PASCO, Wash. — The Dust Devils staged a “Christmas in July” promotion Thursday night. The players bought into the promotion, giving away run after run to the visiting Spokane Indians thanks to seven errors, as they fell 14-4.
Carlos Luis, who usually plays first base, had a historically bad night at third base. The 19-year-old made six of the errors – four in the second inning alone when the Indians sent 15 men to the plate and put ten runs on the board to blow the game open. It was the second time in three games that the Dust Devils have given up ten runs in an inning.
Through the entire evening, Dust Devils’ manager Mike McCoy kept sending Luis, 19 back out to third base without a second thought of pulling him.
“Take your lumps, learn. That is how we learn, by taking your lumps,” said McCoy. “Maybe, later on, he might make some good plays and get his confidence back, but that wasn’t the case tonight.
“I wouldn’t take a guy out of a game for physical errors ever unless they ask out because they are mentally beat. It’s just not how I am.”
Coming into the game, Luis had made six errors in twenty games and is hitting .229/.303/.303.
Driscoll, the Padres Competitive Balance selection in this year’s draft who had the big hit Wednesday night, continued to make solid hard contact after missing a month with hamstring issues. He should begin catching again next week in addition to seeing some time in the outfield, where he also played for George Mason.
Guilbe, a 12th-round overslot signee last year, posted a strange slash line in the Arizona League last year – .218/.409/.421 with 16 of his 29 hits for extra bases and 40 walks in 173 plate appearances, but also 62 strikeouts.
The 19-year-old is posting a similar slash line this year, .227/.330/.423, but he’s attempting to expand his zone and become more aggressive in the box.
“I talked with one of my coaches today, and I need to realize that I can hit more pitches than I think I can,” said Guilbe who had a pair of doubles and a single tonight. “It’s not a huge adjustment, but I just want to expand my zone a little more while still swinging at my pitches, not the pitches that they are trying to get me out on.”
For July, Guilbe has a slash line of .288/.391/.508 in 68 plate appearances.
The Padres drafted 21-year-old Canadian Jake Sims out of college in Florida in last year’s draft. The hard-throwing righty had the pitching line of the night with five strikeouts against one hit in two innings of work. The outing was particularly impressive coming off his worst performance of the season four days ago, when he gave up five runs on six hits in two-thirds of an inning.
The baseball season can be a roller-coaster of emotions and performances, but in the short-season leagues, with a compacted schedule, limited time off, and inexperienced players, the ups are a little higher, and lows can really drop.
The Dust Devils hit the road Friday to open a series against the Everett AquaSox. LHP Ethan Elliott will start the opener for Tri-City.