Minor Issues: Needless Suffering

LEHIGH VALLEY IRONPIGS (45-70)

Ah, Lehigh Valley.  The abdominal strain rehab capital of the world.  Actually, its the birthplace of Commander Riker from “Star Trek: TNG” and home to a weakened industrial manufacturing economy thanks to off-shore factories.

But to Shane Victorino, it will be the first stop in a two-stop tour back to the majors from a scenic little trip to the DL.  Shane and his abdomen are going to be test driven over a few games, playing five, seven, and nine innings respectfully, hopefully unloading his most productive self by the time the Phillies are storming Citi Field in their last Mets-abuse of the month.

Also joining the Pigs from the other side of the organization comes 1B Matt Rizzotti (.362), vacuumed up from Reading, but more on traumatizing falsehoods a bit later.  He’s just in time for “Bring Your Dog to the Park” night, a hilarious visit from the Phanatic, and the Pigs 10th extra inning loss of the year!

But wait, there’s more!  And when I say “more,” I mean, “more hits than you would believe,” as the Pigs knocked the Gwinnet Braves’ pitching around for 16 hits, featuring the works of IF Neil Sellers, new guy Rizzotti, and OF Rich Thompson, whose five hits with three doubles broke Michael Taylor‘s single game record.

They lost 11-6.

Truly, this is god’s country.

READING PHILLIES (55-57)

“It was one of those pranks that make minor league baseball exciting.”  –Republican Herald

Ha, ha, yeah.  You remember minor league baseball, right?  That’s the sport where everyone is pecking and clawing at each other to get a spot in the big leagues, where guys scream in the mirror and get pressured into PEDs, and get jobs during the offseason and play their hearts out just to never see the light of day.

Apparently that comes with a side of “heartstopping pranks.”

When ball-crushing first baseman Matt Rizzotti was graduated to Triple-A Lehigh Valley, Reading manager Steve Roadcap thought it would be hilarious to tell him he was actually being downgraded to an instructional league.

It wasn’t until after Rizzotti has thrown everything on Roadcap’s desk on the floor and, through a heavy flow of childlike tears, pointed a finger at his ex-manager and swore revenge on his wife and children, that Roadcap explained the little prank.

“I thought he was going to pound on me.”  –Steve Roadcap

Hilarious!

TOP PERFORMERTuffy Gosewisch, because even as the Erie SeaWolves were padding an 8-4 lead, he was swatting three base hits, alongside Harold Garcia, who is riding an 11-game hitting streak amidst a sea of mediocre-at-best horseplay.

LAKEWOOD BLUECLAWS (67-45)

The BlueClaws, apparently, started this season with a crosshair of 100 wins.  Well, they’re not going to do that, but as the only team in the Phillies farm system with a campaign that goes beyond treading water just shy of .500, or floating along like a drowned cat.

Actually, the ‘Claws could wind up with the best record of all 120 full season minor league clubs if they keep this up.  “This,” of course, being relative, as they’ve dropped their last two games, the most recent being as reliever Luke Wertz Lidged four runs in the bottom of the ninth to the West Virginia Power.

TOP PERFORMER: Seriously, CF Jiwan James has played more games as a BlueClaw than anyvbody this year (110) and he’s brandishing a .279 BA.  But he’s clearly a little ambitious, considering he was a loud advocate for the 100-win goal, and he’s been thrown out for stealing more than a preteen girl squad in a CD store, or you know, some reference that’s still culturally relevant.

CLEARWATER THRESHERS (55-58)

I know I’m always dissing minor league teams for their names, and yeah, there’s probably not a lot of team names out there left to capitalize on.  So to find out the Threshers took three out of four from the “Fort Myers Miracle” was not really a shock.  But 12 years of Catholic school taught me that miracles are rarely there when you need them.

And thus, the Miracle weren’t really there for… themselves… or something.  I don’t know, its late.  The point is, the Threshers won the finale 1-0 today, thanks to RF Derrick Mitchell supplying 100% of the game’s offense with a home run.  Other than that, it was a decent chunk of horrifically uninteresting baseball.

Unless you like pitching, which I’m starting to realize is like jazz.  Nobody really likes it, they just like how it sounds when they say they do.

TOP PERFORMER:  So on that note, let’s all marvel at Austin Hyatt’s performance, as he leapt to 11-5 after seven shutout innings, two hits, and warming up a seat on the bench for the last 14 guys he faced.

WILLIAMSPORT CROSSCUTTERS (31-19)

As long as the Yankees are losing in some way, shape, or form, then I am happy.  And the Crosscutters, continuing a lively disembowelment of the Staten Island Yanks, are causing just that.  So kudos to the ‘Cutters, whose terrifying reign of destruction on the New York-Penn League.

The ‘Cutters were able to take down the apparently nicknamed “Baby Bombers” (OMFG SO STUPID LOL) despite giving up six runs in the fifth inning, which, if you are not familiar at all with baseball, is terrible.  Starter David Buchanan was a joke, allowing three consecutive walks, and his follow-up,Bryan Morgado, made even more of a mess, handing out a few more walks and a home run.

But the Yankees were about to get Klocke’d.

James Klocke’d.

The Williamsport CF James Klocke cleared the bases in the bottom of the ninth against a Yankees closer Chase Whitley who until that moment had been able to lock down and seemingly erase batters at will.  A bases clearing double was the order of the day, and the ‘Cutters were able to pin this one down, 11-9.

Beautiful.

Sunday, of course, the Staten Island won 6-3.  Just like the real Yankees, they refuse to allow you to bask in the glory of shitting on them for too long without getting all “vengeful.”  Jerks.

TOP PERFORMER:  DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS?!  JAMES O’KLOCKE!

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Tags: Clearwater Threshers Lakewood BlueClaws Lehigh Valley IronPigs Phillies Reading Phillies Williamsport Crosscutters