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White Sox Minor League Update: August 2, 2019

Let’s not talk about the Knights tonight

Luis Robert homered: And nothing else happened in Charlotte, moving on ...
Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights

Gwinnett Stripers 17, Charlotte Knights 4

Kelvin Herrera: 1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 0 K (L, 0-1)
Hunter Schryver: 2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
Luis Robert (CF): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K **MVP**
Nick Madrigal (2B): 1-for-3, 1 RBI
Zack Collins (1B): 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K
Yermín Mercedes (C): 0-for-4, 2 K, 1 E, 1 PB
Trey Michalczewski (3B): 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 E

This, you know, this, baseball, it’s, baseball is a hard game. It’s hard to be good at.

A day that started with Alcides Escobar released and apparently salty about it only got worse. Kelvin Herrera pitched one inning in his rehab start with the Knights, and it started off with a home run, then a single, then another home run. Four runs total would score in the inning. Justin Nicolino, a regular Knights starter, went three innings and gave up seven runs (five earned). Connor Walsh gave up four runs in his inning of work. Hunter Schryver gave up two over two innings. Colton Turner was the only Charlotte pitcher untouched, striking out one and giving up no hits, runs, or walks in his inning.

Yermín Mercedes has played at both third and first base recently, and playing in his normal position of catcher today, made an error and had a passed ball. Nick Madrigal grounded into a double play, with the other out made by Luis Robert, something that will probably not happen all that often. Madrigal knocked in a run with that double play and also with a sacrifice fly. The only other run came off the bat of Robert, who annihilated a baseball into next week in the seventh, the beginning and end of a comeback. Robert is batting .349 over his last 10 games, and has a season slash line of .346/.401/.636. This is just kind of who he is.

Birmingham Barons 8, Pensacola Blue Wahoos 5

Matt Tomshaw: 6 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 WP (W, 5-5)
Codi Heuer: 1 ⅔ IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K (S, 6)
Luis Alexander Basabe (CF): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
Blake Rutherford (RF): 1-for-3, 1 R, 2 RBI
Gavin Sheets (1B): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K **MVP**
Zach Remillard (SS): 0-for-2, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 K
Laz Rivera (2B): 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 HBP

Matt Tomshaw’s quality start was not quite up to his usual seven inning, zero runs standard, but it was good enough to get the Barons to a win. Tomshaw now has thrown 75 innings in Birmingham this season, striking out 86 and walking only nine; his WHIP is 0.95. Danny Dopico ran into a rare stumbling block, giving up two runs and walking three over his inning and a third, and Codi Heuer allowed zero runs but two hits and a walk while striking out one in an inning and two thirds. Both relievers are having career years, Dopico with a 2.45 ERA (2.62 FIP entering this game), Heuer’s ERA at 2.41 (FIP of 2.57 entering today).

The Barons did not have a baserunner themselves until Zach Remillard, newly promoted Dash shortstop, walked to lead off the sixth. Alfredo González walked to follow, so the Barons were still hitless until two batters later, when Luis Basabe doubled both of them in. Blake Rutherford singled in Basabe, and Gavin Sheets hit his 14th home run, an absolute bomb that gave him 70 RBI on the season. Over 101 games, he’s batting .274/.346/.422. Rutherford would add a sac fly to score Laz Rivera in the eighth, Damek Tomscha homered in the ninth, and Rivera singled in Remillard later that inning.

Carolina Mudcats 2, Winston-Salem Dash 1

Kade McClure: 6 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 1 HBP (L, 2-3)
Andrew Perez: 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Will Kincanon: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 WP
Steele Walker (DH): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 K **MVP**
Mitch Roman (3B): 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Andrew Vaughn (1B): 1-for-4, 1 K
Johan Cruz (SS): 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 BB
Tate Blackman (2B): 1-for-3, 1 K, 1 E

Dash pitching gutted through a baserunner-heavy, low-run game, but it wasn’t enough and they lost 2-1 to the Mudcats. Kade McClure continued throwing down zeroes for the club, zeroes here meaning twos, the point being that McClure tends to pitch very well and only gave up two runs over six innings tonight. Andrew Perez escaped a precarious two-on, one-out situation with no runs scoring, and Will Kincanon allowed the leadoff runner to reach in both innings he pitched, but stranded him both times, including when he struck out the side in the ninth.

The Dash turned a triple play in the first inning and it was very exciting!!! You can tell, because of the four exclamation marks I have used. Steele Walker then hit a triple to lead off the first, and scored on Mitch Roman’s single. The rest of the night was pretty quiet for them, unless we’re counting the decibels off Andrew Vaughn’s bat, in which case the rest of the night was extremely loud but only 25% fruitful. Vaughn grounded out a few times, including into a double play, but did single on a grounder in the eighth (and then was himself erased on a double play).

