Great Pitching Up and Down the Organization

Drew can't be stopped

Former D'Backs can't get it done for Tucson; Dustin Nippert getting better, stronger, and faster in Tennessee; Another day, another jack for Stephen Drew, but Garrett Mock hardly needed his help; Ross Ohlendorf shelled in South Bend, but the bats of Augie Murillo and Cesar Nicolas keep shining; Extra innings, without extra runs, in both halves of the double dip in Yakima; A Pitching-centric Missoula squad gets it done in Billings.

Tucson 5 @ Salt Lake 7

 

Since Edgar Gonzalez's brief and not terribly impressive stint with the big league club the right hander has struggled in Tucson.  Wednesday Gonzalez didn't pitch poorly but failed in his fourth straight attempt to grab a victory, or even a quality start (at least six innings pitched allowing three runs or less) since his return.  Gonzalez did go six innings, but allowed four runs on four hits and three walks. 

 

Since his demotion Kerry Ligtenberg had been fantastic, posting a 0.93 ERA in nine June appearances, but he too was banged around Wednesday allowing two runs on three hits including a two run homer in the seventh inning.  Ligtenberg took the loss. 

 

The only thing keeping Andy Green from a promotion is a roster spot.  Green was 2-5 with a home run and two runs scored, extending his hitting streak to eight games.  He's now hit in 23 of his last 24 games, and his hitting .345 for the season.

 

All three pitchers (Gonzalez, Ligtenberg, and Brandon Medders) and five of the nine position players the Sidewinders started on Wednesday have spent time with the big league club in the last two years.

 

West Tennessee 2 @ Tennessee 4

 

Dustin Nippert's worst outing of the year came in his last start, when he allowed four runs in five innings.  Not all that bad, but Nippert was visibly frustrated with himself and apparently took Wednesday's start against the Diamond Jaxx as an opportunity to reaffirm his place among the high risers in the D'Backs organization.  Nippert went seven innings, allowing six hits and two earned runs while walking three and striking out seven.  The word around the Southern League was that teams had to stock their lineups with left handed hitters because of Nippert's power curve.  That idea might not be working as well as some had hoped, lefties are hitting just .174 off Nippert on the year.

 

Matt Morgan had been hot (9-19 in his last five) and Jesus Cota had not (4-30 in his last nine) so Morgan got the start at first, but both players contributed.  Morgan reached base twice on Wednesday, going 1-3 with a walk, and Cota came on in the eighth inning as a pinch hitter, singling home  an insurance run.   After he posted a 4-5 night on Tuesday the Diamond Jaxx weren't going to give left fielder Noochie Varner anything to hit last night, and Varner was happy to let them.  Varner recorded only one official at bat, going 0-1, but walked three times and scored a run.  Though the Diamondbacks would like to see his power return Jaime D'Antona certainly filled the role of run producer, going 3-4 with two RBI.

 

On Monday Casey Daigle allowed two runs in a non-save situation, Wednesday Daigle was back in a clutch spot and grabbed the save, allowing a walk and a hit but no runs in the ninth, notching his 11th save of the year.

 

Lancaster 6 @ Lake Elsinore 1

 

Garrett Mock was flat out dominating Wednesday, allowing just four hits and one run as the JetHawks evened the series against the Storm.  Mock, who was coming off his worst start of the season on July 1st,  was in complete control, never allowing more than one hit, or one baserunner in his eight innings of work.  It was the third time this year Mock has gone eight innings.

 

How good is Stephen Drew?  During the seven game hitting streak he extended Wednesday with a 2-4 game that included his third homer in two days, Drew has gone 12-28 with three doubles, a triple, four homers, nine RBI and he's scored in all seven games as well (a total of 10 runs). 

 

One day after having his 10 game hit streak broken Jeff Cook got right back on the horse, going 2-4 with a double and his 12th homer of the year.

 

South Bend 5 @ Burlington 7

 

Ross Ohlendorf lasted just three innings, taking the loss and evening his record at 6-6 on the season.  Ohlendorf gave up 11 hits and five earned runs.  Opponents are hitting .315 off Ohlendorf this season.

 

After back to back poor outings Mark Rosen got back on track, facing the minimum in three innings of work, and Todd Stein finished the contest out, keeping the Silverhawks in the game with two scoreless innings of his own.

 

Augie Murillo extended his hitting streak to a modest five games with his 2-5 night that included a run scored.  Murillo has either driven in, or scored a run in 14 of his last 15...Mark Reynolds was 1-4 with an RBI, but also committed his 22nd error of the year, one of three for the Silverhawks on the evening…center fielder Jereme Milons had two RBI, it was his 10th game with more than one RBI.

 

Yakima 2 @ Vancouver 0  in 10 innings

Yakima 0 @ Vancouver 1  in 8 innings

 

GAME ONE

 

To say that pitching dominated both halves of the double header Wednesday would be a stark understatement.  Right hander Kyle Wright started game one, going five innings of two hit ball, walking only one and striking out seven, Wright has allowed only one earned run in his first three starts, totaling 13 innings.  Next out of the pen was Matt Fowles, who worked two scoreless innings without allowing a hit, Ryan Doherty came on for a scoreless frame, and then Kyler Newby worked the final two innings, earning the win.  In five innings of the work the bullpen allowed only two baserunners, one walk each by Doherty and Newby, while striking out six.

 

Ricardo Sosa broke the tie in the top of the tenth inning, though he was 0-5 on the day his ground ball with runners on first and third couldn't be turned into a double play and the lead run scored.  Two batters later catcher Josh Ford singled up the middle to plate the second run.

 

GAME TWO

 

In game two lefty Shane Dove was also impressive.  The starter worked five scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and striking out six.  Matt Krohe came on and pitched two more scoreless innings, walking two and striking out two as well.  The unlucky Bear on the evening was lefty Craig Pfautz who failed to record an out in the ninth, allowing three straight hits and the winning run.  Despite the second game going eight innings, technically both games were extra inning affairs, and minor league double headers are seven innings each.

 

The Bears managed only two hits on the night, as catcher Manny Del Campo was 1-3, extending his hitting streak to four games, and Josh Ford, starting the second game as the DH, had a double in three trips to the plate.  Ford has hit in all four games he's appeared in this season, and three of his five hits on the year have been doubles.

 

Missoula 5 @ Billings 4

 

Lefty Greg Smith was electric, going six innings and allowing only three hits and one run, the bullpen survived a late charge, and the Osprey prevailed on the road.  Smith walked three, after not issuing more than one free pass in any of his previous three starts, but struck out seven for the second consecutive game.  On the season Smith has thrown 16 innings and allowed only nine hits.  After lefty Vince Davis continued his stellar season with two innings of scoreless work the game was turned over to Dan Pohlman to close things out.

 

Pohlman, drafted last season as a catcher, has been converted to the mound to take advantage of an arm that can rush a fastball up in the mid 90s.  Converting position players to pitchers takes time, and Pohlman is an example of that.  Billings scored three runs on three hits, but Pohlman struck out two and held onto the lead.  It was Pohlman's first outing this season out of the bullpen, after three starts that showed mixed results. 

 

Outfielder Edwin Roman filled the lead off spot for the Osprey on Wednesday and went 3-4 with a run scored and his first RBI of the season.  Roman stole his third base of the season but was also caught stealing for the second time this year. 

 

Third baseman Steve Mena extended his hitting streak to six games with a 2-3 night in which he also scored a run.  Mena has hit in eight of his nine games this season.

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