Transactions: (RHP) Matt Hardy was added to Biloxi from Nashville, (Catcher) Alex Jackson recalled from Triple-A Nashville (Congrats, Alex!)
Carolina Pre-Game Media Notes
Final: Carolina, Down East (Rangers) Postponed
Box Score / Game Log - None
This game can be summarized by an Eduardo Garcia HBP and an inning-ending double-play ball by Jeferson Quero. With Ryne Moore taking the mound ready to rip, the rains swept in, and the tarps were pulled over the field. This one was postponed, much to my chagrin. They'll pick up this game as an 8 1/2 inning affair, I believe, as a doubleheader this Friday. Stay tuned.
Via the Timber Rattlers' site, game details, please review:
Chiefs Take Series Opener 3-1 - Miller Homers for Wisconsin
A Note to Readers: With the Timber Rattlers back on the road, we will miss out on their incredible media coverage during their home games. Please, never take this for granted and indulge when you can.
The Timber Rattlers came into this knock with Peoria leading the entire Midwest League in stolen bases with 29. Additionally, their 11-4 start matched organizational best records, through 15 games, of teams in 1998; 1998; and 2005 - all three made the playoffs. Where did I discover these incredible tidbits? The 'Pre-Game Notes' listed above are always worth your while. I can't impart this 'wisdom' enough: We re-hash and give you the bird's eye view of these contests, but the best information comes from the teams themselves. Please dive in and enjoy!
The name of the game in this outing for talented left-handed hurler Russell Smith was pounding the zone. Unlike his last start, Russ threw ahead in most counts and pounded that strike zone early and often. Through four efficient innings, Smith had retired eight straight and punched out six to a tune of merely two hits. This is what we were looking for after the struggle in his last outing in miserably cold and windy weather in Appleton. He was aided by two very nice defensive plays from Ethan Murray in the bottom half of inning number two when he stabbed a grounder for a double play and then snagged a hard-hit liner to end the inning. However, by the end of the fifth inning, he ran into his only real trouble of his outing. He surrendered a run on a double and then walked a batter to put runners on first and second with two down. His night was over at 88 total pitches, and the score knotted one.
Further Viewing Notes:
- After Smith left the game in the bottom of the fifth, Zach Mort made the first relief appearance. On a 2-0 pitch, Zach threw a beanball and loaded the bases. As Pete Campbell would opine: "Not great, Bob!" Facing his next batter, with a 2-2 count, he caught too much of the plate on a pitch middle and slightly to the outside portion of the plate and surrendered an opposite-field single: T-Rats trailed 1-3. An unfair ending to Russ's otherwise stellar outing as he inherited those runs.
- After the original HBP and single given up by Mort, he closed the game going 3 1/3 innings without incurring further damage - a mere two hits and one strikeout in total. Unfortunately, the bats never picked it up for Wisconsin as they did not find a hit in any fashion after that fifth inning.
- Peoria's Michael McGreevy (18th pick overall 2021 MLB draft, first round) was dealing in this one. He surpassed his recent career-high of 7 strikeouts - set during his last outing - and left after six innings of work with nine punchouts and 93 pitches. Punching out Sal Frelick in consecutive at-bats is always noticeable. A nice outing for the young hurler. Cardinals fans, much to my chagrin (), have to be excited about this young arm - he's living up to his draft status early in 2022.
- Darrien Miller collected two hits on the day, including his third homer of the young season. It was nice to see him knock the ball around after a recent cold spell at the plate.
- I don't say his name often, but he has picked it up a bit lately: Ethan Murray. As mentioned above, he had a couple of very nice defensive plays in the bottom of the second to hold onto the Rattlers' lead at the time. He followed that glovework with a hit at the plate in an otherwise sparse offensive day for the club.
- The Timber Rattlers have now lost two consecutive games. Here's hoping they can get back on track in Game 2 tomorrow!
