No notes this week, as I'm trying to catch up. I'll have some for #9.
AAA Louisville Bats
This week: 4-3.
Overall: 30-23, second place, six behind Columbus (CLE).
5/26: The Bats couldn’t get consistent solid contact off Scranton-Wilkes/Barre (NYY) righty Carlos Silva- just four hits and two walks in seven innings. Scott Carroll scattered nine hits over 6.2, but was outdueled (L 2-2, 5.01, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 102 pitches/71 strikes). Yankees take it, 5-0. Aroldis Chapman didn’t walk anyone over the final two innings, but gave up five hits and three earned runs. He also flung two wild pitches and committed a balk. C Devin Mesoraco was 2-for-3 with a walk (.295).
5/27: Bats outhit the Dunder-Mifflins thirteen to nine, but SWB takes their second straight, 6-4. Chad Reineke started but left after two innings (2 H, 4 K, 2.52) as his imminent callup is/was expected. Justin Lehr followed him (L 1-1, 7.71, 3 IP, 3 H, 2 ER). Joe Krebs struggled (2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 6.75). rf Jeremy Hermida was 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI (.336) and DH Juan Francisco (.360, 2B, 2 R), 2B Chris Valaika (.289) and SS Kris Negron (.204) each had two hits. LF Yonder Alonso was 0-for-5, falling below .300 to .297 in the process.
5/28: So Edinson Volquez was set to make his first Bats start- and it comes against Cincinnati native Andrew Brackman, a Moeller alumnus drafted in the first round by the Yankees a few years ago. Brackman permitted Louisville just one hit and struck out eight, but six walks led to two earned runs and just 4.1 innings. SWB did get a single run off Volquez in the eighth to tie the score at 2 and give Edinson a no-decision- but it was a good start (7.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, WP, HB, 109 pitches/69 strikes). 1B Danny Dorn whacked his fifth homer, a two-run shot, in the bottom of the eighth to give Louisville a 4-2 lead (.307, 2-for-4). David Johnson (W 2-0, 5.70, 0.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 K) and Steven Jackson (0.00, save #1, 0.2 IP, 1 BB) managed to close out the 4-3 win. Jackson came on and threw a wild pitch while walking the first man he faced, but a 6-4-3 double play- the third turned by the Bats on the night- ended it.
5/29: Series win for the D-Ms- they take three of four, scoring four in the top of the ninth off Aroldis Chapman (L 0-1, 1.2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) to win 8-4. Chapman threw a scoreless eighth with a pair of strikeouts, but fell apart in the ninth:
Scranton/WB Top of the 9th
• Jorge Vazquez singles on a soft fly ball to center fielder Brent Clevlen.
• Justin Maxwell walks. Jorge Vazquez to 2nd.
• Brandon Laird doubles (10) on a ground ball to left fielder Yonder Alonso. Jorge Vazquez scores. Justin Maxwell to 3rd.
• Kevin Russo pops out to shortstop Kristopher Negron.
• Dan Brewer strikes out swinging.
• Doug Bernier singles on a ground ball to second baseman Chris Valaika. Justin Maxwell scores. Brandon Laird scores. Throwing error by second baseman Chris Valaika.
• With Austin Krum batting, Doug Bernier steals (1) 2nd base.
• Austin Krum walks.
• Ramiro Pena doubles (7) on a sharp line drive to left fielder Yonder Alonso. Doug Bernier scores. Austin Krum to 3rd.
• Pitcher Change: Chris Mobley replaces Aroldis Chapman.
• Jesus Montero strikes out swinging.
Starter Brandon Hynick, in his second Reds organization appearance after serving up six earned runs in four-plus for Carolina, pitched a little better (7.59, 6 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 82 pitches/58 strikes). Hermida was 4-for-4 (.356, R) and Dorn hit a three-run homer (#6, 2-for-4, .313) to extend his hitting streak to 11 games while Negron connected for #5. Alonso got back to .300 with two singles.
5/30: Syracuse (WAS) came to Louisville Slugger Field for a four-game set. Matt Klinker pitched exceptionally well in his return to Triple-A (W 3-1, 6.65, 6.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 80 pitches/50 strikes) and the Bats blew a close game out with five in the seventh to take a 9-1 lead. Jerry Gil struggled (6.46, 1.1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER) but Justin Lehr came on to finish out the 9-4 win. C Corky Miller launched a three-run homer (#1, 2-for-4, 2 R, .203). Alonso was 3-for-5 with two runs and a RBI (.308) and Valaika 3-for-5 as well (.287, steal #1).
