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  • Brewers Minor League Link Report (5/4): Biloxi Loses Third Straight But Late Wins Abound Elsewhere


    Julio Muchacho

    It was a full schedule of games in the Milwaukee Brewers' minor-league system on Wednesday. Find out which players had big games, if any pitchers impressed, and how the teams fared. Discuss in the Comments. 

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    Brewers Video

    The Biloxi Shuckers began our four-game slate with a disappointing Matinee session in Montgomery. The Shuckers did manage to pull within a run at 3-4, but Taylor Floyd's inaugural outing of his season went south in a hurry. Meanwhile, Carolina won in a walk-off after Jordan Tripp surrendered a tying two-run homer with two down in the top of the eighth. It was the Jose Sibrian and Zack Raabe show stepping up in a big way in the eighth and ninth spots in the batting order. Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, Brandon Knarr (third win), Kent Hasler, and Cam Robinson (fourth save) pitched a shutout while Wes Clarke continued his steady play of late, including some gems at first base. Nashville, trailing 2-1 late, shut things down via 3 1/3 clean bullpen innings and found timely hits in the bottom of the eighth. Let's get into the recaps!

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    Carolina Pre-Game Media Notes   
    Final: Carolina 4, Augusta (Braves) 3
    Box Score / Game Log

    Via the Mudcats' site, game details, please review: 

    Raabe Delivers Walk-Off Winner for Mudcats - Raabe and Sibrian Combined for Six Hits and Three Runs Scored in Carolina's 4-3 Walk-Off Victory

    AUDIO: Post-game interview with Manager Victor Estevez                                                                  On a muggy and warm early evening in Zebulon, Ryne Moore took the hill for the Mudcats. Ryne started the tilt hitting his first two batters - a right-handed hitter and a left-handed hitter. He added another hit batter to the tally in the second inning on an inside breaking ball that was too far inside and too late to break. However, he left two men stranded in both innings. Ryne ultimately conceded his only un-earned run in the third after a catching error by Jesus Chrinos (on a challenging throw from Alberis Ferrer, I would add) allowed the lead-off batter to take second base. A walk to the next batter followed by a double steal allowed the run to score on a weakly hit ground-out to first. It's a telling sign when you struggle to find your best stuff early; you hit three batters; you find runners in three consecutive innings, and finish six complete innings with seven strikeouts and a mere three hits and a walk. That is battling for your team. Unfortunately, Ryne was not rewarded with a victory.

    Further Viewing Notes:

    • Oswel Leones came into this tilt, having hit safely in six consecutive games. He finished this contest with an 0-2 batting line with two walks. The hitting streak ends, but the 'getting on base' streak continues at seven games.
    • What incredible joy to be a young man, playing the sport you love, and walking off to an ice water bath! Here is the one-two punch of Jose Sibrian (lead-off double) and Zack Raabe winning the game in the bottom of the ninth. Both batters finished their evenings three of four :
    • Game number two was a bit more challenging for youngster Jackson Chourio. He finished his evening 0-4 with three strikeouts. On to the next!
    • Eduardo Garcia knocked in another runner in the three-run Mudcats' fifth innings. He now has 19 RBI on the season. I feel we might one day be saying: "Remember when Eduardo was a 19-year-old in Zebulon?!" Enjoy him in Low-A while you can.
    • Michele Vassalotti continues to thrive in his shift to a bullpen role. He has solidified the make-or-break eighth and ninth innings. Tonight was no different as he pitched a scoreless and hitless (one strikeout) ninth inning for his third win of the season.
    • The Mudcats are now winners of three straight games and have beaten Augusta in eight consecutive contests. Can they make it four straight and nine straight, respectively? Tonight's win was also their first walk-off in 23 games to start 2022. 

    Wisconsin Pre-Game Media Notes via their all-encompassing Virtual Press Box 

    Final: Wisconsin 4, Fort Wayne (Padres) 0
    Box Score / Game Log    

    Via the Timber Rattlers' site, game details, please review:

    Rattlers Pitch a Shutout to Beat Fort Wayne - Knarr with Six More Scoreless Innings to Win Third Straight

    Please Tune Into the Post-Game Podcast - Always worth a listen 

    Find your post-game YouTube recap here:

