Week two of the 2021 season for the Milwaukee Brewers’ minor league affiliates saw plenty of highlights.
You had a former MVP heading down to Triple-A for some rehab along with a former first-round pick looking to turn his offense around. You had numerous scoreless outings by Low-A pitchers. Oh, and there also happened to be a historic no-hitter at one of the affiliates.
All that added up to another exciting week of baseball for minor league cities and their fans who had gone so long without it before its return in 2021. So without further adieu, let’s jump right into the action from last week.
Here were the highlights from week 2 for the Milwaukee Brewers minor league affiliates’ 2021 season.
Triple-A Nashville Sounds (6-5)
It was a much more dry week for the Sounds last week after two games got postponed in their opening series of the year. It saw Nashville split a three-game series with the Memphis Redbirds as their lineup was bolstered for the week by a couple Brewers star players.
Keston Hiura began a minor league stint intended to get his offense back on track, going 4 for 16 with all four hits being doubles. Sounds fans also saw Christian Yelich begin a rehab stint over the weekend. He went 0 for 5, but most importantly didn’t appear to suffer any physical setbacks.
The highlight of the week came on Saturday night when the team went from nearly being no-hit to winning dramatically in walkoff fashion in the tenth inning. Weston Wilson‘s pinch hit single to left scored Jace Peterson, capping off a 4-3 win for Nashville.
Zach Green continued his hot start, going 5 for 13 last week with a double and two homers, possibly bringing himself closer to a promotion to the bigs. Dee Strange-Gordon could be close to a similar move as well as he went 8 for 16, scoring four times and adding his first homer of the year.
On the mound, No. 23 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, right-hander Alec Bettinger had a good bounceback in his return to Triple-A (5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) after a rough MLB debut. No. 25 Clayton Andrews also looked better after a rough start to 2021, giving up no hits or runs while striking out seven over a combined four innings last week.
Double-A Biloxi Shuckers (5-7)
Week 2 went much better for the Shuckers as they took four of six in their series against the Mississippi Braves. One game, however, clearly stood out above the rest.
On Saturday night, fans at MGM Park got to see the first nine-inning no-hitter in Biloxi Shuckers history as part of a 1-0 win. No. 4 Ethan Small started the party with five walks and six strikeouts over the first five innings. Zach Vennaro (1 IP), Nathan Kirby (2 IP), and Matt Hardy (1 IP) followed in order to finish the job.
No. 12 prospect Tristen Lutz had a big week, going 4 for 15 with two doubles and two homers while swiping a bag. First baseman Luis Castro collected a team-leading six hits for the week with a homer while second baseman Jamie Westbrook had five hits to his name.
Brewers reliever Bobby Wahl started his rehab work with the Shuckers last week after suffering an injury during spring training that currently has him on the 60-day IL. So far, he has given up four earned runs over 1 2/3 innings of work with four of his five outs recorded coming via strikeout.
High-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (6-6)
The Timber Rattlers saw their record even back out last week in their first road trip of the year. They dropped four of six games on the road to the Peoria Chiefs, scoring at least five runs in four games, but also giving up at least seven runs in four games as well.
Jesus Lujano and Korry Howell each had two homers and a steal, going 5 for 15 and 6 for 20 on the week, respectively. No. 27 prospect David Hamilton had a team-leading nine hits on the week and added another four steals to his yearly total (7, 4th in High-A Central).
Two Timber Rattler starters led the way for the pitching staff last week. Reese Olson (5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K) and Justin Jarvis (4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 K) each had back-to-back solid starts, unfortunately both in games Wisconsin went on to lose.
Low-A Carolina Mudcats (8-4)
It wasn’t quite as great as their hot 5-1 start to the year, but the Mudcats still had a decent second week of the season, splitting a six-gamer with the Down East Wood Ducks. Carolina gave up two runs or less in five of six games last week.
Though the pitching was good, offense was hard to come by for the Mudcats last week. Joe Gray Jr. and Noah Campbell led the team with five hits apiece, though the former also had nine strikeouts. Ernesto Martinez added another homer to his season total and leads the team with three in 2021.
Nine Mudcat pitchers went scoreless on the week with a few standouts. Justin Bullock had an outstanding start on Friday (6 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12 K) while Brendan Murphy kept his scoreless streak going with another big start on Thursday (5 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 6 K). Reliever Evan Reifert had another scoreless outing as well and hasn’t given up a hit, walk, or run yet in 2021 (5 IP, 9 K).
Come back next week as we review the third week of the 2021 season for the Milwaukee Brewers’ minor league affiliates.