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Minor Lines 8/23/23: Yu Gotta Believe

With roster expansion just a week away, Worcester, the lone winner, has lots of fringe Major League guys to consider, and it showed in their win.

Yu Chang on June 8, 2023 at Polar Park.
Yu Chang on June 8, 2023 at Polar Park.
Dean Roussel

Worcester: W, 5-2 (BOX SCORE)

We’ve reached that point in the season where almost everyone is back to being healthy and the Triple-A roster looks like a graveyard of names we’ve seen earlier in the season up in Boston. The infield is so stacked, in fact, that Bobby Dalbec played right field for the entire game... and it’s also worth noting Yu Chang played a sound first base. And the team was pretty productive!

The aforementioned Chang got three hits and boosted his Triple-A average up to .300. David Hamilton, Enmanuel Valdez and Bobby Dalbec all got clutch 9th inning RBI hits before the Rochester Red Wings (Nationals AAA) recorded a single out, to put Worcester ahead in an otherwise tight game. But perhaps the more impressive performance was the pitching. Kyle Barraclough gutted out seven innings, needing just 91 pitches to do so and giving up only two runs, Nick Robertson pitched a perfect — though not immaculate — eighth inning, and Joe Jacques sat the Red Wings down in order for the save. It’s good to see Worcester winning games they should be winning.

Portland: L, 9-8 (BOX SCORE)

After being the only winners on the farm Tuesday night, the Sea Dogs were not as lucky against the Giants’ Double-A affiliate, the Richmond Flying Squirrels. It wasn’t for lack of effort. Following another shaky start by Chih-Jung Liu that saw him give up six runs in just five outs and a rare Sterling Sharp bullpen appearance, the Sea Dogs stayed in the game early thanks in part to an Alex Binelas 2-out 2-RBI triple in the third inning. After a back-and-forth game, Binelas would again come in clutch in the fifth with a solo shot. With the score 8-6 going into the eighth, Corey Rosier and Chase Meidroth tied it up with RBI doubles, but ultimately Ryan Zeferjahn gave a run up in the ninth and the Sea Dogs couldn’t get anything going in the bottom of the 9th. A tough game to lose, but even with 13 strikeouts, Portland had offense going throughout.

Greenville: L, 2-3 (BOX SCORE)

Wake up, Noah Song started! Unfortunately, despite just giving up one run in his four innings (69 pitches, 41 strikes) he was given the loss, as Greenville, now losers of eight straight contests, couldn’t get much going offensively against the Hickory Crawdads (Rangers High-A.) They escaped getting shut out in the 9th inning through a Tyler Miller ground ball with the bases loaded, and the runners stole bases a few pitches later to make it interesting, but they couldn’t capitalize any further, as three runners were stranded on two strikeouts. The Drive, by the way, had 15 Ks. Big problem throughout the organization, for sure.

Salem: L, 7-8 (BOX SCORE)

Salem endured another tough loss following poor starting pitching that maybe wasn’t even that poor. But their bats stayed in it against the Fredricksburg Nationals. Luis Ravelo hit a long ball to ensure they took an early lead, and Jhostynxon Garcia hit another two-run shot in the 6th for the Sox’s last score of the game. Garcia, by the way, had 4 hits, three runs and a walk last night. I almost titled this article The Jhostynxon Garcia Game, but I took a nice picture of Yu Chang a few months ago and wanted to use it. Writer’s choice. Salem did have two triples in this game but, ultimately, the deciding factor was the spotty pitching. It’s good that they sat down 14 Nationals on strikes, but ultimately the arms gave the opposition too many opportunities.

Happy Thursday!