The farm is often a balm when the big-league club is busy, as my father delicately puts it, “throwing up on their shoes,” as was the case during the weekend sweep in Houston. To the safe haven of the farm, then! A near-no-no, a late-inning escape or two, and the Modesto Nuts going ham in Lancaster await you.
DSL Mariners (23-31) mirrored by DSL Rockies (23-31), lose Saturday after winning Friday
As is custom, the Marineritos were off Sunday, but narrowly lost on Saturday, 10-7 (three runs counts as “narrow” in the DSL). Noelvi Marte went hitless but your new favorite prospect Jonatan Clase had a two-RBI single although apparently late in the game Igor Januario replaced him? In right field? It’s at this point I should point out, if you don’t know, that Igor Januario is a pitcher, and an enormous human. Sooooo don’t really know what that’s about but hopefully our new favorite pop-up prospect is okay.
AZL Mariners (18-21) sent back by AZL Giants Black (17-21), 0-2
Like their big league counterparts, the Baby M’s came dangerously close to being no-hit by a team wearing orange, mustering just three hits and no runs. 2019 draftee Adam Macko got unfairly tagged with the loss despite striking out five in his four innings and giving up just one run (to be fair, the three walks are not ideal). Other than that nothing...really good happened here, although Juan Querecuto did have a hit.
Everett AquaSox (23-28) win in extras against Spokane Indians (28-23), 7-6
Still basking in the glow of their Félix visit, the Sox managed to sneak one out in 10 innings against their cross-state rival. Kelvin Nunez pitched well, allowing just one hit and no runs over five innings while striking out four; Bernie Martinez and Fred Villarreal banded together to work three scoreless innings to try to make his work hold up. Offensively, the Frogs were led by catcher and Lacey native Brennon Kaleiwahea, who had three hits on the day, including a double and a solo HR, and newly-minted NWL All-Star Patrick Frick, who had three hits, including two doubles. The Frogs won courtesy of a walk-off walk from young slugger/free swinger Robert Perez, who chose the right time to exercise some patience at the plate. Speaking of the Venezuelan Perez, his brother B.J. (Brayan), who is a pitcher with the AquaSox, got to spend time with the King during his rehab outing, a special moment for the youngster:
(Félix’s brother in the comments: “I told him you were crying.” Be cool, Moises!) Travis Kuhn, who got the win today, also got a special gift from the King, which our buddy Josh Horton reported on for the Everett Herald, and you can read about here.
West Virginia Power (57-56) unplugged by Rome Braves (51-61), 7-2
One step forward, one step back for the Power, who just can’t seem to stop hovering around .500 ball. Saturday’s game, featuring juiced-up starter Devin Sweet, was much more fun than this one (and in fact the exact inverse scorewise!). 2019 FA signing Evan Johnson was tagged for three runs (one earned, thanks to two walks and some incredibly sloppy play by the Power’s defense, who recorded a season-high FIVE errors in this game), and 2019 draftee Kyle Hill got lit up and couldn’t make it out of his inning. The Power were able to collect some hits—a two-hit day including a solo HR from Onil Pena, as well as multi-hit days from Ryan Ramiz and Matt Sanders—but weren’t able to string them together to hit the pay station. Of note: hot hitter Bobby Honeyman was not in the lineup today; honestly, it’s redundant to have both him and Austin Shenton, who’s doing just fine, at the level, so hopefully Honey will be flowing westward to Modesto soon.
Modesto Nuts (52-62) sonically boom the Lancaster JetHawks (58-52), 11-2
So the Nuts looked back on their game on Friday and said, “what if we score 11 runs again, but this time, only let the opponents score like...one? Or two?” And Ian McKinney said, I can do that! McKinney was great in the launching pad that is Lancaster, working six innings of two-hit, one-run ball with three strikeouts (and three walks, which was less ideal, but...Lancaster. Launching pad. Shruggy guy.).
Ian McKinney is through 5IP, 2H, 1R, BB, 2K, 56-40. pic.twitter.com/ZhT5em0mdu— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) August 5, 2019
This time, the bullpen did not disappoint, and in this case the bullpen was named Matthew Willrodt, who worked three innings and gave up one solo HR, and nothing more. Meanwhile, the Nuts offense continued to run riot through the green pastures of Lancaster (false, it is dry and desert-y, but metaphorical-like, you know), helpfully putting the game out of reach early on with a five-run second inning that featured not one, not two, but three! home runs by the Nuts (Joe Thurman, Jake Scheiner, and Connor Kopach). Jack Larsen also narrowly missed a home run but had a two-double day, as did Thurman, in addition to his solo jack. Joe Rizzo was out today, which was a bummer because it would have been nice to see him do some stat-padding in Lancaster, but hopefully the fact that he missed a game at the same time his obvious replacement Bobby Honeyman did means that there’s some flights being caught in tiny tiny airports.
