Saturday, May 31, 2008

wrapping up my trip

Lena and I are wrapping up our Florida vacation this afternoon in Sarasota, lounging by the pool at the La Quinta. We will attend one more Threshers game tonight, before packing up the car and heading home Sunday. I am putting the computer away and will catch up on all the HomeSider info I have neglected while here when I get home.

Rangers recall Tejeda

The Texas Rangers recalled original BlueClaw Robinson Tejeda Friday. The 26 year old from the DR, who made his major league debut in 2005 with the Phillies, has a career mark of 14-17 in 59 appearances (46 starts) in 3 years with Philadelphia and Texas.

Friday, May 30, 2008

'Claws back on track

The Lakewood BlueClaws bounced back into the win column, defeating first place Lake County on Thursday, 8-6 in 11 innings. Michael Taylor (.359)belted the game winning 3-run home run in the top of the 11th to provide the margin of victory. Mike now has 8 homers and 41 RBI. Derrick Mitchell continued his hot hitting, smacking out 3 hits, including his 7th home run and drove in 4 (33). Derrick was off to a slow start, but now has his average up to .259. T.J. Warren (.333) and Dennis Winn (.286) also added 2 hits each for the BlueClaws. Lakewood has now won 10 of 12 and continues to make their run at a playoff spot. Jared Simon picked up his 5th win in relief.

In Clearwater, the Threshers salvaged the final game in their series with Dunedin, topping the Blue Jays 4-1. Excellent pitching from Andrew Cruse (3.2 innings, 1 run, 4 hits, 6 strike outs), Brett Harker (2.1 innings, 0 hits, 1 walk, WIN), Brian Schlitter (2 perfect innings) and Sam Walls (8th save) was enough to shut down Dunedin. Adrian Cardenas (.336, double, triple, sac bunt), John Urick (.268, double, triple, 2 RBI), and Gus Milner (.295) all had 2 hits for Clearwater and Welinson Baez belted his 2nd home run of the season. Clearwater will head to Sarasota tonight to face the Reds, Zack Segovia gets the start.

The Florida State League announced their all star selections today. Gus Milner, Edgar Garcia and Matt German will represent Clearwater. It is the first professional all star selection for each. Congrats to all!!!

I am running out the door to the Threshers game now, and will be returning to New Jersey on Sunday. I want to say thank you to all my Clearwater friends who made me feel so welcome during my time here this week.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

a bad night in the system

Wednesday was a tough night for the Phillies affiliates as Lakewood, Clearwater and Reading were all defeated. In East Lake, Ohio, the BlueClaws got off to a great start, thanks to a 5 inning no hit performance from Darren Byrd. 4th inning RBI's from Karl Bolt and Freddy Galvis gave the 'Claws a 2-0 advantage, and when Dominic Brown singled in Tim Kennelly in the 7th, Lakewood was looking good. Ben Pfinsgraff took over for Byrd and pitched a scoreless 6th and 7th before allowing 2 runs in the 8th, Joe Rocchio getting out of that jam. Rocchio could not finish it off, however, allowing the Captains to score twice in the 9th without recording an out, and the evening that started so promising, ended with a 4-3 Captains win. The loss dropped the BlueClaws 6 games behind the Captains. They will go at it again Thursday night, Jacob Diekman (1-3) gets the ball.

Down the interstate from Lake County, Reading was in Erie with Antonio Bastardo on the mound. Reading built a 6-2 lead after 5, but Bastardo tired in the 6th and the Seawolves scored 4 times to tie the game. Josh Outman gave up the go ahead run and the R-Phils never recovered, losing the game 8-7. Greg Golson (.320, single, double, RBIs #30 &31), Lou Marson (.345, 2 singles, 2 runs scored, RBI #32) and Joey Hammond (.329, 2 singles and a walk) all had 2 hits for Reading.

In Clearwater, the Threshers were dominated by Dunedin pitcher Robert Ray, who threw a complete game, striking out 11 Threshers and giving up just an unearned run, with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth, as the Blue Jays beat Clearwater again, 8-1. Dunedin has hit 4 home runs in each game I have been to. We will try again tonight, Andrew Cruse will make the start.

Lena and I were joined by Carlos Monasterios last night, who saw us and sat with us for the whole game. Carlos says he is still a few weeks away from returning to the action.

Floyd wins 5th

Wednesday afternoon in Cleveland, Gavin Floyd picked up his 5th win of the season for the White Sox, in Chicago's 6-5 triumph over the Indians. Gavin gave up 2 runs on 3 hits and an error in the first inning, but 2 of the 3 hits were infield hits. He then settled in to retire 10 in a row before allowing a 2-out double in the 4th. He escaped that frame without any damage, but did allow 3 more runs in the 6th. In all, over 6 innings, Floyd allowed 5 runs, 4 earned, on 8 hits, NO walks and struck out 7 to improve to 5-3, 3.22 for the year.

Meanwhile, late last night in Portland, Gio Gonzalez pitched 5 shut out innings against the Beavers in the River Cats 3-2 victory. Gio gave up just 2 hits and 2 walks, striking out 7 to gain his second win of the year for Sacramento.

Andy Baldwin also won his second game of the year last night in Fresno, in Tacoma's 4-3 win over the Grizzlies. Baldwin, who has had some rough outings this year, was great Wednesday, throwing 7 shut out innings while giving up just 4 hits, striking out 8.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Threshers fall to Blue Jays

Lena and I attended our first Thresher's game at bright House Field Tuesday night, and were welcomed with open arms by both the Clearwater players and fans. Joe Savery (2-5, 4.79)struggled to get started, giving up 3 first inning runs before recording an out. The Threshers responded immediately in the bottom half. Quintin Berry (2 doubles, 2 runs scored) led off with a double, and scored on Adrian Cardenas' triple. A.C had 2 hits and a walk on the night, scoring 3 times and driving in 2. John Urick then hit the first of his 2 doubles (and 3 hits) and Threshers (or the ex-Claws) were back in the game. We tied it in the third when Cardenas walked, Urick singles and Matt Spencer hit a sac fly. In the 5th, Savery surrendered a 3 run homer to Jesus Gonzalez (his first of 2 on the night) and Bear Hill came in to relieve Savery. After getting the final out of the 5th, Hill gave up 3 runs on 2 more home runs in the 6th, and Dunedin took a 9-3 advantage. Matt German pitched the final 3 frames, allowing just 1 run on 3 hits, striking out 5.
Gus Milner (.297) also had 2 hits for Clearwater, Tuffy Gosewisch and Fidel Hernandez picking up the other hits.

The same 2 teams tonight, I believe it is Tyson Brummett's turn in the rotation, and have been told Edgar Garcia has some soreness in his his pitching shoulder and will miss his start this week, Andrew Cruse to take his turn.

