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5/28 Minor League Wrap-Up

There wasn't much to crow about from the bats in the system today, so leave the highlight of the day to the one guy you can always count on for Phat rhymes when the chips are down.

On to the wrap-up!

VENEZUELA~!  VSL Mets 5, VSL Mariners 1
VSLMs:  6-7... VSL Mets:  11-3

Gerardo Esparza:  5 IP, 2 H, (4 R) 1 ER, 2 K, 2 hit batters
Mayckol Guaipe:  2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER (HR), walk, 3 K, wild pitch
Nolan Diaz:  1 IP, 2 K
Rigoberto Rangel:  1-4, RBI, 2 K
rest of VSLMs lineup:  2-24, R, walk, 11 K

The VSLMs just didn't have anything going today, managing three hits and 4 errors, and after the VSL-leading Metropolitanos put up 4 runs on Gerardo Esparza and the suspect defense, it was game set & match.

A:  Kane County 3, Wisconsin 1
WIS:  21-27... KC:  31-20

Nathan Adcock:  7 IP, 3 H, (3 R) 1 ER, 3 walks, 8 K, wild pitch (10 GS, 3.20 ERA, 56.1 IP, 3 HR, 23/58 BB/K)
Travis Mortimore:  1 IP, walk (15 app, 0.55 ERA, 16.1 IP, 7/13 BB/K)
Maximo Mendez:  2-5, 2 K (241/344/352)
Juan Diaz:  1-5, double, K (233/285/300)
Calvin Beamon:  2-3, walk (227/291/312)
Denny Almonte:  2-4, 2 K (233/261/372)
Blake Ochoa:  1-4, RBI, K (239/301/284)

So the T-Rats, needing good pitching and defense to hang with one of the Cougars' staff of aces... crapped the bed in the 1st inning.  Shane Keough (295/395/341) beat out a grounder with one out.  Larry Cobb (352/404/500) grounded to 3rd, and Alex Liddi muffed it to put runners at 1st and 2nd.  Danny Hamblin (in only his 3rd game of the year) then smoked a grounder down the LF line that was good for a triple as it cashed in both runners, 2-0 Cougars.  Corey Brown (267/355/489) grounded to 3rd, Alex Liddi threw home to get Hamblin, and the throw was fine.  Blake Ochoa's attempt to catch it was not, and Hamblin was safe, 3-0.  Then Ochoa tried to catch Brown off the bag at 1st... and threw YIKES AND AWAY to give Brown 2nd.

Thankfully, Greg Dowling (277/338/410) popped out and Jonathan Johnston (233/337/302) flew out to end the frame... but that ultimately proved more than enough for the Cougars, as Scott Hodsdon (10 GS, 3.54 ERA, 48.1 IP, 3 HR, 10/34 BB/K), probably the most vulnerable of the starters, scattered 9 hits and allowed only a run in the 4th and he pitched into the 6th inning.  Hodsdon was effective enough to prevent any significant damage.

Quite the shame for Nathan Adcock, as that 3 run 1st inning was mostly not his fault, and he did not allow a run after that as he finished 7 frames and was otherwise effective.  In fact, after a 6th inning wild pitch with nobody out and a man on, Adcock responded by striking out the side, and he struck out 5 in a row overall before getting his final batter on a groundout.

Groundballs:  11
Flyballs:  3
Line Drives:  1
Pop Ups:  1
Walks:  3
Strikeouts:  8

The T-Rats did not have a hit after the 6th inning, though you could have surmised that.

And hey, speaking of MARINERS IN THE MAKING, guess who doesn't have an OPS above .800 in their lineup?  That would be the T-Rats.  The only player on the team with one is Daniel Carroll, and he's healing up on the DL with a broken wrist.

A+:  Stockton 3, High Desert 1
Mavs:  24-29... Stockton:  31-21

Nick Hill:  5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER (HR), 2 walks, K
David Asher:  2 IP, 1 H, walk, 3 K
Shawn Kelley:  1 IP, 1 H, K
Matt Mangini:  2-4, R, K
Greg Halman:  2-3, double, RBI, SB #20
rest of Mavs lineup:  2-26, walk, 9 K

Military Man Nick Hill was fine until the 5th, despite an ominous number of flyballs.  Plunking Jermaine Mitchell to lead off was bad karma, and then catcher Travis Scott turned a pickoff throw YIKES AND AWAY to give Mitchell 2nd.  Raul Padron tapped back to the mound, and Hill astutely turned to 3r and got a greedy Jermaine Mitchell for the 1st out.

But Christopher Carter doubled to left to put Padron on 3rd, and Matt Sulentic's groundout cashed Padron in to make it 1-0 with two outs and a man on 3rd.  Archie Gilbert walked, and Josh Horton lined a double to left that easily scored Carter, 2-0 Ports, but Gilbert went for home and the 7-5-2 relay got him at the plate for the 3rd out.

With the Military Man tiring, Mavs manager Jim Horner wanted one more good inning out of him, so he sent Hill back out, and Hill immediately got taken deep by Sean Doolittle.  3-0.  Darryl Lawhorn singled.  Mike Affronti singled.  And Horner said screw the one more good inning, and yanked Hill immediately.  This was not a stellar outing but it was mostly functional.

