Record this Week: 6-4.
Overall: 80-57, IL West Division Champions!
9/3: Indianapolis (PIT) led 1-0 through most of this game, but the Bats piled up four runs in the eighth (two on Danny Dorn’s pinch-hit double) to win it, 4-2. A wild pitch scored the third run of the inning, then 3B Juan Francisco (2-for-4, .359) singled in the fourth one. The Indians got one off Jeff Kennard in the eighth, but Logan Ondrusek went 1-2-3 in the ninth for save #11 (1.93). Win went to Federico Baez (W 2-1, 4.33, 2 IP, 2 H, 3 K) in relief of Travis Wood (3.14, 5 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 75 pitches, 54 strikes).
Rehabbin’ Jay Bruce was 0-for-3 and Rehabbin’ Ryan Hanigan 1-for-3 with a single.
9/4: The Bats outlasted the Indians in 16 innings, 4-2! Lee Tabor (3.10) pitched five shutout innings in relief (the 10th through the 14th) and Greg Atencio set down six straight (four by strikeout) to grab the win (2-0, 8.31). Louisville led 2-1 for most of the game, but Indy tied the game in the bottom of the ninth with an unearned run off Enerio Del Rosario (fielding error by Francisco). Neither side majorly threatened until the top of 16. Mike Griffin led off with a single, then Chris Denove’s sacrifice bunt resulted in a throwing error on Indians pitcher Corey Hamman, causing both men to be safe. Wes Bankston then laid down another sacrifice. Francisco was intentionally walked to get to Todd Frazier- and a passed ball scored the go-ahead run! Frazier then poked a single for an insurance run. Todd finished 4-for-7 with two RBI (.309). Francisco was 3-for-6 (.369). Rehabbin’ Ryan doubled in four trips and Rehabbin’ JMJ drew a walk in four. Starter Ben Jukich struck out nine in six innings (4.10, 5 H, 1 ER) and Joe Krebs pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth (0.00 in 3 IP in AAA, 1.79 between three levels in ’09).
9/5: Indy scored in each of the first three innings to build a 4-0 cushion, but Louisville got two back in the fourth, then grabbed the lead back with three more in the eighth and a pair of insurance tallies in the ninth. A nice 7-4 comeback win. CF Chris Heisey drove in three with a single and double (2-for-4, R, steal #7, two outfield assists). Both Rehabbers were 3-for-5 with a pair of runs scored each. Camilo Vazquez settled down decently after the first three (5.52, 5.2 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K). Federico Baez got the victory (3-1, 4.17, 1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 K). Jeff Kennard took care of the eighth and Logan Ondrusek the ninth (save #12, 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K, 1.83).
9/6: The Bats win again, 7-0- they score all seven runs in the sixth inning! Better yet, Sam Lecure finished his regular season strong with seven innings of two-hit shutout ball (W 10-8, 4.46, 0 BB, 7 K, 96 pitches, 63 strikes). Krebs went 1-2-3 in the eighth and Del Rosario handled the ninth (1.09, 2 H). Hanigan doubled in two in the big inning (.400 for his stint) and both 3B Griffin and Lecure himself had a pair of RBIs. SS Chris Valaika kept his strong finish going with two hits in four trips (.235, R).
9/7: Tom Cochran headed to the hill to inject a dose of Craftiness into the Bats’ regular-season finale. He shut the gassed Indians out on three hits through the first five as Louisville built a 2-0 lead on LF Danny Dorn’s 14th homer and a Valaika RBI single. But the Indians got a single run in the sixth off Cochran (3.07, 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K) and then tied it in the seventh off Kennard. Two more in the eighth at Atencio’s (L 2-1, 8.44) expense (one unearned after a Frazier throwing error) put Indy up 4-2. That’s how it ended. Bruce finished 2-for-4 and Dorn did the same (.275).
Louisville is set to face Durham (TB) in the first round of the IL playoffs. Lefty Travis Wood (4-2, 3.14 in eight IL starts, 13-5, 1.77 in 27 total) was set to face Bulls ace Jeremy Hellickson (6-1, 2.51 in nine IL starts- 9-2, 2.45 in 20 overall). Louisville finished with the ninth-best record among minor-league teams in the affiliated minors.