I did see Michael Durant hobbling around on the concourse after the game, without the cruthes. He told me he is still a few weeks away from returning to the action, but is feeling much better.

'Claws sweep Power

The Lakewood BlueClaws completed the 4 game sweep in Charleston, West Virginia on Tuesday, topping the Power, 6-5. This extends Lakewood's winning streak to 7 (and 9 of 10) heading into Lake County tonight to face the first place Captains. Lakewood is now 28-24, 5 games behind Lake County with 18 games remaining in the first half. Darren Byrd will make his first start for Lakewood since rejoining the team. In Tuesday's game, Matt Rizzotti hit a 2-run home run in the second inning and then drove in another run with a sac fly to up his RBI total to 21. Travis Mattair (2 doubles) and Dominic Brown (.287) added 2 hits each, and Michael Taylor (.361) had a double and 2 walks, and drove in his 38th run of the year. Chris Kissock made another good start, this time 4 innings, no earned runs, just 2 hits and 1 walk, before yielding to Moises Melendez, who got the win, his second. Jared Simon recorded his 8th save.

Out in Erie, Reading dropped a 3-1 decision to the Seawolves, Brad Harman's 5th home run of the season accounting for Reading's only tally.

Kendrick wins 4th

The Phillies won their 3rd straight game on Tuesday, 7-4 over Colorado as Kyle Kendrick won his 4th game of the season. (The Phils have scored 42 runs in the last 3 days) Kendrick went 7.1 innings, allowing just 2 runs on 7 hits and 1 walk, striking out 5 to improve to 4-3, 4.84 on the year. Ryan Howard (.209 and climbing) was 1 for 3 and a walk, and picked up RBI #38. Taylor Buchholz pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the 8th, to lower his ERA to 1.23 on the season. Buchholz pitched 3 scoreless innings Friday night against New York to pick up his second win of the season.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Claws win 6th staright

The BlueClaws won their 6th straight game, and 8th in the last 9, 4-3 over West Virginia on Monday behind strong bullpen pitching. After Drew Naylor started and pitched to 3 hitters, there was a rain delay of over an hour and Naylor could not return. Drew will probably make his next start earlier than expected during the big series with first place Lake County which starts Wednesday after one more game with the Power. Sergio Escalona took over for Naylor, and was followed by Zack Sterner, who picked up his second win in his second appearance and has yet to allow a run, Joe Rocchio and Jared Simon, who notched his 7th save despite giving up a run. Freddy Galvis had 4 hits to lead the offense, Michael Taylor (.361, 2 singles, 2 walks, RBI #37) and Dominic Brown (.286, single, double,run scored) added 2 hits apiece, and Derrick Mitchell homered for the third straight game. Take that, Toastman!!

Lakewood is 5 games back of the Captains with 19 games to go in the first half.

Juan Richardson's hot streak is also ongoing. The original BlueClaw has had a smoking hot month of May, hitting .356 this month for Northwest Arkansas. This raises his overall number to .302, 12 doubles, a triple, 5 home runs and 26 RBI for the Royals affiliate.

I also noticed Jake Blalock has been promoted back to Reading from Clearwater. Jake was with the R-Phils earlier in the year when I saw them in Connecticut, but has been with the Threshers for most of the month. Orlando Guevara made his 3rd start for Reading yesterday, picking up his first hit of the season since coming off the DL. Reading defeated Binghamton 8-7, Joey Hammond leading the attack with 3 hits, Greg Golson(.325) and Jason Donald (.302) adding 2 hits each.

Monday, May 26, 2008

greetings from Florida

Hello HomeSiders,

We have arrived safely in Florida, and spent a beautiful afternoon Sunday on Clearwater beach. In the meantime, over in Charleston, West Virginia, the BlueClaws have continued their winning streak, defeating the Power Saturday and Sunday to extend the streak to 5, and 7 of 8. Michael Taylor (.354, 36 RBI) had 3 hits in each game and Derrick Mitchell homered in each game. T.J. Warren(.353) has continued his hot start for Lakewood. Also, Travis Mattair had 3 hits on Sunday, and Tim Kennelly has rejoined the club, and got 2 hits and an RBI Sunday. Kennelly takes the roster spot of Joel Naughton, who was placed on the reserve list. Darren Byrd has also rejoined the team, as the revolving door continues to turn.

The Threshers split a doubleheader in Vero yesterday, Adrian Cardenas homering in each game. They return here to Clearwater to face Dunedin tomorrow night.

I will catch up with the other action later today or tomorrow, now I am going out to enjoy some of this Florida weather. Enjoy your holiday!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

'Claws shut down 'Hoppers

The Lakewood BlueClaws rode good pitching and clutch hitting to a 2-0 victory over Greensboro Friday night. Chris Kissock(3.1 IP, 3 hits), Moises Melendez (3.2 IP 0 hits) and Joe Rocchio (2 Ip, 0 hits) combined for the 3-hit shut out and Lakewood is back to .500 at 24-24. T.J. Warren (3 hits in his 2 games with the team) and Freddy Galvis (2 for 2, sac bunt, RBI) had the big hits. The BlueClaws are bonding and having fun with each other, as noted above. That's Jacob Diekman unknowingly sporting the bubble gum on his hat in the 2nd inning. The perpetrator is still at large!!!
Thanks to Dan Hoppe for the photo!

road trip

Lena and I are hitting the road for Clearwater Saturday morning to monitor the Threshers for 5 games, and I will continue to stay on top of things, so check back often, HomeSiders, the season is heating up, unlike the weather in New Jersey!!

'Claws win again

The BlueClaws made it 2 in a row over Greensboro with a 5-4 win on Thursday night, and have now won 4 of 5 after losing 6 straight. Zack Sterner, recalled earlier in the day as Sampson was placed on the DL, came in to relieve Walter Tejeda, and picked up the win with 2.1 innings of hit less baseball. T.J. Warren made his Lakewood debut with 2 hits and a run scored, while Michael Taylor (single, triple, RBI # 33, stolen base) and Derrick Mitchell (RBI #23) also had 2 hits each. Speaking of Mitchell, he seems to have developed a problem throwing the ball. He has made 4 errors on throws this week and it appears to be becoming mental. Hang in there, Mitch, you are psyching yourself out. Joel Naughton, who has being having a fantastic season so far for Lakewood, doubled in a run and walked twice. Matt Rizzotti picked up the other RBI(his 18th) for the 'Claws.

Lakewood closes out the homestand Friday with one more game against the Grasshoppers, Chris Kissock will take Julian Sampson's turn.

Richardson smokes Midland

Juan Richardson was 4 for 4 Wednesday night, including a triple and his 4th home run of the year as the Naturals beat Midland, 13-5. Since I last mentioned him, Juan has gone 7 for 16 in 4 games to lift his average to .299.


