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5/21 Minor League Wrap-Up

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This extremely belated wrap-up is brought to you by:

- Sleep.  Overrated my [BUTTOCKS]: I came home last night close to 8 pm after a burger and a Hale's at De Luxe, laid on my couch, and before I knew it, it was 6:30 am.  I clearly needed the sleep.  The bad news is that you didn't get a wrap-up last night.  Granted, I could have written one at work, but there was no time thanks to-

- ... a busy day at work!  Up the wazoo.  I tried to get some sort of wrap-up written at a cafe during lunch but...

- ... Vista crashed my Acer!  Like, froze my screen and everything.  Apparently a Vista software update crippled the memory on this fine piece of crap, and with too little time to reboot and get back going again, I just packed up and went back to work.

So anyway, Edward Paredes pitched the best game of his life, and a washed up major leaguer had a few words to say about it.  The VSLM's got all their offense in at once but it wasn't enough to beat the VSL Pirates.  The Mavs game featured a shocking pre-game development, and a ton of offense.  The DIAMOND JAXX got some power hitting to help out THE FIST, and the Rainiers didn't give Chris Jakubauskas enough help on offense, plus one Rainier kinda helped screw up his night.

On to the wrap-up!  I'll try and have tonight's wrap-up posted tonight, but no promises.

VENEZUELA~!  VSL Pirates 6, VSL Mariners 5
VSLMs:  5-4... VSL Bucs:  4-4

Jessie Nava:  4 IP, 3 H, (2 R) 0 ER, 4 K
Johalbi Chourio:  no outs recorded, 2 ER, 2 walks
Manuel Campos:  2.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, (intentional) walk, 3 K
Erasmo Ramirez:  2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 walks (all intentional.  What)
Roberto Velasquez:  1-5, R, RBI
Yidid Batista:  1-4, triple, 3 RBI
Michael Acevedo:  2-4, double, R, RBI, K

Well, that sucked.  A YIKES AND AWAY by Michael Acevedo at 1B with two outs allowed two runs to score in the 4th.  Johalbi Chourio relieved an otherwise effective Jessie Nava, walked the first two batters, then got lifted for Manuel Campos, who eventually allowed two more runs on a single from the redundantly named Henry Henry.  Yes, there is a young man in Venezuela named Henry Henry who plays baseball.

In the 6th, smallball followed a leadoff double by Gemmy Gonzalez, which eventually scored him to make it 5-0.  The VSLMs rallied for all five of their runs in the top 7th to TIE THE BALLGAME, but it took two intentional walks to escape the bottom 7th unharmed, and it all came apart in the bottom 9th.  With Erasmo Ramirez still pitching, he threw YIKES AND AWAY on a pickoff throw with Henry Henry at the plate, before Henry Henry batted the runner to 3rd.  Erasmo was then ordered to intentionally walk the next two batters to load the bases with a force at any base and one out... but Gemmy Gonzalez smoked a grounder into left to render it moot by driving in the winning run.

A:  Wisconsin 1, Cedar Rapids 0
WIS:  20-22... CED:  20-25

Edward Paredes:  8 IP, 1 H, 2 walks, 4 K, hit batter (8 GS, 4.08 ERA, 39.2 IP, 4 HR, 16/30 BB/K)
Keith Meyer:  one out, walk (11 app, 2.84 ERA, 19 IP, 2 HR, 9/19 BB/K)
Robert Harmon:  two outs (11 app, 3 GS, 11.25 ERA, 16 IP, 2 HR, 12/15 BB/K)
Gavin Dickey:  2-4, double, R (322/365/444)
Scott Robinson:  1-4, RBI (216/245/373)
rest of T-Rats lineup:  4-21, 3 walks, 4 K

Both Edward Paredes and Trevor Reckling (9 GS, 3.38 ERA, 50.2 IP, 2 HR, 27/37 BB/K) were pitching shutouts after 5 innings, except Paredes had also allowed zero hits.  In the 5th inning alone, Reckling had allowed two walks and only got out of trouble after Ronald Garth grounded into an inning ending 5-3 double play.

Again, Reckling got into trouble in the 6th when Juan Diaz led off with a single, Gavin Dickey singled with one out and an Alex Liddi groundout got the runners to 2nd and 3rd... but Scott Robinson tapped back to the mound to end the threat.

In the 6th, Paredes got Cody Collet on a groundout, struck out Angel Castillo and got a flyout from Jerry Gonzalez-Lopez (226/284/282).  No hitter intact.

Reckling got the hook in the 7th for Chris Armstrong (making only his 3rd appearance of the year), who got Denny Almonte to groundout, and got Israel Nuñez and Maximo Mendez to strike out.

