Tuesday evening was certainly the busiest the farm has been thus far in 2012, with all four teams in action and two clubs squaring up for double-headers. The result was a plethora of baseball to be recapped throughout the system, and plenty of impressive performances to track, particularly for those position players who had 14 innings to make use of. One hitter in particular made the most of his six plate appearances, and in the midst of a very strong start to a repeat year at Hi-A, though is still just 20 years old. Check out this impressive line:
Snakelet of the Day:
Chris Owings (Hi-A, two games): 4-6, 2B, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, K
Triple-A: Reno 4, Las Vegas 3. (11-15) Right-hander Barry Enright continued his season of solid starts for the Aces, allowing two runs in six innings of work, allowing just five hits while striking out three, though he did walk four. The bats and bullpen offered Enright just enough support, with the relief crew holding the 51s to just one run in three innings (despite five walks and no strikeouts!) and the bats putting up four to carry Reno to the victory. Taylor Harbin homered for the second time this year, Ryan Wheeler continued his hot-hitting with a triple, Cole Gillespie added a double, and Josh Bell collected a pair of hits to bring his Aces average up to an awfully-good .471 clip.
Double-A: Mobile 1, Mississippi 7. (14-12) Untimely hits and walks conspired against Trevor Bauer in this one, as eight hits and three walks turned into six runs (five earned) over 5.2 innings on the bump, including a pair of inherited runners that reliever Yonata Ortega allowed to score after Bauer departed at 99 pitches. The strikeouts were still there - Bauer whiffed nine in the outing - but for the first time all season, Bauer was hittable. Fluke? Perhaps, but it remains something to look out for the next time Bauer takes the hill. The offense did little to support Bauer, gathering just six hits on the day, all singles, and all accounted for via two-hit games (from Alfredo Marte, Archie Gilbert, and Ed Easley).
Following the game, Trevor was up to his usual late-night baseball tweeting, and once again stirred the pot, despite his rough outing. I have been disagreed with before regarding Bauer's tweeting, and am interesting in hearing what masses have to say about this one:
Closing thoughts on the night. I hate ground balls. The more strikeouts and fly balls I get the better— Trevor Bauer (@BauerOutage) May 2, 2012
@BauerOutage I'm sorry?- one more time but in my good ear.— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) May 2, 2012
Hi-A (game one, seven innings): Visalia 1, Modesto 0. This game was dominated on the mound by the Rawhide, with Michael Bolsinger, Blake Cooper, and Bo Schultz combining to shut out the Nuts on just four hits and two walks, striking out six. With the pitching so sharp, a two-out solo home run in the first from Chris Owings proved to be all of the offense that the Rawhide needed, despite the complete-game effort (while taking the tough-luck loss) from Modesto's Juan Gonzalez. Owings added a single to his effort in this game, as well.
Hi-A (game two, seven innings): Visalia 1, Modesto 10. (11-15) The total offensive output from Visalia in this contest came courtesy of a solo home run from Chris Owings (... is there an echo in here?), who also added a double to his effort to cap off a wonderful day of hitting across both games of the double-header. With the day's action in the books, Owings is now hitting an impressive .317/.351/.538 for Visalia, showing impressive raw hitting ability (although certainly benefiting from the Cal League's friendliness). Despite being not yet able to legally drink, don't be surprised if he's at Double-A Mobile before too long.
The pitching, however, didn't hold up their end of the bargain in this one, with spot-starter Patrick Schuster giving up five earned runs in three innings of work before giving way to Bradin Hagens, who allowed another five earned runs in his 1.2 innings of relief.
Easy-to-see yet hilarious stat: Visalia was out-scored by Modesto 10-2 in this two-game doubleheader, yet split the two contests with the Nuts. Oh, baseball.
Low-A (game one, seven innings): South Bend 6, Quad Cities 2. Right-hander Jesse Darrah took the mound for his scheduled outing in the first half of the double-header, but left the game after notching just two outs. According to Quad Cities' official Twitter account, Darrah was hit in the upper-chest/shoulder area by a line drive and removed from the game. This left the Silver Hawks looking for some extra length out of their bullpen, but getting 3.1 effective innings of relief from Keith Hessler and three scoreless frames from Kable Hogben to stifle the Quad Cities lineup and give the Hawks lineup an opportunity to snatch a win amid a gloomy situation. The bats did just that, with Fidel Pena hitting his first home run of the year and two-hit days from Gerson Montilla and Marc Bourgeois, each of them including a double.
Low-A (game two, seven innings): South Bend 8, Quad Cities 0. (15-10) The Silver Hawks turned to spot-starter Taylor Siemens for this game, and Siemens delivered with an excellent outing - 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4:2 K:BB - that helped to save a bullpen that had to work so much in the first half of the double-header. The offense in this one was mostly in the form of timely singles, with just two of South Bend's ten hits going for extra bases - a double from Chris Ellison and a triple from Bourgeois.