Trenton defeated Reading, 5-2 on Thursday. Mike Spidale hit his first home run of the year and Lou Marson had 3 more hits. Lou is hitting a robust .339 and having a GREAT season for the R-Phils.

In Vero Beach, the Threshers fell to the Rays, 2-0, despite another strong effort from Tyson Brummett. Tyson is still looking for his first win since his promotion, and last night he pitched well enough to get it. Unfortunately, Clearwater did not score, which makes it impossible for him to win. Brummett went 7, allowing just 2 runs on 5 hits and 5 walks(a little high), striking out 6. In his 4 starts with the Threshers, Brummett has a 3.12 ERA (2.43 combined in his 10 starts). Quintin Berry and Jake Blalock had 2 hits each for Clearwater.

Lakewood roster update

The BlueClaws placed Julian Sampson on the 7-day DL Thursday and called up Zack Sterner from extended spring training. Zack pitched in 18 games for Lakewood in 2007, going 1-1 with 3 saves and a 2.70 ERA.

The story on Durant has changed again, as he was told Thursday he WILL go the Florida to rehab. Mike left Friday morning for Clearwater. In his place on the roster, the 'Claws have received outfielder Terrence (T.J.) Warren.

Moises Melendez, who was sent to extended earlier this week, was recalled in less than 48 hours.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

injury report

The news is not good for Alex Concepcion. It appears his knee is fractured and he will need extensive rehab. He has returned to Florida, where I will look in on him next week.

Michael Durant has a serious high ankle sprain on the same left ankle that he broke 2 years ago in the GCL. The estimate is 3-4 weeks. Michael is not going to Florida, but is going out on the road with the BlueClaws to Charleston and Lake County so that he can stay with the training staff.

Naylor stops 'Hoppers

The BlueClaws finally defeated the Greensboro on Wednesday afternoon behind strong pitching from Drew Naylor (4-2, 2.55). After allowing 5 earned runs in just 6 innings against the Grasshoppers in Greensboro last week, Naylor was superb on Wednesday, throwing strikes and changing speeds well all day to complete 8 innings and give up just 2 runs on 6 hits, NO walks and 6 strike outs, raising his league leading total to 71.

Michael Taylor added to his team leading RBI total with 2 more (that's 32), while D'Arby Myers, Dominic Brown and Travis Mattair all had 2 hits to lead Lakewood to a 3-2 victory.

Savery sparkles

In Daytona on Wednesday, first round pick Joe Savery dazzled the Cubs for 7 innings, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits and 1 walk, improving to 2-4, 4.71 on the year. P.J. Antoniato (.291) and Alan Robbins (2 RBI) led the shark attack with 2 hits each. The Threshers will head to Vero Beach to face the Rays for 4 games before returning to Clearwater on Tuesday. I will leave New Jersey on Saturday morning and be in attendance when Clearwater faces Dunedin next week.

Major Leaguers

In Washington Wednesday night, Ryan Howard may have turned the corner on the 2008 season. Ryno belted 2 home runs (12) and a double, driving in 4 runs (29) to lead the Phightin' Phils to a 12-2 win over the Nats. Howard has raised his average from a low of .163 on May 7 to .195. If history is any guide, the rest of the NL better look out, the charge has begun!!

In Houston, Michael Bourn had 3 hits, including a triple to spark the Astros to a 5-3 victory over the Cubs. Bourn also scored a run and stole his league leading 20th base (Ichiro leads the majors with 21) in 23 attempts.

In Denver, Taylor Buchholz pitched another 1-2-3 inning for Colorado against San Francisco, and recorded his 10th "hold" of the year. Taylor is 1-2, with 1 save in 1 opportunity, the 10 holds and a 1.42 ERA.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

There is an 11:00 AM game in Lakewood today, and this evening I will be out with my wife seeing a performance of Cirque du Soleil in Philadelphia. I will be back at it tomorrow.

Good starts last night for Hamels, Segovia, Carrasco, and Chapman. Excellent relief from Swindel, Outman, Harker, German and Lin.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Durant injury

Michael Durant went down in Lakewood's 3-1 loss to Greensboro tonight. He slipped going around second base and had to be helped from the field, putting no pressure on his left leg. The problem is the left ankle. The latest from doctors is no fracture, but he was casted. He anticipates missing about 3 weeks. This is a big blow to Michael's season (his 10 home runs has him on pace to set a new BlueClaw record), and leaves a big hole in Lakewood's line up. Other guys will need to step up. The slack will fall mainly to Matt Rizzotti and Karl Bolt, but everyone will have to pick it up a notch.

Bolt puts a charge in Lakewood's lineup

The BlueClaws gained split of their series with West Virginia by beating the Power 10-5 on Monday night. Karl Bolt led the Lakewood attack with 2 doubles, a triple, 3 runs scored and an RBI. Karl in 7 for 11 the last 3 days and never used a pink bat!! Seriously, he is red hot and just another example of how this Lakewood batting order has dangerous hitters all over it. Michael Taylor (.351, 2nd in S.A.L.) had 2 more line drive hits, and his team leading 30th RBI, and Mike Durant belted a 2 run homer, his 10th. He is 1 behind Michael Burgess of Hagerstown, who has 11. Freddy Galvis also had 2 hits for Lakewood.

Jacob Diekman had another tough day. After allowing 5 runs in the top of the second, he left in the 3rd with 1 out and the bases loaded. Enter the star of the game, Ben Pfinsgraff. Ben came into the game, stifled the rally, and then pitched 4 more shut out innings, giving up just 1 hit, and striking out 4. The effort gives Pfinsgraff his first win of 2008. Alex Concepcion came out in the 8th inning, only to be nailed in the left knee by the second hitter he faced, and carried off. He could put NO weight on the left leg at all. Joe Rocchio got the last 5 outs for Lakewood.

The Greensboro Grasshoppers are next for Lakewood. We need to beat this team, having lost 13 of the last 14 games against them. Do I smell revenge in the air???

Clearwater falls, 4-3

The Daytona Cubs scored 3 in the 8th inning to beat Clearwater on Monday by the score of 4-3. Clearwater scored 3 times in the first 2 innings. Quintin Berry had 2 hits, a walk, scored a run and stole his 13th base (in 17 tries), and Tuffy Gosewisch had a single , 2 doubles, scored a run, and drove one in. For a while, it was looking like all Edgar Garcia (5-1) was going to need. Through 7 innings, Garcia had allowed just 1 run on 6 hits, with 8 strike outs. He started the 8th inning with strike out #9, getting Jonathan Wyatt swinging. Then a single and the only walk of the game issued by Edgar, and his evening was done. Brian Schlitter came in, gave up a walk and a double, and the game was over. In fairness I must add, Schlitter has been good this year-2.81 ERA, but he couldn't get it done last night. Zack Segovia (0-1) will make his 3rd start for Clearwater.

