Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tuesday Morning Hot Links

*Flick has four Astros Bingo cards for your leisure during the Cleveland series.

*Richard Justice says this Astros/Indians series is a "prime AL showdown" and has a tale of the tape.

*40-year old Carlos Beltran feels blessed.

*Dallas Keuchel is generating ground balls at a 70% clip - far better than his 2014 Cy Young season.

*The Chicken & Waffle Cone made Mental Floss' list of outrageous ballpark foods.

*I wrote about the importance of the first 20 games of the season.

*Power Rankings update! FanRag: 4th. ESPN: 1st. What?

*Check out the Hardball Times' review of Keith Law's new book. Then go buy it.

*Travis Sawchik: The new generation of ballparks is pushing us away.

*Tommy Stokke has a good look at Mike Foltynewicz

*Inside the data-driven program that helped revive Dan Straily's career.

PreStros Report: Game of April 24

Fresno was down 9-0 by the time they got on the board to Salt Lake, but managed to make it interesting in a 12-9 loss.  Keegan Yuhl got roughed up, allowing 10H/9R (8ER), 0K:2BB in 4IP. Tyson Perez threw two shutout innings before Ryan Thompson allowed 6H/3ER, 2K:0BB in 2IP. Position Player Andrew Aplin threw a hitless/scoreless 9th inning. A.J. Reed was 2x4 with a walk and 3RBI; Colin Moran was 2x5 with a homer and 3RBI; Tyler White was 1x4 with a walk and a two-run home run.

Midland beat the dog piss out of Corpus (10-7), holding the Hooks to two hits in a 9-0 loss. Kyle Smith, Eric Peterson, and Jacob Dorris combined for 8.1IP, 14H/8ER, 10K:3BB. Jack Mayfield and Jamie Ritchie had the only hits, while six different Hooks walked.

Buies Creek was off.

Quad Cities (10-8) poured it on Peoria in a 14-4 win. Hector Perez threw 4.1IP, 2H/1ER, 4K:4BB; Ryan Hartman threw 3.2IP, 4H/2ER, 3K:2BB. Lucas Williams allowed a run in the 9th. Ray Henderson-Lozano was 2x5 with a pair of home runs and 3RBI. Jake Rogers (2B, HR, BB, 2RBI), Stephen Wrenn (BB, RBI), and Rodrigo Ayarza (RBI) had two hits each. Ronnie Dawson was 1x4 with two walks and 2RBI.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Astros Bingo

Hey all, Flick is back. Something happened on Twitter yesterday that peaked my interest and I wanted to try it out for us Astros fans. @timc_la started a Spurs Twitter Bingo sheet so I decided to create something similar. Below is 4 different Bingo Cards for the upcoming series verses the Cleveland Indians. All you have to do is use your twitter account to find the card that has been made for you. (First letter of your Twitter account). If you don't have a Twitter, you can just pick a card to play with. Some spaces are shared by all cards, some are card specific, much like real bingo. So what are you waiting for? Save your card and get ready to play.




NOTES:

The BINGO card is for this SERIES, not individual game or specific week.

Cards in quotations are tweets you see from others. Tweeting it yourself DOES NOT COUNT. If you're unsure of sarcastic tweet, let me know @flicknickmstros for a deciding vote or if you feel comfortable, ask the person yourself.

What do you win? You win nothing. Go have fun.

This is a work in progress and the system will continue to improve as the year goes on. Thank you for your cooperation.

How important are the first 20 games?

Tomorrow is G20 and, as you know, the Astros are currently 13-6. What does it mean?

To pick an arbitrary date in which most teams were at or around 20 games played, on April 27, 2016: the Chicago White Sox had an AL-leading 16-6 record and then proceeded to go 62-78 over the rest of the season and finish 4th in the AL Central. Looking at 20 games as a whole is problematic because each team has its own narrative of injuries, trades, losing streaks, winning streaks, cluster luck, etc. But at least we can get a snapshot of the importance of at least not starting off disastrously...like the 2016 Astros, who were 6-14 after 20 games. 

Since 2012, when the 2nd Wild Card was introduced, 21 out of 25 AL teams (84%) that made the playoffs started the first 20 games at .500 or better. More to the point, in four of the last five years there has been one team to start the season with at least 13 wins in their first 20 games (2016 White Sox, 2015 Tigers, 2013 Ramgers and 2012 Rays) and managed to miss the playoffs. 

