The playoffs began with both El Paso and San Antonio missing the top prospects who helped propel them to the playoffs. Whether it’s the promotions of infielder Luis Urias and catcher Francisco Mejia to the big club for the Chihuahuas, or the combinations of injury, promotions and innings limits that cost San Antonio Fernando Tatis Jr., Jake Nix, Logan Allen, Ty France, and Chris Paddack, both clubs are shorthanded.
El Paso battled back twice before falling in extra innings, while San Antonio, despite a gutty performance from recently-promoted top prospect Michel Baez, could not generate any offense in their playoff opener.
Fresno Grizzlies 8, Chihuahuas 7 (10 innings)
The Grizzlies lead best of five series 1-0.
Key Stats: RHP Walker Lockett 4.2 IP, 4 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 3 K; 2B Carlos Asuaje 1-4, 2 BB; 3B Ty France 2-4, R, RBI, BB; 1B Allen Craig 1-3, HR (1), 2 R, RBI, 2 BB; CF Dusty Coleman 1-4, HR (1), 3 RBI; DH Brett Nicholas 2-4, R, RBI, 2 BB
Prospect Watch: Six batters into the game, five had reached base against Walker Lockett, including a bases-loaded double. By the end of the first inning, the Grizzlies were up 4-0.
The Chihuahuas managed to claw their way back, pulling ahead 5-4 in the third and tying the game in the seventh at seven. The bullpen of Jerry Keel, T.J. Weir, Kyle McGrath, Gerardo Reyes, and Brad Wieck pitched a combined 4.1 scoreless innings to bring the game into extra innings. Former Padre, Colten Brewer, would come on with two on and one out in the tenth inning, only to see a ground ball sneak through the infield for an RBI single. El Paso would get two on with two out in the bottom half of the tenth, but designated hitter Brett Nicholas was called out on strikes to end the game.
El Paso had 11 hits, and seven walks, but went a combined 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position, and left 14 runners on base.
For our subscribers: Read our interview with tonight’s starter Logan Allen, who at 21 is one of the top pitchers in the Padres’ organization.
Corpus Christi Hooks 7, Missions 0
The Hooks lead best of five series 1-0.
Key Stats: RHP Michel Baez 5 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 8 K; RF Buddy Reed 1-4; SS Owen Miller 1-4; 3B Hudson Potts 1-3
Prospect Watch: The Missions lost looking much like the team that went 8-22 with an OPS of .617 over the final month of the season. This from the squad that, with super prospect Fernando Tatis, Jr., was at one point among the best in Double-A. But his injury and promotions have left them a shell of what they once were. … The good news was that Michel Baez was sitting 94-96 with his fastball touching 97. His eight strikeouts in five innings were his best in nearly a month. However, he didn’t have great command of his slider, which made him throw 99 pitches to get through five innings. The Hooks were able to sit on the fastball and they capitalized for four earned runs. … Offensively, the Missions had four singles, no extra-base hits, no walks, and the team committed two errors. … Corpus Christi’s starter, Ryan Hartman, made four starts against San Antonio this season, allowing just four earned runs on 15 hits in 25.1 innings with a 34:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio