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4/20 Minor League Wrap-Up

SO I have ESPN on for long enough to see JC Romero of the Phillies pitching to Carlos Beltran of the Mets with two outs in the top 7th of a 4-4 tie.  Romero gets a huge strikeout and as we go to commercial, Jon Miller says, "The Phillies will have the big hitters coming up: Dobbs, Howard and Utley!"

Um, wait... at what point did the sweet but otherwise pop-gun swing of Greg Dobbs become that of a big hitter?  Maybe I missed somethi- no, wait:

Greg Dobbs, career:  .268/.316/.414

So far this year, mostly off the bench, he is 7 for 22 with a double and a home run, so it's not like he went Jack Cust on the Phillies or anything.

Then again, this is a network that only thinks there are two major league teams and pays Joe Morgan, John Kruk and Steve Phillips to provide expert analysis, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised.

Meanwhile, Phillipe Aumont got 3 more innings of work and they looked fabulous.  The High Desert Mavs lineup looked... the exact opposite of fabulous.  Rich Dorman somehow manages to post a solid start, though the DIAMOND JAXX would still need to bail him out... and PHAT ANDY 22 (turns out he changed his number once he got promoted) got the emergency start, which gives me the chance to show you why I bother pretending he's some sort of rapper:  Just watch the video.

Also, watch the hitting equivalent of Strike-O-Matic.  ROBOCROSS FOR DH!

Uh... on to the wrap-up!

A:  Wisconsin 4, Beloit 3

Donald Hume:  5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER (2 HR), 4 walks, 7 K
Phillipe Aumont:  3 IP, 1 H, walk, 3 K, hit batter
Shawn Kelley:  1 IP
Daniel Carroll:  2-4, triple, R, RBI, walk, K
Calvin Beamon:  1-5, 3 RBI, K
Gavin Dickey:  2-4, double, K
Alex Liddi:  2-4, walk, K
Juan Diaz:  1-3, double, R, walk

Phillipe Aumont's gradual introduction to American pro baseball continued with three solid innings of work in relief of Donald Hume, who has had better days but was able to hold the fort, allowing the T-Rats to rally and take the lead for good in the 6th on a Calvin Beamon 2 run single.  They could've added a 5th when Calvin Beamon got caught in a rundown, but Gavin Dickey was run down trying for home plate.  The catcher that shut him down?  Some guy named Jair Fernandez, i.e. the reason we were able to stash R.A. Dickey in Tacoma once McLaren decided he wasn't making the team out of Spring Training.  Fernandez was the player we sent to Minnesota to exercise Dickey's option.

Hume was a bit erratic down the stretch, and did allow two gopherballs within close proximity of one another early, but the Snappers clearly had issues trying to hit him.

Groundballs:  7
Flyballs:  3 (2 HR)
Line Drives:  0
Pop Ups:  1
Walks:  4
Strikeouts:  7

Aumont worked through the 8th, a little erratic in the 6th with a walk and a hit batter, but only allowed one hit, on the only line drive he alowed in the game, and settled into a groove by the time he reached his 1-2-3 8th inning.

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

A+:  Inland Empire 6, High Desert 0

Nick Hill:  4.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 3 walks, 3 K, wild pitch
Julio Santiago:  1.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 walks, K
David Asher:  1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER
Aaron Cotter:  one out
Jamie McOwen:  1-4, double
Carlos Triunfel:  0-4, K
Chris Minaker:  1-4, triple, 2 K
rest of T-Rats lineup:  2-21, 2 walks, 11 K

Well, at lesat they didn't get one hit this time.  Four hits is 3 more than one.

Also, the Military Man Nick Hill as Starter experiment isn't working out two well after a couple starts.  Small sample size, sure.  But the early returns are not encouraging.

Also, the weather appears to have normalized, so let's go ahead and take a look at Hill's BIP data.  He looked fine until he unraveled in the 4th.