2016: All five American League teams that made the playoffs were at or above .500 after 20 games. That doesn't necessarily translate to a big division lead - in fact, only one of the five AL playoff teams (Baltimore) was leading the division after 20 games. Texas, Toronto, and Cleveland were both 10-10. Boston was 11-9, and Baltimore was 12-8. Yet they all made the playoffs. The aforementioned White Sox went 14-6 and missed the playoffs. 

2015: Three of the five AL teams that made the playoffs were at or above .500 after 20 games: Kansas City was 14-6, the Yankees were 12-8, and Houston was 13-7. Toronto was 9-11 after 20 games, and the Ramgers were 7-13. The Blue Jays and Rangers had the best and second-best records in the AL, respectively, from that point forward. Detroit was 14-6 and didn't make the playoffs. Boston and Tampa Bay were both 11-9 and met the same fate. 

2014: All five playoff teams were at or above .500. Baltimore, Kansas City, and Anaheim were all 10-10. Detroit was 12-8 and Oakland was 13-7. The Rangers were 12-8 after 20 and didn't make the playoffs. 

2013: Three out of five AL playoff teams were at or above .500 after 20 games. Boston, who went on to win the World Series, was 13-7. Oakland was 12-8 while Detroit was 10-10. Tampa Bay was 9-11 and Cleveland was 8-12. Texas was 13-7, went on to win 91 games and miss the Wild Card by one game. 

2012: All five AL playoff teams were at or above .500 after 20 games. The Ramgers led the way at 15-5, followed by Baltimore (12-8), New York (11-9) with Detroit and Oakland sitting at 10-10. The Rays were 13-7 after 20 games and missed the playoffs by three games. 

What does it mean for the 2017 Astros? Who knows? The Astros have played 11.7% of their season. Teams come out hot after 20 games and...then there's 142 games left to play. But while you don't win the division in April, you certainly can lose it in April. 

Monday Morning Hot Links

*Happy 40th Birthday to Carlos Beltran.

*The Astros won a series in Tampa Bay for the first time since 2008.

*Big Joe, Big Joe Musgrove allowed four 1st inning runs and then retired 14 of the next 15 batters he faced, stopping the bleeding enough to allow the offense to win 6-4 in extra innings at Tampa Bay. Carlos Correa got his first extra-base hit since Opening Day and Brad Peacock threw two more scoreless innings. Opponents are 1x30 against Brad Peacock this season.

*Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash was frustrated.

*Corey Dickerson was actually struck out to open the game, but the ball got by Brian McCann and Dickerson reached on a wild pitch. McCann:
I'm the reason they got those four runs. He should have got out of that pretty quickly and I feel terrible for that. That ball has got to get blocked 100 times out of 100. The first batter of the game sort of set the tone and it was poor, poor execution on my part.

*Jake Marisnick crashed into an unpadded portion of the outfield wall in the 1st inning, stayed in the game for an inning, and then left after experiencing concussion-like symptoms.

*George Springer may be back for tomorrow evening's series opener against Cleveland.

*John Wilson, the Chronicle's first Astros beat writer, passed away at 92.

*Hardball Times took a close look at the April 15, 1968 game between the Mets and Astros.

*The Mariners DFA'd Leonys Martin.

PreStros Report: Games of April 23

Fresno (9-9) scored three runs in the bottom of the 6th in a 5-2 win over Salt Lake. David Martinez limited damage, allowing just two runs on 10 hits in 5.1IP. Colin Moran was 2x3 with a three-run home run and a walk. Tyler White was 0x2 with 2BB. Derek Fisher provided the other RBI.

Frisco held Corpus (10-6) to two hits but the Hooks managed to make it interesting, scoring three in the 8th, but still fell 5-3. Trent Thornton allowed 6H/5R (4ER), 4K:0BB in 4.1IP; Michael Freeman threw 1.2 perfect innings and Andrew Thome threw two scoreless innings in relief. Drew Ferguson provided two RBI.

Buies Creek (12-6) took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the 6th where it unravelled in a 6-1 loss to Carolina. Elieser Hernandez struck out nine in 5IP. Ryan Deemes and Carlos Sierra each allowed two earned runs in relief. 1-6 in the lineup went 1x21 with 8K:3BB. The lone hit in the top of the lineup was from Kyle Tucker. Anibal Sierra was 1x2 with a triple and a walk.

