Saturday, April 28, 2012

PreStros Farm Report: April 27

PreStros: April 27

Oklahoma City (14-8) 

RedHawks pitchers gave up bases like they were going out of style, as the Express (TEX) used 22 base runners to score 8 runs as they beat OKC 8-3.

Aneury Rodriguez continued racking up hits and strikeouts as he went 3.2 innings allowing 3 R on 8 H and 1 BB with 5 K. Mickey Storey came on and threw 1.1 innings, giving up 2 R on 3 H, 1 BB, and 2 HBP with 1 K. Enerio Del Rosario went 2 innings allowing just 2 H. Juan Abreu made sure the game was out of reach by allowing 3 R on 2 H and 2 BB with 5 K in 2 IP.

SS-Angel Sanchez was 2x4 with 1 R. C-Carlos Corporan was 1x3 with 1 HR and caught 3 of 4 base stealers.

Man of the Match: Carlos Corporan

Corpus Christi (11-10) 

The Hooks were dominated by Frisco (TEX) as they were shutout 12-0.

Jarred Cosart lasted 4 innings and allowed 5 R on 3 H and 6 BB with 4 K. Erick Abreu threw just 1 inning and gave up 4 R on 4 H and 1 BB. Henry Villar went 2 innings and gave up 3 R on 4 H and 2 BB with 1 K. Adelberto Flores had the only scoreless outing as he threw the last inning, giving up 1 H.

1B-Jon Singleton went 2x4

Man of the Match: Jon Singleton

Lancaster (9-13) 

The JetHawks pitching has been pretty stong the last several games, and Friday was no different as Lancaster shut out Stockton (OAK) 10-0.

Ruben Alaniz had his fourth straight quality start for Lancaster, throwing 7 innings of shutout ball, giving up just 2 H and 2 H with 7 K. Andrew Robinson and Jose Trinidad each pitched 1 inning to finish out the job.

SS-Ben Orloff was 2x5 with 2 2B and 2 RBI. 1B-Rafael Valenzuela was 2x5 with 1 2B and 2 R. DH-Erik Castro went 1x4 with 1 BB, 1 HR and 3 RBI. 3B-Jonathan Meyer was 2x5 with 1 2B and 1 R. 2B-Enrique Hernandez went 1x3 with 1 BB and 3 R. C-Rene Garcia was 2x4 with 1 RBI and threw out the only attempted base stealer.

Man of the Match: Ruben Alaniz

Lexington (10-12) 

The Legends shutout Charleston (NYY) 7-0 and have won six of their last eight games.

Luis Cruz turned in 7 innings and gave up just 2 H and 1 BB with 6 K. Murilo Gouvea made sure there was no comeback attempt as he went the final 2 innings with 1 H and 4 K.

LF-Jordan Scott was 1x3 with 2 BB and 2 R. 1B-Zach Johnson was 2x5 with 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, and 3 RBI. 3B-Matt Duffy went 2x4 with 1 BB, 1 2B, and 1 R. DH-Alex Todd was 1x3 with 2 BB and 1 R. SS-James Howick went 2x4 with a solo HR.

Man of the Match: Luis Cruz

Tri-City (0-0) 

Season begins June 18.

Greeneville (0-0) 

Season begins June 19.

GCL Astros (0-0) 

Season begins June 18.

DSL Astros (0-0) 

Season schedule not yet posted. Opening Day June 2nd.

Know Your Enemy: April 28

The Astros will attempt their first three-game winning streak since April 7-9 as they face the Reds and...

*5'10" 215lb RHP Johnny Cueto.
*This will be Cueto's 5th start of the season, and his 4th start against NL Central teams. In 25.1IP, he has allowed 22H/5ER, 19K:6BB.
*Against RHBs in 2012, Cueto is allowing a .429 OPS; Against LHBs, Cueto's OPS-against is .899.
*With nobody out, Cueto has allowed a .138/.194/.138 line.
*Against Houston, however, Cueto's had a rough-ish go of it. In 10 starts, he's 1-5 with a 4.01 ERA/1.42 WHIP - his worst record against any team with 9+ starts.
*With Carlos Lee out of the lineup, Chris Johnson has the most appearances against Cueto, and is 3x8; Jason Castro is 0x8; Brian Bixler is 0x4.

*Lucas Harrell comes in to this game with a 3.97 ERA/1.28 WHIP, but there hasn't been any consistency to his numbers (other than "every other start is pretty good").
*In his last time out, at Milwaukee, he allowed 5H/5ER, 1K:3BB; and has allowed 19H/10ER, 11K:10BB in 22.2IP.
*Harrell has walked the leadoff batter of the inning four times in 23 innings, and walked three batters with two outs.
*Harrell's OPS, by out: 0 outs - .512; 1 out - .637; 2 outs - .959.
*Current, non-pitcher Reds, have faced Harrell just three times.

From the Office of the County Clerk - G20: Astros @ Reds

El Escorpion and the Astros roughed up the Reds in the 3rd/4th innings, for a 6-4 win.

Big story (with a big bang) was Carlos Lee leaving in the first inning with a sprained left ankle. X-Rays were negative, but Lee is likely done for the weekend.

Jason Castro led off the 3rd with a single, Wandy bunted him over, and Jordan Schafer struck out looking. With two outs, Jose Altuve (El Escorpion, so named by Appy Astros) tripled to score Castro, and J.D. Martinez singled to knock in Altuve for a 2-0 lead.

In the 4th inning, Jed Lowrie doubled, Bogusevic reached on an error, Chris Johnson doubled to score Lowrie, Castro got an RBI groundout, and Schafer singled in Johnson to make it a 5-0 lead. After Jordan Schafer stole 2nd base, Altuve doubled in Schafer to give the Astros a 6-run lead.

The Reds got one back in the bottom of the 5th, and another in the 6th to close it to 6-2. Cincinnati threatened in the 8th, with Drew Stubbs striking out, but reaching first on Fernando Rodriguez' wild pitch. Stubbs then stole second, and reached third on Castro's throwing error, all with no outs. Frodriguez got Votto to groundout, and struck Brandon Phillips and Ryan Ludwick to strike out swinging to end the threat. Sigh, but the Reds weren't done.

Fernando Abad came in for the bottom of the 9th, and got Scott Rolen to fly out to center, but then gave up 790 feet of homeruns to Jay Bruce and Devin Mesoraco, and was mercifully pulled and replaced by Brett Myers, who finished off the game.

*It's the fourth time in five starts that Wandy has made it 6IP in 2012, and his third straight quality start. It was also the second straight outing where Wandy has thrown 100+ pitches.

*Wandy still hasn't given up a homer in 2012 - his longest streak since 2009, when he went eight straight starts to open the season without giving up the long ball.

*By striking out the side, Frodriguez has struck out five of the last 16 batters he has faced, and now has 9K in 9.2IP. It was the first time he had struck out all three batters in an inning.

*Fernando Abad's nightmare 2012 continues...of the eight batters he has faced in 2012, three of them have taken him deep. The only hits he has allowed have been homers.

*With Jordan Schafer's successful reaching of 1st base, he has now reached base in each of the first 20 games - the longest stretch to open a season since Ricky Gutierrez reached in the first 23 games of the 1998 season (three starts after not reaching base for the first time in 1998, Gutierriez would get the only "hit" off Kerry Wood in his 20K game).

*The Astros scored four of their six runs with two outs, bringing their two-out run total to 37, or 38.9% of their runs. The National League, as a whole, have scored 38.2% of their runs with two outs.

