Seattle Mariners Universe – August 9th

Seattle and Tacoma both had the day off today but there was plenty of excitement in Mariners Universe today with three walk-off wins!

Thought of the day: The Mariners have as gifted of arms behind the plate as I have seen.

Steven Baron – 46% with 148 runners thrown out since 2009
John Hicks – 47% with 57 runners thrown out since 2011
Jesus Sucre – 42% with 170 runners thrown out since 2007
Brandon Bantz – 46% with 84 runners thrown out since 2009

Hopefully we can add Mike Zunino to this list in 2012.

To the tabs!

Generals The Generals bullpen could not hold the lead on Thursday night as the Montgomery Biscuits took the contest 6-4 amid a 48 minute weather delay.

James Gillheeny was effective through 7 innings of work allowing 4 runs (3ER) and striking out 6. Yoervis Medina allowed the final two runs of the game for the Generals in the 8th inning allowing 3 hits in an inning of work.

This outing was Gillheeny’s first start of 2012 in AA Jackson. Gillheeny has been bouncing between A-Ball and AA-Ball since 2010. He has not been able to find a handle on the ball since being drafted in 2009 from the Alma Mater of Dustin Ackley and Kyle Seager; North Carolina University. He has an ERA of 4.73 in the Minor Leagues. Let’s hope he gets his arm going for the club with this solid start.

Brad Miller got the scoring started for the Generals in the third inning with a 2-run HR. The Mariners 2nd round selection from Clemson University in 2011 hit .415 at Clinton last season post-draft. Miller continued his hot hitting amid posting a line of .339/.412/.524 in 97 games at High Desert in 2012. Since his call-up to Jackson he is hitting an impressive .311. Watch here for a video of Brad Miller graciously accepting the honor of 2011 ACC Player of the Year prior to being selected by the Seattle Mariners.

The other two RBIs of the night came from Johermyn Chavez in the 6th and 8th innings; he finished up the night 1-4 with a triple.

As a team the Generals were 0-12 with RISP; a dubious non-achievement for sure.

Tweet @jacksongenerals to help jump start this offense tomorrow!

Mavericks The Mavericks closed out an exciting day of Mariners baseball on Thursday with the third walk-off win of the day; clipping Lancaster 7-5 on a Jack Marder 2-run HR in the bottom of the 9th.

Trevor Miller took the ball for the Mavericks in his first game for High Desert since being called up from Clinton. Miller pitched ineffectively last season in High Desert but looked more in command all night this time around. Miller pitched 5 strong innings with 7 Ks while allowing 2 ERs. Tyler Burgoon picked up the win out of the bullpen, after blowing the save, for his second win as many nights.

Trevor Miller was a 40th round selection in 2011 out of San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, CA which happens to be the Alma Mater of former Mariner Eddie Guardado. Miller posted a solid 3.36 ERA with Clinton in 17 starts (22 appearances) while allowing only 17BBs in 120.2 IP. That computes to a walk allowed nearly every 7.1 innings; he also tossed 84Ks in those same innings.

The aforementioned Jack Marder was not the only one swinging a hot bat on Thursday night for High Desert. James Jones and Mario Martinez, both putting up solid numbers in 2012 added multi-hit games. Jones stole his 23rd base of the season from the lead-off spot and Martinez added 3 RBIs to raise his total to 62 on the season.

Marder was a 16th round pick out of Oregon Univeristy in the 2011 draft. His numbers in 2012 at High Desert are indiciative of where he left off last season in High Desert post-draft. Marder has hit an ASTOUNDING .362 in 63 games this season. He has also stolen 16 bases and played 3 different positions (2B, C, LF). Here is a fantastic video of George Horton, Oregon’s head coach, referring to Marder as Bugs Bunny and having the ability to field all nine positions.

Marder is only a few at-bats away from qualifying for league statistics in the Cal League and once he does he will be leading in average, on base percentage, and second in OPS (On-Base + SLG) behind CJ Retherford.

I should mention that John Hicks threw out two more base runners in Thursdays ballgame bringing his totals to 40 of 81 caught stealing or 49.4% of runners. Hicks offers the kind of base path control that is hard to find.

Tweet @HDMavs to congratulate Jack Marder on his 2-run walk-off jack in the 9th!

Lumberkings The Lumberkings were victorious in an extra innings contest on Thursday. Daniel Paolini waited until the 10th inning for his first hit of the night; it just so happened to be a walk-off single that put the Lumberkings up 2-1 for the victory.

Kane County starter Jason Mitchell and Lumberkings starter Jordan Pries combined for 10 innings of shutout baseball with 10 Ks allowing no walks. Guess that is how an extra innings game ends in 2 hours and 31 minutes.

Pries, the Mariners 11th round selection in the 2011 draft has been impressive since entering the organization last season. Pries recorded a 3.71 ERA and a 1.157 WHIP last season at Everett. In 2012 he has split time between Rookie League AZL (3 starts with a .75 ERA and a .667 WHIP) and the Lumberkings. Pries now has an ERA of 2.65 in 3 starts for the Lumberkings while allowing no HRs.

