I ventured to Stockton on Friday night to see the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes take on the Stockton Ports. I was bummed I didn't go the night before because Matt Magill took the ball and fired six strong innings.
I got to see Jon Michael Redding (right) take the hill for the Quakes. The 23-year-old righty had been pitching well for the Quakes and still has a nice line for the season (5-4. 3.38 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 7.5 K/9), but he got roughed up on Friday -- 4 IP, 8 H, 6 R (all earned), 2 BB, 2 K. He took the loss as the offense couldn't overcome 10 Ports' runs.
The three players I was most interested in seeing were Jake Lemmerman, Angelo Songco and Blake Smith. Ironically, they all hit 2-3-4 in the Quakes' lineup Friday night. Lemmerman was forced to bunt in his first at-bat after Nick Buss led off with a double. Songco drove him in with an RBI groundout. Smith followed by striking out looking.
In the third inning, Songco hit a ball to left-center field that was about three or four feet from being a home run. The ball absolutely jumped off his bat. While the Ports' left fielder should have caught the ball, it ended up as Songco's 21st double of the season (49th RBI). Smith followed up by smacking the next pitch over the center fielder's head for another double, his 17th of the season (50th RBI).
The Quakes led 3-2 after three, but it was all downhill from there. The Ports would go onto score eight of the next nine runs to more-than-seal the victory.
Ethan Martin made an appearance out of the bullpen. Martin has struggled mightily this season and might just be destined for short-reliever work (if the Dodgers don't move him to third base). He threw an inning while walking one and striking out one.
Buss had the best night on offense, going 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored. Lemmerman went 0-for-3 while making his 13th error of the season. He was hot at the beginning of the month but is just 8-for-37 in his last 10 games, which includes a four-hit game on June 11. Despite his recent struggles, he still boasts a .381 OBP. For a guy drafted just last year (albeit out of college), Lemmerman has held his own.
Songco has been even colder than Lemmerman in his last 10, going just 7-for-36. He still has an .864 OPS and could get bumped to Double-A before too long.
Smith has been one of the hottest hitters on the team, going 11-for-33 in his last 10 games with two home runs, 11 RBI and a 1.177 OPS. He, like Songco, could get promoted if guys like Alfredo Silverio and Scott Van Slyke get promoted to Triple-A.
The team dropped last night's affair 4-3. Today, the Quakes are down 6-5 in the fourth inning. Lemmerman and Songco are getting the day off. Travis Denker has hit his 15th home run of the season.
The Quakes return to Stockton in early August. I'll definitely be there -- hopefully with some new blood on the team (I'm looking at you, Garrett Gould).