Quad Cities (9-8) had a 4-2 lead going into the top of the 8th but Clinton scored once and then twice in the 9th to take the 5-4 win. Jorge Alcala threw 6IP, 5H/2ER, 8K:1BB. Ronnie Dawson was 3x3 with a solo homer, a walk, and a stolen base. Daz Cameron was 0x5 to drop his batting average to .179.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday Morning Hot Links

*The Rays pulled an Astros yesterday evening, scoring four runs in the 6th inning for a 6-3 win over the Astros. Will Harris allowed two of the runners he inherited from Charlie Morton - who fell apart in the 6th - to score. Hinch:
They did a pretty good job of putting five or six at-bats in a row where some positive things turned out on their end. Credit to them for putting a couple of things together. 

*Righties are hitting Morton with more, alarming, regularity in 2017 than they have at any point in his career. Morton:
For some reason righties aren't really having too much trouble with me this year, and I think (I need to) kind of reassess the same plan against righties a little bit. Because I've never really struggled with righties, but I am.

Through 2112 plate appearances, righties have hit Morton to a .252/.316/.355 slash line (far below his .852 OPS-allowed to lefties). Righties in 2017 (56 PAs) have hit Morton at a .365/.400/.577 line. Eight of the 19 hits righties have collected have gone for extra bases.

*Altuve and Gattis hit solo homers, and then scored what was then the go-ahead run with the best baserunning I've ever seen from him. He went 2nd to home in 5.5 seconds.

*George Springer's consecutive games streak is in jeopardy as he did something to his hamstring running down the line in the 5th inning.

*Mike Hauschild passed through waivers and has been returned to Houston, and will apparently report to Fresno.

*The Astros are one of five favorites to land Cuban prospect Luis Robert.

PreStros Report - Games of April 22

Fresno (8-9) carried a 5-4 lead into the top of the 7th, but Salt Lake scored two runs and beat Fresno 6-5. Frankie Tuesday had command issues, throwing just 3IP, 8H/4ER, 2K:3BB. Kevin Comer threw three scoreless innings in relief. Ryan Thompson gave up the tying and go-ahead runs, and Dayan Diaz lowered his ERA to 1.17 with 2IP, 2H/0ER, 3K:1BB. Teoscar Hernandez was 2x4 with a triple, RBI and an outfield assist at home plate. Preston Tucker was 2x4 with 2RBI, Derek Fisher hit a two-run homer, his 3rd of the season.

Corpus (10-5) gave up four in the bottom of the 1st at Frisco and couldn't claw back in a 5-3 loss. Brock Dykxhoorn allowed 3H/4ER, 2K:3BB in 4IP and Cy Sneed had a far more successful outing, throwing 4IP, 2H/1ER, 1K:2BB. Jack Mayfield was 2x4, Mott Hyde hit a solo homer and Trent Woodward added an RBI. The top five in the lineup went a combined 1x18 with 1K:2BB.

Buies Creek (12-5) gave up a 4-spot in the bottom of the 5th at Carolina on their way to a 6-2 loss. Akeem Bostick got touched up for the first time this season, allowing 5H/4ER, 3K:2BB, with a wild pitch. Ralph Garza struck out the side in the 8th. Myles Straw and Anibal Sierra both went 2x4 with an RBI. Kyle Tucker was 1x4 with an outfield assist. BCA was 2x10 w/RISP.

Quad Cities (9-7) took an early 1-0 lead but Clinton scored the final six runs of the game for a 6-1 loss. Enoli Paredes allowed 6H/2ER, 4K:0BB in 4.2IP; Abdiel Saldana had a rough one - 7H/4ER, 3K:2BB in 3IP. Reggie Johnson retired all four batters he faced. Marcos Almonte was 2x4 with a double. Ronnie Dawson had a double; Alex De Goti was 0x2 with two walks.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

What to do when your favorite teams are too much alike

I like Leeds United. Many of you are soccer fans, and this will elicit one of two responses:

1) "Who?" and
2) "God, I'm sorry."

Both responses are equally understandable. More on that in a minute.

