Well, almost an org-wide sweep, as the Rawhide scored two runs in the eighth and one run in the ninth to claim a victory over Rancho Cucamonga and save the organization from an 0-5 day at the full-season levels. It's no coincidence that Visalia was the only team in the system that didn't have a shaky performance from their starting pitcher, as the Rawhide in fact received an awesome outing from...
Snakelet of the Day:
Derek Eitel (Hi-A): 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R (0 ER), 1 HR, 9:0 K:BB, 6:2 GO:AO
Triple-A: Reno 4, Colorado Springs 6. (36-26) The bats exploded early, collecting two runs in the second and two runs in the third, but Reno only led in this game for one half of an inning. That was due to a sub-par outing from starter Kevin Mulvey, though I don't want to rub salt into the wounds, as Mulvey was pulled after just two-plus innings due to an injury. Mulvey gave up four runs in the second inning, then hit the first batter of the third inning and threw a wild pitch to the next before being removed from the game. Jason Urquidez allowed the inherited runner to score, and let another run cross the plate in the fifth inning to cap off the scoring on the night. Jordan Norberto threw 2.1 scoreless frames, while "Kra-Kam" Kam Mickolio worked a scoreless bottom of the eighth. At the plate, Reno collected just three hits on the night in spite of their four runs, with five walks and four stolen bases aiding their offensive efficiency. Kyle Greene had a single and a walk, while Collin Cowgill and Cody Ransom drew two walks apiece and each stole a base. For Cowgill, that's now a 33:27 K:BB ratio and 19 of 21 (90.5%) in stolen base attempts.
Double-A: Mobile 2, Birmingham 6. (36-26) It was a remarkably strange outing from Jarrod Parker at Mobile, coming off of three straight fantastic outings. Parker did strike out seven batters on the night, but yet worked just 3.1 innings, gave up four hits, walked four, and surrendered three runs. Parker needed a staggering 97 pitches to get through those 3.1 innings, though it seemed that Parker was in no way being helped by his catcher, Ed Easley. After Billy Spottiswood came on and hemorrhaged a few more runs, Leyson Septimo took the mound and did something he hasn't done much of this year: he restored order, worked three scoreless innings with three strikeouts, no walks, and a HBP. Offensively, the only BayBear with an extra-base hit was Jacob Elmore, another remarkably unusual occurrence considering that Elmore has a sub-.400 slugging percentage. Easley made up for some defensive gaffes with a hit and two walks, A.J. Pollock reached base twice on a pair of walks and stole a base, and... Your Daily Goldschmidt: Paul was the only other BayBear to reach twice, singling and walking.
Hi-A: Visalia 5, Rancho Cucamonga 3. (28-32) The offense came on at just the right time for the Rawhide, as Visalia erased a 3-2 deficit with a two-run eighth and added one more run in the ninth to seal the win. Second baseman David Nick continues to improve his season line in the lead-off spot, hitting his first triple of the season and taking a walk to boost his season line to .303/.354/.438. After a let-down full-season debut in 2010 at South Bend, Nick is coming on strong in 2011 in the hitter-friendly Cal League and re-establishing himself as a solid prospect in the Arizona system. Adam Eaton and Matt Davidson each added a single and a double to drive in two runs apiece, with Eaton chipping in a sacrifice fly to boot. Eaton's line on the year is now a ridiculous .362/.480/.519 - I see Double-A baseball in his future. The Visalia bullpen did a good job to give the bats a chance to climb back in this one and seal the victory, with scoreless innings from Brian Budrow, Christian Beltre, and Yonata Ortega, who notched his sixth save of the year.
As mentioned at the top, Eitel was sharp for the Rawhide, continuing his inconsistent season. Just look at Eitel's last four outings - May 23: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 8:1 K:BB / May 29: 5.1 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 3:0 K:BB / June 3: 2 IP, 12 H, 10 ER, 1:0 K:BB / June 10: 6 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 9:0 K:BB. One thing has been consistent for Eitel this year: a refusal to walk batters. Eitel has now allowed just one walk in his last five starts combined, sporting a 23:1 K:BB ratio in 22.1 innings of work, with just one home run allowed and strong ground ball rates. On the year, Eitel has now worked 57.2 innings and posted a 50:17 K:BB ratio with a 2.24 GO/AO. If you're a big believer in peripherals, Eitel is a big sleeper in an increasingly-deep farm system, and perhaps the second-best prospect in the Rawhide's rotation. It also isn't too unreasonable to think that an extreme ground-ball pitcher could struggle with giving up too many hits in the Cal League when the infield at Visalia is a work-in-progress defensively. The 2010 17th-round draft pick also has the frame for the role, listed at 6'4" and 200 pounds. He's more likely to be a ground-ball inducing bullpen piece, but don't be shocked if he emerges as a future back-end starting pitcher.
Low-A: South Bend 3, Peoria 6. (31-30) Things got off to a terrible start in South Bend, as starter Jeffrey Shields gave up five runs in the bottom of the first inning to put the Silver Hawks in a hole they wouldn't get out of. Shields worked just three batters into the third inning before Keith Cantwell took over and stopped the bleeding, allowing just one of Shields' inherited runners to score and going on to throw four shutout innings of relief. Cantwell struck out four and walked nobody, giving up just one hit. At the plate, the Silver Hawks had plenty of power but not enough cheap contact, as four of their six hits were doubles - one apiece from Ender Inciarte, Mike Freeman, Yazy Arbelo, and Matt Helm. Inciarte and Helm each added a walk to their solid nights at the plate.
DSL: There was supposed to be a double-header between the DSL-Dbacks and the DSL-Rockies, but it's after midnight and last I checked, the scores aren't up. I'll include them in tomorrow's report if they get posted.