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Thursday Pebble Report

Colorado Springs: W 11-4

Ths Sky Sox broke their two game losing streak to the 51's by hammering out seventeen hits, and had ten more baserunners via walk or HBP. They've been playing in two very offense friendly parks for these first two series -Tucson and Las Vegas- so I'm not sure how much stock to put into performances thus far, but the initial numbers are encouraging. Ian Stewart and Edwin Bellorin both homered and drove in four (all of Stewie's RBI came on his fourth inning grand slam). Six of Ian's ten hits on the year have gone for extra bases. Bellorin finished with four hits, Stewart with two plus two walks. Seth Smith, Jonathan Herrera and Cory Sullivan each also had multiple hit games.

The Sky Sox official site has an interesting two part series on hitting coach Rene Lachemann, part one can be found here, and the recently added part two may be found here. The Sky Sox are now four and three on the year, three games behind the undefeated Salt Lake City Bees.

Tulsa: off

I mentioned Alan Johnson's strong start yesterday, but didn't include a link to this 20 questions piece on Skeeter at the Drillers site. At any rate, after a travel day, Tulsa's set to make their Drillers Stadium home debut tonight. The team's in talks with the city to move downtown from its current fairgrounds home, so take advantage of the dwindling opportunities to see the team in their current yard if you're in the area. Tulsa's currently 2-4 and yet tied for first, as the TL's North Division continues to be the weaker sibling it appears. The Tulsa World has taken notice of the team's speed, and sees that Corey Wimberly, EY2, Dexter Fowler and company have a chance to break a couple of thirty year old records.

Modesto: W 4-0

The Nuts are coming around, winning their third straight on the strength of an awesome Aneury Rodriguez outing. Rodriguez struck out eight and allowed just three hits in six innings to pick up the victory. Rodriguez was followed by the as usual excellent work of James Burok, Tommy Baumgardner and Will Harris (Harris actually walked somebody? Strange.) Nuts pitchers now have a 26 inning goose-egg streak heading into tonight's game against the Stockton Ports. Oy. The Stockton Ports, didn't Modesto just play them? This isn't a good prescription to get the team's batting woes fixed, let's hope the Modesto pitchers have a few more zeroes in them. That blog link, btw, makes an important point about how the Giants run their minor league system that those new to watching the minor leagues should take note of. The Rockies go head to head with Giants prospects in four of their six minor league affiliations, and usually the Giants team will have a better record than our team. This isn't typically because they have better prospects (note- their SAL Augusta affiliate makes a probable exception this year) but instead because they use older guys to take advantage against the relative inexperience of other teams in the leagues they play in. I'll believe they've changed this practice when I actually see it. Anyway, Modesto's now 4-3 and a game behind Visalia in their division.

Asheville: W 11-3

Every now and then, somebody's stats pop out at me and I wonder why I never noticed them before. Today, Joey Williamson is that guy. Maybe I didn't want to notice him because he's from Notre Dame, maybe it was because he was a thirty-sixth round pick in 2007, but his fastball-slider combo is driving some impressive K rates thus far in his professional career. Yesterday he had his first start and struck out eight in four innings and now has thirteen K's in seven total innings this year, and he has yet to give up a run. Williamson started in place of Cory Riordan, no word yet on why (I'll let you know if I hear anything) but with more outings like yesterday, Joey may need more of a look.

Brian Rike continues to be a driving force for the Tourist offense, he hit his team leading third HR (two have been away from McCormick Field) yesterday. Everth Cabrera had three hits, a walk and scored three times. He hit his first HR of the year. Cabrera's OBP remains a sky-high .630 on the season and he's got a five to one SB ratio. I think he's becoming national revelation number two for the Tourists this year. Kevin Clark and Jeff Cunningham both also had three hits yesterday. Asheville's now six and one and tied for the division lead. Jason McGill has more on yesterday's game at his blog (and muchas gracias for the plug, btw) as well as everything else Asheville Tourist-y.