Damage on two coasts

In Portland, Oregon on Monday night, Jesus Merchan (.352) had a single, a double and a walk in 4 at bats for the Tucson Sidewinders in their 5-2 victory over the Beavers. Jesus hit .330 in 81 games for Reading last year.

In Syracuse, Jesus' buddy Randy Ruiz belted a 3 run homer, an RBI double and scored 2 runs to help Rochester top Syracuse 7-6, to gain a split of their doubleheader. Randy now has 3 HR, and 25 RBI for Rochester.

Sampson just bruised

Lakewood pitcher Julian Sampson, who was struck by a ball Sunday in the ribs, is bruised but not broken and is hoping to make his next start on Friday.

Alexander Concepcion, in his first appearance this season after an arm injury, retired 1 hitter before being struck in the left knee Monday night. I cannot ever remember seeing 2 pitchers so badly hurt on consecutive nights. I have not heard anything on Alex, yet.

Korecky picks up a hit, and a win!!

The Minnesota Twins won a 7-6, 12-inning victory from the Rangers and Bobby Korecky was summoned into this one with the score tied, and the bases loaded with 1 out, in the 11th inning. Korecky retired Ian Kinsler and Michael Young without allowing a run to score. Then Bobby got a piece of history. The Twins had forfeited their DH when they put their original DH, Brendan Harris in to play shortstop, and Korecky came to bat and came up swinging. He hit a first pitch fastball off Frank Francisco for a single. It was the first hit by a Twins pitcher in an AL game since the DH began in 1973. The Twins did not score in that inning, so Korecky went back out and pitched a 1-2-3 12th inning, to set the stage for the winning rally. When Howie Clark lined a game winning double, Korecky picked up his 1st major league win. Bobby's stats in the majors: 6 appearances, 7 innings, 2 runs, 4 hits, 3 walks, 6 strike outs, 1-0, 2.57.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Alex Concepcion joins Lakewood staff

On Sunday, Alexander Concepcion joined the BlueClaws, replacing Moises Melendez, who was returned to extended spring training. Concepcion was here with the BlueClaws last year and won 3 games out of the bullpen before going up to Clearwater and becoming a starter. He was 3-5 in 10 starts with the Threshers. He has yet to see action this year, but told me Sunday he is healthy.

BlueClaws end skid

The Lakewood BlueClaws ended the 6 game losing streak on Sunday with a 3-1 win over the Power. Dennis Winn (.300) provided the game winning hit, a 2-run home run (his 2nd) onto the left field berm, with 2 outs in the bottom of the 8th. Michael Taylor (.347) provided the BlueClaws earlier run with his 7th Home run of the year. Taylor now has 29 RBI, and is 3rd in the S.A.L. in batting.

Julian Sampson was pitching beautifully through the slippery conditions, and was still working on a shut out in the 6th inning, when a hard drive off the bat of Zelous Wheeler caught Sampson in the left rib cage. He has a big welt on the ribcage and will probably have to have x-rays. He was removed from the game, his best outing of the year, to a nice ovation from the HomeSide and the rest of the Lakewood faithful. Sergio Escalona was the winning pitcher, and Jared Simon recorded his 4th save.

Lakewood will go for the split Monday, Jacob Diekman on the hill, still looking for that elusive first win of the season. My pal, the Phillie Phanatic will be in the house tonight.

Golson, Marson pound Akron

The tandem of Greg Golson and Lou Marson combined for 8 hits, 2 home runs, and 11 RBI Sunday as the Reading Phillies clobbered Akron, 14-1. Golson was 5 for 6, 4 singles, a 3-run homer, 5 RBI, 3 runs, and his 14th stolen base. Not to be outdone, Marson clubbed 2 RBI-singles, and a grand slam home run, 6 RBI, and 2 runs. The HomeSide grapevine tells me Lou had his parents in attendance in Reading, and had himself a big game. How cool is that!!

Other former BlueClaws getting into the act: Mike Spidale (2 singles, 2 runs), Javon Moran (.298, 2 singles, 2 runs), Jason Donald (.296, single, double, walk, 3 runs, RBI) and Jeremy Slayden (2 singles).

Lost in the offensive explosion was another outstanding pitching performance by Antonio Bastardo. The little lefty threw 6 more solid innings, allowing just 1 run, 3 hits and 3 walks and striking out 5, to pick up his 2nd win for Reading. He also won 2 in Clearwater. His combined ERA for both teams is an amazing 1.82. Josh Outman took over, throwing 2 more scoreless frames and looking very comfortable coming out of the pen. Pat Overholt (0.87 ERA) pitched the 9th.

Cubs top Threshers

In Daytona, Dan Brauer's nightmare season goes on and on. Sunday, Dan struggled through 4.1 innings of work, giving up 5 earned runs on 9 hits and 2 walks, as the Cubs topped the Threshers, 7-5. Brauer's numbers are alarming. The last 4 appearances, he has managed 15.2 innings, 19 earned runs on 31 hits. His ERA for the season is 8.06. His season will definatley be on my mind when I see Clearwater pitching coach Steve Schrenk next week in Florida.

Offensively, Fidel Hernandez and Matt Spencer (single, double, walk, 2 RBI) had 2 hits each for Clearwater. Gus Milner had a walk, a double, 2 RBI and scored a run. P.J. Antoniato (single, RBI), Adrian Cardenas (.338, triple, walk, run scored) and Clay Harris (.310, double, 2 runs) all made contributions. Ron Hill came in for Brauer, and gave up 2 runs on 4 hits in 1.2 innings of work, before Reymond Cruz (6 up, 6 down) shut the door on Daytona.

Maloney, Mitchinson both win again

In Appleton, Wisconsin, Scott Mitchinson continues to impress with the Kane County Cougars. Scott threw 7 shut out innings at the Timber Rattlers en route to a 4-0 victory, giving up just 4 hits, NO walks, and 9 strike outs. Mitchinson is now 4-1, 1.91 for the Athletics's affiliate. He has worked 42.1 innings in his 7 starts, walking only 7, while striking out 44.

Down in Louisville, it was Matt Maloney throwing the zeroes. Six of them, before tiring in the 7th and yielding 2 runs, in Louisville's 5-2 win over Indianapolis. In all 6.1, 2 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk, to up his record to 5-2, 4.91. He has won his last 3 starts, throwing 20.1 innings, and giving up just 4 runs on 14 hits, basically finding his grove at AAA.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Power sweeps 'Claws

The slide continues for the Lakewood BlueClaws as the West Virginia Power swept a double header from Lakewood Saturday to push the losing streak to a season high 6 game. OUCH!

