12 September 2009

Royals on the Farm 9/11 -- NWA sweeps way to TLCS, Hosmer powers walkoff for Rocks

Another one bites the dust, at least for the time being....and the trolls come out to bitch about the negativity.

I agree with the rose-colored glasses wearers on the Dayton Moore Express, I like that the AA and A-Advanced teams are doing well, and it's great but kind of silly that Burlington got a playoff spot (not that I'm denying the results in a first-round sweep) when the Bees were under .500 and teams with better records were left out in the cold (or heat). At some point, the success in the organization needs to translate to the MLB level, tho. Don't we all agree that's the level that counts? The minors aren't supposed to be about winning and losing (I think they should be and are, tho, to some extent), they're supposed to be about development. And Rany's farewell post points to the theory, which I hold to, that this organization won't handle the guys right when they're ready to produce at the major league level anyway. Kila is just another example, like Justin Huber before him. Now, obviously, Huber hasn't gone on to much greener pastures, even though he got a decent shot with the Padres, but at the time he deserved much more of a chance than KC gave him. Kila does, too. On a lower level, even Cory Aldridge deserves to be rewarded for the season he had at AAA. Mike Aviles deserved a chance well before the organization actually gave him one. My point is with this organization I feel like there's always going to be TPJs and Mike Jacobses and Willie Bloomquists and Jose Guillens getting in the way. And it'll always be the player's own fault, not the front office's for putting that guy in the way.

I'm also not denying the fact the organization was in shambles when Dayton took over, thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Glasses (mainly) and Allard Baird (secondarily). But I don't see great strides having been made the last 3 years. What's the next step up from shambles, slums? We're in the slums now? And the improvement at the MLB level has been negligible. AND, the front office seems averse to acknowledging its own failures. Do I want public sackcloth-and-ashes, rending of the clothes in remorse over it? Of course not, but a little humility -- a little owning of the mistakes -- isn't too much to ask. The organization is one of the five worst in baseball, but the front office is still too proud to admit when things go awry. Pride is a dangerous thing, especially in the hands of the incompetent and arrogant. But enough of that broken record, right? We want positivity, we want to raise rallying cries of "Wait until '08!" and "Wait until '11!" to the sky, just don't focus on the fact the front office preaches one thing while practicing another.

AA - NW Arkansas: Naturals 2, Springfield 1 (Nats win best-of-5, 3-0)

RF Lucas 2-3, BB, 2B, RBI -- .222
CF Dyson 2-5, SB (2), E -- .286
SS Bianchi 1-4, 2B, RS -- .308
LF Lough 0-3, BB, 2 K -- .455
* NWA stranded 10.

R. Hardy 7 1/3 IP, UER, 3 H, 2 BB, 6 K -- 0.00 ERA
B. Wood 1 2/3 IP, H, K -- W, 1-0, 0.00 ERA

*** A tense 1-1 game went NWA's way in the 9th as an error ended the Cardinals' season. Jeff Bianchi and Ed Lucas hit back-to-back doubles in the 1st to make it 1-0 Naturals and a Jarrod Dyson error helped Springfield to its run in the 3rd. Both teams stranded baserunners here and there but the Naturals got the first 2 on in the 9th. A bunt pop out by Marc Maddox and Dyson groundout made it look like the Nats would strand 2 more but a Kurt Mertins chopper was muffed by Cards 3B Joe Mather and the winning run scored. Celebrations ensued.

The Naturals have a few days off while awaiting the winner of the Midland-San Antonio series, which Midland leads, 2-1. The South winner will host the first 2 games of the best-of-5 championship series starting Tuesday.

A-Adv. - Wilmington: Blue Rocks 2, Lynchburg 0 (12/Rocks lead best-of-5, 2-1)

1B Hosmer 1-4, BB, walkoff HR, 2 RBI (3), K, RS, SB -- .154
3B Moustakas 1-4, HBP, 2B (2), K -- .273
CF D. Robinson 0-5, key OF assist at home -- .214
2B Giavotella 1-5, K -- .286
DH C. Robinson 0-4, BB, 2 K -- .083
RF Van Stratten 1-4 -- .077
LF Del Rosario 0-3, S, 3 K -- .143

Montgomery 5 2/3 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 6 K -- 0.00 ERA
Villa 1 1/3 IP, H, BB -- 0.00 ERA
Sisk 3 IP, H, 3 K -- 0.00 ERA
Keating 2/3 IP, H -- 0.00 ERA
Bowden 1 1/3 IP, H, K, E -- W, 1-0, 0.00 ERA

*** Out of 11 hits in the game, the Rocks had 4, and of those 4, only 1 really counted as Eric Hosmer came through with his biggest pro hit yet. Both teams stranded 2 early and Mike Montgomery left the bases loaded with Hillcats in the 4th. Hosmer was stranded at third in the 7th, Brandon Sisk worked around a leadoff triple in the 9th, and Barry Bowden stranded 2 Hillcats in the 11th as a 0-0 tie held. With a man on second and 2 out in the 12th, Bowden gave up a single to center but Derrick Robinson came up throwing and gunned down a runner at the plate to keep the whitewash going. Lynchburg RP Ron Uviedo walked Clint Robinson to start the bottom of the 12th and Hosmer stepped up to slug his 1st playoff homer to end it.

Game 4 is tonight as Alex Caldera (5-10, 4.77) faces Hillcats righty Nate Adcock (3-2, 5.25) and the Rocks try to advance.

A - Burlington: off day

The Bees start a best-of-3 MWL West Division Series with Cedar Rapids tonight in Burlington as Manauris Baez (8-6, 3.41) faces Kernels righty Ryan Chaffee (8-8, 4.33).

Rookie - Idaho Falls: Casper 4, Chukars 3

C Myers 2-4, 2 2B (7), RBI (14) -- .426, too bad he didn't get a shot at Wilmington or Burlington, first pro season has been great
CF Llanos 2-4, 2 K, RS -- .223
DH S. Perez 1-4, RBI (38), K, RS -- .309
RF Aparicio 1-4, RBI (22), K -- .209
SS D. Batista 0-4, 2 K, E (19) -- .262
1B Lewis 0-4, 3 K -- .275

Marimon 6 IP, ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 6 K, WP -- 5.78 ERA
Dennick 2 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, K, WP -- BS, 1, L, 1-1, 3.68 ERA

*** A comeback rally in the 6th didn't end up being enough as the Chukars ended the season on a sour note. Sugar Ray Marimon allowed a run in the 1st on a single and wild pitch. Wil Myers doubled to lead off the 5th but was thrown out at the plate later in the inning to keep the Chukars off the board. A run-scoring error helped IF tied it in the 6th and Myers hit an RBI double before Julio Aparicio singled him home to make it 3-1 Idaho Falls. Marimon stranded 2 in the 6th but Ryan Dennick allowed 2 runs in the 7th to tie the game. Casper pushed home the go-ahead run in the 8th and IF couldn't rally in the 9th.

The Chukars finished 23-15 in the second half and 43-31 overall for the second-best record in the Pioneer League. Stat wrap tomorrow.

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