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AA Week in Review: Halfway there...

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...woah, livin’ on a prayer?

Performing Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Teams in the American Association have made it past the halfway point of the short 2020 season. Last week, I wrote about how the Winnipeg Goldeyes and Sioux Falls Canaries were pulling away. Well.... the Milwaukee Milkmen, Chicago Dogs, and St Paul Saints are now three games back or less behind the Fish in the standings to make it a five-team race with plenty of games left to go.

Like the Minnesota Twins and the Kansas City Royals this weekend, the first place Goldeyes were swept in their series this week by the Dogs in Fargo. A 2-1 loss for Winnipeg started off the series, thanks to a two-run homer from Victor Roache in the visitor’s second inning. Jordan George countered with a solo shot in the home half of the third, but it was not enough. Chicago seemed to be on point the rest of the series as Winnipeg starters Kevin Hilton and Frank Duncan combined for 12.1 innings of work between the two games, allowing 11 earned runs on 19 hits, a walk, and five strikeouts.

The Saints ended up taking the rubber match from the Canaries on Sunday, helping their cause to a run for a playoff spot. Mike Devine spun a gem for St Paul, allowing only one run on seven hits through 7.2 innings of work. He was able to notch eight strikeouts and allow no free bases. The one run allowed was a fifth inning homer off the bat of catcher Clint Coulter and was the only run in the game until the Canaries bullpen allowed two homers of their own. Ryan Fritze gave up a homer to Josh Allen while D.J. Sharabi served one up to Alonzo Harris with two outs left in the bottom of the eighth. Jameson McGrane took the mound for the Saints in the top of the ninth to close the door on the Birds with a final score of 2-1, earning his tenth save of the season.

Weekly Honors

A Canaries player finally earned a weekly honor as Jake Zokan was named Pitcher of the Week by the league yesterday. He made two starts, working 12 innings and allowing only a run on six hits. He’s only allowed one run or less in four of his seven starts so far this season.

The Player of the Week goes to the Milkmen catcher Logan Trowbridge. In seven games this week, he went 7-for-22 (.318) with a double, two homers, and seven RBI. He was able to draw four walks as well. On the season, he’s hitting .282/.347/.373 (.720) with the two homers he hit this week and 16 RBI to help push Milwaukee into second place to start off this week of play.

Bits and Pieces

  • Winnipeg announced that they will not be playing most of their home games in Fargo for the remainder of the season. Contests against the Milkmen (August 21-23, September 8-10) and the Saints (September 4-6) will be played in Milwaukee and St Paul, respectively. The Goldeyes will still play their home games against Fargo-Moorhead at Newman Outdoor Field. This will help reduce travel for the league teams overall with the exception of Winnipeg.
  • The Canaries announced that they signed former major-league pitcher Drew Hutchison. The righty saw time in the big-leagues with the Toronto Blue Jays, Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies, and Texas Rangers. He did not break into the majors last season, but saw time with the Rochester Red Wings, putting up a 6.11 ERA (6.70 RA9) in 45.2 innings of work across nine starts. His K/9 was impressive at 10.2, but the other stats were not as impressive, including a 1.642 WHIP.
  • American Association All-Star closer Matt Pobereyko returns to action this season with St Paul, who initially selected him in the dispersal draft this year. He spent last season with the Sioux City Explorers (inactive this season) and earned All-Star honors, pitching to a 3.18 ERA (3.18 RA9) over 51 innings of work and notching 24 saves. Even more impressive was his 5.29 K/BB ratio and 0.882 WHIP. Filthy!

Coming up this week...

  • St Paul will try to work their way up in the standings as they have a road trip: three in Sioux Falls and three in Milwaukee.
  • Winnipeg comes off of four days’ rest to take on the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks in a doubleheader tonight as their game was rained out on Sunday. The Fish will play as the home team in game one and the visitor in game two, which is the makeup game. They’ll keep on as visitors for Wednesday’s and Thursday’s contests against F-M before moving on to Sioux Falls.
  • After playing The Fish as visitors at home, the RedHawks will host Chicago for a three-game weekend series. Chicago will host Milwaukee for the mid-week series.

Standings

Team Record GB
Team Record GB
Winnipeg Goldeyes 18-13 --
Milwaukee Milkmen 18-15 1.0
Sioux Falls Canaries 17-15 1.5
Chicago Dogs 16-16 2.5
St Paul Saints 16-17 3.0
Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks 11-20 7.0