Okay, so that title is truly terrible, but five of the eight games involving D-backs minor-league affiliates on Saturday were decided by a margin of just one run, including a pair of one-run games from a single affiliate. Unfortunately for me, there's literally nothing else interesting or statistically noteworthy about that fun fact, so:
Snakelets of the Day:
Wade Miley (Triple-A): 5.1 IP, 7 H, 2 R (2 ER), 12:3 K:BB, 1:1 GO:AO
Patrick Corbin (Double-A): 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 7:3 K:BB, 9:2 GO:AO
Triple-A (game one, seven innings): Reno 3, Sacramento 2. On the mound for the Aces was left-hander Wade Miley, and let me simply begin by saying this: Micah Owings had best bring his A-game tomorrow if he's desperately hoping to remain in the big-league rotation. Yeah, Miley went nuts in just 5.1 innings of work on the mound, as 12 of the 16 outs he recorded were via the strikeout. Even if you're not a huge SABR-believer, the seven hits Miley allowed on 10 balls in play (he induced a GIDP for two of the non-strikeout outs) is an utterly absurd and unsustainable ratio, and I would gladly take three walks in 5.1 innings if it came with a 4:1 K:BB ratio.
In other words, Wade Miley went absolutely nuts, and he did so against a pretty decent Sacramento lineup, which included big-league-caliber players like Kevin Kouzmanoff - okay, calling Kouz a big-league-caliber player kind of made me giggle - Michael Taylor, and Chris Carter. If Owings struggles Sunday, even slightly, I doubt the team will be reluctant to call upon Miley, move Owings to his comfortable relief role, and perhaps shed the dead weight that is Zach Duke. Additionally, Kam Mickolio struck out three in his 1.2 innings of scoreless relief to seal the victory.
As for the offense... well, Evan Frey's double was somehow the only extra-base hit the Aces managed ("somehow" because, of course, it's the PCL), and Sacramento actually out-hit Reno 7-5. Reno just had better timing for their hits, it seems.
Triple-A (game two, seven innings): Reno 4, Sacramento 5. (61-39) Things on the mound didn't go nearly as well in this one, as reliever Daniel Stange "started" the game, with Reno attempting to cobble together enough short stints to fill up seven innings. Stange got through 2.2 innings, but gave up four runs in that span on six hits, three walks, three strikeouts, and a homer. He was replaced by Randy Hamrick, fresh up from SSA Yakima to make a spot appearance. Hamrick, of course, vastly out-performed the upper-minors veteran Stange, by striking out two and giving up just one hit in 2.1 scoreless frames. Baseball, huh?
J.J. Putz also made a rehab appearance in the second half of the double-header, striking out one in a scoreless inning of work. Sacramento walked it off of Jordan Norberto with one out in the bottom of the seventh... somehow, that doesn't have the ring to it that "bottom of the ninth" does. Offensively, our old friend Robby Hammock led the way with a single, a walk, and a home run, while Andy Tracy and Collin Cowgill each doubled (though Cowgill K'd three times).
Double-A: Mobile 6, Birmingham 4. (60-39) Oh, I give up on trying to be cheeky. Just one day after instituting Your Daily Wheeler, Mobile's Ryan Wheeler went 0-4 with no strikeouts, so clearly I destroyed his BABIP-fortune. Silly me. Thankfully, I may have repaired the monster of Paul Goldschmidt, as Goldie went 1-3 with his 29th home run of the year, a walk, and no strikeouts. I can really see how baseball is such a superstitious game... with the absurd things that can happen over small samples, strange stuff is almost inevitably going to happen. Anywho, Marc Krauss hit his 13th home run of the year, and A.J. Pollock was phenomenal, going 3-4 with a double, a triple, and a stolen base.
