Pawtucket W 4-0
Brock Holt: 1-5
Ryan Roberts: 0-4, 2 K
Daniel Nava: 1-3, BB
Bryce Brentz: 3-4, 2 2B, HR
Christian Vazquez: 0-4
Garin Cecchini: 2-4, K, E
Alex Hassan: 0-4, 3 K
Dan Butler: 2-4
Anthony Ranaudo: 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
This is Anthony Ranaudo's best start of the year by quite a bit. It remains to be seen if it's a beginning or a blip, but it would not be too hard to imagine the former. After all, while it might be tempting to see this first month of the season as a setback for Ranaudo given his strong performance in Pawtucket post-promotion last year, that lasted all of 30 innings. He's very much a pitcher newly introduced to the highest level of competition the minors have to offer, so it's hardly unreasonable to expect an adjustment period.
As for Bryce Brentz, the problem lies in just how many bad games he seems to squeeze in between his outlandish nights like this one. He'll catch your eye on days like today, and then you'll remember that he had another big game recently. But when you actually go to check, the season numbers just aren't ever that good.
Portland W 13-5
Hmm...Portland scored 13 runs. I wonder if that's good news for Mookie's streak.
Mookie Betts: 3-5, HR, BB, SB
Well I, for one, am shocked.
Deven Marrero: 2-6
Travis Shaw: 3-6, 2B, K
Henry Ramos: 3-5, 2B, 3B
Brian Johnson: 5 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 3 K
Unfortunate to see Brian Johnson stumble after two terrific outings. Odd that this is how he stumbled. Maybe the Sea Dogs have just found a particularly stingy umpiring crew for this series, or maybe this is just a bad day. It's not like control has been a huge issue for Johnson in the past, even if he could have stood to improve his 2013 numbers some, so I'm hesitant to really even say this is really concerning.
Now let's talk Henry Ramos. The 22-year-old outfielder has never been terribly impressive. He was a fifth round pick who kind of fit the "lottery ticket" role from the beginning--a player with some nice upside that he wasn't too likely to meet. His first years in the system, if unimpressive, were still good enough to warrant keeping an eye on him, and now he might actually be putting it together. Ramos is currently hitting .343/.384/.482 in about 150 plate appearances for Portland. This is largely due to a ridiculous start to May, which has seen Ramos hit .460/.500/.720. He hasn't been hitting the ball out at the rate he managed in 2013, and he's never going to draw a ton of walks, but he's cut down on his strikeouts, and is still hitting the ball with some authority.
This might just be a hot streak for Ramos. And from most third-tier type prospects a streak like this might need to last a month or longer before it was really worth noting. But Henry Ramos is the sort of player who we've been waiting to see exactly this from. There has to be a bit more weight given to huge bursts of quality from a player of his make. And it's not like he'd be the first prospect to rise from obscurity after a rough April (see: Betts, Mookie).