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Houston Astros Minor League Recap: 8/20/13

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Mustaches, Walkoffs, The Legend of George Springer, and Gonzalo "Kvasnicka" Sanudo. The individual playoff pictures get clearer - and muddier - as the minor league season winds down.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

We Get To Keep This AND That!

Sam Dykstra may be my favorite writer. I'm always thrilled when he writes something Astros-y, and he's done just that with his most recent PROspective article, in which he plays "This or That?", pitting George Springer against Jonathan Singleton as prospects the Astros would less like to give up in a trade.

Face Disgrace

Ed Romero is known for a great many things. A good coach, a good ballplayer, a good husband and father (I'm assuming here. Don't quote me.) But what he's probably best known for is his amazing mustache. And with that in mind, the ValleyCats have announced that they will attempt to set a new world record: The largest gathering of people wearing a fake mustache.

This could only be better if it was being done by the Quad Cities River Bandits, since they all have head starts.

An Even Hundred

George Springer is closing in on every milestone that has ever been created, as he scored his 100th run of the season on his first inning home run in yesterday's game. That goes with his 102 RBI, 36 home runs, and 39 stolen bases. Is anyone still not really sick of waiting for him to get called up? I mean, I get it. We all get it. But goodness gracious, the man is going to explode when he finally gets to the big leagues.

Ricky Gingras Has An Important Announcement

Dude doesn't tweet much, but when he does, he makes it count.

What Happened Was...

Oklahoma City RedHawks (AAA) - The RedHawks won all twelve games in a twelve-game homestand. Then they lost six of their first seven on the subsequent road trip. Then they won the final game of their road trip, as well as the first four games of a five-game homestand. Here, in game number five of that homestand, they looked to be in trouble. Down 5-4 entering the ninth inning, with none other than Javy Guerra on the mound for the Albuquerque Isotopes (LAD), things looked grim. Then Carlos Perez led the inning off with a walk. Ruben Sosa bunted him over, and Trevor Crowe struck out swinging. With George Springer on deck, Jose Martinez got two strikes. Down to the final strike of the game, though, Martinez belted a letter-high fastball into left field for a double, scoring Perez. Then, George Springer did what George Springer does, with a walkoff single. Martinez made an outstanding slide on a play at the plate, and the RedHawks extend their winning streak to seven games, winning this one 6-5.

Oklahoma City: 75-56, 1st - Pacific Coast League American Southern

  • 2B Jose Martinez - 3/5, 2B, R, 3 RBI
  • RF George Springer - 2/5, HR, R, 2 RBI, K
  • 1B Jon Singleton - 0/3, BB, 3 K
  • CF Che-Hsuan Lin - 2/3, 3B, R, BB
  • C Carlos Perez - 0/2, 2 R, 2 BB, K
  • RHP Jake Buchanan - 5.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
  • RHP Rhiner Cruz - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Corpus Christi Hooks (AA) - Hey, speaking of walkoffs... how about a tenth-inning Jonathan Meyer single to add to the mix? After a nice start by Nick Tropeano, the Hooks got nice outings from Carlos Quevedo and Jonas Dufek in relief. Offensively, Kike Hernandez and Drew Muren each had three hits - and one of Muren's was his first since joining the Texas League back in April. As you may already have gathered, Corpus Christi wins, 3-2, over the Midland RockHounds (OAK).

Corpus Christi: 34-23, 2nd (2.0 GB) - Texas League South
  • 2B Kike Hernandez - 3/5, 2 K
  • LF Michael Burgess - 0/4, 3 K
  • CF Drew Muren - 3/4, HR, 2 R, RBI
  • RHP Nick Tropeano - 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
  • RHP Carlos Quevedo - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
  • RHP Jonas Dufek - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
Lancaster Jethawks (A+) - Vincent Velasquez toed the mound in Lake Elsinore for his California League debut, and it was going quite swimmingly... that is, until he got Delinoed. In a battle of the top two teams in the California League South, Velasquez was cruising against the Lake Elsinore Storm (SDP). Delino DeShields walked to lead off the third inning, and stole second. What happened next, according to two different contacts who attended the game: DeShields got picked off at second base, and caught stealing. Then, in the bottom of the fourth inning, with the game tied 2-2, he completely whiffed on a groundball, which was inexplicably ruled a single. Three more runs came around to score. No matter, as the Jethawks rallied for two runs to bring the score to 5-4. Then, in the top of the ninth, DeShields reached on a hit by pitch. He was then picked off once again. Jethawks lose, 5-4.

