Major Pitching in the Minors
Posted by Jason A. Churchill on April 7, 2006
The M's have gotten three more stellar pitching performances from their farm system tonight, adding to last night's shiny start to the new season.
Last June's fourth-round pick Justin Thomas, 22, went six strong for Wisconsin, allowing six hits while walking one and striking out four. The lefty induced nine ground ball outs versus five through the air, but thanks to an error by center fielder Eddy Hernandez, Thomas is on the hook for the loss as the game goes into the ninth inning with Peoria leading 1-0.
In the Texas League, righthander Yorman Bazardo, 21, had a no-hitter through three innings and went six shutout frames allowing just one hit. He walked a batter and struck out three and hit 93 on the gun about a dozen times.
Bobby Livingston allowed two earned runs on five hits over five innings at Cheney Stadium on Friday night, picking up the win in a 10-2 Tacoma victory. He wasn't at his best, but he's a winner, so he fought through it. At one point, Livingston threw 24 of 28 pitches for strikes. Ridiculous.
Offensively, the Rainiers provided some crooked numbers led by Adam Jones' double, triple and four RBI and Asdrubal Cabrera's three hits and a walk. Shin-soo Choo had two hits and a walk also.
For San Antonio, 1B Bryan LaHair went 2-for-4 with a double, homer and three RBI and Wladimir Balentien went 3-for-4, walked once and fanned once. Sebastien Boucher went 2-for-5 for the second straight day and C Jeff Clement went 1-for-5, the hit was a double in the ninth inning.
There was no offense for Wisconsin as the Rattlers tallied only five hits in a 3-0 loss to Peoria. RF Michael Saunders did go 2-for-4 but the T-Rats has zero extra-base hits.
Inland Empire was rained out.
What did we learn today? Not much, as it's too early to tell anything, but Bazardo and Thomas followed Snyder, Blackley and Nageotte with great starts to their 2006 campaigns.
Oh, and Rainiers righthander Renee Cortez hit 95 on the radar gun twice. When the weather heats up and he's 30 innings into the season, we might see him in the 94-97 range consistently.
Adam Jones did look awfully good at the plate tonight, even in the two outs he made. One of the two outs was a screamer right at the shortstop. His double in the fourth inning was a laser beam that reached the wall in left-center and his triple was an asbolute rocket hit over the head of SkySox center fielder Tony Miller and bounced off the big wall on one hop.
Both of Jones' hits drove in a pair of runs, and both were with two outs, as were two of Cabrera's base hits.