Farm Fresh, Vol. 1.5

Updated: August 20, 2019

Because We Couldn’t Resist

This will not be a weekly feature, we promise.

But we couldn’t resist a little update because, well, stuff happened down on the farm last week, and we couldn’t help ourselves.

So here’s an extra helping of Farm Fresh.

— Chet Murphy, Minor League Columnist, PEBA Weekly

Streak Over, Tough Series Looms

The winning streak ended at 17.

You may recall from the first installment of Farm Fresh that the Lana’i City Pineapples (Palm Springs) started their Short A campaign with a loss, then won their next 16 games in a row.

Well, they tacked on one more for good measure and then lost to the Shirakawa Halberds (Neo Tokyo) 6-3 on July 3, before resuming their winning ways and ending their week at a bright, shiny 19-2.

It could all turn to dust, though, because a tough 2-game series looms with second place Kauai Monsters (West Virginia). The Monsters are 17-3 and just 1.5 games behind the Pineapples.

A sweep of that series would dump Lana’i City into second place, taking serious luster off that gaudy winning streak.

So … early season drama in the Surf and Snow Amalgamation!


Perfection Denied – By His Own Catcher

Robby Holmes fired a no-hitter on July 6, leading the Lincoln Emancipation (Hartford) over the Yokohama Plumbers (Toyama) 4-0 in AAA action.

He walked no one and struck out 5, but didn’t quite achieve perfection.

The only blemish? An error by his own catcher, Neil Avery.

Must have made for some awkward mound meetings, is all we can say …

Holmes is now 5-7 on the season, with a 3.54 ERA and 97 Ks in 96.2 IP.

 Triple Crown Watch

Tibercio Penela, first baseman for the AA Beaufort Loggerdoggers (Florida) is on track for an historic season: he currently leads the Great Northern League in batting average (.325), home runs (34), and RBIs (70).

And while he’s certainly not a shoo-in for the Triple Crown, he leads all three of those categories by a fair margin. His closest competitor for the batting crown is hitting .316; he has a 10-dinger lead for the home run title; and leads the RBI race by 8.

And for you sabermetric snobs, he’s leading the WAR race, too, with 6.7 as of July 7. His closest competitor there has 4.7.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle to Penela’s brush with statistical glory: a mid-season callup.

Oh, the vagaries of minor league ball!

Chalk Up Another No-No

The Surf and Snow Amalgamation added another no-hitter to its portfolio last week, this one by Takeichi Kozawa of the Mokule’ia Oceanic (Aurora).

Kozawa shut down the Yasu Storks (Havana) on July 5, allowing no hits, while walking 3 and striking out 9 en route to a 1-0 road victory.

Yasu manager Motoki Hashimoto offered this razor-sharp analysis of the outcome after the game: “The Oceanic had all the hits and all the runs, so they won.”

Deep thoughts there, Motoki.

Kozawa now is 2-1 on the season with a 1.15 ERA, 27 Ks and 8 walks in 31.1 IP.

The July 5 gem was the third no hitter of the young season in the Surf and Snow – and the second for Mokule’ia. It also was the second time Yasu has been no-hit this year.

Carlos Valverde of the Ewa Beach Imperialists no-hit the Storks on June 25, and Lawrence Hall of the Oceanic no-hit the Maui Mahi-Mahi on June 16.

It may be a short season league, but the Surf and Snow packs in plenty of action!