*Jose Altuve was 2x5 and, through four games on this road trip (all of them multi-hit games), he's hitting .556/.579/.944 - a 1.523 OPS.

*After going hitless in 14 plate appearances between April 21-24, J.D. Martinez now has 5 hits in his 13PAs.

*And after Jason Castro opened the season with three hits in his first eight games (29 PAs) for a .120/.214/.160, he has a five game hitting streak, and is hitting .400/.455/.550, with eight hits in 20ABs.

*With the win, the Astros are 2-5 in series opening games.

*The Point At Which An Important Thing Happened in the Game, From Which There Was No Doubt of the Outcome: Obviously the 4th inning, as those four runs gave the Astros the cushion they needed to win the game. But within that inning, Brandon Phillips' error gave the Astros an extra out, and they scored in three of the next four ABs.

*Man of the Match: Jose Altuve!

*Goat of the Game: Fernando Abad - this is likely going to be a short stint with the big league team.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Lyles called up

Zachary Levine has tweeted that Jordan Lyles has been called up, and will pitch on Sunday with Norris, Happ, and Wandy going against the Mets next week. More to come.


So I guess that shoulder exam in Houston yesterday didn't go so well, as Kyle Weiland has been placed on the DL with shoulder soreness - the two most vague and scariest words in the pitcher's vocabulary ("Joe West" coming in squarely in 2nd place).

Also, Marwin Gonzalez has been placed on the paternity list, so it seems that congratulations are in order.

To complement these two moves, the Astros have brought up Fernando Abad and hot-hitting Brian Bixler from Oklahoma City. Bixler has been flat-out raking at OKC, hitting .364/.417/.545 in his last ten games - and that's after going 2x12 with 6K:1BB in his last three games.

I'm quite surprised the Astros didn't call up a starter to replace Weiland. Under the current schedule, the rotation would go:
Today: Wandy
Saturday: Harrell
Sunday: Norris
Monday: Happ
Tuesday: Wandy

So unless the Astros plan on making another change in advance of Tuesday's start, Wandy would go on short rest, or some reliever will make a spot start. Unless there's something I'm just not thinking of...

Know Your Enemy: April 27

The Astros open a three-game series at Cincinnati tonight.

The Reds were 9-6 against Houston in 2011, and are 31-15 against Houston since 2009. And the Reds are 17-7 at home against the Astros since 2009.

The Astros will face 6'0" 180lb RHP Mike Leake tonight.

*Leake was drafted with the 8th overall pick in 2009 by the Reds out of Arizona State, where he was teammates with Brett Wallace.
*Leake is the first player since Xavier Nady (2000) to not spend a day in the minors, and the first starting pitcher to do it since Jim Abbott in 1989.
*Be sure to secure your valuables: On April 18, 2011, Leake was arrested by Cincinnati police for shoplifting six t-shirts from the downtown Cincinnati Macy's.
*He is 2-3 against the Astros in his career, with a 4.45 ERA/1.39 WHIP.
*Carlos lee is 1x12 against Leake in his career, while Chris Johnson has two hits - both of them homers.
*Leake is 0-2 on the season with a 6.50 ERA, having given up 5ER in each of his last two starts (at Washington, at Chicago).
*This season he has thrown 184 of his 276 pitches for strikes (66.7%) and is getting 13.6% of his strikes swinging.
*PitchFx velocity (via FanGraphs) has his velocity sitting just a tick off his 2011 totals, with an 89.4mph fastball, 88.7mph sinker, and 80.9mph slider.

ESPN: Minute Maid has crap baseball, but good music

So here's the lede from this ESPN article about the Astros DJ, Nunee Oakes:
Let's be clear: Minute Maid Park is not a good place to catch a first-class baseball game and hasn't been for some time, dating back to ‘05 when the Astros won the National League championship. Coming off one of the worst seasons in Major League Baseball in which the Astros posted a franchise-worst 56-106 record, they aren't providing much enjoyment.

Well, ahem, okay. Anyway, there are stories about Brad Ausmus throwing a ball at the booth to change the music, and Jose Lima getting pissed because Oakes didn't play the right song. So read it, I suppose. Or don't.

The Skeeters had themselves a good time, and that might not be good news for the Astros

So the Sugar Land Sugar Kings Skeeters made their debut last night and, except for the numbers on the scoreboard, things went swimmingly. So swimmingly, in fact, that the Astros might not like it.

How about listening to Sugar Land's Andy Powell:
“It gives us local community camaraderie. It beats driving to the Astros games. I gave up Astros season tickets for season tickets (to the Skeeters). It’s a lot closer, and it seems like it’s going to be more family and fan friendly.”

Or Haley Graves:
“It’s good for Sugar Land. It brings people together, and it’s cheaper than the major leagues.”“It’s closer to home. It’s more affordable, and I like supporting small town (teams). The pros have just become (too) big business. I can relate to (this) more.”

Or Richard Fields:
"I could be a baseball fan," Fields said. "I can't afford major league baseball. I can afford to go to this."

Or Mrs. Frelich:
"I like it better than the major leagues. It's not as standard and formal as the major leagues. And the players are really nice. They don't have the egos yet."

Or Sandy Jones:
"This is like our hometown team, something we can root for here in our area of town and not have to go downtown all the time."

Or Debbie Page:
"Forever we have Astros season tickets, too, but we were really looking forward to having someplace close where we can let the kids come by themselves and live the dream,"

Sure, everyone's going to be jacked up for opening night. There is a Kroger about 10 minutes from my house. And I went to that Kroger all the time. Then they opened up a brand spanking new Publix eight minutes away (that I don't actually think anyone else knows about - nobody's in there. Ever; and for a fairly anti-social guy, that's important to me). I still go to the Kroger sometimes, but I split it with the Publix. I have a feeling a lot of residents of Fort Bend County are going to feel the same way about the Astros/Skeeters. It could have been an Astros affiliate, breeding familiarity and buy-in with fans to the Major League team, but nooo...Drayton didn't want the competition. And, for now, that's exactly what the Astros have.

Brandon Lyon has five or six more years in him, according to Brandon Lyon

The Salt Lake Tribune has a piece on Utah native Brandon Lyon, who, among other things, does not see the final year of his contract with the Astros as the final year of his career:

"I feel [surgery] has rejuvenated my shoulder, and it is starting to feel better. I could see playing five, six more years, who knows, as long as I can stay healthy. I feel I am getting better after this injury and recovery-wise."

PreStros Farm Report: April 26

Oklahoma City (14-7)

Sweet Mercy it's fun to beat Round Rock. Especially the way the RedHawks did, with an 8-run third inning, allowing OKC to cruise to an 11-5 win over Round Rock. Henry Sosa allowed 8H/5ER, 4K:2BB, 1HR, throwing 113 pitches to improve to 2-0. Sergio Perez and Xavier Cedeno threw scoreless outings, bringing Cedeno's ER-less streak to 5.1IP this season.

Fernando Martinez (HR, 2RBI) and Brad Snyder (HR, BB) had three hits each; Scott Moore (2B, 2RBI) and Justin Ruggiano (2B, RBI) had two hits each, and Mike Hessman hit a grand slam in the 3rd to help put the game out of reach.

Man of the Match: Fernando Martinez.

Corpus (11-9)

Corpus jumped out to a 3-0 lead over Midland, then fell behind 4-3, then scored runs in the 5th and 7th for a 5-4 win over the RockHounds. Jake Buchanan got the start, allowing 8H/4R (3ER), 3K:3BB in 6.2IP; Kevin Chapman got the win with a 1.1IP, 1H/0ER appearance, and Jason Stoffel got the save with a 2K inning.

