AAA: Round Rock 4, at El Paso (SDG) 9
Round Rock: 8 hits, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts
Opponent: 10 hits, 6 walks, 6 strikeouts
Record: 74-62, 2 GB
SP Yerry Rodriguez: 2 IP, 2 H (1 HR), 1 R, 0 BB, 1 SO, 23 P / 17 S, 4.47 ERA
DH Yohel Pozo: 3-4, 2B, .340/.376/.505
3B Davis Wendzel: 2-4, 2B, HR (15), .210/.291/.410
In his AAA debut, Blaine Crim was 1-3 with a sac fly, hitting the ball in excess of 97 MPH three times.
Lucas Jacobsen is back. The lefty fanned 20 in 14.2 innings at Frisco before hitting the IL in late May. He allowed a solo homer and struck out two in his one inning.
In 21 games since Dallas Keuchel was called up, a relief pitcher has started seven times for the Express. The squad has averaged 3.6 relief appearances per game, 50% more than in 2012. Round Rock isn’t alone in this respect. El Paso, which has allowed the most runs in the league, has averaged 4.2 per game, and even league-best Tacoma has used 3.9 per game.
The Giants added Willie Calhoun. He’s 1-5 with a run-scoring single in two games. Fellow SF employee Steele Walker is hitting .208/.269/.313 in AAA Sacramento.
AA: Frisco 4, at NW Arkansas (KAN) 8
Frisco: 6 hits, 2 walks, 12 strikeouts
Opponent: 11 hits, 9 walks, 8 strikeouts
Record: 35-28, 2 G up, 71-61 overall, magic number 3
SP Jack Leiter: 4.2 IP, 5 H (1 HR), 5 R, 6 BB, 4 SO, 94 P / 52 S, 5.54 ERA
3B Justin Foscue: 3-4, .286/.369/.476
C Scott Kapers: 1-3, HR (3), .179/.303/.375
Jack Leiter’s regular season ended with a splat. No clean innings, a homer, a triple that missed leaving the park by about a foot, a season-high six walks including four during a protracted effort to reach five full innings. Splitting his season into 14 appearances before the All-Star break and nine after, his ERA improved from 6.30 to 4.64, but the underlying stats that I care about more than ERA barely budged. Essentially, the ERA drop relates to sequencing of runners and a strand rate improving from exceptionally poor to ordinary. Thanks to that strand rate, his ERA of 5.54 is about 8% worse than average, but his opposing slash stats of .247/.359/.381 equate to a 94 OPS+, meaning he held hitters to a below-average line.
Leiter is in line to start the first playoff game if Frisco advances.
Evan Carter went 0-2 with a walk and stolen base as the DH in his Frisco debut. Thomas Saggese did not play. Two days after manning 1B for the first time professionally at the end of a blowout, Trevor Hauver made his first start at the position.
Midland also lost. Furthermore, I’m told the head-to-head tiebreaker between Midland and Frisco applies to the entire season, not just the second half as I mistakenly thought. The teams are tied 9-9, but Frisco holds the second tiebreaker, best record over the final 20 — no, 21 games. That, combined with a cancelled game (which helps the tea ahead in the standings), reduces Frisco’s magic number to three, not the five shown in the official standings. Five games remain.