Sunday, May 18, 2014

PreStros Morning Report: May 17

I am holed up in another hotel room, 'cause the plane wouldn't start last night.  I offered all sorts of advice, too, even offering to assist with a hill start.  Then, someone pointed out that (i) the runway is flat, and (ii) the plane has an automatic gearbox, and therefore cannot be crash-started.  Still, I like to think that I helped, but the poor airline hostesses may beg to differ.  I also like to think that I help with the PreStros Morning Report, but most readers have probably stopped reading by now, anyhow.  Sigh.  The futility of life... :-(


* An interesting 2-2 day for les affiliates, as the French would say.  Overall record: a tres bon 91-78
* Oklahoma was on the wrong end of a hiding from the Nashville Sounds.
* Corpus had a walk off win, scoring two in the bottom of the ninth.
* Lancaster cruised over Rancho Cucamonga.
* Quad Cities got no-hit, and therefore lost.  Hard to win with no hits.

Oklahoma City (24-19)

Oklahoma was jumped on early, giving up 9 runs int he 3rd and 4th innings, eventually losing 10-4 to the Nashville Sounds (22-20).  The RedHawks gave up 5 in the third, then scored 3 back of their own in the top of the fourth, then gave it back with interest during a 4 run bottom of the fourth.

Rubber:  Rudy Owens got the start, and had an... er... "rough" day, giving up 8 runs (all earned) in 3IP.  He gave up 9 hits, walked 2 and struck out 1.  Raul "Exxon" Valdes relieved with 2 on, and let them both score (as well as one of his own), but settled down to throw three further scoreless frames after that (4IP, 3H, 1R/ER, 4K).  Chia-Jen Lo gave up 1ER on 1H, 2BB and 1K in one inning.  Note is made a comment that I read somewhere (although may have totally imagined it) about Lo's recent velocity - struggling to dent 90 on the heater usually is a sign of bad things to come.

Plate:  Well, there was some offence to speak of.  Adron Chambers was on base thrice (2-4, BB, RBI) whereas Robbie Grossman went one better, getting on base 4 times (1-2, 3BB, SB, R).  Domingo Santana (1-3, 2BB, RBI) and Gregorio Petit (2-5, RBI) had the other two RBI's, and no RedHawk had an XBH, including Jon Singleton (0-5, 3K, error).

Man of the Match:  Bob Grossman hasn't been mentioned for a while, and the hits on have reduced significantly in volume.  Time to pump him a little more!!  Lets start with a MoTM.  (Although, what the RedHawks really needed was better pitching and some power, rather than walks and stolen bases).

Corpus Christi (22-20)

Corpus had a walk-off over the Midland RockHounds (24-18), in the bottom of the ninth with one out.  Midland opened the scoring with one and three runs in the top of the 3rd and 4th respectively.  Corpus answered with 3 in the bottom on the fourth, and it stayed that way until Leo Heras' bases-loaded walk off single to RF.

Rubber:  Matt Heidenreich got the start, and struggled a little, lasting 4 innings, but giving up 6 walks, 4R/ER, 4BB versus 3K.  He gave up a home-run of the three-run variety to Kent Matthes of the RockHounds.  However, the story of the rubber was all about the relief.  The last five innings were shared between Michael Dimock (3IP) and Andrew Robinson (2IP).  Together, they allowed 5 base runners (3H, 2BB) while striking out 6 (3 each).

Plate:  There was very much a "stars and scrubs" feel about the Corpus team at the plate today.  The stars included Nolan Fontana (2-3, 2BB, R); Andrew Aplin (1-3, 2BB, 2R); Preston Tucker (103, 2BB, 3 Run HR), Joe Sclafani (2-5, RBI) and the heroic Leo Heras (4-5, RBI).  The scrubs - well, they were everyone else.  No other hits recorded, and only one extra base-hit for the Hooks overall.

The ninth inning went single-walk-sac bunt-single-single for the walk off win.

Man of the Match:  The relief pitching was very effective, but this award can only go to Leo Heras, for his walk-off awesomeness and 80% rate of base hits on the day.

Lancaster (26-17)

Lancaster played Rancho Cucamonga (19-24).  The Rancho team bookended their day with scoring off home runs in the first (2 run HR) and ninth (solo HR).  But in between, it was all Lancaster.  They scored 3 runs in the second and fourth innings, and 2 runs in the fifth and sixth to win by a score of 10-3.

Rubber:  Lance McCullers started, and had himself a dominant night, going 5IP, giving up 5 base runners (3H, 2BB), and allowing 2R/ER.  He struck out nine.  He was relieved by Kent Emmanuel, who finished the game, going 4IP, allowing 1ER on 2 hits and 1 walk.  He struck out three.  He gave up a solo home run with no outs in the ninth.

Plate: When looking at the Lancaster offensive performance, it would be easy to quickly scan the 2-4 hitters, and stop looking at that point (as I did).  Teoscar Hernandez continued his good form of late (2-4, BB, 2R, RBI) batting a 2, and he was followed by Carlos Correa (2-5, 2x2B, R) and Rio Ruiz (2-4, BB, 2R, 2RBI).  But, scan a little lower, and the hidden treasure of this game emerges: Jordan Scott went 3-4, 2x3B, HR, 2R, 5RBI for 10 total bases.

Man of the Match:  It would be appropriate to single out the combined pitching effort of McCullers and Emmanuel for a MoTMy award.  However, Jordan Scott, batting at 8, had an outstanding night, and that deserves recognition.  His last three games have been gold - 10AB, 6H, 6R, 2x3B, HR, 3BB versus 1K.

Quad Cities (19-22)

The River Bandits got no-hit, but did manage 2 base runners (both walks).  Tyler Skulina and Nathan Dorris combined for the no hitter, taking the Kane County Cougars to 28-14 on the year.

Rubber:  Two performances worth mentioning (for the River Bandits, anyhow), with Andrew Thurman having a reasonably good night (4.1IP, 3H, 3R, 1ER, 3BB, 4K) as the starter.  However, the most interesting pitching performance was from Frederick Tiburcio, who finished the game with 2IP, allowing 1BB and striking out 4.  That was the Dominican's first appearance of the year, after spending the last five years in various rookie-ball or DSL leagues.

Plate:  Nothing much to see here.  The outstanding offensive performers were all on the Kane County team, and as this is not a Cubs blog, they can get stuffed.  Chan Moon and Conrad Gregor drew the walks.  That is all.

Man of the Match:  Hard to not get excited about Frederick Tiburcio's performance.  Well, in fact it is, but due to a lack of suitable applicants, he gets the trophy.

Thanks for reading everyone.  I will hand back to the Constable for tomorrow, as I will likely be in the air somewhere.  Unless the plane doesn't start or something.  Sigh.