The Undercards: Ames, Snell, Cedeno Sharp as Pitching Rules Lower Levels
One thing you can count on: even during the All-Star Break, there is minor league baseball. And there will always be some thrillers and some big individual performances to look back at.
Double-A Southern League: Jackson Generals (SEA) 3, Montgomery Biscuits 1
Matt Buschmann pitched well, but the offense wasn’t there to back him up as the Biscuits fell 3-1. Buschmann tossed 7 innings allowing just 2 runs, 1 earned, on 5 hits, striking out 5 while walking 1 as he threw 63 of 97 pitches for strikes. You have to think that he’ll be back at Triple-A soon, and don’t be surprised if he gets his first big league look in September- especially if David Price has his way, because Buschmann roomed with Price for a time at Vanderbilt. Tyler Bortnick had a double and the Biscuits’ only RBI in this one, while Ty Morrison and Omar Luna both went 2 for 5.
High-A Florida State League: Palm Beach Cardinals 10, Charlotte Stone Crabs 9
Even after a horrific start, you never know what can happen if your bullpen can just keep the other team at bay. Unfortunately it was too little, too late for the Stone Crabs as they fell just short of overcoming a 6-0 deficit after 3 innings. C.J. Riefenhauser had his second straight disaster start, allowing 7 runs, 6 earned, on 7 hits in 4+ innings. His peripherals were not as disastrous as he struck out 3 while walking 1 and posted a 5-2 groundout to flyout ratio, but he got hit pretty hard in this one. Alex Koronis allowed 3 more runs in 2 innings but Theron Geith came through with 2 shutout innings to give the Stone Crabs a chance. The Stone Crabs offense gave their all, scoring 9 while stranding just 5 runners. Derek Dietrich was right in the middle, going 3 for 5 with a 3-run homer, a double, and 2 runs scored, and Riccio Torrez had a 2-run shot as part of a 1 for 3 day with a walk. Mikie Mahtook, Hector Guevara, and Robi Estrada combined for 1 hit between themselves yet managed the other 4 RBI.
Low-A Midwest League: Lake County Captains (CLE) 7, Bowling Green Hot Rods 6 (11 innings)
Another classic here as the Hot Rods got shoddy bullpen work by rallied back from a 6-3 deficit in the 9th to send the game into extra innings. Roberto Gomez actually had a nice start at the beginning of this but could not provide much length as he allowed 1 run on 4 hits in 4 innings, striking out 2 while walking 1 and posting a 3-1 groundout to flyout ratio. In the 9th, Taylor Motter had a huge 2-out 2-run double to tie it up, but Bryson Byles had a go-ahead sac fly for Lake County in the 11th. Jeff Malm had a solo homer, Tyler Goeddel had an encouraging day, going 1 for 2 with 2 walks and a run scored, and other than Motter’s clutch hit, Jake Hager, Ryan Brett, and Keith Castillo had the other Hot Rods RBIs.
Short Season-A New York-Penn League: Hudson Valley Renegades 4, Auburn Doubledays (WSN) 1
2012 9th round pick Joey Rickard had a nice debut, and the pitchers really shined in this one for Hudson Valley. Rickard went 2 for 5 leading off a playing centerfield and other 2012 draft picks had nice games as Ryan Dunn went 1 for 5 with a double and 3 RBI, and Tommy Coyle went 2 for 4 with a walk. And then there were the pitchers. Jeff Ames was nice, allowing 1 run on 3 hits in 5 innings, striking out 4 while walking none, Brandon Henderson struck out 4 without walking a batter in 2.2 shutout innings, and Ryan Garton continued his ridiculous start to his pro career, striking out 2 in 1.1 perfect innings for his first professional save as he has now thrown 9 pro innings allowing just 2 hits and not a single run- earned or unearned- and striking out 13 while walking none. Unbelievable.
Advanced Rookie Appalachian League: Princeton Rays 3, Danville Braves 2
Hitters simply want no part of lefty Blake Snell right now. Snell, one of the Rays many supplemental picks in 2011, has been lights out all season, lowering his ERA to 0.40 after allowing just 1 unearned run (and 0 unearned runs) in 22.2 IP. In this one, he tossed 5 shutout innings allowing 4 hits, striking out 2 while walking 1 and posting a 6-3 groundout to flyout ratio. After Jon Weaver let up a couple runs in 1.2 IP- although he did strike out 3, Nick Sawyer continued his incredible pro debut, striking out 2 in 1.1 perfect innings of his own. Between the GCL Rays and P-Rays, Sawyer has now gone 7 shutout innings allowing 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 10. Alex Keudell struck out 2 in a shutout inning for the save in this one. There was little offense to be found in this one as the P-Rays won despite being 4-hit, but Willie Argo was the hero with a 2 for 4 day with a double, a triple, an RBI, and a run scored, while Brandon Martin and Reid Redman had the other hits and Daryl George had the only other RBI.
Rookie Gulf Coast League: GCL Twins 5, GCL Rays 2
You can bet that Carlos Cedeno can’t wait to get out of Rookie ball after a start like this. Cedeno pitched pretty darn well in this one, allowing just 3 hits in 4 innings, striking out 2 while walking 1 and posting an 8-3 groundout to flyout ratio. He allowed no home runs and exactly one extra-base hit, a double with no one on base and 2 outs. Yet he managed to allow 4 runs, just 1 earned, as the GCL Rays made (gasp) 5 errors in this game, including one by Cedeno himself. Jordan Harrison pitched pretty well in relief, allowing 1 run on 5 hits in 3 innings, striking out 4 while walking none and posting a 3-0 groundout to flyout ratio and Alex Moshier tossed a hitless 9th, but the damage was already done. Second round pick Spencer Edwards had a horrific game, going 0 for 5 with 4 strikeouts and an error at shortstop. He’s now 0 for 7 to begin his career. He just has to relax and let his ability come out, and I’m sure we’ll see that soon. Bralin Jackson had a great game, meanwhile, going 2 for 4 with a double, a triple, a walk, and a run scored, while Johnny Eierman had an RBI double and Leopoldo Corea had the other RBI.