Diamonds in the Desert: A Baseball Blog from Tucson

Not Kloess At All
June 11, 2013, 16:33
Filed under: Uncategorized

Well, well, well…  The slumping Fresno Grizzlies still have a pulse, as they showed in their rout of RHP Brandon Kloess and the Tucson Padres last night.  The very last thing I envisioned – given Brandon’s excellent work so far this season – was his meltdown on the mound.  Combined with an inability by the Pads to bring home runs (they stranded eight), it resulted in a blowout loss for Tucson.  Kloess gave up seven runs (six earned) on ten hits – one was a two-run homer.  He worked only four innings and gave up at least one run in each of those.  On the bright side:  he was able to strike out six and he only walked one.  He gave way to Wilfredo Boscan in the fifth.  Boscan worked three and two-thirds innings – and actually kept Fresno off the scoreboard in two of those.  He did allow another three runs total (two earned) on six hits.  It was not a horrible outing for Wilfredo, but the Grizzlies had taken too great a lead against Kloess…and the Pads couldn’t get their offensive machine to work at all.  Tucson scored their only run in the fourth inning, against starter Austin Fleet (who the Pads saw and beat in the last series when he made his AAA debut with Fresno).  Fleet had his problems with control – walking a total of four batters – and that came back to bite him in the fourth when Kalian Sams and Cody Decker took lead off walks and Jaff Decker smacked out a double to score Sams. Fleet got out of the inning with no further damage done and Fresno went to their pen for the final innings. Fresno’s relievers were very good…Tucson went totally flat after that mini-offensive burst:  they didn’t get a hit off either Grizzly reliever.  I blame this all on sleep-deprivation from Tucson’s travel day.  Sunday’s game ended after 10pm…and the guys met at the airport at 5:45am yesterday for their trip to Fresno.  That’s GOTTA be the problem!  There was one spot of sunshine in the game in the form of the Amazing Jesus Merchan!  I tell you, I just love this guy more and more as the season rolls along.  Because of a series of roster moves (see Transactions) yesterday, Tucson had no backup catcher to help warm up pitchers in the pen.  So who gets to do that?  Jesus, of course.  He’s Mr. Do-Anything-You-Need.  And he certainly should get extra credit for his work last night.  He did the catching duty in the pen until Boscan started to run out of gas in the Fresno eighth…at which point Manager Pat Murphy sent one of the trainers out to catch while Merchan warmed up to pitch!  With two in and two out and two on, Merchan trots out to attempt to get Tucson out of the inning without any more damage…he tossed two balls…but then induced a pop-out to end the threat.  In his third outing of relief this season, Merchan once again went scoreless out there.  This guy is amazing!  And if you’ve never seen this kid smile, you’re really missing a treat.  He grins so big you can see his mouth full of braces.  He looks like a guy who thoroughly enjoys the game – even if he rides the bench a lot.  Great guy!  So, Tucson dropped one against Fresno.  Fortunately, Las Vegas lost, too.  We’re both still tied for second place, but now three games back of Sacramento (who won last night).  I hope Tucson is more rested and ready for a giant win in Fresno tonight!  Go Pads!   Final Score:  Tucson 1; Fresno 10.

Transactions.  Rather a lot happened yesterday after I’d posted…  First of all, San Diego activated INF Logan Forsythe off their 60-day DL – he’s back with the Parent Unit (in fact, he hit a homer for them last night!).  The move corresponded with putting former T-Pad Jedd Gyorko on the DL with a groin strain.  Because Logan wasn’t on the 40-man roster, the club had to open up a roster spot to take him back.  They opted to designate catcher John Baker for assignment.  That’s why Tucson had no backup catcher in last night’s game.  Daniel Robertson was out of the lineup for the second straight game – he’s got a sore ankle and is day-to-day.  The organization reassigned RHP Matt Branham to Lake Elsinore Storm yesterday – but today they reassigned him back to Tucson!  I think that’s because today San Diego optioned RHP Burch Smith back to Tucson AND recalled RHP Nick Vincent.  Burch will probably take some time to return to Tucson…and Nick will be long gone by game start tonight…so we needed someone to fill out the pitching staff today.  Thus Branham.  I’d hoped to see a move bringing Tucson an additional catcher today, but there’s nothing out there on that.  I guess that means they’re relying on Cody Decker to fill things out until something else happens.

On The Road…   The Tucson Padres are in Fresno for three more games against the Grizzlies (AAA Giants).  Gosh is seems like we’ve played Fresno a bazillion times already this year…and it’s true!  In fact, a strange scheduling fluke this season means that this is our final time to face Fresno for the rest of the year!  Odd that we’ll be done with a team in our Divisions so soon, but…  All of the games in Fresno this week will air at 7:05pm on 1290 AM The Source or live-streaming off the Tucson Padres website.  Our Padres return home again this Friday for another fun weekend of baseball and cool promotions.  Mark your calendars now!

(Disclaimer – This posting has not been reviewed or approved by Pima County, the City of Tucson, the Tucson Padres, Tucson AAA Baseball, San Diego Padres, PCL, MiLB, MLB, National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the Pima County Sports and Tourism Authority, or any other baseball official and represents the views and biases of the author alone)


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