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The Scoop: Bullpen Meltdown Edition

The Padres dropped their series finale with the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday by a score of 10-3, though the final score wasn’t a very good indication of how the game actually went.  After five strong innings from Dinelson Lamet, San Diego took a 3-2 lead into the seventh inning, when Andy Green made the controversial decision to go to Brad Hand with two on and a 2-2 count to Reds slugger Joey Votto, replacing Kirby Yates.  Hand would go on to walk Votto and strike out Adam Duvall, before giving up a grand slam to Scooter Gennett and a solo shot to Eugenio Suarez.  Cincinnati would go on to score three more in the eighth off Phil Maton, leading to a lopsided loss.

Wil Myers went 2 for 4, homering in back to back games, and Cory Spangenberg added an RBI double in defeat.  José Pírela had an RBI single and walked three times, wrapping up a spectacular series at the plate, in which he went 8 for 13 with a pair of doubles, and posted an OBP of .705.  The Padres head to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers to wrap up their 10 game road trip (2-5 on the trip thus far).

Bullpen meltdowns would be a theme in last night’s action as all but one affiliate lost, and all but the Triple-A and AZL teams had a game decided by the relief core.

Photo: Marcus Pond

Five Run Eighth Saves San Antonio

 

On a night when Jacob Nix wasn’t his sharp self, the Missions offense picked up the team late, rallying from a 5-3 deficit in the eighth to beat Springfield 8-5.  Nix, making his second start at Double-A, allowed four runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out six.  Both walks proved costly, coming with one out in separate innings, coming around to score on a wild pitch and a sac fly

The big eighth inning was fueled by four consecutive singles by Franmil ReyesAuston BousfieldNick Torres, and Luis Urías.  In an incredibly baffling move, the Cardinals opted to intentionally walk Javier Guerra to load the bases for Josh Naylor.  I mean, yes, it was a tie game at that point, and they wanted to set up the double play, so it’s not totally absurd, but I can almost guarantee that when they played in Lake Elsinore, nobody intentionally walked Guerra to load the bases for Naylor.  Anyways, yeah, Naylor made them pay with a base-clearing double, putting them up 8-5.  The hefty first baseman must’ve felt pretty disrespected, as he also stole third base before the inning was over.  He finished 3 for 5 on the night with a pair of doubles.

Urías finished 1 for 4 on the night, and Guerra, Ty France, and Webster Rivas had multi-hit games.  Trey Wingenter nailed down his 16th save of the season, striking out a pair in a 1-2-3 inning, helping San Antonio avoid the sweep.  The Missions, who were the first half South division champions, are still five games ahead of the Corpus Christi Hooks for first place, but have the third best record in the Texas League, behind Springfield and the Tulsa Drillers in the North division.

 

Five Run Eighth Foils Fort Wayne

Reggie Lawson was excellent in five shutout innings for the TinCaps last night, but Jim McDade had a disastrous eighth inning that led to all five Bowling Green runs, as Fort Wayne fell to the Hot Rods 5-2.  Lawson allowed just three hits and walked none, while striking out seven.  Despite an unsightly 5.46 ERA, Lawson hasn’t had a hard time blowing the ball past hitters, posting a 10.9 K/9 rate for Fort Wayne this season.  The issue has been his control, as he has issued walks at a 4.5 BB/9 rate.  This was just his second outing without issuing a walk this season, so hopefully this is a trend that can continue as the season begins to wind down.

The TinCaps amassed nine hits, but could only string a pair of runs together on a pair of solo homers by Tyler Selesky and Buddy Reed in the second.  Hudson Potts was the only Fort Wayne hitter with a multi-hit game, going 3 for 4 with a double.

 

Ramirez Hot, Bats Cold in Storm Loss

Lake Elsinore dropped their contest Thursday night by a score of 2-1 to the Inland Empire 66ers.  23-year-old Dominican prospect Emmanuel Ramirez made his second start, and was dazzling over six innings, allowing only one run on two hits, and striking out eight. Ramirez, who finished the 2016 season in Fort Wayne, has been interesting to follow this season.  He started the year with the TinCaps, but after posting a 3.63 ERA, was sent down to Tri-City.  He was their Opening Day starter and one of their All-Star representatives, and after posting a 2.48 ERA in eight starts there, was promoted all the way up to Lake Elsinore, where he’s allowed two runs in his first 11 innings.

On a 94 degree evening, the Storm offense was frigid, scoring their only run on a throwing error, and being shut down for six innings by Angels no.26 prospect Joe Gatto.  Edwin Moreno had a double, and Ruddy Giron went 1 for 3 with a walk.  The game was tied at one apiece in the eighth when David Bednar allowed a leadoff walk, the runner stole second, and came home on a single.  Bednar, a 35th round pick in 2016, was a beast for Fort Wayne this season, boasting a 13.4 K/9 rate and a 1.87 ERA while converting nine of ten saves.  Since being promoted to Lake Elsinore, he has an even 4.00 ERA, is striking out fewer batters, and has seen his WHIP increase from 0.86 to 1.39.

 

Elsewhere Around The Farm:

  • The AZL Padres dropped their contest with the AZL Royals by a score of 3-2. Newly acquired prospect Esteury Ruiz was the main attraction, going 2 for 4 with a pair of singles, as well as stealing two more bases (though he was caught stealing once as well), pushing his total to five after 12 games played.  Catcher Luis Campusano, the the Padres recent 2nd round pick also went 2 for 4 with his first double of professional ball.  17-year-old Michell Miliano had a rough outing, giving up three runs (two earned) on three hits in three innings, while uncorking three wild pitches and striking out three hitters.

 

  • Tri-City starter Will Stillman had a 1.59 ERA through his first four games with the Dust Devils, but was shelled for eight runs in 1.1 innings during their 11-0 loss against Vancouver last night.  Stillman faced nine batters in the 10-run second, giving up five singles, a pair of walks, and hitting a batter before leaving with a 5-run deficit and the bases loaded.  Reliever Elliot Ashbeck didn’t offer much relief, allowing all runners to score on a single and a home run.  Shortstop Luis Almanzar went 2 for 3 on the night, while centerfielder Tre Carter took home the golden sombrero, striking out in all four plate appearances.

 

  • Chris Huffman gave up four runs in five innings, and Zach Lee gave up four more in an inning of relief, as El Paso fell to Fresno 8-4.  Catcher Rocky Gale went 3 for 4 with his 17th double of the season, capping a series in which he went 7 for 13, raising his batting average 12 points to .291.  Christian VillanuevaRafael Ortega, and Diego Goris also doubled, and Christian Bethancourt threw a scoreless eighth, lowering his ERA to 9.18.

 

Thanks to the excellent Sammy Benbow (@SammyBenbow04) for contributing to today’s edition of The Scoop.