A pair of pitching gems in Corpus Christi, Texas and Geneva, Illinois were sandwiched between two crushing last at bat losses in games that were both replete with histrionics and drama for the Fresno Grizzlies and the Lancaster Jethawks.
AAA Fresno Grizzlies: LOST 5-3 to the Reno Aces (ARI)
Brady Rodgers had himself a fairly poor (34 game score) game this evening. Archie Bradley, a very highly regarded starting pitching prospect for the Diamondbacks, was conversely very good.
Things began promisingly enough for the Fresno
Tacos Grizzlies with a walk to A.J. Reed and a Colin Moran single in the top of the first inning, though both runners were ultimately stranded. In the bottom half of the inning, Rodgers retired the Aces in three straight (yep, I went there) at bats with a ground out, a strike out, and a fly out. Variety really is the spice of life.
The second inning still featured no scoring, but the intensity meter danced upwards a bit. Reno's catcher Brett Hayes must have been very unappreciative of Home Plate Umpire Junior Valentine's strike zone following a one out walk to Jon Kemmer, because Valentine ran Hayes out of the game right then and there. Tuffy Gosewisch would enter the game as his replacement, and his presence would eventually haunt the Grizzlies.
After the one out walk to Kemmer and the ensuing silliness, Tyler Heineman and Nolan Fontana each singled to load the bases for Tony Kemp. Unfortunately for the Grizzlies, Tony Kemp did his best impression of the parent club and grounded into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded to bail out opposing starter Archie Bradley. Rodgers answered back in the bottom half with another three up, three down trio of outs - this time with the first two on the ground and the third via the strikeout.
In the top of the third inning, Danny Duffy led off with a ringing double to right fielder Socrates Brito. An A.J. Reed ground out advanced him to third, and a subsequent Colin Moran ground out brought Duffy home to plate the Grizzlies' first run.
That was the only time they'd hold the lead in the game.
Sean Jamieson recorded the first hit of the day for the Aces - a two out home run to right field off Brady Rodgers - that knotted the score at one. Rodgers got the next man he faced to end the inning and then retired the side in order in the bottom half of the fourth inning.
In the top of the fifth, the Grizzlies had more traffic, but in another recurring theme of the day, Archie Bradley found a way to erase the runner. In this case, Tony Kemp was erased after a one out single on Danny Worth's inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Unfortunately for Brady Rodgers, the bottom of the fifth inning proved to be his witching hour in this contest. He allowed back to back one out singles from Peter O'Brien and Zach Borenstein, the latter of which pushed O'Brien from first to third. Then, catcher replacement Tuffy Gosewisch came to the plate and executed a brilliant bunt for a single, scoring O'Brien from third and giving the Aces the lead for good. Sean Jamieson came to the plate next and doubled down (yep) on his damage with an RBI single to left field, scoring Borenstein from second before Gosewisch was hung out to dry in a run down between second and third base. The score still seemed surmountable at that point for the Grizzlies, who trailed 3-1.
After A.J. Reed led off the top of the sixth inning with a single (his second time reaching base in this contest), Colin Moran, Jon Singleton, and Matt Duffy each were caught looking at strike three to end the inning. Archie Bradley appears to have been cruising at this point, more or less.
In the home half of the sixth, Jack Reinheimer and Mike Freeman each singled to lead off the inning before Kyle Jensen added his own single to drive in Reinheimer and push the score to 4-1, Aces. Socrates Brito reached on a fielder's choice that saw Mike Freeman move up to third while Kyle Jensen was retired at second for the first out of the inning. Peter O'Brien then lifted a sacrifice fly to center fielder Tony Kemp, scoring Mike Freeman from third and pushing the score to 5-1, where it would remain until the ninth inning. Zach Borenstein followed the sacrifice fly with a double, putting runners on second and third with two outs and running Brady Rodgers out of the game. Kevin Chapman entered and received a hot-shot grounder back to him from Gosewisch, fielding it and throwing to first to mercifully end the inning.
