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5/12 Minor League Wrap-Up

Thanks to Comscab's internet crapping out at my home and staying crapped out, you get a belated recap this morning.  Unlike past morning-after weekday recaps, which are written in large part the night before and then mopped up in the AM, this one was written entirely from scratch on the fly at work.  So pardon any brevity where details would be useful.

Speaking of crapping out, most of the lineups yesterday couldn't get much of anything going.  When you're outhit by the debuting 2008 Venezuelan Summer League Mariners, you're having a bad day.

And speaking of the VSLM's, their season began yesterday.  Due to having to write this on the fly, I couldn't get into too much detail, but we'll assume it was action-packed.

On to the wrap-up!

VENEZUELA~!:  VSL Mets 8, VSL Mariners 5

Gerardo Esparza:  two outs, 2 H, (6 R) 1 ER, 2 walks, K, 2 wild pitches, hit batter
Mayckol Guaipe:  3.1 IP, 3 H, walk, K, wild pitch
Manuel Campos:  2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 walks, K
Erasmo Ramirez:  2 IP, 2 H, K, hit batter
Mario Yepez:  2-4, walk, K
Rigoberto Rangel:  2-4, R
Michael Acevedo:  2-4, double, R, walk, K
Kenny Hart:  1-3, R, 2 RBI
Cesar Del Rio:  1-4, double, 2 RBI

Oh, how I've missed you, Venezuelan Summer League!  I hope Hugo Chavez has treated you well.

I'd give you names and backstory for these players, but given these are mostly kids that have never been outside of Venezuela... you're looking at it.  Those who read last year's wrap-ups may remember some of these names, repeating the VSL as they try to get noticed and get across the Caribbean.

Gerardo Esparza got noticed for all the wrong reasons, failing to finish the 1st inning as the VSLM's got bombed for 6 runs.  The VSLM's kept clawing their way back, but the Mets kept enough distance to ensure the win.  One of the key players of last year's VSLM's squad, Rigoberto Rangel, opened the season with two more hits.

A:  Burlington 1, Wisconsin 0
WIS:  14-19... BUR:  15-20

Nathan Adcock:  6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 walks, 9 K (7 GS, 2.90 ERA, 40.1 IP, 2 HR, 17/42 BB/K)
Walter Suriel:  3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 4 walks, 4 K (2nd app)
Ryan Moorer:  one out, walk, wild pitch (12 app, 2.70 ERA, 13.1 IP, 1 HR, 6/11 BB/K)
Joe Dunigan:  2-4, double, 2 K, SB (224/316/439)
rest of T-Rats lineup:  4-31, walk, 11 K

Both teams finished regulation with dueling shutouts.  Nathan Adcock, having a great year thus far, worked into the 7th, got a lot of groundballs and K's and only saw real trouble in the 3rd, putting runners at 2nd and 3rd with one out, but got out of that jam with relative ease.

Groundballs:  8
Flyballs:  3
Line Drives:  4
Walks:  2
Strikeouts:  9

The T-Rats actually had a great chance to win this in the bottom 9th.  With Edilio Colina on 1st and two outs, Gavin Dickey lined a single to move him to 2nd.  Joe Dunigan did strike out... on a wild pitch, and Dunigan made it to 1st safely to load the bases... for Alex Liddi... who grounded out to short to end regulation.

And then Walter Suriel imploded in the 10th.  With one out, Adrian Ortiz (320/344/388) singled, then Suriel walked two batters to load the bases with two out.  Ryan Moorer came in to stop the damage, except he uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Ortiz to score the go-ahead run.

With one out in the bottom 10th, Israel Nuñez lined a single, and was lifted for the T-Rats debut of Denny Almonte as a pinch runner.  After Calvin Beamon struck out, with Maximo Mendez at the plate, Almonte took off for 2nd... and got thrown out to end the game.  Not the best debut.