In the opener, Lakewood got RBI hits from Dominic Brown (.290, 20 RBI) and Mike Durant (.259, 22 RBI) to grab a 2-0 first inning run, but could not manage a hit after that inning, falling to West Virginia 5-2, and losing for 5th consecutive game after having the lead. Walter Tejeda fell to 3-2 on the year, pitching 5 innings and giving up 3 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks, striking out 4.

The Power completed the sweep with a 6-4 win in the nightcap despite 3 hits from Karl Bolt and 2 more line drive extra-base hits from Michael Taylor. Taylor smacked his 8th double of the year, and his 2nd triple (which I thought was gone when he hit it) and drove in his 28th run of the year. He also threw out a runner at home plate on a great throw. Chris Kissock limped through 3 innings, giving up 4 runs on 5 hits to absorb his second loss.

Lakewood will try to right the ship this afternoon with Julian Sampson (2-1, 6.27) on the mound.


The 2 teams that have the most former 'Claws are Clearwater and Reading. Today we will start in Clearwater, where the Threshers got a walk off win yesterday when Tuffy Gosewisch was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to drive in the winning run in Clearwater's 3-2 win over Sarasota. The Threshers got just 5 hits in the game, but 4 were for extra bases. Jake Blalock belted his 3rd home run for Clearwater (his 4th overall)to put Clearwater on the board. A triple by Jay Miller (.304), doubles by Gus Milner (.284) and John Urick(.270) , and a single by Fidel Hernandez were enough for Clearwater to seal the victory. Tyson Brummett made his 3rd start for the Thresher's since his promotion, and continues to do the job. Yesterday: 7 innings, 2 runs, 3 hits and 2 walks to lower his ERA to 3.32 for Clearwater (2.41 overall). Sam Walls (1.14 ERA) picked up his first win in relief. Clearwater heads to Daytona, where Dan Brauer will start.

In Reading, Andrew Carpenter, who won 17 games for Clearwater last year, is still struggling. Carpenter could not get out of the 5th inning against Akron Saturday, allowing 10 hits and 5 runs, striking out 6, to fall to 2-5, 5.54 on the season. No R-Phil had more than 1 hit, although Jason Donald had a hit, 3 walks, and scored 2 runs, and Lou Marson had a hit, a walk, and 3 RBI as Reading lost 8-5. Joe Bisenius got 5 outs without allowing a run, and is pitching well since being returned to Reading. Antonio Bastardo starts today for Reading.

Saturday's late games

I found 4 HomeSiders in action Saturday night in the Pacific Coast league.

In Memphis, Robinson Tejeda continues to pitch well for Oklahoma, throwing 7 solid frames for the RedHawks. Robinson was charged with 2 runs on just 3 hits and striking out 11. He left the game with the scored tied at 2-2 and received no decision. Oklahoma won, 4-3, in the 10th inning. Tejeda has made 9 appearances, the last 3 have been starts, and since starting again, he has been very good. In 18.1 innings, he has allowed just 3 runs on 7 hits, lowering his ERA to 2.67.

In Portland, Kevin Howard picked up a double and an RBI (#22) in Las Vegas 10-3 win over Portland. Kevin is just 3 for his last 26, although he has walked 9 times, and is hitting .268 for the Dodger's affiliate.

While in Tacoma, Jesus Merchan (.353) was 1 for 4 with an RBI (#16) in Tucson's 9-3 victory over the Rainiers. Andy Baldwin pitched in relief for the Rainiers, coming in in the 4th inning. He faced Merchan twice, retiring him both times, although the second time, Jesus drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Baldwin pitched a total of 3 innings, giving up 2 earned runs on 5 hits and 1 walk, and was charged with the loss. Andy is 1-2, 5.61 on the year.

Another one in the majors

I have been remiss to mention that the Minnesota Twins had called up former BlueClaw Bobby Korecky. Korecky, joined Lakewood in August, 2002, was called up to Minnesota and made his major league debut April 26. He has seen action in 4 games, throwing a total of 4 innings, allowing 2 earned runs, 4 hits, 3 walks, and 3 strike outs. He has not pitched since May 10.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The week that was

My life has kept me away from the computer this week, but lets check the highlights. The BlueClaws ran into a buzz saw called the Greensboro Grasshoppers this week in North Carolina. The 'Hoppers won all 4 games from Lakewood, despite the fact that the BlueClaws had a LEAST a 3-run lead in each game. Lakewood should be happy to get home, where they were immediately rained out Friday night. They will play 2 today, first game is scheduled for 4:00 start. Lakewood will play 4 with West Virginia, before hoping to exact some revenge on Greensboro. The Grasshoppers are here Tuesday through Friday next week. Greensboro is the same team that derailed Lakewood and their playoff run in the second half last year. In all, Greensboro took 10 of 12 from us in 2007, and has now won 4 straight this year, giving the Marlin's affiliate a run of 13 win in the last 14 meetings. Enough is enough. Lets beat these guys!!!

J-Rich hot

All time BlueClaws home run leader Juan Richardson is hot for Northwest Arkansas. The original Lakewood third baseman is 16 for his last 39 (.410) to lift his average to .290, with 3 home runs and 21 RBI for the Royal's affiliate.

Bourn dropped from leadoff role

Houston manager Cecil Cooper has moved Michael Bourn, who has been struggling from the lead off spot to the #8 hole in the order Friday night. Copper is hoping to take some of the pressure off Bourn, and with the Astros in Texas to face the Rangers, the pitchers will not bat. Bourn responded with a single, an RBI, 2 runs scored and his major league leading 16th stolen base.

Hamels, Floyd both sharp

Cole Hamels pitched a 4-hit complete game shut out over Atlanta Thursday night in Philadelphia, walking 2 and striking out 6 to improve to 5-3, 2.89 for the season, as the Phillies took 2 of 3 from the Braves this week.

Gavin Floyd was also sharp Friday night in San Francisco, throwing 6 scoreless innings in the Sox' 2-0 win over the Giants. Floyd improves to 4-2, 2.92 for Chicago on the year.

Ryno shows signs of charge

Ryan Howard has been slowly picking up the pace. Ryno is 5 for his last 14 in the last 4 games, including a double and 2 home runs (that's 9 for the year) and an RBI in each game (23) to lift his average up to .188 It may not sound like much, but everything is relative.

Grado gets 2 hits in debut

Tim Gradoville made his debut for the Ranger's organization Wednesday night in Midland, Texas, and picked up 2 hits for the RoughRiders in Frisco's 11-5 victory over the Rock Hounds. Ah, nothing like a clean slate!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Maloney flirts with no hitter.

