Colorado Springs: How nice is it to see Todd Helton's name back in a box score? Well, considering how close we were to the Braves these last two days and considering what kind of difference he could have made, I say it's pretty darn nice. Same goes for Ryan Shealy who hit a homerun last night. i'm hoping at least one of the two will be ready to play big league ball by this weekend. Besides all that good news, I just wanted to mention how impressed I've been with Justin Hampson this season, who's working as a spot starter/long relief guy for the Sky Sox. The K rate isn't fabulous, but his WHIP is: only 16 base runners in twenty and a third innings. In the PCL that's saying something. The Sky Sox won over Tacoma, four to two.
Tulsa: When I say the Drillers pounded Midland's Brad Ziegler, I'm understating things. First inning, first batter: Troy Tulowitzki, homerun. Second batter: Seth Smith, homerun. Third batter: Chris Iannetta, homerun. Back to back to back jacks to lead off the game, but then Ziegler got out of it. Second inning, after Jud Thigpen singles and Tulo gets aboard on a force out, Seth Smith comes up and pops his second HR in two innings. Next batter, Chris Iannetta, his second homerun in two innings. Finally after Matt Macri popped a solo shot out in the third, Ziegler was pulled. That's six homeruns allowed in just three innings of work. Talk about a bad day at the office. The Drillers then went on to score three more in the fourth and they needed just about every score as the Rock Hounds fought back but finally came up short, losing ten to eight. U-ball had a fairly rough start but picked up the win anyhow.
Modesto: The Nuts won eight to nothing, with Matt Miller getting two doubles and otherwise fairly even hitting throughout the lineup (except for an odd off-night by Corey Wimberly who went zero for five), but the real story of the night was pitcher Ryan Mattheus who took a no hitter into the eighth before giving up a pair of a single and eventually getting pulled after another double two outs into the ninth. Mattheus finished with eight strikeouts and zero walks, and besides all this especially noteworthy was his fifteen to three GB/FB ratio of balls in play. Outstanding pitching, Mattheus continues to be one of the brighter surprises of the season thus far.
Asheville: Dexter Fowler scored two more runs after reaching on an error and doubling, and had his fourteenth stolen base of the season. Brandon Durden had a very impressive start, going seven, striking out five, and allowing only one run on five hits and two walks, but the Tourists lost late, four to three.