A.J. Reed collected his second hit of the day - another single - to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning, but was promptly erased on the third double play ground ball of the day from the Grizzlies. James Hoyt followed Kevin Chapman's excellent one and one-third scoreless innings pitched with a dominant inning of relief of his own, allowing a hit but striking out three.
Matt Duffy struck out for the third time of the game to lead off the ninth inning. Jon Kemmer followed with his second walk of the game, and then Tyler Heineman lined out to short for the second out.
Then, things got interesting.
Jon Kemmer advanced to second base on defensive indifference before Nolan Fontana laced a single to right field, plating Kemmer. Fontana then took second as well, also on defensive indifference. Tony Kemp reached on an error by Socrates Brito in right field, scoring Fontana and drawing the Grizzlies to within two runs. Kemp would advance to second on the error as well, and then move to third on a ball four wild pitch to Danny Worth, putting runners on the corners with two outs and the big man, A.J. Reed, at the plate representing the go ahead run with a big chance to be a hero.
Reed struck out swinging to end the game.
2B: Worth (4, Bradley, A).
TB: Moran; Worth 2; Reed 2; Kemp; Heineman; Fontana 2.
RBI: Moran (10); Fontana (6).
2-out RBI: Fontana.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Singleton; Worth; Reed.
GIDP: Kemp; Worth; Moran.
Team RISP: 2-for-9.
Team LOB: 9.
CS: Kemmer (2, 2nd base by Bradley, A/Gosewisch).
Outfield assists: Duffy (Gosewisch at 3rd base).
2B: Borenstein (5, Rodgers, B).
HR: Jamieson (1, 3rd inning off Rodgers, B, 0 on, 2 out).
TB: O'Brien; Jensen; Borenstein 4; Marzilli; Gosewisch; Reinheimer; Jamieson 5; Freeman 2.
RBI: Jamieson 2 (2); Gosewisch (5); Jensen (11); O'Brien (9).
2-out RBI: Jamieson.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Gosewisch 2; Jensen.
Team RISP: 3-for-6.
Team LOB: 6.
E: Brito (1, fielding).
DP: 3 (Reinheimer-Freeman-O'Brien; Freeman-Reinheimer-O'Brien 2).
|Brady Rodgers (L, 0-2)||5.2||9||5||5||0||3||1||4.32|
|Archie Bradley (W, 2-1)||6.0||6||1||1||3||6||0||2.84|
|Jake Barrett (S, 1)||0.1||0||0||0||1||1||0||0.00|
HBP: Fontana (by Rice).
Pitches-strikes: Rodgers, B 77-54; Chapman, K 25-19; Hoyt 17-13; Bradley, A 98-57; Rice 31-15; Leone 23-14; Barrett 16-9.
Groundouts-flyouts: Rodgers, B 9-3; Chapman, K 2-1; Hoyt 0-0; Bradley, A 8-1; Rice 4-0; Leone 0-0; Barrett 0-1.
Batters faced: Rodgers, B 25; Chapman, K 6; Hoyt 4; Bradley, A 24; Rice 8; Leone 4; Barrett 3.
Inherited runners-scored: Chapman, K 2-0; Barrett 1-1.
Ejections: Reno Aces catcher Brett Hayes ejected by HP umpire Junior Valentine (2nd)
Umpires: HP: Junior Valentine. 1B: Nate White. 3B: Stephen Greer.
Weather: 55 degrees, clear.
Wind: 14 mph, Out to RF.
First pitch: 6:44 PM.
T: 3:06 (:09 delay).
Venue: Greater Nevada Field.
April 23, 2016
AA Corpus Christi: WON 3-2 over the Frisco RoughRiders (TEX)
The Corpus Christi Hooks made up a little of the ground they lost in the division to the RoughRiders with two consecutive losses on the preceding two games by winning 3-2 in come from behind fashion in front of 6,390 at Whataburger Field.
