Zach Simons continues to befuddle the Northwest League
Tri City: Sandy Almonte homered twice, including a two out grand slam in the sixth inning and Michael Paulk added a solo shot to give Zach Simons plenty of support. Table setters Christopher Frey and Jason Van Kooten also helped tremendously, getting on base four out of six times each.
For his part, Simons reverted back to the low strikeout, yet still effective pitcher he's been much of the year, allowing only four hits and two walks in six innings of work. That six innings now gives him the temporary lead in IP in the NWL and his stats (particularly his H/9IP and HR/9IP) have been fairly impressive even without the high K totals. His ERA is now eighth in the league, and of those ranked ahead of him, only teammate Shane Lindsay is as young as he is at twenty - all the others are at least two years older. Whether what makes Simons' pitches work so well at this level translates as he climbs has yet to be seen, but so far his results are very promising.
Asheville: It was a fairly ineffective outing for both starting pitchers, but Ryan Mattheus was slightly less effective than Jeff Allison as the Tourists lost to Greensboro. Trevor Allen has been slumping after starting off alright once he was called up from Casper, but he did hit his first SAL homerun last night.
Modesto: Starter Larry Robles gave the Nuts a deficit their offense couldn't handle, despite a scrappy comeback. Jonathan Herrera had a couple of hits and a walk leading off and Seth Smith and Christian Colonel provided some pop, but the rally fizzled and the Nuts lost yet again.
Tulsa: For the second start in a row, Zach Parker had a fairly effective outing nullified by no run support, even though Joe Koshansky got his first hit as a Driller. Clint Barmes didn't play, I'm not sure exactly why (is he headed to the Springs already?)
Colorado Springs: The Sky Sox offense is anchored by the three Jeffs (Baker, Pickler and Salazar) and the two Ryans (Shealy and Spilborghs) last night it was the J's time to shine as the two twenty-four year olds (Baker and Salazar each had a pair of hits in three AB's. One of Jeff Baker's two hits was a double, but his line is still far too like Eddy Garabito's to make me comfortable for a supposed power hitter. I know some of this is attributable perhaps to a continuing struggle with his thumb, but Salazar is only two extra base hits behind, despite playing in seven fewer games.
Zach Day pitched fairly well for the second outing in a row, and might be ready to challenge for a spot in the rotation next time around.