Sunday Sunday SUNDAY! Three teams came out on top, and three org starters threw very good games... though the top two levels didn't hit well.
A: Clinton 4, Cedar Rapids 3, 10 innings
CLI: 19-19... CED: 20-17
Both teams led off their offensive sides with home runs. Mike Trout hit his 5th bomb of the year to lead off the game for Cedar Rapids in the top 1st, and Nick Franklin led off the bottom 1st with his 7th homer of the year. Nick Franklin looks like he's nine years old.
Speaking of Mike Trout, he struck again with an RBI double in a two run 3rd for Cedar Rapids as they took a 3-1 lead. The Lumberkings did get one back in the bottom 5th when Daniel Carroll hit a one out line drive single, stole his 7th base and scored on a Steven Baron single to make it 3-2 Kernels.
Otherwise, Clinton's Anthony Vasquez and Cedar Rapids' Fabio Martinez Mesa (a 20 year old DSL Angels alumnus) held their respective lineups in check, though Fabio wins the Best Name contest. He also won the endurance war, as Vasquez lasted six innings but Fabio lasted seven.
And once Fabio Martinez Mesa got the hook (after a 7 inning, 12 strikeout day), Kernels pitching lost its mojo, as Nick Franklin struck again with a solo shot, his 8th of the year off reliever Kyle Hurst to TIE THE BALLGAME.
Chris Kirkland came in for the top 9th, probably in for the extra innings haul given his usage pattern and shut the Kernels completely down. In the bottom 10th, Kalian Sams drew a one out walk, Baron struck again with a single but Sams got greedy... and got thrown out at 3rd. But Gabriel Noriega singled down the middle, and Nick Franklin capped off a monster day by doubling to center to cash in the winning run.
Anthony Vasquez: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K... 4 GB, 7 FB, 4 LD
Jose Jimenez: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K... 5 GB, FB
Chris Kirkland: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K... 3 GB, LD, 2 PU
Nick Franklin: 3-5, double, solo HR, 2 run HR, K
Steven Baron: 2-4, R, RBI, K
Rest of Lumberkings: 2-27, 11 K
Clinton season stats
A+: High Desert 11, Stockton 5
Mavs: 21-16... Ports: 16-22
Jake Wild spent most of this game pitching well and defying the stiff 15-20 mph widn out to CF, though it eventually got to him in the end of an amazingly long outing. Stephen Parker did get underneath one with two outs in the 1st and watched it sail over to make it 1-0 Stockton, but the Mavs took a 2-1 lead in the bottom 1st with a lot of help from a poor Stockton infield defense, namely two infield hits and an error by 2B Tyler Ladendorf.
Wild got a little... uh... wild... in the 4th with Grant Green on and his wild pitch with some aggressive baserunning allowed Green to eventually score and tie the ballgame. But the Mavs again rallied in the bottom half, singling Stockton to death in a two run frame that could have netted more had Juan Diaz not gotten thrown out at home from 2nd on a single to left by Edilio Colina.
But the Mavs would pull away late. Johermyn Chavez homered in the 5th, and more singles of death along with a bases loaded walk by Rich Poythress scored three runs in the 6th to make it 8-2 Mavs, and the outcome was never really in doubt after that.
Wild got chased in the 8th on a couple of unlucky groundball singles and a not as unlucky walk. Stephen Penney came in with the bases loaded, two outs, and walked in a run. Uh... then an infield single scored another and it was 8-4 before Penney got a strikeout to escape.
Scott Savastano did pad the lead with a two run bomb along with a Poythress RBI double. Penney did cap off a crappy relief outing by allowing Todd Johnson's 1st home run of the season but allowed no other damage.
Jake Wild: 7.2 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K... 13 GB, 9 FB, 1 LD, 2 PU
Stephen Penney: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K... 3 GB, 3 FB, LD
Jake Shaffer: 2-5, R
Edilio Colina: 3-4, R
Nate Tenbrink: 1-3, 3 R, 2 BB, SB
Rich Poythress: 2-4, double, R, 2 RBI, BB
Johermyn Chavez: 1-5, solo HR
Scott Savastano: 4-5, 2 run HR, 2 R, 5 RBI
Denny Almonte: 3-5, 2 doubles, R, 2 K
Juan Diaz: 2-4, R
High Desert season stats
AA: West Tenn 1, Mississippi 0
WTN: 20-16... MIS: 18-19
Steven Hensley and 22 year old lefthander Mike Minor, the 7th overall pick in last year's MLB draft, traded zeroes for eight frames. Minor struck out 11 JAXX and allowed only two hits in his 8 frames over 112 pitches, while Hensley got a ton of groundballs and only allowed three hits in his 8 frames, throwing only 86 pitches.
AA Braves reliever Lee Hyde came in and watched his infield defense fail him. Carlos Peguero reached on a fielding error with one out and Guillermo Quiroz's grounder got into left to put runners on the corners. Alex Liddi put the squeeze bunt down, Piggy scored and it was 1-0 JAXX.
Luis Muņoz, typically a swingman, came in to shut it down in the 9th and went strikeout popout flyout to lock up the 1-0 victory.
Steven Hensley: 8 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K... 12 GB, 4 FB, 1 LD, 3 PU
Luis Muņoz: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K... FB, PU
Joe Dunigan: 1-3, double, 2 K
Rest of JAXX: 2-26, R, BB, 9 K
West Tenn season stats
AAA: Memphis 1, Tacoma 0
TAC: 16-19... MEM: 18-18
I think part of this is that they were playing in AutoZone Park in Memphis and part of this was that Memphis' lineup blows, but Luke French went the distance and allowed only one run, albeit the fatal run on a solo homer because his lineup got shut out on a four hitter, on a bunch of flyballs.
Cardinals prospect PJ Walters threw 7 shutout innings and has dramatically improved on his subpar 2009 AAA campaign. In combining with two relievers on a four hitter, Walters now has 3 BB and 23 K in 18.2 IP and has allowed only one run.
The big fear with Luke French is not that he'll regress, but that he may fool the organization into giving him a chance he may not necessarily deserve. His ordinary groundball rate (43%) and 4.9 K/BB rate alone show that maybe he's getting a little lucky, but when you see his over 20% line drive rate, then you realize this guy should have an ERA far more crooked than 1.64. This combined with the stellar ERAs of the other SPs (none have an ERA higher than Chris Seddon's 3.86) indicates that maybe Tacoma has a really good team defense.
Luke French: 8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K... 8 GB + 1 bunt, 6 FB, 2 LD, 5 PU
Tommy Everidge: 3-4, 2 doubles
Rest of Rainiers: 1-24, BB. 11 K
Tacoma season stats
And that's it for me this week! Lonnie returns tomorrow!