Many of you are passionately not soccer fans. You prefer Concussionball. You don't understand why if a ball is bouncing along the ground, the players don't just fall on it. You hate the game most of the rest of the world plays as fervently as you hate ice dancing, or the way you hate the way your urine smells after you've eaten asparagus. I don't really understand that stance, but I can at least agree that you are certainly entitled to said opinion and we can still be friends. I will point out that watching European soccer passes the time from the end of the World Series to Spring Training, and games for the most part are on Saturday and Sunday mornings. You don't have to wait until 7:10pm for sporting drama.

But let me try to explain how painful it is when the two teams you love (in my case, the Astros and Leeds United) are very similar, and allow me to just sort of process what has happened to the latter over the past six weeks. Because if you love the Astros and hate soccer but love drama and the tragic combination of ambition and failure, I may have just the team for you. Just let this be a counseling session. Or you can head over to FanGraphs and look at the Playoff Odds and let me do my thing. Hot Links will post in the morning. 

Leeds United have been around since 1919. Their glory years really lay in the 1960s and early 1970s under the leadership of legendary manager Don Revie (foil of the great movie The Damned United, a movie that I have tried to watch with my wife so many times she actively hates it. It's a great movie.) and captain Billy Bremner. Bremner and another England great, Kevin Keegan, were kicked out of a charity match for fighting. The story of Revie's replacement, Brian Clough, is told in the movie, and I don't want to spoil it for you. Under Revie, however, Leeds United won two championships, two cup titles, and a European Cup Winners' Cup runner-up. 

Following soccer means you know about promotion and relegation. If you finish in the bottom three of, say, the Premier League, you are relegated to the next level down, the Championship. The top two teams from the Championship get automatic promotion and then 3rd-6th places fight it out over a two-leg playoff for the 3rd promotion spot. The same is also true of the bottom three in the Championship and the top three of League One, and so on with League Two. There are Non-League teams that are fighting to get into League Two. There is such a team in the town where I was born that is a Non-League team and I have a soft spot for them, but they haven't given and taken away from me as much as Leeds United. 

I inherited Leeds United. My dad went to school in England and was a student-missionary, this was just after Revie left Leeds, so they were still good, an exciting-ish team to watch. So as I grew up and, being born in England, liking soccer was something that connected me to my American dad, British mom, and overly-British grandparents. 

1997 was a big year for me. I was 17 in the spring, going into my senior year of high school in the fall (Sam Rayburn where you at!). I hid my social semi-awkwardness by embracing England and BritPop (something I still do. The Wife and I celebrate Dependence Day on July 3, in which we honor the last day of the Colonies' dependence on England. I was also an American History major, and I currently teach AP US History, so I'm just a ball of contradictions). I wore soccer jerseys to school. 

In Spring 1997 I got to go to England - by myself! - and visit my aunt/uncle/cousin and grandparents. It was amazing. My aunt sent me cds on a regular basis. U2 was my favorite band (they still are, but more as a monarchy role - a figure-head position, as there are other bands I listen to with much more fandom nowadays) - and in March, U2 released Pop (maybe my favorite U2 album). 94.5 The Buzz (I think it was The Buzz) played Pop in its entirety the night before its release. I recorded it on a boombox. A couple of months later Radiohead released OK Computer, an album still in my Top 5 of all-time. In August Oasis released Be Here Now, an album so ridiculously bombastic that it's impossible not to love, unless you don't like Oasis, in which case it's one of the worst things you've ever heard. The Verve released Urban Hymns in September. In November I attended my first concert - U2 at The Astrodome. Smashmouth opened, which sucked, especially because the previous show in San Antonio was opened by Rage Against The Machine. 

1997 was also a big year for Leeds United. That was the season they qualified for the UEFA Cup - the forerunner of the Champions League. Manager George Graham jumped to Tottenham, and Leeds promoted assistant manager David O'Leary to the head spot. Under O'Leary, Leeds never finished outside the top five in the Premier League. It wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, however. Lee Bowyer ("He's here! He's there! He wears no underwear, he's Lee Bowyer!" went a chant I once sang at the top of my lungs) and Jonathan Woodgate were charged with assaulting and severely injuring a college student. In the UEFA Cup semi-final in Istanbul, two Leeds fans were stabbed to death. 

I went to college, Leeds were good. Real good. If you've ever played Football Manager, or Football Chairman on iPhone, making it to the Champions League is a lucrative event. You make a lot, *a lot* of money from TV distribution, ticket sales, sponsorship, merchandise, etc. So once Leeds tasted that glory in 1998, they were desperate to retain it. Chairman Peter Ridsdale borrowed £60 million against future income to allow O'Leary to buy the players necessary to make it back to the UEFA Cup/Champions League year after year. They didn't. Mortgaging the future to buy the present...ring any bells? (*Cough* DRAYTON *Cough*). Debts mounted.