5/31: Carroll back to the hill against the fifth-place SkyChiefs. He ran his record to 3-2 with 7.2 innings of one-run ball (4.57, 6 H, 0 BB, 3 K) on an impressively efficient 82 pitches as Louisville triumphed, 5-1. Mesoraco was 3-for-4 with two RBI (.306, 2B) and Dorn socked homer #7 (.313, now 31 RBI). Alonso added two singles and a RBI (.312). Right-hander Nick Christiani pitched a 1-2-3 ninth after coming in with two on and none out to earn the save in his debut Triple-A appearance.
6/1: Make it three wins in a row over Syracuse, then. The Bats were outhit twelve to six, but Daryl Thompson held the SkyChiefs to one run over five innings of his first AAA start (7 H, 0 BB, 6 K, 93 pitches/63 strikes) and Juan Francisco’s fielder’s choice grounder scored Alonso with the tiebreaking run in the sixth. Alonso, who’d tripled, finished 3-for-4 (.321, RBI). Dave Johnson picked up the win with a scoreless sixth and seventh (3-0, 5.06, 3 H, 0 BB, 0 K). Justin Lehr took care of the eighth and Christiani made it two appearances, two saves (0.00, 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB).
Transactnotes: 5/28: LHR Jeremy Horst’s contract purchased by Cincinnati. RHS Matt Klinker up from Carolina. RHR Chris Mobley acquired from Texas for future considerations. RHP Brandon Hynick up from Carolina. 5/29: LHP Tom Cochran’s contract purchased by Cincinnati. OF Brian Barton activated from the DL. 5/30: LHR Joe Krebs to Carolina. RHP Daryl Thompson up from Carolina. RHR Nick Christiani promoted from Carolina. RHR Jordan Smith to the DL. 5/31: RHS Chad Reineke became the third pitcher in a week to have his contract purchased by the Reds (http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...k_cin&c_id=cin) when Homer Bailey went to the DL. 6/1: SS Zach Cozart activated from the DL, something I’d missed. He doubled and scored a run in his first game back.
AA Carolina Mudcats
This week: 3-4.
Overall: 16-37, last place, 17.5 games behind Tennessee (CHC).
5/26: Well, Daryl Thompson was called up by the Reds- so it ended up being lefty Lee Tabor pressed into emergency start duty. Tabor held his own through four innings, but Birmingham (CWS) chased him in the fifth while expanding their lead to 5-0 (L 0-3, 8.67, 4.1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 2 HB). The Barons cruised, 8-2, adding three more runs off James Adkins in the ninth.
5/27: This one was even uglier. Kyle McCulloch put up zeroes for three innings before the Barons pasted him for six runs in the fourth (L 1-2, 6.00, 6 IP, 10 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 3 K). They added a handful more off the badly struggling Donnie Joseph (11.14, 1.2 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K) and routed the hapless Mudcats 12-1. This loss clinched yet another series loss- we still don’t have a five-game stretch against the same team where Carolina has been able to win three. Incredible.
5/28: C James Skelton lashed a two-run double to start a four-run eighth, breaking a 3-3 tie and propelling Carolina to a 7-3 victory. Skelton also had a triple (2-for-3, .227). CF Quintin Berry (2-for-5, 3B, RBI, .301) and 1B Neftali Soto (2-for-4, 2B, R, .311) both continued their hot hitting as of late. James Avery turned in a quality start (4.53, 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) although it was Nick Christiani getting the win in relief (W 2-0, 1.75, 2 IP, 1 BB, 1 K). Brad Boxberger struck everyone out in the ninth (1.50, 1 IP, 1 BB, 3 K, 40 Ks in 24 IP).
5/29: The Mudcats pounded out nineteen hits, hammering Birmingham 14-5 and scoring more than one run in five separate innings. Tim Gustafson’s Reds system debut saw him strike out five in three innings (7.16, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB). Clayton Shunick debuted with two innings (2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K) but it was Travis Webb (W 1-4, 6.82, 2 H, 0 BB, 6 K) who dominated three innings for his first win of the year. Webb had a brutal start to the year but has since spun fourteen straight scoreless innings en route to a 1.89 ERA in May. 2B Cody Puckett, who has been just as bad in May (.214) as he was good in April (.351, 25 RBI), slugged homer #8. SS Miguel Rojas drove in five runs with three hits and a sacrifice fly (.260, R, steal #8). Berry was 3-for-4 with two walks, two runs, two steals (12) and a run batted in. RF Denis Phipps was just 1-for-2 officially but scored four runs thanks to three walks.
