I always feel like celebrating when the entire system from top to bottom get victories on the same night. So I'm going to pop open the champagne here today.
Colorado Springs: W 5-3
Yorvit Torrealba -through no fault of his own, he's the same Yorvit he's always been- seems to be inching closer to being a piece that the Rockies could afford to lose in a trade to help the team by the end of July. Before any of the pilers on scoff at his having any value in that regard thanks to the misery he brings us at the plate, catchers are usually at a premium to begin with, and his September/October last year will have contending teams hoping that strong finishes are just part of his M.O. Plus the huge question that teams had with him in the winter -the health of his shoulder- has been minimized.
At any rate, the reason he's become expendable has more to do with the strong play of Chris Iannetta with the Rockies and of Edwin Bellorin with the Sky Sox. Bellorin went four for four yesteday with two doubles (10 on the year so far) and three runs batted in and picked a runner off second base. That's always an impressive play to me to have enough of a gun to catch somebody drifting from across the diamond. Anyway, he's having his second straight solid season with the Sky Sox.
Ian Stewart hit his fourth triple of the season and at 142 PA's, you can pretty much just quadruple his counting stats to see the kind of pace he's going at: 36 HR's, 16 3B's and 16 2B's. Of course, this would be assuming that his batting average on balls in play stays 43 points lower than it's ever been his career and he doesn't start getting even more hits. It's not going to and he will. Ian's seriously having an excellent season when you look past the batting average.
Tulsa: W 4-2
Daniel Carte went three for three and Chris Nelson hit his ninth double of the year in this win. Tomas Santiago pitched effectively and Casey Weathers showed signs that he's actually moving toward being the power pitcher we drafted with two K's in his perfect inning of work. I've started to pay close attention to the gifted base count (errors, wild pitches, balks, etc...) with Tulsa -sloppy play has been too characteristic of this team this season- and last night was thankfully clean in that regard save an HBP by Santiago.
Modesto: W 4-0
Shane Lindsay continues his teasing, mixing in another brilliant start after two crummy ones. Lindsay went seven innings last night giving up just three hits and a walk and striking out nine. Meanwhile, I don't know where Daniel Mayora's three double night came from, but he needs to have more of them.
Asheville: W 9-3
I haven't spent a lot of time on Sheng An Kuo, partly because I haven't actually had the opportunity to see him pitch yet myself and there's a dearth of information about his pitches in general. Another reason was because three of his first four starts(he did well in his 2008 debut) this season weren't very good:15 2/3 innings with 28 hits, nine walks and fourteen runs allowed in those. In his last three starts, however, he's gone at least seven innings in each, had an exactly 2/1 GB/FB rate on his outs, and that WHIP has gone from a whopping 2.36 in his first four starts to a minuscule 0.96 in his last three. He's not going to be quite this good going forward with his very low K rate, but he could at least be useful to a MLB team if he continues to keep that groundball percentage around the 60% it's been for his career to date.
Brian Rike hit another homerun, a three run shot in the second, and also had an RBI hit in the first inning. The T's offense scored four runs total in each, added their ninth run in the third and then took it easy the rest of the night. Warren Schaeffer wound up with three hits. Rike, Everth Cabrera, Darin Holcomb, David Christensen and Jeff Cunningham had two apiece.