Paredes came out for the 8th.  Andrew Romine (203/318/264) grounded to short, and Juan Diaz put him away for one out.  Jay Brossman (233/303/346) flew to right, and Denny Almonte put it away for two outs.  Jeremy Moore (195/255/376) popped up, and Alex Liddi put it away to finish the 7th.  No hitter intact.

The T-Rats did jack and crap at the plate in the 8th, as Ronald Garth, Juan Diaz and Edilio Colina all grounded out.  Paredes came back out for the 8th.  Gordon Gronkowski (206/259/316) flew to left, but Gavin Dickey got under it and gloved it for one out.  Julio Perez (122/189/268) grounded to short and Juan Diaz put him away for two outs.  Anel De Los Santos (241/264/371) grounded up the middle... past Diaz and Colina for the first Kernels base hit of the game.  Paredes lost the no hitter with two outs in the 8th inning.  He did walk Cody Collet, but struck out Angel Castillo to end the frame, with still a one-hitter, and no runs.

Against new reliever Esmerlin Jimenez, Gavin Dickey led off with a double to center.  Alex Liddi's groundout for one out moved Dickey to 3rd.  Scott Robinson grounded up the middle... into center to cash in Dickey and the T-Rats were on the board 1-0!

Paredes, who was on auxiliary power through the last inning anyway, took a much-deserved rest for the 9th, now that he was in line for the win.

Groundballs:  11
Flyballs:  6
Line Drives:  1
Pop Ups:  2
Walks:  2 (plus 1 hit batter)
Strikeouts:  4

Jerry Gonzalez-Lopez drew a walk to lead off, and Andrew Romine bunted him over for one out.  6 foot 7 Robert Harmon relieved Meyer and got some luck, as Jay Brossman lined right to Maximo Mendez for two outs, and Mendez threw to Diaz covering 2nd to double off Gonzalez-Lopez to end the game.  Good for you, Maximo, for giving us something defensively to say about you other than mention your crappy range.

T-Rats pitching coach Jaime Navarro (yes, that Jaime Navarro) talked to MiLB.com about Paredes' game.

"I was working on his mechanics and his command, and today was one of those days where he went in and concentrated and he went and did exactly what I'd told him.... All his pitches were working pretty well tonight, but he has a changeup that's outstanding.

"I told him, 'You have to mix it up, in and out, don't stay in one place.' He came back and got ahead mostly on the changeup and kept it down and got the batters off-balance....

"If he doesn't give up the hit in the eighth he's going out for the ninth," Navarro said. "[But] we decided it was time for him to come out, he already had 100 pitches. I have plenty of guys I'm confident can finish."

"It's going help him, absolutely, a lot," Navarro said of Paredes. "He didn't go out there and throw, he went out there and pitched. That's going to make a big difference for him and, hopefully, he's going to keep this going to his next start and keep the same approach."


(Thanks to Tom Cardinale for going the extra mile and getting some first-hand commentary on the game.)

A+:  High Desert 13, Inland Empire 8
Mavs:  20-26... Empire:  19-27

Kyle Parker:  6 IP, 3 H, 3 ER (2 HR), 4 walks, 3 K, hit batter (10 GS, 3.41 ERA, 58 IP, 4 HR, 21/51 BB/K)
David Asher:  1.1 IP (18 app, 5.51 ERA, 16.1 IP, 1 HR, 6/11 BB/K)
Bryan Harris:  two outs, 5 H, 5 ER (HR), walk, wild pitch (5 app, 14.14 ERA, 7 IP, 4 HR, 6/6 BB/K, not long for this team)
Shawn Kelley:  1 IP (6 app, 0.00 ERA, 4.2 IP, 2/2 BB/K)
Kuo Hui Lo:  2-5, 2 R (213/263/316)
CARLOS TRIUNFEL?!:  3-4, double, 2 R, 2 RBI, walk.  Indefinitely apparently ended last night. (280/320/364)
Matt Mangini:  1-5, 2 run HR (255/368/428)
Chris Minaker:  3-4, 2 R, walk, K (275/311/434)
Greg Halman:  2-5, 3 run HR, 3 run HR, K (267/316/564)
Carlos Peguero: 2-4, solo HR, 2 R, walk, 2 K (300/319/467)
Jamie McOwen:  1-4, 2 RBI, 2 K (261/324/348)
Wind:  35 mph, left to right

First of all... hi, there, Carlos Triunfel.  Nice of you to join us again.

Secondly, the wind.  Damn the wind... 4 Mav homeruns and 3 Empire HRs... all but two to right field, and those two were to center.  Guess which way the 35 mph winds were blowing?

So Kyle Parker needed to keep the batted balls on the ground, espeically against the lefties and especially pitching away to righthanded power hitters.  We were fine until the 2nd.  Josh Bell (284/389/475) popped up to short, and Triunfel lost it in the swirling wind LIKE A TYPICAL TEENAGER... and it dropped, allowing Josh Bell to get to 2nd for the cheapest leadoff double ever.  Carlos Santana (314/420/543) hit a flyball to right center field, and the flyball said to the wind Take Me With You, which it did, over the RF fence for a two run "home run".

