Minors Monday’s AFL at the AFL: Week 3
By Justin Klugh
Hey, look, pull back the curtains–it’s still fall. I know, I know; it seems like it’s been weeks since this whole mess started and, really, trees? How are there more leaves? How do you as an organism have so much reproductive seed? It’s absurd. Why aren’t we more worried about the trees, man? They’re everywhere and if my grade school understanding of how trees work is any indication, there’s more of them every day.
Fortunately, where the prospects are, they don’t have trees. They have cacti. Which are way better.
Hey, look at these numbers!
As of 10/30:
Cody Asche: 47 AB, 13 H, 5 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, .277/.327/.447
Tommy Joseph: 22 AB, 3 H, 2 R, 1 RBI, .136/.269/.136
Zach Collier: 35 AB, 12 H, 2 2B, 2 3B, 5 RBI, .343/.400/.514
Kyle Simon: 9.0 IP, 15 H, 11 R, 9 ER, 5 K, 9.00 ERA
Jay Johnson: 4.1 IP, 10 H, 8 ER, 9 K, 5 BB, 16.62 ERA
Tyler Knigge: 6.1 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 7 K, 4 BB, 7.11 ERA
Colby Shreve: 8.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 K, 2.08 ERA
The week started strong for the Javelinas–fun fact, javelinas are also known as “skunk pigs”–who shut out the Surprise Saguaros, 3-0. Cody Asche started at third but was invisible nearly the entire time. Zach Collier took on left field duties and went 1-for-2 with a double and scored a third of the team’s runs. But the most critical performance went to Kyle Simon, whose ERA finally took a downward spiral after spending the majority of autumn in the stratosphere. His three scoreless innings with three K’s and only two hits allowed not only gave him his first win, but got his ERA to settle at slightly above 11. Colby Shreve hopped in in the seventh and threw his own series of zeroes.
Tuesday’s 7-2 win over the Scottsdale Scorpions was brought to you mostly by starting centerfielder Zach Collier, who got out of bed that morning with the intention of brutalizing someone. To the glee of the Peoria Major Crimes Unit, he chose to do so through the avenue of Arizona Fall League baseball and not grisly crimes. Going 3-for-5, Zach started the day off with a single, then had to jog off the field with blood in his mouth after being stranded on third. Next time up, he reached on a fielding error by Scottsdale shortstop Gift Ngoepe, a name too interesting to not mention no matter how irrelevant it is. Again he was left at third. This time, he got himself to third by his own power, tripling in a run and then getting knocked in himself. The run scoring allowed for a necessary pressure release, as Zach would single again in his final at-bat but wind up a part of somebody else’s messy double play.
Elsewhere, Cody Asche singled and scored, but K’d twice, while Tyler Knigge and Jay Johnson teamed up for two innings, two strikeouts, two walks, and three hits–but nary a run between them.
All the noise Tuesday was replaced by a desolate silence in Wednesday’s game, save the quiet slap ofball against mitt as Colby Shreve pitched a shutout fifth inning. He got out just before teammate Caleb Thielbar nearly gave up the lead with a 4-run sixth innings meltdown. Slick work, Colby.
Onward to Thursday, a day on which the Javelinas notched a devastating comeback win over the Mesa Solar Sox. After four innings of zero-run ball, Mesa ticked a run across the board in the fifth and quietly celebrated in the dugout. In this game, a one run outburst would surely be enough to silence the oh my god the Javelinas just scored eight runs at the end of the game well maybe we can launch a powerful offensive of our own whew there’s another single run maybe that will be enough to well darn the game is over and we have lost 8-2. Zach Collier finished his outfield trifecta for the week, starting in right this time, and going 0-for-2 with three walks. Cody Asche singled and doubled during one of the late inning scoring frenzies, pocketing an RBI while he was at it.
Friday was our first Tommy Joseph sighting for the week, a mostly forgettable adventure opposite the Salt River Rafters in which he got on base by dribbling to the pitcher once, and scored on a subsequent double. But the majority of his day was spent grounding out sharply to third or lining into a double play. Zach Collier doubled and singled again, while Cody Asche walked and scored, proving definitively that none of our prospects can be outwardly productive on the same day.
Speaking of which, the Dusty Wathan couldn’t put in a pitcher for a shutdown inning on Friday without having the guy after him give up least two runs. Jay Johnson and Tyler Knigge were not immune to this weird virus; Johnson with the unfortunate 0.2 innings that contributed to an 8-7 loss before tagging out and letting Knigge step in to throw the next 1.1 without allowing anything more than a single hit.