9/9: Game one! Wood versus Hellickson. Louisville grabbed a 3-0 lead by the fourth thanks to homers from Francisco and C Chris Denove, but Durham tied the game off Wood in the fifth- aided and abetted by not one, but two of Travis’ own throwing errors. Wood exited a tie game after five innings and 98 pitches (58 strikes)- six hits, three runs, two earned, three walks, five Ks. Meanwhile, Bulls starter Hellickson whiffed 12 (!) in 5.2, but the gopher balls canceled ‘em out. Federico Baez took over in the sixth, and that’s when it all went to heck. The Bulls pounded Baez for five hits and five earned runs, taking a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Francisco homered again in the eighth, but that was it. Joe Krebs (1 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 K) and Greg Atencio (1.1 IP, 2 BB, 2 K) did pitch scoreless ball in relief. Durham takes game one, 8-4. The Bats had a total of four errors, two by Wood and a pair from 2B Todd Frazier. 1B Yonder Alonso’s AAA debut was a rough one- 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and a walk.
9/10: Game two! Jukich versus Talbot. Durham jumped on the tall lefty early as each of the first three Bulls hitters in the first singled. Matt Joyce hit into a double play to make it 2-0 for the bad guys. That’s all Jukich would allow in five innings (W, 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 95 pitches, 56 strikes). Meanwhile, Louisville cracked Talbot for three in the fourth (consecutive singles by Frazier, Alonso, Dorn, and Valaika; Bolivar sacrifice fly), chasing him, then got to his reliever (and ex-Red) Calvin Medlock for two more in the fifth (Francisco double, Frazier RBI hit, Valaika RBI hit). Bats even the series, 5-2. Enerio Del Rosario pitched three hitless innings in relief (bailing Jukich out of a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the sixth) and Logan Ondrusek took care of the ninth in 1-2-3 fashion for the save. Frazier’s 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a RBI atoned for his poor defensive night in game one. CF Chris Heisey also bounced back from a bad night in game one, picking up a pair of hits and a walk. Dorn (2-for-4, R, RBI) and Valaika (2-for-3, 2 RBI, BB) were also integral to the cause.
9/11: Game three! Lecure (10-8, 4.46) versus Cromer (7-3, 2.25). The Crafty Lefty Cromer, 28, had spent most of his career in relief before clicking in the Bulls’ rotation early in ’09. Would the crafty one prove problematic on struggles-against-lefties types like Alonso and Dorn? We shall see.
Lecure fell victim to the bugaboo that’s holding him back from a major-league shot: the big inning. Durham got four runs off him in the fourth despite failing to score in the other five innings he pitched (6 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K). Louisville cut its deficit to two with an Alonso home run in the sixth, then to one after a Francisco RBI infield hit, but fell just short and lost 4-3. Denove hit his second homer of the series off Cromer in the second. Louisville outhit Durham 12 to 8 but went 2-for-11 with men in scoring position and stranded twelve runners. Jeff Kennard retired six straight in relief of Lecure and Baez handled the ninth.
9/12: Game four! Cochran versus Oliveros! The slugfest started from the word go, as the two clubs were at 6-4 Bats after two innings. Durham chased Cochran (2.1 IP, 6 H, 6 ER) with a pair in the third, but Lee Tabor showed up and fired four shutout innings of relief (W, 2 H, 1 BB, 2 K) as two in the sixth (one on Dorn’s solo homer) gave the good guys an 8-6 lead. Durham scratched an unearned run in the eighth off Del Rosario and Ondrusek (throwing error by each of the two pitchers), but the big guy came back to get a pair of forceouts and end the inning. Louisville got him a couple of insurance runs in the bottom of the inning, then Logan went 1-2-3 in the ninth to complete a 10-7 Louisville win! Again Denove proved a hammer at the plate, driving in three runs with a pair of doubles. Dorn finished 1-for-1 officially with the homer because he drew two walks and a Rudy (3 R) with his other at-bats. Heisey also drove in two with a double and a pair of walks. Bolivar had two hits and two stolen bases.
9/13: Game five! Vazquez vs. Phillips. Neither starting pitcher ended up factoring much, as it was 2-2 when they departed (Camilo : 4.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K). But Durham popped Atencio (0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB) for two in the sixth to grab a 4-2 lead, and Louisville couldn’t muster the comeback as they drop the game and the series, 5-3. Bulls closer Winston Abreu struck out Valaika, the tying run, to end the game. Bats got just five hits, one of the Dorn’s second homer of the series.
