Back doing the PreStros today, this time with a decent internet connection. Yesterday's was slow, perhaps because I was on a train going 140mph, and the internet molecules struggled to keep pace with the train. I didn't even try on the second train, which just mosey-ed along at 180mph, as the little internet particles wouldn't even have had a chance. Physics!!
* Affiliates had a great day, going 4-0. Everyone won. Accumulated record: 87-74
* Oklahoma opened their road series against Nashville with a solid 4-2 win
* Corpus won in extras (again) over the Missions
* Lancaster got some meaty revenge over the Blaze
* Quad Cities didn't allow the Cougars to prowl the bases (sorry, inexcusable, won't happen again)
Oklahoma City (23-18)
Solid win for OKC over the 21-19 Nashville squad. Oklahoma scored 1 in the first, and 2 in the sixth to go up three-nil. Then Nashville pulled two back in the bottom of the 6th, but Oklahoma pulled away with an insurance run in the 8th to prevail 4-2.
Rubber: Nick Tropeano went six, giving up 1H, 2R/ER, 2BB, 7K. He gave up one home run as his only hit, which was a 2-run shot to DH Engenio Velez. He was effectively relieved by Rhiner Cruz (2IP, K), and Kevin Chapman (1IP, H, BB, K), who got the save. Overall, the whole pitching crew allowed only 5 base runners (2H, 3BB) while striking out 9. Chapman and Cruz have ERA's of 1.50 and 2.25 respectively.
Wood: The standout offensive performer was Domingo Santana (2-3, BB, HR, 2R, RBI, SB). Santana was batting at three - he was "supported" by the 1-2 guys in the order who walked a combined three times (Grossman: 0-3, BB, Chambers: 0-2, 2BB), but also were caught stealing a combined three times. Jon Singleton - batting at 4 - went 1-3, BB, R, Max Stassi was productive (1-4, 2B, 2RBI), and Enrique Hernandez also had a good day (2-4).
Man of the Match: Domingo Santana wins the MoTM. He is, according to Baseball Reference is 5.7 years younger than the average AAA player, and is having himself a solid season: .289/.350/.477 with 5HR in 40 games. As he grows more comfortable in AAA, we may see more games like this one. Which would be a good sign. That said, the average age in AAA should really be regarded as 24, rather than 26-27, as 24 is the average age of ML Rookies, and that is what we should really be looking at with Domingo.
Corpus Christi (21-19)
Corpus had their second extra-inning win in a row over the San Antonio Missions (17-23). This time, however, they didn't need to blow two saves en route to said win. In fact, Corpus evened the game in the top of the 8th, then scored the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th, to win 3-2.
Rubber: Kyle Smith started his third game at AA, and had his best start to date. He went 6IP, 2H, 1R/ER, 2BB, 4K. His only run was scored on a solo home-run. (BTW, Corpus seem to have ditched the tandem rotation - not sure if this was ever formally announced, but I may well have missed it. Will put up a post on this shortly). Thomas Shirley relieved and was also effective (4IP, 2H, R/ER, 2BB, 6K), and Alex Sogard earned the save (IP, H, K) with a runner on third. Another solid ground-ball-a-rama (15:2 GB:FB).
Wood: The Corpus attack was led by Nolan Fontana (0-2, 3BB, 2R, 2K), Matt Duffy (3-5, RBI) and Joe Sclafani (3-4, R). The only XBH was at the hands of Jio Meir (1-5, 2B, RBI, game winning hit), and Andrew Aplin (0-0, 2BB, SB) replaced Telvin Nash at 9 in the order (0-3, 3K), which I think may have been a good move in retrospect.
Man of the Match: Kyle Smith, after two rough starts but who struck out six each time, seems to be adjusting to AA, and therefore earns the MoTM. Kyle, notice how the AA MoTM trophy is much larger and shiner that the Hi-A trophy?? And the engraving is better??? Indeed!! This is one step closer to the Big Leagues, after all!!
Lancaster repaid Bakersfield (27-14) with a 10-1 beatdown - 24 hours after Bakersfield beat Lancaster 10-0. So the series score sits at 11-10 thus far, with the smallest winning margin being 9 runs. But I am guessing that is what happens when you play in a high-scoring park, in a run-scoring league, with the wind blowing out (10mph to CF).
Rubber: Kyle Westwood started, going 7.2IP (again, ditching the tandem rotation, it seems, more to follow), yielding 7 base runners (all hits), 1R/ER, and striking out 2. Effective relief was provided by Mitchell Lambsen (1.1IP, H, 2K) to end the game. Once again, extreme ground-ball-a-rama (15:1)
Wood: All sorts of offensive output to talk about here (as expected), with 13 hits (4x2B, 3B, 3HR) and 3BB. Leading the way with 8 total bases was Denry Vasquez, with a filthy 3-4 night (2x2B, HR), followed by Roberto Pena (2-4, 2B, HR) with six total bases. Also worth a mention was Carlos Correa, who went 2-4, 2B, 2R, RBI; Rio Ruiz (1-4, 3 run HR); and Anthony Kemp (2-5, 3B, R, SB). Ruben Sosa had a speedy and efficient day, going 0-3, 2BB, 2SB, 2R.
Man of the Match: Kyle Westwood gets the pitching MoTM, and Denry Vasquez gets the batting MoTM. That said, Clayton Hamm and Jake Wilburn (the umpires) didn't eject anyone this time, so they were clearly out of the running.
Quad Cities (19-20)
Quad Cities had a solid 7-0 away win over a squad with a better record, the Kane County Cougars (26-14). The Quad City team scored a run in the 2nd and 4th, which bookended a 5-run 3rd. From the bottom of the fourth onward, the rest of the game was the boring. If you are a fan of scoring. Which not everyone is. Regardless, no runs scored from the middle of the 4th onward.
Rubber: Adrian Houser started, and went five innings, allowing 4 base runners (3H, BB), whilst striking out 3. He was relieved by Kevin Cormer, who went the next 3IP, also allowing 4 base runners (H, 3BB) and striking out 1. Completing the shutout was Albert Minnis, who allowed a hit. 11:6 Groundout to flyout ratio, teamwide.
Wood: Thomas Lindauer, hitting eighth, went 3-4, scoring once, and hitting one of the grand salami things. Five RBI on the day. Conrad Gregor went 3-5, and Brett Booth went 2-5, 2B, RBI.
Man of the Match: ... is clearly going to be Thomas Lindauer, he of the Grand Slam fame. He is a 22 year old shortshop buried behind Carlos Correa in the Astros depth chart. But he is having a nice little season with some contact (.317 BA) and power (.519 SLG, including 3x2B and 3 HR's in 16 games). He doesn't walk a lot (4 in 64 PA) and has struck out a little more (11 times). Still, Grand Slams are pretty good, and that gets you a nice little trophy for the dashboard of your car.
Hope everyone enjoyed reading, looking forward to another 4-0 day tomorrow.