Austin Wates was 3x5 with an RBI; Kody Hinze was 2x5 with a double and 2RBI, including the go-ahead homer in the 7th; Jonathan Villar was 2x4; Jon Singleton was 1x4 with a double and a walk, Jose Martinez was 1x2 with 2BB.

Man of the Match: Kody Hinze

Lancaster (8-13)

Brutal end to the JetHawks/Rancho Cucamonga game. Having allowed two runs in the top of the 8th to give the Quakes a 5-4 lead, Rafael Valenzuela walked to lead off the bottom of the 9th. George Springer grounded into a fielder's choice, but stole 2nd with Telvin Nash and Erik Castro due up. Quakes pitcher Logan Bawcom struck both out swinging to leave Springer at 2nd and a 5-4 loss for the JetHawks.

Six pitchers saw action last night: Jorge De Leon had another rough start, with 2IP, 4H/2ER, 1K:2BB; Alex Sogard walked four batters over 3IP (1H/0ER); Brad Dydalewicz gave up 2H/1ER; Brian Streilein walked two batters, but allowed no runs; Kirk Clark got the BS/L with 3H/2ER in the 8th, and Pat Urckfitz threw the only perfect outing of the night for the staff.

Rafael Valenzuela was 2x4 with a walk; Enrique Hernandez was 2x3 with a homer, triple, and 2RBI; Jio Mier was 1x3 with 2BB (through 20 games, Mier is hitting .274/.391/.370), giving him 5BB in his last three games. Erik Castro added a homer and a walk.

Man of the Match: Enrique Hernandez

Lexington (9-12)

Lexington only scored in one inning, but it was five runs, and it was all they'd need for a 5-2 win over Charleston. Mike Foltynewicz threw 5.2IP, 5H/2ER, 4K:3BB to raise his ERA to 1.98 on the season; Jason Chowning threw 1.1IP, 0H/0ER, 2K:2BB for the win, and Dayan Diaz threw two scoreless innings for his 2nd save of the season, and neither of Chowning/Diaz have allowed an earned run this season.

Matt Duffy was 2x3 with a double, Drew Muren was 2x4 with an RBI; Zach Johnson was 1x4 with a double and 2RBI. Delino DeShields and Roberto Pena added RBI in the win.

Man of the Match: Mike Foltynewicz

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Skeeters may just be the first step in Atlantic League domination of the Houston area

So the Sugar Land Skeeters (I still think they missed a golden opportunity by not calling them the Sugar Kings. Skeeters? Give me a break.) open their inaugural season, with some former PreStros on the bench, and Gary Gaetti at the helm.

Drayton rejected the idea of the Skeeters coming in as an affiliate, saying that having a team so close to the Astros would hurt his attendance. So the Atlantic League came calling. And in the York Dispatch, we find that the Atlantic League may not be done with the Houston area. Opening Day Partners Chairman Peter Kirk says plans are for an eight-team Eastern and an eight-team Western Division, and that already there are "a couple" of communities in Houston inquiring about adding an Atlantic League team.

Manager Gary Gaetti:
"The Houston area is certainly big enough to handle two (pro) teams, possibly three. It's such a big baseball town. I'm not expecting any problems in terms of competition."

So, we'll see what happens, but Drayton could have prevented this from even being an issue. If it will be one, at all.

PreStros Farm Report: April 25

Oklahoma City (13-7)


Corpus Christi (10-9)

Midland got four runs in the top of the 1st off Brett Oberholtzer, and cruised to a 9-3 win over Corpus. Brutal outing for Oberholtzer, who threw 5.1IP, 11H/7ER, 5K:0BB, including four 1st inning doubled. Jonnathan Aristil allowed 4H/2ER, 4K:0BB in 3.2IP.

T.J. Steele was the only player to get 3+ ABs and not get a hit. Kody Hinze was 2x4 with a homer, and Chris Wallace was 1x4 with a 2-run shot. Jake Goebbert and Jon Singleton (Jon "Homerton" as we'd like to call him) were each 1x3 with a walk. The big story was the running. Jonathan Villar stole two bases, and Austin Wates increased his stolen base total to five SBs on the season with three stolen bases.

Man of the Match: Austin Wates.

Lancaster (8-12)

Lancaster got out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the 7th, when Rancho Cucamonga got two runs to bring it to a one-run game, and then Lancaster poured on five in the bottom half of the inning for an 8-2 win. Wes Musick improved to 2-1, with 7H/2ER, 5K:2BB while a bullpen of Jose Trinidad (0.2IP), Pat Urckfitz (1IP), and Andrew Robinson (1IP) held the Quakes hitless and walkless over the final 2.2IP.

Jonathan Meyer was 2x4 with a double and 2RBI; Domingo Santana was 2x3 with a double and a walk (improving his Avg to .189). Jiovanni Mier was 1x3 with 2BB and an RBI. George Springer got a single, RBI, and stolen base. And Telvin Nash hit his 9th homer of the season - even more encouraging is that five of his nine homers have come on the road.

Man of the Match: Wes Musick.

Lexington (8-12)

Charleston scored the first nine runs of the game, and while Lexington got four runs in the bottom of the 8th, it wasn't enough as the Legends fell 9-4. Kyle Hallock lasted 4IP, with 9H/6R (4ER), 1K:2BB; Evan Grills allowed 4H/1ER, 2K:0BB in 3IP, and Tanner Bushue made his second straight relief appearance and allowed deuces: 2IP, 2H/2ER, 2K:0BB, 2HR to lower his ERA to 16.55 on the season.

Delino DeShields was 2x4 with a double and a walk (now with a .370 OBP - and remember, he's not yet 20), Alex Todd was 1x4 with 3RBI. The first five batters (DeShields-Gominsky-Scott-Johnson-Duffy) each drew a walk, but the Legends had 12Ks; three of them came from Mike Kvasnicka, who was 0x4, and is now hitting .091 with 10K in his last 23ABs.

Man of the Match: Uhhh, DeShields?

Weiland getting skipped

As you likely already know, Kyle Weiland is heading back to Houston to get his right shoulder examined by team doctors.

"It's been building up a little bit since late Spring Training. Nothing too serious; it's stuff that I've felt before, and I want to stop it before it gets worse."

True. Weiland struggled in his sophomore year at Notre Dame as a result of an off-season shoulder injury (and thanks to shuttling between Notre Dame's bullpen and rotation). Ultimately, we'll have to wait and see what the report is before making a determination - but it's not a great sign for Weiland that he's having his spot skipped.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

From the Office of the County Clerk - G19: Astros (6-12) @ Brewers (9-9)

JA Happ (1-1, 4.00) v.s. Shaun Marcum (1-1, 3.79)

The Astros continued their streak of dropping the first 2 games of a series only to win the 3rd, as they beat the Brewers by a 7-5 count this afternoon. The Astros offense continued to score runs in bunches, and JA Happ was just good enough to allow the Astros to sneak out of town with a victory. The Brewers fall to 9-10 while the Astros move to 7-12.

*JA Happ wasn't great, but he was good enough to keep the game close and allow the Astros to eventually take the lead in the top of the 7th. His line: 5.0 IP / 7 H / 4 ER / 2 BB / 8 K. He allowed 2 homeruns, and did not factor in the decision. Wilton Lopez got the win with a scoreless inning of relief, recording one strikeout. Brett Myers got his 3rd save of the year with a scoreless 9th.

*Jordan Schafer got a hit in his 5th at bat of the day to extend his streak to 19 straight games of getting on base to start the season. He did end up only going 1 for 6 on the day however, and struck out 3 times. He is starting to strikeout more often now and needs to work on putting the ball into play and letting his speed beat some balls out.