Moves & Notes: (9/3) LHR Joe Krebs up from Carolina to replace LHR Pedro Viola. RHR Ramon Ramirez and 1B Kevin Barker went up to Cincinnati. Jay Bruce and Ryan Hanigan become Rehabbin’ Jay and Rehabbin’ Ryan. (9/8) 3B Juan Francisco was named the Reds Minor League Batter of the Month for August, hitting .381 with eight homers and 27 RBI between Carolina and Louisville. (9/9) 1B Yonder Alonso up from Carolina for the playoffs. It was also announced that Bruce will remain with the Bats through the first-round playoff series. Hanigan went back to Cincinnati. (9/10) SS Zack Cozart moved up from Carolina. (9/14) Francisco was rewarded for his late-season heroics with a callup to the Reds. Bruce also went back to Cincinnati.
Interesting commentary on Juan Francisco from the BA Prospect Chat of 9/11.
Ex-Reds Notes: INF Justin Turner, acquired from the Reds in the Ramon Hernandez deal, was called up by Baltimore. Turner batted .300 with two homers and 43 RBI for AAA Norfolk in 2009. He was the Reds’ seventh-round pick in 2006 out of Cal-Fullerton. Boston outrighted RHR Marcus McBeth back to AAA Pawtucket. Cleveland traded LHS Bobby Livingston to Pittsburgh for future considerations. The Indians also called up LHR Mike Gosling. Houston outrighted INF Matt Kata back to AAA. Milwaukee called up OF Corey Patterson, thus throwing in the towel for 2009. San Francisco inactivated OF Jackson Melian. Texas signed UT Ryan Freel.
Record this Week: 4-1.
Overall: 28-42 (second half). Final record for the year: 65-74. The Mudcats missed the playoffs in the first half by just one game; the impending nosedive in the second half had them never that close.
9/3: The Mudcats blew leads of 3-1 and 5-3, but got the decisive run in the bottom of the ninth on Jose Castro’s single to beat Mississippi (ATL), 6-5. Matt Maloney, just getting some work in before he returns to the Reds, cruised through seven (3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR). Zach Ward and Ruben Medina both blew a lead, but Ramon Geronimo got the last two outs for the win (3-3, 4.81). LF Sean Henry had a great game, slamming a two-run homer in the first (#11) and finishing 3-for-4 with three runs scored and steal #23 (.271). C Jason Bour was also 3-for-4 (.239).
9/4: The Mudcats rally from three down with four in the seventh (two-run doubles by SS Zach Cozart and CF Shaun Cumberland) to come back and defeat the Braves again, 8-7. C Jake Long (#1) and 1B Yonder Alonso (#2) both homered for Carolina. Alonso finished 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored (.277). Cozart was 2-for-2 with two walks and three RBI in total (.261) and Henry added two more hits and two runs scored (.273). Luis Montano struggled (6.86, 4 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 6 K) but the bullpen looked good, with new callup Josh Beal retiring six straight (3 K), Ramon Geronimo getting the W (4-3, 4.87, 1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER) and Sean Watson dominating the final two with six straight Ks (!- 4.55, save #7).
9/5: Again with the comeback wins! Trailing 2-0 entering the bottom of the eighth, the Mudcats tied the score on RBI hits by CF Kris Negron and Cumberland (a bunt). After Zach Ward pitched a scoreless ninth, Cozart led off the bottom of the inning with a single. He moved to second on a fielding error on the Mississippi CF. Eric Eymann singled to move him to third, but Carson Kainer struck out. Jason Bour walked to bring up LF Logan Parker, who delivered the game-winner with a single to right. Ward got the win to move to 2-4 (still 13.50, but he does have three scoreless outings in his last four). Alex Smit again looked great (four times in five since his return), lasting seven innings (3.04, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 6 K). Negron was 2-for-3 with a walk (.255) and Cozart (.263) and Eymann (.234) each had two hits as well.
9/6: Negron led off the Mudcats’ first with a double, moved to third on Jose Castro’s sacrifice and scored on Cozart’s sacrifice fly. This turned out to be the game’s only run. Alonso had a perfect day, going 3-for-3 with two doubles and a walk (.287) but Carolina never added to their lead. They never lost it, either, as Jerry Gil put together his best pitching performance of the year by a long shot (W 3-4, 8.21, 7 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 K). Ruben Medina pitched the eighth and Watson the ninth (save #8, 4.48, 1 IP, 1 K).
