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  • Brewers Minor League Link Report (5/11): T-Rats Win Ensures Affiliates Avoid an 0-4 Night

    Julio Muchacho

    The Shuckers fought back in their matinee game but reverted to the poor form seen during their recent seven-game skid. The Sounds clawed their way back to even but faded late with three uncharacteristic runs conceded by the bullpen. Carolina lost a well-pitched low-scoring affair in Fayetteville. BUT, all was literally not lost: Wisconsin kept plugging away and ultimately won on a classic move the runner brand of baseball late and a vintage May 2022 closing performance from Cam Robinson. 

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    Carolina Pre-Game Media Notes   
    Final: Fayetteville (Astros) 2, Carolina 0
    Box Score / Game Log

    Via the Mudcats' site, game details, please review:
    Carolina Blanked 2-0 in Series Tying Loss - Mudcats Shut Out for Third Time on the Road This Season

    Please take a trip down memory lane to this date in history in 1992. Taste some of that vintage Mudcats storyline. Folks, this is the good stuff: 

    Israel Puello had his best outing of his career to date for High-A Carolina. This was a much needed outing for the young hurler and we hope to see more of this moving forward. Ultimately, I gave the old 'Tag' nod to Edwin Jimenez who pitched three shutout innings of zero run, one hit, one walk, and four strikeout ball allowing his team the opportunity to claw back in it late. Edwin, in my opinion, (still a mere 20 years old) has been one of the steadier pitching options for Carolina. Regardless, after several rough outings, it was truly nice to see Israel turn a kind of corner. 

    Jeferson Quero showed off his arm nailing a failed stolen base attempt after a lead-off walk - the second out in inning number four. It was a bang-bang play and a heck of a throw from the young catcher. He opened inning five with a very compact and impressive swing on a single to right field. It's always nice to be reminded by the prospect themselves of why they are highly touted.

    This is Jackson Chourio's second hitless game in eight total outings for the Mudcats. However, one thing seems quite clear early: this young man doesn't strike out much (zero, again, on the 0-4 outing). Low strikeout totals and tendencies are always an extremely positive sign for an extremely young and talented hitter.

    The bats were awfully quiet in this one for the young Mudcats with a mere four hits and not a single hit for extra bases. This being said, I have to admit seeing Jesus Chirinos swipe second base (his first steal of the season) was definitively not on my list of expected outcomes.

    Speaking of Chirinos, in all the hype and feel-good we've had for the exciting Jackson Chourio (0-4 in this affair) we've forgotten to point out the recent string of success for Jesus: : he has hit safely in 7 consecutive games after tonight. and has gone 8-for-27 during this span. Transitioning to a more demanding offensive position like first base from catcher takes time. It's nice to see the young man starting to gather momentum.

    The All-Time series versus the Woodpeckers move to 24-22 in favor of Carolina who now sit at 10-14 overall at SEGRA stadium in Fayetteville.

    *Please keep in mind highlights are limited in many Away contests for the T-Rats...I will attempt to post condensed game highlights when they arrive tomorrow. We are truly spoiled during their Home series. Thank you Chris and Kyle!*

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

    Final: Wisconsin 3, Quad Cities (Royals) 2
    Box Score / Game Log    

    Via the Timber Rattlers' site, game details, please review:
    Late Run Lifts Rattlers Over River Bandits - Wisconsin Wins Fifth Straight Game

    I mentioned Tristan Peters last night. Let us take a look at his recent run of excellence. A very compact and nuanced, but, easy and flowing swing:

    He continues to be unheralded, but, I'm going to keep shining light on this young man's season. He has winning baseball tools for days. A bright future is ahead. 