    • Zavier Warren is a professional hitter. You can see it in his approach and his opening at bat walk was a testament to this approach as he laid off several enticing outside pitches. It's also good to know this young man is capable of sporting, undeniably I would offer, the best mustache in the Brewers lower levels. I propose the loss of Zavi's mustache in this early 2022 season is on par with losing the flowing golden locks of Joey Wiemer. It leaves a man pondering things. This is not the way. And, apparently, it's 'mustache month' in the Timber Rattlers' clubhouse!
    • Lefty Brandon Knarr has a nasty sweeping curve for a strikeout pitch. This pitch is approaching true 12-6 territory and, I'm not kidding when I say this: It's approaching filthy status. Tune in (several examples in the YouTube highlight video above), watch for yourself, and experience a moment of wonder:  "What's it like to execute a pitch as pretty as that?" Brandon finished his evening with six complete innings, six punch outs, six hits, and a lone walk on 80 pitches (57 strikes). The progress we are seeing in 2022 in the step-up from Carolina is poignant: He's not nitpicking like he did in Zebulon. His walks are down. He's pitching in the zone more, playing to his defense and, because of that, his strikeouts are down slightly. But, the evolution as a pitcher is real.
    • After the Micah Bello double play grounder in the bottom of the second, the Timber Rattlers reached 17 already in their young season. It will be interesting to see how this trend evolves as the season progresses.
    • Tristan Peters took the lead-off spot for the second consecutive night. With a single and a stolen base on the evening, Tristan extended his on-base streak to 17 games. There's a reason his name consistently finds his way into my reports: he is playing lights out baseball in 2022.
    • Wes Clarke continues to come up clutch in this string of recent games. With two on (runners on second and third) and two down in the bottom of the sixth inning in a 0-0 game, Wes lined a blooping muscled single over second base and into shallow right field. The two-run rbi was a crucial knock in a hotly contested game. Let's also take note: Clarke is making incredible defensive plays at first base filling in for Ernesto Martinez. We salute you, Wes!
    • Antonio Pinero now has now hit safely in seven of his last eight games. With a jam-shot muscled single over the third baseman into left field, he continued his string of recent offensive output. 
    • Carlos Rodriguez is a very solid defender in all outfield spots. He deserves some recognition for the under-appreciated Swiss army knife he is defensively. He came up with a couple key plays tonight and also knocked a key opposite field hit scoring two baserunners and extending the lead. Apparently, his girlfriend is in town for this series. Way to show out, young man! 
    • Outstanding pitching, great defense, and key hits: this is what winning baseball looks like. And, let me tell you: it feels good!

    Biloxi Pre-Game Media Notes via the Shuckers' Virtual Press Box 

    Final: Montgomery (Rays) 8, Biloxi 4 
    Box Score / Game Log   

    Via the Shuckers' site, game details, please review: 

    Big Sixth Inning Separates Biscuits from Shuckers - Campbell and Zamora Each Record Multi-Hit Games

    Let us begin with the now familiar Joey Wiemer moment of Zen:

    Through his first 23 games with the Shuckers, Wiemer is hitting 27-for-89 (.303) with eight doubles, four home runs and 19 RBI. His 19 RBI are the fourth most in the early going in the Southern League. 

    Backing up for one moment: the opportunities were limited in Montgomery on Tuesday, but the Shuckers did strand two runners in a pivotal late inning. During their series against Birmingham, the Shuckers stranded 36 runners and went 11-for-56 (.196) with runners in scoring position. Additionally, Biloxi hit just 5-for-47 (.106) in the series against Pensacola. If they are going to get trending more in favor of the win column, it would appear they need positive change in a couple of areas: improved hitting with runners on and some form of consistency from the lower part of the order. There's a lot of season left, but, in the early going these have been two primary every-day hindrances preventing a meaningful breakout from 0.500 ball. Here's to supporting our young men as they continue chipping away and putting in the hard work to get this going! Even though today ended in a tough loss, the Shuckers did manage to hit 4 of 13 with runners on. This is an improvement and something to build on.

    • Sal Frelick slotted back to his familiar center field role while manning the lead-off spot in the order. Garrett Mitchell took over in the DH spot while Gabe Holt moved to third base and Noah Campbell was back in left field. Lots of changes for game number two.
    • Freddy Zamora batted in the two-hole again - his second game in-a-row batting second. He rewarded his team with another two-hit outing. It has been a fairly rough transition into Double-A ball for the talented 23 year old - his strikeout to walk ratio is way up as are his errors but we're going to give this young man the time he needs to adjust to a higher level of competition. We are seeing small signs of better play ahead. We see you, Freddy, and we're rooting for you.
    • Congrats to Sal on his first Double-A hit. At the time, it was a pivotal hit as Noah Campbell advanced to third and scored on a passed ball shortly thereafter. It was looking rosy up 2-1:

    Backing up for one moment: the opportunities were limited in Montgomery on Tuesday, but the Shuckers did strand two runners in a pivotal late inning. During their series against Birmingham, the Shuckers stranded 36 runners and went 11-for-56 (.196) with runners in scoring position. Additionally, Biloxi hit just 5-for-47 (.106) in the series against Pensacola. If they are going to get trending more in favor of the win column, it would appear they need positive change in a couple areas: improved hitting with runners on and some form of consistency from the lower part of the order. There's a lot of season left, but, in the early going these have been two primary every-day hindrances preventing a meaningful breakout from 0.500 ball. Here's to supporting our young men as they continue chipping away and putting in the hard work to get this going! Even though today ended in a tough loss, the Shuckers did manage to hit 4-for-13 with runners on. This is an improvement and something to build on.