9/7: Jeremy Horst allowed a leadoff home run on the very first pitch he threw (to Micah’s kid brother, Jon Owings), but settled down to shut Mississippi down for the next six-plus innings. The Braves still led 1-0, though, despite two more hits from Alonso (14-for-his-last-33, .424). The Braves got to Horst again in the seventh and eighth, expanding their lead to 4-0 (L 1-4, 6.21, 7.1 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 84 pitches, 66 strikes). Jeremy picked three Braves off first base (and C Jason Bour nabbed one as well). Impressive. Josh Beal came on to strand a runner and finish the eighth. He gave up a solo homer leading off the ninth, making it 5-0 Braves. Carolina just couldn’t get anything going, though, and they ended their season with a shutout loss.
Great story that reminds us of the Carolina-Mississippi playoff series from last year. The Reds just hadn’t showed up yet.
Moves & Notes: (9/3) LHR Joe Krebs promoted to Louisville. RHR Josh Beal added from Sarasota.
1B Yonder Alonso finished his year strong after recovering from a broken hamate bone to pick up Southern League Player of the Week honors for the final regular-season period. Alonso was officially 11-for-24 with a homer and five RBI for the week.
Travis Wood officially took the 2009 Southern League ERA title along with the league’s single-season record. Interestingly, the last Mudcat to take the ERA title was in 1995- one Elmer Dessens.
Record this Week: 2-3.
Overall: 26-43 (second half). Overall 54-83. Sarasota finished a 26-43 second half and a 54-83 year overall. They finished last in both halves and compiled the fifth-worst record in the affiliated minors. It remains to be seen where the Reds’ High-A club will play in 2010.
9/3: For the second time in a week Palm Beach (STL) wins on their final at-bat, capitalizing on a fielding error by LF Justin Reed to score in the top of the ninth and beat the Reds, 3-2. CF Dave Sappelt was 3-for-4 with a run scored and steals #19 and #20 (.297). 3B Neftali Soto knocked in both Reds runs with a single (.245, now 56 RBI). Starter Travis Webb lasted five (3.99, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K) and Justin Freeman turned in three great innings (3.48, 1 H, 3 K). Mace Thurman took the loss (0-2, 1.13, 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K).
9/4: Charlotte (TB) nipped the Reds, 1-0. Lance Janke scattered eight hits over seven solid innings (L 0-5, 3.73, 0 BB, 7 K). Carlos Fisher got another inning of work in. Soto had two of Sarasota’s three hits (.247).
9/5: The Reds fired back, though, whipping the Stonecrabs 4-1. RF Denis Phipps homered (#10) and drove in three (3-for-4, .241). Curtis Partch headed to the offseason strong (W 3-2, 4.35, 7 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 K). Mace Thurman set down the last four for save #8 (1.10, 1 K).
9/6: Sarasota got all four of the game’s runs in the sixth to end their season on a winning note. Matt Fairel, like Partch the day before, headed into the offseason strong (W 3-3, 3.24, 8 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 K). Pretty successful first year for the lefty out of Florida State; he was 11-8, 3.02 in 27 starts between both levels of A-ball with 137 Ks in 160.2 IP. Anyway, C Jordan Wideman- who missed much of the year with an injury- went 3-for-4. Sappelt was 2-for-4 (.295) and Soto the same (.248, R, RBI).
Moves & Notes: (9/3) RHR Josh Beal up to Carolina.
Record this Week: 2-3.
Overall: 31-38 (second half). Overall record for the year: 59-80. The club improved slightly in the second half, but they miss the playoffs in the second half by one game. They weren’t close in the first half.