Teoscar Hernandez was hitless in the game but did draw two walks, stole his fifth and sixth bases of the young season, and scored two runs. Derek Fisher made his lone hit of the evening count, driving a Victor Payano pitch on a line to the opposite field to collect his third home run of the year and tie the game at two in the bottom of the third inning. Jack Mayfield contributed with an RBI single (scoring Teoscar Hernandez for the first Corpus run of the game) and James Ramsay drove in the deciding run in the bottom of the fifth with a bases loaded ground out to first base. It was Ramsay's first RBI of the year.
On the hill, what a night it was. Edison Frias struggled mightily in the first and ran into a little more trouble in the third, but was very good overall. After hitting the very first batter of the game, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, for an inauspicious start, Frias induced a ground ball fielder's choice that advanced Kiner-Falefa to second. Kiner-Falefa then stole third before Ryan Cordell logged on for the fourth time this season with a home run to left. A walk and a single to third with an attendant throwing error from J.D. Davis followed, and things looked a bit dicey for Frias. However, he was able to settle down and get Preston Beck to pop out to short and Zach Cone to ground out to short to end the threat.
After sitting the RoughRiders down in order in the top of the second, notching his first strikeout of the evening in the process, Frias again ran into a spot of trouble in the third - though this time he was able to escape unscathed. Back to back one out singles were followed by a strikeout of Alex Burg and a walk to Preston Beck, loading the bases for Zach Cone with two away. Frias was able to coax a ground out to short from Cone to escape the inning still only down a run at that point.
Frias cruised through the fourth (with another strikeout) in order, and then erased a one out single in the top of the fifth by enticing Ronald Guzman to ground into an inning-ending double play. "Electric" Edison Frias was on display by the sixth inning, when he retired the lead off man on a pop out third base before striking out both Preston Beck and Zach Cone swinging to end the inning, and his appearance. His final stat line included just 78 pitches (50 strikes) across six frames. He allowed five total hits, four of which came in the problematic first and troubling but ultimately harmless third innings, and two walks - both of which also came in the first and third innings. He seemed to get stronger throughout the game, and finished with five strikeouts on the day against six ground outs and three outs in the air.
In the top of the seventh, the Corpus bullpen entered the game and put on a spectacular show. Brendan McCurry - acquired over the offseason from the Athletics in exchange for shortstop Jed Lowrie - pitched a hitless inning and two-thirds with two strikeouts before Reymin Guduan entered the game and mowed down all four hitters he faced, lighting up radar guns and the face of every Corpus fan in the house with four strikeouts in an inning and a third to notch his first save of the season.
In other news relevant to the Hooks, the injury to Alex Bregman does not appear to be serious. He has been diagnosed as having a pulled hamstring and has been placed on the seven day Double-A disabled list, and the Astros believe his stint on the shelf will be brief.
HR: Cordell (4, 1st inning off Frias, E, 1 on, 1 out).
TB: Guzman, R; Burg; Cordell 6.
RBI: Cordell 2 (18).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Cone 4.
GIDP: Guzman, R.
Team RISP: 1-for-5.
Team LOB: 5.
SB: Kiner-Falefa (3, 3rd base off Frias, E/Gonzalez, A).
E: Beck, P (1, fielding).
|Corpus Christi Hooks|
HR: Fisher (3, 3rd inning off Payano, V, 0 on, 1 out).
TB: Mayfield; Gonzalez, A; Fisher 4.
RBI: Mayfield (9); Fisher (10); Ramsay (1).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Hyde; Davis, J 2.
Team RISP: 1-for-8.
Team LOB: 7.
SB: Hernandez, T 2 (6, 3rd base off Payano, V/Deglan, 2nd base off Leclerc/Deglan).
E: Davis, J (1, throw).
