Down on the Farm – Quakes Drop First Half Title Game to Mavericks

In spite of early solo home runs by C.J. Retherford and Leon Landry, the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes fell to the High Desert Mavericks 8-5 on Monday night in a one-game playoff to determine the winners of the first half of the Cal League’s South Division. Although the Quakes came out swinging and managed five runs on 7 hits in their first five innings off Mavericks starter Roenis Elias, the Mavs bullpen completely shut the Quakes down allowing no runs and only 3 hits in the final four frames. Even after allowing 10 hits, Quakes starter Angel Sanchez held the Mavs to only 4 runs, but the Quakes bullpen was unable to hold onto a 5-4 lead allowing an additional 4 runs and 8 hits.

Quakes third baseman C.J. Retherford tees off for a 1st inning solo home run and went 5 for 5 on an otherwise dismal night. Retherford has been the Quakes hottest hitter over the past month and figures to have a major role in the Quakes quest for the Cal League South second half title.

In addition to Retherford’s home run, he also had a double and three singles going 5 for 5 on the night, but just like the Dodgers, it takes more than one or two guys and consecutive hits to win games; something that the Mavericks were able to do but not so the Quakes, who were 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position.

Quakes starter Angel Sanchez held the Mavericks to only 4 runs but the Quakes bullpen was unable to hold onto their 5-4 lead, losing the game and the first half championship.

The Quakes and Mavericks ended the first half in a tie for first place necessitating the need for their first regular meeting of the second half to double as a one-game playoff to determine the first half pennant winner. With their victory on Monday night, the Mavs also earned a bye in the first round of the Cal League South playoffs to be held in August.

Although disappointed with the loss, the Quakes have no time to dwell on it and must now set their sights on winning the second half if they are to have any hopes of making it into the post season, something that they are very capable of and accustomed to doing. And even though top pitching prospect Zach Lee was promoted to Double-A Chattanooga prior to Monday night’s game (it wasn’t his turn in the rotation anyway), they added hard throwing right hander Ryan O’Sullivan to their roster from the Great Lake Loons.

Ryan O’Sullivan

O’Sullivan was selected by the Dodgers in the fourth round of the 2011 first-year player draft and went 4-2 as a starter with an ERA of 2.73 and 32 strikeouts with the  Loons this season. As a reliever he went 1-2 with a 3.60 ERA and 12 strikeouts. His combined record was 5-4 with a 2.92 ERA which ranked him 11th in the Midwest League. But what catches the eye more than anything else with O’Sullivan is that in seven of his nine starts he went six or more innings. He pitched one inning in relief on Monday night allowing no runs and only one hit, but unfortunately the damage had already been done when he entered the game in the 7th inning. All of that said, O’Sullivan is definitely someone to keep an eye on with the Quakes in the second half.

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One Response to “Down on the Farm – Quakes Drop First Half Title Game to Mavericks”

  1. Bluenose Dodger says:

    I listened to the game on radio as long as I could. Unfortunately for me the Quake games are in PST time, four hours later than mine. Now they have to do it the hard way. That is,win the second half, not an easy task with Reed and Lee gone to AA. Matt Magill, may be on his way down, having bottomed out at AA. On the other hand, Matt might be sent to Albuquerque where we send pitchers to die.

    O’Sullivan started slowly with the Loons but has really come on. He may well be a good replacement in the starting staff.

    Juan Noriega, Michael Thomas and Yimi Garcia may be bullpen help from the Loons. Juan Rodriguez has not fared well at all since his suspension and demotion to the Loons.

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