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Saturday Pebble Report:

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Okay, first of all, as for Thursday's games, I've got to mention Jeff Francis' strong rehab outing wherein he led Tuls to a shutout. Other than that, you had another bad outing by Christian Friedrich and Eric Wetzel's four hit game at Tri-City, but nothing else that was particularly noteworthy other than Modesto using two wins the last two days to erase gains made by Stockton and San Jose in the five game stretch prior to that and maintain control of a potential playoff spot. 

As for yesterday,:

Colorado Springs: L 3-4

Christian Colonel hit a two run homer in the eighth to close the gap, but there just wasn't enough offense to support an okay outing by Josh Hall

Tulsa: L 7-8

Chris Nelson returned to Tulsa with a double, and three players who had seen their averages dip below .300 this summer (Jeff Kindel, Corey Wimberly and Eric Young Jr) inched closer back to that mark with multi-hit games. Other than Ryan Mattheus, the pitching wasn't really there for the Drillers, but a high score and nine extra base hits for the two teams combined says that maybe they can take some solace in that park conditions probably weren't helping them any.

Modesto: W 4-3

Chacin the machine used his five innings well, striking out five. He had his usual phenomenal 11/3 GB/FB rate on contact. One of those three FB's was a homer and another a double, but other than those two mistakes it was another great showing. Van Kooten, Mayora, Paulk, Ferrante and Haley all had two hit games in the win.

Ashevile: W 4-2, W 4-2

Not quite deja vu other than the score in this double header sweep. In the first game, Mr. Everything Joey Williamson got the win after starting for the second time this season pitching five innings and allowing just one run on four hits. I don't know if I can remember the Rockies ever having a minor league swing man as effective as he's been for Asheville this season. Wins and losses are obviously flawed statistics, but it's interesting to note that Williamson remains undefeated as a professional as he's compiled a 9-0 record between Tri-City and Asheville. I really hope he continues this success as he progresses through the system. Game two saw Robinson Fabian pick up the win thanks largely to a rare Brian Lapin homerun (2 on the season) that happened to come with a pair of Tourists on base.

Tri-City: L 3-5

Charlie Blackmon had three hits Thursday and three more last night to take over the the Northwest League's lead in that department with 58 in just 40 games. Without significant power showing up, however, it's still hard to place him as a prospect. He's only walked eight times, and while his strikeout rate isn't high, it's not particularly low for a guy who's making his living off of slapping out mostly singles and a few doubles right now. As always, there's still a lot that can change (and as always, I fully expect people to read this and think I'm being too harsh or whatever) but right now, there's just not enough to get excited about here. Consider the Padres' Luis Durango, who led the Northwest League in hits last season. What makes Blackmon any better?

Casper: W 2-1

Jeff Fischer and Isaiah Froneberger combined to shut down Ogden, which is good because their offense was almost equally silenced. All three runs by both teams were scored in the fifth inning. Tyler Massey doubled and scored one of Casper's two, Zack Murry then got plunked and scored the other as one of only two Ghosts (Alex Feinberg was the other) to reach base safely more than once. Shane Lowe doubled in Massey, a groundout by Feinberg scored Murry.