But they still kept winning. Though they missed the Champions League in 1999 and 2000, they made it back in the 2000/2001 season. That was my junior year of college. I had been betting on college basketball and doing really well, so my dad and I went to England for Spring Break 2001 to see how many soccer games we could attend in ten days. We saw the Non-League team in the town where I was born. We saw an FA Cup game (Blackburn Rovers v. Bolton Wanderers). We saw Leeds take on Lazio in the Champions League at Elland Road after eating fish & chips at the base of the statue of Billy Bremner. I sang "Ravanelli is a wanker" to the tune of the Hallelujah Chorus. It was great. 

In the 2001/2002 season - my senior year of college, when "showing soccer games on TV" was sort of a thing - Leeds made the UEFA Cup semi-finals. Leeds drew 0-0 in the first leg against the Dutch team PSV Eindhoven on the road. And for the last time the core of Mark Viduka, Harry Kewell, Lee Bowyer, Ian Harte, and Rio Ferdinand took the field in a European competition. I skipped class to watch the 2nd leg. With 51 seconds left at Elland Road the improbably-and-medievally-named Vennegoor of Hesselink headed a cross over the line. That was it. 

Rio Ferdinand was sold to Manchester United that summer for the equivalent of $30m. That was the beginning of the end. David O'Leary and Peter Ridsdale fell out over his sale (think Gerry Hunsicker's resignation), and O'Leary was fired. That was Pt2 of the end. Leeds were relegated at the end of the 2003-2004 season. In 2007, unable to pay their debts, Leeds was forced into administration and put in the third tier of professional football. Five years had passed since their UEFA Cup loss to PSV. In 2011 the owner - Ken Bates [spits on ground] called the fans "morons."

In 2014 Massimo Cellino, who was president of Italian Serie A club Cagliari Calcio, launched a successful takeover bid. He was problematic. In an interview with the Yorkshire Evening Post's Phil Hay (a hero), he said that Leeds fans were:
...tired of eating shit and shutting their mouths. They accept me with enthusiasm and that gives me a lot of responsibility. I'm the richest man in the world with these fans and I can challenge anyone, everyone.

Seven months after being approved as owner, Cellino was found guilty of tax evasion. Under his reign here is the duration of the following managers:
Brian McDermott: 52 days
Dave Hockaday: 70 days
Darko Milanic: 32 days
Neil Redfearn: 200 days
Uwe Rosler: 152 days
Steve Evans: 226 days

That's six managers in 728 days, less than two years. Garry Monk was appointed manager on June 2, 2016. Ho-hum, right? After 15 years of relegation and ownership changes and managerial chaos, what could you possibly expect? But Leeds came out hot. 

Leeds United started the 2016-2017 season with one win, four losses, and a tie. Same old same old. Marching On Together, All Leeds Aren't We and whatnot. Then three straight wins. Then some mixed results. Then in December marked the beginning of a run in which Leeds won six games, drew one. January marks the transfer window, in which you can buy and sell players - think of it like the trade deadline but without swapping players, just buying and selling players like meat. Cellino did nothing, and at first glance it was excusable - why mess with something that was clearly working? Think, Trade Deadline 2016.

Brighton & Hove Albion and newly-relegated Newcastle (managed by Rafa Benitez) were almost locks for automatic promotion, but Leeds were firmly entrenched in the playoff spots. On Saturday, 18 March Leeds beat Championship leaders Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0. Convincing. Destined for at least the playoff if not automatic promotion with a break here and there. Then the international break - when national teams play World Cup Qualifiers and friendly matches - happened, and Leeds didn't play another league game for two weeks. Players in the Championship rarely get called up to international squads, but defensive leader Pontus Jansson got called up to Sweden's national team. 

Think of this two-week break like it's Leeds' very own Hurricane Ike, without the natural disaster, devastation, and general awfulness so awful that it's wrong to make the comparison. Still, Leeds lost their first two games after the international break, won one, then tied 2nd-place Newcastle. Not bad, yeah? A handful of games to go, and Leeds are sitting firmly entrenched in the playoff to return to the top flight. Nope. Leeds lost to now-15th place Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 at home to slip out of the playoff spots. Three games left and they need at least six, probably seven, ideally nine points out of those games. 

