Let's start with the big news of the night:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Per this from <a href="https://twitter.com/amandaNhughes">@amandaNhughes</a> So happy and thankful! <a href="https://twitter.com/CWalk013">@CWalk013</a> just got the call for AA....Christian Walker to AA after Futures Gm.</p>— Steve Melewski (@masnSteve) <a href="https://twitter.com/masnSteve/statuses/356264545720860672">July 14, 2013</a></blockquote>
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Congrats to Mr. Walker. It's an aggressive move, to be certain. Anytime a player jumps from Low-A to AA within a 2 month span, no matter how advanced they may be coming in, it's a sign that the organizational brain trust believes in them. (Side note: Tim Lincecum just threw a No-Hitter. That's pretty neat. Thoughts on possibly signing him this off-season if he hits the free agent market?) Now, onto the results.
Charlotte (White Sox) 2, Norfolk 10
Sweaty Freddy got the start and did what he is apt to do against a weak lineup: 7IP, 6H, 2BBs, 2R (1ER), 5Ks. Neato. Don't get any ideas, Duquette. The offense pounded out 16 hits, but none were by 'this Cuban guy' Henry Urrutia as he is en route to take part in the Futures Game in New York on Sunday. (OF) Jerome O'Bryan Hoes went 2-4, w/ a Double, his 23rd of the season. He's totaled 24 Doubles in each of the past 2 seasons. So he should set a career mark in Doubles hit at some point in the not so distant future. (INF) Zelous Wheeler did the most damage tonight, going 3-5, w/ a Triple and 5 RsBI. Did have a fielding error though. But he probably ought not be playing 2B, as he was on this night. XAvery, Valencia, Liddi, and Snyder each contributed multi-hit nights as well. Buck Britton hit a Homer. Cool.
Richmond (Giants) 0, Bowie 13
Bowie did not, in fact, play a double-header today. Weird, I know. But they did pound out some aggression after an hour long rain delay. Fresh off his AA Home Run Derby winning performance, ( C ) Caleb Joseph went 2-4, w/ a Walk and his 16th HR and 5 RsBI. Norfolk this man! (RHP) Tyler Wilson continues to make me swoon. Not only did he stick it out through the rain delay, but he ultimately went 7IP, 1H, 0BB, 0R, 7Ks on the night. Be still my fluttering heart! (OK, so what if he had a 1-11 GO:FO ratio? Whatevs...he just trusts in his defense!)
Carolina (Indians) 11, Frederick 1
What Bowie did to Richmond, Carolina basically did to Frederick. (RHP) Zach Clark, recently promoted from the GCL, may perhaps still have some refining to do with his knuckleball. 3.1 IP, 8 H, 1 BB, 8 ER, 1 K, 1 WP, 3 HBPs. Get Phil Niekro out to Frederick! After watching such an abysmal pitching performance, and lacking two of their big bats (Christian Walker (at the Futures Game) and Nick Delmonico (undisclosed reason)) can you really blame the offense for checking out early? DHing, Michael Ohlman did manage a 2-4 night w/ 1 K. And (OF) Glynn Davis went 2-3, w/ a BB, but also a CS. Indy League find (UTL) Tucker Nathans continues to torch Carolina League pitching. He went 2-4, with a Double.
Delmarva 8, Lexington (Royals) 1
PBR mancrush (RHP) Parker Bridwell toyed with my heart some more. 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, and 6 Ks with a 9:2 GO:FO ratio...swoooooon! Oh...and, uh...5 BBs. We all have our flaws! Don't judge! Nice to see him hold uber-prospects Aldoberto Mondesi and Bubba Starling to a combined 2-8, w/ 1 K. (LHP) Lex 'Ought to have been promoted to Frederick a week or two ago' Rutledge closed out the game with 3 IP of relief. 2 hits and 1 run allowed to go with 5 Ks and 4 groundouts to 0 flyouts. That'll do.
