On a muggy night in Frederick, Maryland, just north of Washington DC, a
record crowd of 7,734 people watched the Carolina League All Stars limit the
California League All Stars to just four hits against 13 strikeouts on a
very soggy field for an 8-0 drubbing of their west coast visitors.
Markakis, the starting right fielder for the hometown Frederick Keys,
opened the Carolina League assault with a towering two run home run over the
right field wall. The Carolina League All Stars added a run in the third and
fourth inning, before another Markakis home run, this time a solo home run
to dead center, helped contribute to three runs. Third baseman Kory
Castro of the Potomac Nationals (Washington Nationals) ended the scoring
with a solo home run in the seventh inning.
All three representatives of the Lake Elsinore Storm struggled, as did
the rest of the California League squad. Shortstop Juan Ciriaco flied out to
left field and struck out in his only at bats, and catcher George Kottaras
also struck out in his sole at bat.
The toughest night for any member of the Storm belonged to pitcher Jared Wells who was brought in with two outs in the fifth inning and gave up four
straight singles to allow two runs.
The saving grace that Wells can take from the game was that three of the
first four hits should have been caught, a fly ball off of the left fielders
glove, a line drive slightly to the left of a very defensively challenged
third baseman, Billy Butler of the High Desert Mavericks, and a twelve
hopper past the second baseman. After allowing one more single, Wells ended
his misery by striking out the next batter to end the inning.
Butler nearly beat Markakis in the now ritual pre-game home run derby by
showing great power to all fields. Drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the
first round of the 2004 draft, Butler has been all that San Diego Padres
fans had hoped that Matt Bush would be. Currently, Butler is hitting .367
with 18 home runs and 60 RBIs, and he just turned 19 a few months ago.
While Butler is certainly advanced at the plate, the game demonstrated
just how far he has to go in other aspects of his game. At third base he
looked slow, and even muffed throws after strikeouts from his own catcher.
In the third inning he was doubled off of third base in the sole scoring
threat that the Cal League all stars were able to put together by the second
baseman on a shallow pop up into right field.
However, Butler’s bat hides a multitude of sins, he is definitely someone
to watch for the future.
San Diego County was well represented at the all star game with Rancho
Bernardo’s Danny Puttman (Stockton Ports, Oakland A’s affiliate) on the Cal
League side and Monte Vista’s Leo Daigne (Winston-Salem Warthogs (Chicago White Sox) and Mission Bay’s Mario Delgado of the Frederick Keys (Baltimore Orioles).
Ulbado Jimenez was named the MVP for the Cal League all stars by the
press corps on the basis he was the only Cal League pitcher to retire the
side in order.
Yes, it was that bad a night for the Cal League all stars.