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The Kannapolis Cannon Ballers lost their 70th game last night, which isn’t great considering they won’t play their 100th game until later this week.
I made the drive to North Carolina to check the new ballpark in Kannapolis and some other players I hadn’t yet seen in person, and it started with the Cannon Ballers summing up their season by getting drubbed by Lynchburg 13-1. The loss was their 17th over their last 18 games, and it dropped them to 27-70 on the season, which is tied with Visalia for the worst record in Minor League Baseball.
I’d hoped that an influx of collegiate draft picks might add a little of polish and old-for-the-level production, but it hasn’t yet played out that way. Jayson Gonzalez (17th round, Vanderbilt), Adam Hackenberg (18th round, Clemson) and Shawn Goosenberg (19th round, Northwestern) combined to go 0-for-10 with two walks and six strikeouts.
Throw in the performances from the guys who were already struggling, and four Lynchburg pitchers combined to limit the Ballers to a run on four hits and two walks while striking out 15. And in case you’re wondering if the Hillcats have a stacked pitching staff, here were the ERAs of the first three pitchers used:
On the mound, Taylor Broadway (sixth round, Ole Miss) capped off a disasterous night for the Kannapolis pitching staff by giving up a two-run single after inheriting the bases loaded in the eighth, then giving up a homer on the first pitch of the ninth inning.
At least he didn’t walk anybody. The other five Kannapolis relievers combined to issue 12 walks over the first 7⅔ innings, along with two hit batters. That’s somehow one fewer walk than the Barons issued in the sixth inning of the one game I attended earlier this year, so maybe I bring out the worst in arms.
The imbalance of labor played out in the pitch counts. The six Cannon Ballers pitchers combined to throw 224 pitches over nine innings, while the four Hillcats threw just 138.
I’ll be back at Atrium Health Ballpark — which is a gem of a park in a perfect small downtown setting — because Matthew Thompson is starting tonight, so I’ll have thoughts on him and some other individuals after second looks, which can’t go worse than the first. I think.
- Billy Hamilton went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
- Yasmani Grandal did him two worse in each: 0-for-5 with four strikeouts.
- Jake Burger homered twice while going 2-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout.
- Gavin Sheets went 2-for-5 with a homer and a strikeout.
- Blake Rutherford was 1-for-3 with an HBP and a strikeout.
- Romy Gonzalez went 1-for-4 with a double and a strikeout.
- Kade McClure got jumped: 4 IP, 6 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, 1 HBP
- Yoelqui Céspedes went 0-for-4 with a K.
- Yolbert Sanchez was 1-for-4 with his fourth homer.
- Carlos Pérez was 0-for-4.
- Lenyn Sosa, 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
- Jose Rodriguez went 0-for-5.
- Luis Mieses was 2-for-5 with a double.
- Luis Curbelo singled and struck out four times.
- Harvin Mendoza made his return to High-A by going 2-for-5 with a double.
- Caberea Weaver was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
- Yoelvin Silven: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
- James Beard went 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
- Shawn Goosenberg wore the collar and silver sombrero.
- Bryan Ramos was 0-for-4 with a K.
- Samil Polanco produced the only run with a solo shot. He also got plunked once and struck out twice.
- Chase Krogman went 1-for-4 with a K.
- Misael Gonzalez wore the golden sombrero, which matches his elbow pad and shinguard.
- Wilber Sanchez went 1-for-3 with a hustle double and a strikeout.
- Colson Montgomery doubled, singled, walked twice and struck out once.
- Wilfred Veras went 4-for-5 with three doubles.
- Wes Kath was 0-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout.
- Logan Glass went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
- Jefferson Mendoza was 0-for-4 with two K’s.
- Brooks Gosswein: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
- Erick Bello: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K
- Manuel Guariman went 2-for-4 with a stolen base.
- Victor Quezada was 1-for-4 with a strikeout and two stolen bases.
- Norge Vera: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K
- Yohemy Nolasco: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K