DP: (Mayfield-Davis, J-Gregor).
|Jose Leclerc (L, 0-3)||2.0||1||1||0||1||4||0||6.30|
|Corpus Christi Hooks|
|Edison Frias (W, 1-0)||6.0||5||2||2||2||5||1||2.57|
|Brendan McCurry (H, 1)||1.2||0||0||0||0||2||0||1.80|
|Reymin Guduan (S, 1)||1.1||0||0||0||0||4||0||0.00|
WP: Payano, V.
HBP: Kiner-Falefa (by Frias, E); Mayfield (by Leclerc).
Pitches-strikes: Payano, V 83-45; Leclerc 48-30; Bush 26-20; Frias, E 78-50; McCurry 19-15; Guduan 20-12.
Groundouts-flyouts: Payano, V 1-4; Leclerc 1-1; Bush 2-2; Frias, E 6-3; McCurry 3-0; Guduan 0-0.
Batters faced: Payano, V 18; Leclerc 10; Bush 6; Frias, E 25; McCurry 5; Guduan 4.
Umpires: HP: Malachi Moore. 1B: Derek Eaton. 3B: Sean Allen.
Weather: 75 degrees, clear.
Wind: 14 mph, R to L.
First pitch: 7:07 PM.
Venue: Whataburger Field.
April 23, 2016
High A Lancaster: LOST 10-9 to the High Desert Mavericks (TEX)
The Jethawks hitters came to play some baseball today, banging out eleven hits and clawing their way back to tie or take the lead three different times, after trailing 1-0, 5-2, and 9-7, before ultimately succumbing on a walk off single for the Mavericks.
Usually in games like this, a recap might basically state the names of the pitchers along with how many runs they allowed and move on. In this game, though, Riley Ferrell pitched...and that's always worth talking about, one way or the other. He did allow his first run of the season (unearned) tonight, but was still very good - he allowed a single hit and a single walk in two innings of (non-save situation) work with a strikeout.
Starter Joshua James was very wild, throwing 57 pitches in his one and two-third innings start. He allowed three hits, one walk, four runs (three earned), two wild pitches, the rape of the natural world, and nuclear holocaust.
Okay, obviously it wasn't quite as bad as all that. But you get the idea.
Eric Peterson came in and fared little better, though his wild pitch and subsequent run-scoring single allowed didn't affect his ERA at all - the run that scored was the final run charged to James.
After Ferrell fired off his two innings, Ryan Thompson entered the game and basically got dismantled, allowing six hits and four earned runs in two innings pitched. A bright spot in his performance were three strikeouts.
Edgardo Sandoval took his turn on the mat for the eighth inning and, for three glorious outs, it looked like Lancaster might have had its shining knight to rescue damsels and hurl earthbound gauntlets. But after the gem of an inning which saw Luke Tendler ground out and Scott Heineman and Jairo Beras each strike out swinging, Sandoval returned for the ninth and allowed a single, watched the pitching coach for the Mavericks, Oscar Marin, get thrown out of the game, and then allowed a no-out double to Josh Morgan, intentionally walked Seth Spivey, and then gave up a walk off single to Juremi Profar.
On the offensive side of the ball, things were far more promising. Six of nine offensive players logged hits, and three of those players logged multi-hit games. Left Fielder Alejandro Garcia went 3-5 and drove in three runs while Marc Wik logged a trio of singles with a stolen base and a walk to boot. Jamie Ritchie hit like a grown man, with a double, three runs scored, three RBIs, a walk, and a massive, clutch, two out home run in the top of the ninth to tie the game at nine runs apiece.
2B: Tanielu (5, Wiper); Ritchie (2, Wiper).
HR: Ritchie (1, 9th inning off Fasola, 1 on, 2 out).
TB: Tanielu 2; Garcia, Ale 3; Ritchie 6; Trompiz; Wik 3; Laureano.
RBI: Ritchie 3 (6); Garcia, Ale 3 (4); Muniz (2); Wik (4); Trompiz (8).
2-out RBI: Ritchie 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Ferguson; Martin 2; Muniz 2.
SF: Muniz; Trompiz.
Team RISP: 4-for-14.
Team LOB: 8.