5/30: Carolina headed down to Jacksonville (FLA) for a road set- and made it three straight wins, bushwhacking the Suns 8-0! Right-hander Pedro Villareal, 23, aced his Double-A debut (W 1-0, 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K). The control artist, a seventh-round pick in 2008 out of Howard College, had walked just eight in fifty-eight California League innings (4-3, 4.34, 68 H, 41 K). This level will be the true test. Anyway, Joseph also set down six straight Suns batters- a ray of hope (10.17, 2 K). Rojas had another big game (3-for-5, 2 R, .270), 3B Jake Kahauleilo was 2-for-2 with 2 RBI (.204) and Berry was 2-for-5 with two runs scored (now .324/.440/.441 in Mudcat red).
5/31: Lee Tabor pitched very well (7.59, 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K) but the Mudcats got just four hits and lost, 3-1. Justin Freeman (L 0-2, 6.58, 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) blew a 1-1 tie. The only Carolina run scored in the first, when Berry walked, moved to second on Rojas’ sacrifice, went to third on David Cook’s groundout and scored on an E-5 as the result of Neftali Soto’s grounder.
6/1: Another nip-and-tuck loss, 3-2. Carolina got two in the top of the sixth to take a brief lead, but the Suns came right back with two of their own in the bottom of the inning when C Kyle Skipworth homered off Travis Webb (L 1-5, 6.94, 2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER), breaking the lefty’s scoreless-innings streak. The Mudcats mustered only two singles over the final three innings. Starter Kyle McCulloch lasted five (5.09, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K). Puckett (.270, 2B, RBI, R) and CF Felix Perez (.215, RBI) were each 2-for-4.
Transactnotes: 5/26: Seems like a surprise, but RHP Daryl Thompson was called up to the big leagues when the Reds put Matt Maloney on the DL. It’s easy to forget that Thompson was put back on the 40-man roster late last year after looking good in the Arizona Fall League as a reliever. This is why it seemed odd that he was starting in Carolina this year. 5/27: Thompson optioned back to Carolina. RHP Mark Serrano activated and sent down to Bakersfield. LHR Clayton Shunick promoted from Bakersfield. 5/28: RHS Brandon Hynick and Matt Klinker to Louisville. RHS Pedro Villareal promoted from Bakersfield. RHP Tim Gustafson signed as a free agent and activated. Gustafson, 26 and 6’3”/185#, was originally a ninth-round pick of Atlanta in 2006 out of Georgia Tech. He posted a lackluster 5.01 ERA in Low-A in 2007, then missed most of 2008 with injuries. Returning to action in 2009, he pitched decently at Double-A Mississippi (2-3, 3.79, 20 G, 7 GS, 61.2 IP, 32 BB/49 K). He made it to Triple-A in 2010 but struggled (5.70 ERA, 14 G, 82 H and 39 BB in 66.1 IP with just 36 K). This year he was 1-3, 7.28 with Mississippi in six starts. 5/30: INF Mike Costanzo placed on the DL with a hamstring strain. INF Eric Campbell promoted from Bakersfield. RHP Daryl Thompson up to Louisville. RHR Nick Christiani promoted to Louisville. 5/31: RHR Jason Braun up from Dayton in what is likely a temporary assignment.
High-A Bakersfield Blaze
This week: 3-4.
Overall: 28-25, tied for second, six games behind San Jose (SF).
5/26: San Jose (SF) got a run in the sixth and five in the seventh to erase a 2-0 deficit and score an eventual 6-4 win over Bakersfield. The Blaze got single runs in the seventh and eighth, but left runners on third with less than two outs each time. Curt Partch (L 2-5, 5.79, 6.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) started and lost. SS Brodie Greene was 3-for-5 with a triple and RBI (.320) and also his 16th error in 44 games. Blame it on the infield, I guess. 3B Alex Buchholz has been steady since beginning his season late- here he was 2-for-4 with a double and run scored (.283).
5/27: Bakersfield outhit San Jose fourteen to nine but dropped a 9-8 heartbreaker. C Yasmani Grandal walked and 2B Henry Rodriguez blooped a single to start the ninth, but CF Ryan LaMarre bunted into a forceout and speedy Andrew Means grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game. Rodriguez finished 4-for-5 (.330) with two RBI. C Mark Fleury was 3-for-4 with steal #2 and a solo homer (#1) from the nine-hole (.235) and Grandal had a pair of RBI (.284, 2 BB, R, 1-for-3). Starter JC Sulbaran was okay (5.60, 6 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, WP, 2 HB). Tyree Hayes took the loss (L 3-2, BS #2, 6.04, 1.1 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 2 BB).