They weren't really taking advantage of the wind yet, but the Mavs got on the board in the 3rd.  With two outs, Kuo Hui Lo beat out a grounder to 3rd, then Triunfel lined a ball to left that confounded Ryan Rogowski enough to allow Lo to score, 2-1.  Then Matt Mangini lifted a flyball to right and let the wind carry it over for a 2 run shot to make it 3-2 Mavs.

Leading off the 4th, Josh Bell played along and lifted a flyball to right, which went over the fence to tie the ballgame.  The next three batters went down quietly.

Greg Halman bunted and catcher Carlos Santana must have heard Lightning In The Sky, because he lost his concentration, bobbled the ball and let Halman on.  Halman punished Santana with Hard Times, breaking for a steal of 2nd and Santana said Well All Right, letting Halman beat out his throw.  Carlos Peguero's lined single to left gave Halman 3rd.  Erick Monzon grounded to 3rd, and 3B Josh Bell threw home and Santana left Halman with Nowhere To Run for one out.

Jose Yepez drew a walk to load the bases... for Jamie McOwen... who lined a single to left, which must not have been a bad idea because that stiff wind had to be knocking down the liners, confounding Ryan Rogowski.  Peguero scored, Monzon scored and it was 5-3 Mavs.  Kuo Hui Lo flew to center for two outs and Jose Yepez astutely tagged up and headed for 3rd, as the wind easily knocked down any throw towards 3rd.  Carlos Triunfel smoked a grounder into RF, scoring Yepez and giving McOwen 3rd base, 6-3 Mavs.

The wind had to also be affecting Kyle Parker, as he walked two batters and hit another in the 5th, but escaped with help from a timely 5-4-3 double play.

In the bottom 5th, despite two walks and two singles, including an Erick Monzon pop up that the wind jacked out of the reach of 2B Bridger Hunt... the Mavs came up empty.

Empire got a leadoff walk in the 6th, but Carlos Santana grounded into a force out, then Deeper, Dug Deeper by getting thrown out in a strike em out, throw em out double play.

Then it got interesting in the bottom 6th,  Reliever Jesus Rodriguez, making his 4th appearance, watched Kuo Hui Lo smoke a grounder up the middle into center to lead off.  Triunfel popped out, but Lo stole 2nd with Matt Mangini up, then Mangini grounded him to 3rd for two outs.  Chris Minaker then drew a curious walk, which irked Rodriguez enough to get him to throw a suck pitch to Greg Halman, which Halman lifted to right field, and you probably know what happened next.  9-3 Mavs.  Rodriguez gave home plate umpire Dan Oliver some lip over the strike zone, and Oliver gave Jesus the heave-ho!  GTFO.

... so after that, Kyle Parker called it a night, not a bad night considering the heavy wind was making a mockery of any ball hit into the air with any lift to it, plus shoving his every pitch around all 60.5 feet to home plate.

Groundballs:  9
Flyballs:  3 (2 HR)
Line Drives:  1
Pop Ups:  3
Walks:  4 (plus 1 hit batter)
Strikeouts:  3

The Mavs piled on in the bottom 8th, when Triunfel... WALKED?!... Minaker singled, and Greg Halman crapped on a Garrett White suck pitch, over the CF wall to make it 12-3... and Peguero followed him by lifting a flyball to right and here we go again, 13-3.

Bryan Harris, who got the last two outs in the 8th without incident, got into serious trouble in the 9th.  Josh Bell (hi there, thorn in the side) led off with a double to left.  Carlos Santana walked Every Step Of The Way to 1st base.  Uber-prospect Matt Berezay (279/331/507) crapped on a Harris suck pitch and sent it over the CF wall to cut the lead to 13-6.  Austin Gallagher (in his 1st game with Empire) singled against the wind to left.  Andrew Locke (257/361/352) smoked a grounder into RF.  Harris then lost control and uncorked a wild pitch to move the runners into scoring position before Jaime Pedroza (231/281/321) singled to center to cash in both runners, 13-8... and that was it for Bryan Harris.

Shawn Kelley promptly got three quick outs to end this ballgame and get these guys out of the heavy wind.