*Jose Altuve had his 10th multi-hit game of the season. He is now tied for 1st in the NL in that category with Matt Kemp of the Dodgers. Altuve batted out of the #2 hole today (FINALLY) and went 4 for 5 with an RBI and scored 3 runs. His line for the season is now a very impressive .377/.429/.551.

*Of the first 13 Astros batters today, 8 reached base. The Astros ended with 7 runs on 14 hits. They left 12 men on base.

*Other Astros with multihit games include JD Martinez (3 for 4 with a walk), Brian Bogusevic (2 for 4 with a walk) and Chris Snyder (2 for 4). The only Astros to go hitless were Jed Lowrie (0 for 5 from the #5 spot), Chris Johnson (0 for 5) and JA Happ (0 for 2).

*The Astros drew 4 walks today, and were struck out 10 times. They stole one base (Bogusevic - his 2nd of the year).

*Top 3 Astros year-to-date OBP as of right now: JD Martinez (.432), Jose Altuve (.429), Jordan Schafer (.354).

*The 3 Astros starters this series (Harrell, Norris & Happ) went a combined 15.2 IP allowing 21 hits, striking out 15 while walking 7. They combined to give up 16 ER in the 3 game series. Our starters HAVE to be better to give us a chance to win games. The offense has been hot as of late, but the pitching just isn't giving us a chance to win many games.

Turning Point:
Chris Snyder's RBI single in the 7th was the difference, but i'm almost tempted to call the 2nd inning the turning point here. The Astros took an early lead again (they seem to do that often), only to squander it quickly in the bottom half of the 1st, falling behind 2-1. Had the Astros not rebounded here, it could have been a long afternoon for them. But they put up 3 more runs in the top of the 2nd to take a solid 4-2 lead. The Brewers would eventually tie the game at 4-4, but it gave the Astros that cushion they needed to stay in the game.

Man of the Match:
Altuve and JD Martinez were both fantastic, but the nod goes to Martinez here. 3 for 4 with a walk, a run scored and 3 RBI. A great afternoon for him after a couple of tough games at the plate lately.

Goat of the Game:
Jed Lowrie was 0 for 5 with 3 strikeouts from the #5 hole. He's an OBP machine, but is only batting .245 with a .327 slugging percentage so far this season.

PreStros Farm Report: April 24

PreStros: April 24

Oklahoma City (13-7) 

Jordan Lyles had a no-hitter going through six innings as the RedHawks won 8-5 to take the series against Albuquerque (LAD)

Lyles ended up throwing 7.1 innings and gave up 4 R on 6 H and 2 BB with 6 K as he quickly tired after allowing that first hit.

1B-Scott Moore went 3x3 with 2 2B, 3 R, and 2 RBI. 3B-Brett Wallace was 2x4 with 2 RBI. RF-Brad Snyder was 3x4 with 1 2B, 1 3B, and 2 RBI.

Man of the Match: Jordan Lyles

Corpus Christi (10-8) 

Jon Singleton showed off some of his power potential as Corpus won their fifth straight 8-2 against Midland (OAK).

Jose Cisnero threw every thing he could at the RockHounds as he went 5 innings allowing 2 unearned runs on 3 H and 4 BB with 12 K. Jose threw 111 pitches in those 5 innings. Arcenio Leon gave 3 innings of shutout ball with 1 H, 2 BB, and 4 K. Adalberto Flores finished the game with 1 scoreless inning with 1 BB and 1 K.

1B-Jon Singleton was 4x4 with 1 3B, 2 HR, 2 R, and 4 RBI. DH-Kody Hinze went 2x4. 3B-Andrew Simunic was 1x2 with 1 BB, 1 HR, 2 R, and 2 RBI.

Man of the Match: Singleton/Cisnero

Lancaster (7-12) 

A big five run fifth inning propelled the JetHawks to a 6-3 victory Tuesday night.

Bobby Doran had an outstanding outing as he threw 7 innings, giving up just 1 R on 3 H with 7 K.

SS-Jio Mier went 3x4 with 1 BB, 1 R, and 1 RBI. CF-George Springer was 4x4 with 2 3B, 1 R, and 3 RBI. LF-Adam Bailey was 2x4 with 1 2B and 1 R.

Man of the Match: Bobby Doran

Lexington (8-11) 

A lackluster 4-1 loss by Lexington kept the farm system from sweeping last nights games.

Nick Tropeano ran into trouble in the 2nd inning and ended up with just the 2 IP, allowing 3 R (2 earned) on 3 H and 1 BB with 5 K. He finished strong by striking out the last three batters of the inning, but it seems that the Legends decided to pull him to help prevent stress on his arm after a high pitch count inning. Nathan Pettus went the next 3 innings, allowing 1 R on 4 H and 1 BB with 2 K. Carlos Quevedo finished strong with 4 scoreless innings, giving up 4 H with 5 K.

Lexington managed just eight baserunners all game; only Roberto Pena reaching more than once. 2B-Delino DeShields was 0x3 with 1 BB, 1 SB, and 1 R. C-Roberto Pena was 2x3.

Man of the Match: Carlos Quevedo

Tri-City (0-0) 

Season begins June 18.

Greeneville (0-0) 

Season begins June 19.

GCL Astros (0-0) 

Season begins June 18.

DSL Astros (0-0) 

Season schedule not yet posted. Opening Day June 2nd.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

From the Office of the County Clerk - G18: Astros (6-11) @ Brewers (8-9)

Bud Norris (1-0, 4.26) v.s. Randy Wolf (0-2, 8.80)

The Astros offense continued to score runs in bunches, but pitching once again let the 'Stros down as they fell to the Brewers by a 9-6 count tonight. The Brewers pull even at 9-9 on the year, while the Astros fall well below .500 at 6-12.

*Bud Norris was on fire through the first four innings, before the wheels fell off. He finished with a line of 5.2 IP / 9 H / 7 ER / 2 BB / 6 K. He took the loss and falls to 1-1 on the year with a 5.84 ERA.


*Bud Norris was seemingly unstoppable at the start of the game. In the third inning he even tied a major league baseball record when he struck out 4 batters in one inning (thanks to a dropped 3rd strike on one of the strikeouts, which allowed the batter to reach base). But then, Bud couldn't keep the ball in the park. He gave up a 2 run homerun to #8 hitter Ishikawa in the 5th, followed by a 2 run bomb to Corey Hart and a 3 run bomb to Rickie Weeks, both in the 6th inning. 

*With Norris already down 4-2 and struggling, Mills left him in to try to finish off Weeks, who launched the 3 run homerun to essentially put the game out of reach. Was it a bad call to leave Norris in when he had Rodriguez warming in the bullpen? That's a tough call. I tend to agree with Mills on this one. It's just a shame it didn't work out in the end.

*Brett Myers also gave up a homerun tonight, for a total of 4 taters given up to the Brew Crew in the game.

*Bud Norris gave up 18 HR in 153.2 IP in 2010, 24 HR in 186.0 IP in 2011 and now 5 HR in 24.2 IP so far this season. That works out to one homerun for every 8.5 IP / 7.75 IP / 4.84 IP over the past 3 season consecutively. He's going to have to reverse this alarming trend and start keeping some baseballs in the ballpark if he wants to continue to be successful in the big leagues.

*Chris Johnson got the night off, and Marwin Gonzalez got the start at 3rd. However CJ did come in as a pinch hitter and got 2 AB's in tonight, finishing 2 for 2 with 2 runs and an RBI. He has been a pleasant surprise this year in a turnaround of a season with a decent .294/.314/.368 line so far.

