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5/23 Minor League Wrap-Up

Given this is the weekend and I have time, you get long write-ups of the lower minor league games.  Phillipe Aumont (now STARTING) and PHAT ANDY 22 hit road-blocks, Anderson Garcia is now hobo-crashing underneath a roadblock, and West Tenn did not heed the warning to LOOK OUT as they crashed into the Chattanooga roadblock... though the team did recently overcome their ownership roadblock.

On to the roadblock wrap-up!

VENEZUELA~!  VSL Mariners 9, VSL Astros 7
VSLMs:  6-5... VSL Astros:  4-7

Reynaldo Sabala:  one out, 2 H, (5 R) 4 ER, 2 walks, hit batter
Yoervis Medina:  5 IP, 5 H, (2 R) 1 ER, 2 walks, 3 K
Angel Raga:  3 IP, 1 H, 3 walks, K
Mayckol Guaipe:  two outs, K
Yidid Batista:  1-5, R, RBI, 2 K
Jorge Agudelo:  2-3
Rigoberto Rangel:  3-5, double, R, RBI
Mario Yepez:  1-5, R, RBI, K
Jetsy Extrano:  2-5, double, R, 3 RBI

This game was a tale of two routs.  Reynaldo Sabala got destroyed in the 1st and did not finish the 1st inning.  Yoervis Medina gave up two singles himself and, with help from a fielding error, watched los Astros build a 6-0 lead before the inning was done.  And it only ended after a Ricardo Garcia RBI single when runner Julio Torres, from 1st base, got greedy, went for 3rd and got thrown out by RF Kenny Hart.

Los Astros added another run in the 6th, thugh Yoervis Medina admirably worked into the 6th in long relief (and that run was the only run he allowed after the 1st) before ceding to Angel Raga, who got a well-timed 6-3 lineout double play to end a 2 out threat.

And then the VSLMs woke up in the top 7th.  Rarely used Alejandro Garcia pinch hit for Cesar Del Rio, and smoked a grounder into LF to get on.  Kenny Hart drew a walk, and Michael Acevedo got a grounder into RF to load the bases for Roberto Velasquez, who worked a walk to force in the VSLMs first run of the game.

Yidid Batista then smoked a grounder into RF to cash in Hart and keep them loaded, cutting the lead to 7-2.  Carlos Ramirez DID IT WRONG by striking out, but after new reliever Julio Castellano came in, Rigoberto Rangel continued his hot start by singling to left to cash in Acevedo and keep them loaded, 7-3.  Mario Yepez lined a single to right to cash in a run, keep them loaded, and the lead was now 7-4.  Jetsy Extrano broke the chain... by doubling to center to clear the bases and TIE THE BALLGAME at 7!

Alejandro Garcia came up a 2nd time, and doubled himself to center to cash in Extrano, VSLMs lead 8-7!  Kenny Hart grounded out for the 2nd out to move Garcia to 3rd, and Garcia scored for the 2nd time this inning when Michael Acevedo hit his 2nd single of the inning to make it 9-7, before Roberto Velasquez grounded out to end the giant inning.

Raga held the fort into the 9th, but got the hook with one out after walking two batters.  But Mayckol Guaipe got the next two batters quietly to seal the deal.

A:  Peoria 5, Wisconsin 2
WIS:  20-24... PEO:  18-30

Phillipe Aumont:  5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER (HR), walk, 3 K, wild pitch (9 app, 3 GS, 1.74 ERA, 31 IP, 2 HR, 9/29 BB/K)
Jacob Wild:  1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, walk, K (11 app, 4.12 ERA, 19.2 IP, 1 HR, 7/17 BB/K)
Ryan Moorer:  1.1 IP, 1 H, K (15 app, 3.24 ERA, 16.2 IP, 1 HR, 8/14 BB/K)
Maximo Mendez:  2-4, 2 doubles (217/327/315)
Alex Liddi:  1-4, double, 2 K (223/299/318)
Ronald Garth:  1-2, R, RBI, K (227/290/309)

On the plus side, at least Phillipe Aumont is now stretching out and starting games.  Starting, though, has clearly presented Phillipe Aumont with a challenge, as fresh hitters are giving him a harder time than they did when he came into games fresh in the 7th inning against hitters who had played 6 innings.  He is no longer dominating hitters the way he was when following Donald Hume.

