Zack Godley and Brad Keller were both terrific in their first start of the 2016 MiLB season. The starting pitching for the Dbacks top 3 affiliates was superb and led to victories for each team. Brad Keller is a prospect I'm very high on due to his ability to command the strike zone with his fastball at such a young age (20) and his ability to consistently generate ground balls outs.
3 Stars: Edgar Garcia W (1-0) 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
2 Stars: Zack Godley W (1-0) 6 1/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
1 Star: Brad Keller 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
0 Stars: Cody Regis 0 for 4, 2 K
Reno 6, El Paso 1: The Aces were anchored with a strong pitching performance from starter Edgar Garcia. After giving up a run in the first inning, Garcia was able to lock things down for the next 6 innings while the Aces offense went to work. Zach Borenstein led the team with 3 RBIs and Evan Marzilli picked two hits and scored twice as part of an 11-hit attack. Enrique Burgos and Silvino Bracho pitched the final two innings, with each posting a 1-2-3 inning with a strikeout. Burgos and Bracho will likely be on the major league roster later this month when their optional assignment is finished.
Mobile 4, Tennessee 1: Zack Godley was the star of this game, delivering 6 1/3 shutout innings. Godley scattered 3 hits and struck out 3 in the winning effort. Godley's strong pitching effort was supported with homers from Chad Oberaker and Kevin Cron. Aside from a shaking 7th from Daniel Gibson, the bullpen locked things down. The combination of Joey Krehbiel and Keith Hessler shut things down in the 8th and Adam Miller delivered a 1-2-3 9th inning for his 2nd save. Ildemaro Vargas was the only Baybear to notch a multi-hit game. 2B prospect Jamie Westbrook sat out this game after starting off 0 for 12.
Visalia 3, Bakersfield 1: Brad Keller made his debut for the Rawhide and immediately picked up where he left off from 2015, pitching 6 innings of 1 run ball, allowing 6 hits and no walks while striking out a pair. Keller also logged 13 groundouts vs. 2 flyouts, which is a great sign that his sinker was working in the game. Despite the strong outing, the bats were unable to get things going until the Top of the 10th, when Domingo Leyba crushed a 2-run homer. The bullpen was able to shut the door with 4 scoreless innings with Luis Ramirez picking up the win and Jimmie Sherfy getting his 2nd save of the year.
Kane County 3, Clinton 4: Carlos Hernandez had a so-so start, going 4 1/3 IP and allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 hits while punching out 4 in line for a no decision. The Cougars couldn't get the bats rolling with 7 hits and only 2 of them going for doubles. Trevor Mitsui and Josh Anderson each had an RBI single, but the bullpen was unable to hold onto a 3-2 lead. Brody Greer allowed 2 runs in the 7th inning that proved to be the decisive score and took the loss.