AAA - Omaha: New Orleans 11, O-Royals 5
2B Labandeira 3-4, 2B (2), HR (2), RBI (9), 2 RS -- .205
DH Ka'aihue 1-4, HR (10), 2 RBI (19), K, RS -- .327, sprinted to 10 AAA homers, better get Sept. callup
SS Dawkins 2-4, BB, 2B (16), RBI (30), RS -- .271
C B. Pena 1-5, 2B (14), RBI (26), RS -- .293
1B Shealy 0-4, K -- .277
3B Spann 1-3, HBP, K -- .255
CF Bigler 0-4, K -- .325
* LF Damon Hollins had an OF assist at home.
Lumsden 3 1/3 IP, 7 ER, 8 H, 4 BB, K, 3 HRA -- L, 3-13, 7.27 ERA, give Ka'aihue his 40-man slot
Atencio 3 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, K -- 3.24 ERA
Lowery 1 2/3 IP, 2 BB, K -- 1.88 ERA
B. Richardson IP, 2 H, K -- 20.25 ERA
*** New Orleans kept constant pressure on Omaha's pitchers and the Zephyrs took the Omaha home finale. Three doubles off Tyler Lumsden scored 2 Zephyr runs in the 1st before LF Damon Hollins cut the rally short by cutting down a runner at the plate. A homer in the 2nd made it 3-0 NO and another homer and sac fly in the 3rd stretched it to 5-0 Zephyrs. Josh Labandeira led off the Omaha 3rd with his 2nd homer, Brayan Pena doubled home a run and Kila Ka'aihue clubbed a 2-run homer for his 10th for Omaha to slice the lead down to 5-4. New Orleans got some breathing room back with a 2-run homer off Lumsden in the 4th to chase him from the game and Omaha got a run back in the bottom of the inning on a Gookie Dawkins RBI single. Three hits scored 2 Zephyr runs in the 6th off Greg Atencio and 3 hits and a sac fly scored another run before Devon Lowery was brought in in the 7th. Lowery ended up walking in a run in the inning to finish the scoring at 11-5. Zephyrs RP Jose Santiago pitched 3 innings of 1 ER allowed to get the win and move to 5-2 with a 5.38 ERA. Starter Eude Brito allowed 4 ER over 3 IP to bump his ERA to 8.03. CF Jesus Feliciano was 4-5 with a walk, double and RS, DH Val Pascucci was 3-4 with 2 walks, 2 doubles, his 27th HR, 4 RBI and 3 RS. Three others had 2 hits for the Zephyrs.
Omaha is 61-79. The final series of the season, a 4-game set at the Iowa Cubs (81-57, coasting to division title) starts tonight. Probable starters: LH Neal Musser (2-5, 4.44) vs. Iowa LH J.R. Mathes (8-5, 4.31). The system's players and pitchers of the year were named today. OF Mitch Maier took Omaha's player of the year honor after hitting .316 in 345 ABs and RH Devon Lowery was named Omaha pitcher of the year after posting a 1-1 record and 1.88 ERA with a .214 OBA in 30 appearances. I can agree with both of those choices. There wasn't a lot to brag about at Omaha this season. The Royals finished 30-42 at home.
AA - NW Arkansas: Naturals 8, Arkansas 2
1B Richardson 2-5, 3B (2), HR (16), 5 RBI (80), 2 RS -- .291
DH Aldridge 3-5, RBI (32) -- .258
3B Falu 2-4, BB, 2 RBI (42), 2 RS, SB (10) -- .296
CF Duarte 2-3, 2 BB, 2 RS, SB (28) -- .255
LF Lucas 2-4, BB, K, RS, SB (13) -- .308
2B Maddox 0-3, 2 BB, K, RS -- .282
* NWA stranded 10.
Crist 4 IP, ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 4 K, HRA -- 4.00 ERA
Nicoll 2 IP, ER, H, BB, 2 K -- W, 4-1, 3.09 ERA, left game with shoulder discomfort (uh-oh)
M. Peterson 3 IP, BB, 3 K -- SV, 3, 2.93 ERA, nice night for Peterson
*** The Naturals broke up a 6-hit shutout in a big way starting in the 7th to ensure a season series win over the Travelers. NWA stranded 2 in the 2nd and Kyle Crist stranded 2 Travs in the 3rd. NWA stranded 2 more in the 4th and the Travelers got a leadoff homer in the 4th off Crist to take the lead. NWA continued to struggle by stranding 2 in the 5th and 6th and Chris Nicoll gave up a run in the 6th before getting pulled with shoulder trouble. With 1 out and 2 on in the 7th, Juan Richardson turned the game on one swing for his 16th homer of the season to make it 3-2 Nats. The Naturals loaded the bases with 2 out in the 8th and Irving Falu hit a 2-run single, Richardson ripped a 2-run triple and Cory Aldridge singled Richardson home to make it 8-2. Matt Peterson took it from there with 3 hitless innings of relief for his 3rd save. Arkansas RP Marco Albano took the loss with 1 1/3 IP of 3 ER allowed to fall to 0-1 with a 4.76 ERA and blow his 1st save. Starter Dan Denham pitched 5 scoreless innings to drop his ERA to 4.44. DH Brian Stavisky was 2-3 with a walk, double, K and RS. 3B Corey Smith hit his 26th homer, drove in his 80th run and committed his 25th error.