Aumont got the first 6 batters he faced, though 4 of them flied out, a harbinger of the problems he ran into in the 3rd.  With the T-Rats leading 1-0, Dylan Johnston (248/312/442) led off with a single to center, and Mario Mercedes (286/301/357) doubled to left to put runners in scoring position.  (200/280/211) Leon Johnson's grounder got into center field, cashing in both runners to give the Chiefs a 2-1 lead.  Johnson did take advantage of the lanky Quebecois' long delivery, stealing 2nd... but got picked off trying to steal 3rd, and Nate Samson (256/324/305) grounded out to end the threat.

Aumont found more trouble in the 4th.  With one out, Jovan Rosa singled to right.  Marquez Smith grounded to short, except Juan Diaz threw YIKES AND AWAY to put runners on 1st and 2nd.  Luis Bautista came up and Aumont uncorked a wild pitch to move the runners into scoring position before walking Bautista to load the bases with one out. Aumont, though, struck out Dylan Johnston and got Mario Mercedes to tap back to the mound to end the threat.  Aumont was getting into trouble, but showed strong resolve in getting out of it.  That IMO is just as encouraging as if he were just mowing down hitters. Sure, you'd love to see a top prospect dominate, but seeing a top prospect get into trouble and methodically work his way out of it shows an ability to handle adversity, positive given pitchers will face trouble a lot more than they will dominate.

The T-Rats had a great chance to score in the 6th.  With one out, Alex Meneses grounded to 1st, but 1B Luis Bautista misplayed it, then Maximo Mendez doubled to right.  Meneses ran through 3rd to try and score, but the 9-4-2 relay got him at the plate for the 2nd out.  Juan Diaz's groundout ended the inning.

Aumont coasted through the 5th, groundout strikeout groundout, and got the first two batters in the 6th... but Marquez Smith crapped all over a meatball and just like that, it was 3-1, and Aumont got the hook.

Groundballs:  8
Flyballs:  9 (1 HR)
Line Drives:  1
Pop Ups:  1
Walks:  1
Strikeouts:  2

An Alex Liddi double, which moved Edilio Colina to 3rd, in the 7th eventually led to a run on a Ronald Garth sac fly to cut the lead to 4-2, but the Chiefs got another run on a Nate Samson single in the bottom half to re-extend the lead to 5-2, which was ultimately enough.  A bullpen relay of Chris Siegfried (8 GS, 5.50 ERA, 36 IP, 4 HR, 15/15 BB/K), Kevin Kreier (only his 3rd appearance with Peoria) and Craig Muschko (15 app, 3.67 ERA, 27 IP, 1 HR, 5/25 BB/K) held the T-Rats to 7 hits and 2 runs.

A+:  High Desert 9, Inland Empire 8

Mavs:  22-26... Empire:  19-29

Anderson Garcia:  2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER (HR) (4 GS, 20.77 ERA, 4.1 IP, 1 HR)
Nick Hill:  4.1 IP, 5 H, (3 R) 2 ER, 2 K, hit batter (12 app, 7 GS, 4.56 ERA, 47.1 IP, 4 HR, 17/38 BB/K)
Michael Wagner:  two outs (18 app, 3.22 ERA, 22.1 IP, 4/19 BB/K)
Ricky Orta: no outs recorded, 1 ER, walk (8 app, 7 GS, 4.20 ERA, 30 IP, 4 HR, 9/24 BB/K)
Bryan Harris:  two outs, 2 H, (2 R) 1 ER (6 app, 14.14 ERA, 7 IP, 3 HR, 1/6 BB/K)
David Asher:  no outs recorded, 1 H (19 app, 5.51 ERA, 16.1 IP, 1 HR, 6/11 BB/K)
Shawn Kelley:  1.1 IP, 2 K (7 app, 0.00 ERA, 6 IP, 2/4 BB/K)
Kuo Hui Lo:  1-2, R, walk, SB #s 10 & 11 (222/274/333)
Carlos Triunfel:  3-4, R, RBI, K (286/328/365)
Chris Minaker:  2-3, 2 run HR, sac fly RBI, 3 R (287/324/468)
Greg Halman:  2-4, double, R, 2 RBI, K, SB #19 (268/313/559)
Carlos Peguero:  0-3, sac fly RBI, 2 K (290/306/452)
Leury Bonilla:  2-4, R, 2 K (296/384/418)
Wind:  23 mph out to LF

Uber prospect Matt Berezay facilitated Anderson Garcia's rehab by sending a suck pitch over the RCF wall with one man on in the 1st to make it 2-0.  Garcia did finish the inning, though, and got a 1-2-3 2nd to finish his 2 inning rehab assignment on a somewhat high note, lowering his ERA to a choice 20.77.

