The El Paso Chihuahuas have had a difficult month of May so far winning a meager five of their last 19 games, and Sunday was no different. The Dogs couldn’t get much going on their nine hits and lost to the Fresno Grizzlies 7-2.
The Grizzlies ripped into El Paso starter Walker Lockett (5.16 ERA) from the moment he got on the mound. He gave up three runs even before most of the crowd of 8,414 had gotten to their seats. Locket settled down after that and five scoreless innings into the 7th before giving up another homerun to designated hitter Jon Kemmer.
The story for the Chihuahuas on Sunday though was lack of timely hits and runs. Even first baseman Diego Goris, who presently leads the team in batting with a .312 average, was hitless. The Dogs’ only runs came off a couple of doubles in the 2nd and 3rd innings. They were held to three hits and no runs after the 3rd.
Fresno scored four more runs in the last three innings.
An argument can be made that Sunday’s loss are on the count of El Paso’s shaky pitching and nothing to do with hitting. But the fact of the matter is that the Chihuahuas have been outscored an average of 2.7 runs in their May losses so far — hardly an insurmountable number.
So what’s happened to the El Paso hits?
On May 1, El Paso sat in first place of the Pacific Coast League’s Pacific Southern division (albeit still early in the season) and as May 20, they’re in third place. Such a quick decline can come from many things …it’s baseball, right? But it’s important to remember that the Dogs’ hitters have been called up to the San Diego Padres.
Some of the players that helped El Paso’s strong start are: Raffy Lopez (.300 BA PCL), Travis Jankowski (.363 BA PCL), and Franmil Reyes (.346 BA PCL).
Hopefully, San Diego will keep their mitts off of Goris who has shown his versatility playing several positions for El Paso.
These transactions are necessary to keep the Big League club competitive but can also have quick consequences to their affiliates.
For example, the Chihuahuas have not won a series since beating the Las Vegas 51’s on April 23 — it’s been seven series, about a month, and quite a few transactions ago.
Larry Monarrez is a local journalist and longtime El Pasoan. Larry arrived in El Paso after proudly serving as an infantryman in the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and earned a communication degree from the University of Texas El Paso.
At UTEP, Larry worked as a reporter and eventually became the editor-in-chief of the school’s newspaper, The Prospector.
Larry also worked as a news assistant, general assignments reporter and copy editor at the El Paso Times before working in public relations at an area school district.
He also spent a few years at KDBC 4 News as the assignments editor, where his most memorable experience was keeping the news crews operational during times of crisis like the storms of 2006 that flooded the station’s building.