For the second game in a row Braden Shipley was very, very good going 7 innings allowing 1 run on 5 hits and a walk with 9 strikeouts. Considering how difficult the California League can be on pitchers Shipley looks like he's starting to put it all together. It wouldn't surprise me in the least if he made his next start in Mobile. That would put 3 potential front line starters a stone's throw away from the big league rotation. It wasn't long ago we were dreaming of a rotation with Corbin, Miley, Bradley, Bauer and Skaggs. We're not that far away now from a rotation of Corbin, Miley, Bradley, Blair and Shipley. It's actually possible that all 3 of the youngsters could hit the show some time in 2015, though it's more realistic that's a 2016 lineup.
Since today is the trading deadline, I'd rather see the team try and acquire an outfielder that projects for 2016 than a pitcher. I'm not sure we need a rotation pitcher unless they have a strong eye on 2015 as a competitive year, something that hard core fans might cast doubt upon as a realistic endeavor. Especially since it might be far-fetched to expect a pennant drive season out of Corbin who can be better counted upon in 2016. Things are shaping up for the stars to align in 2016. Let's hope the powers that be can make the kinds of moves that will complement those projected arrival dates.
3 Stars: Braden Shipley, Visalia 7 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 9 K, 1 ER, W (2-4)
2 Stars: Stewart Ijames, Missoula 2 for 5, 2 R, 2 HR (2), 4 RBI
1 Star: Mark Serrano, Reno 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 ER, W (3-0)
0 Stars: Blake Perry, South Bend 2/3 IP, 1 H, 4 BB, 1 K, 5 ER, L (5-4)
AAA: Reno 3 @ Fresno 1. Mark Serrano was outstanding allowing 1 run over 6.2 innings on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6. Since being moved to the rotation Serrano has a 2.81 ERA in 3 starts, pretty heady stuff for the PCL. Jake Barrett pitched a perfect 9th with a strikeout for his 6th save. Andy Marte led the offense going 3 for 3 with a walk, a double and an RBI. Mike Jacobs drove in 2 runs.
AA: Mobile 7 Jackson 3. Archie Bradley had a fine outing that was marred a little when he gave up a 2-run homer with 2 outs in the 6th. He allowed 3 runs in the game on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 6. His last poor outing not withstanding, Bradley is coming around and has pitched pretty well in every start but one since coming off the DL. The high walk totals are still his biggest nemesis. The offense scored 7 runs in the 3rd inning and that was plenty to get the win. Jake Lamb had a perfect night as the DH going 2 for 2 with 2 walks. Gerson Montilla had 3 hits and Tom Belza went 2 for 5 with a double and 2 RBI. Cody Wheeler pitched a perfect 9th and still hasn't allowed a run in 9 outings for Mobile.
A+: Visalia 8 @ Bakersfield 2. Braden Shipley was very good throwing 7 strong innings allowing 1 run on 5 hits with 9 strikeouts. Bakersfield has one of the better lineups in the league so it was no joke. Raul Navarro hit a big 3-run homer in the 8th that cinched the game. Rudy Flores went 3 for 5 with a double and Kevin Medrano hit his second home run of the year leading off the game.
A: South Bend 1 Bowling Green 10. The Silver Hawks got smoked and it started early when Blake Wheeler couldn't find the plate in the 1st inning walking 4 batters and got pulled. The game was never interesting after that with the offense producing just 4 hits. Jamie Westbrook went 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI.
A-: Hillsboro 9 @ Spokane 1. Ryan Doran led the way with 6.2 solid innings allowing 1 run on 7 hits with 8 strikeouts. The offense did its part with Zach Esquerra hitting a 3-run homer in the 6th inning that blew open a close game. Nate Robertson went 2 for 4 with a double and 2 RBI while Kevin Cron also was 2 for 4 with a double and 1 RBI. Stryker Trahan went 1 for 3 with a double and an RBI and did not have a strikeout.
R: Missoula 10 Great Falls 9. There were 9 home runs hit in this game, 5 by Missoula and 4 by Great Falls. That was the difference as Missoula scored most of their runs early and Great Falls got theirs late. Yefrey Ramirez got his first start since being promoted and made his own case for how tough it is to pitch in the Pioneer League. He allowed 5 runs on 9 hits and 3 walks including 3 home runs. He had been dominant in the AZL. Stewart Ijames hit 2 of the home runs for the Osprey and drove in 4 runs. Henry Castillo was also promoted from the AZL Dbacks and hit his first home run in a 2-hit game. Taylor Ard and Tyler Baker joined the fun with their first home runs. Trevor Mitsui went 3 for 5 and scored 3 runs. Reliever Anthony Bazzani (another promotee) earned his 1st save in spite of allowing 2 runs on a home run. He did strike out the side however.
AZL: Dbacks 4 Giants 5. With Yefrey Ramirez getting promoted Brad Keller was demoted and made the start for the Dbacks. He went 5+ innings allowing 1 run on 9 hits. What a difference a league makes. We should never send real prospect pitchers to the Pioneer League. It's as bad as the PCL. The Giants tied it late and won it in the 13th off Anthony Basora. Jose Herrera, Gerard Hernandez, Raul Santana and Jacob Cordero each had 2 hits.