Colorado Springs: Postponed
Zach Parker seems to get motivated by beating the team he spent most of the 2004-2007 seasons with, as for the second time in the last couple of weeks he tossed a gem against the Drillers. Alan Johnson pitched as effectively for Tulsa, shutting out Frisco for seven innings before a game tying, one-out RBI double by Elvis Andrus in the eighth chased him. Justin Nelson has been having a particularly brutal week on defense, as for the second time in three days a late fielding error by him proved costly, this time allowing the winning run to get on board in the ninth before being doubled in for the walk-off defeat.
Eric Young had three hits, including a double and scored the Drillers only run. Jeff Kindel added a pair of hits as well in the loss.
Modesto: L 1-7
Just like that, Michael McKenry's lucky walk streak disappears as he went zero for four with three strikeouts. Meanwhile, Brandon Durden got knocked around in three innings and the only scoring the Nuts could muster was a Jason Van Kooten solo shot in the third.
Asheville: L 3-6
The Tourists looked great beating up a weak Lexington team on the road last weekend, but since returning home have gone 1-4 against stronger competition. This is not a good sign for the T's hopes of securing a South Atlantic League championship this year. One big reason is that Darin Holcomb's struggling to a .236/.288/.273 line this month, and while he's still making a lot of contact, he 's just not getting squared on pitches of late. I think it might just be a sign of fatigue in his first taste of full-season play, but his slump makes it important to watch how he starts in Modesto in 2009.
Connor Graham had a mixed start. The record shows some pretty hard contact and ten hits off of him in six innings led to five runs, but there are also some positives. The Marlins have a talented offensive squad at Greensboro, with Mike Stanton and Matt Dominguez being elite prospects and a couple of other players being decent ones. Stanton went two for three off Graham with a double and a strikeout, but Dominguez was held hitless with two K's. In all Graham finished with nine strikeouts in six innings and two walks.
Tri-City: L 0-3
The only knock on Christian Friedrich's start last night would be a somewhat out of character flyball rate, but other than that he was just as dominant as usual of late, striking out eight and walking none in five innings, allowing just four hits. Friedrich's 27/2 K/BB ratio for the month of August in just 16 1/3 innings is outpacing even Shane Lindsay's 2005 in terms of K percentage, but with much better control. This kind of pace indicates he's ready to pitch as far up as Modesto right now, which would give him a late 2010 estimate for being ready for the majors.