Equally phenomenal was the BayBears' pitcher, Patrick Corbin, who, naturally, decided to make things difficult for me by having an awesome game when I only first checked the Mobile box score after writing all of that praise for Miley. Corbin threw seven shutout innings for Mobile, striking out seven and recording nine ground-ball outs, allowing just five hits and three walks. After posting ERA's over 4.5 in both April and May, Corbin has been remarkable in June and July, posting ERA's below three in both of the last two months, a sample of over 60 innings. Corbin now has an 111:26 K:BB ratio in 119.2 innings for the BayBears, and he looks to be another arm capable of helping the D-backs out immediately if needed. At the very least, he'll be one of the favorites in a mix of numerous minor-league arms to win a big-league rotation spot out of Spring Training a year from now.
Hi-A: Visalia 5, San Jose 6. (43-55) Visalia fell victim to its own defensive gaffes in this one, as reliever Mike Belfiore allowed three unearned runs in his 2/3 of an inning of work - after an error gave the Giants an extra out to play with, Belfiore and Christian Beltre combined to allow a single, three straight walks, then another single to give the Giants a four-run sixth inning. Offensively, Chris Owings doubled, while Matt Davidson and Jon Mark Owings each homered. The homer for Davidson was his 11th of the season, and he also was hit by a pitch for the sixth time this year, after being plunked 14 times a year ago between Low-A and Hi-A.
Low-A: South Bend 4, Kane County 3. (46-51) Starter J.R. Bradley had a rough first inning, giving up a two-out, two-run homer to Brian Fletcher, but settled down nicely and put up five straight zero-run innings to give the Silver Hawks a quality outing. Bradley's peripherals were nice as well, as the right-hander struck out six, walked one, and posted a 7:2 GO:AO ratio. For the Silver Hawks offense, Ramon Castillo whacked a three-run homer and Yazy Arbelo added a double to lead a balanced attack - the Silver Hawks reached base a total of 13 times, but no player reached base more than twice.
Short Season-A: Yakima 4, Boise 1. (13-23) The Bears offense displayed a bit more power than usual, receiving a homer from Justin Hilt, a triple from Marc Bourgeois, and a double from Steven Rodriguez. That power was plenty for starter Brad Wilson, allowed just one run over five innings with a 5:3 K:BB ratio and 8:1 GO:AO ratio, and the continuously-impressive Bears bullpen, which worked four scoreless innings of relief.
Advanced-Rookie: Missoula 9, Casper 1. (20-12) Missoula starter Enrique Burgos has become my ultimate prospect tease. Burgos continues to display the strikeout ability that enticed the D-backs to keep him in the starting rotation, punching-out eight Casper batters through his five innings of work, but even though he allowed just one run, he also walked four and has now handed out 20 free passes on the year, not to mention the two HBP's he handed out on Saturday. Unfortunately for me and my optimistic ways, even if Burgos can't pan out as a starter in the next couple of years, he'll remain an ever-intriguing shut-down relief prospect if a transition to the bullpen is necessary. The Missoula bullpen came in and was lights-out, striking out eight (and, minor detail, walking seven) in four scoreless, one-hit innings.
At the plate, the Osprey offense lived by the long-ball in this one, as Josh Parr, Eric Groff, and Roidany Aguila each went yard, though Aguila's three-run blast was the only non-solo homer of the trio. Elsewhere in the lineup, Ryan Court's 1-2, two-walk night was key, and Parr, Justin Bianco, and Breland Brown each reached base three times for Missoula.
Low-Rookie: D-backs 6, Royals 7. (10-16) Socrates Brito homered and had a three-hit night with a stolen base, Jacob Williams tripled while reaching base three times, and Derek Luciano doubled and walked. Sadly, the D-backs' bats didn't do quite enough to come back from a 7-2 deficit built by starting pitcher Diony Santana by the end of the fourth inning. Santana struggled with his control and command, walking five and allowing nine hits in just five innings on the mound, only striking out three, though with eight ground-ball outs.
DSL: For whatever reason, the DSL D-backs are off until Monday.