Road trip notes: Who’s hot in the Minor Leagues, and what’s good at Coors Field. Yes, we’re blogging about food again.
As the Astros begin a seven-game road trip with a loss to the Rockies, let’s see what’s up in the Minor Leagues (reports are through Sunday’s games)…
Triple-A Oklahoma City
J.A. Happ tossed seven scoreless innings Sunday night, helping Oklahoma City to a 4-0 shutout win over the Iowa Cubs. Happ struck out six and allowed one hit. Jordan Schafer, who was activated from the DL and started the Astros’ opener in Denver, was 2-for-5 in the game and improved to 10-for-20 in five rehab games. 2b Jose Vallejo (2-for-3) and OF Jacob Goebbert (2-for-5) each had multiple hits in the game.
Who’s hot: 1B Brett Wallace, who is hitting .354 since his demotion to Oklahoma City three weeks ago. In his last 10 games, he has compiled a .344 average, two doubles and nine RBIs. ..IF Anderson Hernandez is hitting .301 this season and .400 in August. This month, he has 34 hits in 85 at-bats and a .469 on-base percentage. He extended his hitting streak to 20 games with a first-inning single on Monday.
Double-A Corpus Christi
Hooks LF Adam Bailey, 1B Emerson Frostad and CF T.J. Steele combined for seven hits and seven RBIs in Corpus’s 9-6 win over Springfield. RHP Paul Clemens, one of the pitchers acquired in the Michael Bourn trade, allowed three runs on six hits over six innings. Those were the first runs he had given up over his last 28 1/3 innings, between Double-A Mississippi and Corpus Christi.
Who’s hot: Clemens. In four starts for the Hooks, he’s 2-0 with a 1.05 ERA and 22 strikeouts. …in nine games with Corpus, Bailey is hitting .375 with five doubles and seven RBIs.
Class A Lancaster
RHP Zachary Grimmett allowed three runs over six innings but absorbed the loss in the JetHawks’ 3-2 loss to Stockton. 3B Jonathan Meyer was 1-for-3 and 2B Alex Todd recorded a hit and an RBI to raise his average to .355 in nine games with Lancaster.
Who’s hot: 1B Jonathan Singleton, obtained from the Phillies in the Hunter Pence trade, has a .317 average in his last 10 games with two homers and seven RBIs. …RH reliever Wander Alvino has a 2.87 ERA over his last 10 games.
Class A Lexington
Who’s hot: RHP Carlos Quevedo is 3-1 with a 2.98 ERA over his last 10 games started. …OF Domingo Santana, acquired as the player to be named in the Pence trade, has a .300 average (6-for-20) with one homer and seven RBIs over five games with Lexington.
Short Season A Tri-City
Who’s hot: OF Rafael Valenzuela has a .429 average (15-for-35) with six doubles and seven RBIs in his last 10 games. …IF Matthew Duffy has hit .316 (12-for-38) with one homer and seven RBIs in his last 10 games.
Who’s hot: IF Joshua Magee, hitting .289 overall, has a .541 average (20-for-37) with four RBIs in his last 10 games.
Gulf Coast League Astros
Who’s hot: IF Luca Martone, hitting .313 overall, has a .444 average (12-for-27) with two doubles and two stolen bases in his last 10 games.
Former Astros head athletic trainer Dave Labossiere, who retired three years ago and moved to nearby Steamboat Springs, Colorado, visited the team on Monday at Coors Field. Labossiere was with the Astros for 25 years and watched plenty of baseball, both through the great years and the really bad ones.
Here’s an endearing photo from yesteryear of three old favorites — Labossiere, Mike Scott (seated, right) and popular TV broadcaster Jim Deshaies. All three were relaxing in the clubhouse in the Astrodome after a game. Ah, the good old days.
I’ve been looking forward to the Denver-San Francisco road trip for a few reasons — mainly, because both cities are fantastic, as are the ballparks, and the weather is perfect in both places this time of year (yes, it’s hot in Denver, but the humidity is non-existent, which makes for a pleasant day even when it’s in the 90s).
But more importantly, the food at both Coors Field and AT&T Park is delicious. I’ve blogged plenty about the outstanding fare at Minute Maid Park — we even got some love for the El Real Fajitas in this USA Today article — but I wanted to expand our horizons a bit and explore the food at other fun faraway places.
Consequently, each day of this road trip, we’ll feature a signature item at the ballpark. First up: Wood Stone Pizza Oven on the main concourse at Coors Field, behind section 137.
I ordered the veggie pizza, ate three of four pieces and gave the rest to Deshaies, who was then required to put on his best critic’s hat and give his review:
“Delightful blend,” he said. (He initially said “This is really good,” but I told him I needed something more insightful for the blog). “The wood fire coal taste is a great presence. The blackened crust gives you the coal flavor you’re looking for. The flavor is robust but there’s no grease. Could be a little greasier. If you’re looking for grease, this not for you.”
My take: delicious. When I walked up to the concession area and ordered, the nice pizza lady on the other side of the counter said, somewhat apologetically, “It’s still in the oven. It will be ready in five minutes.” Music to my ears. This meant it hadn’t been laying around under a heater for the last 15 minutes, which typically makes the piping hot cheese taste more like a rubbery coagulated mess. They handed me the pizza and I nearly burned my hand on the bottom of the box. All good (like the ‘shrooms).
Random: The 2011 Astros Wives Gala, chaired by Summer Barmes and Mary Catherine Melancon and benefitting the Houston Area Women’s Center, raised $440,000. Over 22 years, the Gala has brought in more than $4 million for HAWC …the Astros will need to name a starter for Thursday’s opener in San Francisco to replace Jordan Lyles, who was temporarily optioned to Triple-A. A logical option would be Happ, but he pitched Sunday and would be starting on short rest if he were to be called up. Aneury Rodriguez, who has experience starting but hasn’t since June, had an outside shot to get the spot start but pitched 2 1/3 innings Monday …Clint Barmes, a 10th-round pick of the Rockies in 2000, faced his old club for the first time on Monday. Barmes entered the game with a .285 career average and 35 home runs at Coors Field. …upcoming pitching matchups: Tuesday at COL: Bud Norris vs. Alex White; Wednesday at COL: Wandy Rodriguez vs. Aaron Cook.
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