Rangers Farm Report: Games of Tuesday 10 September
Low-A: at Hickory 0, Lexington (KC) 7
Hickory trails best-of-five finals 0-2
SP Cole Winn: 5 IP, 6 H (1 HR), 4 R, 2 BB, 6 SO
RP Jesus Linarez: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO
RP Daniel Robert: 1 IP, 3 H (1 HR) 3 R, 1 BB, 1 SO
RF Pedro Gonzalez: 1-2, double, 2 walks
C Matt Whatley: 1-2, walk
A 24-game stretch without consecutive losses has ended at the worst time. Hickory must win three in Lexington to claim the league title. Can Hickory pull it off? Well, the Crawdads did have a three-game winning streak just five days ago, beating this very Lexington squad on Labor Day before sweeping 90-win Delmarva in the divisional round. So: maybe?
The Crawdads had seven hitless at-bats with runners in scoring position, but only in the 4th did they mount a serious threat. A passed ball after one-out walks to Tyreque Reed and Pedro Gonzalez put runners in scoring position with one out but starter Carlos Hernandez fanned Frainyer Chavez and Miguel Aparicio. Thereafter, Hickory would never have two aboard.
In the finals, Kole Enright is batting (.400/.571/.600), and Pedro Gonzalez is .200/.500/.400. Their teammates are .096/.158/.115: 5-for-52 with a double and three walks. Even one of Enright's hits last night went for naught. Still down by a single run in the 3rd, Enright strayed off second after a hit to center and was tagged out.
Cole Winn nearly cleared five innings with only one run allowed. With two out and a runner on second, an Eric Cole RBI single and Chris Hudgins homer suddenly put Hickory down four. Until then, he'd been effective. He'd struck out six, although trouble putting some batters away resulted in a high pitch count. Winn had never thrown more than 85 pitches professionally. The homer pitch to Hudgins was his 88th, and he finished five innings with 93.
Jesus Linarez gave the offense a chance to creep back in. In the 9th, an intentional walk to Jeison Guzman turned sour when Eric Cole put the game out of reach with a three-run shot off Daniel Robert.
I received an lesson in postseason chaos in 2008, when Frisco (84-56) faced Arkansas (62-78) in the Texas League Championship. Frisco had a three-man rotation topped by Derek Holland and Neftali Feliz, a lineup fronted by Julio Borbon and Elvis Andrus, future MLB catcher Manny Pina, and several solid role players. Arkansas won the championship in five games, outscoring Frisco 28-13.
No game today.