VV-Day - Congratulations to Vincent Velasquez, who won California League Pitcher of the Week honors after tossing six shutout innings in his last start, striking out eleven and giving up three hits and two walks.
One-Hit Wonder - Another congratulations to former Astros farmhand and current member of the Braves organization, Andrew Robinson, for recording his first career hit this week while pitching in relief for the Braves' Triple-A affiliate, the Mississippi Braves.
Appel Hitting His Stride? - This article by MiLB.com's Todd Traub suggests that 2013 first-overall draft pick Mark Appel, who's had his share of struggles this season, may be hitting his stride in Double-A Corpus Christi. It's kind of a schizophrenic article, but give it a read.
One of the more puzzling quotes:
"The last couple games, I feel like I'm really hitting my stride the fourth or fifth inning and, before you know it, your pitch count is hit and you're out of the game," said Appel, who is working on a four-seam fastball to complement his two-seamer.
Appel chafes at his pitch counts, which can run between 85-100, and said he wants to prove he can pitch with a little fatigue and go deep into the innings of close games.
My suggestion might be to first show that you can pitch without a little fatigue. But hey, I just write the recaps.
What Happened Was...
Oklahoma City RedHawks (AAA) - Sacramento River Cats (OAK) 7, RedHawks 4.
A four-run second inning by the Sacramento River Cats was too much for the RedHawks' bats to overcome. Starter Luis Cruz made it just 2.2 innings in this one, walking four, giving up six hits, and allowing five runs to score (all earned) before departing in favor of Tommy Shirley. In just his third game since being promoted to Triple-A, Cruz struggled once again. Over his first 13.2 innings of work at the level, opposing batters are hitting .364 against the lefty.
Meanwhile, catcher Max Stassi hasn't had a banner year at the plate, but he's been heating up lately. In the month of August, the backstop is hitting .333/.366/.487, and hit his seventh home run of the season in this contest - a solo shot to left field to lead off the third inning.
Oklahoma City: 68-64, 2nd - Pacific Coast League American North (2.0 GB)
- SS Jonathan Villar - 3/5, RBI, K, SB
- 3B Ronny Torreyes - 2/4
- DH L.J. Hoes - 1/3, RBI, BB, 2 K, SB
- LF Preston Tucker - 0/4, RBI, 2 K
- RF Domingo Santana - 0/4
- CF Andrew Aplin - 0/4
- 1B Carlos Perez - 2/4, 2B, R
- C Max Stassi - 1/4, HR, R, RBI, 3 K
- 2B Jiovanni Mier - 1/4, 2 R, K
- LHP Luis Cruz - 2.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 1 K, HBP
- LHP Tommy Shirley - 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
- RHP Richard Rodriguez - 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
- RHP Jorge De Leon - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
Corpus Christi Hooks (AA) - Midland RockHounds (OAK) 15, Hooks 2.
Well, so much for that win streak, which halts at five. The Hooks were absolutely obliterated by the RockHounds, earning their most-lopsided loss of the season. Starter Josh Hader gave up a single and a pair of walks to load the bases in the first inning before allowing a two-run double to Max Muncy. The second inning was more of the same, as Kent Matthes hit a ball past Colin Moran to score three more runs in the second. That would be it for Hader in his Double-A debut, but the rest of the Hooks staff didn't fare much better, as David Rollins gave up a solo home run to the first batter he faced in the third inning.
The RockHounds have dominated the Hooks this season, and this game was no exception, as Corpus Christi batters had more strike outs (8) than base hits (6). Now eight games back in the Texas League South with just thirteen games left to play, they're in danger of missing the playoffs entirely.
Corpus Christi: 26-31, 3rd - Texas League South (8.0 GB)
- LF Delino DeShields - 0/4, BB, 2 K
- CF Teoscar Hernandez - 0/4, 2 K
- 3B Colin Moran - 0/4, K
- 1B Telvin Nash - 0/3, R, BB, K
- RF Leo Heras - 0/4, 2 K
- DH Conrad Gregor - 2/3, 2B, R, BB
- SS Carlos Perdomo - 2/3, 2B, RBI, BB
- C Tyler Heineman - 1/3, RBI, BB
- 2B Tony Kemp - 1/4
- LHP Josh Hader - 2.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, WP
- LHP David Rollins - 2.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
- RHP Chris Devenski - 1.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 K
- RHP Juan Minaya - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
- RHP Travis Ballew - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
- RHP Ruben Alaniz - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
Lancaster Jethawks (A+) - Jethawks 8, High Desert Mavericks (SEA) 7.
Down 7-4 entering the bottom of the fourth inning, the Jethawks were on the ropes. After a shaky start by Matt Heidenreich, in which he gave up ten hits and six runs (five earned) over three innings. Patrick Christensen gave up a run of his own on two hits over two innings, as well. But it was Kent Emanuel who was able to shut down the Mavericks offense, striking out seven and allowing just one hit and one ball over four shutout innings.
That was enough time for the Jethawks to mount a rally, coming through with four runs in the bottom of the seventh, highlighted by Jon Kemmer's three-run home run off of High Desert reliever Will Mathis.
Also, stop me if you've heard this one: Rio Ruiz reached base multiple times, with a hit and a walk. He now stands at a robust .304/.395/.456 on the season.
Lancaster: 29-29, t-2nd - California League South (1.0 GB)
- CF Brett Phillips - 1/4, R, BB
- 2B Jack Mayfield - 1/4, R, K
- 3B Rio Ruiz - 1/3, BB, K
- 1B Tyler White - 0/2, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB
- DH Jon Kemmer - 3/4, 3B, HR, 3 R, 4 RBI
- C Roberto Pena - 1/3, HR, R, 3 RBI, K
- LF Danry Vasquez - 2/4, 2B
- RF Ronnie Mitchell - 0/4, 3 K, E
- SS Chan Moon - 0/4
- RHP Matt Heidenreich - 3.0 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
- RHP Pat Christensen - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
- LHP Kent Emanuel - 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
Quad Cities River Bandits (A) - Cedar Rapids Kernels (MIN) 5, River Bandits 3.
Despite giving up eleven hits over six innings, Blaine Sims was in position for the win against 2013 third-overall pick Kohl Stewart before a three-run inning by Cedar Rapids blew the game open.
Stewart was showing reduced velocity in the game, with his fastball coming in in the high-eighties, and he was pulled in the second inning "as a precaution" after giving up two runs on three hits and a walk.
Quad Cities: 26-31, t-5th - Midwest League Western
- CF Bobby Boyd - 0/4, K
- 2B Jose Fernandez - 2/4, 2B, R, K, E
- 3B Marc Wik - 2/4, HR, R, 2 RBI, K
- 1B Chase McDonald - 1/4, K
- DH A.J. Reed - 0/4, 2 K
- LF Ryan Bottger - 0/4
- C Brett Booth - 2/3, 2B, R, PB
- RF James Ramsay - 0/2, BB, K
- SS Dayne Parker - 0/3, 2 K
- LHP Blaine Sims - 6.0 IP, 11 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 2 WP
- LHP Albert MInnis - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Tri-City ValleyCats (A-) - Nick Tanielu, the fourteenth-round pick by the Astros in the 2014 draft, won MVP honors in the New York-Penn League All-Star Game.
The game itself ended in a 1-1 tie. Tanielu, the starting DH, earned the honors by going 3-for-3 and driving in the North's sole run.
Tri-City: 42-21, 1st - New York-Penn League Stedler
Greeneville Astros (Rk) - Astros 7, Kingsport Mets (NYM) 4
A five-run fourth inning, highlighted by a two-run home run by Bryan Muniz, put the Astros up, and they wouldn't look back from there. Edwin Medina had two RBIs of his own in the inning with a single. Medina, the Astros' 33rd-round pick in 2014 out of St. Thomas University in Florida, has put together a ridiculous .283/.459/.348 line in sixteen games in the Appalachian League while manning center field.
Greeneville: 29-28, 4th - Appalachian League West
- 2B Antonio Nunez - 0/3, R, 2 BB
- CF Edwin Medina - 2/4, 2B, RBI, K
- LF Sean McMullen - 0/4
- LF Alexander Melendez - 0/1
- 1B Yonathan Mejia - 3/5, 2B, 2 R, SB, E
- 3B Cesar Carrasco - 1/3, 2B, R, BB, 2 K
- PR/SS Jeffry Santos - 0/1, K
- RF Ydarqui Marte - 2/4, 2B, R, 2 RBI, BB
- DH Bryan Muniz - 2/4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB, 2 K
- SS/3B Kristian Trompiz - 0/4, 2 K
- C Brett Clements - 1/4, R, K
- LHP Austin Nicely - 4.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
- RHP Samil De Los Santos - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
- LHP Zach Davis - 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
- RHP Eric Peterson - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB 1 K
GCL Astros (Rk) - GCL Phillies (PHI) 5, Astros 1.
GCL Astros: 25-27, 4th - Gulf Coast League Northeast
- 3B Randy Cesar - 3/4, 2B, RBI, K
- LHP Starlyng Sanchez - 3.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
- RHP Daniel Mengden - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K... with a broken back.
DSL Astros Orange (FRk) - DSL Astros Orange 7, DSL Marlins (MIA) 3.
DSL Astros Orange: 30-38, 7th - Dominican Summer League Boca Chica North
- DH Angel De Leon - 2/5, 2B, R, 2 RBI, 2 K
- 1B Jesus Bermejo - 1/5, 3 RBI, 2 K
- RHP Gerald Benzant - 4.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
- RHP Abdiel Saldana - 4.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
DSL Astros Blue (FRk) - DSL Athletics (OAK) 10, DSL Astros Blue 7.
DSL Astros Blue: 34-33, 4th - Dominican Summer League Boca Chica Northeast
- DH Wander Franco - 2/4, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI
- RHP Moreno Polanco - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 0 K, WP
- RHP Ezequiel Madera - 0.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 3 WP