I was at Memorial Stadium for the second of three games tonight. What I'm sure you're all interested in is how Paul Blackburn and Rob Zastryzny did. The answer is very well. Blackburn showed a potential plus fastball. When he was locating it, which was most of the time, the Tri-City hitters couldn't catch up to it. His curve also showed potential as a plus pitch, although it was more inconsistent. He hung it a few times in the early innings, but later on he snapped off a few nasty pitches. I didn't see enough of the change up to get a good read on it.
Zastryzny pitched one inning in his professional debut, and the way he changed speeds made the Dust Devil hitters look silly. His off-speed stuff was too good for the Northwest League, honestly. Now we'll have to see if he can do this when he pitches for more than one inning at a time.
Also, I'm going to be on the Boise Hawks pregame show with Mike Safford tomorrow night. It will be live, so wish me luck. Be sure to tune in at 93.1 in Boise or at boisehawks.com.
The Iowa Cubs scored seven times in the seventh inning to atomize the Albuquerque Isotopes (Dodgers), 8-5.
Guillermo Moscoso improved his record to 6-5 after giving up two runs on only two hits over six innings. That sounds good, but he did walk five. He also struck out five.
Brian Schlitter bailed out Casey Coleman, who had allowed three runs in the bottom of the eighth, by getting a strikeout with two on and two out in the eighth. Then he pitched the ninth inning and he loaded the bases with two outs before getting another strikeout to end the game and get his ninth save. Schlitter pitched 1.1 innings and surrendered two hits and a walk. He had those two strikeouts.
Shortstop Donnie Murphy hit his tenth home run in the top of the first to give Iowa an early 1-0 lead. He was also hit by a pitch, after which he exited, which led to speculation he's going to replace Hairston. Possible. But more likely it was because he was hit by a pitch.
Iowa had nine hits by nine different hitters. Center fielder Jae-Hoon Ha was 1 for 4 with a double and a bases-loaded walk in the seventh. He struck out the other three times he came to the plate. Right fielder Anthony Giansanti was 1 for 3 with a two-run double in the seventh inning. He later scored in the seventh. Left fielder Ty Wright was 1 for 3 with a walk and a two-run single in the seventh. He scored on Ha's walk.
Rained out. Double-header tomorrow.
The Daytona Cubs dropped one to the Dunedin Blue Jays, 5-2 in a game that ended after eight innings because of rain.
Starter Yao-Lin Wang took the loss. He pitched five innings and allowed four runs on five hits. He walked two and struck out one.
DH Taiwan Easterling hit a solo home run in the seventh inning. It was his second home run of the season. Easterling was 1 for 3.
Left fielder Pin-Chieh Chen went 2 for 2 with a double and a walk.
Kane County Cougars
The Kane County Cougars got mugged by the Quad City River Bandits (Astros), 12-5.
Starter Tayler Scott took the loss after allowing five runs on six hits over 5.2 innings. Scott walked three and gave up a home run. He struck out four.
DH Albert Almora went 3 for 4 with a walk and two runs scored. He also stole a base. Third baseman Jeimer Candelario was 2 for 3 with a double and a walk. He scored once and had one RBI.
Starter Paul Blackburn (see above) gave up one run on five hits over five innings. Blackburn walked two and struck out four.
Rob Zastryzny (also see above) made his professional debut by throwing a scoreless sixth inning. He gave up no hits, but he walked one and struck out two.
Andrew McKirahan (don't see above, but he pitched brilliantly) faced seven batters and retired all seven. He struck out four.
Tyler Bremer took the loss. He allowed two runs on two hits over 1.2 innings. He walked one and struck out two. Both runs scored on a two-out infield single after a bang-bang play at first base that I thought the batter was out, but it was hard to tell.
Center fielder Shawon Dunston was 2 for 4. He tripled to lead off the bottom of the first and then scored on a ground out by David Bote.
Right fielder Yasiel Balaguert went 2 for 4 with a double. Catcher Lance Rymel was 2 for 4.