So glad that today (now yesterday) is(/was) Friday. Particularly in my heightened state of exhaustion, it's nice to know that I can curl up in my bed and remain unconscious for a good twelve hours if my body feels like complying. Lots to report on from Friday, including a big debut, a double-header that went terribly
wrong long, and an unheard-of top performer from yesterday:
Snakelet of the Day:
Ryan Court (Advanced-Rookie): 5-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI
Triple-A: Reno 6, Colorado Springs 3. (55-36) A nice start from southpaw Zach Kroenke set the tone for this game, as the lefty allowed two runs in six quality innings on the mound, striking out four and walking one. Esmerling Vasquez loaded the bases with one out in the eighth inning, but Jordan Norberto came on to save Vasquez's bacon, collecting two outs without allowing any of Vasquez's runs to score. Bryan Shaw would eventually come on for his eighth save of the year at Reno, striking out two in a scoreless ninth. Offensively, David Winfree was the star of the Aces night, going 2-4 with a home run and a double while Konrad Schmidt and Collin Cowgill each added doubles to the Aces' cause. Mark Hallberg reached base three times on two singles and a walk.
Double-A (game one): Mobile 4, Chattanooga 7. It was a rough Double-A debut for Tyler Skaggs, but color me unconcerned. Although Skaggs did allow five runs (four earned) in his four-inning start, the southpaw struck out six with just a pair of walks, collecting five ground-ball outs. Sure, five extra-base hits is a sign that things aren't going your way, but I don't see much of a reason why Skaggs would continue to struggle like this at Double-A. The peripherals, the scouting reports, and the makeup all suggest success will be on its way in short order. Your Twice-Daily Goldschmidt homered for the second straight day, giving him 27 on the season, while also drawing a walk. Taylor Harbin and Adam Eaton each chipped in doubles for the BayBears, while Eaton and A.J. Pollock were the only two players in the line-up to record a multi-hit game in the first half of the double-header.
Double-A (game two; 11 innings): Mobile 4, Chattanooga 2. (55-37) It's nice to get revenge for losing the first half of a double-header and all, but playing 18 innings of baseball on one day sounds excruciating. The offense was much more lethargic in this game, as Josh Ford's double was the only extra-base hit notched by the BayBears lineup through the first nine innings. Nobody scored in this game from the end of the sixth to the top of the 11th, with Jacob Elmore's two-run homer breaking the tie and giving Mobile a lead they would not relinquish. Tom Layne was solid in his start for Mobile, allowing just one run in five innings while posting a 4:2 K:BB ratio and 6:2 GO:AO ratio. After Bryan Woodall gave up a run in his two innings of work, the bullpen combination of Mike DeMark (two innings), Ryan Cook (one inning), and Billy Spottiswood pitched four straight scoreless frames to give Mobile the opportunity to climb back into this game. Your Twice-Daily Goldschmidt: The second half of the double-header didn't go well for Paul, who went 0-4 with three K's and a walk.
Hi-A: Visalia 1, San Jose 3. (41-50) The Visalia lineup failed to show up on Friday, collecting just five hits, all of which were singles. Bobby Borchering led the way with two of those hits, though no Rawhide batter managed to earn a free pass either with a walk or by getting plunked - give credit to the San Jose pitching for throwing strikes. It's a shame, too, because Eric Smith had one of the better starts of his often-beleaguered year at Visalia, pitching seven innings and allowing just a single earned run. Strangely enough, Smith posted a K:BB of 3:4, saving his own skin by collecting 11 ground-ball outs. Kevin Munson received a tough-luck loss by allowing one unearned run in his only inning on the mound, but impressed by striking out a pair.
Low-A: South Bend 10, Beloit 2. (41-49) It was a rare offensive explosion for the Silver Hawks, who bludgeoned a pair of home runs and a pair of doubles in this game, including one of each from Matt Helm, who also drew a pair of walks to record the best offensive performance of his career. Gerson Montilla was responsible for the other long-ball, while Niko Gallego added the second double. That power output and 12 hits overall was plenty for the Silver Hawks starter Jeff Shields, who allowed just two runs in his six-inning start. Shields notched eight ground-ball outs, but struck out just one batter, a worrisome figure.
Short Season-A: Yakima 6, Salem-Keizer 1. (10-18) Starter Adam Kudryk was solid for the Bears, allowing just one run in six innings with a 4:1 K:BB, and I'm sure he was happy to get some run support. I could also get used to actually seeing some consistently decent offensive performance from this Yakima club. Jimmy Comerota and Marc Bourgeois each doubled, while speedster Westley Moss tripled to help lead the Bears' attack. Recently-signed third baseman Carter Bell had a three-hit day.
Advanced-Rookie: Missoula 8, Casper 3. (15-10) Tom Belza continued his home run binge by hitting his fourth of the year in fourth inning, and Ryan Court had a phenomenal 5-5 day with a double and a home run. It would be an absolute heist if Court, a 23-year-old 23rd-round pick from the 2011 draft, turned out to be anything more than an organizational soldier. However, with a .908 OPS after Friday's game, it seems that Court could get an opportunity to be put on a rapid track to the upper levels of the minors to see what we might have in him. The Missoula pitching tandem of Dexter Price and Raymond Hernandez missed a ton of bats, K'ing 12 Casper hitters in a combined eight innings of work, though each did allow solo home runs.
Low-Rookie: D-backs 1, Giants 8. (7-13) AZL D-backs starter Mike Lebo really struggled, allowing seven earned runs in just 2.2 innings of labor. Lebo didn't strike out a batter, walked one, and served up a home run. Newly-signed Jacob Williams - yes, the son of D-backs legend Matt Williams - made his professional debut, going 1-3 with an RBI double, the only extra-base hit recorded by the team in this game. Wagner Mateo wore the Golden Sombrero once again.
DSL (14 innings): D-backs 1, Twins 2. (14-26) I love baseball. I can sit through a full game without getting buzzed and enjoy it, which far too many people I know my age cannot do. That said, even I know where to draw the line, and this game looked like it crossed it on the Boredom Scale. Not only is DSL baseball pitcher-dominated, but the fact that ten walks were issued between the two teams and yet just three runs were scored blows my mind. Young center fielder Yorman Garcia was the best bat in the DSL lineup, going 1-5 with a triple and a walk. Starter Karl Triana was solid, giving up just one unearned run in his seven-inning outing.