*Jordan Schafer went 1 for 4 tonight and has now reached base safely in the first 18 games of the season. This is the longest streak for an Astro since Gutierrez went 23 straight games back in 1998.

*The only concerning thing about Schafer? Since he stole 5 bags in the first 7 games of the season, he has now only stolen 1 in the past 11. He has been caught stealing twice, but if I'm Mills i'm still giving him the green light.

*Jose Altuve had a great night tonight, with his first homerun of the year in the 2nd to go along with his 4th stolen base of the year. He was moved up to the #6 spot tonight with Marwin Gonzalez dropping to 8th playing for CJ. Altuve went 2 for 4 with a walk, 2 runs, an RBI, the homerun and the stolen base.

*Brian Bogusevic went 0 for 5 and Chris Snyder went 0 for 3. Their season batting average now stand at .185 and .080 respectively. Ouch.

*The Astros 6 runs tonight were driven in by 6 different players. 4 players scored the 6 runs however, including pitcher Kyle Weiland who was used as a pinch runner.

*The Astros left 10 men on base while the Brewers only left 6.

Turning Point:

The disaster of a 6th inning. Norris gave up a 2 run homerun and a 3 run homerun in the same inning, effectively burying the Astros chances of winning tonight.

Man of the Match:

Going to give it to Jose Altuve. First homerun of the year, a stolen base and a solid 2 for 4 night with 2 runs scored and a walk.

Goat of the Game:

Bud Norris was fantastic to start the game......but then suddenly started serving up gopher balls and couldn't keep the ball in the park.

More changes for Lexington

In addition to Tyler Burnett's release, Astros County has learned that Scott Zuloaga has been placed on the inactive list.

Chris Epps and John Hinson, teammates at Clemson, have been assigned to Lexington from extended spring training to fill the two newly opened spots.

Minor League Ball's updated mock draft

John Sickels has his updated Mock Draft for June available, and says:

One of the few firm rumors (is "firm rumor" a contradiction in terms?) going around currently is that the Astros are leaning in the direction of a college player, since it will take them less time to reach the majors and none of the high schoolers have truly elevated themselves over the college crop.

Sickels' choice: RHP Kevin Gausman, LSU

Know Your Enemy: April 24

The Astros need to hit Mat Gamel, what, twice tonight for his body check of Jason Castro?

*The Astros will be facing 35-year old LHP OldStro Randy Wolf tonight at 7:10pm in Milwaukee.
*Wolf was drafted in the 2nd Round of the 1997 draft by the Phillies out of Pepperdine, where he was a freshman 1st-team All American, West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year, 2nd-team All-American, and West Coast Conference All-Star.
*Randy Wolf lives in Slash's old house. I bet it still smells of cocaine, boobies, and glitter.
*The Phillies let Randy Wolf go to free agency following the 2006 season, where he signed with the Dodgers for 2007, was granted free agency again, and signed with the Padres for 2008. On July 22, 2008 Ed Wade traded Chad Reineke to San Diego for Randy Wolf.
*In 2008, Chad Reineke made four appearances (three starts) for the Padres, going 2-1 with a 5.00 ERA/1.44 WHIP, with 13K:12BB, while Randy Wolf went 6-2 for the Astros down the stretch culminating in Hurricane Ike. He was allowed to walk for free agency again, where he went back to the Dodgers for 2008, and is now in the final year of a 3-year/$29.75m contract with the Brewers (team option for 2013).
*In 2012, Wolf has allowed 25H/15ER, 9K:5BB, 3HR, for an 8.80 ERA. His April 13 start at Atlanta saw him give up 9H/8er in 4.1IP for a Game Score of 11. That was his lowest Game Score since July 21, 2010, when he posted a stellar -3 (didn't know Game Scores could run in the negatives, did you?) by giving up 13H/12ER, 4K:2BB, 2HR at Pittsburgh in a 15-3 loss.
*Wolf is 8-5 against the Astros for his career, with a 2.98 ERA/1.07 WHIP. In his last three starts against Houston - all in 2011 - Wolf threw 22IP, 12H/2ER, 13K:5BB.
*At Miller Park, Wolf is 14-15 with a 4.31 ERA/1.45 ERA. He has allowed 40HR at Miller Park in 42 games, the second highest HR total he has allowed behind Philly's Veterans Stadium, where he gave up 50HR in 65 games.
*Against current Astros, he has allowed a .523 OPS, with Carlos Lee coming in 5x32 against Wolf, with a HR, 3K:3BB. Chris Snyder is 3x14 with 6K:4Bb, and Chris Johnson is 1x11 with 2Ks. Justin Maxwell is 1x2 with a homer.

*Bud Norris is making the 4th start of his 2012, coming in with a 4.26 ERA, with 16K:6BB. In his last start, he got the win by allowing 10H/4ER, 6K:2BB. This is his third road start of 2012.
*Only four Brewers have 9+ PAs against Norris, but Aramis Ramirez (10PAs) has a 1.650 OPS, Corey Hart (9PAs) has a 1.167 OPS, Ryan Braun (21PAs) has a .983 OPS, and Jonathan Lucroy brings up the rear with a .425 OPS in 10 PAs.
*Norris is 3-2 lifetime against the Brewers in seven starts, with a 4.14 ERA/1.38 WHIP. He's 0-0 in two career starts at Miller Park, with a 4.50 ERA/1.60 WHIP.
*The Astros are 3-0 in Norris' starts in 2012.

"Like a surfer, you've got to ride the wave and keep going"

Here's a good article from Greg Rajan about Brandon Barnes and the ridiculous start he's had to his 2012 season. The above quote is from Barnes himself.

The average line for batting in the Texas League (in which average age is 24, and Barnes will be 26 next month) is .249/.322/.395, with 34.1% of hits going for extra-bases, and a 2.41 K:BB ratio.

Barnes is hitting .419/.448/.823, with 65.4% of his hits going for extra-bases.

What's preventing him from moving on up? Well, other than that the season is about three weeks old, Oklahoma City is running an outfield of J.B. Shuck, Fernando Martinez, and Justin Ruggiano out on a daily basis, with Brad Snyder getting the occasional appearance. I'd be interested in seeing Barnes replace Ruggiano, but there's no harm in seeing if what Barnes is doing is legit, for a little while longer.

PreStros Farm Report: April 23

PreStros: April 23

Oklahoma City (12-7) 

The Isotopes (LAD) and RedHawks squared off in a pitcher’s duel but OKC got the loss 3-2..

Dallas Keuchel had another good game, but not quite as good as the opposing pitcher. Keuchel went 7 innings and allowed 3 R on 7 H and 3 BB with 2 K along with 11 groundouts. Juan Abreu threw the last 2 innings and allowed 1 H and 1 BB with 3 K. Keuchel is now 3-1 on the season with a 1.67 ERA

3B-Brett Wallace went 1x4 with a solo HR, his second of the season. 2B-Jimmy Paredes was 3x4 with 1 2B and 1 R with 2 SB. RF-Justin Ruggiano went 0x4 at the plate but had 2 OF assists, both times throwing out Albuquerque catcher Tim Federowicz at home.

Man of the Match: Jimmy Paredes

Corpus Christi (9-8) 

Corpus pulled out all the stops, including a steal of home, to beat Midland (OAK) 9-3.

Erick Abreu, in his first start of the season, lasted 4 innings, giving up just 1 R on 5 H and 2 BB with 5 K. Henry Villar went the next 4 innings and gave up 2 R on 3 H and 1 BB with 1 K. Kevin Chapman took the ninth in a non-save situation and allowed just 1 H with 1 K. Chapman has looked good since coming over in the Bourgeois/Quintero trade, with 9.2 IP over seven games with 13 strikeouts and a 1.86 ERA.

