There is so much variability in baseball. There are always different players thriving and struggling and no team is going to be completely consistent anywhere near every game. In the playoffs, though, you have to hope that enough of your players are going well, especially your starting pitcher, otherwise you’re in trouble. Rays affiliates dropped to 0-3 in the minor league playoffs with their two losses on Thursday.
Double-A Southern League Postseason Game 1 (Best of 5): Mobile BayBears (ARI) 5, Montgomery Biscuits 3
Matt Buschmann had been going well entering his Game 1 start on Thursday, tossing 5 straight quality starts allowing 2 or fewer runs in all but 1, but he struggled in the Biscuits’ playoff debut and the offense was unable to compensate as the Biscuits fell behind 1-0 to the BayBears in the first round of the Southern League Postseason. Buschmann lasted just 4.1 innings allowing 5 runs, 4 earned, on 6 hits, striking out 3 while walking 4 although his groundout to flyout ratio was a good 6-3. The Biscuits pushed across a run in the 3rd on a Derek Dietrich RBI double and another in the 5th on a Mikie Mahtook RBI single, but they trailed 5-2 after 5 innings. Marquis Fleming, Neil Schenk, and C.J. Riefenhauser tossed scoreless ball in relief of Buschmann, but the Biscuits managed just 1 more run on another RBI single by Mahtook in the 9th before they fell 5-3. This game was actually pretty embarrassing for the Biscuits as they banged out 14 hits compared to Mobile’s 8 but went just 3 for 18 with runners in scoring position. You have to seize your opportunities, especially in the playoffs, and they were unable to execute. Chase Anderson earned the win for Mobile, allowing 2 run on 8 hits in 5 innings, striking out 9 while walking 1. For the Biscuits, Mahtook went 3 for 5 with his 2 RBIs, Ty Morrison and Shawn O’Malley each went 3 for 5 with a stolen base, and Michael Sheridan and Greg Sexton each went 2 for 4 with a double.
Low-A Midwest League Playoffs Game 2 (Best of 3): Lake County Captains (CLE) 5, Bowling Green Hot 4 (10 innings)
The Hot Rods’ trip to the postseason was a short one as the Captains swept them 2 games to none in the first round. Ryan Carpenter got the start for Bowling Green and struggled mightily with command as he allowed line drive after line drive. Carpenter actually struck out 6 while walking 1 in 3.2 innings, but he allowed 4 runs on 8 hits to put the Hot Rods down 4-2. A Jeff Malm 2-run homer accounted for the Bowling Green runs to that point but they had already left 5 men on base, 3 in scoring position. Andrew Bellatti followed Carpenter and was excellent, allowing just 2 hits in 3.2 innings, striking out 6 while walking 1. The Hot Hods continued to strand a bunch of runners, but finally in the 7th they came back to tie the game. The Hot Rods had two on with no one out after a Todd Glaesmann double and a Malm walk before a strikeout and a groundout meant that it was down to Juniel Querecuto. But Querecuto came through with an enormous hit, drilling a 2-run double to tie the game at 4. Nick Sawyer tossed the next 2 innings scoreless for the Hot Rods, but in the 10th, an Austin Hubbard wild pitch scored the go-ahead run as Lake County won 5-4. The Hot Rods went just 1 for 15 with runners in scoring position, and that was the difference in this one. Both teams struck out 14 times in the game even though neither starter escaped the 4th inning. Querecuto, Glaesmann, Matt Rice, and Cameron Seitzer all had multi-games in the Hot Rods’ final game of the season.