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4/17 Minor League Wrap-Up

For those who didn't follow this last game thread, someone posted a link to a story about a Japanese high school team that scored 66 runs in 2 innings.  (Fett's also got a FanPost on this story in the sidebar: go check it out)

The story featured this priceless quote from the losing manager, who had pressed for the game to be called off, talking about wanting to do so for his starting pitcher, who had thrown an astonishing 250 pitches.

The coach of Kawamoto technical high school threw in the towel to spare his pitcher’s arm with his team losing 66-0 with just one batter out in the bottom of the second.

The hapless hurler had already sent down over 250 pitches, allowing 26 runs in the first inning and 40 in the second before Kawamoto asked for mercy.

“At that pace the pitcher would have thrown around 500 pitches in four innings,” Kawamoto’s coach was quoted as saying. “There was a danger he could get injured.”

Yeah, I think so, dude.  This guy must be the Japanese Dusty Baker.  How does this guy not roll Strike-O-Matic out in relief after 40 of those runs score?  Even the oldest-school of managers would be calling for the bullpen after about 150 pitches.  It's amazing how we have such pitcher attrition in the States, but in Japan, so many of these kids throw hundreds of pitches in grade school and beyond, and somehow many of them survive and have long careers.

ANYWAY, back to the M's org, Wisconsin had the day off, but an AWOL prospect did make his return, and we got to see a couple of closer meltdowns. Sadly, those closers are ours :(

On to the wrap-up!

A:  Wisconsin had the day off.  They are en route to Beloit for a series.

A+:  High Desert 5, Inland Empire 3

Anthony Varvaro:  4.1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 6 walks, 3 K, 2 hit batters
Julio Santiago:  2.2 IP, 1 H, 2 K, hit batter
Joe Kantakevich:  1 IP, 1 H, 2 K
Jose Escalona:  1 IP, walk, K, wild pitch
Jamie McOwen:  1-5, R, RBI, 2 K, SB
RETURN OF Carlos Triunfel:  0-5, SB
Carlos Peguero:  2-3, R, RBI, walk
Chris Minaker:  2-3, RBI
Greg Halman:  0-3, sac fly RBI
Matt Mangini:  1-2, R, RBI, walk, SB

The weather didn't look especially averse, but like previous starters, Anthony Varvaro had trouble finding the strike zone, allowing 8 free passes while failing to finish the minimum. However, his relief corps fared much better in throwing strikes.  Again, we'll pass on BIP given the possibility that weather created some unusual circumstances.

Empire got three runs off Varvaro in the 2nd, but got no more after that, and High Desert came back to take a 5-3 lead by the 5th, a lead they'd keep for good.

But never mind that: man-child Carlos Triunfel finally returned from his back injury, and while he didn't manage a hit today, he did reach and steal a base, but most of all, it's just good news to see him back in the lineup in the first place.

AA:  Mobile 3, West Tenn 2

Chris Jakubauskas:  6 IP, 3 H, 2 walks, 4 K
Jason Mackintosh:  2 IP, 1 H, 2 K
Craig James:  no outs recorded, 3 H, (3 R) 2 ER, 2 walks (1 intentional), FAIL
Michael Saunders:  2-3, 2 doubles, R
Adam Moore:  2-4
Marshall Hubbard:  1-4, double, 2 K
Prentice Redman:  2-4, R
Jon Nelson:  1-4, double, RBI, K

Chris Jakubauskas continued his excellent start to the season with six shutout innings in which no baserunner he allowed had all that much of a shot at getting home.

Groundballs:  9
Flyballs:  5
Line Drives:  0
Pop Ups:  3
Walks:  2
Strikeouts:  4

West Tenn got two runs, one in the 6th on an error after a Michael Saunders double, and one in the 9th off a Jon Nelson double.  Craig James came on to close it out.

Oh, he closed it out all right...

Single, single, double right off the bat and just like that it was 2-1 with runners on 2nd and 3rd.  James intentionally walked Cy Hankerd to load the bases for Chris Rahl.  Rahl grounded to short, SS Mark Kiger threw home for the force... and Adam Moore dropped it to let Brandon Burgess score.  Might not want to FREE ADAM MOORE just yet.  Aaaaand we're tied.  And James decided this was a good time to let the game get away, so he walked Guillermo Reyes to force in the winning run.

AAA:  Fresno 7, Tacoma 6

Sean White:  7.1 IP, 9 H, (5 R) 4 ER (HR), walk, 3 K, hit batter
Cesar Jimenez:  two outs, 2 H, 2 ER, walk (intentional), K, wild pitch, walkoff fail
Jeremy Reed:  2-4, solo HR, 2 RBI, walk
WLAD:  1-5, double, RBI
Jeff Clement:  2-3, double, 2 R, 2 walks
Bryan LaHair:  1-5, double, RBI, 2 K
Yung Chi Chen:  1-5, RBI, K
Charlton Jimerson RETURNS:  2-4, double, R, K
Brent Johnson:  2-4, double, RBI

Charlton Jimerson's return to the Rainiers displaced not Brent Johnson, but Rob Johnson for tonight.  It remains to be seen how the roster composition and the outfield rotation will shake out.

Also, Sean White's work into the 8th inning was both encouraging and cause for concern.  He did get a ton of groundballs, however, though many found holes into the outfield.  His one home run was on a line drive, though, and he gave up a few too many line drives for comfort.  If it was my call, I would've lifted him after 7, given he had faced the full lineup three times by the end of the 7th.  WLAD had doubled home a run in the top 7th to break a 5-5 tie, so White was in line for the win either way.

Groundballs:  14
Flyballs:  6
Line Drives:  5 (1 HR)
Pop Ups:  1
Walks:  1 (plus 1 hit batter)
Strikeouts:  3

With a 6-5 lead, Cesar Jimenez tiptoed out of trouble in the 8th, and came in for the 9th to shut it down.

Oops.  He struck out Jake Wald on a breaking ball that broke so much it got past Clement to put Wald on.  Then a pickoff throw went YIKES AND AWAY, giving Wald 2nd base.  Then Emmanuel Burriss tripled to center to tie the ballgame, and Brian Horwitz's liner to center dropped in to seal the deal.  So yeah, don't get too excited about Cesar Jimenez.