Kyle Kubat: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K (W, 4-1)
Nick Madrigal (2B): 4-for-6, 3 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K
Luis Robert (CF): 4-for-5, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB **MVP**
Daniel Palka (RF): 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
Zack Collins (C): 2-for-5, 1 R, 2B, 1 K, 1 E
Yermín Mercedes (DH): 3-for-5, 2 2B, 4 RBI
Seby Zavala (1B): 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K
Danny Mendick (3B): 3-for-5, 1 R
A very normal day in Charlotte for the Knights here, who totaled 23 hits, one home run, one triple, eight doubles, one stolen base, three double plays, and one excellent extra-base-robbing catch. They went 11-for-26 with runners in scoring position (there are nine innings in a baseball game, for reference). Join me on this mystical journey to recap how all 15 runs scored.
First inning: Nick Madrigal hits an infield single to start the inning and advances to second on a throwing error on the same play. Luis Robert singles him to third, then steals second base. Daniel Palka singles them both in, because they are very fast. Zack Collins singles Palka to third. Yermín Mercedes, professional DH, singles in Palka, then the Knights go down on three straight outs (it looks like Collins was caught off third on a ball in the dirt that had wild pitch potential, but… didn’t). 3-0 Knights.
Third inning: Robert singles, Palka doubles him in. With two outs, Seby Zavala doubles, scoring Palka, then Charlie Tilson hits a double of his own to drive in Zavala. 6-0 Knights.
Fifth inning: With two outs, Zavala hits his 18th home run. Tilson singles. Danny Mendick singles. Ramón Torres singles, scoring Tilson. Madrigal singles, scoring Mendick. Pitching change! Robert doubles, scoring Torres and Madrigal. He advances to third on a wild pitch, but is left there to languish. 11-0 Knights.
Luis Robert doubles scoring Madrigal. 10-0. Robert needs just a HR for the cycle. pic.twitter.com/nUQ4JRUI8z— Jonathan Lee (@followmefor3) August 14, 2019
Sixth inning: Collins doubles. Mercedes doubles him in. 12-0 Knights.
Seventh inning: With one out, Madrigal singles, Robert walks, and Palka walks. Collins strikes out, then Mercedes hits his second double of the game to score Madrigal and Robert (both fast). 14-0 Knights.
Eighth inning: Tilson walks. Mendick singles him over a base. Torres strikes out. Madrigal doubles, driving in Tilson. 15-0, Knights.
Now he's just showing off.— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 14, 2019
Not only did he rob extra-bases with a leaping catch in left center, but Luis Robert hit one to almost the same spot and picked up a triple.
The #WhiteSox prospect is a homer shy of the cycle in the sixth inning. pic.twitter.com/B4qTKdHBgi
Robert was a home run away from the cycle. Much handwringing was done about the recent descent of his batting average from far above .300 to just slightly below .300, but it has arisen anew above that benchmark (.315/.372/.629), and so has Mercedes’ (.310/.385/.636), and so has Madrigal’s (.302/.367/.326) for good measure (his average jumped almost 60 points). Torres was the only Knights starter without more than one hit (just an RBI single today, dropping his Charlotte average to .560 in six games at the level). Madrigal struck out for the first time in Triple-A, and we assume he’ll wake up in the dark of night tonight to a sunglasses-and-suit-clad Sox higher-up, smoking a cigarette, whispering “never again.”
Anticlimactically, Kyle Kubat pitched very well, his best start yet for the Knights. Matt Foster threw two scoreless innings. Zach Thompson allowed a two-out ninth inning home run that failed to materialize into a comeback. This is what the RailRiders get for having a dash, forward slash, AND mid-word capitalized letter in their name.
Lincoln Henzman: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP (W, 3-6)
Luis González (CF): 2-for-5, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 SB
Joel Booker (LF): 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 RBI
Blake Rutherford (RF): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
Gavin Sheets (1B): 2-for-5, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI
Damek Tomscha (DH): 1-for-5, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 1 K **MVP**
Ti’Quan Forbes (3B): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Laz Rivera (2B): 2-for-4
Oh, there was other baseball played today, too. Like their North Carolinian brethren, the Barons laid down a beating on their opponent, crushing the Braves 8-1 and outhitting them 15-5. Every starter got a hit, and six had two hits. Again like the Knights, the Barons scored three in the first, coming on the strength of a Luis González double, Joel Booker RBI single, Gavin Sheets RBI double (still holding onto the Southern League RBI crown), and Damek Tomscha RBI triple. Two more came in the fourth, which opened with three straight singles, Ti’Quan Forbes, Zach Remillard, and Alfredo González; Luis G. contributed an RBI groundout. In the fifth, Blake Rutherford singled and later scored on Damek Tomscha’s groundout. They added two final runs in the ninth, L. González doubling again to open the inning, Booker singling him to third, and Rutherford’s sacrifice fly driving him in. Sheets hit another double as well to advance Booker to third, and Tomscha again grounded out to drive in a run.
Lincoln Henzman, who’s been struggling, threw a much-needed quality start; he ran into trouble in the fourth, loading the bases with nobody out, but only allowed one run to score, that coming on a sac fly. Luis Martinez tossed two scoreless, and Kodi Medeiros’ Bullpen Renaissance (my new band) continues, striking out one in a perfect ninth. Zach Remillard made a nice play, which was captured by the world’s most high-definition potato:
Zach Lewis: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 4 HBP, 1 WP, 1 E
Will Kincanon: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Steele Walker (CF): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
Tyler Frost (DH): 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 K **MVP**
Andrew Vaughn (1B): 2-for-3, 1 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB
Jameson Fisher (LF): 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 SB
Tate Blackman (2B): 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 E
This was a pretty low-key game that the Dash were losing, until the eighth inning, when they erupted for five runs, all with two outs. In fact, they didn’t have their first baserunner of the inning until there were two outs; Roman, Cruz, and Blackman all walked, loading the bases, then Steele Walker was hit by a pitch to force in a run. Tyler Frost, having a big game back in his return from the Injured List, singled in two runs, and Andrew Vaughn hit his second double of the night to drive in two more (and put his Dash slash at .275/.392/.475). His first double came back in the fourth, and he would later score on Jameson Fisher’s 28th of the year. Frost was also in on the double madness, driving in a run in the seventh. Craig Dedelow threw a runner out at the plate.
Zach Lewis only walked one, but clearly something in the control department was lacking, as he hit three batters with a pitch (with three different pitches, of course, hitting them all with just one pitch would be ridiculous, baseball is a serious game) and threw one wild pitch. He also made an error on a pickoff throw, and although it didn’t really come back to bite him, Johan Cruz’s error in the fifth did and led to an unearned run. José Nin earned the win with two scoreless innings, and Jake Elliott and Will Kincanon gave up zero runs in their respective innings as well.
Sam Long: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP **MVP**
Devon Perez: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K
Ian Dawkins (CF): 1-for-4
Lenyn Sosa (SS): 0-for-4, 3 K
Alex Destino (RF): 1-for-4
Tyler Osik (1B): 1-for-3, 1 K
Gunnar Troutwine (C): 1-for-3, 1 K
Corey Zangari (DH): 0-for-3, 1 K
Everybody Loses, and teams that play the now 71-48 Greensboro Grasshoppers lose pretty frequently (71 times, actually). This was a forgettable one for the Intimidators, who scrounged up four hits, all singles, did not walk once, and, in fact, grounded into a double play after Ian Dawkins’ ninth-inning single. They had two baserunners on at once in the second, Tyler Osik and Gunnar Troutwine both singling with one out, but failed to even advance them. The only other hit was Alex Destino’s leadoff single in the fourth.
Sam Long gave up two runs in the first inning (including one on a double steal of home) but pitched well after that; as a starter, he’s kind of a feast or famine type guy, but this one was a solid brunch. Devon Perez struck out four in two scoreless innings. Declan Cronin struck out one in a perfect eighth. Austin Conway walked two, but also struck two out in the ninth.
Avery Weems: 5 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HBP (L, 2-2)
Rigo Fernandez: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
Harvin Mendoza (1B): 0-for-3, 1 BB, 2 K
Luis Curbelo (3B): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 K **MVP**
Sam Abbott (DH): 1-for-4, 2 K
Ivan González (C): 1-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K
Anderson Comas (LF): 0-for-4, 1 RBI, 3 K
Jonathan Allen (CF): 1-for-3, 1 K
Avery Weems turned in a rare lackluster start and the Voyagers’ bats matched that energy, striking out 18 times. This was the first time in 10 professional starts that Weems has allowed more than two earned runs; in six of those starts, he hasn’t allowed a single earned run at all (just one unearned run in those six). The 22-year-old lefty definitely might be Somebody, but even Somebody pitches like a nobody sometimes; it happens to everybody. Nick Johnson allowed three meaningless runs to score in two innings of work. Allen Beer has strung together five straight scoreless innings. Rigo Fernandez is still working off a one-inning, seven-run performance from back in late June, but he’s pitched well other than that notable event and in 17 ⅔ innings since June, he’s allowed only three earned runs, walking eight and striking out 20. He struck out the side in the ninth tonight.
Truly, it was an absurd night for Voyager strikeouts; Vibes starter Carlos Luna struck out 11 in six innings, and reliever Brady Schanuel struck out all six he faced over two innings. Taylor Floyd only struck out one, pitching the ninth, and perhaps it isn’t coincidence that the lone Voyagers run scored in that inning. Luis Curbelo singled for the second time today to open the frame, Sam Abbott singled him to second, and Ivan González grounded them both over a base. Anderson Comas drove Curbelo in on a groundout, but it was too little, too late and the Voyagers drop to 21-30.
Andrew Dalquist: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB
Trey Jeans: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
Samil Polanco (SS): 1-for-4
Bryce Bush (RF): 0-for-2, 1 K
Anthony Coronado (PH-RF): 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K **MVP**
Micker Adolfo (DH): 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 BB
DJ Gladney (3B): 0-for-4, 4 K, 1 E
Misael González (CF): 1-for-3, 2 K
This year’s third-round draft pick, Andrew Dalquist, made his much-anticipated debut for the AZL squad tonight in their eventual 5-1 loss to their Dodgers counterpart. Dalquist, who will turn 19 in November, threw one scoreless inning, giving up a single, stolen base, and walk, but inducing contact for all three outs. Hector Acosta took over and pitched four innings for the loss, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits. Tyson Messer pitched a clean sixth, and Trey Jeans struck out three over two perfect innings.
It was a light-hitting day for the Sox, who only picked up four hits. The only one that really mattered was Anthony Coronado’s two-out, ninth inning home run; Coronado took over for Bryce Bush, who played two rehab games over a week ago and went hitless in his third tonight. Micker Adolfo is still hanging around, also rehabbing, and he doubled and walked. It was a rough game for Jakob Goldfarb, who made two errors behind the plate, and DJ Gladney, who made an error and also struck out four times.
Homer Cruz: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K (W, 4-4)
Wilber Sánchez (2B): 1-for-4, 1 R, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 SB
Yolbert Sánchez (SS): 0-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 SB, 1 E
Benyamin Bailey (DH): 0-for-5, 1 R
Matthew Mercedes (1B): 1-for-5, 2 RBI, 1 K
Johnabiell Laureano (LF): 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
Jhoneiker Betancourt (C): 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI **MVP**
Roberth Gutierrez (CF): 1-for-4, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 1 BB
Homer’s been solid all season, running into some struggles recently, but was in Cruz control for the victory today. He only allowed two hits to the DSL Blue Jays, and Francisco Benitez and Edgar Navarro behind him gave up none, also walking none, to completely shut them down. Until a Navarro HBP with two outs in the ninth, the Jays did not reach base after a one-out walk in the third.
The DSL Sox tied it in the fourth, took the lead in the seventh, then scored seven unnecessary but welcome runs in the eighth and ninth to seal the deal. Most of these came in typical DSL fashion (Walks! Errors! Poorly-executed fielder’s choices!). Jhoneiker Betancourt had a strong day at the plate, singling in a run in the fourth and safely grounding into a poorly-executed fielder’s choice for a run in the eighth. Roberth Gutierrez hit a triple; Johnabiell Laureano and Lazaro Leál both doubled. The losing pitcher, giving up one run in two innings of work, was José Quintana.