AA:  West Tenn 6, Chattanooga 4
WTN:  29-17... CHA:  24-22

Doug FISTER:  6 IP, 5 H, (3 R) 2 ER (HR), 4 walks, 5 K (10 GS, 3.12 ERA, 57.2 IP, 5 HR, 23/43 BB/K)
Jason Mackintosh:  1 IP, K (15 app, 3.86 ERA, 18.2 IP, 5/13 BB/K)
Marwin Vega:  1 IP, walk (11 app, 6.84 ERA, 25 IP, 2 HR, 22/13 BB/K)
Mumba Rivera:  1 IP, (1 R) 0 ER, walk (16 app, 1.47 ERA, 18.1 IP, 1 HR, 6/22 BB/K)
Brent Johnson:  1-5, 2 RBI
Michael Saunders:  1-3, solo HR, walk, K, SB (312/372/500)
Mike Wilson:  1-2, solo HR, 2 R, walk, K (240/342/519)
Luis Oliveros (DH):  2-3, double, 2 R, RBI, K (431/463/529)
Mark Kiger:  1-4, RBI, 2 K (191/335/270)

The DIAMOND JAXX struck first when Luis Oliveros, DH'ing today because of his hot AA bat, doubled in Mike Wilson, and Mark Kiger singled him in to make it 2-0.

But after a one out single from Chris Denove (206/325/235) in the 3rd, THE FIST ran into trouble after striking out Shawn Cumberland (297/392/539).  Justin Turner, in only his 6th game with the Lookouts... LOOK OUT!- as he crapped on a FISTER suck pitch for his 1st home run of the season to tie the ballgame.

West Tenn would not take this crap quietly, however.  Mike Wilson led off the 4th with a giant yardshot to left to give the DIAMOND JAXX a 3-2 lead.  Luis Oliveros smoked a grounder up the middle and Ronnie Prettyman walked to put two on, no out- oops, never mind, one out, because Mark Kiger struck out.  YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG, KIGER.  Jeff Dominguez shows him the way by walking to load the bases, which chased Ramon Ramirez (11 app, 9 GS, 4.70 ERA, 46 IP, 6 HR, 15/52 BB/K) for the difficult Robert Manuel (15 app, 0.79 ERA, 22.2 IP, 1 HR, 6/29 BB/K).

Brent Johnson said 'What the [FORNICATION] is a Robert Manuel?' and smoked a grounder into RF to cash in Oliveros and Prettyman to make it 5-2 DIAMOND JAXX.  Michael Saunders could not help, as he struck out, and Adam Moore grounded out to end the rally.

Saunders did get retribution by going yard solo in the 6th to stretch the lead to 6-2, and FISTER did try to stretch to a full 7 innings, but gave up a walk, watched Eric Eymann (250/296/361) reach on a Mark Kiger error (YOU'RE STILL DOING IT WRONG, KIGER) and gave up a lined single to Cody Strait (307/349/543) that cashed in a run before getting the hook for Mackintosh.

Groundballs:  8
Flyballs:  5 (1 HR)
Line Drives:  3
Pop Ups:  1
Walks:  4
Strikeouts:  5

The Lookouts would not get another run, however, until the 9th, and only a cheap run, when Cody Strait, on 3rd, came in on a passed ball from Adam Moore with two outs.  Cumberland then grounded out to end the game.

AAA:  Las Vegas 3, Tacoma 2
TAC:  23-22... LVG:  23-23

Chris Jakubauskas:  7.1 IP, 7 H, (3 R) 1 ER (HR), walk, 5 K (4 GS, 2.25 ERA, 24 IP, 3 HR, 8/15 BB/K)
Cesar Jimenez:  two outs, K (16 app, 4.98 ERA, 21.2 IP, 2 HR, 6/24 BB/K)
Roy Corcoran:  1 IP, K (8 app, 8.22 ERA, 7.2 IP, 9/7 BB/K)
Rob Johnson (LF?!):  1-4, solo HR (235/300/294)
Jeff Clement:  1-3, solo HR, walk (386/526/727)
Bryan LaHair:  1-4, double, K (265/343/475)

What was Rob Johnson doing in LF?  Well, first of all, the first ball into LF went over the fence in the 6th.  The 2nd was a grounder in the 8th that Rob obviously had no chance of converting. Add in a wind out to RF and a meh Vegas lineup, and it's quite likely the team wasn't too worried about Rob having to field too many flyballs to left.  Either way, it gave them a chance to put Clement behind the playe and give Victor Diaz a day off from the field to DH.

The bad news is that the offense flatlined, with solo shots from Clement and Rob (of all people: it was his 1st HR of the season) providing the only offense.  Jakubauskas gave up all 3 of his runs in the middle innings (a 2 run HR was set up by a Yung Chi Chen error at 3B with two outs in the 6th), and he got saddled with a relatively hard-luck loss.

Groundballs:  14 (plus 1 bunt)
Flyballs:  3 (1 HR)
Line Drives:  3
Pop Ups:  2
Walks:  1
Strikeouts:  5

The Rainiers did try to rally in the 9th.  Tuglett led off with a lined single, only to run into a Rob Johnson 6-4-3 double play.  Jeff Clement drew a walk, got lifted for Josh Womack, before Victor Diaz smoked a grounder into left to put two men on... but Bryan LaHair struck out to end the game.