- After two straight losses, how about a pick-me-up? Read about Joe Gray Jr's comeback story and how he has overcome adversity to get back on the field. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: you'll be hard-pressed to find a Minor Leaguer easier to root for than this young man. Read the Story Here
Via the Shuckers' site, game details, please review:
Late Error Costly in Shuckers 7-4 Defeat - Wiemer Goes for Two Hits, Knocks in 12th Run
Get your 'Pre-Series' goods here: Series Pre-Amble
After easy three-up and three-down work in the top of the first inning, Andy Otero ran into trouble akin to his most recent start in the top of the second. However, he avoided any damage after the bases were loaded by inducing two strikeouts - including the final whiff by former Shucker Hayden Cantrelle to end the threat. It was 3-0 Shuckers headed to the bottom of the second. If there were a theme for Otero's early season, it would have to be one of hard work. He is working with elevated pitch counts, runners on often as of late, and missing borderline strikes in seemingly every game he makes an appearance, but he often finds a way to keep his team in the game. Hopefully, he can start going deeper into games, however, as he lacks control and rarely gets into the fifth inning. Tonight was a better result: four innings pitched, four hits sprinkled, one walk, and five strikeouts on 79 pitches.
I mentioned the 3-0 lead. This was due to the impact of the top of the order coming out of the gates. Hey, it's another Joey Wiemer double! It felt like the floodgates might open. Instead, they locked shut after the first inning.
Further Viewing Notes:
- Ashton McGee continued to struggle at the plate in the early going. Frankly, he looked very comfortable and quite good in his initial outing of the season at Pensacola. However, since returning from that unfortunate game one injury, he has struggled mightily. He struck out in his first two at-bats and saw his average dip below .100. He'll look to find himself and turn it around in future games. I should point out. However, he did crush a rope for his first home run of the season straight out to the right-field wall. That could have been the game-winner if things had gone a wee bit smoother in the top of the ninth.
- I always love listening to Garrett Greene during the Shucker home game TV broadcasts - he's just fantastic at calling a game and always keeps me interested. However, I can't say the same for the TV feed I consistently get out of Biloxi. It is not easy to watch their games virtually, given a majority 50 feet above home plate bird's eye view of at-bats looking out at a panorama of darn near the entire stadium. Maybe, just maybe, I'm patting myself on the back for being so dedicated.
- Matt Hardy opened up the top of the fifth in relief of Otero. It's great to see him back healthy after hitting the shelf in 2021. He had appeared earlier in the 2022 season in a single outing at Triple-A Nashville - also scoreless. He could be a staple of the Biloxi bullpen if he happens to stick. However, he has very good stuff that will play in the back end. It would be unsurprising if he were eventually promoted back to Triple-A. Is he here to stay? Or is he just getting work in due to the incredible league-leading bullpen up in Nashville?
- Arnaldo Hernandez punched out three straight batters to end the sixth inning and start the seventh. His curveball and breaking ball were dialed tonight, and he offset those by keeping his fastball down. This being said, he was facing a red hot Jerar Encarnacion (bat to a 0.500 average in Pensacola's most recent series), and he blasted his sixth home run of the season on a mistake 1-2 pitch well over the left-field wall and into the street tying the game at 3-3 after seven innings.
Joey Wiemer stayed hot with a 2-3 night at the plate, including a third time on base with a walk. Let us enjoy a moment of Zen:
- Speaking of walks, the Shuckers had been given seven free passes after eight innings. Only one of these walked batters came around to score, and the aforementioned Wiemer was picked off first base (the first such episode for a Shucker this young season) and ended the eighth. Untimely everything, it would appear, with free runners aboard the bases.
- The typically reliable Harold Chirino made his appearance to start the ninth inning and opened with his first walk of his season on four straight pitches. This was only the second walk of the night issued by Shuckers pitchers at that time. Chirino walked his next batter and missed an opportunity for the strikeout punchout as Jakson Reetz threw an absolute bullet nailing the runner stealing second base. Such is the game of baseball - everything is together until it isn't. What a fickle game we love!
- Let's dive deeper: Having a Major League third baseman manning the hot corner sure helps! With Chirino struggling to locate, he faced a batter looking to sacrifice the runners up the base paths. With the bunt down, Chirino threw a wild and inaccurate throw into the dirt at third, and had Urias not been manning that bag, that ball would have been into foul territory and possibly down the line into the outfield. However, Urias, the adept fielder he is, fielded the hot one-hopper and kept his foot on the bag, grabbing the improbable out. The next batter hit a high chopper to McGee at first base, where the base runner clearly interfered. It was inning over and still 3-3!
