clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Midshipman’s Log 7/5/22: Modesto’s pitching shines, AquaSox hang tough with the best, Arkansas stays strong

The second half is off to a good start for Seattle’s affiliates

Peoria Javelinas v Scottsdale Scorpions
Zach DeLoach is heating up
Photo by Chris Bernacchi/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Welcome back to another installment of the Midshipman’s Log, catching you up with what happened on the Mariners farm this week. This week was a little goofy, with teams playing on Monday, the usual off-day, and taking Tuesday off instead, in order to take advantage of that sweet sweet Fourth of July box office traffic. We’ll cover Monday’s games in next week’s installment, meaning you’ll have to wait to hear about Modesto hanging 20 runs on Stockton in a Fourth of July offensive firework show of their own. But speaking of dem Nuts:

Charged-up Second Half Nuts (37-38) take series from San Jose (45-30), 4-2

The Nuts came out swinging in Game 1, hanging 11 runs on the Giants’ pitching staff and doing so despite missing Jonatan Clase (out with an illness for most of this series), and only getting one hit from Edwin Arroyo and nothing from Harry Ford at the top of the lineup. Robert Pérez Jr. and Walking Cabrera took over instead, each recording a double and five RBI between them. Ben Ramirez, who’s been coming on strong lately, admirably replaced Clase at the top of the lineup with a couple hits of his own. The Nuts had plenty of offense in the 11-2 win but also got another strong start from staff ace Joseph Hernandez, who shut out the Giants over five innings while striking out 12.

The Nuts won the first of their two bullpen games this week in Game 2; Bryan Woo got the start and gave up one run over two innings, striking out three, and Blake Townsend, Juan Burgos, Natanael Garabitos, and Kelvin Nuñez held the Giants off the board from there, collecting nine more strikeouts among them and allowing just one hit each. Meanwhile, the offense did just enough with a pair of solo home runs from Walking Cabrera and David Sheaffer as well as small-balling one more run across for a 3-1 win.

In Game 3 Modesto’s batters weren’t able to muster the same offensive spirit, scoring just one run on a Randy Bednar homer and losing 3-1. It’s a bummer because it spoiled a good outing from Michael Morales, who allowed those three runs in the first two innings but settled in after that to go five innings, striking out eight. It won’t show in the box score or his overall season numbers, but it’s an encouraging outing for the young righty.

Offense was again thin on the ground in Game 4 but Modesto’s pitching staff was able to hold out long enough for the offense to scrape across a run on a wild pitch in the ninth, thanks to a strong start from Sam Carlson, his first start and longest outing since coming off the IL. Carlson went four innings, striking out four and walking no one; newer addition Chris Jefferson held things down after that with a scoreless trio of innings, and Jorge Benitez locked down the final two innings, earning himself a win as Modesto eked out a 1-0 victory.

Modesto lost Game 5, 4-7, on a bullpen day, but Amador Arias had a big day with a double and a home run, and Clase and Pérez Jr. each contributed doubles; unfortunately, the Nuts offense couldn’t overcome stranding 10 runners. Stop doing that impression of the big-league club, Modesto!

Luckily the offense came back in Game 6, an 8-5 win, in support of Yeury Tatíz, transitioning from a bullpen role to a starter role after the Mariners traded William Fleming for Carlos Santana. Tatíz is much younger and more inconsistent than Fleming, but with higher upside, but was able to give the team five innings, giving up three runs but only one earned due to a costly error behind him. Jonatan Clase got the Nuts scoring started with a first-inning home run, followed by Edwin Arroyo scoring on a wild pitch, and then the Nuts got the offense train moving in the second, scoring six more runs to complete their offensive day before most fans were even in their seats with their hot dogs. The big blow came on a three-run homer from Ben Ramírez, making up for his defensive miscue earlier.

Up next: the Nuts pick up their series after the off-day at home against the Stockton Ports, playing at home thankfully so you can see the games on MiLB TV.

Everett Aquasox (36-38) fight hard, earn split against first-place Eugene Emeralds (43-29)

VIDEO. V I D E O. We have it! Does it look like someone rubbed sand into the lens? Are the camera angles mystifying at best? Yes, yes. But, for a rare occasion, we can actually look at our Frogs doing a baseball. This week, they played the league-leading Emeralds and put together some good games and some stinkers en route to a split, and we get to watch it happen. Let’s take a look!

Game One: Everett loses derby, trampled 5-1

Whew, this game has a pretty set story. Juan Mercedes threw a quality start by the books (6 IP, 3 ER), on just 4 hits, while also recording 10 (!) strikeouts. All of his stuff looked great on Tuesday:

Unfortunately for Juan’s FIP, unbeknownst to him, the AquaSox’ and Emeralds’ lineups apparently decided that Tuesday would be a home run derby. This explains how Eugene managed five runs on just six hits and one walk - they clobbered four home runs to score all five of their runs, while Everett mustered just the one, a solo shot by NWL home run leader, Dariel Gomez.

Game Two: Everett do it to themselves, self-sabotage 10-3

Not much went right in Game Two. Bryce Miller, so far the best pitcher in the league, got big-time rocked for the first time this season, giving up five runs in two-thirds of an inning. One has to wonder if the comebacker he took off his forearm on his June 15 start has something to do with it. In his last two outings he’s given up 9 runs in 4.2 innings, compared to 9 runs in his 50.2 innings over 9 starts prior to June 15.

Overall, Everett failed to control the zone; they struck out 14 times as a lineup, while giving up 6 walks as a pitching staff - meanwhile, the pitchers struck out ten and the lineup walked just twice (both by Noelvi Marte). This is a game that makes Emanuel Sifuentes very, very sad. Marte provided most of the fireworks for the day - he scored the first run by stealing third, then advancing home on the resulting overthrow, and he homered in the eighth inning to score the last run, sandwiching an Andy Thomas home run.

Game Three: Berto and Berroa blast Emeralds 4-3

Oh boy, oh Berto. My favorite prospect has done it, and done it in a time where we have the VIDEO to see it. Lucky me, lucky us! Let us bask in the glory of this towering run!


This would be corrected later - however, we did get to miss the big offensive highlight of the day, a first-inning blast from Berto.

On the bright side, we got to see some Prelander Berroa highlights - the dude absolutely shoves. He racked up eight strikeouts in his first three innings - that would be eight of those nine outs. Berroa continued on his progress towards his Two True Outcomes standard: 14 of his 17 batters faced ended in a walk (5) or a strikeout (9). Needless to say, he was not ultra efficient - it took him 77 pitches to get through his 3.2 innings, but one run was the only blemish on his portion of the scorecard.

Cole Barr and Andy Thomas, with an RBI homer and single, respectively, provided the rest of the pop, while the bullpen held it down, giving up two runs over the last 5.1 innings. This is including Isaiah Campbell earning his sixth save in as many opportunities.

Game Four: Frogs old and new combine to stomp Emeralds 10-6

Ya’ll remember Logan Rinehart, right? 16th round draft pick in 2019 out of California Baptist? No? Well, you’re certainly forgiven - the last time we saw the tall right-hander out of California was the end of the 2019 season. After spending all of 2021 presumably on the IL, Rinehart got a couple of rehab starts in down in the ACL before coming up to join Everett. He delivered solid work in his first real outing of the year, throwing 2.2 innings of one-run ball.

Now, I don’t want to alarm anyone or speak too soon, but it appears Noelvi may be beginning to turn a corner. He followed up a solid game Wednesday night with a banger on Friday - 3-4 with a two-run home run in the first inning and a two-run single in the top of the eighth inning, also working in a walk.

He led the offense on their way to holding a 7-1 lead at the end of the sixth inning. James Parker (2), Justin Lavey (2), Trent Tinglestad (1) and Berto (1) all contributed RBIs as well.

Game Five: Frogs bring back old classic, lose 6-3

Everett has been on a much better run as of late - they haven’t been as susceptible to their old Achilles’ heel, The Big Inning, as of late. But, old habits die hard, they say - this game was written in the second inning. Starter Jimmy Joyce, who’s had an uneven start to say the least (6.68 ERA, 1.45 WHIP), gave up an RBI groundout and a three-run homer, giving up more runs than Everett would score all night right then and there. Let’s end on a nice note: Andy Thomas drove in two solo home runs to account for most of Everett’s production for the evening.

And another:

Game Six: Bullpen comes in double-clutch, Everett wins 6-4

Juan Mercedes, the erstwhile star of June, had a not quite disastrous start, going 0.2 innings and giving up 4 runs on 5 runs, without recording a strikeout. Luckily for him, the bullpen stood up to be the star of the show in this series finale to earn Everett a split against a tough opponent.

Fred Villarreal, Tim Elliot, Leon Hunter Jr., Peyton Alford and the eminent Isaiah Campbell combined for 8.1 lockdown innings, giving up just three hits and zero runs to give the offense a chance to get back in the game.

Trent Tinglestad started the scoring with a two-run double from the five-hole:

This started the trend of the top five in the lineup providing all the punch - they scored all six runs and had all six RBIs. Noelvi, Thomas and Berto each had two hits, while Rodríguez and Tinglestad each recorded a pair of RBIs. Rodríguez tied the game up with a clutch double in the top of the fifth, while Victor Labrada scored the go-ahead run with a home run in the seventh inning.

Up next: Everett comes home to play an unusual series against the Vancouver Canadians (35-36). The first game is Monday, July 4, then a day off for Tuesday, followed by five games starting Wednesday. I don’t make the schedule, alright?

Arkansas Travelers (40-35) open the second half of the season with a series win over Tulsa Drillers (42-31)

The Travs are carrying their winning formula that led to their hot streak from the first half of the season into the second half. Arkansas had a couple of substantial offensive outbursts to open and close the series against Tulsa. The Travs seem to be hitting their groove with the offense performing on a much more regular basis with Joe Rizzo and Zach DeLoach clicking, Taylor Dollard being otherwordly, and the rest of the rotation dealing.

Game One: Travs pour it on late in 14-5 win

Getting 13 walks in a game is objectively a very good thing if you are trying to win a baseball game, which is probably the goal most nights, but oh boy, it does not make for an entertaining on-field product.

That number is partially inflated by the five walks (and one HBP) in the ninth inning that allowed the Travs to score four times without getting a base hit. Even before that ugly final frame, the Travs were clicking on offense to open the series.

Everyone in the lineup crossed home at least once. Zach DeLoach had a night to remember, reaching base five times to put the finishing touches on a very impressive month of June.

Game Two: Taylor Dollard is still good at baseball, Travs win 7-3

You know things are going pretty well for Taylor Dollard when allowing two runs over seven innings is seen as an outlier. I tuned in late on Wednesday night, so you can imagine my SHOCK when I saw the Drillers scored two early runs off Dollard, the first time he has allowed two earned runs all season.

Dollard settled down after the first inning and allowed just one hit the rest of the way. He struck out eight and did not walk anyone. His ERA is at 0.99, which isn’t too bad, IMO. I am once again asking what else Taylor Dollard has to prove in the Texas League.

Cade Marlowe led the way on offense with three base knocks and three RBIs.

Game Three: Late rally falls short as Travs fall 5-3.

It’s possible that Taylor Dollard might have some competition for the best pitcher in the Texas League this season. It is a shame we couldn’t get a pitcher's duel between Dollard and Gavin Stone during this series. Stone is rocking a 1.47 ERA and absolutely mowed through the Arkansas lineup on Thursday night.

Joe Rizzo and Kaden Polcovich each drove in a run against the 23-year-old, but that was it until the Travs got to the bullpen. Connor Jones wasn’t awful, four runs in 3.1 innings isn’t ideal, but they all came in his final inning of work, so he just clearly did not have it going out for the fourth.

The Travs nearly rallied back with back-to-back doubles in the final frame.

However, the offense fizzled out once the tying run stepped into the batter’s box. I guess the Travs won’t be going undefeated in the second half of the season after all. Heck.

Game Four: Long ball haunts Travs in 9-3 loss

The pitch clock in minor league baseball is cool because we can have 12 combined runs with 22 hits and ten combined pitchers that is still under three hours. Sure, giving up four home runs isn’t ideal. And yes, you would like a bit of a better outing than four earned runs and three walks over 4.1 innings for Stephen Kolek. And I mean, the offense only managing three runs on ten hits is not exactly what you want. But the fact that everything went as poorly as it did in 2:43 is still cause for minor celebration, right?

Game Five: Stoudt shoves; Bullpen hangs on in 4-3 victory

Good Levi Stoudt is so much fun to watch. It would be neat if every Levi Stoudt outing was a good Levi Stoudt outing like it is for Taylor Dollard, but I’ll take what we get when Stoudt is locked in. Two hits allowed over six innings with five strikeouts is very impressive by Stoudt.

Zach DeLoach broke open the scoring with a home run to give the Travs a 3-1 lead.

Cade Marlowe scampered home on a wild pitch to extend the lead to three. Marlowe’s run turned out to be a crucial insurance run as Braden Shipley gave up two in the m=bottom of the eighth to make it a one-run contest. Michael Stryffeler did what he has done all season and closed the door on any potential comeback with his 12th save of the year.

Game Six: Travs win early pitchers duel (no, really, I swear)

You wouldn’t know it if you only saw the 14-4 final score, but I pinky promise this game was actually close for most of the evening.

Both starting pitchers were dialed in. Emerson Hancock was perfect the first time through the order and did not give up a hit until the fifth inning. Hancock’s final line was three hits scattered across 5.2 innings with two walks and six strikeouts.

The defense behind him was also elite, with consecutive incredible plays by Joe Rizzo and Riley Unroe.

Bobby Miller was somehow even more impressive on the other side, striking out ten over six innings and allowing just two hits. The Travs got after the Drillers bullpen to ruin Miller’s gem. Polcovich opened up the floodgates with a bases-clearing triple to give the Travs a 3-0 lead in the seventh.

Three runs was probably a safe lead with the Travs bullpen, but they tacked on 11 (!) in the eighth inning, including a Grand Slam to turn a once-promising game into an absolute laugher.

Up Next: The Travs play host to the Springfield Cardinals for a six-game set that runs through Sunday.

Tacoma Rainiers:

No in-depth writeup of the Rainiers this week as John is battling COVID. We’ll return with your regularly-scheduled Rainiers content next week.