    • Sal Frelick slotted back to his familiar center field role while manning the lead-off spot in the order. Garrett Mitchell took over in the DH spot while Gabe Holt moved to third base and Noah Campbell was back in left field. Lots of changes for game number two.
    • Freddy Zamora batted in the two-hole again - his second game in-a-row batting second. He rewarded his team with another two-hit outing. It has been a fairly rough transition into Double-A ball for the talented 23 year old - his strikeout to walk ratio is way up as are his errors but we're going to give this young man the time he needs to adjust to a higher level of competition. We are seeing small signs of better play ahead. We see you, Freddy, and we're rooting for you.
    • Congrats to Sal on his first Double-A hit. At the time, it was a pivotal hit as Noah Campbell advanced to third and scored on a passed ball shortly thereafter. It was looking rosy up 2-1:
    • Unfortunately, it wasn't the outing Taylor hoped for as it lasted a mere 1/3 inning and stymied the momentum gained after pulling within one. I'll just leave it at that. There's always next time. Here's hoping the rust has been shaken loose.
    • With their third consecutive loss, the Shuckers fall to 12-11 on the young season and maintain a loose hold on first place. I would say this losing streak and their overall record validate what I've seen: up-and-down play throughout. We've had bright spots, rough spots, and everything in between. The talent is there to start playing more consistently but this is what a Minor League season is truly about: growth and discovery. I see plenty of both ahead and, thankfully, we have plenty of games remaining. Here's to getting back in the win column tomorrow!

    ***

    Nashville Pre-Game Media Notes     

    Final: Nashville 4, Norfolk (Orioles) 2
    Box Score / Game Log 

    Via the Sounds' site, game details, please visit and review:

    Late Rally Leads Sounds Past Norfolk Nashville Strikes with Two Eighth Inning Runs in 4-2 Bounce Back Win

    Viewing Notes:

    • In a recorded conversation during the St. Paul Saints series with Tyler White and Mark Mathias, Josh Lindbolm mentioned throwing too many strikes during his most recent start. He wanted to work his way out of the zone to challenge hitters. He was aligned with these thoughts early as he was close to the zone but nibbling outside it with his vast blend of pitches.
    • I've said it before, and I'll probably keep saying it: Josh really is an incredible AAAA pitcher. He has an uncanny ability to work in and around the zone. He's a thinker on the mound and has the toolkit to work with. Case and point, coming into tonight's contest with Norfolk he had kept opposing lefty batters to a 0.136 batting average. As a right-handed pitcher, at any level, that's just impressive stuff even if it is only a sample size in the 20's of innings.
    • It's the 'Where is Weston?' traveling positional circus! In tonight's contest, Weston manned left field after appearing at the hot corner last night. The versatility of Wilson is incredible to witness on a night-in and night-out basis. He is as plug-and-play as it gets at this level. I continue to hope he gets an opportunity with the Big Club at some point in 2022.
    • Both teams stranded seven baserunners but, the key in this one, was obviously the late work of Mark Mathias and Jon Singleton. Have I told you how much I love Jon Singleton as a player and comeback story? 😬
    • How about the night Mark Mathias had at the plate? His second home run on his season:
      And the crucial double to take the lead late? (Nice base running by Mike Brosseau here) Watch the call from the great Jeff Hem:
    • Speaking of Home Runs, I'm still searching for this bomb from Jon Singleton - his sixth of the year. The bat drop says it all. Estimated 455 feet of chiseled sweetness:
    • It truly was the 'Singleton and Mathias' show tonight. They both hit solo shots. They both knocked in the third and fourth runs in the crucial bottom of the eighth. What more is there to say? Ballers.
    • Let's re-route and return to the season Mark Mathias is having.  In 15 games, he’s batting .360 (18-for-50) with five doubles, a triple, two home runs and 10 RBI. He also has seven multi-hit games on the year. Under-the-radar, but definitely noticed.
    • Another fine bullpen outing from the Sounds pitching staff. At this point, it's just to be expected (which is quite a thing to have as an organization): Miguel Sanchez, Hobie Harris, and Connor Sadzeck combined to go 3 1/3 scoreless inning of two hit, two walk, ball. Sadzeck closed out the ninth to get his first save while Hobie secured the win pitching a scoreless eighth.
    • With tonights Singleton and Mathias homers, the Sounds have now homered 11 times over the past five games. They are tied with Memphis for the most home runs in the International League since April 28. 
    • About that pitching? Let's break it down after tonights work:
      • Nashville remains unbeaten after leading through eight innings on the season (16-0). They’ve also held their opponents to three runs or less 16 times.
      • The Sounds pitching staff holds the best ERA in the International League at 2.77. Nashville starters have the second-best ERA in the league (2.94), while the Nashville bullpen has a league-best ERA of 2.66...

    Excited Jim Carrey GIF

     

    ***

    That concludes another Minor League Report for me. Brewers fans, let me tell you: We are truly blessed right now. Please take a moment in your days and consider what we are witnessing across the entire organization. This is a World Class thing we are witnessing at present. I, for one, will not take this current ride for granted. And, my hope is: you don't either. We have so much good happening and we have so much to look forward to. Here's to great games throughout the remainder of the week. All night games tomorrow - no matinee games on the slate. Enjoy!

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