The Hooks offense spread the wealth, as several players had good nights. LF-Austin Wates went 2x5 with 1 R. RF-Jake Goebbert was 2x5 with 1 2B, 1 R, and 1 RBI. 1B-Jonathan Singleton was 2x4 with 1 BB, 2 2B, 2 R, 1 RBI, and 1 SB, the aforementioned steal of home. CF-Brandon Barnes was 1x2 with 1 BB, 1 R, 4 RBI, and 1 HR. 2B-Jordan Kreke went 2x3 with 1 2B, 2 R, 1 BB, and 2 SB. 3B-Andy Simunic was 2x4 with 2 R. Simunic has four straight multi-hit games and is hitting .692 over that stretch.

Man of the Match: Brandon Barnes

Lancaster (6-12) 

Telvin Nash and Jiovanni Mier helped stake the JetHawks to an early lead and Lancaster cruised to victory over Rancho Cucamonga (LAD) 8-4.

Zach Grimmett got the win with 5.1 IP allowing 4 R on 7 H , 1 HBP, and 2 BB with 7 K. Brian Streilein threw 2.2 scoreless innings with 1 H, 1 BB, and 3 K. Kirk Clark allowed 1 H in 1 IP.

SS-Jio Mier went 1x5 with 1 3B and 3 RBI. LF-Telvin Nash was 1x2 with 3 BB and a solo HR, his 8th of the year. 1B-Erik Castro was 1x4 with 1 BB, 1 3B, and 2 R. 3B-Jonathan Meyer went 2x4 with 1 SB, 1 3B, 1 R, and 1 RBI. RF-Adam Bailey went 3x4 with 1 R and 1 RBI with 1 OF assist. C-Rene Garcia was 4x4 with 1 2B, 2 R, and 1 RBI. Garcia came into the game hitting just .181 and left with a .250 average.

Man of the Match: Rene Garcia

Lexington (8-10) 


Off Day Spotlight

Tanner Bushue
Born:                June 20, 1991
Bats/Throws:   R/R
Height/Weight: 6’4”/180lbs
Acquired:     Drafted by Houston Astros, 2009 (2nd Round)
Position:          SP

Tanner started his professional career well but may have hit a wall, as this is his third season now with Lexington. Tanner was one of the Astros top 10 prospects heading in to 2011. He throws four pitches as a starter, including a fastball that hits 93 mph and a curve ball that has potential to be a plus pitch. His homerun allowed rate has increased each of the last three seasons and he’s been letting too many runners on to get away with it. He’s still young though (he’ll turn 21 in June) so there’s plenty of time for him to get back on track.

Tri-City (0-0) 

Season begins June 18.

Greeneville (0-0) 

Season begins June 19.

GCL Astros (0-0) 

Season begins June 18.

DSL Astros (0-0) 

Season schedule not yet posted. Opening Day June 2nd.

Tyler Burnett released?

Via What the Heck, Bobby, we find that (in addition to Ross Seaton getting sent back to Corpus, replaced at OKC by Jonnathan Aristil) Lexington's Tyler Burnett has been released.

The 17th-Round draft pick in 2010 hit .250/.363/.392 for Tri-City (45 walks in 312PAs), earning a shot at Lexington in 2011, where he hit .249/.324/.347 with 21 stolen bases in 24 attempts. In 12 games in 2012 (52 PAs), Burnett has hit .178/.288/.267.

Astros 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition Box Set

I stumbled on this early this morning, and have already ordered four: the Houston Astros' 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition, which will be released on May 15. This guy reviewed it, and says that the five discs in the set include:

*Nolan Ryan's 5th no-hitter on 9/26/81
*Mike Scott's Division-clinching no-hitter on 9/25/86
*2005 NLDS G4 (the 18-inning Chris Burke game)
*Craig Biggio's 3000th Hit game on 6/28/07
*An additional disc of "The Greatest Moments in Baseball History"

So there you go.

Monday, April 23, 2012

From the Office of the County Clerk - G17: Astros (6-10) @ Brewers (7-9)

Lucas Harrell (1-0, 2.55) v.s. Zack Greinke (1-1, 5.09)

The Astros fell behind early but fought back to make for a close game tonight, however they ultimately fell to the Brewers by a 6-5 count. The Astros fall to 6-11 and the Brewers inch closer to .500 at 8-9.

*Lucas Harrell was not sharp tonight - his line: 5.0 IP / 5 H / 5 ER / 3 BB / 1 K. He took the loss and moves to 1-1 on the year with a 3.97 ERA.


*Jed Lowrie hit his first homerun of the season tonight in the top of the 1st. Batting out of the 2 hole again, he went 2 for 5 with the HR and scored twice.

*The Astros scattered 13 hits tonight - not a bad effort at all. Unfortunately it was the pitching that really let them down again tonight, as it has at a few points during the season already.

*JD Martinez went hitless again tonight with an 0-4 outing. He was the only starter to not collect a hit tonight. He did draw a walk however and his OBP is a solid .408.

*Jose Altuve stayed hot with a 2 for 4 night, making myself and many others wonder what more he has to do to earn a spot at the top of the lineup. Jed Lowrie is well suited for the #2 hole, but with Altuve hitting as well as he has it only makes sense to move him up and give him more AB's and more chances at driving in runs.

Turning Point:

A few choices here - had the Astros not put up a fighting chance with 3 in the top of the 7th, the turning point could have been the disaster of a 1st inning. But in the end it has to be Brandon Lyon's bottom of the 6th. Walk/Single/Wild Pitch/Hit Batter......he's lucky he escaped having only given up 1 run. In the end, that 1 run was the difference in the game though.

Man of the Match:

How about Bogey again! He was clutch tonight. A bases loaded walk in the 5th brought in a run, and a 1 out triple in the 7th drove in 2 more to make it a close game. He went 1 for 4 in the end, but also walked, scored a run and drove in 3 runs. Some guys may have had better nights on the scoreboard, but nobody was more clutch than Bogey tonight.

Goat of the Game:

Lucas Harrell put the Astros in a hole from which they would never recover with another rough outing. Close second to JD Martinez, going 0 for 4 and leaving 3 men on base.

Might the Rays be interested in Chris Snyder?

The Tampa Bay Times' Marc Topkin took a look at the Rays' catching situation, and didn't exactly like what he saw. Rays catchers are currently hitting .250/.339/.346. So how about acquiring better catcher? Chris Snyder is listed as a "lower-tier" possibility...

Know Your Enemy: April 23

The Astros come in to this series with the Brewers - the first against an NL Central opponent in 2012 - on a fat one-game win streak. They're 1-4 in series-opening games this season, with a -3 run differential.

*Milwaukee is 7-9 this season, and are 4-5 at home, having just dropped two of three to the Rockies.
*The Brewers took 12 of 15 games from the Astros in 2011, and are 19-11 since 2010. And the Astros are 5-16 at Miller Park since 2009.

