The Quakes moved back into a spot for a wild-card playoff position with a win on Friday, coupled with a Lake Elsinore loss.
The Quakes won at Bakersfield 8-7 as Austin Gallagher went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and Joc Pederson and Angelo Songco also drove in two runs apiece.
I haven’t posted here in a while, but here are some notes since the Cal League season ended about a month ago along with my perspective
- Lake Elsinore won the league title with a losing record (69-71), the first team to win the title with a losing record in league history. The previous worst record to win a league title? The 2006 66ers, who were 72-68.
- 66ers outfielder/first baseman Kole Calhoun was named Angels Minor League Player of the Year. He had an outstanding year on a team without a lot of offensive firepower, finishing with a .324 batting average, 22 homers and 99 RBIs. Not bad for a guy who only made the team because there were too many injuries in the Angels system.
- If you didn’t see the article in the paper a few weeks ago, Tom Gamboa, who was the 66ers manager for the first two months of 2011, has a cameo role as a scout in the movie “Moneyball.” Pretty cool, and there were some pretty cool real-life connections to the Billy Beane story, including Gamboa scouting Beane in real life when Beane was in high school, then later managing him when Beane was in the minors.
The Angels dismissed Director of Player Development Abe Flores. Mistake, mistake, mistake. While Tony Reagins’ mistakes as GM are well-documented, I don’t see Flores as the problem. He had the Angels developing players as part of Mike Scioscia’s system. Everyone was on the same page. He helped keep impressive consistency among the staffs, and players were ready, whether they were trade bait (in the Dan Haren deal) or whether they were contributing at the big league level (Jordan Walden, Peter Bourjos, Mike Trout). Flores wasn’t the one who traded away Mike Napoli.
Abe Flores will land on his feet, perhaps in scouting, which was his background before serving as assistant director of player development under Reagins. Some organization will get a great baseball man, who has an astute judge of talent and the ability to run an organizaton’s player development system. Just my 2 cents. There are some good baseball people in the Angels minor league system. Lets hope the new director of player development doesn’t clean house.
Lake Elsinore was 12 outs away from its first Cal League title in 10 years.
So close, but oh, so, so far.
Stockton scored four runs in the sixth and 11 in the seventh to blow out the Storm 15-1 in Game 3 of the Cal League Championship Series on Saturday night.
In the 11 run seventh, the Ports drew four walks and one hit batter. Three of the walks were with the bases loaded and there was a grand slam.
Lake Elsinore still leads the series 2-1. Game 4 is Sunday at 6:05 at Stockton.
After the Quakes made a season-high seven errors (they hadn’t made more than 3 in any game during the regular season) leading to four unearned runs in a 5-0 loss to Lake Elsinore in Game 1 of the South Division Finals, Quakes manager Keith Johnson had this to say.
“As bad as it was, there were positives,” he said. “They only had one inning where they put up a two spot and it could’ve been worse. That says something about the compeitiveness of these guys.”
“It’s a wake-up call. We’ve been going so good for so long defensively.”
Did the importance of the game get to them?
“I don’t think so, but we’ll know tomorrow (for Game 2).”
Game 2 is Sunday at 5:05 p.m. Lake Elsinore left-hander Juan Oramas (7-3, 3.00) will face Angels right-hander Joel Pineiro (10-7, 4.18 ERA) as part of a rehab assignment with the Quakes. Pineiro hasn’t pitched since a July 21 loss at New York. Pineiro has been out with a strained oblique muscle and is scheduled to throw 75-80 pitches.
In what could be considered good news for Quakes fans, Pineiro has had four previous rehab stints (in 2005, 2007, and 2008) during his career, compiling a 2.05 ERA with 16 strikeouts in in 22 innings.
It’s hard to understand the pitching moves the Sixers have made in the sweep at Lake Elsinore that ended Friday.
Whatever they are, they haven’t worked.
In Game 1, they brought in closer Matt Sartor to pitch the ninth, protecting a 7-6 lead. Sartor gave up two runs, as the Sixers lost 8-7 on Jesus Lopez’s sacrifice fly.
In Game 2, seldom-used Robert Boothe needs to get his work in, but protecting a 3-1 lead in the seventh? But after Boothe allowed four in the seventh and the Sixers fall behind 5-3, wasn’t it time to pull the plug on Boothe while the game was still close? The Sixers didn’t and Boothe allowed four more in the eighth in a 9-3 loss.
In Game 3, left-hander Miguel Sanfler came with a 3-2 lead and two on and no outs in the eighth. He pitched out of that jam. Instead of turning to Sartor for the ninth, the Sixers stuck with Sanfler. With two outs and runners on first and second, the right-handed Sartor was warming up. But manager Jeff Carter chose to stick with lefty Sanfler to face right-handed Lopez. Lopez delivered the game-tying single.
Then, having already pitched two full innings, Sanfler came out for the 10th and allowed a leadoff double to Adam Zornes off the wall in left-center that let to Bo Davis’ walk-off single to left with one out.
You don’t want to overwork the bullpen, to be sure. But surely there were other options out there than what Carter chose.