Cardinals Minor League Notebook – September 1, 2021

photo: Logan Gragg (Peoria Chiefs)

Runs were at a premium across the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system on Tuesday, as the group scored just 12 runs while losing all six games. Two clubs were shut out. The Cardinal Nation Player of the Day Logan Gragg pitched Peoria into a position to win before a bullpen let down.

Results from the games played Tuesday, August 31st.

Memphis at Gwinnett – postponed

The Redbirds’ series opener at Gwinnett was rained out.  The contest has been rescheduled as part of a double-header on Thursday, September 2nd with Game 1 scheduled to start at 5:05 pm ET/4:05 pm CT.

Wednesday’s games:  Memphis (48-54) at Gwinnett (58-44) (ATL), 5:05 pm ET/4:05 pm CT, Matthew Liberatore (6-7, 4.56)/Zack Thompson (2-6, 6.38)

Springfield 2 at Tulsa 15

It was a long night for the S-Cards – and especially their hurlers – as Springfield (37-66) was drilled in the series opener at the Tulsa Drillers, 15-2.

A quartet of pitchers gave up a combined 18 hits and eight walks. Starter Michael Brettell (L, 1-4) yielded eight scores on nine hits and two walks, while retiring just six batters.

Kyle Leahy fared the best of the lot – if using a runs-per-outs-recorded formula.  Leahy was tagged for three tallies on six hits and two free passes issued in 3 1/3 frames.

Salvador Justo recorded four outs, permitting a hit and two walks, resulting in three runs.  All three of his base runners crossed home plate with Alex FaGalde on the mound, who had just been activated off the Injured List.  The score charged to FaGalde was generated by a long ball, one of two hits and two walks permitted.

Chandler Redmond

Springfield mustered eight hits, including three by first baseman Chandler Redmond.  Redmond went 3-for-5 with a double and RBI, batting third.  Designated hitter Nick Dunn reached base three times batting just ahead of Redmond, doubling once in three at bats with two walks and a run scored.  Shortstop Delvin Perez scored the other run, singling once in five at bats.

Wednesday’s game:  at Tulsa (56-47) (LAD), 12:05 pm CT, Grant Black (0-3, 5.59)

Peoria 1 at West Michigan 4

Peoria (39-64) collected just four hits in their 4-1 loss at West Michigan.

Their sole tally was unearned, coming in the first frame via singles by Masyn Winn and Pedro Pages.  Pages’ hit triggered a throwing error by the Whitecaps’ shortstop, allowing Winn to cross home plate.  Winn swiped his 12th bag and Tommy Jew doubled for the third time.

That slim 1-0 lead held through starter Logan Gragg’s five impressive innings on the bump.  Our Player of the Day limited the opposition to four hits with four K’s, tossing 48 of his 66 pitches for strikes, and did not issue a free pass.

Logan Gragg

The lead evaporated the moment the bullpen entered.  Sean Kealey retired only two batters, allowing three tallies on two hits and a base-on-balls.

Kealey’s final two runners scored under Enmanuel Solano’s watch.  Solano recorded the sixth’s last out without damage to his own stat line only to serve up a bomb leading off the seventh.  Jacob Schlesener faced the minimum in the eighth.

Wednesday’s game:  at West Michigan (DET), 7:05 pm ET/6:05 pm CT, Mac Lardner (0-4, 5.51)

Palm Beach 6 at Dunedin 16

Palm Beach (31-69) pitchers allowed runs in six frames, leading to a resounding 16-6 defeat at Dunedin.

All five Beach Birds hurlers were scored upon, beginning with starter Edgar Manzo, who did not finish the third.  Manzo was touched for four runs in his final frame, yielding five hits including a solo shot over 2 2/3 innings.  The righty was one of three PB-Card pitchers to hit a batter.

Manzo exited with his team up 5-4 thanks to Palm Beach scoring in each of the game’s initial three innings.  Three of the five scores were generated by L.J. Jones’ two-run blast plus Elijah Cabell’s first pro rocket.   The home runs were each player’s only hits in five and three at bats, respectively, although Cabell did work a free pass.

LJ Jones IV

The high point of the game occurred after the visitors pushed another run across home in their half of the fourth for a 6-4 advantage.  It was all Dunedin, however, from that point onward.

Nathanael Heredia stranded Manzo’s last base runner but let the Blue Jays knot the game at 6-6 on a hit and four free passes issued against three batters retired.

The pitching pattern continued as Ryan Loutos (L, 0-2) stranded three inherited runners but permitted three scores on three hits and a hit batsman in two innings.  Hard-throwing Edwin Nunez recorded four outs, leaving Loutos’ last runner aboard, but was charged with six runs, five earned, on two hits, three walks and a plunked batter.