5/28: A four-game series sweep by the Giants. They win 8-2. Lance Janke (L 3-3, 6.50, 6 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 5 K) started. Buchholz played first base this time and drove in both Blaze runs, one with his third homer (2-for-3, .306). Rodriguez had two more hits as well (.333). The first game of 2011 for SS Didi Gregorius saw the 21-year-old go 1-for-4.
5/29: Tim Crabbe’s very first High-A start didn’t go so hot (4.76, 3.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR) but the Blaze roared back from a 7-2 deficit by tying it up in the seventh at 7, then getting a game-winning RBI single from Brodie Greene in the bottom of the ninth to nip Visalia (ARI), 8-7! 1B Chris Richburg had led off the ninth with a double. Rodriguez walked, then a passed ball moved both runners up. Immediately afterwards a Rawhide pitcher (but not the one currently in the game) and manager were ejected (!?). LaMarre had an infield hit to load the bases, but Buchholz flew out. Greene punched the game-winner into right to send 317 (!!) fans home happy. Greene raised his average to .316 (2-for-3, 2 RBI). Gregorius poked a couple of singles, Richburg drove in a pair (2-for-3, .236) and Means popped a two-run homer (#3). Tzu-Kai Chiu returned from extended-spring oblivion to work 3.2 innings of solid relief (7.65, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR) and Drew Bowman got the win by working the final two (W 2-1, 6.66, 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB).
5/30: Bakersfield had men on base in each of the final three innings, but they fell two runs short of a comeback. Visalia evens the series, 9-7. The Blaze outhit the Rawhide 16-14, led by Gregorius (3-for-5, RBI, .462 start), Fleury (3-for-4, 2B, 3B, .260) and LaMarre (2-for-4, homer #3, 2B, 3 RBI). Rodriguez (#6) and Richburg (#2) homered. Henry’s 3-for-5 made him nineteen for his last forty (.475)! Mark Serrano’s first appearance of 2011 was okay (5 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 2 HR) but it was unearned runs from a Gregorius error that doomed Tyree Hayes (L 3-3, 5.67, 1.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 0 ER).
5/31: Curt Partch’s complete game helped Bakersfield take the rubber match of the series, 4-3. He survived three Blaze errors (W 3-5, 6.11, 9 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) and recorded thirteen groundball outs. RF Stephen Hunt had a two-run single and LF Andrew Means crushed his third homer leading off the first.
6/1: JC Sulbaran fired six innings of shutout ball, whiffing nine Stockton Ports (OAK) as Bakersfield wins 1-0! Sulbaran is undefeated on the season (W 3-0, 4.94, 4 H, 3 BB). Mace Thurman struck out four more in two (2.48, 2 H, 4 K) and Doug Salinas got save #5 (8.31, 1 IP, 1 K). The only run of the game came as a result of Stephen Hunt’s fifth homer- his batting average is slowly fading down to non-videogame levels, but .385 is still ridiculous, even for the California League.
Transactnotes: So we knew this was coming with the success of several Blaze players early and the general lack of success of the Mudcats, one level above. Now, with the top end of the system discombobulated thanks to injuries to the big-league pitching staff, we see the Reds pushing some guys up the ladder. 5/27: LHR Clayton Shunick (1.67 ERA with Bakersfield in 27 IP) promoted to Carolina. 5/28: RHS Pedro Villareal (4-3, 4.34, 10 GS) also promoted. SS Didi Gregorius activated. LHR Tzu-Kai Chiu also activated. 5/30: INF Eric Campbell (.371/.468/.653, 46 G, 9 HR, 40 RBI, 18 2B) promoted to Carolina to (at a minimum) replace the injured Mike Costanzo. Campbell has spent a couple of seasons at Double-A in the past and really shouldn’t be back at this level.
Low-A Dayton Dragons
This week: 2-5.
Overall: 26-27, fourth place, 3.5 games behind Great Lakes (LAD).
