Indians and Red Sox Win while Yanks Continue Embarrassing Free Fall; Two Minor League Games You Won’t Hear About Anywhere Else

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Hi all.  Here’s how I see baseball on this Saturday, July 21.  As if losing 2 to the Orioles last week wasn’t bad enough as the Red Sox continued winning, the Yankees lost to the Mets as Boston pulled yet another game ahead of them.  The Indians won the game of the night, which was played in the Dallas area. Meantime, in Frisco, Texas and Lynchburg, Virginia, the kind of games happened which get written up in this forum.

After taking a 7-5 loss to the Mets, the Yankees finally sent Domingo German back to Oblivion, which is where the team with the billion-dollar batting order will go unless half the Red Sox take a Yoenis Cespedes holiday. German followed Jonathan Loaisiga back on the bus to nowhere.   Johnny was another guy the Yankees hoped would give up less runs than their team could score, rather than investing in an honest major league pitcher.  It didn’t happen for Johnny Lasagna any more than German.  It turns out, pitchers like last year’s find, Jordan Montgomery (now sidelined by Tommy John Surgery) don’t grow on trees.

Cespedes, who’s been on his barco lounger since May hit a home run in his first game back.  Since he hit it off German it probably gets an asterisk. The Yankees’ starter gave up 3 first-inning doubles leading to 3 Mets’ runs, essentially ending the game.  Lest we forget, the Mets’ season has been over since Cespedes retired to play videos in May. They’re in “sell” mode, and Jeurys Familia, their occasional closer may well be hiring a van to take all his worldly goods to Oakland.

Meantime the Red Sox beat the Tigers 1-0 while the Indians took 11 innings to beat Texas 9-8. Boston’s only run was driven in by their new acquisition from Toronto, Steve Pearce. The Indians thought they were well ahead at 7-4 with their own new acquisition Brad Hand coming in.  This was his first chance since leaving the Padres.  Joey Gallo gave him a rude “Don’t Mess with Texas” by slashing his pitch into the seats with a man on to make it 7-6. Adam Cimber, another ex-Padre from the Hand deal held his own in the 8th.  It was their veteran Cody Allen who couldn’t nail things down, as the Rangers tied the game in the 9th.  Edwin Encarnacion knocked home the winner for the Tribe 2 innings later. Trevor Bauer had an awful time, giving up 9 hits and 5 walks in 4 innings.  It’s amazing the Rangers only got 4 runs off him. Each team battered the other’s pitching for 17 hits during a game played in 107-degree heat.

Some 40 miles north of Arlington, the Rangers’ AA team, the Frisco RoughRiders battled the Padres’ AA entry, the San Antonio Missions. In a slightly cooler atmosphere (106 degrees, not 107) the visitors from near the Mexican border took the measure of the RoughRiders by an 11-10 score in 10 innings. While the Missions failed to score in the first, the home team put up 5 runs in their half. They then put up 2, 1, 2 and 1 runs.  Frisco put up runs in the second, third and fifth to make it 8-6 through 5. The Missions tied the game at 8 in their half of the 7th but Frisco drew more blood in their half, making it 9-8. The invader tied the game in the 9th, and under the new minor league rule got 2 in the 10th while Frisco got just 1. Each side hit 3 home runs on the evening. Nick Schulz, the Missions’ DH had the most dramatic blast, a 10th-inning 2-run jolt. not bad for a .159 hitter’s confidence. For Frisco, Preston Beck slammed a 2-run home run and Michael O’Neil walloped a 3-run bomb to make it 5-0. Jose Cardona was good for a solo blast in the 5th.  All the fireworks came off Missions’ starter Cal Quantrill who will be lucky to avoid shell shock.  He gave up 7 hits, 4 walks and 8 earned runs, all in 5 innings’ work. Miguel Diaz lasted 4 innings to get the win, while Andres Muniz provided an adequate inning for the save.

The other game that used to be called “wild and woolly” was an A-ball Carolina League game between the Wilmington Blue Rocks and the Lynchburg HillCats. The Blue Rocks have been a Royals’ affiliate for decades, and of recent years their games have been broadcast on WGLS/FM, the station where I cut my teeth. For a while they employed WGLS graduates, but that practice has been sadly eliminated.  The visitors took the measure of Lynchburg, 12-11 in a 10-inning tilt. Wilmington put up the first 2 runs in the third.  Lynchburg answered with 4.  Wilmington saw their 4 and raised them by scoring 5 in the visiting 5th. The visitors from Delaware put up a 7th-inning run to make it 8-4, but Lynchburg answered with a 6-pack in the 7th. From there the visitors put up 1 in the 8th and 2 in the 9th making it 11-10. Lynchburg’s last gasp was a game-tying run in the 9th.  Wilmington untied the game for good an inning later.  The Rocks’ Gabriel Cancel cancelled any hope for the home team with a scoring fly ball.He and Emmanuel Rivera homered in the game for the winners from Delaware. The same two teams had locked horns on July 7 with Wilmington taking a 13-inning, 9-7 winner.

The Hillcats have been an Indians’ farm team since 2015.  Gone are the days when Dwight Gooden led the Lynchburg Mets.  The Mets ran talent through there from 1976–87 and the Pirates had an even longer run from 1995 to 2009. The Mets’ Jeff Reardon, Randy Myers, Darrell Strawberry, Kevin Mitchell, Roger McDowell, Lenny Dykstra and Rick Aguilera found Shea Stadium by way of Lynchburg and points north.

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