Minor League Notebook | April 9, 2007

Finally, Connecticut gets in a game, and they made it last. But the players who did well might surprise you. Meanwhile, the offense took off in Fresno and Augusta took off. It was Just Another Day in the Minors!

Fresno Grizzlies: Fresno 16, Tacoma 1 (Click to see Box Score)

Lines of the day:
RF Dan Ortmeier - 2-4, 2 R, 1 2B (1), 2 RBI, 1 SB (4)
1B Scott McClain - 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO
LF Fred Lewis - 1-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB
2B Luis Figueroa - 2-6, 2 R, 2 2B (2), 2 RBI
Nate Schierholtz - DNP
SP Matt Kinney - 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO

Fresno simply dominated Seattle's farm team on Monday, and they did it without Nate Schierholtz, who got a day off after his hot start. The biggest hits were the two home runs, both hit in the 8th inning, but the offense was spread around, with no Fresno players getting more than two hits. Lewis was hitless until his home run in the 8th inning, but did lead the team in RBI with three. Figueroa and Ivan Ochoa were the only Grizzlies with multiple extra base hits.

Matt Kinney got off to a bad start, giving up a run in the first, but went seven innings giving up just three baserunners. Ryan Meaux bounced back from his bad last outing, though he gave up two hits, was unscored against.

Connecticut Defenders: Connecticut 8, New Hampshire 7, 13 Innings (Click to see Box Score)

Lines of the day:
1B Travis Ishikawa - 2-5, 1 R, 1 HR (1), 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO
DH John Bowker - 3-6, 2 R, 1 HR (1), 1 RBI, 2 SO
RF Brian Horwitz - 3-6, 1 R, 1 2B (1)
LF Eddy Martinez-Esteve - 0-6, 2 SO, 1 GIDP
SP Chris Begg - 4.2 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO, 1 HR
RP Justin Hedrick - 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO
RP Brian Anderson - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO, BS (1)
RP Geno Espineli - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, W (1-0)

After missing their first four games due to bad weather, Connecticut seemed ready to play all those innings in one night. Connecticut had a 6-2 lead after four innings, but gave up four runs in the 5th as starter Chris Begg imploded. The Defenders briefly had a lead in the 11th as John Bowker bunted for a single, Todd Jennings doubled and Simon Klink hit into a sacrifice. But Brian Anderson uncharacteristically started out poorly giving up a single and a walk before getting an out, and blowing the save as a run came in. In the 13th, it was three straight singles, as Jake Wald's single scored Jennings to get in the winning run.

There were many encouraging signs in this game, not the least of which was great starts by Travis Ishikawa and Bowker, as well as a mostly good performance by the bullpen. However, the hitless and walkless outing by Eddy Martinez-Esteve was a bit of a surprise for those hoping he would be the biggest star of this team, and Anderson's debut is a bit of a letdown after his spectacular 2006.

San Jose Giants: San Jose 7, Modesto 6, 12 Innings (Click to see Box Score)

Lines of the day:
CF Antoan Richardson - 3-6, 1 3B (1), 1 SO, 1 SB (2), 1 CS (2)
RF Mike Mooney - 2-6, 1 2B (3), 2 SO, 1 SB (2)
LF Ben Copeland - 2-6, 1 R, 1 RBI
C Pablo Sandoval - 2-6, 1 R, 2 SO, 1 GIDP, 1 E (1)
PH/DH Adam Witter - 1-2, 1 2B (1), 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO
SP Yosandy Ibanez - 5.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO, 1 BK, 2 HBP
RP David Quinowski - 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, H (2)
RP David Newton - 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, BS (1)
RP Kelvin Pichardo - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, S (1)

San Jose went into extra frames for the second time in three days to secure a win. The game started out very well as Yosandy Ibanez made his professional debut, and carried a no-hitter into the 5th inning. However, he gave up a one out walk, hit his second batter of the game, and after a sacrifice bunt, a single scored two runs against him. San Jose stayed ahead until Newton blew a save in his second chance to get one. In the 12th, Ben Copeland singled to lead off the inning, followed by singles by Will Thompson and Mike Mooney to load the bases. Copeland was out at home on a ground ball by David Maroul. However, Anthony Contreras walked to score the winning run.

Despite some problems in the bullpen, the offensive output was encouraging. Richardson finally got his first base hit, and ended up with three hits and a triple, but was not as successful on the basepaths. The middle of the order provided suitable offense. The bullpen problems by David Quinowski and David Newton are not good, but Yosandy Ibanez's debut was spectacular. In the first four innings, he had six strikeouts and had only allowed a hit batsman, until a walk and another hit batter undid him.

Augusta GreenJackets: Augusta 10, Savannah 0 (Click to see Box Score)

Lines of the day:
SP Robert Grace - 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 6 SO, 1 WP, W (1-0)
RP Kevin Pucetas - 4.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 SO, S (1)
1B Brett Pill - 2-5, 1 R, 1 HR (1), 4 RBI, 1 SO
2B Marcus Sanders - 2-2, 2 R, 2 2B (2), 1 RBI, 2 BB
SS Brian Bocock - 2-5, 2 R, 1 RBI
LF Tyler Graham - 2-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 SO

The GreenJackets turned in a spectacular offensive performance, but the pitching didn't need it. Augusta turned in 10 runs, 9 of them against Savannah starter Julio Polanco in the first four innings. The big bash was by Brett Pill, whose three run homer came after doubles by Sanders and Graham, and singles by Bocock and Henry Gutierrez.

Grace had a spectacular outing, allowing just one baserunner. Pucetas may have killed the no-hitter, but allowed no walks and matched Grace's strikeout total in one less inning.

Some of Augusta's offensive players really impressed today, with Graham and Bocock continuing hot starts. Sanders looked good as well, both when swinging the bat and when not. However, some key players, especially Matt Weston and Michael McBryde, remain a little cold to start the year.

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