All four Dodger minor league affiliates won on Thursday night, and the story of the night was pitching. From 33 year old Seth Etherton to 20 year old Ethan Martin, there were several great pitching performances.
AAA – Seth Etherton put together one of the best Dodger minor league pitching performances of the year on Thursday as he struck out 11 in 7 innings, allowed just 3 hits, and didn’t walk a batter. Etherton, who was signed by the Dodgers as a minor league free agent this offseason, was the Angels 1st round pick in the 1998 draft and made his major league debut in 2000. After the 2000 season he was traded to the Reds, and has bounced around ever since, including stints in Korea and the Golden Baseball League. Jesus Rodriguez, who was promoted to Albuquerque to take the place of Justin Miller, picked up in the 8th inning and continued the dominate pitching, throwing 2 shutout innings in his AAA debut. The Isotope offense was led by Jay Gibbons’ 3 for 4 performance and John Lindsay’s 8th homer of the year. Ivan De Jesus also went 2 for 4 and has a modest 6 game hitting streak.
AA – Even though John Koronka got the start, Kenley Jansen stole the show and the win in this game. Jansen pitched 2 perfect innings while striking out 3, but that wasn’t his only contribution. Jansen, a former catcher, also had a double, stole a base, and scored the eventual winning run in Jacksonville. The other big pitching news in this game was that Javy Guerra returned to the mound after being out for almost a month, and pitched a scoreless inning of relief. I’m not exactly sure what Guerra’s injury was, but I’m glad that he is now OK. Offensively, Trayvon Robinson went 2 for 3 and stole his 10th base of the season. Scott Van Slyke had 2 singles and drove in a couple of runs.
High A – According to the Inland Empire box score on Thursday night, Ethan Martin pitched a complete game shutout. He only allowed 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 9. The reason I am hesitant to believe that Martin pitched all 9 innings is because the Inland Empire has the tendency to forget to update their box scores when new pitchers come into the game, so it is possible that Martin really only pitched something like 7 innings. In fact, just yesterday the 66er box score originally showed that Nathan Eovaldi had pitched 8 innings before getting corrected. Anyways, I’m sure we’ll find out exactly how long Martin pitched tomorrow, but whether he pitched 7 or 9 innings he was really good either way. **UPDATE: Martin did throw a complete game shutout using just 97 pitches, including several good changeups!** His last 2 starts have been great, and he is finally starting to perform like a top prospect. Despite the fact that the 66ers scored 5 runs, there wasn’t much offense to write about in this game. Matt Wallach went 3 for 4 with a double, and Tony Delmonico went 2 for 3. Ramon Jean had a couple of RBI’s with a run scoring single in the 4-run 2nd inning.
A – Down 2 to 1 heading into the 9th inning, the Loons scored twice and pulled out the win against the TinCaps in Fort Wayne. The eventual winning run scored on a double by Christian Lara, who went 2 for 5 in the game. Center fielder Lenell McGee had the other Loon RBI as he went 2 for 3. Brian Cavazos-Galvez went 2 for 4 and stole his 15th base of the season, and Sands went 1 for 4 with a double. 25 year old Will Savage pitched 8 strong innings in this game despite striking out just 3 batters in 8 innings, and ended up with the win. Savage is now 4-1 on the season, and his ERA is just 2.18. Luis Vasquez got the final three outs of the game and picked up his 9th save of the year.