A+:  Bakersfield 4, High Desert 1
Mavs:  17-21 (tied for South div lead)... Blaze:  23-15 (3rd in North div)

Nick Hill:  6 IP, 7 H, (4 R) 3 ER (2 HR), walk, 6 K, balk (10 app, 6 GS, 4.26 ERA, 38 IP, 4 HR, 15/35 BB/K)
Austin Bibens-Dirkx:  2 IP, 2 K (11 app, 5.28 ERA, 15.1 IP, 3 HR, 7/14 BB/K)
Jamie McOwen:  1-3, double, RBI, walk (292/357/385)
Greg Halman:  0-4, 4 K: The Golden Sombrero (257/310/444)
rest of Mavs lineup:  5-24, R, walk, 8 K

I noted the standings of the two teams only to point out the absurdity of a losing team being tied for the division lead while a winning team trails their division.

The key damage against Military Man Nick Hill came in the 3rd with a 1-0 lead.  Marcus Lemon (286/402/416) led off by tapping back to the mound, except Hill muffed the ball, then Lemon turned for 2nd and Hill tried to throw him out there except it went YIKES AND AWAY and Lemon came all the way around to score.  A 3 base pair of errors.  Laughable: the scorekeeper had to call that an unearned run.  I'd say Hill earned that run just fine.

Julio Borbon (325/372/429) immediately smoked a grounder back up the box, and Hill learned his lesson and ate it.  But the lesson, unfortunately, was 'Life is unfair and you are on the wrong end of the gas pipe,' because Jose Vallejo (280/329/427) took him deep to straightaway center for a 2 run bomb.  To Hill's credit, he immediately regained his composure and got three outs without further damage (well, he did give up a single, but it was a harmless single).

That was all the damage the Blaze needed.  Chris Gradoville (205/222/318) did add a solo shot in the bottom 6th (his 1st of the season) before Hill retired the side and took his exit.

Groundballs:  12
Flyballs:  8 (2 HR)
Line Drives:  1
Walks:  2
Strikeouts:  6

On a bright note, Austin Bibens-Dirkx came in and threw two perfect innings.  Coaches have quit trying to impart uncomfortable mechanical changes into his sidearm delivery and now, throwing his way, he's looking like the old ABD.

AA:  Birmingham 7, West Tenn 2
WTN:  23-15... BIR:  21-17

Denny Stark:  5.2 IP, 9 H, 6 ER (HR), 3 walks, 3 K, 2 hit batters
Marwin Vega:  2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, walk (9 app, 1 GS, 22.1 IP, 2 HR, 18/11 BB/K)
Prentice Redman:  2-4, RBI, K (254/386/430)
Mark Kiger:  1-3, triple, R, RBI (190/347/281)
rest of DIAMOND JAXX lineup:  1-23, R, 3 walks, 5 K

This whole Denny Stark Comeback thing isn't going so well.

Groundballs:  8
Flyballs:  2
Line Drives:  8 (1 HR)
Walks:  3 (plus 2 hit batters)
Strikeouts:  3

AAA:  Tacoma 6, Omaha 4
TAC:  20-17... OMA: 17-19

R.A. Dickey:  6.2 IP, 10 H, (4 R) 3 ER (HR), walk, 4 K, wild pitch (6 GS, 3.38 ERA, 42.2 IP, 2 HR, 6/25 BB/K)
Cesar Jimenez:  1 IP, 1 H, 3 K (13 app, 6.00 ERA, 18 IP, 2 HR, 5/20 BB/K)
Roy Corcoran:  1.1 IP, walk (5 app, 5.40 ERA, 5 IP, 7/5 BB/K)
Tug Hulett:  1-4, double, R, walk (167/259/264)
Yung Chi Chen:  2-4 (257/344/283)
Victor Diaz:  2-4, 2 run HR, solo HR (298/398/429)
Shawn Garrett:  2-4, R, K (308/357/487)
Rob Johnson:  1-4, double, R, K (239/306/275)
Oswaldo Navarro:  3-3, RBI, walk (326/422/413)

The Rainiers beat down Jeff Fulchino (8 app, 3 GS, 4.07 ERA, 24.1 IP, 1 HR, 12/19 BB/K) over the first 3 innings and eventually had a 5-0 lead that was more than good enough for R.A. Dickey, who had another one of his adventurous starts with that fast knuckler of his.  Rob Johnson's endured pain will put hair on his chest.

Groundballs:  7
Flyballs:  13 (1 HR)
Line Drives:  2
Pop Ups:  2
Walks:  1
Strikeouts:  4