    • To start inning number five for Antoine Kelly, Carlos Rodriguez botched his very first fly out of the season. A routine deep fly to the warning track caromed off his glove and there was a runner aboard at second base with zero outs. This was highly uncharacteristic from the typically adept outfielder - his first error of the season. Unfortunately, this error seemed to rattle Kelly as it led to a walk on a wild pitch and the runner aboard advanced to third. Ultimately, the Quad Cities got one run from the error on a sacrifice fly out to Tristan Peters in right field. Tristan followed this sac fly with an adept play to snare a well-hit liner down the right field line.
    • Cam Robinson continues his string of excellent work in May, He pitched two scoreless, including a punch out to end the contest preserving the 3-2 victory. Cam is un-scored upon in May. That's going to play at any level.
    • In a recent post-game podcast, Kyle Lobner made the astute observation: the Midwest League is much kinder to teams who don't beat themselves. Well, the Timber Rattlers currently espouse this bit of wisdom with aplomb. During their recent string of success, the Rattlers just are not making many mistakes. And, when a player does make an inevitable mistake, their teammates don't compound the issue by piling on more. They are simply playing winning baseball. At the High-A level, this is truly a joy to watch.
    • Case and point: the winning run crossing in the eighth inning was about as emblematic of taking advantage of mistakes as it gets. Joe Gray Jr. led off with a double. On the very next pitch he advanced to third on a wild pitch. Darrien Miller was incapable of getting Joe across home plate as he grounded out to the pitcher. However, Tristan Peters executed what was tantamount to a swinging bunt dribbler down the first base line and Joe scored and the T-Rats had their lead. This is winning baseball. And, in this case, that run won the game.
    • Speaking of Joe Gray Jr., he is definitely heating up:
    • What does winning baseball look like, you ask? Tonight's win gave our Timber Rattlers their third different five-game winning streak of the season. That'll do!
    • A nod to Tristan Peters again. He singled in the fourth inning to push his current on-base streak to nineteen games. He knocked home the winning run. He ended the fifth inning threat after Quad City's first runner crossed home plate. Tristan=Winner in 'Canadian'. 😬
    • Another nod is in order for Antoine Kelly going a career-high 5 2/3 innings. He didn't grab a decision on the evening, but, for a young man who prefers to work out of the bullpen he sure is looking quite nice as a starter.

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

    Final:  Birmingham (White Sox) 10 , Biloxi 5
    Box Score / Game Log   

    Via the Shuckers' site, game details, please review: 
    Barons Consistent Hitting Tops Shuckers 10-5 - Wiemer Homers for Second Straight Day

    A telling inning for the 2022 Shuckers at present would have to be the top of the seventh inning today. After just clawing back to within a 2-3 score in the bottom of the sixth via some Joey Wiemer base-running prowess and some friendly throwing errors from Birmingham, Lucas Erceg took the mound for the second inning of his outing. A tough grounder snuck its way into right field off the sliding backhanded effort from Thomas Dillard - a difficult play but definitely a makable play. Unfortunately, these are the types of plays not being made so far in 2022. The Barons then bunted their man to second base. There was one down and the inning was still quite manageable. What proceeded to happen is a series of weak grounders finding their way to various parts of the infield or the outfield. A let-up on another makable play down the first base line from Thomas Dillard (a ball most on the Biloxi squad felt was a foul ball but a ball that was called fair) allowing the fifth run to cross. Previous to that, Freddy Zamora failed to corral a one-hop bullet throw from Joey Wiemer to nail the runner at second base rounding first which would have grabbed out number two. Innings like these have appeared all too often for the young Shuckers. And, as a result, they continue to struggle. Times are tough and the slog is real down in Double-A. Let's hope they can start playing better ball in days ahead!

    Lost in the shuffle, was Nick Bennett's career-high eight strikeouts in the early tilt. In total, Nick went five complete innings of four hit and one walk ball. He was snakebitten by a couple early solo shots but, all in all, he had quite a nice outing. Perhaps, his best showing overall of 2022. Here's hoping he keeps trending in this direction as he was one of the more intriguing pitching follows to start the year in Biloxi.

    Further Viewing Notes:

    • Joey Wiemer managed to steal his third base in the first two games of this series and his sixth overall in 2022. An unheralded aspect of Joey's game is his overall athleticism. He obviously has a cannon of an arm. and showcased that arm on two separate plays in the seventh inning, but he also has the speed to swipe bases and cover the outfield. Joey also added another outfield assist to his already League leading tally and, really, should have had another - he now has six assists through 29 games. There simply continues to be a plethora of things to celebrate here. I could talk about his sixth home run of his season, and the second ding dong in two days, as well. Oh, wait, I guess I just did. Here's the highlight:
    • The Barons definitely found some tell signs in Nick Bennett's delivery. In the fifth inning alone, they managed to swipe three bases. I'm curious to see how this plays moving forward as, even out of the stretch, there was some delay affording runners a good take off.
    • Freddy Zamora committed his 11th error in 29 games. It was yet another throwing error and, at this point, I don't know what we're going to get leaving his hands. It's a real conundrum here early in 2022 and this is certainly not the start we fans envisioned after the way 2021 ended for the young shortstop.
    • Lucas Erceg continues to experience improbably bad luck while taking the mound as a reliever. He was credited with giving up five hits in his 1 2/3 innings today. He was credited with giving up four runs. The stat line doesn't really depict what happened and, I would politely argue, his defense let him down on numerous occasions and the umpire blew a call. I gave you a brief glimpse in the above description. However, always the optimist, I'm convinced better days are ahead. He did manage to touch 100mph on the radar gun in his second inning of work. Perhaps, just maybe, there was a little added frustration in that heater!
    • The Shuckers hit 1-9 with RISP. This continues to be a problem for the team. 
    • Brent Diaz managed to knock in his fourth home run of the season to tie the game in the bottom of the second inning. His average has now dipped below .200 on the season but he continues to make meaningful contact:
    • We showcased Garrett Mitchell's speed last night as he scored the winning run on an extremely shallow liner to left field. Here, he hits his second triple of his season and blazes to third. I seriously ponder how fast Garrett could run a 40 yard dash. This young man has some serious get up and go!
    • The series is tied 1-1. Let's just move onto game number three and play some better baseball! Let's go, young men. Keep those chins up, heads high, and unlock your greatness.💪

