Apologies for the delay, as I was traveling yesterday and unable to sit down and recap these games until this morning. The posting schedule should run in a similar fashion until I return home on Monday.
A: Clinton 10, Fort Wayne 0
CLI: 11-8… FTW: 15-5
Adam Harben: 5 IP, 2 H, 2 walks, 4 K
Bobby LaFromboise: 3 IP, 2 H, walk, 4 K
Jose Jimenez: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 K
Maximo Mendez: 1-4, triple, 3 RBI, walk, K
Nate Tenbrink: 2-5, double, R, RBI
Travis Howell: 2-3, double, 2 R, 2 RBI, walk, K, SB
Denny Almonte: 2-4, triple, 2 run HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 K
Ogui Diaz: 2-4, R, RBI, K
Clinton erupted on starter Stiven Osuna (17.1 IP, 0 HR, 5 BB, 15 K, 3.63 ERA) and reliever Alexis Lara for ten runs in the 4th and 5th to put this game away. With the game in the bag, Adam Harben called it a night after five frames and Bobby LaFromboise his second straight three inning outing. This is LaFromboise’s 3rd three inning outing of the season, a curious way to get your work in. Jury’s out on how they see the 22 year old lefthander from New Mexico: Is he worth trying again in a starter role someday, or are they just getting him heavy work as a reliever to get his chops before settling into life as a more standard lefty reliever?
The pressure came off of the 25 year old Harben once Clinton scored 10 runs. To wit, it appears he’s not much of a prospect these days: With most of their young projects having moved on and no one else quite ready to take the ball every 5 days at this level, Harben’s here to provide a steady hand. And sure, maybe he emerges as some sort of option over time. But mostly, he’s here to give the team five solid innings every five days so they can get to the bullpen and give their other prospects some work.
Groundballs: 5 (plus 1 bunt)
Line Drives: 2
Pop Ups: 1
A+: High Desert 9, Inland Empire 4
Mavs: 15-6… Empire: 8-13
Jake Wild: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER (HR), walk, 3 K
Edward Paredes: 1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 K, wild pitch
Juan Zapata: 2 IP, 1 H, walk, 3 K
Steven Richard: 1 IP, K
Tyson Gillies: 2-3, 2 R, K, SB
Edilio Colina: 1-3, R, sac fly RBI, walk
Alex Liddi: 1-4, 3 RBI, 3 K
Joe Dunigan: 2-4, solo HR, 3 run HR, 2 K
Jose Yepez: 2-2, double, 3 R, 2 walks
Jake Wild technically outpitched the hilariously surnamed Alberto Bastardo, allowing only two runs. But Bastardo struck out TEN Mavs over his 6.1 innings while allowing six runs in all. Lefthanded? Strikes out a lot of guys? Has good outings but gets beat up for a lot of runs every 2-3 outings? I think we’ve found the Venezuelan John Danks!
Wild, meanwhile, gave up two runs over the minimum, getting the groundballs you put him in the rotation to get.
Flyballs: 4 (1 HR)
Line Drives: 3
However, speaking of lefthanders who get hit, Edward Paredes came in for the 6th and got hit around, escaping on a really weird play where Pedro Baez took 3rd but got caught when catcher Jose Yepez tossed to Paredes, who apparently tagged Baez out. It doesn’t appear Yepez made a throw to 3rd, just a throw back to Paredes, who caught Baez off the bag. Weird things happen frequently in the minors, so who knows.
Anyway, Paredes blew a 4-2 lead, but as mentioned, Bastardo gave it away in the 7th, putting two men on that would eventually score in a five run rally that put the Mavs far ahead for good.
Tyson Gillies leads the team in walks (11) and times caught stealing (5), is tied for the lead in steals (4) and is 3rd in strikeouts (19).
He didn’t have a hit today, but Kuo Hui Lo has an astounding 6 triples in only 65 ABs, already exceeding last year’s total of 5.
AA: Birmingham 13, West Tenn 2
WTN: 9-11… BIR: 14-6
Dan Christiensen: 3 IP, 10 H, 6 ER (HR), 3 K (67 pitches, 46 strikes)
Steve Bray: 4 IP, 1 H, walk, 4 K, balk (49-34)
Josh Fields: two outs, 3 H, (5 R) 0 ER (23-14)
Marwin Vega: one out, 2 H, 2 ER (HR) (11-6)
Mel Stocker: 2-5, R, SB
Adam Moore: 1-5, solo HR, K
Johan Limonta: 2-3, 2 doubles, walk
Don’t feel bad if you don’t recognize the top two pitching names in those line scores. Dan Christensen made his 2009 debut last night and probably wishes he hadn’t. The 25 year old spent last year with Erie of the Eastern League (AA): 158.2 IP, 17 HR, 58 BB, 98 K, 4.14 ERA. Not spectacular, and not here for any other reason than to fill in a blank due to more DL time for Robert Rohrbaugh, Ricky Orta and Luis Peña. No word yet on what exactly landed the three there, but I can tell you that Orta left his last start early due to an injury to his pitching arm. Add in Tacoma calling up Jason Vargas and needing a replacement, and West Tenn pitching’s getting pretty tapped, especially when you consider most of these guys were placeholders until one or more of the hot prospects in High Desert proved themselves ready for promotion.
Others joining the West Tenn roster are Steven Hensley, who looked great in Clinton (19.2 IP, 0 HR, 0 BB, 16 K, no runs allowed) but is taking a huge jump to help out the staff here… and Steve Bray. The 28 year old Bray spent 2008 between AA Huntsville (35.2 IP, 4 HR, 7 BB, 34 K, 4.29 ERA) and AAA Nashville (39.1 IP, 11 HR, 21 BB, 38 K, 6.41 ERA). He was the Royals’ 14th round pick in 2003.
AAA: Tacoma 6, Fresno 1
TAC: 11-10… FRE: 7-14
Garrett Olson: 6.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 walks, 6 K (96 pitches, 60 strikes)
Denny Stark: one out, 2 walks, K (17-9)
Cesar Jimenez: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 K (20-14)
Randy Messenger: 1 IP, 2 K (20-16)
Prentice Redman: 1-3, R, RBI, walk
Michael Saunders: 1-4, 3 run HR
Mike Carp: 2-4, double, 2 R
Bryan LaHair: 1-4, double, RBI
Freddy Guzman: 1-2, R, sac fly RBI
The Rainiers blew up Grizzlies pitching in the 3rd. The returning Michael Saunders (!!) blasted off on a suck pitch with two on and one out in the 3rd to make it 3-0, and Mike Carp’s leadoff double in the 4th sparked a two run rally to make it 5-0 and put the Rainiers comfortably ahead. Garrett Olson took a no hitter into the 7th before Matt Downs lined a single with one out.
Line Drives: 2 (both in 7th inning)
Denny Stark made sure to walk in a run before getting out of the inning. It was the only run the Rainiers would allow. Bryan LaHair would double in another run before the game was done.