Lancaster: 35-22, 1st - California League South
  • 2B Delino DeShields - 1/3, 2B, R, BB, HBP, SB, 2 PO
  • CF Andrew Aplin - 2/4, 2 2B, R, RBI, K
  • C Tyler Heineman - 1/3, RBI, BB
  • LF Dan Gulbransen - 2/3, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB
  • RHP Vincent Velasquez - 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, WP, HBP
  • RHP Michael Dimock - 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
  • RHP Jordan Jankowski - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Quad Cities River Bandits (A) - Josh Hader wasn't overpowering, but he was effective through five innings, limiting the Burlington Bees (LAA) to two runs on five hits and two walks. Meanwhile, Catfish Elkins and Bobby Borchering each belted a home run; Tony Kemp and Teoscar Hernandez added three hits apiece at the top of the order, and Hernandez added a stolen base. Jamaine Cotton turned in three solid relief innings, as the River Bandits win this one running away, 9-2.

Quad Cities: 33-23, 2nd (5.5 GB) - Midwest League Western
  • DH Tony Kemp - 3/5, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI
  • CF Teoscar Hernandez - 3/5, 3B, R, RBI, K, SB
  • 1B Bobby Borchering - 3/4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, K
  • 3B Rio Ruiz - 1/4, 2B, R
  • 2B Catfish Elkins - 2/2, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB
  • LHP Josh Hader - 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER. 2 BB, 2 K, BK, 3 HBP
  • RHP Jamaine Cotton - 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Tri-City ValleyCats (A-) - The Vermont Lake Monsters (OAK) might be my favorite team name in all of sports, at least since the closure of the East Coast Hockey League's Macon Whoopee. But as much as I like the team name, for some reason I really, really love it when the Tri-City ValleyCats beat them. Though Tri-City was outhit 7-5, Andrew Thurman did a good job of staying out of trouble, allowing just one run to cross through five innings. Adrian Houser was solid in relief, and Gonzalo Sanudo pitched a perfect ninth. The return in the Mike Kvasnicka trade, Sanudo has now played at three different Houston affiliates this season, and has been various degrees of effective at all of them, with a total 1.50 ERA, 37 strikeouts, and just 3 walks through thirty innings. Though the trade was effectively an organizational swap, both players involved have had nice seasons. ValleyCats win this one, 2-1.

Tri-City: 36-25, 1st - New York-Penn League Stedler
  • CF James Ramsay - 0/2, R, 2 BB, PO
  • 1B Conrad Gregor - 1/3, 2B, R
  • RF Ronnie Mitchell - 2/3, RBI
  • RHP Andrew Thurman - 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
  • RHP Adrian Houser - 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
  • RHP Gonzalo Sanudo - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Greeneville Astros (Rk) - Kohl Stewart made his Appalachian League debut for the Elizabethton Twins (MIN), and he didn't disappoint. Not gonna lie to you nice people - I'm disappointed to see the mullet gone. I presume it's a Twins organizational policy, but I miss the mop. Stewart struck out eight Astros batters, but was chased after four innings. Five more Twins pitchers would toe the mound, and the Astros jumped on most of them, putting up six runs in the top of the sixth, and two more in the ninth. They did all of this despite having just four hits... how? Well, eleven walks will help. Unfortunately, Francis Ramirez came in last place in the Kohl Stewart lookalike contest, ceding seven earned runs through three innings. Christian Garcia allowed three of his own over three innings, and the Astros fell, 10-8. Their lead in the Appy League West is now down to a half a game with nine games left in the season.

Greeneville: 34-25, 1st - Appalachian League West
  • LF Tanner Mathis - 1/3, RBI, BB, HBP
  • CF Marc Wik - 1/3, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, K
  • C Brian Holberton - 1/3, R, 2 BB
  • DH Edwin Gomez - 0/4, BB, 4 K
  • 1B Angel Ibanez - 0/5, R, RBI, 3 K
  • SS Juan Santana - 0/2, 2 R, 3 BB, 2 K
  • RF Ariel Ovando - 1/3, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB
  • 2B Darwin Rivera - 0/5, 3 K
  • RHP Francis Ramirez - 3.0 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
  • RHP Christian Garcia - 3.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
  • RHP Ryan Connolly - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
GCL Astros (Rk) - Joe Musgrove struck out six and walked none through five innings, with the GCL Phillies (PHI) scoring just a single run against him. In fact, the whole game was a seesaw battle: Astros score in the bottom of the fourth. Phillies score in the top of the fifth. Astros score in the bottom of the sixth. Phillies score in the top of the seventh. Then... the game goes into extra innings, and Erick Gonzalez takes the mound. Things could have gone better for Mr. Gonzalez. After striking out the first batter he faced (Trey Williams... yes, that Trey Williams), he allowed a double to Venn Biter. Biter stayed put on a groundout, but with two outs, a wild pitch allowed him to advance, before a single brought him in. That would prove to be the game winner, as the Astros lose, 3-2.

GCL Astros: 24-28, 3rd (8.0 GB) - Gulf Coast League Northeast
  • RF Jason Martin - 3/5, SB, CS
  • CF Javaris Reynolds - 0/5, 5 K
  • C Jacob Nottingham - 3/4, 2 2B, 3B, 2 R
  • RHP Joe Musgrove - 5.0 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
DSL Astros (Rk) - Postponed: Rain