Matt Maloney got the assignment in the first game of a double header for Louisville Monday night and took a no-hitter into the seventh and final inning. After striking out Brandon Jones to open the 7th, Maloney's date with history was postponed by Barbaro Canizares, who hit a hanging change up right up the middle for a clean single. After a bloop single by Joe Bourchard, Maloney settled down and recorded a 2-hit complete game shut out as the Bats won the game 7-0. Maloney is now 4-2, 5.23 on the season. In the last 2 starts, he has given up just 2 runs in 14 innings.

found an old picture

This appears to be one Tim Gradoville and myself, accompanied by my niece, Ilaria and my nephew, Pasquale, in Lakewood, in the spring of 2003. Those kids ( all 3 of them) all look so young!!

I look the same

Grado traded

Tim Gradoville has been given new life. Tim will get a chance to play again for Texas affiliate Frisco Rough riders in the Texas League. New team, new league, new start!!

The HomeSide continues to support and root for Tim, where ever he goes to play.

Frisco, Texas...the Roughriders.....
so many leagues........ so little time

Think of this...a promotion to AAA would put him with a staff that includes 2 pitchers, Robinson Tejeda and Elizardo Ramirez that he has already worked with in the past while with the Phillies....another dividend for all of them.

Good Luck to Tim, we all wish you success!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Lakewood wins 3rd straight

D'Arby Myers broke out of a 4 for 38 slump with a 3 hit performance to lead a 14 hit Lakewood offense to an 11-2 win in the final game in Kannapolis Sunday. Myers also had a walk and drove in a run, and Lakewood got home runs from Michael Taylor (that's 4 straight games Taylor has played that he has homered), Mike Durant (tied for the league lead with 9) and Matt Rizzotti. Dominic Brown had 2 hits and 2 walks, scored a run, and drove 1 in. Travis Mattair had a single, a double, and a walk, and scored 2 runs, while Freddy Galvis chipped in with 2 hits and an RBI. Jesus Sanchez, who has not been getting to play because Joel Naughton has been so hot, also got into the act with a double, a walk, a run scored and 2 RBI.

Walter Tejeda was strong for 5 innings (he is still on an 85 pitch count as he builds arm strength) giving up just 2 runs, 1 earned, on 4 hits, NO walks, striking out 4 to improve to 3-1, 4.09 for the season. Moises Melendez finished the game, which was cut short by the last two outs when a storm came through in the bottom of the 9th inning, and picked up his 1st save. Lakewood heads into Greensboro Monday to take on the Grasshoppers, who are tied with them for 3rd place

Moran gets 8 straight hits

After 4 hits in Saturday's loss to Altoona, Javon Moran came back Sunday and had 4 more hits in a row before being retired in his final at bat. Javon scored a run, stole his 9th base and led the 15-hit attack as Reading pounded the Curve 10-3. Andrew Carpenter pitched 7 innings, scattering 9 hits (NO walks), and giving up 3 runs to improve to 2-4, 5.19 for the year. Greg Golson (.313) had 3 hits, including his 4th home run and scored 3 times. Jeremy Slayden (.296) also had 3 hits, and 4 RBI. Jeremy has 28 RBI now, 21 in the last 17 games. Brad Harman, in his second game back from the big club, also homered.

Josh Outman and Joe Bisenius each pitched a scoreless frame. Outman has adapted very well since his move to the bullpen, having now pitched 4 innings without allowing a run. "Bis" has made 5 appearances in the last 11 days with Reading, allowing 2 earned runs on 5 hits and 5 walks in 6 innings of work.

Mariners sink Floyd

After a couple of excellent outings in a row, Gavin Floyd had a rough day in Seattle Sunday afternoon. Floyd did not make it out of the 4th inning, allowing 5 earned runs on 9 hits and 2 walks in the Mariner's 6-3 win over the White Sox. Gavin was hanging his slider up in the strike zone and the Mariners were all over it.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Major League Notes

In San Francisco yesterday, Ryan Howard hit his 7th home run of the year (18 RBI) in the Phillies 8-2 loss to the Giants.

In Los Angeles, Michael Bourn had 2 hits, scored a run, and stole his 17th base of the season without being caught in the Astros 5-0 win over the Dodgers.

Gavin Floyd (3-2, 2.50) takes the hill this afternoon in Seattle (4:00 start) for the White Sox in his first start since taking a no-no into the 9th inning last Tuesday.

Naylor great again

I cannot say enough about Drew Naylor. After an 8 inning, 11 strike out performance last Sunday against Lexington, Drew topped it yesterday!! A complete game, 2 hitter against Kannapolis, with 12 strike outs to lead Lakewood to a 6-1 victory over the Intimidators. Naylor (pictured) is now 3-2, 2.04 for the year, and leads all of minor league baseball with 62 strike outs (Antonio Bastardo is second with 58) and 53 innings pitched. He has not given up more than 3 earned runs in any of his 8 starts this year.
The BlueClaws got big days from the big 3. Dominic Brown (.295) was 3 for 4 with a double and walk and scored 2 runs, Michael Taylor (.339) was 3 for 5, including a triple, his 4th home run, and 3 RBI (team leading 21), and Michael Durant (.276) belted his 8th home run, a no-doubter in the 8th inning. Dennis Winn chipped in with 2 more hits, upped his average to .321, and is as productive a utility player as the BlueClaws have ever had. The win pushed the 'Claws over .500 for the first time this year at 18-17, and with 35 games remaining in the first half, Lakewood is 4 games behind Lake County. Walter Tejeda will start Sunday in the series finale slated for 5:00.

Carrasco, Savery roughed up

In Reading last night, Carlos Carrasco took to the hill, coming off his best outing of the year last Monday, and was not quite up to that standard. He went 7, allowing 5 runs on 7 hits, walking 5 (too many) and striking out 5. Altoona won the game 5-2, as Reading struggled to get key hits. Javon Moran had a big game, 4 hits including a double , an RBI (his 9th) and a stolen base (his 8th for Reading, 10th overall without being caught). John Soumi was the catcher last night, and is being moved to Lehigh Valley today, so that Orlando Guevara can be activated and placed with Reading. Soumi's promotion once again inactivates Tim Gradoville and makes him a coach, this time with the IronPigs.

In Clearwater, Joe Savery did not have his best stuff, either, surrendering 5 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits and 3 walks in just 3 frames to fall to 1-3, 3.91 on the year, as Jupiter topped the Threshers, 7-6. Andrew Cruse pitched the next 3 innings, allowing 2 runs, and then Brian Schlitter pitched 2 scoreless frames. John Urick (.283) was the only Thresher with more than 1 hit, including his 3rd home run of the season. The RBI was Urick's 19th, which ties him for the club lead with Welinson Baez, who is getting in a grove (11 for 33, .333) the last 10 games.