Today comes. A road game against Burton Albion, a team that will be lucky to stay in the Championship. No problem for a team looking to return to the Premier League, right? Nope. 2-1 loss in a must-win game.

This is 2003-era Astros right here. Remember that year? The Astros needed to take, ideally, three out of four against the last-place Brewers to make the playoffs? The Astros won the first game of the series, 6-1, thanks to Tim Redding, to tie the division up with the Cubs. In the 2nd game - Friday - Jeriome Robertson laid an egg and the Astros lost 12-5 to fall a half-game behind the Cubs. In the 3rd game, Saturday, a game I attended with my wife of two months, Ron Villone somehow started and gave up 5ER in a 5-2 loss. Milwaukee's Wes Obermueller threw 8IP, 10H/2ER, 2K:0BB to lower his season ERA to 5.07. Obermueller, with a career -0.9 bWAR, only threw one game in his career better than that one: On September 25, 2004 he threw a complete game shutout...against the Astros. The 2003 Astros missed the playoffs.

Is that the same as a 15-year long journey back to respectability? Hell and no it's not. The 2003 Astros enjoyed greater heights the following year, and even greater heights the year after that. But, like Leeds United, the high-water mark was the beginning of a very long struggle. Ownership changes, management changes, years of struggle (thank God there's no relegation in baseball), trying to delude yourself into being a contender, then struggling to contend. I do not believe that the 2017 Astros will follow the path of 2016-2017 Leeds United. But the two teams are linked in my mind.

I teach history, and what lessons do I have to learn next? 

If you're unaffiliated with an English soccer team, join me as we March On Together. All Leeds (Astros) Aren't We? 

Saturday Morning Hot Links + Farm Report

*The Astros rallied from 3-1 down against Tampa Bay - all of the Rays' runs came on solo homers off Mike Fiers - to win 6-3 and win for the 8th time in their last nine games.

*The Astros are 10-1 when they score 3+ runs, and already have seven comeback wins through 17 games.

*Fiers, who has allowed six homers in 15IP this season:
I think I kind of tipped my pitches a little bit early so in the fourth and fifth I started throwing everything pretty much as hard as I could and being really aggressive with every pitch. It made a big difference. 

Through three starts, 33.3% of fly balls off Fiers have left the yard - far higher than the 15.2% HR/FB rate he posted last season.

*Carlos Beltran, who will turn 40 on Monday, went 2x4 with a homer and two runs scored, is just happy to be part of the (really good) team:
I'm just happy to help the younger guys. I love to study the game. I like to come early and look at the pitchers and see tendencies, and if I see something they're doing, I want to use that to my advantage and at the same time pass it on to the younger guys.

Sign Beltran to a lifetime contract now.

*After starting the season 2x21 in his first six games (.095/.095/.095), Yulieski Gurriel is 13x26 (.500/.536/.769) in his last eight games.

*The bullpen threw four shutout innings last night to preserve the Astros win. Hinch:
These guys are really good, and we've got a lot of them, which is a good feeling.

*Joe Musgrove has been working on a mechanical adjustment in his delivery.

*Washington Post: The bullpen revolution is underway in Houston.

*Fresno busted out Kris Kross-themed unis.

*The Rangers DFA'd Mike Hauschild, a Rule 5 pick from the Astros last December. If Hauschild passes through waivers, the Rangers must offer him back to the Astros.

*Imagine feeling low-balled when someone offers you approximately $100m. (Note: Correa will do the same thing).

PreStros Report for games of April 21

I swear it feels like Fresno has only played Las Vegas this season. Anyhow, Fresno (8-8) were down 5-0 heading into the bottom of the 6th and a couple of big innings, including a 5-run 8th, gave the Grizzles an 8-5 win. Brian Holmes' early struggles continued with 4IP, 6H/5ER, 4K:1BB but the bullpen of Aaron West, Sean Stutzman, Reymin Guduan, and Jordan Jankowski threw a combined 5IP, 2H/0ER, 4K:2BB. Tony Kemp and Colin Moran had two hits each; A.J. Reed hit a three-run homer in the 6th and Teoscar Hernandez knocked a grand slam in the 8th.