- Following Chirino was the enigmatic Lucas Erceg. He has the stuff to become an electric reliever in crunch-time innings, but his season has been up and down. This is understandable as he is still in the early stages of a transition to the mound, but as the season progresses, we'll want to see more efficiency (one hit and three free passes in 2/3 innings tonight). After this outing, he surrendered six unearned runs in his two outings versus the Wahoos. That's a fairly incredible stat.
- We'll just pretend we didn't see the fly-out gaffe, Noah Campbell. We'll pretend it was a much harder play than it looked. Because, let me tell you, folks, sometimes errors are what you might call 'bad ones.' With the bases juiced and two down, a loft fly ball found its way to deep left field but was quite playable. Noah parked underneath it. Waited for several seconds. And, well, it bounced elsewhere amidst the audible gasps and yips when he failed to close his glove. All three runs scored, and it was suddenly 3-6 when they should have been safely out of the inning.
THANK YOU, Felix Valerio, for an epic snag to end the Wahoo ninth - on behalf of all our Shucker diehards, this one (and several others) are for you! What an over-the-shoulder grab on a blooping liner. I honestly don't know how he caught it. Here's the replay for you if you happened to miss it:
- One word can describe the Shuckers' recent string of games - in Birmingham and into this home contest - Frustrating. There's no other way to put it. They are losing leads often, and they are simply making too many mistakes in the field. This loss was a hard one for the squad. Let's hope they can come back fresh tomorrow and get back on the winning track!
Via the Sounds' site, game details, please visit and review:
This game had the makings of a more hotly and tightly played contest than the previous tilts for the Sounds, and, early, it certainly fits that bill. Both teams feature solid pitching and professional at-bats throughout their rosters. It was not to be for Nashville in a brisk affair in Saint Paul just off the 280 turnpike, as they ultimately fell 1-4.
Jason Alexander took the rubber for the Sounds looking to build off a string of solid starts. He managed five innings for the club, but he had to work harder than in recent games. He surrendered two runs via seven hits and three walks while striking out a pair. That's too many base runners for a pitcher's liking, but he did limit any real damage while taking his first loss in four starts.
Further Viewing Notes:
- Three straight two-out singles manufactured the Saints' second run of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. Those two-out hits will always sting you, and tonight was no different.
- The Yin to Biloxi's Yang? The Sounds played nine more innings of errorless baseball. They have not committed an error since April 14 at Gwinnett, a streak of 95 1/3 innings. Biloxi, please take note. I have spoken. This is the way.
Brice Turang is dealing at the plate right now. He drove in the only Sounds run off highly effective Saints hurler (RHP) Dereck Rodríguez with a well-hit double. He proceeded to single in the top of the fifth inning (to end Rodríguez's fine outing) - his second hit of the night. He has now hit in 13 of his last 26 plate appearances with three runs, four doubles, 7 RBI, and two walks during the hot streak. Stay hot, young man!
- David Dahl is also hitting .500 (8-for-16) in his last four games, contributing three runs, a double, an RBI, and a walk in that span. Quite the resurgence of late for David and Bryce!
- Connor Sadzeck continued his string of scoreless relief work. He's been another rock in the solid Nashville bullpen.
Oh yeah, Connor? Hobie Harris has not allowed a run through his first seven outings (7.0 IP). He has eight strikeouts and an opponent batting average of .190 to start the season. Let's go!
- It's early season, but I think it's fair to say age-old veteran Rex Brothers would like a reset to his season. Every time he enters a game out of the bullpen, it feels like certain walks and likely trouble. Tonight was no different. Walks and wild pitches (plural) and a 1-2 game became 1-4 just like that.
- Jon Singleton has hit a rough stretch at the plate. He is making contact, for the most part, but he isn't finding success. However, I will not waiver in my steadfast belief in this man. He has all the tools needed to turn things around in a hurry, and I'll be blowing a proverbial horn when he does. Confetti will rain forth at my computer desk, I say!
That's a wrap for Tuesday. I'll simply end with: Let's get back to winning baseball!
Please, peruse the links below to set yourself up for tomorrow's contests and the organizational depth and stats: