For the week, all affiliate levels were series winners: Nashville (5-1), Biloxi (5-1), Wisconsin (4-2) and Carolina (4-1).
Via the Sounds’ website, game details, and we encourage readers to review the affiliate write-up as part of their Link Report routine: Sounds Hold On To Win Over Memphis
The Sounds again demonstrated their resiliency, this time coming back from an early 3-0 deficit, getting clutch hits and pitching when needed to hold on for this 10-7 victory and 5-1 series win. DH/3B Tyler Black (1-for-4, double, walk, RBI) and SS Cam Devanney (2-for-5, double, 3 RBIs) knocked in three runs to get Nashville back in the game, then 2B Josh VanMeter (1-for-3, HR, walk, 3 RBIs) clobbered the 2-out, three-run homer to blow the game open in the 5th inning.
- Recently-acquired 26-year old right fielder Chris Roller (1-for-4, walk, 2 RBIs) played a pivotal role in the turn-around, nabbing a runner to help starting RHP Julio Teheran (5 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 5 Ks) out of a rough 3rd inning, then successfully over-turning a 3-2 strike call to walk and commence the Sounds’ three-run rally in the bottom half of the inning. Roller’s in his seventh minor league season, so he’s headed to minor league free agency unless he re-signs with the Brewers (like Andruw Monasterio and Lucas Erceg last offseason).
- A big credit goes to LHPs Darrell Thompson and Clayton Andrews, who combined on four scoreless relief innings: 4 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 5 Ks. We can’t say the same for LHP Fernando Abad, who failed to retire any of six batters faced, with Andrews successfully stranding two Abad baserunners (despite entering with nobody out) to preserve the 10-7 advantage in the 8th inning.
- With twelve games remaining on the season, the Sounds may not catch Durham (5.5 games ahead in the 20-team International League), but Nashville can certainly capture the International League West second half title (presently trailing St. Paul by just 1.5 games).
Next week’s outlook: The Sounds (74-62) head to Charlotte (49-89) to face the White Sox affiliate, while the St. Paul Saints play at the Iowa Cubs.
Via the Shuckers’ website, game details: Shuckers Tie Franchise Record with 40th Road Win, Take Series Finale Against Barons
Utility man Isaac Collins (DHing this game – 1-for-2, HR, 2 walks, 2 RBIs) smacked the first pitch of the game for a home run, then 2B Ethan Murray (2-for-4, triple, double, 3 RBIs) came through with a two-run triple (2nd inning – 3-0 lead) and an RBI double (8th inning – back to 7-3) to help Biloxi keep pesky Birmingham at bay and clinch a 5-1 road series win.
More difficult to see in the box score is the big advantage Biloxi had defensively. Murray threw out a baserunner trying to grab an extra base at third on an infield single to end the 4th inning, keeping the score 4-2, then center fielder Jackson Chourio caught a runner at second base to avoid a two-on, nobody out situation in the 6th inning. For the game, the Shuckers had zero errors, while the Barons committed three.
- RHP TJ Shook (5 1/3 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 1 BB, 5 Ks) retired the first six batters he faced before conceding three runs on six hits over the next 3 1/3 innings pitched. We’re likely to see him on the mound again on Friday or Saturday next week.
- Credit the fine bullpen work of RHP Ryan Brady, LHP Nick Bennett and RHP Zach Vennaro: 3 1/3 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 BB, 3 Ks.
Solid offense: Every spot in the Biloxi lineup reached base, with seven batters producing their eight hits, seven of which were extra-base hits. The team also drew nine walks – three by SS Freddy Zamora. Chourio’s 22nd homer of the year was an opposite field solo shot. C Wes Clarke (1-for-3, double, 2 walks) reached base three times to lift his season OPS to a lineup-leading .876.
