Who doesn't feel a bit better this Monday morning compared to last week? A week ago, the Cardinals had picked up a getaway Sunday game after dropping two in San Diego quite miserably. Six wins and one close loss later, we're 4.5 games up on the Pirates and headed into the last month of regular season baseball. I don't know who thinks this is true-talent-level Stephen Piscotty, but what a ride while it lasts. Check the weekend scores from the minor leagues, with a bonus Thursday. Lots to see, some good, some bad, some unexpected.
Thursday: Memphis 9, Reno 10
Friday: Memphis 2, Reno 6
Saturday: Memphis 2, Reno 8
Sunday: Memphis 6, Reno 4
Marco Gonzales got the start in Thursday's wild game. He hit a double on offense, but gave up 4 of them pitching, leading to 4 runs in 5 innings. 3 walks didn't help matters. Cody Stanley homered in the loss. Miguel Socolovich gave up 4 runs of his own, and Mitch Harris took the loss, giving up 2 runs, 1 earned. It was a bad weekend for Memphis relievers in general.
Rafael Ortega had quite a weekend +1, with 2 2-hit games and a 4-hit game. At 24 years old, the Venezuelan outfielder is somehow in his 9th year in the minors. Jeremy Hazelbaker hit all weekend, too, keeping his AAA average well over .300, with some pop. Sunday, Jacob Wilson, Anthony Garcia and Aledmys Diaz led the offense with two hits each. Garcia and Wilson doubled and Diaz homered. I, for one, am excited about the three of their performances in Memphis so far. Socolovich redeemed himself Sunday, but Harris had another spotty outing.
Thursday: Springfield 4, NW Arkansas 5
Friday: Springfieid 1, NW Arkansas 9
Saturday: Springfield 3, Tulsa 2
Sunday: Springfield 4, Tulsa 2, as of the 7th, details below.
Springfield is stumbling to the finish line. Charlie Tilson tripled and Jonathan Rodriguez homered in Thursday's loss. Friday's starter Andrew Morales joined the club of Cardinals minor league starters to not make it out of the first inning, giving up 6 runs and getting only one out. 2B Bruce Caldwell doubled twice and Tilson added another triple and a single on Saturday in support of Alex Reyes. Reyes was effective, if not efficient. He walked 3, but only gave up 3 hits in his five innings of work (via 96 pitches). He struck out 8. He is probably the Cardinals minor league pitcher of the year.
As for Sunday, check the link above for the final score. I am submitting this early, for reasons detailed at the end of the post. As of the top of the 7th, Tilson had a couple singles and a steal. Rodriguez had a double, and the S-Cards had the lead.
Palm Beach Cardinals
Thursday: PB 8, St. Lucie 6
Friday: PB 5, SL 2
Saturday: PB 2, SL 3
Sunday: PB 3, Bradenton 5
Lots of singles to back a mediocre Nick Petree start Thursday. Friday's starter Luis Perdomo didn't need much help, going 8 1-run innings, with 5 K's. St. Lucie's sloppy defense helped his cause, with 3 of Palm Beach's runs unearned. Luke Weaver went 6 innings Saturday, giving up 2 runs, but walking more (3) than he struck out (2). Carson Kelly had a few hits over the weekend, continuing to inch his average up. For a team that averaged 4 runs a game over the 4 days, Palm Beach did it the hard way, with a lonely double as the weekend's only extra base hit.