9/3: The Dragons, a half-game back of South Bend (ARI) with two games of a three-game series against the Silver Hawks remaining, didn’t disappoint- they win again, coming back from a 2-0 deficit to spank SB 5-3. Dayton collected thirteen hits, three from 3B Carlos Mendez (3B, 3 RBI, .302). C Kevin Coddington homered again, #2- both coming in this series. CF Alex Oliveras (.323, 2B, 2 R), RF Josh Fellhauer (.283, R) and 1B Mike Konstanty (.222) each had two hits. Starter JC Sulbaran, so unpredictable earlier in the year, turned in his third straight decent start of five-plus innings (W 5-5, 5.24, 6 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 2 HB, WP, BK). Hector Santana stranded two in the seventh, then Mike Bohana- a 26th-round pick in ’08 who’d struggled all year- fired two scoreless to lock down save #2 (4.68). After being almost completely ineffective at three different levels all year, the righthander has a 2.30 ERA in his last ten appearances spanning 15.2 innings. A nice time to pull it together.
With the win, Dayton takes a half-game lead over South Bend in the wildcard race with four to play. 9/4’s game against the Silver Hawks would also determine the head-to-head tiebreaker in case both clubs are tied at the end of the year; they’ve evenly split fourteen contests in 2009.
9/4: Chase Ware, a NDFA this year out of Arkansas State who’s ascended to Dayton to pitch middle/long relief after doing the same in the GCL, curiously drew the start against SB’s Eric Smith (actually making only his twelfth pro appearance and third in the MWL). In Ware’s only pro start a few weeks previous, he was bombed for six earned runs on eight hits in four innings.
As it turned out, both pitchers did well- six innings and two runs, leaving the two teams deadlocked past regulation into extra innings. But manager Todd Benzinger left Donnie Joseph in too long and the first four Silver Hawks reached in the tenth. Mike James let all three of his inherited runners score, and South Bend wins it in extras, 6-2. Joseph finished with an ugly line (L 2-2, 4.35, 2.2 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 K) but pitched very well until he ran out of gas. Ware did his job (4.13, 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR).
9/5: Great Lakes pounded the Dragons, 9-2, shoving Dayton’s playoff hopes to the brink. Ezequiel Infante struggled (L 2-2, 3.44, 5 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K). Fellhauer did hit a solo homer (#7, 2-for-4, .282, steal #7).
9/6: The Loons ended the Dragons’ playoff contention, winning easily 8-2. Shea Snowden took the defeat (L 1-1, 5.88, 2.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 2 HR). Mendez did go 3-for-3 with a walk and RBI (.306).
9/7: Regular-season finale. Dayton grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first when Mendez doubled in Puckett. It stayed that way for quite a while, as lefty Justin Walker stymied the Loons on two hits through six, striking out seven. The Dragons made it 3-0 when C Chase Weems doubled in two. Great Lakes finally chased Walker with a run in the seventh (W 1-2, 2.39, 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K). Mike Bohana got out of the inning but permitted one of two inherited runners to score. Dayton added a run in the eighth (Tony Brown’s sacrifice fly) to make it 4-2. Jordan Hotchkiss came on to strand two more GL runners and bail Bohana out of the eighth. He got through the ninth by stranding two more (save #3, 2.73) and Dayton locked up a 4-3 win. Mendez lashed two hits to finish at .308, while CF Byron Wiley had two hits to raise his average to .275 and go out on a five-game hitting streak.
Moves & Notes: Congratulations to the August Dragons Players of the Month- OF Alexis Oliveras (.358, 20 R, .505 SLG) and RHS Mark Serrano (2-1, 2.08, 6 GS, .180 OBA).
Serrano was also named the Reds’ Minor League Player of the Month for August.
In the same press release, 3B Carlos Mendez was named the Midwest League Batter of the Week for the final week of the regular season. Carlos hit .636 in that span.
Record this Week:
Overall: 8-20 (second half), 12-26 (first half).
9/3: The Mustangs tied the score at 3 in the ninth on 2B Cristobal Rodriguez’ RBI single, but Jake Wiley gave up the game-losing run in the bottom of the tenth (L 0-1, 6.08, 0.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER). Great Falls takes it, 4-3. Solid outing for Leo Astorga (4.91, 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K), who left leading 2-1, but Adian Kummet allowed five hits over two innings, leading to a pair of Voyagers runs in the sixth. Daniel Corcino did set down six straight in the eighth and ninth (2 K, 4.44) to give Billings the comeback chance. 1B Tom Nurre (#5) and LF Efrain Contreras (#2) both hit solo homers early in the ballgame. 3B Frank Pfister was 3-for-4 with a run scored (.263).