    Nashville Pre-Game Media Notes     

    Final:  Jacksonville (Marlins) 7, Nashville 5
    Box Score / Game Log 
    Via the Sounds' site, game details, please visit and review:

    Sounds Rally Late But Fall Short in Jacksonville - Brice Turang, Jon Singleton Hit Home Runs in Loss

    Caleb Boushley took the mound for the Sounds today and gave up two two-run homers in the bottom half of the first. He limited any further damage and pretty much coasted through his four remaining innings. He left his outing after five, having given up a mere five hits and one walk while striking out five batters. Those two homers held for Jacksonville, however, as Caleb left with the Sounds trailing 4-2.

    The Sounds definitely clawed back into the game and made a hotly contested game of it - something you'd expect and hope for from two Divisional leaders. After tying the game 4-4 in the top of the sixth, Nashville had the bases juiced with two down. Pablo Reyes came to the plate with an opportunity to open a lead but continued his unfortunate struggles  and struck out on three pitches. When Pablo is making contact he has simply been unlucky as he's typically been making quite good contact. A strike out on three pitches is not the result he or the Sounds were after. And, so goes the game of baseball.

    Further Viewing Notes:

    • Brice Turang managed to blast his third home run of his season pulling the Sounds within 4-3. It was a beautiful smooth stroke and booming moonshot over the wall in right field. He looks so much more poised and calm at the plate. Don't just take my word for it. Here's someone much more qualified commenting on Brice:
      The adjustments Turang has made, in concert with the Sounds and Brewers hitting coaches, have made such a discernible difference. Take a look at this swing:
    • Not to be outdone, Jon Singleton followed suit with his seventh bomb (and first dinger against a lefty!) of his season and it was suddenly a tie ball game at 4-4. Here is your highlight:                                                                                             Lift Off Rocket GIF by European Space Agency - ESA                                                                                                                                                          The view from the ballpark definitely showed what I was seeing. The Home crowd was surprisingly excited:excited lift off GIF by US National Archives
    • Bedrocks of the Nashville Sounds offensive surge, all season long really, Brice Turang and David Dahl had their eighth and seventh respective multi-hit games on the year. Turang finished his day 3 of 5 with the home run, RBI, and run. David finished 2 of 4 with a run. He is now back above .300 hitting .309 on the season. The David Dahl resurgence is real. He plays a smooth and steady outfield to boot. 
    • Uncharacteristic blemished performances from the bullpen sealed the Sounds fate after tying the game in the sixth. In the bottom half of the same sixth inning, Miguel Sanchez gave a run right back with a sequence of self-inflicted harm. A hit batter, a walk, a double play ground ball and it looked like the inning would end. But, Miguel threw a wild pitch to the very next batter and it was 5-4 Jacksonville. Thomas Jankins didn't fair much better in the seventh inning. In one inning pitched, Jankins gave up 3 hits, one walk, and a wild pitch while giving up two earned runs. It was 7-4.
    • The Sounds had a legitimate shot to tie or win the game in the ninth inning. After Brice Turang's routine pop-up between the short stop and a sprinting left fielder somehow found the grass, the Sounds had two men aboard. Keston Hiura then worked a count full and hit a rope shot past a diving third baseman and it was 7-5 with two men on, two out, and Jon Singleton representing the leading run at the plate. The drama ended on a beautiful breaking pitch from Jacksonville (LHP) Robert Garcia as Jon succumbed to his second strike out on the afternoon. 
    • Fear not, my friends, we head back to an evening game tomorrow for our Sounds. And, just let this soak in: The Sounds have won every series they have played so far this year. If we trace team the team records all the way back to the last century (1988😜), this is the first time since at least 1987 the team has won its first five series in a season. Let's make it six!

    We are actually back to all evening games for the clubs tomorrow. I don't know about you, but I am partial to all evening tilts. Let's hope Nasvhille and Biloxi get some good rest and come out mashing tomorrow night. As always, it's been a pleasure sharing my reports with you. Let's keep rooting for the farm!

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