Andrew Marrero broke the cycle of stranding inherited runners while giving up tallies of their own but not in a good way.  The 18th-round selection in the recent First-Year Player Draft allowed all three inherited runners to score plus an unearned tally of his own on a hit and walk with three outs recorded.

Palm Beach’s bats accumulated nine hits, with three Beach Birds having two each in four at bats:  Mike Antico, Patrick Romeri and Mack Chambers.  All three players added a base-on-balls. Antico and Romeri touched home once and Romeri and Chambers each drove in one.  Noah Mendlinger continued his strong 2021 debut, going 1-for-3 with a walk and run scored.

Defensively, the Beach Birds’ two miscues were split between reliever Nunez and first baseman Thomas Francisco, both fielding.

Wednesday’s game:  at Dunedin (47-56) (TOR), 6:30 pm ET/5:30 pm CT, Michael McGreevy (0-0, 9.00) (then John Beller (0-5, 4.05))

FCL Cardinals 0 vs. FCL Nationals 4

The FCL Cardinals’ (20-21) offensive struggles continued for a second straight contest, resulting in a 2-0 home defeat to the FCL Nationals (19-24).

A day after generating two runs on seven hits, the home team was shut out on four hits, all singles.  Second baseman Ramon Mendoza garnered half of them in three at bats with a walk, batting seventh.  Right fielder Adanson Cruz reached base twice, going 1-for-3 with a base-on-balls out of the three hole.

Ramon Mendoza

Yordy Richard (L, 3-6) tossed a solid effort, giving up a run on four hits and a walk over four innings.  The righty struck out four.

A quartet of hurlers covered the game’s five-inning balance.  Tyler Statler kept the Nationals off the board through the sixth, permitting two hits and issuing one free pass.  Rehabber Hector Soto was dinged for a tally on three seventh-inning hits prior to Omar Sanchez taking over in the eighth.  Sanchez and Trent Baker retired three batters each, the former maneuvering around two walks and the latter facing the minimum.

Wednesday’s game:  Off

DSL Cardinals Blue 0 at DSL Nationals 4 (7 innings)

The DSL Cardinals Blue (12-23) were blanked by the DSL Nationals (19-15) for the second straight game, losing 4-0 on Tuesday.

The C-Blue’s six hits, all singles, were disbursed among four players.  Shortstop Maycol Justo was a perfect 3-for-3 but was caught stealing in his only attempt.

Maycol Justo

Hancel Rincon was charged with the loss, his first decision in seven starts.  The 19-year-old yielded two tallies on four hits and a base-on-balls.  Both scores occurred in Rincon’s last inning of work, the fifth.  Alexander Beltre posted a line nearly identical to Rincon’s but in just one frame – two runs allowed on four hits and two walks.  The righty did pick a runner off first.

Defensively, first baseman Fernando Diaz was charged with a missed catch error, his ninth overall, while left fielder Robelyn Lopez was credited with an outfield assist at home.

Wednesday’s game:  off

DSL Cardinals Red 3 vs. DSL Giants Black 9

The DSL Cardinals Red (15-17) were downed by the DSL Giants Black (13-14) on Tuesday, 9-3.  It is the fourth consecutive loss by the C-Red and seventh in their last eight.

The C-Red led 3-1 until the visitors’ half of the fourth when the Giants Black put up a six spot.  Starter Branyan Ramirez (L, 0-3) did not retire a batter that inning, permitting five runs in all on five hits and four free passes issued.

Ramirez’ last two base runners scored with Omar Yanez’ on the mound. The 18-year-old had difficulty finding the strike zone, allowing a hit and four walks plus a wild pitch which generated two scores in 2/3 of an inning.

Eduar Pimentel

Eduar Pimentel faced one over the minimum during his 2 1/3-inning stint, issuing a free pass and leaving the bases jammed with Yanez’ base runners.  Juan Severino tossed a one-two-three seventh but Fraimin Marte was tagged with two tallies on two hits and a walk while retiring three batters.  Augusto Calderon faced the minimum in the ninth, fanning two.

All three C-Red scores came in the first.  Second baseman Samil De La Rosa’s first triple drove in shortstop Marcelo Perez who worked a free pass to open the frame.

After right fielder Carlos Carmona also walked, De La Rosa scored on Carmona’s successful steal of second.  A throwing error by the Giants Black’s catcher allowed the right fielder to take third, putting Carmona in position to score on designated hitter Jose Rodriguez’ sac fly to right.

Five C-Red players had one hit apiece, Perez, De La Rosa and third baseman Raul Guzman all reaching base twice.

Wednesday’s game:  off

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