9/4: Billings and Helena (MIL) revived their suspended game from a few weeks ago with the Brewers leading 1-0 in the fourth. The Brewers would lead as much as 4-1, but Billings got two in the sixth and then tied the score in the bottom of the seventh and final inning when Contreras was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Up stepped RF Sean Conner, and THERE IT GOES~! A game-winning grand-slam homer, Conner’s fifth of the year, and Billings takes it 8-4. Jamie Walczak pitched the final inning for the win (2-2, 5.93, 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K). 3B Yen-Wen Kuo was 3-for-4 (.278), Rodriguez 2-for-3 with two runs scored, and Contreras 2-for-2 with two RBI and two walks.
Game two (MAKEUP MADNESS!) saw Helena grab an early lead with three in the first off Oscar Castro (5.95, 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR) but the Mustangs put up five in the third. Brian Pearl coughed up two in the seventh to tie it, though (4.05, 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 4 K, 1 HR), and the game went to extras. Jake Wiley shut the Brewers down for three (W 1-1, 4.96, 1 H, 2 K) and Billings made it a double-walk-off day when 2B Cristobal Rodriguez launched a three-run homer (#1) in the bottom of the tenth. Billings takes it, 8-5. Pfister hit a homer in that big third (#1) and finished 3-for-5 (.272).
9/5: The Brewers got a modicum of revenge with a 3-0 shutout win. Luca Panerati pitched decently but was outdueled (L 3-7, 5.96, 6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 HR).
9/6: Missoula (ARI) kicked off the mercifully final series of the Mustangs’ year with a 12-2 thrashing. Tim Crabbe fell to 0-7 (5.32, 1 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 0 ER, 1 BB). SS Cristobal Rodriguez committed three errors (giving him 14 in 28 Pioneer League games). Yorman doubled in five trips, lowering his overall line to .244/.283/.384. Pfister singled and tripled in four at-bats (.276) and 1B Chris Richburg and Conner were both 2-for-4 (.266 and .237, respectively).
9/7: Billings blew leads of 1-0 and 8-6 as Missoula got two in the bottom of the ninth off teenage closer Daniel Corcino (L 1-4, BS #2, 5.11, 0.1 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 2 BB) and took it, 9-8. Cristobal Rodriguez did go 3-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI (.186) and C Trey Manz was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a solo homer, #2 (.289). Yorman was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts (.237). Starter Blair Carson lasted just three (4.71, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR). Jamie Walczak struck out five over three innings (4.23, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB) and Adian Kummet did decently in two (4.31, 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K). The Mustangs as a team were just 2-for-16 with men in scoring position; they stranded ten runners.
9/8: Missoula continued with the wholesale slaughter, but Billings blocked the kick after the Osprey’s second touchdown. This held the score down to 13-2. Leo Astorga (L 2-8, 5.01, 4 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR) pitched a scoreless first and second before bad D and the gopher balls took over. Mike Henry pitched three scoreless in middle relief (7.36, 3 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 3 K) but Jake Wiley was whacked for five earned in an inning. C Mark Fleury was 3-for-4 with a double and triple (.203, RBI).
9/9: Billings got a clutch RBI hit from LF Tyler Stovall in the eighth to tie and an equally clutch RBI double from 3B Yen-Wen Kuo in the ninth to nip Missoula, 3-2! Stovall finished 3-for-4 with two RBI (.243). Brian Pearl got his first pro win with a scoreless eighth (W 1-0, 3.90, 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K) and Jason Braun got save #1 (5.35). Starter Oscar Castro lasted four (5.32, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K) and lefty Bryan Gardner bounced back from a recent horrid stretch to strike out four in three scoreless (8.02, 2 H, 2 BB).
9/10: Tzu-Kai Chiu couldn’t hold it together the way he’d been doing in relief (L 1-2, 5.96, 2.2 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K) as Great Falls (CHW) wins it, 6-3. Manz hit another homer, a two-run blast (#3). Conner added a pair of doubles (.241).
9/11: The Mustangs finish a nightmare season on a winning note as Tim Crabbe got his very first win of the year (W 1-7, 4.68, 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) in a 4-1 decision. Cristobal Rodriguez hit a two-run homer (#2, .190) and Fleury doubled in two insurance runs in the ninth. Jamie Walczak struck out four in two hitless innings to finish with an ERA under four (3.94) and Brian Pearl got save #8 (3.77).
Overall: 28-27 END SEASON