Padres Prospect Report: September 1, 2009

Chad Huffman has three hits in a Portland loss. Matt Buschmann sees an unfamiliar situation. Jon Berger gets hammered in the California League and thinks it is mental. Miles Mikolas takes over the lead in a dubious category while Dean Anna continues to hit.

Portland (55-81) lost 3-2 to Colorado Springs (Rockies)

Chad Huffman had three of the Beavers seven hits, clubbing his 26th and 27th doubles of the season while scoring a run. The outfielder is hitting .346 over his last 30 games with 14 extra base hits. He has also drawn 17 walks over that span and was hit by four pitches for a .449 on-base percentage.

Josh Geer suffered his fifth loss in the Pacific Coast League, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk while fanning four across six frames. The right-hander has dropped four straight decisions, giving up 22 runs on 37 hits and six walks across his last 28.2 innings. Just 14 of the 52 hits he has allowed with the Beavers have gone for extra bases.

San Antonio (27-38, 66-68) lost 8-4 to Midland (A's)

Nathan Culp dropped to 7-9, giving up five runs on six hits across 3.1 innings in a 59-pitch effort that produced seven ground ball outs. It is the fifth time this season in 27 starts that he has not gone at least five innings and ended up being his shortest start of the season. Culp has given up five runs or more in two of his last three and eight overall.

Matt Buschmann took over with a pair of inherited runners on and one out. Both would score. He was also charged with two runs, giving up five hits across 2.2 innings. It is just the second time in his career that he has come in with men on base. He had stranded his first two inherited runners. Buschmann has posted a 4.50 ERA across 11 appearances.

Lake Elsinore (32-32, 71-63) lost 9-4 to Modesto (Rockies)

Jon Berger gave up four extra base hits across the first two innings – three doubles and a homer – that put him in a 4-0 hole. Berger was on the hook for eight runs on nine hits and two walks across 3.1 innings. Berger has been brutalized for 14 runs on 17 hits and five walks across eight California League innings – both coming versus Modesto. Berger had allowed 14 runs across seven starts and 43 innings in the Northwest League.

"I am not pitching, I am just throwing the ball," Berger said. "I am not comfortable out there. It doesn't help when they get on the board fast off me and the other guy is throwing strikes."

"He didn't have an out pitch tonight," manager Carlos Lezcano said. "He struggled."

"Back to the drawing board. My arm feels fine. Maybe I am getting outside of my mechanics. I am just not that comfortable. It has definitely become more mental up here. In Eugene, you can get away with some of that stuff. It is creeping in the back of my mind, yeah.

"We will do extra stuff this week to get back on track."

"We kept telling him that this is a fastball league and you have to establish that pitch," pitching coach Dave Rajsich said. "But, I think he is tired after a full season. He doesn't trust his fastball enough. He begins to nibble with the fastball and that gets him."

A 1-2 mistake pitch to the first batter Allen Harrington faced with a pair of inherited runners on and one out in the fourth ended his streak of not allowing an earned run at 10.2 innings. While Harrington posted zeroes in Fort Wayne over 9.2 innings, the California League has not been so kind. Harrington has surrendered 77 hits and 28 walks across 50 innings with the Storm, allowing seven homers. He did allow just the one run across an inning and two-thirds, striking out four on Tuesday.

Colin Lynch provided two scoreless innings but ran into trouble in the opening frame when the first two hitters reached base. Lynch went 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA across 20 outings with Fort Wayne. Eight of the 17 runs he allowed in 36 innings came across two outings. Lynch stranded nine of the 12 runners he inherited with the TinCaps.

"I went out to the mound and told him, ‘I don't care where you are pitching – when it is 3-0 or 3-1, they are going to hit it,'" Rajsich said of his advice to Lynch when he put the first two men on. "He has hop in his arm. There is something to work with."

Fort Wayne (44-19, 89-45) had a scheduled day off

Eugene (33-38) lost 6-3 to Salem-Keizer (Giants)

Miles Mikolas allowed three runs on eight hits and two hit batsmen across seven innings, striking out four. He also notched three double play grounders. The loss was his Northwest League leading eighth of the season. Mikolas had four rally killers through his first 44 innings of work. He has given up eight hits or more five times this year.

Dean Anna extended his hitting streak to 15 games when he homered with one out in the fourth. Anna had one of the four Emeralds hits and drew a walk while scoring twice. The infielder also swiped his seventh base in 13 attempts. Anna has notched an RBI in four straight games, driving in nine over that span. He also has an extra base hit in four straight, clubbing five doubles and two homers.

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