Sorry if you clicked this morning's minor league recap hoping to read about Bradley Zimmer and Clint Frazier's Triple-A debut. Unfortunately, the Columbus Clippers had an off day yesterday, so they should be debuting later when the Clippers take on the Norfolk Tide at 7:05 p.m. ET. No promises, but I would be pretty surprised to not see them in the lineup. UNLESS THEY GET TRADED. But probably not.
In the meantime, one of our Twitter followers brought up the perfect nickname idea for Bradley Zimmer, so there's that.
@LetsGoTribe Easy, if Frazier is Red Thunder, then Zimmer is White Lightning and opposing SP's are about to get caught in the storm— Zak Hites (@ZakHites55) July 25, 2016
And in other, less Zimmer-y Frazier-y news, Francisco Mejia now holds the 10th-longest hitting streak in MiLB history, Greg Allen made his Double-A debut, and a tiny semi-truck beat a tiny ice cream van.
Akron RubberDucks 1, Richmond Flying Squirrels 2 (F/10)
Box Score · RubberDucks fall to 54-49
Suddenly missing a pair of offensive superstars, the Akron RubberDucks could muster just one run in an extra-inning loss to the Richmond Squirrels.
The loss came off the hand of the often-reliable JP Feyereisen, who allowed his first earn run in almost a month. The fateful inning started with a walk and two-straight singles allowed by Feyereisen, followed by a sac bunt to score the go-ahead run, a strikeout of former Cleveland Indians farmhand Carlos Moncrief and two straight strikeouts.
Akron's final breath came in a lifeless bottom-half of the 10th inning when they struck out, flied out, and grounded out to end the game.
Greg Allen, a 23-year-old outfielder who has all the markings of an impactful major league player even without the flashy prospect status, went 1-for-5 in his Double-A debut hitting from the leadoff spot. Allen was challenged consistently on defense in his debut, fielding eight balls hit to center field throughout the game, including two of the three outs in the seventh inning.
Another recent promotion making his Double-A debut, right fielder Luigi Rodriguez, went 0-for-4 on the day with a strikeout.
The only RubberDucks batter with a multi-hit game was Daniel Salters, who was 2-for-4 with a double and two strikeouts. As a team, the 'Ducks struck out seven times to just two walks and finished the game with six runners stranded on base.
Akron's lone run of the day came off the bat of Claudio Bautista in the fifth inning.
Starting pitcher Michael Peoples turned in a solid seven innings of work, striking out five and allowing one earned run off seven hits with no walks. Peoples has been up-and-down in his recent starts, so hopefully this great outing is a sign of things to come, and not just another stepping stone to a six-run game.
Rehabbing relievers Zach McAllister and Craig Stammen combined to throw for two innings, striking out one and allowing two hits in the process.
Lynchburg Hillcats 2, Wilmington Blue Rocks 6
Box Score · Hillcats fall to 65-35
The Lynchburg Hillcats managed to avoid a single meltdown inning against the Wilmington Blue Rocks, but 13 hits and six runs spread out over nine innings was enough to do them in for their 35th loss of the season.
After a hot start to his High-A career, Tyler Krieger has slowed down recently against Carolina League pitching. Last night's lone hit was his first in three games, and he is 1-for-13 with six strikeouts in that span. If it tells you anything about hot he started with the Hillcats, Krieger still has a .314/.380/.477 slash on the season in 23 games, despite the cold streak.
Bobby Bradley failed to murder a baseball, but he did draw three walks without a single strikeout, which is a welcome sight for the slugging first baseman. Coming into the game, Bradley had a 30.6 percent strikeout rate on the season, and it has up-and-down all year long. In April he struck out in 36.8 percent of his at-bats, 23.9 percent in May, 37.6 percent in June, and now down to 25.6 percent so far in July.
And, of course, Francisco Mejia had another hit, extending his insane hitting streak to 38 games. The last time the 20-year-old switch-hitting catcher ended a game without a hit was on May 25. The Cleveland Cavaliers had just clinched their series against the Toronto Raptors, the Indians were 25-20 and behind the Chicago White Sox in the American League Central, and Pokemon GO had yet to consume every aspect of my waking life. It was a different time, entirely.