NWA is 40-26 and now 2 games up on first following some help from Tulsa in beating Springfield. The Nats go for the 4-game sweep tonight as Dan Cortes (9-4, 3.98) takes on Travelers SP Amalio Diaz (3-3, 3.78). Cortes and Kila Ka'aihue were named the first Naturals pitcher and player of the year. Ka'aihue was a no-brainer and Cortes wasn't heavily challenged by anyone else on the Nats' staff, other than maybe RP Chris Hayes, who had a better ERA and WHIP. I might have gone with Hayes. RP Chris Nicoll was put on the DL (never good when they do it that quick, but is likely somewhat precautionary) and Greg Atencio was demoted from Omaha to take his roster slot. Blake Johnson also skipped his start due to an undisclosed injury.
A-Adv. - Wilmington: off day
*** The Rocks start a big final 4-game home set with the division leading Potomac Nationals (35-31), who have a 3-game lead, meaning the Rocks need a sweep to win the division but only need a win or Frederick loss to clinch a playoff spot. Probable starters aren't listed anywhere I've found. The Rocks are 5-11 versus Potomac. Matt Kniginyzky and Derrick Robinson were named the Wilmington pitcher and player of the year. I woulda gone with Joe Dickerson for player despite his injury, although a do acknowledge Robinson's studliness for stealing 61 bases thus far. He only hit .244 with a .633 OPS, tho. The only other pitcher in the conversation is probably Everett Teaford, who had some very similar stats to Kniginyzky (lower WHIP, higher ERA, one less win, same # of Ks, less walks, more than double the HRA). I won't dispute that one.
A - Burlington: Quad Cities 1, Bees 0
CF Lough 2-4, E (6) -- .268
RF Van Stratten 1-3 -- .351
C Eigsti 1-2, BB -- .218, team had 4 hits
3B Moustakas 0-4 -- .272
1B Taylor 0-4 -- .235
2B Giavotella 0-4, CS (7) -- .303
DH C. Robinson 0-3 -- .262
SS Martin 0-3, K, E (11) -- .313
Gutierrez 5 2/3 IP, ER, 5 H, BB, 8 K -- L, 4-4, 2.70 ERA
Bowden 3 1/3 IP, H, 3 K -- 0.00 ERA, Bees debut
*** Danny Gutierrez took the hard-luck loss as 1 measly run got the Bandits a win. He stranded 2 in the 1st and the Bees stranded 2 in the 3rd and only had 1 hit thereafter. The lone run scored on 2 hits in the 4th and the last 13 Bees went down in order to earn Quad Cities a 4-hit shutout. Starter Richard Castillo went 8 strong innings of 4 hits and a walk allowed with 2 Ks to improve to 8-4 with a 2.62 ERA and RP Jared Bradford picked up his 1st save for the Bandits. 1B Carlos Pupo was 2-4 with a double, K and his 2nd SB and 2B Nick Peoples drove in the only run.
The Bees are 41-24 and 3.5 games up on first going into the final 4-game set of the season at the Beloit Snappers (33-33, A Twins). The Bees are 4-8 versus the Snappers but need only a win or a Cedar Rapids loss to clinch the division title. Brent Fisher (1-1, 2.92) is set to start vs. Beloit's David Bromberg (8-10, 4.47). Danny Duffy and Mike Moustakas were crowned the Bees pitcher and player of the year. Moustakas was a fairly easy pick while Duffy's only main challengers were Alex Caldera, who leads the team in wins and also has a sub-3.00 ERA and good WHIP, and Gutierrez. Duffy's ERA and WHIP are the best of the 3 and his K rate is better too. I'd lean toward Duffy, too, but Caldera has had a good year and should move up to Wilmington next season. Moustakas may have gotten more pressure from Nick Van Stratten if he'd gotten more PT. There's a photo on the Burlington Hawk Eye website of Jason Taylor kicking his batting helmet that pretty well illustrates how it feels 95 percent of the time to be a Royals fan.
