Hudson to score the winning run!  AZLM's WIN.

a:  Salem-Keizer 6, Everett 1

Doug Salinas:  6 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 4 walks, 9 K, 3 balks
Aaron Brown:  2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER (HR), K
Ryan Moorer:  1 IP, K
Matt Mangini:  1-3, solo HR, walk
Edilio Colina:  2-4
Jairo Hernandez:  2-2, double, walk

Yeah, that could have gone a lot better.  The key stat... Doug Salinas balking THREE TIMES:

  1. Top 1st, man on 2nd, one out.  That runner scored on a subsequent groundout.
  2. Top 3rd, men on the corners, one out.  The balk brought in a run, and the other runner also scored, though given he allowed two hits afterward, the 2nd runner likely would've scored anyway.
  3. Top 5th, man on 1st, one out.  The runner, Sharlon Schoop, a name if I've ever seen one, then stole 3rd... but Salinas was able to strand him despite two walks afterward, with a K and a groundout for the 3rd out.
It was a shame, because he was dealing, shutting down the Volcanoes when he wasn't giving them free passes and free bases.  This is probably a 2 run outing rather than a 4 run outing had he not balked three times.

Flyballs:  1
Groundballs:  9
Line Drives:  3
Walks:  4
Strikeouts:  9

A:  Kane County 3, Wisconsin 2

Keith Renaud:  2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 walks, K, 2 hit batters
Michael Wagner:  2.2 IP, 1 H, 2 walks, 3 K
Joe Kantakevich:  3 IP, 3 H, 3 K
Shawn Kelley:  0.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 walks (1 intentional), K
Juan Diaz:  2-5, R, K (.340/.394/.450)
Trevor Lawhorn:  1-2, RBI, 2 walks (.253/.336/.354)
Gavin Dickey:  2-4, SB (.214/.259/.325)

So the T-Rats like the Keith Renaud character and decided to give him a chance to start.  Uhhhhhh...

Six free passes, seven outs and two runs later, then called the experiment a miss for now and brought in traveling Michael Wagner, who, to his credit got through the 5th without further incident and has pitched rather well in a T-Rats uniform.

However, the bats had a lot of trouble getting going after a 2 run 1st, and the game remained tied at 2, with the T-Rats looking at extra innings.  Shawn Kelley came in to pitch, and Michael Affronti smoked a grounder into left.  Sean Doolittle's grounder got through into left.  Haas Pratt tapped back to the mound and Kelley astutely got the lead runner at 3rd for one out.  But Sean Doolittle, now at 2nd, stole 3rd, his 1st swipe of the season, and Shawn kelley went ahead and intentionally walked batter Jermaine Mitchell to load the bases... for Matt Smith.

And Kelley GOT Matt Smith swinging on strikes for two outs!  Christian Vitters came up, and suddenly Kelley started nibbling, Vitters working the count, and Vitters took a deadly ball four to bring in the winning run.

A+:  Inland Empire 8, High Desert 2

Alfredo Venegas (!):  6 IP, 8 H, 5 ER (2 HR), walk, 3 K, wild pitch
Aaron Cotter:  2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER (HR), 3 K
Carlos Triunfel:  1-3, walk
Johan Limonta:  2-4, R (.299/.366/.466)
Omar Peña:  2-4, RBI (.233/.270/.317)
rest of Mavs lineup:  2-21, R, walk, 8 K

What a surprise to see Alfredo Venegas come up from the AZL to take a slot in the High Desert rotation.  Venegas, pretty impressive in the VSL last year, looked good in two outings with Peoria and the Mariners decided to send him to Adelanto, whose rotation needs help.

His Cal debut did not go well.  He gave up a lot of flyballs, and you know what happens when you give up a lot of flyballs in the Cal League.

Flyballs:  13
Groundballs:  8 (plus 1 bunt)
Line Drives:  0
Pop Ups:  1
Walks:  1
Strikeouts:  3

Aaron Cotter relieved him in the 7th and wasn't much better.  Plus, the Mavs bats didn't really show up, so... yeah.

AA:  West Tenn 4, Birmingham 3

Doug FISTER:  4 IP, 5 H, (3 R) 2 ER, walk, 3 K
Joe Woerman (!):  2 IP, 2 K
Michael Hrynio:  3 IP, 1 H, walk, 3 K
Alex Meneses:  2-5
Marshall Hubbard:  2-5, R, RBI, K (.246/.338/.393)
Charlton Jimerson:  1-4, 2 run HR (.267/.326/.552)
Matt Tuiasosopo:  0-2, R, 2 walks, K (.272/.387/.418)
Prentice Redman:  2-3, walk, K (.266/.366/.440)
Erick Monzon:  1-4, RBI (.223/.295/.350)
Rene Rivera:  1-4, double, K (.183/.257/.277)
Chris Minaker:  2-3, R, walk, K (.237/.296/.286)

Dougie Fistball's getting there, back to where he was before his ailing shoulder brought it all down, but it was a struggle, as he looked mostly decent with missed bats and groundballs until a barrage of line drives at the end.

Flyballs:  1
Groundballs:  5
Line Drives:  6
Pop Ups:  2
Walks:  1
Strikeouts:  3

Joe Woerman, surprise surprise, came in to pitch the 5th.  Too soon to say if he's been lifted from the rotation or if this was a planned outing following the short, melted down start he just had, but he looked rock solid, and the DIAMOND JAXX rallied in the 5th to take a 4-3 lead that they would not relinquish.  Also, Michael Hrynio pitched the last 3 innings rather well, I'd say.

AAA:  Tacoma 8, Portland 3

Robert Rohrbaugh:  6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER (2 HR), 2 walks, 4 K, hit batter
Jamie Cerda:  2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, walk, K, wild pitch (ERA:  8.87)
Jason Mackintosh:  1 IP, 1 H, walk, K
Nick Green:  2-4, 2 run HR, 2 R, walk (.323/.371/.692)
Jeremy Reed:  1-4, solo HR, walk, K (.288/.347/.432)
Adam Jones:  0-5, K (.304/.373/.563)
Bryan LaHair:  2-5, double, RBI, K (.262/.310/.386)
Jeff Clement:  0-2, R, 3 walks, K (.274/.368/.517)
Gookie Dawkins:  2-5, R, 2 K (.255/.289/.350)
Ronnie Prettyman:  1-4, double, R, K (.276/.313/.366)
Brant Ust:  1-2, 3 run HR, K (.253/.303/.374)
Sebastien Boucher:  2-4, R, RBI, K

Another day, another hammering by the Rainiers!  Robert Rohrbaugh also rebounded to put together a more Rohrbaughesque start (the back to back home runs that led off the 5th aside), if not by BIP then by line score:

Flyballs:  10
Groundballs:  4
Line Drives:  3
Pop Ups:  3
Walks:  2 (plus 1 hit batter)
Strikeouts:  4

Also, Nick Green went 2 for 4 with a 2 run bomb.  He is clearly ready for the majors.