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Heroics from Angel Martinez stand out in Friday affiliate sweep

Cleveland Guardians minor league recap for Friday, April 29, 2022

Columbus Clippers 8, Louisville Bats 4

Box Score · Clippers improve to 15-7

This is not a team that is fond of losing.

Peyton Battenfield lured the Bats into a box canyon and then vanished into thin air after five innings. He worked around four walks and only allowed three hits and one run.

Robert Broom, Eli Lingos, Aaron Pinto, and Ian Gibault finished the final four by pitching one each. All were scoreless save Gibault (who nearly turned it into a save situation in the ninth, unfortunately). He has pitched 7.2 innings in our system after hopping around quite a bit the last few seasons.

I think I see Gibault as a guy who was a solid arm until he got traded out of an organization with an advanced pitching philosophy (Tampa). His ERA was 1.59 this time last week and he is a reliever; it will be interesting to see if he settles back in. He appears to be generating more ground balls than ever.

Oscar Gonzalez led the pack again with four hits, three arrs bee eye, and two runs. One of those hits happened to be his sixth dinger.

No one else recorded a multi-hit game, but Jose Fermin walked thrice and scored twice. Meanwhile, Bryan Lavastida earned a hit and a walk, along with Mitch Tolman, David Fry, and Gavin Collins. When everybody does a little bit nobody has to do much, but it’s neat that Oscar Had A Game on top of it.

I also saw them play on Thursday as well and have a couple of quick live notes:

  1. Been a while since I’ve seen a heckler actually get to a guy. Maybe we can calm down a bit.
  2. Oscar Gonzalez threw a strike from right field to nail someone at home and I have no further questions about his fielding ability. The ball popped into the mitt. He is never going to draw walks but I do not think it matters. See: four hits.
  3. Will Benson had a very Will Benson game on Thursday. If he had homered last night I would also accept 1/5 1 HR 3 SO as a candidate, but alas.

Akron RubberDucks 3, Altoona Curve 1

Box Score · RubberDucks float to 9-10


Baseball is funny because it is also true that if a few guys do not very much but happen to accidentally coordinate, a lot can happen.

Nick Gonzales opened the scoring with a solo home run. Those count.

In the bottom of the sixth, Bo Naylor grounded into a forceout, but at the time there were no outs. Victor Nova opened the half with a walk, and then the team asked Jose Tena to sacrifice bunt.

I pointed this out in the Discord about the Angels game slightly before Taylor Ward hit a grand slam: sometimes you bunt because you just realized the other guys are half asleep.

Travis (IBWDL LEGEND) MacGregor fielded the bunt but misfired to first. Nova advanced to third and Tena reached safely.

As noted, Nova scored on the Bo Naylor groundout that resulted in Tena’s removal from the board. Naylor went ahead and stole second, and I do not think it is a coincidence that Brayan Rocchio subsequently walked. You don’t have to heckle a guy to get him rattled. Now he’s standing out there having walked two, gifted a bunt single, and to make things even worse he just let the catcher steal second base.

Mound visit. Pitcher step-off.

Will Brennan singled to score Naylor and Rocchio advanced to 2nd. Here is where not seeing the games kills me because I’d like to know whether or not Rocchio could have made it to third on this play. Why?

George Valera grounded into an out on the next pitch. Rocchio moved to third but Brennan was eliminated in the first half of a would-be double play. Marcos Gonzalez ended the inning with a groundout.

Akron went on to win, but there were a couple of opportunities to blow the game wide open that were still missed.

You are also curious about Daniel Espino, no doubt. He pitched four-and-two-thirds until

And so that is what I have heard. Knee soreness can definitely be a concern. See: Andrew Miller.

Lake County Captains 4, Lansing Lugnuts 3

Box Score · Captains improve to 8-10

“ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?” Angel Martinez to Daniel Martinez, probably.

The Martinez on the mound left a 2-0 pitch over the plate, and so the Martinez at the plate hit it. Really, really hard. Ballgame. The two-run shot (Jhonkensy Noel scoring post-walk) gave the Captains a 4-3 victory in the bottom of the ninth inning.

There is also another case of odd pitcher deployment to report.

I sure like the results!

Noel also doubled. He is still playing third base and there is not an opening on the Major League roster for some time. He is slashing .245/.356/.551 and I suspect that he is due for some positive regression on balls in play. I don’t think the organization has any plans to move him but people are probably starting to ask.

Lynchburg Hillcats 8, Salem Red Sox 2

Box Score · Hillcats improve to 10-9

Trenton Denholm came out and messed guys up. He struck out seven in four, walking one and allowing two hits in the process. WHAT’S THIS? ANOTHER WEST COAST COLLEGE ARM?! SURELY THE ADDITION OF ANOTHER WEST COAST COLLEGE ARM OUGHT TO PUT A STOP TO THAT! WAIT! NO! NOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooo....

[boot loop]

Right. Trey Benton, Davis Sharpe, and Yeury Gervacio combined for five innings of two hit baseball. I will note that Benton and Sharpe annihilated dudes.

Jake Fox drew four walks out of the two-hole. Playing, what is that, CF? Huh. He even stole a base. He is from Lakeland, and a lot of baseball happens out there, man. All year long. And now he’s out here with a .481 OBP through 15 games.

I think you can promote him, you guys. We’re never gonna figure out if he has power if he doesn’t need to swing, you know?

The three guys behind Fox in the order also did work. Milan Tolentino, Jorge Burgos, and Joe Donovan combined to go 6/14, 5 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB. Skeiling Rodriguez also notched two hits.

The Hillcats did not earn a single extra-base hit in this game. However, they did steal two bases and Salem committed three errors. They even balked one home. You can create a lot of “power” without any power:

This could have been an absolute blowout, and I think some good coaching on Salem’s part kept it in check.