Thursday: Peoria 6, Quad Cities 8
Friday: Peoria 0, Quad Cities 3
Saturday: Peoria 4, Quad Cities 2
Sunday: Peoria 3, Cedar Rapids 7
Thursday had 2 doubles from Darren Seferina, another by Paul DeJong, and three singles by Harrison Bader. However, poor defense, including errors by Oscar Mercado, Bader, and catcher Luis Cruz led to 4 unearned runs and the loss. It's A-ball, and his defensive reputation is pretty solid, but Mercado has bunches and bunches of errors. The bats went quiet Friday in support of Jack Flaherty, who rebounded nicely from his disastrous last start. He threw seven innings, struck out 6, walked 1, gave up 5 hits and 1 earned run, although another Mercado error led to two unearned runs. Bader added a home run on Saturday, and Peoria did a better job supporting lefty Austin Gomber, who went 6 innings with 8 K's and 3 walks. Sunday had some offense, but not particularly timely. DeJong doubled, Bader and Seferina each had two singles, and 2014-draftee/catcher/DH Brian O'Keefe had a single, double, and home run. His wRC+ in Peoria is 160, with a .189 ISO. Somebody to maintain a sideways glance at. The Cedar Rapids Kernals logo appears to be an ear of corn doing the can-can whilst wearing a baseball cap. Iowa meets A baseball, ladies and gentlemen.
State College Spikes
Thursday: SC 1, Auburn 3
Friday: SC 5, Auburn 4
Saturday: SC 1, Auburn 3
Sunday: SC 5, Mahoning Valley 12 (7 innings)
Sunday: SC 4, MV 3 (7 innings)
Thursday's starter Dailyn Martinez went 7, striking out 6, but got no help from the offense to overcome the 3 runs he gave up. Outfielder Orlando Olivera starred Friday night, with 3 hits, one a triple. Left fielder Michael Pritchard had the triple in Saturday's loss. Sunday had some nice offense - Pritchard had a couple hits, Casey Grayson and Olivera homered, but starter Jacob Evans gave up 10 runs on 8 hits without making it out of the first inning. Even after the terrible outing, the 2015-6th rounder's ERA is just over 3, and at 21, he's one of the younger members on the Spikes this year. 2015-draftee Carson Cross continued a nice start to pro pitching.
Johnson City Cardinals
Thursday: JC 4, Princeton 7
Friday: JC 2, P. 7
Saturday: JC 7, P. 11
Sunday: JC 1, Pulaski 2
Unlucky 7's for Johnson City in 3 straight losses against Princeton. 2B Eliezer Alvarez continues to hit, with a triple and 3 singles for the weekend. 20-year-old 2015 draftee Ryan McCarvel is finishing his first season on the rise. He was a double short of the cycle Friday and added another two doubles Saturday. 2015-draftee Chris Chinea had a good day Saturday at and behind the plate, going 3-for-5 with a home run in the loss. He added another home run on Sunday playing first base, his 6th, Red Baron's pitching prospect Ronnie Williams was of the prospects-break-your-heart variety on Thursday, yet another starter unable to get out of the first in his start, giving up 5.
Thursday: GCL Cardinals X, GCL Nationals (Cancelled)
Friday: GCL Cards 5, GCL Marlins 9 (6 innings)
Saturday: GCL Cards 4, GCL Marlins 0
Sunday: GCL Cards 1, GCL Red Sox 4 (1-game playoff Semifinal)
SS Allen Cordoba had 5 hits in the 3 games, finishing the season with a .342 average. Nick Plummer had 4, finishing at .228, which feels good after how rough his start was. Bryce Denton finished below .200, but he worked a couple walks against Red Sox pitching in Sunday's playoff, a day when the GCL Cards were shut down with only 5 hits. 19-year-old Dominican Sandy Alcantara pitched Saturday's shutout, striking out 8 in his 6 innings.
You made it all this way? Well, I missed the last 2+ innings of Sunday's Springfield game because I am tired. Note to self and others: Before giving a 3-year-old juice, make sure your mother-in-law didn't buy juice "with energy." A juice-fueled demon in a Molina shersey will keep up your 1-year-old, your wife, and you. There will be tears and gnashing of teeth. It will not end well. So, due to my lack of sleep Saturday, I am packing it in early, in hopes of catching up on sleep. All apologies if Mike O'Neill surprises everyone with a three-homer night in the final 2 frames... the toddler is asleep. It is the end of the 7th in Tulsa, and the end of this post.