Rookie - Idaho Falls: Orem 4, Chukars 1
Hosmer DNP (Pedro Alvarez)
C S. Perez 1-3, 2B -- .318
LF Griffin 1-4, K -- .246
3B Jimenez 1-4, 2 K, picked off -- .298
CF Norris 0-4, K -- .256
SS Alfaro 0-4, RS, SB (9) -- .270
1B Espinosa 0-3, K -- .202
Hodgson 5 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 WP -- L, 2-6, 3.43 ERA
J. Garcia 3 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 3 K, WP -- 3.23 ERA
Thompson IP, 2 H, K -- 4.28 ERA
*** Orem shut IF down on 4 hits to kill the Chukars' slim playoff hopes. Ivor Hodgson gave up a leadoff triple in the 1st as Orem scored a run to take the early lead. Two Owlz errors and a passed ball helped IF to its only run in the bottom of the 1st. Orem scored another run off Hodgson in the 5th and runs off Justin Garcia in the 6th and 8th as IF never seriously threatened offensively. RP Andrew Taylor picked up his 5th save for Orem and starter William Smith got the win with an unearned run allowed over 6 IP to improve to 8-2 with a 3.22 ERA. SS Darwin Perez was 3-4 with a walk, triple, K and RS with his 13th SB and 3 others had 2 hits.
IF is 14-16 and now eliminated from the playoff hunt. Game 3 is tonight as Ryan Morgan (0-3, 7.18) pitches vs. Orem's Jeff Boshers (4-0, 2.66), who I guess got his start bumped back a day from yesterday. Sean McCauley and Bryan Casey were named IF's player and pitcher of the year. Casey earned himself a pretty easy nod as the team's most effective starter. Nobody else was really worthy. McCauley, on the other hand, was decent at a .732 OPS but I would have gone with J.D. Alfaro, who had 53 RBI and a better OPS, or Carlo Testa, who had an even better OPS. Tough call, there. In crappy news, Eric Hosmer has been restricted from playing until the Pedro Alvarez grievance is settled. Who knows how long that's gonna take?
Rookie - Burlington: done at 24-41
*** One final note on the B-Royals. My predictions for pitcher and player of the year were only half right as Kelvin Herrera was named pitcher of the year but Angel Franco robbed....er, beat out Josh Vittek for player of the year. Vittek hit for an .855 OPS compared to a .635 OPS for Franco, but Franco walked more and struck out less, stole some bases and probably played better defense despite 6 more errors. Vittek hit 40 points higher, tho, and had 8 HR to Franco's 1 with more RBI and almost as many runs. Sigh. Herrera was a pretty easy choice at pitcher, so no comment there.
Rookie - AZL: Brewers 4, Royals 3
C Matos 2-4, 2B (5), RBI (7), K, RS, PB (6) -- .269
SS D. Batista 2-5, 2 K -- .316
DH Beltre 1-4, BB, RBI (3), 2 K -- .188
CF Llanos 0-4, BB, 2 K, RS, SB (14) -- .183
Montgomery 5 IP, 3 R (2 ER), 4 H, BB, 3 K, HRA, WP, pickoff -- 2.11 ERA
L. Perez 4 IP, ER, 2 H, 9 K, HRA -- L, 1-2, 2.53 ERA
*** The Brew Crew got a 7th inning run to push them over the top. The Brewers scored a run in the 1st without a hit as Mike Montgomery threw a third-strike wild pitch and a steal and passed ball got the runner to third before he scored on a groundout. A homer in the 2nd made it 2-0 Brewers but Mauricio Matos singled home a run in the 2nd to get the Royals on the board. The Brewers scored again in the 3rd but Geulin Beltre singled home a run in the 3rd and Matos scored on a wild pitch in the 4th to tie the game. Leondy Perez gave up a solo homer in the 7th and the Royals didn't threaten again. RP Jacob Odorizzi pitched a hitless inning for the win to move to 1-2 with a 3.48 ERA and RP Rigoberto Almonte picked up the 3-inning save for his 1st of the season. Starter Stosh Wawrzasek (weird to type) worked 3 innings of 2 unearned runs allowed to drop his ERA to 6.94. Six Brewers had a hit each.
The Royals are 7-20 and now in the AZL cellar. The season ends tonight versus the 12-15 Mariners. Mike Montgomery and C Jose Bonilla were named the AZL team's honored players. No argument with either choice there, as Bonilla's OPS is over 1.000 (I know it's not the be-all, end-all offensive stat by any means, but it's a fairly good indicator of performance) and Montgomery had a good debut with a very good 1.03 WHIP and 2.11 ERA in 42 2/3 IP.
One last Dominican Royals note.....P Willian Avinazar was named the Dominican Royals pitcher of the year while C/1B Henry Moreno was named player of the year. Avinazar was 8-2 with a 2.37 ERA with 56 Ks and 19 BB in 68 1/3 IP. Moreno hit .314 with 20 doubles and 41 RBI in 169 ABs.
29 August 2008
AAA - Omaha: New Orleans 11, O-Royals 5