Next week’s outlook: Biloxi (72-59, 38-24 in second half) returns home for the playoff-determining final series of the year, hosting red-hot Montgomery (76-56, 40-23 in second half). The Shuckers must win at least 4 of 6 games in the series to make the playoffs. LHP Adam Seminaris is the most likely starter for Game One, although there’s an outside chance that RHP Carlos F. Rodriguez starts on five days’ rest.
Via the Rattlers’ website, game details: Rattlers Close Out 2023 with 8-5 Win over Kernels
As always for home games, enjoy extensive video highlights and the insightful Mehring-Lobner post-game podcast – it’s 18 minutes, 50 seconds with Manager Joe Ayrault for the final session of the year.
After two tough losses at the beginning of this series eliminated Wisconsin from playoff contention, the team has to feel great about regaining focus and winning four in a row against league leaders Cedar Rapids. In this game, with the top of the order struggling, the Timber Rattlers’ 4 through 9 batters came through to produce all of their 11 hits, led by center fielder Eduarqui Fernandez (3-for-3, walk, RBI, SB) and left fielder Terence Doston (2-for-4, double, 2 RBIs).
Timber Rattlers’ Extras:
- RHP Edwin Jimenez (4 2/3 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 2 BB, 5 Ks) did an exceptional job to escape the 2nd and 3rd, nobody out situation that he inherited from starting LHP Aaron Ashby in the 2nd inning (ground out, two Ks), but then ran into difficulties of his own in his final three innings, exiting with an 8-5 lead and the potential game-tying run at the plate in the top of the 6th inning.
- RHPs Miguel Guerrero and Nick Merkel locked down the game from there, with Guerrero stranding two inherited baserunners and Merkel earning his fourth save of the year. They combined on a line of 3 1/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 4 Ks.
- Rehabbing LHP Aaron Ashby made his second start in five days, throwing just 19 pitches while conceding a solo home run, double and walk amongst his six batters faced. In a word, “No”, Mr. Ashby is not ready for a return to Major League Baseball, at least from the results that I’m seeing. If the Brewers want to replace LHP Andrew Chafin (8.71 ERA) in their bullpen, the pickings are not exactly ideal: Mr. Abad (12.46 ERA in AAA), Clayton Andrews (43.20 ERA in MLB), Eric Lauer (4.18 ERA in 8 AAA starts, though he’s struck out 45 of 127 batters faced) or Ethan Small (2.89 ERA in AAA).
Each of SS Eduardo Garcia (double, single, RBI, SB), 1B Ben Metzinger (two singles, RBI), C Darrien Miller (single, walk, RBI) and right fielder Hendry Mendez (single, walk) ended their seasons on solid notes.
Next week’s outlook: The Timber Rattlers have played their final game of 2023, but we’ll be watching for possible promotion(s) to AA Biloxi for select players – e.g. 3B Brock Wilken, relief RHPs Tanner Shears and Shane Smith.
Carolina Pre-Game Media Notes
Cancelled: Carolina at Salem
Via the Mudcats’ website, rain details: Regular Season Finale Cancelled in Salem
Although the game was canceled and therefore all statistics were extinguished, the Mudcats actually played three innings of unfocused baseball behind starting RHP Will Childers (3 runs, 1 earned) before the rainout, committing three errors and trailing 3-0. In the end, those innings serve as a timely reminder to play better in next week’s playoffs!
Next week’s outlook: The best-of-three Division Series against Down East commences on Tuesday with a Carolina home game in Zebulon, NC, before they head 72.6 miles to Kinston, NC for one or two more games. The series winner would face the champion of the Carolina League South in another best-of-three series.
We hope that you enjoy the Minor League Link Report. Minor league teams are off on Monday, so good luck to the Brewers at home against the Marlins at 6:40pm CST.
Organizational Scoreboard including starting pitcher info, game times, MiLB TV links, and box scores
Current Milwaukee Brewers Organization Batting Stats and Depth
Current Milwaukee Brewers Organization Pitching Stats and Depth
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