Dog With A Blog - I've been waiting for a while to post this, but I couldn't wait any longer to make sure everyone knows about the Blog About a Dog. The blog chronicles the journey of one Houston Astros fan, Tom Lohr, and his travels around the country to find the best ballpark hot dog. He's hitting all the big league parks and many of the minor league ones, as well, though he skipped over The Hangar, instead going to Pink's on an off day (pro tip, Tom: Skip the long lines of tourists at Pink's and head to Skooby's on Hollywood Boulevard).
On the dogs at Minute Maid Park:
Mat (Drain) knows his dogs and it is apparent he runs a tight ship at Minute Maid. He said the Astros will likely sale over 400,000 hot dogs this year and is proud of the fact that on dollar dog night the Astros, unlike many teams, use the same frank on those dogs (many use a smaller weiner). Mat allowed me to finish watching the game from the Club Level and gave me a coupon to test the Southern Comfort Dog, the Club Level Dog of the Month.
Filthynewicz - I am loving this article on Michael Foltynewicz. In it, Folty talks a little bit about the spiked curveball that pitching coach Brent Strom added to his repertoire, but perhaps the best quote - and the one that makes my heart tingle - is talking about the transition away from just trying to blow the fastball past everyone. This has been evident in his last handful of starts, and has been really fun to watch:
"I've started using off-speed a lot more the last four or five games," Foltynewicz said. "I'm realizing I can't blow the ball by everyone. So I'm just using all my pitches right now and trying to eat up as many innings as I can for the bullpen."
Armed with a fastball that can crack triple digits, Foltynewicz said he has learned when to go full-bore and when to pull it back a bit.
"If I pump it down a little bit, down to 93 or 95, I get a more strikes than just letting it go," he said. "But I've been learning how to pitch this year instead of throwing. Last year they sat me down and had that talk. I have that upper-90s fastball in my back pocket if I ever need it. So I'm just going out there and trying to throw strikes, get ahead of hitters."
Hey Now, You're An All-Star - Voting has opened for the Pacific Coast League All-Star Game. Head on over and cast a ballot for your favorite RedHawks.
What Happened Was...
Oklahoma City RedHawks (AAA) - RedHawks starter Rudy Owens gave up a pair of runs in each the second and the third inning to the Memphis Redbirds (STL) before he was able to right the ship. He'd end up going seven strong in this one, but the Redbirds picked it back up in the eighth, scoring a pair of off Ross Seaton in his lone inning of work. The Houston Astros, having thoughtlessly stolen the RedHawks' best two hitters, doomed the Oklahoma City offense. Still, they were able to put up three runs, the highlight coming from a solo home run by Max Stassi. Still, the RedHawks fell in this one, 6-3.
Oklahoma City: 32-28, t-1st - Pacific Coast League American Northern
- LF Austin Wates - 1/4, BB
- 3B Kike Hernandez - 1/4, K
- CF L.J. Hoes - 0/3, BB, 2 K
- RF Domingo Santana - 2/4, R
- SS Gregorio Petit - 1/4
- C Max Stassi - 1/3, HR, R, RBI, BB, K
- DH Adron Chambers - 0/3
- PH/DH Matt Duffy - 0/1, K
- 2B Ronny Torreyes - 1/4, R, K, SB
- 1B Erik Castro - 1/3, BB
- LHP Rudy Owens - 7.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, HBP, WP
- RHP Ross Seaton - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
- RHP Jason Stoffel - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
Corpus Christi Hooks (AA) - Tommy Shirley continues to impress, going seven innings with four strikeouts, two hits, one walk, and twelve groundouts to a single flyout. With a two-run lead before he ever took the mound, he mowed down Midland Rockhounds (OAK) batters before running into trouble in the bottom of the seventh. He still escaped with a 2-1 lead, and the Hooks offense extended it by another run in the top of the eighth. Unfortunately, Tyson Perez and Andrew Robinson didn't fare as well out of the bullpen, with the former giving up two runs (one earned) and the latter giving up one of his own. The Hooks fell, 4-3.
Corpus Christi: 29-28, 4th - Texas League South (4.5 GB)
- CF Delino DeShields - 0/2, R, 2 BB, HBP, SB
- 2B Nolan Fontana - 2/2, 2B, R, 3 BB
- RF Preston Tucker - 1/4, RBI, IBB, K
- 3B Jonathan Meyer - 0/5, RBI, 2 K, E
- LF Chris Epps - 0/3, 2 K
- PH Carlos Perdomo - R, BB
- LF Leo Heras - 0/1
- SS Jiovanni Mier - 1/4, 2B, BB, K
- C Rene Garcia - 1/4
- DH MP Cokinos - 1/4, RBI, K
- 1B Telvin Nash - 0/4, 4 K
- LHP Tommy Shirley - 7.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
- RHP Tyson Perez - 0.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
- RHP Andrew Robinson - 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 HBP, 0 K
Lancaster Jethawks (A+) - After finally grabbing the lead in the California League South, the Jethawks are starting to pull away with it, and could be in a position to clinch the first half within a week. Any combination of Lancaster wins or Storm losses equaling eight, and it will be done. Wondering when you might see a flurry of player movement, from Carlos Correa to Tony Kemp? Watch that number dwindle and you could have your answer. After putting up two runs in the bottom of the first, Lancaster starter Kent Emanuel gave up a three spot to the Inland Empire 66ers (LAA) in the top of the second. He'd fall farther behind with two more runs in the the fifth before getting pulled. That's when the Jethawks offense went to work, rattling off four unanswered for the rest of the game and winning it, 6-5.
Also fun: Correa stole his fifteenth base of the season. Not bad for a guy with no speed.
Lancaster: 37-23, 1st - California League South
- 2B Tony Kemp - 1/4, 2B, R, BB, SB
- CF Teoscar Hernandez - 1/4, R, HBP, K
- SS Carlos Correa - 3/4, 2B, R, RBI, BB, SB, E
- 3B Rio Ruiz - 2/4, 2B, R, BB, K
- C Roberto Pena - 1/4, R, RBI
- DH Dan Gulbransen - 1/4, HBP, 2 RBI
- 1B Conrad Gregor - 2/4, 2B, RBI
- RF Ruben Sosa - 1/1, 2B, 3 BB, CS
- LF Jordan Scott - 0/3, BB, K
- LHP Kent Emanuel - 5.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, HBP
- RHP Matt Heidenreich - 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
- RHP Jamaine Cotton - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
Quad Cities River Bandits (A) - Day Off
Quad Cities: 30-27, 3rd - Midwest League Western (7.5 GB)
DSL Astros Blue (FRk) - The Astros and Royals (KCR) traded runs, each scoring one in the first and second innings, before the Astros grabbed hold of a strong 4-2 lead in the fifth. They surrendered a run the following inning, but got it back in the seventh. But in line for the save, Hansel Paulino was only able to record one out while giving up three runs on three hits, two walks, and a wild pitch, giving the Royals the walkoff win, 6-5.
Astros Blue: 2-1, t-1st - Dominican Summer League Boca Chica Northwest
- LF Marcos Almonte - 1/2, R, 3B, HBP
- PR/LF Juan Fuente - 1/2, R
- CF Nestor Tejada - 1/5, R, RBI, E
- 3B Wander Franco - 0/1, 2 RBI, 3 BB
- 1B Connor MacDonald - 0/3, RBI, 2 BB, K, E
- SS Joan Mauricio - 0/4, K
- 2B Jonathan Matute - 0/3, BB
- C Oliver Toribio - 0/3, R, HBP, 2 K
- DH Hayden Timberlake - 0/3, BB
- RF Edgar Lorenzo - 1/4, R, RBI, K, SB
- LHP Carlos Hiraldo - 4.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 2 WP
- RHP Jose Rosario - 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
- RHP Hansel Paulino - 0.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, WP
DSL Astros Orange (FRk) - The Astros Orange lost, 4-3, to remain winless on the short season, and to keep the Rangers (TEX) unbeaten.
Astros Orange: 0-3, t-8th - Dominican Summer League Boca Chica North (3.0 GB)
- SS Osvaldo Duarte - 2/5, R, 3 K, CS
- CF Vincente Sanchez - 0/3, K
- 1B Christopher Luciano - 1/2, 2 R, 2 BB
- LF Luis Vasquez - 2/4, RBI, K, SB, E
- C Ihan Bernal - 1/2, RBI, BB
- 2B Frankeny Fernandez - 1/3, 2B, BB, 2 K
- RF Bryan De La Cruz - 2/4, RBI, K
- 3B Wilson Amador - 1/4, K, CS, E
- DH Andy Pineda - 0/4, K
- LHP Cristhopher Santamaria - 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, HBP, 4 K
- RHP Jose Ramos - 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
- RHP Starlyn Taveras - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K