The Pacific Coast League may have lost the 22nd Triple-A All-Star Game in Portland, but it wasn’t by fault of any of the Brewers’ representatives. The Nashville Sounds produced three All-Stars this year — top prospect Alcides Escobar, reliever R.J. Swindle, and right fielder Brendan Katin — and all three played well in the nationally televised game.
Escobar, who’s had a busy week between playing in the marathon Futures Game in St. Louis on Sunday and in Wednesday night’s Triple-A tilt, went 1-for-3 with a single before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the 8th inning. Escobar hit second in the PCL order, behind Eric Young Jr. — the son of the former Brewer — and received a nice bit of pre-game hype from the ESPN crew.
Swindle has been hit hard in his pair of brief big league appearances with the Brewers, but has been lights-out for the Sounds, putting up a 0.93 ERA and 0.983 WHIP in 38 innings of relief. The deceptive lefty put up a scoreless 7th inning for the PCL, allowing a hit to Drew Stubbs, but also striking out Jorge Padilla. With Mitch Stetter having some good success against right-handed batters for the Brewers, you have to imagine that Swindle will get another crack at the Milwaukee bullpen the next time a spot opens up.
Katin had the biggest impact of the three, however, hitting a solo home run off J.D. Martin in the 3rd inning for the PCL’s first hit of the game. Katin would end up playing all 9 innings, getting an at-bat in the bottom of the 9th inning with a runner on third and one out, and the PCL trailing 6-3. Katin was unable to get the runner home, grounding out to the pitcher for the second out of the inning.
The PCL would mount a small rally with two outs, though, when Esteban German hit a two-run homer to cut the deficit to 6-5. E.Y. Junior followed by striking out to end the game, giving the International League their 5th All-Star win in 7 years. Not quite an American League-type run, but I’m sure they’ll take it.
Maybe the Brewers All-Star curse extends to the minor leagues, as well.