Groundballs:  8
Flyballs:  8 (1 HR)
Line Drives:  2
Pop Ups:  1
Walks:  2 (plus 1 hit batter)
Strikeouts:  1

David Asher watched Jermaine Mitchell bunt the runners to 2nd and 3rd, but Raul Padron struck out and, after intentionally passing Chris Carter, Asher struck out Matt Sulentic to end the threat.

Unfortunately, like the T-Rats, the Mavs just had little fight in the bats tonight.  They did squeeze in a run in the 9th and had two men aboard with one out in said 9th... but Travis Scott struck out and Erick Monzon's high pop up, probably gone in High Desert, found CF Jermaine Mitchell for the final out.

Fun fact:  Stockton, CA, home of the opposition in question, is the hometown of JJ's predecessor, Eddie Guardado.  Allegedly, Stockton was a dump and life was hard for Eddie.  I have an aunt who lives in a reasonably nice house in Stockton (her husband is a doctor).  This is taken from memory of a visit about 15-20 years ago: Their neighborhood was either gated or secluded and surrounded a set of manmade lakes (a look at Google Maps indicates it was on the NW end of town).

I'm guessing Everyday Eddie did not grow up in this part of Stockton.

AA:  Mississippi 7, West Tenn 3

WTN:  33-20... MIS:  21-32

Travis Chick:  2.2 IP, 5 H, (5 R) 4 ER, 3 walks, 2 K, hit batter (14 app, 1st GS, 3.41 ERA, 31.2 IP, 1 HR, 16/27 BB/K)
Craig James:  2.1 IP, 3 H, (2 R) 1 ER, 6 K, balk (16 app, 3.78 ERA, 16.2 IP, 8/21 BB/K)
Roman Martinez:  2 IP, 1 H, 2 K (13 app, 6.46 ERA, 15.1 IP, 1 HR, 7/16 BB/K)
Brodie Downs:  1 IP, 2 K (17 app, 5.18 ERA, 24.1 IP, 3 HR, 10/21 BB/K)
Luis Valbuena:  2-4, solo HR (313/388/473)
Michael Saunders:  1-4, double, 2 K (301/367/495)
Mike Wilson:  1-4, solo HR, K (262/345/546)
Adam Moore:  1-3, triple, R, K (301/380/452)

In his first crack at starting, Travis Chick got hit up, the DIAMOND JAXX fell behind early, and the bats were quiet against effective Todd Redmond (11 GS, 3.22 ERA, 67 IP, 5 HR, 11/50 BB/K).

But don't despair.  Yeah, losing to the crappy AA Braves sucks, but the DIAMOND JAXX are the anti-T-Rats.  They have 9 regulars with OPS's over .800 (Oliveros, Hubbard, Nelson, Valbuena, Moore, Saunders, Limonta, Wilson and Redman)... that's almost their entire lineup (some guys like Oliveros and Nelson do split time).  Of these regulars, 6 are hitting over .300 (Oliveros, Hubbard, Nelson, Valbuena, Moore and Saunders).  That this team is doing well in the Southern League isn't a fluke.  Johan Limonta has not only made a seamless transition to AA, he's actually hitting pretty well.  Adam Moore and Michael Saunders have put the Cal League demons to rest and shown that their abilities do translate to a more regular environment.  Marshall Hubbard is having a ridiculous year, and Luis Valbuena has been a pleasant surprise: he was looking like org fodder before this season.

Add in some useful pitching from the rotation, and the DIAMOND JAXX have given the sparse crowds in Jackson a reason to come to the ballpark.

AAA:  Tacoma 4, Fresno 3
TAC:  26-26... FRE:  25-27

Andrew Baldwin:  7 IP, 4 H, 8 K (11 app, 6 GS, 6.00 ERA, 36 IP, 1 HR, 15/19 BB/K)
Cesar Jimenez:  1 IP, 2 K (19 app, 4.97 ERA, 25.1 IP, 3 HR, 7/29 BB/K)
Tracy Thorpe:  1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER (HR), walk (BBQ beef sandwiches)
Matt Tuiasosopo:  1-4, double, R, 2 RBI, walk, K (255/331/359)
Victor Diaz:  2-3, 2 run HR, 2 walks (290/395/464)
Prentice Redman:  2-4, R, K
Josh Womack:  1-2, double, walk, K, SB

[DUN DUN... dundun]
[DUN DUN... dundun]
[DUN DUN... dundun]
Phat Andy 22:  One time
[DUN DUN... dundun]
Phat Andy 22:  Look at you bitches
You couldn't make the Giants
My grandma makes the Giants
She's probably hitting cleanup
But here I'm gonna clean up
My suck pitch looks fantastic
Your strike three swing looks spastic
You swung and missed right past it
Now don't do nothing drastic
You all get two more chances
But you don't got no chances
Cause Phat Andy is dealing
This fastball's got no ceiling
No guy on 1st is stealing
Cause you got to get on first
But your cleanup hitter's cursed
The Grizzlies are the worst
And I'm about to burst
I beat you bad like Wife Vulture
And boy, you're out at first

Word to your mother... BRIAN BOCOCK.

Groundballs:  6
Flyballs:  7
Line Drives:  2
Pop Ups:  1
Walks:  0
Strikeouts:  8

(Tracy Thorpe almost gave the game away in the 9th.  ALMOST.)