Thursday, April 5, 2012

Zach Lee's Cal League debut a rousing success, plus other Opening Day news

While the Dodgers were busy dispatching of San Diego 5-3 despite an ailing Clayton Kershaw, Zach Lee (right) was making his California League debut for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.

Here is his line from the night:
5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K
That's quite a debut for the 20-year-old Dodgers' top prospect. However, he's not in line for the win because reliever Bret Montgomery gave up Lee's 2-0 lead in the sixth inning.

He'll be tested in the hitter-friendly league, but he passed his first test with ease.


The Isotopes and Lookouts both lost tonight in their season debuts.

Albuquerque lost to Omaha 8-4. Some highlights from that game include Alex Castellanos going 1-for-4 with a triple, two walks and two stolen bases as the team's No. 2 hitter and second baseman.

Scott Van Slyke, much like in his first Spring Training game, homered. He went 2-for-4. Jerry Sands drove in two runs without picking up a hit. Tim Federowicz went 1-for-3 with two walks.

Despite the solid offense, the pitching was bad. Mike Parisi went five solid innings, but the bullpen lost the game. Brent Leach, fresh off his season in Japan, gave up three runs in 1 2/3 innings. Josh Wall lasted just 1/3 of an inning, giving up three hits and two runs.

The Lookouts didn't fare much better with pitching, but it was Allen Webster who dropped the proverbial ball here. He gave up just two runs, but he also gave up seven hits and allowed five walks in 3 1/3 innings. Not a great season debut for him after his late-season struggles in Double-A in 2011. Javier Solano struck out four in two innings of work.

The offense didn't come to play tonight, as it was shut down by Nicholas Struck (6 IP, 10 K). Blake Smith (left), making his Southern League debut, went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Gorman Erickson put up the same hitting line. Jake Lemmerman went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a hit-by-pitch.

So, not the best of night's for the minor-leaguers. Lee's awesome performance, reportedly with 14 MPH winds, makes it even more impressive.


Matt Kemp picked up right where he left off in 2011, hitting a towering home run to right field. It barely got over the fence, but it still counts, especially in Petco Park.

Dee Gordon made an amazing play in the fourth inning on a ground ball off the bat of Yonder Alonso (deflected by Josh Lindblom, winning pitcher on the night).

The aforementioned Lindblom came in and pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Kershaw. Kenley Jansen gave up a 2-run home run to Cameron Maybin. It wasn't his best outing, but he'll be fine. Javy Guerra pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to notch his first save of the season.

Photo credits
Lee: mwlguide on Flickr
Smith: Dustin Nosler, Feelin' Kinda Blue
Gordon: UC International via Wikimedia, bridgetds on Flickr

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