Arkansas Travelers (66-44) sneak past Springfield Cardinals (51-61), 3-2
The days where the Travs were the big bullies of the Texas League seem, sadly, to be gone, with some prospects graduated, and new, fresher-faced fellows still trying to figure this whole AA thing out. Bright news on that front: Luis Liberato had two hits on the day, including a double, and Cal Raleigh stung this ball for a single, as well as working a key walk:
Cal Raleigh with a nice 0-2 swing after chasing a couple breaking balls. He was held to a single here but this is a well-struck ball. Quality of contact hasn't been a problem for Cal, who's been hitting it hard but foul/to the track. Soon they'll start going over the fence. pic.twitter.com/BLOoh2y2as— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) August 4, 2019
Raleigh now has a three-game hitting streak, with back-to-back doubles before today (and, located to a different part of the park, this is easily a double). Also encouraging: Dom Thompson-Williams, whose bat has been in a funk, had a two-hit day with a double. The Travs offense should see a lift when Evan White returns to the lineup, which should be early this week or midweek at the latest.
Pitching-wise, Ricardo Sanchez rebounded from a mini-slump he’s been in that led me to speculate he was maybe growing fatigued after nearly doubling his AA innings workload from an injury-plagued 2018. He went seven strong, allowing just one run on three hits. Wyatt Mills relieved him and worked a 1-2-3 8th but wobbled in the 9th, loading the bases with just one out and requiring Arkansas skipper Cesar Nicolas to break glass in case of emergency and call in closer Art Warren, who almost ended the game on two pitches when he got a near-double play ball (miss u, Evan). Instead, the run scored and Warren, with one run to work with, breathed a little fire on Springfield catcher Brian O’Keefe:
Art Warren:— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) August 5, 2019
Nastiness: ♾ pic.twitter.com/E7T6EFPuYZ
O’Keefe would wind up hitting a sinking line drive that would have tied the game and probably given Springfield the lead, but Dom Thompson-Williams wasn’t done with his hero turn yet:
Travelers win! Dom Thompson-Williams with the amazing game-ending catch: pic.twitter.com/0d35eTn1ua— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) August 5, 2019
Tacoma Rainiers (52-61) stop Cubs stop the Iowa Cubs (60-53), 5-0
Hey Chicago (via Iowa), whattya say, the Rainiers are gonna win today, thanks mostly to LHP Anthony Misiewicz, who carried a no-hitter all the way through the eighth inning. New reliever Taylor Guilbeau served up a double on the first pitch of the ninth, leading to boos from the Cheney faithful, but was able to work around any damage, preserving the shutout. The final out of the game was Guilbeau striking out Johnny Field, who you might remember as the former Tampa Bay Ray and product of the Create-A-Player getting bored. The I-Cubs also have former MLB player Addison Russell, a phrase it gives me no small pleasure to type, who went 0-for-3 on the day with a strikeout. The I-Cubs also ALSO have former Mariners prospect Danny Hultzen, who is pitching! With a working shoulder! And that is a phrase it gives me great delight to type, even though it’s for another team. Hultzen struck out two batters but also walked two in his outing, but is apparently doing quite well, with a 1.54 ERA at Triple-A, which calculating for inflation, is like a -7000, I think.
Oh! We should talk about the actual Rainiers players who made the five runs happen. Ian Miller was the offensive star of the day, with a walk, a triple and a home run. He also stole a base, his 27th, which puts him in the lead in all of Triple-A just ahead of teammate Tim Lopes (26, and those losers in the International League only have 23 at best).
Ian Miller is halfway to the cycle in the 5th inning and he's got the hard parts (HR and triple) out of the way. This is his 11th HR on the year: pic.twitter.com/ylcRC5W1G9— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) August 4, 2019
Fun fact: That’s Miller’s 11th home run of the year, more than all the home runs he’s hit in his entire professional career combined. Divish said in his Sunday mailbag that Miller will be with a new organization next season, when he’s a MiLB free agent, and that certainly looks to be the truth, but for real. Give the man his callup so he at least gets a shot before he moves on. Jose Lobaton and Chris Mariscal also had homers on the day. Also yesterday Eric Filia hit his first Triple-A home run:
Eric Filia’s 1st Triple-A HR. pic.twitter.com/Y5eGh5IPm6— Mariners Minors (@MiLBMariners) August 4, 2019
Sadly, today is a light slate with the Mariners also off. Your best entertainment bet is checking in on Justin Dunn’s start for the Travelers, which you can find either on the TuneIn app or on MiLB TV.
DSL Mariners at DSL Royals, 7:30 AM PT
Iowa at Tacoma, 11:35 AM PT (RHP Sean Nolin)
Rome at West Virginia, 4:05 PT (RHP Josias De Los Santos)
Springfield at Arkansas, 5:10 PT (RHP Justin Dunn)