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Red Sox Minor Lines: Bryan Mata finishes the year with a bang

As does Jhonathan Diaz

Pawtucket L 2-7

Cole Sturgeon, LF: 1-4, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K

C.J. Chatham, SS: 1-5, 1 K

Rusney Castillo, RF: 1-5

Bobby Dalbec, 3B: 1-5, 2 K

Josh Ockimey, 1B: 0-3, 1 BB, 1 R, 2 K

Bryce Brentz, DH: 2-3, 1 BB

Kyle Hart: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 5 BB, 4 K (108 pitches)

This was a tough game for the PawSox, with the most notable takeaways being simply who was on the field. Bobby Dalbec, for example, got the start. So did Kyle Hart and Bryce Brentz. All of these guys are potential September call-ups, and while they still could be they won’t be up for the entire month. It’s hard to see the team having these guys fly across the country for a day game on Sunday. That said, you do need players to stay in Triple-A for the end of that season, too. I suspect at least Dalbec will definitely be up from the players who were in Saturday’s lineup.

Portland W 2-0

Jarren Duran, CF: 1-4, 1 3B, 1 R

Marcus Wilson, RF 0-4, 3 K

Tommy Joseph, 1B: 0-3, 1 RBI, 2 K

Joey Curletta, DH: 0-2, 1 BB, 1 K

Brett Netzer, 2B: 0-1, 2 BB, 1 R, 1 K

Bryan Mata: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 9 K (103 pitches)

Durbin Feltman: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K (24 pitches)

The pitching was, very clearly, the story for the Sea Dogs on Saturday. This was the last we will see of Bryan Mata in the regular season — he will, of course, be pitching in the AFL later this month — and he ended things with a bang. It’s been a huge season for the righty overall, an his final start was his longest of the year, featured the most strikeouts of his season and his fourth shutout outing of 2019. The walks were not ideal, but given the one hit he allowed you can live with the control issues, particularly considering how many innings he’s thrown this year compared to other years in his pro career.

Salem W 6-0

Ryan Fitzgerald, 3B: 1-5, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K

Devlin Granberg, LF: 0-4, 1 R, 1 K

Keith Curcio, CF: 2-4

Kole Cottam, C: 2-3, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K

Jagger Rusconi, 2B: 2-3, 1 3B, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB

Tanner Nishioka, DH: 2-3, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K

Jhonathan Diaz: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 B, 8 K (94 pitches)

Yoan Aybar: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (14 pitches)

This was a strong overall game for the High-A club. Diaz went out and ended his season on an extremely high note, allowing zero earned runs in three of his final four starts. He did, however, give up six over 2 23 in the other start in that run. Still, it’s been a rollercoaster of a year for the southpaw, but he ended things with some momentum. The same can be said of Cottam, who has a really solid .777 OPS since his promotion to Salem. He’s a sleeper to watch in 2020.

Greenville L 2-7

Brandon Howlett, 3B: 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI

Jordan Wren, CF: 3-4, 2 SB

Speaking of rollercoaster seasons, Howlett has sort of been all over the map in 2019. Coming into the year with a fair amount of helium, the teenager really struggled to kick off his first full season. He started to heat up in the summer, though, before falling into another cold streak towards the end of the year. The up-and-down year is to be expected from a high school draftee in his first full season, though his struggles defensively at the hot corner may ultimately be the bigger concern.

Lowell W 4-2

Luke Bandy, CF: 2-4, 1 R, 1 K

Antoni Flores, 2B: 1-4, 1 BB, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K, 1 E

Roldani Baldwin, C: 1-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 E

Ceddanne Rafaela, 3B: 2-4

Matthew Lugo, SS: 1-4, 1 RBI

Jay Groome: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K (33 pitches)

There were a couple of promotions for the final few games on the schedule for Lowell, including this year’s second round pick Matthew Lugo and former top prospect in the organization Jay Groome. Both had solid, if unspectacular, performances. The big takeaway for me is wondering how much Lugo is going to be pushed next year. He was good in the GCL, though not great with a .342 OBP but a .673 OPS. He was always supposed to be a project so I’m guessing he won’t be pushed to full-season ball next year, but stranger things have happened.