Tejeda continues on right path

Robinson Tejeda maintained his comeback attempt last night in Oklahoma City. Robinson pitched 5.1 innings, throwing 91 pitches (55 for strikes) and allowing just 1 run on 2 hits and 3 walks, striking out 5 to lower his ERA to 2.70. He left the game in a 1-1 tie, and Fresno won later, 3-1. That's just 1 run in 2 starts (11.1 innings) for Tejeda since the RedHawks put him in the rotation.


Like the weather in Arizona, Jesus Merchan is HOT. He had 2 more hits last night for the Sidewinders, and is 7 for his last 13 (4 games) and 17 for 39 (.436) with hits in his last 10 games. With the parent team, the Diamondbacks, in first place out west, there could be another HomeSider playing meaningful major league games this year!!

Also last night, Randy Ruiz hit his 2nd home run of the year and drove in 2 of Rochester's 3 runs in their 3-2 victory over Buffalo. "Homie" is hitting .252, with 19 RBI this year. I noticed that Minnesota placed 2 players on the DL yesterday, but Randy was not one of the 2 Red Wings called up. Keep plugging, Homie, we are rooting for you!!

In Pawtucket Saturday night, the PawSox took 2 from the Norfolk Tides, 4-2 and 4-2. Mike Costanzo had a single and a double and his 12th RBI in the first game, and is hitting .248 for the Baltimore affiliate.

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs won a game 2-1 last night, getting only 2 hits, but making the most of them, to record their second consecutive win. Break up the Pigs!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

pitching change

I should have trusted my own notes. Joe Savery (1-2, 3.56) , not Andrew Cruse, going for Clearwater tonight.

some movement

With Jimmy Rollins returning to the Phillies last night, Brad Harman was returned to Reading.

Orlando Guevara will be activated and assigned to Reading.

Nate Johnson was released.

Darren Byrd was sent back to extended spring training and replaced on the Clearwater roster by Reymond Cruz.

'Claws win in 12th

After allowing Kannapolis to tie the game at 3-3 in the 8th inning, the BlueClaws steadied the ship and posted a 5-3, 12-inning win over the Intimidators. Lets start with the pitching. Chance Chapman, who has really shown flashes of excellence on occasion this young season, was great for 7 innings allowing just 1 run (on a 1st inning home run by Jim Gallagher) on 6 hits, NO walks and reduced his ERA to 2.61. Chris Kissoock gave up the 2 tying runs on a home run by Ronnie Gaines, who was playing his first game of the year for Kannapolis. Joe Rocchio (2.70) threw 3 hit less frames to pick up his 2nd win of the season. Derrick Mitchell had 2 hits and a walk, and the game winning RBI, and seems to be getting some breaks after an April in which every time he hit the ball hard, it was right at somebody. Good to see him continue to have a good approach. Michael Durant (.277, 19th RBI) and Travis Mattair also had 2 hits apiece as Lakewood improved to 17-17 on the year. They trail first place Lake County by just 4 games. Drew Naylor (2-2, 2.25) should get the ball Saturday.

Hammerheads top Threshers, 5-3

The battle of the sharks continued in Clearwater last night and Jupiter got the best of Clearwater, 5-3. Zack Segovia made his first start for the Threshers, and pitched 5 scoreless innings before running into trouble in the 6th. Zack gave up 3 runs on 7 hits, NO walks, and struck out 4, to suffer the loss. Quintin Berry, who is 7 for 16 his last 4 games and starting to show why he was the catalyst last season here in Lakewood, had 2 hits, including a 2-run home run and also stole his 11th base in 14 attempts. Q has his average up to .267 and climbing. John Urick also had 2 hits and walk for Clearwater. Brett Harker pitched the final 3 innings for the Threshers, lowering his ERA to 1.59 for the year. Andrew Cruse (1-5) will pitch Saturday.

Golson, Slayden lead R-Phils

The Reading Phillies beat Altoona 3-0 Friday night behind great pitching from Kip Bouknight. Bouknight threw 7 scoreless frames, allowing just 2 hits and 2 walks, to record his third win of the year. Greg Golson smacked his 3rd home run of the year in the 4th inning and it looked like it would be all for the Phillies, until Jeremy Slayden broke Altoona's back with a 2-RBI hit in the bottom of the 8th. "Slay"(.291) leads all former 'Claws with 24 RBI so far, and Golson (.299) stole his 12th base in 15 attempts. Pat Overholt recorded his 8th save, pitching 2 perfect innings to finish it. Overholt (0.96 ERA) has allowed just 2 runs on 6 hits in 18.2 innings of work. In my opinion, the 24-year old Overholt should be making the jump to Lehigh Valley before long.

Pigs win!!

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs won a game last night, no matter how hard they tried to blow it. Wasting a brilliant performance from ace J.A. Happ, the Pigs took a 3-1 lead into the 9th inning, only to have Matt Childers give up the tying runs and flush away what would have been Happ's first win of the season. J.A. has really deserved better than his 0-4 start. Last night, he struck out 13 in 7 innings and lowered his ERA to 2.72. Jason Jaramillo belted his 3rd home run of the year. J.J. is hitting just .191 this year, and continues the struggle. The IronPigs won the game, 4-3, on a 10th inning walk off home run by Jon Knott, who is hitting .407 in 7 games since joining Lehigh Valley after being released by Minnesota.

Cole wins 4th

Late Friday night in San Fransisco, Cole Hamels battled his way through 7 innings, and was the beneficiary of a 3-run top of the 8th, as the Phillies beat the Giants 7-4. Cool Cole gave up 4 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks, striking out 7, and slammed the door on the Giants after allowing 4 runs in the first 4 frames. He also got a base hit, and is batting .286! Ryan Howard was 1 for 5, but it was a LONG single, which hit the right field wall (and would have been a home run at home) and rebounded right back to Randy Winn. Carlos Ruiz also had a single and 2 RBI. Brad Lidge picked up his 9th save and has yet to allow a run this year.

In Los Angeles, the Astros topped the Dodgers, 7-1. Michael Bourn was 1 for 5, but did steal his major league leading 16th base. Mike is yet to be caught this year and is 35 for 38 in his major league career.

In San Diego, the Rockies defeated Jake Peavey and Padres, 4-2 behind Aaron Cook, who registered his 6th win of the season. Taylor Buchholz required just 10 pitches to dispatch to Padres in the 8th inning, recording his 7th "hold" and reducing his ERA to 1.74. That's 4 earned runs on 11 hits in 20.2 innings of work for Taylor.

