Scott Diamond had a rough first inning (33 pitches) before getting through a scoreless second. After Joe Mauer was plunked by Roy Oswalt, Diamond threw over Josh Hamilton’s head and was immediately ejected. Ron Gardenhire was also ejected.
This put the Twins in a bad place. Anthony Swarzak got through the fifth and also gave up a few runs. Jeff Gray struck out two in two scoreless innings. Jared Burton came into a tie game in the 8th
and promptly gave up the lead… and then the wheels fell off.
Before the game, Josh Willingham was scratched with a stiff neck. The good news of the day was that Denard Span was back in the lineup. And he had a really good game.
Down on the farm Pedro Hernandez has been placed on the D.L. with a lat strain. Taking his place in the Rochester rotation will be Kyle Gibson, who will start Saturday. It is great news for Gibson; while it sounds like Hernandez will be shut down for the remainder of the season.
Let’s take a look around today’s action (as well as see where each team is relative to the playoffs):
ROCHESTER 5, LEHIGH VALLEY 3
Clete Thomas’s RBI single in the 8th
proved to be the winning run for a team desperately in need of runs and wins.
Chris Parmelee had two hits, including his 17th home run. Wilkin Ramirez added his 12th
home run immediately following Parmelee’s. Tsuyoshi Nishioka added a single.
Shairon Martis made it into the eighth and recorded on out before being lifted. His final line was six hits, a walk, a run and four strikeouts.
Luis Perdomo, who blew the save, ended up getting credit for a win by retiring five batters, three by strikeout. He gave up a home run.
: With 11 games left, the Red Wings have closed to four games back in the Wild Card standings. While being that far back is not insurmountable, the bigger hurdle is that they see three teams in between them and the Wild Card leader. Even finishing 8-3 or 9-2 might not be enough (and that point is moot if the offense can’t score any runs).
NEW BRITAIN 6, NEW HAMPSHIRE 9
It was a tough loss for the Rockcats. The bats were alive, but they came up short.
Steven Hirschfeld got roughed up over 4 1/3 innings. He gave up eight hits and seven runs. He walked two and struck out four.
David Bromberg struck out four in 2 2/3 innings. Edgar Ibarra gave up a run in an inning.
Chris Herrmann led the offense from the leadoff position. He homered and drove in three runs. He added a single. Chris Colabello, Nate Hanson and James Beresford all doubled.
Oswaldo Arcia went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts.
Playoff update: The Rockcats trail Trenton by six games and now trail Reading for the Wild Card spot by one game. New Britain has games remaining against only New Hampshire (last place) and Trenton (first place). All of Reading’s 11 remaining games come against sub-.500 teams, though their final four games are against Portland, the hottest team in the Eastern League.
FT. MYERS 7, BRADENTON 3
The Miracle jumped out to a three-run first and never looked back.
Both Daniel Santana and Levi Michael had three hits. Santana had a double. Michael also walked and stole a base. Danny Ortiz added two hits, one double. Overall, it was a good offensive attack.
Pat Dean pitched five innings. He struck out three, walked two and given up three runs on six hits.
Clint Dempster gave up two hits in two scoreless innings. Ryan O’Rourke struck out three in two scoreless innings.
: Officially, Fort Myers is still alive for a playoff spot, but the stars would have to align perfectly… and even then it would be tough for them to make the playoffs.
BELOIT 1, PEORIA 6
The Snappers never really came out of their shells for today’s game.
Eddie Rosario (double) and singles by Kennys Vargas, Wang-Wei Lin and Jairo Rodriguez accounted for all of the offense.
Matt Tomshaw held his own tonight. He made it to the seventh inning, allowing seven hits and four runs (three earned), walking one and striking out five. Mason Melotakis struck out three, recording five outs. Zach Jones allowed two runs (one earned) in one inning.
: The Snappers secured a playoff spot thanks to finishing second in their division in the first half of the season. They will go on the road for game 1 and host games 2 and 3 (likely against Clinton). They have split the season series against the Lumberjacks 7-7. They swept them in a four game set at home, but were later swept in a 3-game home series. Clinton has been playing great baseball in the second half of the season.
ELIZABETHTON 6, PULASKI 4
J.O. Berrios is human. He allowed five hits and two runs in five innings. He even allowed a home run. He still struck out six. Tyler Duffey struck out two in two scoreless innings. Chris Mazza allowed two runs in two innings.
Max Kepler went 3-for-5 with a triple. Adam Walker went 2-for-5 with a triple. D.J. Hicks had a double and two RBI. Jorge Polanco drove in two runs, despite having no hits.
: E-town has clinched a playoff berth. They will start their playoffs next Wednesday night and (hopefully) you’ll get to read about them reaching the Appy League Championship series next Thursday in my write-up.
GCL TWINS 4, GCL ORIOLES 0
A shutout win keeps the GCL-based team in the playoff hunt.
Randy Rosario pitched his best game as a professional, throwing seven innings, striking out nine. Austin Malinowski completed the shutout striking out three in two innings.
The bats got off to a hot start in the first inning: Both John Murphy and Aderlin Mejia hit their first home runs of the season – and their professional careers – back-to-back. Joel Licon drove Mejia home with a sac fly in the 6th
to add an (unnecessary) insurance run.
Jeremias Pineda, Bryan Haar (double) and Jose Ramirez added hits.
: The GCL team hasn’t been mathematically eliminated from the Wild Card race, but the easier path for them is to win their division. They currently trail Boston, who won today in convincing fashion, by one game. Each team has two games left… against each other. Their playoffs literally start tomorrow, with a sweep the Twins advance. With a split: Hello, off-season.
Players of the Day for Thursday, August 16, 2012
Hitters of the Day – Levi Michael
Pitcher of the Day – Randy Rosario
(A Google image search provided no pictures. Even a search for myself provided three pictures before the Rocketpig logo and a fourth before the first shirtless picture of Ron Jeremy.)
A Look Ahead – Friday, August 17, 2012 Schedule
Rochester vs Lehigh Valley – RHP P.J. Walter (3-1, 2.68)
New Britain at New Hampshire – LHP Logan Darnell (9-11, 5.08)
Fort Myers vs Palm Beach – TBA
Beloit vs Peoria – TBA
Elizabethton vs Pulaski – LHP Brett Lee (4-0, 2.04)
GCL Twins vs GCL Red Sox – TBA
If you have any questions on the Twins minor league system, players, teams, etc., leave them in the Comments and we’ll try to answer them! Comments also welcome.