Groundballs:  10 (plus 1 bunt)
Flyballs:  2
Line Drives:  1
Walks:  3
Strikeouts:  3

AA:  West Tenn 3, Birmingham 2

Rich Dorman:  6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER (HR), walk, 4 K
Mumba Rivera:  2.1 IP, 1 H, K
Michael Saunders:  0-2, 2 walks
Mark Kiger:  1-4, solo HR, K
Adam Moore (DH):  0-4
Luis Oliveros:  2-3, R
Luis Valbuena:  1-1, 2 RBI, 2 walks

The DIAMOND JAXX got their first 2 runs in the 2nd.  Marshall Hubbard, Jon Nelson and Luis Oliveros all singled back to back to back to load the bases to start the inning.  Mike Wilson showed us he should've stuck to football, grounding to 3rd where 3B Javier Castillo gunned down the lead runner at home for one out, and catcher Jared Price threw back to 3rd to get Jon Nelson for the conventional 5-2-5 double play.

But Ronnie Prettyman drew a walk to re-load the bases for two out, and Luis Valbuena made sure they didn't get away this time, lining a single to center to cash in two... but Prettyman was gunned down trying for 3rd.

Birmingham got on the board in the 3rd when Jared Price crapped all over a Rich Dorman suck pitch for a solo shot.  After that, Dorman mostly silenced the Barons, until they rallied in the 7th and got the tying run on a bases loaded single from Stefan Gartrell with two out, which finished Dorman's otherwise effective evening.

Groundballs:  8 (plus 1 bunt)
Flyballs:  9
Line Drives:  2
Walks:  1
Strikeouts:  4

The DIAMOND JAXX tried really hard to score in the 7th.  They really did.  Luis Oliveros led off with a single, then Mike Wilson actually showed us he could take pitches and not get himself out, drawing a walk.  Ronnie Prettyman bunted them over for one out.  Luis Valbuena drew a walk to load the bases, but in a moment of irony, Michael Saunders of all people lined right to 2B Victor Mercedes, who tossed to 1B Micah Schnurstein to double off Valbuena for the inning ending 4-3 cockpunch double play.

Mercedes would get his comeuppance with a man on in the 8th, when he grounded into a 4-6-3 inning ending double play.

Mark Kiger led off the bottom 8th by crapping all over a suck pitch and sending it over the LF wall for a 3-2 lead.  It would prove to be enough, as Mumba Rivera, who had originally relieved Rich Dorman in the 8th, worked a 1-2-3 9th to seal the victory.

AAA:  Tacoma 5, Colorado Springs 4

Andrew Baldwin:  4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 walks, 5 K
Potatoes:  2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, walk, 2 K
Mystic Tan:  3 IP, 1 H, 1 ER (HR), walk, 2 K
Jeff Clement:  1-3, R, RBI, walk, K
Mike Kinkaide:  1-2, R, RBI, walk
Charlton Jimerson:  1-3, double, R, 2 RBI, K, SB
Rob Johnson ("DH"):  2-3, RBI

I didn't mention it yesterday, but WLAD left the game yesterday with what appeared to be a pretty bad leg injury.  He couldn't put weight on the leg and had to be carried off the field by two teammates.  Fortunately, X-Rays have come back negative and the tentative prognosis is just a really bad leg bruise.  Let's hope that's as bad as it is, and that he'll only need a bit of time off to let the bruise heal up.

Despite walking the wizzorld (for rizzorld), PHAT ANDY 22 somehow held serve in this emergency start, allowing only a single walked-in run in his 4 innings of work.

Groundballs:  2
Flyballs:  5
Line Drives:  2
Pop Ups:  1
Walks:  4
Strikeouts:  5
Phat Rhymes Busted: not enough

His career prospects are still not long for this world if he continues to surrender so many flyballs and miss the strike zone.

The Rainiers had his back, however, with 4 runs in the 4th, powered by a Mike Kinkaide RBI single and a 2 run double from Charlton Jimerson, who eventually scored on a laughable RBI single to the pitcher by Rob Johnson (this is what is known in LL Softball as a Gomez Blast).  Jeff Clement drove in a run in the 5th to make it 5-3 and good thing he did, because Chris Frey took Jake Woods deep to cut the lead to 5-4, though the Sky Sox never got any closer.