As we see on all the TV shows, rehab is no guarantee. Even injury rehab. Setbacks happen and you just have to hope that your players can persevere if they don’t avoid them entirely. So far, so good for Matt Joyce.
Triple-A International League: Charlotte Knights (CHW) 4, Durham Bulls 0
11 hits, three separate 3-hit games, and zero runs. That is pretty embarrassing. Lance Pendleton was certainly not great, going 6 innings allowing 4 runs on 6 hits, striking out 5 while walking 1 but allowing a 4-6 groundout to flyout ratio and 2 home runs. Josh Lueke was great in the final two innings, allowing just a hit while striking out 3 and walking none and posting a 3-0 groundout to flyout ratio. But the Bulls went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position and couldn’t mMuster a single run. Henry Wrigley went 3 for 4 with 2 doubles, and Leslie Anderson and Matt Mangini each went 3 for 4 as well, but they just could not score.
Double-A Southern League: Mobile Baybears (ARI) 11, Montgomery Biscuits 3
Matt Buschmann has to wonder what the heck just happened. He forced groundball after groundball. His groundout to flyout ratio in the game was a perfect 13-0. His groundball to flyball ratio was 16-4. Even his groundballs to flyballs, line drives, and pop-ups ratio was 16-10. Yet his start was an absolute disaster. He went 6 innings allowing 9 runs on 11 hits, striking out 2 and walking out 2 as well. He managed to allow just 4 flyballs, but 2 home runs! That is known is terrible luck. Sorry, Matt. It happens. Ryan Garko did slam a 2-run homer for the Biscuits.
High-A Florida State League: Daytona Cubs 4, Charlotte Stone Crabs 3
Nice to see Matt Joyce back in a game for the first time since July 4th. Joyce started in right field had a nice showing, going 1 for 3 with a double, a walk, and an RBI. A bizarre chain of events happened after Joyce left the game. Kevin Kiermaier entered the game as a defensive replacement and then was pinch-hit for by Riccio Torrez without getting an at-bat, and Torrez got a huge RBI single to tie the game at 3. Backtracking, C.J. Riefenhauser had his first non-disaster start since June 22nd, although he was by no means dominant. He went 4 innings allowing 3 runs, 2 earned, on 5 hits, striking out 2 while walking 4. His groundout to flyout ratio was 4-3. More dominant was Alex Koronis, who relieved Riefenhauser and came through with his best appearance, since, interestingly, July 15th, 2011, a year prior to the day. Wow. He went 4.1 shutout innings allowing 2 hits and a walk while striking out 4. Unfortunately, Chris Rearick entered with 1 out in the 9th and allowed a walk, a double, and a walk-off sac fly by Rubi Silva to end it.
Low-A Midwest League: Bowling Green Hot Rods 4, Peoria Chiefs (CHC) 2
It’s that’s time of year at the Low-A level. The pitchers in Low-A are all coming from Short Season-A or Rookie Ball and came into this year with a relatively small amount of innings under their belt. At this point in the season, the Rays have started to limit the innings of their Low-A pitchers to make sure that their workload doesn’t increase by too much from year to year in order to keep them healthy. Roberto Gomez was the first starter for Bowling Green and pitched well, allowing no runs on 3 hits in 3 innings, striking out 2 while walking 1. Felipe Rivero followed and was pretty unimpressive, allowing 1 run on 4 hits in his 3 frames, striking out just 1 while walking 2. Charlie Cononie tossed the final third of the game, allowing 1 run on 2 hits in 3 innings, striking out 5 while walking 4. They held the Chiefs to 2 runs and the Hot Rods got them the run support they needed to win. Cameron Seitzer was moved into the three-hole with Drew Vettleson getting a day off and sure hit like it, going 4 for 5 with an RBI and a run scored. He raised his batting average from .297 to .306 in the process. Jake Hager also had a nice game, going 1 for 3 with a big 2-run single, a walk, a stolen base, and a run scored. And in addition, Josh Sale was by no means flashy but had an encouraging performance, going 0 for 1 but with 3 walks and a run scored.
Advanced Rookie Appalachian League: Game 1: Burlington Royals 2, Princeton Rays 0 (7 innings)
Blake Snell finally lost his first game of the season with what can be called a bad outing. Boy, what some people would give for Blake Snell’s bad outings. Snell went 4.2 innings allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, striking out 4 while walking 3 and posting a 6-4 groundout to flyout ratio. Zach Butler and Randy Davis combined to hold the Royals down for the rest of the game, but the P-Rays couldn’t generate any offense and fell in the opener of the doubleheader. They managed just 3 hits, by Willie Argo, who went 1 for 2 with a walk, and Brandon Martin and Daniel Duran, who had a hit apiece.
Game 2: Princeton Rays 3, Burlington Royals 1
The P-Rays’ fate reversed in Game 2, as often appears to be the case. Bruedlin Suero, a lean 6’4″, 170 lefty, had his best start of the season by an exorbitant amount, going 5 innings allowing just 1 run on 5 hits, striking out 4 while walking 1. His groundout to flyout ratio was a great 9-2. He managed a 1.80 start ERA after not getting below 7.20 in any of his other 5 appearances, 4 of which were starts. Congrats to Bruedlin, and hopefully he has turned a corner. Jon Weaver tossed 2 perfect innings with 2 strikeouts for the save. The offense was supplied by a few different contributors, with Omar Narvaez going 2 for 3 with a run scored, Alvin Toles going 1 for 2 with a walk, an RBI, and 2 stolen bases, and Daryl George and John Alexander each lacing an RBI single.