Pries lays claim to one of the best intro songs in the Minor Leagues with ‘The Stroke’ by Billy Squier. Watch a video here of him explaining his intro music and showing off some dance moves. Seems to this Mariners fan that Pries would fit in just fine in Seattle with Brendan Ryan and Munenori Kawasaki.

Mike Dowd and Jamal Austin added multi-hit games for the Lumberkings in the victory. Dowd now has 60 hits in 60 games and has thrown out 39% of runners from behind the plate.

Paolini, like Dowd, has as many hits as games played (88) with an impressive 42BBs and 48Ks. Paolini attended Siena College in Loudonville, NY; the same Alma Mater as John Lannan from the Washington Nationals. A small college that has only sent 3 players into the Major Leagues (Lannan is the only player to stick in the Majors).

If you enjoyed the Jordan Pries video above than watch here for a similar video on previously mentioned Mike Dowd explaining how his nickname Panda came about.

Tweet @LumberKings to congratulate Daniel Paolini on his 9th inning walk-off single!

Aquasox The Aquasox tried their best to add a 4th walk-off to the list on Thursday but fell short, losing 3-2 to the Boise Hawks.

Steve Ewing picked up a quality start for the Aquasox throwing 6 innings with 7Ks and allowing 2 ERs. Mark Bordonaro took the loss from the bullpen allowing 1 ER in 2.0 IP.

Mike Zunino and Janelfry Zorrilla make the Mariners Universe blog for the second straight day with as many multi-hit games. Marcus Littlewood also added a multi-hit game for the Aquasox in the loss.

Zorrilla played four seasons in the Dominican Summer League for the Mariners organization before his call up stateside here in 2012. He has struggled between Clinton and Everett after putting up a line of .321/.405/.594 in his final Dominican season at the age of 20. Zorrilla is known as a smart runner and a solid base stealer but tonight he was caught stealing 2nd and picked off 1st by Hawks pitcher Matt Iannazzo.

Zunino and Alfredo Morales picked up the two RBIs for the Aquasox.

Tweet @EverettAquaSox to root for the AquaSox as they continue to hold the overall lead in their divisional standings!

Rookie The Pulaski Mariners overcame a 56 minute delay and a 7-run deficit early in the contest to pick up the victory on Thursday by the final score of 9-8. The second walk off winner of the night in Mariners Universe goes to Phillips Castillo who singled in Reginald Lawson in the bottom of the 9th.

The AZL Mariners did not fare as well playing the AZL Athletics to a final score of 9-4.

Let’s talk Pulaski walk-off first.

This game between Pulaski and Greeneville featured 17 runs on 30 hits. Pulaski starter Rigoberto Garcia, an 18 year old from the Dominican Republic, did not last past the 3rd inning while allowing 6 ERs alongside 2 HRs.

Tyler Marlette led Pulaski hitters going 4-5 from the plate including 3 doubles and 3 RBIs; Marlette raised his 2012 average from .300 to .316. Three Pulaski hitters managed to bang out 3 hits in this ballgame; Gilmer Lampe, Jordy Lara, and Martin Peguero. The 5th multi-hit game of the night came from Reginald Lawson. This is the second straight multi-hit game for Jordy Lara and Reginald Lawson.

Phillips Castillo, who signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2011 for 2.2 million dollars, was the nights hero as he delivered the walk-off winning single to seal this offensive slugfest for Pulaski. The final line of the night for the offense was 19 of 45; an average of .422.

Keith Law of ESPN recently chimed in on Phillips Castillo as a possible future major league presence.

“Outfielder Phillips Castillo is several years away, but the hit tool and potential for power down the road are very enticing — the ball comes off his bat as though he was several years older than he is (18), but he’ll need development in most other areas, from pitch recognition to defense to baserunning.”

Game Saquilon made the start for the AZL Mariners in Thursday’s contest. He took the loss allowing 5 ERs in 3.2 innings of work after throwing tremendously so far this season. Saquilon was a 25th round selection of the Mariners in 2011; the highest drafted player in history from his high school in San Diego, CA. Saquilon carried an ERA of 1.80 into today’s game allowing only 1 HR over 30 innings of work. Watch here for a video of Gabe pitching off a simulated mound uploaded to YouTube by none other than Gabe Saquilon.

Christian Carmichael added his second straight multi-hit game, raising his average to .324, while Joseph DeCarlo added a multi-hit performance as well.

Tweet @PulaskiMariners to congratulate Phillips Castillo on his 9th inning walk-off single! Tweet @MinorLeagues to tell the AZL Mariners to get their own twitter account!

Mentioned Players on Twitter: Brad Miller, Daniel Paolini, Mike Dowd, Gabe Saquilon

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