*Houston will be facing 6'2" 200lb RHP Zack Greinke, who is in the final year of a 4-year $38m deal.
*Greinke was the 6th overall pick in the 2002 draft, after Bryan Bullington, B.J. Upton, Chris Gruler, Adam Loewen, and Clint Everts. Gruler and Everts (Reds and Expos, respectively) never made it to the Majors.
*Greinke is married to 2008 Miss Daytona Beach USA & former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Emily Kuchar. So, you know, respect.
*Greinke's first major league hit was a homer off the Diamondbacks' Russ Ortiz.
*Greinke has never lost a decision at Miller Park. Seriously. He's 12-0 with a 2.84 ERA/1.05 WHIP in 18 games (17 starts). In 111IP, he has allowed 93H/35ER, 135K:24BB.
*The 2009 Cy Young Award winner is 3-0 against the Astros, with a 1.71 ERA / 1.24 WHIP. In 21IP, he has allowed 21H/4ER, 17K:5BB.
*In two starts 2011 against the Astros - both at Minute Maid - he threw 13IP, allowed 13H/3ER, 12K:5BB.
*The numbers against the current Astros aren't pretty. In 51PAs, they have a .729 OPS. Carlos Lee is 3x17 with a homer and a .616 OPS. Chris Snyder is 2x6 with a walk. Jose Altuve is 2x6, and J.D. Martinez is 1x6. Brian Bogusevic is 2x3 with a triple.
*That said, Greinke has made three starts in 2012, and while two of them have been great (averaging a 71 Game Score), his 2nd start on April 12 at Wrigley was a dud. He allowed 9H/8ER in 3.2IP against the Cubs. But against the Dodgers on April 18 at Miller Park, he allowed 4H/2ER, with 7K:2BB in 7IP.

*And the Astros will send out Lucas Harrell to face the Brewers.
*Not sure what the Astros will get from Harrell tonight, as against Colorado and Washington he allowed 7H/1ER, 8K:3BB combined. And at Miami, he allowed 7H/4ER, 2K:4BB in 4IP.
*However, current Brewers have had 14PAs against Harrell in his career, and he has allowed one baserunner: a single to Nyjer Morgan. Ryan Braun and Corey Hart are a combined 0x6 with 1K.
*Harrell has thrown 275 pitches thus far in the season, 172 of them for strikes (62.5%), with 61 strikes looking and 16 swinging strikes.
*Harrell has yet to give up a homer thus far for Houston, and has only allowed two jacks in his 59.2 major league IPs.

Jeff Luhnow checked in on Byron Buxton

Jason Churchill mentions in this ESPN recap that Jeff Luhnow checked in on potential 1-1 pick Byron Buxton, the HS OF from GA, over the weekend.

ESPN's Kiley McDaniel has an (Insider-Only) scouting report up on Buxton from Saturday. Still, here's an interesting note:
The interesting thing I found, which is a concept worthy of its own article, is that the scouts who are bearish on Buxton tend to be scouts who currently or recently worked in player development and pro scouting. The guys that have him as a slam dunk number one pick tend to be scouts that do predominantly amateur scouting.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

PreStros Farm Report: April 22

PreStros: April 22

Oklahoma City (12-6) 

Ross Seaton was roughed up in his AAA debut in what turned out to be a marathon of a game. OKC ultimately fell 11-10 in 14 innings.

Seaton went 4.2 innings and gave up 6 R (5 earned) on 7 H and 2 BB with 1 K. Mickey Storey threw 2.1 scoreless innings with 3 H and 3 K. Xavier Cedeno pitched 1 inning, allowing 4 R, all unearned, 3 H, and 1 BB. Fernando Abad threw 3 scoreless innings and gave up 3 H and 2 BB with 4 K. Jose Valdez gave 2 innings with 1 H, 2 BB, and 3 K. Sergio Perez took the loss with 1 IP giving up 1 R on 2 H with 1 K.

SS-Angel Sanchez went 2x6 with 1 RBI. 3B-Brian Bixler was 4x7 with 1 BB, 1 R, and 1 RBI. 2B-Jimmy Paredes was 4x7 with 3 2B, 3 R, and 1 RBI. C-Carlos Corporan went 1x4 with 1 HR, 2 R, and 3 RBI.

Man of the Match: Jimmy Paredes

Corpus Christi (8-8) 

Corpus jumped out to a five run lead and held off a late charge to win 5-3.

Jarred Cosart returned from his blister issues to pitch 5 scoreless innings, allowing 4 hits with 4 K to earn his first victory of the season. Adelberto Flores made things interesting in his 2.2 innings by giving up 3 R on 4 H with 2 K. Kevin Chapman had in interesting line, as he faced two batters with 1 BB and 1 K, but was credited with 0 IP when his strikeout victim reached base when the third strike got away from the catcher. Jason Stoffel got the save with 1.1 perfect innings with 1 K.

1B-Jonathan Singleton was 1x4 with 1 R and 2 RBI. CF-Brandon Barnes went 2x3 with 2 2B, 1 R, and 1 RBI but was twice caught stealing. 3B-Andrew Simunic went 3x3 with 1 R.

Man of the Match: Jarred Cosart

Lancaster (5-12) 

Lancaster took a 4 run lead into the bottom of the eight inning but couldn’t hold on, ultimately losing 5-4.

Ruben Alaniz had another good outing, throwing 7.1 innings while allowing 3 R on 7 H and 1 BB with 3 K. Pat Urckfitz allowed 1 R in .2 IP on 1 H and 2 K. Jorge De Leon also allowed 1 R on .2 IP on 2 H.

SS-Ben Orloff was 3x4 with 1 BB and 1 R. CF-George Springer went 2x5 with 2 SB. LF-Adam Bailey was 2x4 with 1 2B and 1 RBI. C-Ben Heath was 2x4 with a solo HR and 1 runner caught stealing.

Man of the Match: Ben Heath

Lexington (8-10) 

Lexington’s offense led the way to an 11-6 victory Sunday. Though the Legends knocked out 14 hits, not a single one went for extra bases.

Luis Cruz turned in 5 IP while allowing 6 R on 10 H and 1 BB with 3 K. Dayan Diaz threw 3 scoreless innings with 2 K. Diaz hasn’t allowed a run in 13.1 innings so far this season.

LF-Jordan Scott was 1x4 with 2 BB, 1 R, and 2 RBI. 2B-Alex Todd went 2x5 with 1 RBI. 3B-Matt Duffy was 3x6 with 1 R. DH-Mike Kvasnicka went 2x5 with 2 R. CF-Drew Muren went 3x4 with 2 R. RF-Emilio King was 2x4 with 1 BB, 3 R, and 1 RBI. SS-James Howick was 1x2 with 3 BB, 1 R, and 3 RBI.

Man of the Match: James Howick

Tri-City (0-0) 

Season begins June 18.

Greeneville (0-0) 

Season begins June 19.

GCL Astros (0-0) 

Season begins June 18.

DSL Astros (0-0) 

Season schedule not yet posted. Opening Day June 2nd.

From the Office of the County Clerk - G16: Dodgers (12-3) @ Astros (5-10)

Chad Billingsley (2-0, 1.33) v.s. Wandy Rodriguez (0-2, 1.96)

The Astros offense found their stride again this afternoon as they clobbered the Dodgers to the tune of a 12-0 final. Wandy Rodriguez was great and finally got the run support that has been lacking for him so far this season. The Astros improve to 6-10 while the Dodgers fall to a (still great) mark of 12-4.

*Wandy Rodriguez got the win with an outstanding line of 7.0 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 3 BB / 6 K. He now moves to 1-2 on the season, and aside from a rough couple of innings in his first start of the year, has been looking great so far this year. If the plan is to trade Wandy by the trade deadline, he is certainly helping boost his own value.


*The Astros scored 2 in the first, 4 in the second, 3 in the fourth, 1 in the fifth, and 2 in the eighth for good measure. They didn't let their foot off the gas from the word go and sustained a great offensive performance throughout the game.

