Arizona League Weekly Report
Report No. One
Week Ending Saturday, July 8
Four Outs Away From a No-Hitter. Scottsdale Giants hurlers held the Mesa Cubs hitless for the first 7⅔ innings on July 7. Giants starter Roberto Martinez did not give up a hit in his four innings of work. RHP Ryan McGovern, pitching in the AzL on a rehab assignment, pitched a hitless fifth. The Cubs could not muster a safety off the Giants third pitcher Manuel Cabeza in the sixth or seventh innings. But the Giants' quest for a no-hitter ended with two outs in the eighth stanza when Cubs second baseman Pedro Lopez grounded a single through the left side.
Wild Thing. Seven Surprise Rangers batters were hit by Peoria Mariners' pitches on the Fourth of July. Four different Mariners pitchers inflicted the pain, led by reliever Carlos Javier who plunked three opposing batters in his three innings of work. Javier also uncorked three wild pitches. Mariners hurlers Tony Butler (hit one batter), Robert Harmon (two) and Dionny Gaetano (one) also contributed to the hit-by-pitch frenzy. Rangers outfielder Joe Napoli was hit twice--in back-to-back innings. But the bout of wildness did not prevent the Mariners from beating the Rangers, 17-11. The Mariners' 17 runs were the most scored in any Arizona League game so far this season.
Giants' Schoop Hits For Cycle. When Giants shortstop Sharion Schoop stepped to the plate in the eighth inning against the Royals on July 2, all he needed was a double to hit for the cycle. After popping out to the second baseman to open the ball game, the Giants' leadoff hitter followed with a homer to left in the third, a single to left in the fifth and a triple in the sixth stanza.
But it appeared Schoop missed his chance when he drew an eighth inning walk and was the scheduled seventh batter in the ninth inning.
And the odds got worse when the first two Giants hitters went down in the final inning. But a walk, a Joe Roundy homer, an error and a single gave Schoop another at bat . . . and he made the most of it. The 19-year-old from Curacao hit a line drive double to left field to complete the cycle.
Hitting for the cycle is a fairly rare feat in the Arizona League. Last year, Brewers first baseman Tony Festa connected for the cycle on August 13 against the Giants while playing on a rehab assignment. Before Festa, the last AzL player to accomplish the feat was Mariners outfielder Wladimir Balentien on July 13, 2003.
Ten-Run Ninth. The Padres posted 10 runs in the top of the ninth inning against the Athletics on July 6 en route to a 13-1 victory. Fifteen batters went to the plate for the Padres in the frame. There were seven hits (two doubles and five singles) and five walks. Centerfielder Joshua Alley, second baseman Jodam Rivera and DH Cedric Hunter each scored two runs in the inning.
Hit Parade. The Maryvale Brewers collected 23 hits in a 13-7 drubbing of the Surprise Royals on June 30. That is the most hits by any team in the Arizona League in 2006. Rightfielder Charles Caufield led the attack with five hits. Second baseman Hector Bernal, first baseman John Alonso, left fielder Anthony Wycklendt and third baseman Lenny LeClercq added three hits each. Alonso's hits included two home runs and Wycklendt connected for a solo roundtripper. (The most hits in the Arizona League in 2005 was 24 by the Surprise Royals.)
Twin Killings Galore. The Scottsdale Giants hit into six double plays against the Peoria Mariners on July 3. Although the Arizona League does not maintain single game all-time records, there is a good chance Mariners' accomplishment was the most ever in AzL history, especially considering the all-time Major League Record for most double plays in a game by one team is seven.
First Round Debut. Brandon Morrow, the fifth player selected in the June 2006 draft, made his professional debut with the Peoria Mariners on July 5. In his first outing, the University of Washington product retired the three Padres batters he faced (with one strikeout). Only six players drafted as high as Morrow have played in the Arizona League in its 19-year history. Two top draft picks have debuted in the AzL--Padres shortstop Matt Bush in 2004 and Angels outfielder Darin Erstad in 1995.
Posted Saturday, July 8, 2006