Corpus Christi (10-4) scored the final six runs of the game to defeat Frisco 8-3. Joshua James threw 5IP, 4H/3ER, 3K:2BB while Rogelio Armenteros - who is a freaking stud - threw 4IP, 3H/0ER, 4K:2BB. Jon Singleton was 2x4 with a stolen base, a walk, and 3RBI, J.D. Davis was 2x5 and homered in his 3rd straight game, Alejandro Garcia was 2x4 with two doubles, and Drew Ferguson was 2x4 with two stolen bases, a walk, and three runs scored.

Buies Creek (12-4) is really good, y'all. The BCA put up a six-spot in the 1st and rode it out for a 9-4 win over Carolina. Yoanis Quiala allowed 8H/3ER, 4K:0BB in 3.2IP and Framber Valdez threw 3.2IP, 4H/1ER, 3K:2BB. Catcher Eduardo de Oleo was 3x4 with three home runs and 5RBI. Ryne Birk was 2x4 with a walk and an RBI; Myles Straw was 2x5 with an RBI and an outfield assist at home plate; Kyle Tucker was 1x3 with a walk, two stolen bases, and an RBI.

Quad Cities (9-6) won their fifth straight game, holding Clinton to two hits in a 3-1 win. Brett Adcock threw 4.2IP, 2H/1ER, 6K:1BB while Edgardo Sandoval closed it out with 4.1IP, 0H/0ER, 4K:0BB. All three runs came via the home run, with Spencer Johnson hitting a solo bomb in the 2nd and Marcos Almonte hitting a two-run shot in the 5th. Alex De Goti lowered his batting average to .340 after "only" getting a double in four ABs.

As Jayne at WTHB notes, this is the third straight day all four affiliates won.

Friday, April 21, 2017

PreStros All-Stars of the Fortnight

That's a working title, by the way. But two weeks into the minor-league season, here are some definite bright spots.

Fresno

Preston Tucker (48 ABs): .375/.392/.563, 8K:2BB
Derek Fisher (47 ABs): .298/.414/.489, 15K:9BB
Tyler White (54 ABs): .333/.368/.407, 13K:3BB

Brady Rodgers: 16.1IP, 14H/2ER, 11K:1BB, 1.10 ERA/0.92 WHIP
Francis Martes: 9.1IP, 7H/0ER, 10K:9BB, 0.00 ERA/1.71 WHIP
Kevin Comer: 6IP, 5H/0ER, 5K:2BB, 0.00 ERA/1.17 WHIP

Corpus

J.D. Davis (51 ABs): .314/.407/.549, 9K:8BB
Alejandro Garcia (54 ABs): .315/.373/.537, 10K:2BB
Drew Ferguson (51 ABs): .294/.379/.431, 14K:6BB

Rogelio Armenteros: 10.2IP, 3H/1ER, 18K:3BB, 0.84 ERA/0.56 WHIP
Dean Deetz: 8.2IP, 2H/1ER, 10K:2BB, 1.04 ERA/0.46 WHIP
Joshua James: 8IP, 3H/0ER, 5K:1BB, 0.00 ERA/0.50 WHIP

Buies Creek

Kyle Tucker (54 ABs): .296/.367/.611, 13K:3BB, 4SB
Ryne Birk (47 ABs): .319/.365/.574, 12K:4BB
Myles Straw (48 ABs): .313/.404/.417, 6K:8BB

Alex Winkelman: 14.1IP, 4H/0ER, 21K:1BB, 0.00 ERA/0.35 WHIP
Franklin Perez: 14.1IP, 3H/0ER, 14K:3BB, 0.00 ERA/0.42 WHIP
Akeem Bostick: 14.2IP, 5H/0ER, 13K:4BB, 0.00 ERA/0.61 WHIP

Quad Cities

Rodrigo Ayarza (26 ABs): .346/.357/.769, 1K:1BB
Alex De Goti (49 ABs): .347/.448/.551, 10K:9BB
Stephen Wrenn (43 ABs): .302/.412/.581, 14K:8BB

Ryan Hartman: 14IP, 10H/2ER, 12K:1BB, 1.29 ERA/0.79 WHIP
Carson LaRue: 15IP, 8H/2ER, 14K:5BB, 1.20 ERA/0.87 WHIP
Hector Perez: 13.2IP, 7H/4ER, 20K:7BB, 2.63 ERA/1.02 WHIP