DLD 08/04: Minor League edition

A very different kind of link dump. Since nobody else was on it.


Sacramento River Cats 6 - Portland Beavers 11
The Portland Beavers withstood a double homerun outing by Scott McClain (who is really pushing for a major league spot), while 'Two Buck' Chuck Thomas went 2-5, Matt Waston went 2-4, and Jeremy Brown each went 2-3, the latter two each notching up homers. Daric Barton... 0-3

On the mound it was brutal, with recent acquisition Juan Dominguez getting creamed for 6 earned runs in 2.2 innings pitched, Porno Tadano giving up 2 ER in 1.1 IP, and Roney giving up 3 earned in 2 IP at the end. Only Victor Moreno looked good in the pen, throwing 3K's in 2 scoreless innings.

Midland Rockhounds 14 - Frisco Roughriders ("Ah wish ah could quit yew") 8
Danny Putnam, a high round draftee who last season had to take a few weeks off late in the season after tearing his esophagus on a grape, went 3-4 with 2 doubles and a homerun, scoring twice and driving in 5 in a 14-5 beating over Frisco. 2004 C's catcher Kurt Suzuki also homered (2-5), as did 2003 Vancouver player Brant Colamarino (4-6). Jason Perry went 3-5.

Kane County Cougars 8 - Swing of Quad Cities 6
Justin Sellers continues to shine, going 3-4 to bring his early season batting average to .625, while Jeff Bieker sits on .429 (2-4 tonight) and Nick Blasi sits on .375 (2-4). But it was pitching that won tonight's Kane County Cougars game against the Swing of Quad Cities (Worst. Name. Ever.), with Vince Mazzaro finally making his pro debut and notching a win while doing so. Mazzaro, a contact hold-out last season, threw 5 innings of 2-run ball, conceding 4 hits, and notching a single walk with 2K's.

Joe Piekarz and Long John Herrera cruised in middle relief, and when Brad 'Killer' Kilby got in trouble shutting the game down (2ER in 0.2IP), newly converted closer Steve Sharpe came in to rack up his second save in two games. interviews outfield minor league stud Richie Robnett and upcoming infield ace Gregorio Petit:

Robnett on getting time with the big league club:

OC: You got an early taste of the Bay Bridge series in a few games with the A?s this Spring, can you describe the atmosphere?
RR: As far as with the big league guys, very relaxed, just having fun. It still felt like Spring Training in a sense, we were still fine tuning some things. When I went out and stepped on the field at AT&T Park, it was a great experience for me being out there on a big stage. I was a little nervous. I had a lot of adrenaline going. It?s a lot of mixed emotions, but overall I was just real excited to be there. Getting my first hit out of the way was awesome.
OC: What was it like being in the major league clubhouse? What were some of the highlights?
RR: It was raining most of the time I was there, so we never really went out on the field [before the games]. We hung out in the clubhouse and in the cages indoors. I know them and they know me, so it was a comfortable atmosphere. We played cards and just hung out. Pretty much just like every other clubhouse I?ve been in.

Petit on the issue of Pennington forcing a position change:

OC: Which position do you feel is your ?natural? position?
GP: Shortstop. I?ve been playing shortstop since I was six years-old. It?s fine that I?m not playing shortstop now with Cliff (Pennington) here because playing second might be the key to moving up. I will basically have two positions.
OC: What?s the main difference between [second] base and shortstop?
GP: Mainly the reaction time, but I can tell you that playing second base is different because the angle to the plate and the way the ball comes off the bat is completely. Also, trust me, turning double plays from second isn?t easy.
OC: Are you looking forward to playing with Cliff in the middle of the infield again this year?
GP: We played very well together last year. We understand each other. He knows how I like to play and throw and I know how he likes to play and throw. We know each other well even though we played just two months together. We?ve talked and we are going to do good together.

Blez (sorry, Nico) is psychic::
Yesterday, he said this about the Felix Hernandez/Joe Blanton match-up:

I respect, and appreciate, great stuff, great pitchers, and great competitors, but I also take the "any given Sunday" approach to baseball, and especially to pitching. Unlike football, where in fact a great team will beat a lousy team most any Sunday, baseball is not like that. And pitching is really not like that. On any given day, a lousy pitcher might have his best start of the year--and that's often a 3-hit shutout over 8 innings.

And here's Slusser from today's Chron:

Blanton, who had the second best ERA in the league from June 1 on last year, was spectacular in the A's 5-0 victory over the Mariners at Safeco Field on Friday night. He didn't allow a runner past first as he recorded the first win of the season by an Oakland starter (it took five games to do so, the A's longest wait since 1999) and put the team into a first-place tie with Seattle.

"The other pitcher is getting a lot of attention, but I'm not facing him, I'm pitching against their lineup," Blanton said of the matchup with Hernandez. "We saw that a lot from Joe last year -- he matched up in some big spots and came through for us,'' Oakland center fielder Mark Kotsay said. "He knew he had his challenge tonight."

And how many hits did Blanton give up? Blez almost got it right - Cupcakes only gave up two.

FREDDIE BYNUM WATCH: Bynum got one at bat for the Cubs on the 5th against Cincinnati. He recorded an out. 6 at bats to go before he is officially 'better off' than he was in Oakland.

Marco says: "When was the last time YOU went to a minor league game? Hmm? Now, if you'll excuse me, I must drive in runs. (CRACK!)

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