Kannapolis Intimidators 6, Columbia Fireflies 4 — Game One

Bernardo Flores: 3 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
Devon Perez: 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K
Ian Dawkins (CF): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 2 K
Lenyn Sosa (SS): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI **MVP**
Romy Gónzalez (LF): 3-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B
Corey Zangari (1B): 1-for-4, 1 K
Cameron Simmons (RF): 2-for-4, 1 R, 2 SB
Amado Nuñez (DH): 1-for-4, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 CS

Kannapolis Intimidators 3, Columbia Fireflies 1 — Game Two

Sam Long: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K (W, 5-4)
JB Olson: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (S, 2)
Ian Dawkins (CF): 0-for-2, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Romy Gónzalez (LF-RF): 1-for-3, 2 RBI, 1 SB
Amado Nuñez (1B-2B): 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI **MVP**

This was the resumption of a suspended game from last night that was called after three innings with the score tied, so it was basically a whole new ballgame today. The rehabbing Bernardo Flores got the start and gave up three straight hits to start the game, induced a double play, then gave up two more hits before getting out of the inning, down 3-0. The Intimidators didn’t reach quite as many times, but still matched the run output: Ian Dawkins hit his 31ST double to lead the inning off, then Camilo Quinteiro walked, then Lenyn Sosa hit home run number five to tie it up. They added a couple more in the sixth, Romy Gónzalez with his 19th double, advancing to third on Cameron Simmon’s single, both scoring on Amado Nuñez’s single. Their final run came while Simmons grounded into a double play.

Devon Perez, technically relieving Flores, was incredibly effective, allowing just one baserunner in five full innings pitched, that one a walk and not a hit. Austin Conway, who has given up five earned runs in 23 innings for a 1.96 ERA, striking out 33, gave up one of those five runs in his one inning of work, but still secured a game one victory for the Intimidators.

Game two was a low-output affair for both teams, the Fireflies ending with three hits and the I’s with just two. Those two were enough for the victory, though, one a solo shot off the bat of Amado Nuñez, his seventh, and the other two both scoring on a Gónzalez single in the sixth (Dawkins walked and Quinteiro reached on a bunt error (some might say the bunt was the error, ha-ha! I am some)). On the mound, Sam Long shut it down, allowing three hits over six innings and one unearned run after a fourth-inning error by Michael Hickman, normally a catcher but today playing first base. JB Olson struck out the side to finish the seven-inning game.

Great Falls Voyagers/Missoula Ospreys - suspended (rain)

Cassie and Marco both use an osprey as their main bird morph in the Animorphs series.

AZL Athletics Gold 10, AZL White Sox 3

Hector Acosta: 2 ⅔ IP, 6 H, 5 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
Harold Díaz (2B): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 K
José Rodríguez (SS): 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 K, 2 E **MVP**
Bryan Ramos (DH): 0-for-2, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Logan Glass (RF): 0-for-4, 2 K
Sidney Pimentel (1B): 1-for-4, 3 K
Victor Torres (C): 1-for-4, 1 E
Misael González (CF): 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 CS, 1 E

Things could have gone better for the AZL Sox tonight, perhaps by making fewer than six errors. Only half of their 10 runs allowed were earned. Starter Hector Acosta exited after getting two outs in the third; he gave up five runs, but his ERA will only be inflated by one. Yoelvin Silven pitched three and a third, giving up four hits and one run (unearned) while walking none and striking out four. Nick Silva, whom I will definitely, uh, never mix up with Silven, pitched one scoreless. Tyson Messer gave up four runs in two thirds of an inning, despite giving up no hits, and despite one of his first two walks of the inning erased by a double play. He walked three more after that, and Mac Welsh came on and allowed a triple to clear the bases, but allowed no runs of his own.

The AZL squad picked up six hits to match their error total tonight. Their first run scored not on a hit but on a DJ Gladney double play. Harold Díaz scored in the sixth on a wild pitch. Bryan Ramos drove in Misael González with a sac fly in the eighth. José Rodríguez was the only player with a multi-hit game, scoring on Gladney’s double play; González reached twice, a single and a walk; Díaz, Sidney Pimentel, and Victor Torres also singled.

DSL Reds 10, DSL White Sox 6

Homer Cruz: 4 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
José Jiménez: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP
Anthony Espinoza (3B): 1-for4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 CS
Yolbert Sánchez (SS): 0-for-1, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 CS
Benyamin Bailey (LF): 1-for-5, 1 K, 1 E
Johnabiell Laureano (CF): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 BB **MVP**
Roberth Gutierrez (RF): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, BB, 1 K
Wilber Sánchez (2B): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K

Homer Cruz has been one of the DSL squad’s most reliable starting pitchers, but he’s now had back-to-back rough starts to lower the Sox’s still-much-better-than-last-year’s record to 29-24. Erick Perez, one of the DSL squad’s most reliable relief pitchers, also performed below his personal par, giving up three runs (two earned) over three and two thirds innings. Daneuris Lagrange only managed one out but gave up three hits and two runs. José Jiménez pitched one scoreless inning; the 16-year-old lefty has only appeared in five games this season and is working off some poor outings, and this was a good start to that.

Yolbert (which I initially mistyped as “Yoblert” and then embarrassed myself by laughing out loud in a public place) Sánchez was ejected in the fifth inning after striking out looking, but drew two walks before that. Benyamin Bailey is in the biggest slump of his professional career, batting .226 over his last 10 games, and hit just .319/.510/.449 in July. His overall line has slid down to a mere .342/.503/.445. He went 1-for-5 today with a single, and made his second error in the outfield in the span of about a week. Johnabiell Laureano scored two runs, one on a wild pitch and one on Roberth Gutierrez’s eighth-inning single. He also hit a double, the only extra-base hit the DSL Sox were able to scrounge up.