5/26: Schoolkid Special in Great Lakes (LAD)! The day game agreed with Dan Renken, who fired seven innings of one-run ball (W 2-4, 3.10, 6 H, 0 BB, 8 K, WP, HB; now 15 BB and 59 K in 52.1 IP). He left leading 3-1 (RBI single from 1B Dominic D’Anna in the third, RBI single from RF Yorman Rodriguez in the fourth, sacrifice fly from LF Jaren Matthews directly following). Again Dayton blew things up late, scoring four in the eighth with the help of a two-run single from 2B Devin Lohman (2-for-3, .179) and a RBI knock from C Chris Berset. Chad Rogers pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth (2.37). 1B Donald Lutz was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a double (.283). SS Billy Hamilton did play an errorless game but went 0-for-4 with a walk, dropping his average back below the Mendoza Line (.199). He did, of course, swipe base #39. That’s more than six whole teams (!!!) in the Midwest League.
5/27: The Dragons follow up the series sweep over the Loons on the road by popping South Bend (ARI) in game one of their series, 6-1. Josh Smith can’t be stopped (W 4-3, 1.78, 6 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K). Hamilton was just 1-for-5 but drove in two runs and thieved base #40 (and committed error #19). C Tucker Barnhart was 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored, and a RBI (.305).
5/28: Rained out.
5/29: A planned day of MAKEUP MADNESS resulted in the Dragons and Silver Hawks getting one game in, but the second one was postponed. South Bend got a 3-0 shutout win over Dayton, pinning the loss on Daniel Corcino (L 6-3, 3.10, 6 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K). Only three hits for Dayton.
5/30: MAKEUP MADNESS AGAIN! South Bend swept the makeup doubleheader, 4-1 and 5-4. Dan Tuttle started and lost the opener (L 4-2, 4.04, 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K). Hamilton’s RBI double plated the only Dragons run in that game. The Silver Hawks got the game-winner in the bottom of the eighth off Blaine Howell (L 0-1, 2.14, 2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 1 K) of the second game. Pat Doyle started (3.86, 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K). Hamilton had a double and triple, two RBI, and two runs scored (.204). D’Anna also had a double, triple, and two RBI (.288). CF Theo Bowe continued to do well from the leadoff slot, tripling and drawing a walk and scoring both times on base. The 21st-round pick in 2008 is batting .273/.373/.409 with five steals in six attempts since being activated a couple of weeks ago.
5/31: Back home after a feast-or-famine road trip to face Beloit (MIN). This one was quite the seesaw matchup- the Dragons led early, fell behind 5-2, then rolled up a 10-5 lead headed to the ninth. Then:
Beloit Top of the 9th
• Daniel Santana singles on a ground ball to pitcher Chad Rogers.
• Jamaal Hawkins called out on strikes.
• Wang-Wei Lin doubles (10) on a fly ball to left fielder Theo Bowe. Daniel Santana to 3rd.
• Nate Roberts walks.
• Michael Gonzales singles on a line drive to right fielder Drew Poulk. Daniel Santana scores. Wang-Wei Lin scores. Nate Roberts to 2nd.
• Daniel Ortiz flies out to right fielder Drew Poulk.
• Kyle Knudson singles on a ground ball to shortstop Billy Hamilton. Nate Roberts to 3rd. Michael Gonzales to 2nd.
• Offensive Substitution: Pinch hitter Lance Ray replaces Andy Leer.
• Lance Ray hits a grand slam (5) to right field. Nate Roberts scores. Michael Gonzales scores. Kyle Knudson scores.
• Gunner Glad singles on a line drive to right fielder Drew Poulk.
• Pitcher Change: Daniel Wolford replaces Chad Rogers.
• Daniel Santana strikes out swinging.
The Dragons went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth and lost, 11-10. Every year there are a couple of games like this, huh? Rogers fell to 0-2 (4.79, 1.2 IP, 7 H, 6 ER). Tanner Robles started (5.62, 5 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 6 K, 1 HR). Good game for Billy Hamilton- he went 3-for-5 with three RBI, a double, steal #41, error #20, and CS/pickoff #7. 3B David Vidal was 3-for-5 with four RBI (.268) and a double. RF Drew Poulk homered in his first start of the season (2-for-5, 2 R).
6/1: This time the Hammerheads led most of the way, but the Dragons rallied. They got a run to make it 6-5 Beloit with two out in the bottom of the ninth- but RF Jefry Sierra struck out to end the game. He did go 2-for-5 with two RBI (.204). Vidal hit homer #6 and Hamilton got bag #42. Dan Renken struck out nine in six innings (L 2-5, 3.55, 6 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 9 K). Dan Wolford got three more in two scoreless innings (2.67, 1 H).
Transactnotes: 5/27: OF Drew Poulk activated from extended spring training, replacing OF Juan Duran (7-day DL, strained hamstring). 5/31: LHR Ezequiel Infante activated. RHR Jason Braun to Carolina (see above).