Awesomeness from Triple-A Reno, where the Aces played the Fresno Grizzlies, the Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. In doing so, Reno was pitted up against so-called "top prospect" Brandon Belt, the Giants' supposed first baseman of the future and whatnot. Well, the Aces pitching gave Belt a taste of what life in the NL West is going to be like, handing him a nice, suave
platinum sombrero (EDIT:) golden sombrero on the night, and walking him once so he wouldn't cry in his sleep tonight. :-) Also, this guy's a good hitter:
Snakelet of the Day:
Adam Eaton (Double-A): 2-3, 2B, R, 2 BB, HBP, K
Triple-A: Reno 10, Fresno 5. (58-36) Getting the start for the Aces was left-hander Wade Miley, and although he certainly dominated Belt, he didn't exactly dominate the Fresno lineup. A four-run third inning was Miley's only blemish, but that's a fairly significant one, even for a seven-inning outing. Peripherals-wise, Miley was better than his overall line, posting a pretty bad 4:4 K:BB ratio, but a god-like 15:0 GO:AO ratio. That's one way to survive in a league where every fly ball seemingly travels 5000 feet. Equally impressive was Kra-Kam Mickolio, who pitched the final two innings of this game, K'ing four with no walks and one run allowed. Yhency Brazoban.
Offensively, Cody Ransom and Mark Hallberg each doubled twice, Juan Miranda made his first appearance for the Aces, hitting a double and drawing a walk, and Collin Cowgill tripled to provide the last dose of power needed.
Double-A (11 innings): Mobile 7, Chattanooga 5. (57-38) Let's get the slightly-but-not-overly-worrying stuff (in my opinion) out of the way first. Jarrod Parker walked four batters in five innings. Okay, time for the awesomeness. Parker repeatedly blew away the Chattanooga hitters, striking out eight in his standard five-inning outing, posted an awesome 6:0 GO:AO ratio, and allowed just one earned run. About as good of an outing as someone can have while walking four batters in five innings on the mound, and an encouraging outing in my mind.
Offensively, the four horsemen at the top of the lineup were at it again. (Your Daily) Paul Goldschmidt tripled, walked, and stole a base, Ryan Wheeler went 3-4 with a double and a walk, Adam Eaton went 2-3 with a double, two walks, and one of his oh-so-pesky HBPs, and A.J. Pollock had two hits and a stolen base. Side note: Mobile did this off of breakout Dodgers pitching prospect Nathan Eovaldi, who threw a combined 10.2 innings with a 5:12 K:BB ratio and six runs (three earned) allowed in the two games he pitched in this (six-game) series. Extra side note: Outfielder Kyle Greene earned the save after Mobile went up in the top of the 11th inning... were that many relievers unavailable for this game, or is the team toying with the idea of moving Greene to the mound?
Hi-A: Visalia 3, Stockton 13. (42-52) Hear that sound? That's the sound of the shiny new-top-prospect finish on the metaphorical car that is David Holmberg being keyed off by a bitter ex. Okay, I over-exaggerated just a bit, but Holmberg's 4:3 K:BB ratio and three earned runs in four innings for the Rawhide isn't particularly inspiring. Still, that's a much better line from your starter than you'd expect to see with 13 runs allowed in the game, as Kevin Munson was the main culprit in this one, recording one out and being charged with six runs on four walks and three hits. At the plate, David Nick led off the game with a home run, and Mark Reed added a two-run shot later to account for the Visalia scoring. Keon Broxton also doubled, while Matt Davidson reached base three times on two hits and a walk.
Low-A: South Bend 3, Wisconsin 9. (43-50) Infielder Zach Walters did his part offensively, going 2-4 with a double and a home run, but the rest of the Silver Hawks lineup managed three hits and four total bases (Gerson Montilla hit a double). It wouldn't be enough for the Hawks because Tyler Green allowed three runs in five innings on four hits (including two homers) and two walks, with just a pair of strikeouts, before giving way to Patrick Schuster, who was even worse. Schuster struck out nobody but walked a pair and gave up six hits (including a homer) in just two innings, surrendering six earned runs to put the game out of reach.
Short Season-A: Yakima 9, Tri-City 6. (11-20) It was an impressive start from Brad Wilson, who struck out five and recorded nine ground-ball outs in his six-inning effort, limiting Tri-City to just one run. Wilson's effort gave the Bears time to build up a sizable lead, with the bat of Jimmy Comerota leading the way, as the first baseman double, tripled, and drew a walk for Yakima. Marc Bourgeois and Henry Zabala each added a double, while Westley Moss reached base twice and stole a base.
Advanced-Rookie: Missoula 9, Idaho Falls 8. (17-11) Shortstop Stephen Cardullo had a stellar day at the plate, collecting four hits and coming a homer short of the cycle. Eric Groff and Chris Ellison added homers to the Osprey's offensive effort, while Fidel Pena was the only bat other than Cardullo to have a multi-hit game, singling and doubling. 2011 draft pick Jesse Darrah pitched decently, striking out four, walking two, and allowing three runs in his five innings. However, the bullpen nearly blew the game before recent minor-league free agent signee D.J. Johnson came on and restored order, striking out four in just 1.2 innings on the mound to keep the game tied at the end of the eighth and seal the victory in the ninth after Missoula scored in the top of the frame.
Low-Rookie: D-backs 2, Rangers 3. (8-14) Outfielder Wagner Mateo had struck out 37 times in his first 77 at-bats with the AZL D-backs this year, showing more holes in his bat than in a wedge of Swiss (how's that for an old joke?). Naturally, the team thought it'd be a good idea to move Mateo into the lead-off spot for this game. Of course, naturally, it worked. Mateo went 2-3 with a double and a walk (though he also did strike out once), the only AZL D-backs bat to collect an extra-base hit in the contest. The rest of the offense combined to go 3-29 with two walks... this game is absurd. Yiomar Camacho got the start for the D-backs, and did his usual thing in posting a 7:0 K:BB ratio in his six-inning outing. Unfortunately, Camacho surrendered a no-out three-run home run - the first he's allowed this year - in the sixth inning to Texas' Ryan Rua, earning Camacho the loss. Nonetheless, Camacho now has a 36:4 K:BB ratio in 32.2 innings of work for the AZL D-backs, with a glistening 1.38 ERA. I could see Camacho getting a few outings in with one of the more advanced levels before the year is out, and he is one of my favorite sleeper picks for the D-backs' system.
DSL (11 innings): D-backs 6, White Sox 5. (15-27) Your typical DSL game. A lot of walks (17 total), a lot of strikeouts (22 total), and a short supply of extra-base hits (one for the D-backs, a surprising four for the White Sox). Geordy Parra and Jose Jose stand out among the pitching performances for the D-backs, as each struck out four batters in their relief stints - 2 IP for Parra w/ 2 walks, 3 IP for Jose w/ 1 walk. Offensively, Anderson Bolivar provided the only extra-base hit the D-backs mustered, while Felipe Betemit reached base four times in two singles and a pair of walks.