With Garcia gone, the Mavs woke up.  Chris Minaker led off the bottom 2nd with a single, then took 2nd on a wild pitch from starter James Adkins.  Greg Halman doubled him in to get the Mavs on the board, stole 3rd for his 19th swipe of the season and scored on a Carlos Peguero sac fly to tie the ballgame.

Military Man Nick Hill took over for Garcia in the 3rd and promptly ran into trouble.  Bridger Hunt singled, Ryan Rogowski bunted him over for one out, and Trayvon Robinson doubled the runner in to give Empire the 3-2 lead.  Carlos Santana came to the plate and catcher Jose Yepez threw ¡OYE COMO VA! trying to pick off Trayvon Robinson, instead giving Trayvon 3rd base.  And then Santana singled him in to make it 4-2. Irony can be such a Black Magic Woman.

Leury "Latin Campaneris" Bonilla Watch: he started this game at 1B, and moved to RF in the 9th.  Leury led off by striking out, but Kuo Hui Lo drew a walk, then stole 2nd.  Then he stole 3rd.  All this came with Triunfel at the plate, indicating the young man was exhibiting patience (or maybe he swung and missed during one or both of those throws.  Who knows).  Triunfel eventually beat out a grounder to 1st, allowing Lo to score and cut the lead to 4-3.  Matt Mangini's grounder to 2nd got the lead runner for two outs.  Chris Minaker blooped a ball to left, and LF Ryan Rogowski Raul'd it to allow Mangini to score, tying the ballgame while giving Minaker 3rd base.  Rogowski must have really screwed up.  Greg Halman's subsequent single easily scored Minaker to give the Mavs a 5-4 lead.

The Mavs got another run in the 5th to make it 6-4, and Nick Hill stayed out of trouble until the 7th.  Bridger Hunt led off with a grounder to 2nd, and Erick Monzon threw YIKES AND AWAY to put him on.  Ryan Rogowski, owing the team some karma for his 3-base gaffe, singled to left to put runners at 1st and 2nd, no outs.  Trayvon Robinson bunted the runners over for one out, and Hill was done after that.

Groundballs:  7 (plus 2 bunts)
Flyballs:  6
Line Drives:  0
Pop Ups:  3
Walks:  0 (but 1 hit batter)
Strikeouts:  2

Michaek Wagner came in, and Matt Berezay flew out to right for two outs.  Bridger Hunt tagged up, Jamie McOwen threw for home, and his throw was YIKES AND AWAY to easily let the run in and cut the lead to 6-5.  The throw must have been ahead of the runner for them not to just call it a sac fly.  Carlos Santana saw a Mirage and struck out to end the frame.

Leury led off the bottom 7th with a grounder into RF for a hit and Jamie McOwen bunted him over for one out.  Triunfel grounded to short and SS Jaime Pedroza threw YIKES AND AWAY to let Leury score and give Triunfel 2nd, as 1B Andrew Locke tried to get it back to get a runner and also threw YIKES AND AWAY.  Triunfel took 3rd on a Matt Mangini groundout, and Chris Minaker issued more penalty by crapping on a suck pitch to make it 9-5.

The top 8th could have used the Benny Hill theme song.  Ricky Orta, go figure, came in to relieve Wagner, walked Austin Gallagher, then got the hook for Bryan Harris.  Andrew Locke beat out a grounde to 1st, and after a Pedroza groundout moved the runners over, Gabriel Gutierrez doubled down the RF line to score both runners and cut the lead to 9-7.  Bridger Hunt flew out, and Harris got the hook for David Asher.  Josh Bell pinch hit for Ryan Rogowski, and the 3rd pitcher of the inning gave up a single to Josh Bell to cash in a run, 9-8, as Carlos Peguero misplayed the ball in LF to give Bell 3rd.  Then ASHER got the hook for Shawn Kelley, and the 4th pitcher of the inning struck out Trayvon Robinson to end the threat.

