Today two Dutchies had their season debut at AAA level.
Loek van Mil appeared in one game of a double header for the Rochester RedWings (Minnesota Twins) vs the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (New York Yankees), in an International League matchup.
In a Pacific Coast League matchup, Juan Carlos Sulbaran took the mound as a starter for the Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Cardinals) vs the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Milwaukee Brewers), the team that will move to San Antonio in about two years.
Loek van Mil must have hoped for a better start. He entered the game in the sixth inning with no outs and two runners on board and a 2-1 lead. Starting pitcher Pat Dean had given
up a double o Rob Refsnyder and a single to Slade Heathcott to allow runners on the corners. After Loek retired the first hitter that he faced on a 6-3 ground out, on which Heathcott advanced to second, he walked Cesar Puello intentionally to load the bases. But then Van Mil gave up a two run single to Eddy Rodriguez that drove in Refsnyder and Heathcott to give the RailRiders a 3-2 lead. A double, two singles and a throwing error and a wild pitch by Van Mil’s successor, eventually led to four more runs in that inning. Van Mil took the loss and got a blown save and his ERA is 40.50. But this is very distorted. When he will have one or two good outings, the ERA will drop rapidly.
Juan Carlos Sulbaran fared a lot better with the Redbirds. After Memphis had taken a 2-0
lead in the bottom of the first inning, Sulbaran cruised through five innings. He gave up only one run on only two hits. The number of walks was low as well with two and he struck out four opponents. Juan Carlos needed 79 pitches of which 45 were called for strikes, to accomplish this feat.
The only inning in which Juan Carlos struggled a bit was the third. He started with giving up a single and a sacrifice bunt before he recored the first out of the inning. Then he threw a wild pitch that allowed the SkySox to score their sole run of the game.
With this superb outing, Juan Carlos earned the win. His ERA stands at 1.80, not too shabby. As he allowed only two hits in 17 at bats (19 hitters faced of which two drew a walk), he kept his opponents to a batting average of .118.