SB: Wik (2, 2nd base off Wiper/Torres); Laureano (6, 2nd base off Wiper/Torres).
CS: Martin (1, 2nd base by Wiper/Torres).
E: Muniz (3, fielding); Wik (1, throw).
PB: Ritchie (1).
|High Desert Mavericks|
|Michael De Leon||2B||4||2||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.236|
2B: Spivey (3, Peterson); Morgan (3, Sandoval, E).
HR: Torres (1, 7th inning off Thompson, 0 on, 0 out).
TB: Beras, J; Heineman 2; Torres 5; De Leon 2; Morgan 3; Spivey 4; Profar 3.
RBI: Profar 2 (7); Heineman 3 (13); Beras, J 2 (10); Torres (1).
2-out RBI: Heineman 2; Beras, J 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Torres; Beras, J 2; Profar; Demeritte.
Team RISP: 5-for-14.
Team LOB: 10.
PB: Torres (1).
|Ryan Thompson (BS, 1)||2.0||6||4||4||0||3||1||6.48|
|Edgardo Sandoval (L, 0-1)||1.0||3||1||1||1||2||0||27.00|
|High Desert Mavericks|
|Austin Pettibone (BS, 1)||1.2||2||2||2||2||1||0||3.12|
|Ryan Ledbetter (H, 2)||1.0||1||0||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|John Fasola (BS, 1)(W, 1-0)||1.1||3||2||2||1||1||1||2.70|
Wiper pitched to 2 batters in the 6th.
Game Scores: James 36; Wiper 37.
WP: James 2; Peterson; Ledbetter, R.
IBB: Spivey (by Sandoval, E).
HBP: Tendler (by Thompson).
Pitches-strikes: James 57-34; Peterson 28-19; Ferrell, R 43-26; Thompson 44-28; Sandoval, E 32-20; Wiper 76-48; Pettibone 42-23; Ledbetter, R 22-13; Fasola 32-18.
Groundouts-flyouts: James 3-1; Peterson 2-0; Ferrell, R 5-0; Thompson 1-1; Sandoval, E 1-0; Wiper 5-4; Pettibone 2-2; Ledbetter, R 1-2; Fasola 2-0.
Batters faced: James 10; Peterson 7; Ferrell, R 8; Thompson 12; Sandoval, E 7; Wiper 22; Pettibone 9; Ledbetter, R 5; Fasola 8.
Inherited runners-scored: Peterson 1-1; Pettibone 2-2; Ledbetter, R 1-0; Fasola 2-0.
Ejections: Lancaster JetHawks Manager Ramon Vazquez ejected by HP umpire Brandon Butler (7th); High Desert Mavericks Coach Kenny Holmberg ejected by HP umpire Brandon Butler (9th); High Desert Mavericks Pitching Coach Oscar Marin ejected by HP umpire Brandon Butler (9th)
Umpires: HP: Brandon Butler. 1B: Richard Genera.
Weather: 69 degrees, clear.
Wind: 1 mph, Varies.
First pitch: 6:37 PM.
Venue: Heritage Field.
April 23, 2016
Low A Quad Cities: LOST 1-0 to the Kane County Cougars (ARI)
Twenty-one-year-old Cuban-born righty Rogelio Armenteros was very, very good in this game. Kane County's 22-year-old right-hander Taylor Clarke was just a little bit better.
Offensively for the Bandits, Daz Cameron, Kyle Tucker, and Brooks Marlow each logged singles. Anthony Hermelyn and Dexture McCall each had doubles, with McCall adding the team's only walk.
That's it. There was literally no more offense of any kind for the Bandits in this game.
The Cougars' Zach Nehrir proved to account for the difference between the two teams tonight. After cruising for five innings, scattering two hits (both doubles, each off the bat of the opposing catcher, Jose Queliz) and three walks, Rogelio Armenteros struck out Robelys Reyes to open the bottom of the sixth inning before Nehrir singled on a line drive to center fielder Daz Cameron. Trevor Mitsui then struck out (the fifth and final strikeout for Armenteros) while Nehrir stole second base. Then, with the runner on second and Armenteros at 80 pitches, Adam Whitt was chosen to enter the game and replace Armenteros.
