Most of the starters on the Rockies' farm had a pretty good evening Friday, but the most notable had his most disastrous outing yet.
At this point, you have to feel sorry for Christian Friedrich. With each start, his dream of getting back to the majors dies a little more. Last night, he allowed nine runs on nine hits and three walks with four strikeouts in just 2.1 innings of work. The knock on Friedrich since he's gotten to the majors has always been his inability to limit hits despite a decent strike out to walk ratio. That's been far too true this season as he's now allowed 76 hits in just 57 innings of work for the Sky Sox.
The guy who came in to replace Friedrich is now trending in the opposite direction. Wilton Lopez was called in to mop up the mess and he went 3.2 scoreless innings while striking out six. In the last ten days, Lopez has pitched eight innings without allowing a run while striking out 11 and walking zero.
Chris Martin hit a bump in the road in his quest to maintain his status as "next man up" if a spot in the Colorado bullpen opens. Martin allowed two runs in the eighth inning which included a home run. These are the first runs Martin has allowed since being sent down.
Offensively, there wasn't much to speak of for the Sky Sox. The club was held to just five hits and Paul Janish had two of them. Jason Pride also smacked his eighth home run of the season.
There was another great outing from a Tulsa starter on Friday, but this time it wasn't from one of the usual suspects. Richard Castillo pitched six innings of one run baseball while holding the RockHounds to just two hits and one walk. With plenty of support from his offense which scored seven runs in the first four innings, Castillo cruised to his second win of the season while lowering his ERA to 3.67.
The seven Driller runs were a team wide attack. All but one of the Drillers with at least three plate appearances had a hit in this game but nobody had more than two. Christian Adames had the only extra base hit for Tulsa, a double, and he also had the team's only walk.
Modesto used four pitchers in their one run victory over the Ports. Ryan Carpenter got the start, his third of the season, and went five innings while allowing one earned run. In his brief season so far (only three starts) the 23-year-old has a 2.20 ERA. The bullpen work behind him was extremely impressive as Nate Striz, Shane Broyles, and Rayan Gonzalez tossed four scoreless innings with eight strikeouts and no walks.
The Nuts' offense didn't score often but they did score enough. Matt Wessinger got them on the board with a game tying two run shot in the sixth and Australian David Kandilas knocked in the winning run an inning later. Chris O'Dowd notched a pair of hits to keep his quietly solid season going and Patrick Valaika prevented a third straight hitless game with a single.
A four run Asheville seventh was the key to this game. The Tourists sent eight men to the plate and half of them scored in what was previously a 1-0 pitcher's duel. Zach Osborne walked to lead things off, Raimel Tapia then drew another walk, and Wilfredo Rodriguez singled them both home two batters later. Then Ashley Graeter belted his fourth homer of the season to left field for what would turn out to be the winning runs.
Raimel Tapia had the best day offensively as he was on base in all four of his plate appearances with three hits (two singles and a double) and the aforementioned walk in the seventh. Tapia now has an .881 OPS for the month of May after posting just a .616 OPS in April. It's safe to say he's heating up.
The other player who was excellent in this game for the Tourists was on the mound. Johendi Jiminian went seven beautiful innings allowing just one run on three hits while striking out four and only walking two. The 21-year-old out of the Dominican Republic has been better than his overall numbers appear. He's had one stinker outing where he allowed seven runs on May 14th, but in the other ten starts, he has a 2.25 ERA.
Sky Sox: Pedro Hernandez (3-1, 5.98)
Drillers: Eddie Butler (4-4, 2.39)
Nuts: Ryan Kulik (2-0, 3.75)
Tourists: Zach Jemiola (4-5, 7.19)
(The Dominican Summer League also starts today but I don't see any starters listed)