Chihuahuas 3, Oklahoma City Dodgers 2
Key Statistics: LHP Jay Groome (W, 3-2), 8.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K; LHP Jose Castillo (S, 3), 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K; RF Brandon Dixon, 1-for-3, HR, R, 2 RBI, BB; 2B Matt Batten, 2-for-3, R, RBI, BB
Prospect Watch: In the time since being acquired from Boston in what is (for now) known as the Eric Hosmer trade, Jay Groome has shown why the 6-foot-6, 24-year-old lefty was the 12th overall pick of the 2016 draft. Now 3-2 with a 3.28 ERA, along with a 41:19 K: BB in the batter-friendly PCL after nine starts with the Chihuahuas, Groome is a pitcher to keep an eye on when he reports to Peoria in 2023. Tonight showed why: one walk, 59 strikes on 96 pitches, and the only extra-base hit he allowed was a second-inning home run to James Outman, who now has 29 home runs and owns a .975 OPS on the season. Simply put, he allowed a big fly to a big league talent. … Groome’s sublime start helped make this an unusually low-scoring affair for the stratospheric PCL, with his eight-inning performance allowing El Paso to go directly to Jose Castillo to close it out for his third save of the season. Castillo, who worked his way from Lake Elsinore to El Paso before a cup of coffee back with the Padres, is 3-2 with a 3.02 ERA in 41 appearances with the Chihuahuas, striking out 56 and walking 18, making a strong case to compete for a big league role in spring, should he stick around. … On a night of clutch performances from players who will likely see the big leagues again, most of El Paso’s offense came from a player who at the start of the season seemed out of the MLB equation for good, but may have played his way back into the picture. With his second home run in two nights, and his 12th in 89 at-bats since being promoted to El Paso from San Antonio, Brandon Dixon has not only hit 22 home runs in 190 at-bats across all minor league levels this year, he went from a 30-year-old with Major League experience playing in Double-A to a lineup linchpin in El Paso whose magic refuses to quit. … Matt Batten broke the tie in the seventh with an RBI single, his second hit of the evening. Batten, who went from a 32nd round selection in 2017, to making his big league debut with the Padres this season, is slashing .286/.361/.333 for El Paso in 63 September at-bats.
Frisco RoughRiders 5, Missions 2 (Missions lose the best-of-three series, 2-0)
Prospect Watch: With a two-game Divisional Series sweep at the hands of Frisco, the Missions’ season comes to a close. San Antonio went 68-68 in the regular season, but 30-39 in the second half as they graduated more talent to El Paso than they received from elsewhere in the organization. … Starter Nolan Watson fell behind quickly, with Frisco gaining a 2-0 lead with a first-inning home run. It was one of only two hits allowed by Watson in three innings, but he got the postseason quick hook. The 25-year-old Watson, formerly a first-round pick by the Royals in 2015, was 4-6 with a 5.84 ERA in 29 appearances (17 starts) for the Missions, but was a key factor in San Antonio’s midseason surge, posting a 2.60 ERA in five appearances (four starts) in the month of June to go along with a 20:10 K:BB in 17.1 innings. … Kevin Kopps came on in relief with one out in the 7th and stranded the two runners who reached on him, one via single and one via walk. Kopps, the Padres’ third-round pick last season, was 1-2 with a 4.14 ERA and 1.44 WHIP, striking out 60 in 54.1 innings in his first full season of pro ball. Ben Davey has more with the righty for our subscribers. … On a light night at the plate for the Missions, the only two-hit performance came from Webster Rivas. Rivas, a 2021 member of the Padres, provided a veteran presence all season for the Missions, where he slashed .248/.374/.342 in 202 at-bats, splitting time between catcher, first base, and DH. … No playoff finale is complete without a comeback, and Yorman Rodriguez did his best to key a dramatic rally with a two-run home run in the 9th. Rodriguez was a steady contributor to the San Antonio offense all season, batting .279 with 15 home runs and 83 RBIs, good for a .750 OPS in 491 at-bats for the Missions, playing mostly first base and catcher.