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Rockies prospect report, 8/27: Doubleheaders, extra innings, and lots of errors

A whole lot of free, not particularly mistake-free, baseball. Chris Volstad pitches well, Raimel Tapia goes yard.


Triple-A Colorado Springs L 2-1, L 10-9 (64-71)

The Sky Sox were swept in a doubleheader yesterday, losing each game by only a single run. The star for the Colorado Springs in the first game was starting pitcher Chris Volstad, who worked eight innings while giving up only one run.  He tied his season high for innings pitched that he set only a week ago.

Ben Paulsen tied the game for the Springs with a solo home run, but that was all of the offense until Las Vegas' Kirk Nieuwenhuis scored on Reid Brignac's error. Reliever Mitchell Boggs took the loss after allowing Nieuwenhuis to double after recording the first two outs.

Chris Schwinden pitched well for the 51's; the only Sky Sox batters able to figure him out were Paulsen and Josh Rutledge. The latter had a 3-for-5 day that brought his average to a healthy .333

In the second game, both teams decided that crossing the plate more would be in their best interest. The two teams combined for the same run total of the first game in the first inning of the nightcap; Colorado Springs took an early 2-1 lead. Las Vegas struck back with a huge third inning, plating 5 runs on a bases loaded walk, a sac fly, and three RBI singles.

The Sky Sox got back within one, mostly off of an error from pitcher Mitch Talbot. Despite scoring nine runs, the only Sky Sox player with more than one RBI was Ben Paulsen, who had four of them and went 1-2 extending his hit streak to eight games and his batting average to .295.

Today, the Sky Sox will send Tyler Chatwood to the mound for a rehab start.

Double-A Tulsa W 8-4 (64-67)

The final home game for Tulsa this season was a nail-biter. Tim Smalling and Kyle Parker led the offense with three hits apiece and Joey Wong added a home run. Delta Cleary Jr. was 1-for-3 but also walked twice and scored twice.

The first seven hitters in the Drillers' lineup each recorded a hit and scored a run with the exception of Tyler Kuhn who did go 1-for-4 with 2 RsBI and a walk, but was unable to cross the plate himself.

Starting pitcher Tyler Matzek posted a line of 5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K. His ERA on the season sits at 3.60. Matzek remains an intriguing prospect for the Rockies and has had a stronger season than many expected. Hopefully this year builds some confidence and he comes back with the confidence to attack the strike zone more regularly.

Matzek and Parker are both fringe candidates to see some September call-up time this season (though much more Parker than Matzek) and both have been performing well during the home stretch of the season.

The total season attendance for Tulsa home games this year was the second highest ever.

High-A Modesto L 5-3 (70-63)

Matt Wessinger led the Nuts offense with a 2-for-4, 2 RBI performance. He also scored a run and had the only extra base hit of the day for Modesto. In fact, the only other Nut to record a hit was Trevor Story who went 1-for-4 and tally the only other RBI the team drove in.

Chris Jensen pitched five innings and gave up five runs, tough only four of them were earned, and he did manage to strike out five while only walking one. Out of the bullpen, Patrick Johnson worked two clean innings, walking only one batter and striking out two. Kraig Sitton also worked a clean inning and the bullpen tandem saw their ERAs drop to 2.84 and 2.94 respectively.

Class-A Tri-City L 7-1 (40-26)

Adrian Houser got roughed up in his start for Tri-City, surrendering six runs, albeit only three of them earned, and departing after just 1.1 innings pitched. His ERA now sits at 2.96.  He was relieved by Randall Fant, who decided not to let the defense be much of a factor; he simply struck out seven batters in five innings pitched.

The ValleyCats were held to six hits total, with Jack Mayfield being the only player to record multiple hits. He also scored the teams only run. No Tri-City player was awarded an RBI in the game.

Rookie Grand Junction W 3-2, L 16-3 (28-35)

The Grand Junction Rockies split their double-header with Helena scoring three runs in each game, which would be just barely enough and then not nearly enough.

Raimel Tapia continued his good play going 1-for-3 with 2 runs scored and a home run, his fifth of the season. His batting average now sits at .367. Cesar Galvis and Ryan McMahon (hitting second and third right behind Tapia) would each go 2-for-4 and McMahon would tally two RsBI and see his season average rise to .307. He also stole his second base of the season.

Big first baseman Correlle "Optimus" Prime grabbed himself a hit and is quietly sitting at .310 on the season, hitting better on the road than at home.  Terry McClure also had a nice game going 1-for-2 (bringing his average to .283) and added a walk and a run scored.

Joel Payamps pitched a solid five innings, giving up only two runs on four hits while striking out three and walking three. Carlos Yan and Dylan Stamey worked three perfect innings to secure the win.

The second game would be a much different story as the Rockies would only manage a grand total of two RsBI, one a piece from Jordan Patterson (who was 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored) and Ryan McMahon (1-for-3.) Cesar Galvis was the only other Rockie with a hit.

Dom Nunez's struggles continue as his average stays around .186. Interestingly, he has a BABIP of .205 and an on base percentage at .267 after another walk in this game. He has found a way to steal 11 bases this season and I know the coaching staff is confident he will come around but right now Dom is simply struggling to find the green. He is still an exciting prospect moving forward but he may just need more seasoning.

The GJ pitching staff had a night to forget starting with the starter (naturally) Helmis Rodriguez. Helmis was only able to get through three innings giving up five runs and walking four while striking out only 2. Rodriguez has had his ups and downs this season and definitely needs to work on consistency moving forward.

Manuel Montilla worked a stealthy two innings of zero run baseball before William Waltrip came in and gave up six runs (only four earned) without recording an out. Scott Firth didn't fare much better giving up five runs (again only four earned) in 0.2 innings pitched and walking three.

Daniel Palo pitched the final 1.1 without further incident and the game was mercifully over for the Rookie pitching staff.