The Farm Report -- 9/8/2017

Rangers Farm Report: Games of Thursday 7 September
Box Scores

High-A: at Down East 4, Myrtle Beach (CHC) 1
Down East leads best-of-three semifinal 1-0

SP Jonathan Hernandez: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 7 SO, 0.00 ERA
RP Jeffrey Springs: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 SO, 0.00 ERA
RP C.D. Pelham: 2 IP, 0 R, 1 SO, 0.00 ERA
CF Matt Lipka: 1-4, HR
SS Josh Morgan: 1-4, double
3B Yanio Perez: 2-4
1B Carlos Garay: 1-2, double, walk

Down East claimed the first game of an abbreviated semifinal. The teams will play one or two seven-inning games in Myrtle Beach on Friday to decide the series.

Despite a lofty pitch count of 93 in 5.1 innings, Jonathan Hernandez held the Pelicans (which included a rehabbing WIlson Contreras) in check. Ace reliever Jeffrey Springs entered in the 6th with one out and two on; he yielded a run-scoring double but no further damage. C.D Pelham made his high-A debut in style by retiring six straight. Wild and unreliable early in the season, Pelham asserted a late-inning role for Hickory and aided a second-half resurgence nearly as impressive as Down East's.

Matt Lipka led off the bottom of the 1st with a homer, after which the Woodies reverted to their usual strategy of timely singles. Down East scored its other three runs in the 5th on four singles and a Carlos Garay double.

Short-A: Spokane 1, at Vancouver (TOR) 2
Spokane loses best-of-three semifinal 0-2

SP Cole Ragans: 4 IP, 5 H (1 HR), 2 R, 4 BB, 6 SO, 0.00 ERA
RP Joe Barlow: 3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 SO, 0.00 ERA
RF Pedro Gonzalez: 2-4, SB

From my preview: "On paper, the Vancouver rotation has a sizable advantage. [Nate] Pearson and [Zach] Logue are college-seasoned 2017 picks who dominated the Northwest League, albeit in limited action, and don't have the walk issues of their opponents... Will Oullette (3.00 ERA, 28% SO) and Orlando Pascual (2.18 ERA, 34% SO) are the closers. After them, the bullpen is less assured."

Unfortunately, the four pitchers I mentioned threw 12 of Vancouver's 18 innings and allowed a lone run on seven hits. Spokane pitched well enough to win the series. Vancouver was better. It happens.

Ragans' evening wasn't too far from his typical result this season. In the 1st and the 4th, he gave up a run while striking out two and walking two. All told, a fine season, and if he can tighten his control a little, he's going to make life miserable for Sally League hitters in 2018. Joe Barlow is usually effective but tends to get walk-happy even in the best of times, so his lone walk to 13 batters in a tense situation was especially nice.

Pedro Gonzalez, he of the 0-for-17 regular season, singled twice and led the team by reaching safely five times in the series. Kole Enright drove Gonzalez in with a single in the 5th. For the series, Spokane batted .164/.233/.164 with no extra-base hits and a 40% strikeout rate.

In the finals, the Canadians will face Cubs-affiliated Eugene, which swept Hillsboro.

Today's Starters
High-A: Steven Bruce, and then Brett Martin if Down East loses the first game.

Five Years Ago Yesterday
Frisco shut out Corpus on the road to sweep the Texas League semifinals, after which trainer Carlos Olivas reminded me I'd picked Corpus in five. Fair enough. Nick Tepesch one-hit the Hooks for seven innings. Myrtle Beach was stomped 9-0 by a very good Winston-Salem club in the deciding game of the Carolina League semifinals.

Scott Lucas
Newberg Report
twitter: @scottrlucas


Jamey Newberg

Dallas attorney Jamey Newberg has been commenting on Rangers from the big club down through the entire farm system since 1998.

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas was born in Arlington, Texas, to Richard and Becky Lucas. He lived mostly in Arlington before moving to Austin, where he graduated from The University of Texas. Scott works for Austin Valuation Consultants, Ltd., and has published several boring articles about real estate appraisal and environmental contamination. He makes a swell margarita and refuses to run longer than ten kilometres.

Eleanor Czajka

Eleanor grew up watching the AAA Mudhens in Toledo, Ohio. A loyal Ranger fan since 1979, she works "behind the scenes" at the Newberg Report.

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