Following Anthony Meo's last two starts before last night, I was beginning to wonder if he was another pitcher hitting the proverbial 1st season August wall. He had allowed 14 earned runs in those two starts and they were both high leverage situations in games Visalia really needed to win. But he came back nicely with a much better performance last night allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 2 hits and 4 walks over 6 innings with 7 strikeouts. Meo ranks pretty highly on most Dbacks prospect lists and this being his first real professional season I'd say he deserves a solid B. He's got the strikeout numbers (142 in 132 innings) which is the first thing you look for. He's already logged 132 innings and should finish around 150-160. His walk total is a little on the high side (66) but all-in-all his across-the-board line is pretty acceptable. He is 22 though and he'll surely be moving to Mobile next year which is always the toughest jump. How he fares there will ultimately determine if he remains a starter or gets moved to the bullpen, if for no other reason than that's his easiest path to the majors with so many quality pitching prospects ahead of him.
3 Stars: Anthony Meo, Visalia 6 IP, 2 H, 4 BB, 7 K, 2 R, 1 ER, W (9-8)
2 Stars: Taylor Harbin, Reno 2 for 2, 1 BB, 2 R, 2 DBL, 2 RBI
1 Star: Keon Broxton, Visalia 2 for 5, 2 R, 2 DBL, 3 RBI
0 Stars: Matt Sample, South Bend 1.1 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 2 K, 4 ER
Game summaries after the jump.
Triple A: Reno 5 Fresno 2. Those poor bullpen guys in AAA really do work hard. Joe Martinez started but only went 2 innings so the bullpen had to do the rest. Mike DeMark threw 3 shutout innings, Sam Demel added a perfect inning, Jensen Lewis tossed 2 shutout innings and Jonathan Albaladejo pitched a scoreless 9th for his 23rd save. So all credit to those guys for this win. The offense was good enough with 5 runs on 12 hits. Taylor Harbin was perfect with 2 doubles and 2 RBI. Cole Gillespie went 3 for 4 with 2 doubles and Konrad Schmidt went 3 for 4 with a double and 2 RBI.
Double A: Mobile 5 Jackson 2. The offense scored 4 runs in the 1st inning and Chase Anderson plus 3 relievers pitched well enough for that to stand up. Anderson got through 5 innings allowing 2 runs on 6 hits and a walk while striking out 6. Evan Frey had a double and 2 walks and Matt Mangini added a pair of singles and an RBI.
High A: Visalia 7 @ San Jose 3. Anthony Meo was very good in his 6 innings and the offense scored 7 runs in the first 2 innings to take all the pressure off him. Keon Broxton had the big hits with 2 doubles and 3 RBI. He's having a very good second half. Four other Rawhide had two hits including Ender Inciarte, Jonathan Griffin, Garrett Webber and Carter Bell.
Low A, Game 1. South Bend 5 @ Lake County 8. The 1st game of this doubleheader didn't go well as Andrew Barbosa couldn't get through 4 innings and reliever Matt Sample was even worse. The offense didn't show up until the 8th inning and by then it was too late. Eric Groff led the offense going 2 for 2 with a walk and an RBI.
Low A, game 2. South Bend 9 @ Lake County 3. The late game went much better as the offense blew the game open with 5 runs in the 3rd inning. Jesse Darrah and J.R. Bradley each pitched about half of the 7-inning game with each posting similar results. Darrah allowed 2 runs and Bradley 1. Bradley also earned the win as the beneficiary of the offensive outburst. Tom Belza went 2 for 3 including a 3-run homer, his 7th.
Short Season A: Yakima 1 @ Everett 6. Kyle Owings had an excellent start allowing 1 run on 4 hits and a walk in 5+ innings while striking out 4. But the offense couldn't get him the win when they collected just 6 hits and the usually reliable bullpen came undone. Jose Jose was the primary culprit when he couldn't find the plate walking 4 in 1.1 innings. Kevin Medrano was the lone offensive highlight as he picked up a pair of singles and is currently hitting .338.
Rookie: Missoula 4 @ Ogden 5. Starter Karl Triana surrendered 4 runs in the first two innings in a sub-standard start. The offense battled back to tie it in the top of the 7th on a Socrates Brito 2-run homer. But Dexter Price gave up a solo home run in the bottom of the 7th and the offense could do no more. Andrew Velazquez is settling into Missoula as he had a pair of singles, and Jake Lamb did the same.
AZL Rookie: Dbacks 9 Cubs 14. Willie Bloomquist started at SS in a rehab assignment and went 1 for 2 with a bases-loaded triple. The Dbacks got out to an 8-2 lead early but after Andrew Potter allowed 4 runs through the first 5 innings, the bullpen proceeded to allow 5 runs in the 7th, 8th and 9th. And then it really came undone when Elroy Urbina let in 5 more in the 10th. Ollie Linton went 2 for 5 with a double and 2 RBI. Stryker Trahan went 2 for 5 with a double and his 7th stolen base. And Jose Munoz took over for Bloomquist in the 3rd and proceeded to commit 4 errors.