Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Minor League Recap - 7/8

Here's a quick recap since we checked in last.

Scranton went 2-2 with one game suspended by rain. Among the highlights was Dan McCutchen's complete game shutout of the Syracuse Chiefs on July 5. McCutchen allowed 5 hits, walked none, and struck out 10. Eric Duncan helped him out a bit with 3 RBI in the 5-0 win. The Yankees also beat the Toledo Mud Hens 5-4 when Alberto Gonzalez hit his first home run of the season in the 12th inning.

On the downside, Jeff Karstens was knocked around by the Mud Hens last night, allowing 6 runs in 5.1 innings pitched. J.B. Cox also got tagged for 2 runs in 2.2 innings. Cox also got tagged for 4 runs in 2 innings Saturday in an 8-5 loss to Syracuse. Duncan belted a 3-run home run in that one

The Trenton Thunder have won 4 of their last 5, including winning 3 of 4 from the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. It started out with Jason Jones throwing 7 innings of 2-hit ball to beat the Portland Sea Dogs 4-0 on July 3. Phil Coke matched that effort with 7 innings of 2-hit ball against the Fisher Cats the next night in a 6-0 win.

More good pitching on 7/5 with 5 solid innings from Eric Hacker and a great job by the Thunder pen, in a 3-2 win over New Hampshire. And the Thunder won the series last night, 6-4, behind a pair of RBI each from Austin Jackson and Chris Malec. The lone set back was the third game of the series when George Kontos got knocked around in a 6-1 loss.

You wonder how long it will be until Anthony Claggett makes the jump to Triple-A. After 2 scoreless innings last night, his ERA is now 1.00 in 18 appearances for Trenton. His walk total, 16 in 36 IP, is a bit high, but he also has 33 strikeouts.

Jackson, meanwhile, has hit a bit of a slump with just 10 hits in his last 44 at-bats (.227). On the other hand, his fellow All-Star, Chris Malec, has been red hot, hitting .342 over the last 10 games.

Advanced 'A'
The Tampa Yankees are mired in a 7-game losing streak that started back on July 1st. For the most part the Yankees have gotten good pitching, but have had hitting woes. Ivan Nova gave up 2 runs over 7 innings on July 3, but the Yankees were beaten 2-1 by the Ft. Myers Miracle. The Miracle held the Yankees to 1 run in their 3 game series.

Then Tampa was swept by the Sarasota Reds. They were shutout for the third time in four games, 6-0 despite a great outing by Zach McAllister. He allowed 2 runs over 8 innings and struck out 9. Pitching was definitely not in the cards in the middle game of the series when Mike Dunn and the bullpen got blasted in a 12-5 loss. A 5-2 loss capped the series on Sunday (Monday's series opener with St. Lucie was rained out).

'A' Ball
The Charleston RiverDogs split their last four ball games, winning against Lexington last night 2-0. Wil de la Rosa struck out 9 and allowed just 2 hits over 6 innings. Jon Ortiz picked up his 22nd save of the season and Jesus Montero belted his 8th home run. The Dogs also beat the Augusta GreenJackets 6-3 on Sunday behind 3-hit ball by Jairo Heredia over 6-plus innings. Austine Romine went deep in that one.

Sunday's win would be the only game Charleston would take in the 4-game series with Augusta. They lost 5-4 on July 3 despite a pair of Brad Suttle home runs, and dropped a 5-2 game on July 4 despite a good rehab performance by Dellin Betances. The big right-hander, who didn't figure in the decision, allowed 2 runs over 5 innings and struck out 6. Betances allowed 3 hits and, more importantly, walked just one batter.

Short Season
No one is hotter than the Staten Island Yankees, who have won 10 in a row, including 5 straight since we last checked in. Luke Greinke didn't figure in the decision, but he tossed 4.2 shutout innings in the Baby Bombers 10-1 blow out of Mahoning Valley Scrappers on 7/3. Dan Brewer (hitting .351) and Mitch Albeita drove in 3 runs each.

The offense was at it again the next night in an 11-9 win over the Scrappers. Walt Ibarra hit a 3-run home runs and three players drove in 2 runs each.

Dave Phelps threw 5.1 innings to lead SI over the Auburn Doubledays, 6-2, on Saturday. Mike Lyon's (hitting .349) home run help propel the Yankees to a 4-2 win on Sunday and they finished off the Doubledays by the same score last night. Casey Erickson allowed 2 unearned runs over 6 innings and Albeita drove in another 3 runs.

Rookie Ball
The GCL Yankees dropped 3 of 4, their lone win being a 6-2 victory against the GCL Tigers. Chris Britton threw 2 shutout innings in a rehab stint. Emerson Landoni went 4-4.

Brian Bruney threw the first two innings of Saturday's game as he rehabs his Lysfranc injury. Humberto Sanchez also tossed one inning, striking out the side. The Tigers, however, were 7-1 winners.

Chad Gross hit a grand slam on Saturday, but the Yankees were out scored by the Phillies 10-9. The Philles won against last night 4-3 as Bruney and Sanchez each threw another inning. Landoni drove in 2 runs for the Yankees.

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