This isn't supposed to be a twice weekly post, I swear, but life gets in the way. As the Astros continue their free fall, I will continue to look for players that could probably free-fall about as well as the Astros currently are (while being paid a whole lot less). Lets look for some minor-league dominance!!
Corpus Christi: Corpus concluded their series hosting the Springfield Cardinals on August 12 with a solid 6-1 win. They never trailed, scoring three runs before the conclusion of the second inning, and when the Cardinals answered with their lone run in the top of the fifth, the Hooks replied with interest, scoring three in the bottom half of that frame. The win was earned by Akeem Bostick, who completed 5 innings, allowing 2 hits and 2 walks against 4 strikeouts. The only run was scored against Bostick, so Ryan Hartman (3IP 2H, 4K) and Carlos Sierra (1IP, 1K) must have held the Cardinal scoreless over the last four.
The damage was done by the Hooks' top part of the order. In order: RF Ronnie Dawson was 1-3 with 2R, CF Stephen Wrenn was 2-4, DH Carmen Benedetti was 1-3 with a walk, 3B Abraham Toro was 2-4 with a home run and 3 RBI, SS Josh Rojas was 1-4 with 2 RBI and LF Chas McCormick was 1-3 with a walk and a stolen base. Just the one extra-base hit for the Hooks - Toro's 2 run home run.
The 74-46 Hooks then started an away series with the 62-57 Tulsa Drillers. This game was mostly a rout, with a 10-6 Hooks win. 3B Abraham Toro continued his hot streak with a 3-5 night, which included two doubles. 1B Josh Rojas went 2-5 with a triple and a stolen base, DH Carmen Benedetti went 1-3 with a walk and 3RBI, and C Eduardo de Oleo went 2-5. SS Anibal Sierra went 1-4 with a HR and a walk. RF Ronnie Dawson and CF Stephen Wrenn both managed a hit each, with the latter also lacing a double and stealing a base.
Forrest Whitley got the start, and he managed two hitless innings, walking two and striking out two. He hit a batter, and threw 35 pitches overall. Justin Ferrell added another two innings (2 hits, 1R/ER, BB, 5K) and Brandon Bailey got a rare 5 inning save (7H, 5R/4ER, 2BB, 3K).
Fresno: Fresno have also managed to get themselves on a little winning streak. On August 12, they ran out 9-4 winners against Albuquerque to finish their series. Josh James got the start, and he didn't really make a great case for his call up, throwing five-and-two-thirds, allowing 4 hits and 2 walks for 3 R/ER. He struck out 6, and allowed a double, a triple and a 2R HR to Matt Holliday, who continues to toil at AAA in the Padres system. One thing you could say about Josh James' night - he faced the minimum (walking one) over the first 4 frames, before allowing a run in the fifth and two in the sixth.
Matt Ramsey relieved and threw 2-and-one-third, allowing 1 hit against 2 strikeouts, and Brandon McCurry allowed 2 hits and 1 R/ER in a single inning of work, striking out one.
The most productive offensive player was none other that LF Yordan Alvarez, who went 2-3 with a walk and a home run. RF JD Davis also hit a home run in a 1-4 night. C Garrett Stubbs (1-5) and 2B Jack Mayfield (1-4) both hit doubles. SS Alex De Goti and 1B Taylor Jones both went 2-4 with two doubles each. So lots of extra base hits.
The Grizzlies then started a series hosting Las Vegas. Fresno scored in three straight innings while holding the 51s scoreless, eventually winning by a score of 4-0. Kent Emmanuel started, throwing six innings, allowing 3 hits (1 double) and 2 walks, striking out 8. Dean Deetz relieved (2IP, 1H, 1BB, 4K) and Riley Ferrell finished the game (1IP, 1BB, 1K).
On the offensive side, C Jamie Ritchie managed 2 hits (1 double) in a 2-4 night. SS Alex De Goti was on base three times (1-1, 2B, 2xBB) and CF Myles Straw and LF Yordan Alvarez both went 1-4 with a double. 1B Taylor Jones went 1-3 with a walk.
And last night, while the Astros were getting smashed by the Rockies, the Grizzlies doubled up the 51s in a 6-3 victory. RF JD Davis was the hero (2-3, HR, BB), while CF Myles Straw and C Garrett Stubbs both went 1-4 with a walk (although Straw stole three bases as well). 2B Jack Mayfield went 1-4 without a walk. LF Yordan Alvarez went 0-3 with a walk. Alex De Goti (starting at 3B) went 0-2 but walked twice, and stole a base.
Of significant interest, Framber Valdez got the start, managing five-and-two-thirds, giving up 4 hits, 3R/ER and 3BB, while striking out six. Valdez had faced two over the minimum through the first 5 innings (on a hit, a walk and an error, with a double play thrown in), but gave up all of his runs in the sixth. The inning went like this: walk, K, flyout, walk, 2 run double, RBI single. So Valdez was dominant for 80% of his outing, but some sequencing and an extra base hit with two outs did him in at the end.
Chris Devenski opened the seventh inning, allowing 2 hits while getting two outs (1K). Matt Ramsey bailed him out of that inning, and threw one more (allowing 1 hit, 1BB and 1K). Reymin Guduan got the save in one perfect frame, striking out 2.
So some things to note: Yordan Alvarez has started a whole bunch of games in LF recently. Framber Valdez's start was pretty awesome until the sixth inning. Chris Devenski was not dominant, but Reymin Guduan was (on this occasion). Abraham Toro is raking in AA.
I keep promising to review the LHP's, and I promise that I will deliver on my promise tomorrow. It is getting late, and I have an early start. Apologies.