Justus Sheffield was tagged with the loss, but he still pitched a commendable six innings of work, allowing three earned runs off of eight hits. This was Sheffield's sixth-straight game in which he has allowed three or fewer runs. In all but one of those starts (a two-inning outing on July 23) he has struck out at least six batters.
Lake County Captains 4, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 2
Box Score · Captains improve to 53-47
The Lake County Captains have not missed a beat since losing a group of their excellent lineup to promotions, and they are beginning to threaten the Lynchburg Hillcats for the best record in the Tribe's farm system, along with the Akron RubberDucks. Their latest win was yesterday afternoon's 6-2 victory that came on the back of a four-run sixth inning.
Lake County's big inning was preceded by a very important go-kart race, in which a tiny semi-truck overcame a tiny ice cream van and a tiny pink sports car to win because Minor League Baseball.
Once the race ended and baseball resumed, the Captains started with a leadoff double from Connor Marabell, but immediately gave up two outs via a fly out and a strikeout. Sam Haggerty came to the rescue with a single, followed by a throwing error, a walk, and a three-run home run from Anthony Miller to right-center field.
On top of his double to get the big inning started, Marabell had another double in the seventh inning, as well as a single to lead off the second inning. Marabell leads all Captains batters with 104 hits and 31 doubles on the season.
Three other Lake County batters -- Willi Castro, Nathan Lukes, and Sam Haggerty -- had multi-hit games as well, but Miller's three-run shot was the only Lake County home run of the game.
Starting pitcher Brock Hartson looks to be playing his way into a potential call-up soon. The 22-year-old pitched a solid six innings in which he allowed one earned run off of five hits. He did not strikeout a single batter, however, but he only walked two. Hartson has allowed three or fewers runs in all but two of his starts this season.
Mahoning Valley Scrappers 3, Connecticut Tigers 2 (Game 1)
Mahoning Valley Scrappers 8, Connecticut Tigers 2 (Game 2)
Triston McKenzie started Game 1 of this doubleheader... you didn't think the Mahoning Valley Scrappers would actually lose it, did you?
The 18-year-old phenom (I don't care if he's only 18, I'm calling him a phenom at this point), pitched all but one out of the seven-inning game, striking out five batters and allowing one earned run off of three hits. His ERA sits at a ridiculous 0.61 on the season, as he has allowed just three earned runs in 44.1 innings. In that same time he has also struck out 47 batters, and opponents are batting .181 against him. Phenom.
Even though they really didn't need to show up in Game 1, the Mahoning Valley offense still put up three runs in the first inning then went to sleep for the remaining five. Five of their eight hits came in that first inning, including doubles from lead off batter Gabriel Mejia and Erlin Cerda, who got a little too aggressive and wound up thrown out at third base, anyway.
Game 2 was a different story, offensively. Mahoning Valley, as a team, racked up 13 hits, four doubles, and scored eight runs off of Connecticut Tigers pitching. Andrew Calica and Nathan Winfrey led the way with three hits apiece -- the latter adding two doubles for good measure.
Once again, they really didn't need the offense, though, as Ryan Colegate held the Tigers scoreless over two innings, then relievers Michael Letkewicz and Randy Valladares combined to keep Connecticut at two runs over the remaining five innings.
DSL Indians 0, DSL Mets1 7
Box Score · Indians fall to 20-22
The DSL Indians batters had a rough time getting anything going yesterday, tallying just four hits in their blowout loss to the DSL Mets1.
The only Indians batter to put up a fight was left fielder Pablo Jimenez, who went 2-for-4 with a double. As a team, the Indians struck out nine times to just three walks.
Starting pitcher Jhonneyver Gutierrez was tagged with the loss after pitching five innings and allowing five earned runs off of seven hits. He struck out just one batter on the day, but only walked two.
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The Columbus Clippers and AZL Indians had scheduled off days.