You like multi-hit games? Well, this is the night for you! 6 Shorebirds got you covered on that front. SS Adrian Marin went 2-3, w/ a BB, but also got caught stealin' once (but he wasn't 5. He's 19.) With the recent trade of Ty Kelly (UTL) Creede Simpson is quietly tugging at my heart strings. He plays all over the place and just plain hits. 2-5, w/ a Double tonight. Currently slashing .290/.370/.448. Promote this man! (OF) Hot Rod Bernadina even got in on the action, going 2-4, w/ a Double. (CF) Gregory Lorenzo was the only starter held hitless, 0-4, w/ 1 K. Can't steal 1B...unless you're Nate McLouth.
Williamsport (Phillies) 9, Aberdeen 2
Your's truly was in attendance for this game, so let me share some thoughts and observations with you, fine reader. (RHP) Sebastian Vader got the start. He's been pretty good so far this season, pitching 30.1 innings of 2.67 ERA ball while K'ing 22 and Walking just 5. So I was naturally eager to get my eyes on him and his stuff finally. And...he passed. He wasn't great: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 Ks. His FB sits in the 86-89 range. But he butters his bread with a very good CH (79-81 mph), which he used quite well tonight. I didn't see much in the way of breaking balls. He has a nice easy, smooth delivery and hides the ball well enough to get by. Gonna need to get that FB up a tick or two (or three) in the long run though. All in all, I liked him. He's a guy to track. (LHP) Donnie Hart relieved Vader. He's a side-armer. That's neat. Beyond that...meh. (RHP) Nick Cunningham took over for Hart after he gave up a lead off HBP followed by a 1B in the 8th. Cunningham proceeded to give up 2 H and Walk 3 while officially recording just 1 out (via a Caught Stealing). 5 ER in a 1/3rd of an Inning...that'll do some damage to the ol' ERA. Ouch.
On offense, the Ironbirds started off well enough. A game leading off Double by SS Jared Breen set up a run. (1B) Trey Mancini smoked a ball with (CF) Mike Yastrzemski on 1B, but it was right at the 1Bman and ended up as a Double Play. Mancini is a big dude. Lotta raw power there. I like raw power. Particularly from the right hand side. Know who else has some Raw from the Right side? (OF) Conner Bierfeldt. Bierfeldt came on in the 1st after starter Anthony Vega injured himself making a rather nice diving grab. Bierfeldt went on to absolutely demolish a pitch in his first at bat which ended up clearing a shed beyond the LF fence. Bierfeldt likes to wear his pants tight. He has thick, muscular thighs. I'd do the same if I had his legs. #Scouting. (3B) Hector Veloz does not seem to lack for confidence. He is quite comfortable with himself and his perceived abilities. He went 0-3, w/ 2 Ks tonight. But he did it with #Swagger.
Williamsport note: Old friend Gabriel Lino is assigned to them. He looked really good tonight. 2-4, w/ 3 RsBI and a runner thrown out attempting to steal. O's lost a good one in him.
GCL Rays 3, GCL O's 9
Schoop, schoop, schoop, schoopy doop. (2B) Jonathan Schoop continued his GCL rehab tour by going 1-1, w/ 1 BB and a 3 run HR. He'll be back in Norfolk before too long. Probably early next week, at the latest. (CF) Josh Hart may have gone 0-3 at the dish, but he made an impact. After getting HBP he proceeded to steal 2B. And then just went ahead and stole 3B. And then scored a run. Awesome. Recently acquired (OF) Eric Thames is also rehabbing in the GCL. He went 0-3, w/ 2 BBs.
DSL O's: 1 team won, 1 team lost
(CF) Daniel Franco went 1-5, w/ 2 BBs and got picked off. 19 y/o Dominican RHP Jose Rosario pitched 5 innings, yielding just 1 hit while K'ing 6. (CF) Alexander Mercedes went 4-4, w/ a 2B and a 3B. (RF) Rochendrick Alexander went 2-4, w/ 3 RsBI along with an OF Assist. 21 y/o Dominican LHP Wilmer Aquino pitched well: 7IP, 9H, 3ER, 1BB, 7Ks, 7:3 GO:FO.