The very first batter he faced was Joe Munoz, who promptly singled to center to score Nehrir for the game's only run. Munoz advanced to second on the unsuccessful throw to the plate, and then Whitt hit Luke Lowery to put runners on first and second. He was able to induce a ground out from Jason Morozowski, but the damage had been done already.
Ralph Garza pitched a fine shut out inning of relief, allowing a two-out single but otherwise recording a strikeout and two ground outs.
For starter Rogelio Armenteros, the stat line doesn't look quite as good as the start itself actually was. His first walk of the game was to Joe Munoz, who promptly got himself picked off first by Armenteros. The third walk of the night came after Queliz's second double in the fifth inning. Armenteros was either fatigued or frustrated or both at this point, as one of the four balls to Galli Cribbs was a wild pitch that allowed Queliz to advance to third base. However, Armenteros battled and got the next batter, Matt McPhearson, to ground out to first to end the frame with no damage done.
Additionally encouraging, for Armenteros, was his ability to get ground ball outs when he needed them. After Robelys Reyes reached first base on a fielding error by Dexture McCall in the bottom of the first, Armenteros fielded a ground ball back to the mound and started a double play himself, firing to Aaron Mizell at second who then fired to McCall to complete the twin killing. Armenteros induced a total of eight outs on the ground (including the pair of outs in the double play) to go with his five strikeouts and added a pick off after a walk, so only three outs he recorded in his five and two-thirds innings of work came on balls hit in the air.
|Quad Cities River Bandits|
2B: McCall (1, Clarke); Hermelyn (6, Clarke).
TB: McCall 2; Tucker; Hermelyn 2; Marlow; Cameron.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Duarte; Wernes; Marlow.
Team RISP: 0-for-6.
Team LOB: 6.
E: McCall (5, fielding).
DP: 2 (Armenteros-Mizell-McCall; Mizell-Duarte-McCall-Hermelyn).
Pickoffs: Armenteros (Munoz at 1st base).
|Kane County Cougars|
2B: Queliz 2 (3, Armenteros, Armenteros).
TB: Nehrir; Queliz 5; Munoz 2.
RBI: Munoz (6).
2-out RBI: Munoz.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Reyes, Ro; McPhearson 2; Morozowski.
Team RISP: 1-for-6.
Team LOB: 8.
SB: Cribbs (2, 2nd base off Armenteros/Hermelyn); Nehrir (3, 2nd base off Armenteros/Hermelyn).
CS: Munoz (1, 2nd base by Armenteros/Hermelyn).
PO: Munoz (1st base by Armenteros).
|Quad Cities River Bandits|
|Rogelio Armenteros (L, 0-2)||5.2||3||1||1||3||5||0||1.93|
|Kane County Cougars|
|Taylor Clarke (W, 2-1)||6.0||4||0||0||1||4||0||1.96|
|Brody Greer (H, 1)||1.0||0||0||0||0||2||0||8.10|
|Jared Miller (S, 1)||2.0||1||0||0||0||1||0||0.00|
HBP: Lowery (by Whitt).
Pitches-strikes: Armenteros 80-51; Whitt 28-17; Garza 19-13; Clarke 86-55; Greer 11-7; Miller 26-19.
Groundouts-flyouts: Armenteros 7-3; Whitt 2-0; Garza 2-0; Clarke 6-4; Greer 0-1; Miller 5-0.
Batters faced: Armenteros 22; Whitt 7; Garza 4; Clarke 23; Greer 3; Miller 7.
Inherited runners-scored: Whitt 1-1.
Umpires: HP: Derek Thomas. 1B: Austin Jones.
Weather: 60 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 8 mph, In from RF.
First pitch: 12:52 PM.
Venue: Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.
April 23, 2016