*Chad Billingsley of the Dodgers had come into this game with a 1.33 ERA on the year so far. The Astros touched him for 9 runs (5 earned) in only 3.1 innings of work.

*The big score of the day was a Grand Slam by Jordan Schafer in the second inning. It was the first Grand Slam of his career and his second homerun of the year. 

*Carlos Lee also hit a homerun today - into the Crawford boxes in the first inning with Jed Lowrie on. Lowrie reached on one of the Dodgers 3 errors of the day.

*JD Martinez and Wandy were the only starters not to get a hit today. JD went 0 for 5, dropping his season average down to a still very respectable .309. His OBP is a staggering .424 on the year.

*The Astros top 5 in OBP so far for the season are Martinez (.424), Altuve (.381), Schafer (.373), Lowrie (.357) and Bogusevic (.345). 

*The Astros top OBP last season was Michael Bourn at .363. Clint Barmes was 5th at .312.

*If the Astros can continue getting on base at this great clip, good things are going to keep happening with the offense. Consistency is lacking a bit right now, which is to be expected with a young team, but there is a lot to like from the couple of recent offensive explosions we have been treated to.

Turning Point:

The Carlos Lee homerun effectively won the game, thanks to an outstanding performance by Wandy...but the true turning point has to be Schafer's Grand Slam. A team down 2-0 acts much different than a team down 6-0. It put the Dodgers in a huge hole and they didn't even seem to be invested in the game after that point.

Man of the Match:

Jordan Schafer. First career Grand Slam. He finished 1 for 4 with 2 runs and 4 RBI's. He only saw 12 pitches in 4 at bats, so he was certainly aggressive today!

Goat of the Game:

Hate to give it to anyone with today's great ballgame, but JD Martinez did go 0 for 5 with a strikeout, so he's going to have to be the choice. He did manage an RBI though, courtesy of a fielder's choice in the 4th.

Know Your Enemy: April 22

Now the Astros get to face 6'1" 240lb RHP Chad Billingsley to conclude the series against the Dodgers.

*Billingsley was the 24th overall pick of the 2003 draft by the Dodgers, having been drafted out of Defiance HS (where he was teammates with Mets pitcher Jon Niese) in Ohio, where in his senior season he struck out 113 batters and walked 16 in 56IP. He won the bronze medal with Team USA in the 2002 IBAF World Junior Championships.
*He is 4-3 in seven starts against the Astros in his career, with a 4.29 ERA/1.31 WHIP.
*But all four of those wins came at Minute Maid Park, where he is 4-0 in four starts. In 30.1IP, he has allowed 19H/6ER, 25K:0BB, for a 1.78 ERA/0.92 WHIP.
*In three starts this season, Billingsley has 17K:1BB in 20.1IP, having allowed 13H/3ER.
*Billingsley has faced 73 batters in his 20.1IP this season.
*He has faced current Astros for 60PAs, where they are hitting .189/.224/.321. Brett Myers is tied with Carlos Lee for the most RBI against Billingsley, with three. Chris Snyder is 3x22 with 2HR and a walk, and Carlos Lee is 5x19 with a double.
*LHBs are hitting .171/.171/.314 against Billingsley this season; 14 of his 17 strikeouts have come following a first-pitch strike.
*Billingsley has only allowed one hit and a walk with runners in scoring position.
*If the Astros are going to follow 2012 trends, they need to do their damage early. The opposing lineup's OPS the first time through the order has an .883 OPS, while the 2nd time through has a .394 OPS, and the 3rd time through has a .235 OPS.

*Wandy is coming off his best start of the season, on Tuesday, when the Astros lost a 1-0 game at Washington, and Wandy threw 7IP, 5H/1ER, 3K:0BB. It was the 2nd 1-0 loss of his career, and first since 2009.
*He has only induced 1 GIDP this season.
*The Astros are 7-13 in Wandy's last 20 starts. His ERA in those 20 starts? 3.65.
*He is 4-4 against LA in his career, with a 2.45 ERA in 11 games (10 starts), 48K:23BB. It's his lowest ERA against a team with 3+ starts.
*Current Dodgers are collectively hitting .256/.313/.368 against Wandy. Among players with 10+ PAs, Matt Kemp leads the way with a .947 OPS, then Jerry Hairson with an .894 OPS. James Loney is 2x13 in his career against Wandy.

PreStros Farm Report: April 21

PreStros: April 21

Oklahoma City (12-5) 

The Isotopes (LAD) jumped all over OKC starter Aneury Rodriguez as the RedHawks lost 6-1 to Albuquerque.

Rodriguez allowed all 6 R (5 earned) in just 3.2 innings by allowing 4 BB and 6 H, including 2 HR, with 5 K. Enerio Del Rosario pitched 3.1 scoreless innings with 2 H, 2 BB, and 2 K. Juan Abreu went the final 2 innings with 1 H and 1 K.

CF-Brian Bixler went 2x5 with 1 2B and 1 R. Bixler’s batting average actually went down after last night’s game. He’s now hitting .485 on the season.

Man of the Match: Brian Bixler

Corpus Christi (7-8) 

Jake Buchanan battled hard after allowing a leadoff home run, and the Corpus offense rewarded his effort as the Hooks beat Frisco (TEX) 11-3.

Buchanan went 6 innings, allowing 3 R on 12 H with 8 K for his first win of the season. Jason Stoffel pitched a scoreless inning with 1 H and 1 K. Arcenio Leon finished things up with 2 innings, 1 H, and 2 K.

LF-Jonathan Singleton was 2x5 with 1 R and 1 error. CF-Brandon Barnes was 3x5 with 1 2B, 2R, and 2 RBI. C-Chris Wallace was 1x3 with 1 BB, 1 HR, 2 R, and 1 RBI. SS-Jonathan Villar went 3x4 with 1 BB, 1 3B, 2 R, 3 RBI, and 1 SB. 3B-Andrew Simunic went 2x3 with 2 2B, 4 RBI, and 1 SB.

Man of the Match: Jonathan Villar

Lancaster (5-11) 

Friday’s contest was highlighted by another good pitching effort by both clubs, but Lancaster lost again 4-3 to Lake Elsinore (SD).

David Martinez left with an injury after 3.1 innings in which he allowed 3 R on 3 H with 5 K. Alex Sogard held things together with 4.1 innings, giving up 1 unearned R on 2 H and 1 BB with 4 K. Jorge De Leon retired the only batter he faced.

CF-George Springer was 1x3 with 1 BB, 1 3B, 1R, and 1 RBI. 1B-Telvin Nash went 1x4 with 1 2B and 1 RBI.

Man of the Match: George Springer

Lexington (7-10) 

The Legends led start to finish as they beat Kannapolis (CHW) 7-1.

Mike Foltynewicz turned in another strong performance with 6 IP allowing 1 R on 4 H and 2 BB with 5 K. Evan Grills went 2 scoreless innings giving up 1 H and 2 BB. Tanner Bushue made an appearance by pitching 1 scoreless inning with 1 BB and 1 K. Foltynewicz is now 3-1 with a 1.66 ERA.

SS-Alex Todd was 3x5 with 2 R and 1 RBI. LF-Jordan Scott was 1x3 with 1 BB and 2 R. 1B-Zach Johnson went 2x4 with 2 2B and 5 RBI. CF-Drew Muren was 2x4 with 1 2B and 1 R

Man of the Match: Zach Johnson

Tri-City (0-0) 

Season begins June 18.

Greeneville (0-0) 

Season begins June 19.

GCL Astros (0-0) 

Season begins June 18.

DSL Astros (0-0) 

Season schedule not yet posted. Opening Day June 2nd.