After all sorts of defensive switches, Kelley pitched a 1-2-3 9th to seal the deal.

AA:  Chattanooga 11, West Tenn 5
WTN:  30-18... CHA:  25-23

Denny Stark:  4.2 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 4 walks, 4 K (4 GS, 4.50 ERA, 22 IP, 1 HR, 12/13 BB/K)
Roman Martinez:  one out (12 app, 7.43 ERA, 13.1 IP, 1 HR, 7/14 BB/K)
Marwin Vega:  1 IP, K (12 app, 26 IP, 6.58 ERA, 22/14 BB/K)
Craig James:  one out, 3 H, 3 ER, walk (14 app, 4.38 ERA, 12.1 IP, 8/14 BB/K)
Brodie Downs:  2.2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER (2 HR), walk, 4 K (16 app, 5.40 ERA, 23.1 IP, 3 HR, 10/19 BB/K)
Adam Moore:  3-4, double, R (295/375/443)
Mike Wilson:  1-4, double, 2 K (243/333/514)
Brent Johnson:  1-3, double, R
Jeff Dominguez:  1-2, double, sac fly RBI, R, K (216/274/284)

The DIAMOND JAXX were trailing after the Lookouts- LOOK OUT... scored 4 runs on Denny Stark in the first two frames, though he held the fort until getting an early hook with two outs in the 5th.  Interesting stat: though there were line drives, Stark did not give up any flyballs.  After 4 starts, Stark has a 57% groundball rate and a .324 BABIP with interesting splits: his GB rate on the road is 38% (compared to 66% at home) with a .421 BABIP (compared to .286 at home).  Marc W has noted that Pringles Park has been especially offense-friendly this year

Groundballs:  12
Flyballs:  0
Line Drives:  4
Walks:  4
Strikeouts:  4

Disaster struck in the 7th, as Craig James and Brodie Downs were blown up for 7 runs, turning an in-reach 4-2 defecit into an 11-2 rout.

Also, this is somewhat old news, but the DIAMOND JAXX, which were in danger of moving to South Carolina a few years back due to low attendance (they average less than 2000 fans a game despite being in League contention), were sold a couple weeks ago to a Nashville-based ownership group.  The owners say the team will stay (Nashville already has the Sounds, a AAA club), but will likely see a nickname change for next season, which is great because DIAMOND JAXX is kind of a dumb nickname.

AAA:  Colorado Springs 10, Tacoma 7
TAC:  23-24... COL:  22-25

Andrew Baldwin:  3.1 IP, 11 H, (9 R) 8 ER, walk, K, wild pitch (10 app, 5 GS, 7.45 ERA, 29 IP, 1 HR, 15/11 BB/K)
Jake Woods:  3.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER (HR), walk, K (14 app, 4.32 ERA, 25 IP, 9/17 BB/K)
Potatoes:  1 IP, 1 H, walk, K (11 app, 3.38 ERA, 13.1 IP, 1 HR, 5/15 BB/K)
Matt Tuiasosopo:  2-5, double (252/333/363)
Jeff Clement (DH):  2-5, 2 doubles, 2 R (388/516/745)
Victor Diaz:  1-4, double, R, RBI, 2 K (298/393/463)
Bryan LaHair:  1-4, 2 run HR, 3 K (265/342/482)
Shawn Garrett:  2-4, triple, R, RBI, K (271/297/457)
Charlton Jimerson:  3-4, double, solo HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, SB #11 (255/268/427)
Rob Johnson:  1-4, double, RBI (236/299/300)

PHAT ANDY 22 got destroyed.  In the spirit of white rappers performing in environments they have no business performing in, watch this mash-up .

It was 8-0 before the end of the 3rd, and even a 4 run 4th by the Rainiers didn't matter, as the Sky Sox added a run in the 5th, and they responded to a 2 run Rainier 5th by adding another run in the bottom half to make it 10-6.  Charlton Jimerson took advantage of the high altitude to take a suck pitch deep in the 8th, but there was no rally to speak of in the 9th.

Also, after getting shelled today, Sky Sox starter and MLB retread Mark Redman has a 12.38 ERA.  He falls firmly into the HoRam 'You Should Not Be Pitching Anymore' category.