Dubee buried by Avalanche

Friday night in Winston-Salem, Michael Dubee was hit hard by the Salem Avalanche. Never able to really settle in, Dubee was hit up for 3 in the first inning. In all, he went just 5 innings, surrendering 7 runs (5 earned) on 8 hits, and 3 walks. He also plunked a hitter! Mike saw his record fall to 3-2, 4.01, in Salem's 10-4 win over the Warthogs.

Around AAA

Friday night in Rochester, the Columbus Clippers held a 3-0 advantage over the Red Wings going to the bottom of the 8th inning, when the Wings exploded for 3 runs to tie the game. Randy Ruiz had a run scoring single in the middle of the Rally, one of 2 hits for "Homie" on the night. Randy is hitting .252, with 17 RBI so far for Rochester. The Clippers won the game with a run in the 10th.

In Tuscon, Jesus Merchan had a single and drove in a run with a sac fly as the Sidewinders topped Nashville, 6-5 in 10 innings. Merchan is hitting .369, with 12 RBI for the Diamondback's affiliate.

In Las Vegas, the Memphis Redbirds took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the 6th against the 51s, who rallied for 2 in the 6th, 1 in the 7th and 1 more in the 8th to pull out a 4-3 win. Kevin Howard was 1 for 2 and a walk, and is hitting .282 with 21 RBI for Vegas.

A glance at the rosters of the independent Atlantic League, which has 3 teams in New Jersey, shows that Matt Sweeney is once again with the Newark Bears and Danny Gonzalez will return to the Lancaster Barnstormers to start 2008. The league starts play next week.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Threshers belt 4 homers, Garcia wins again

The Clearwater Threshers pounded out 17 hits on Thursday night, including home runs by Jake Blalock and Welinson Baez back to back in the 1st inning, and long balls later by Tuffy Gosewisch and Clay Harris to back another strong performance by Edgar Garcia, and beat Jupiter, 12-3. Garcia went 6 innings, allowing just 2 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks, and improved to 5-0, 3.43 for the year. Blalock had 3 hits, 2 runs scored and 2 RBI, and Quintin Berry, P.J. Antoniato (.300), Harris, Gosewisch and Fidel Hernandez all had 2 hits. Matt German, Ron Hill, and Darren Byrd pitched the final 3 frames for Clearwater.

Thursday's AAA games

Thursday night in Columbus, the Clippers took a doubleheader from the Rochester Red Wings, 5-1 and 6-4. In the nightcap, Randy Ruiz had 2 doubles and his 16th RBI of the season.

Meanwhile, there also was a doubleheader in Oklahoma City, between the Red Hawks and the Sacramento River Cats. In the first game, Gio Gonzalez started for Sacramento and went 6 innings, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks, striking out 5, leaving the game with the score tied at 4-4. The Cats got 2 in the 9th to win 6-4, Gonzalez received no decision. Gio is 0-2, 5.18 in 7 starts for Sacramento. In game 2, Elizardo Ramirez got the start for Oklahoma, and got hit hard. "Easy" gave up 12 hits and 6 runs (only 4 earned) in 5 innings of work, and was the losing pitcher in Sacramento's 7-1 win for the sweep. Ramirez is 4-3, 4.50 in his 6 starts.

Over in Tucson, Jesus Merchan (.371) was 2 for 3 and drove in a run (#11) for the Sidewinders in Nashville's 10-4 win.

The independents are starting play, and the American Association has 4 former 'Claws as play begins. Sean Gamble (3 for 5 in opener) is playing for the Pensacola Pelicans, Zac Cline will pitch for the Lincoln Saltdogs, Paige Dumont (2007 BlueClaw) will be assigned to the Sioux City Explorers, and Vinny DeChristofaro will throw for the Grand Prairie AirHogs.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Rollins rehabs with Clearwater

The Clearwater Threshers took advantage of 3 Jupiter errors in the first inning to score 3 times without the benefit of a hit, en route to a 6-5 victory. Jimmy Rollins played shortstop for Clearwater, who managed to win the game despite getting only 5 hits. John Urick (.261) picked up 2 RBI, to tie Gus Milner with 18 for the team lead. Dan Brauer made it through 4 innings, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks, and Andrew Cruse picked up the win in relief. Brian Schlitter recorded his 4th save.

In Reading, Binghamton out-slugged Reading 9-7 on Wednesday. Greg Golson (.310) had 3 hits to lead the Reading attack, and Lou Marson (.330) added 2 hits and 2 RBI. Jason Donald (.350)had 2 walks, and then hit a 3-run home run in the bottom of the 9th inning to make the final score close. Josh Outman pitched 2 scoreless innings in relief and has adjusted to life in bullpen very well so far.

In Phoenix, Kyle Kendrick got the assignment for Philadelphia, and pitched 6 innings against the D-Backs. Kyle gave up 3 runs on 10 hits, but left the game in a 3-3 tie. Ryan Howard was 0 for 4, striking out 3 more times and falling to .163. UGH!! Carlos Ruiz (.238) was 1 for 4 and scored a run.

Maloney wins

Wednesday night in Norfolk, Matt Maloney threw 110 pitches in his 7 innings of work, allowing just 2 runs on 7 hits, NO walks, in Louisville's 8-4 victory over the Tides. Maloney improved to 3-2 on the year, and lowered his ERA to 6.29. Neither Chris Roberson ( 0 for 2, 2 walks, .237) or Mike Costanzo ( o for 4, .225) could reach base for Norfolk against Maloney.

In Toledo, the IronPigs got off to a 4-0 lead over the Mudhens, but lost 7-6 in 10 innings. R.J. Swindel made his AAA debut, coming in with the bases loaded and 1 out in the 6th. He immediately game up a bases clearing triple to Brent Clevlin, before getting the last 2 outs of the inning. Brandon Watson (.291) and Mike Cervenak (.281) had 3 hits each for Lehigh Valley.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Binghamton tops Reading in 12

Binghamton scored a run in the top of the 12th inning in Reading Tuesday night to defeat the R-Phils 2-1. Drew Carpenter pitched well enough to win, but had no such luck. Carpenter went 7, gave up 1 run on 5 hits and 1 walk, striking out 5 and left the game with the score tied at 1-1. Josh Outman pitched a scoreless 8th and Pat Overholt was perfect for his 2 frames. Neil Sellers had 3 hits, including a double, and the only RBI on Reading's side of the ledger. Jason Donald added 2 hits and 3 walks. Eude Brito was the winning pitcher for the Mets, picking up the last 4 outs for Binghamton, recording his first win of 2008. The 2 teams go at it again Wednesday night, Shane Youman will make his first start after 9 relief appearances.

In Clearwater, Tyson Brummett made his first start for the Threshers since being promoted from Lakewood, and looked good. Brummett went 7, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits and 1 walk, striking out 5. The score was 2-2 when he departed in favor of Brett Harker. Brett pitched a scoreless 8th and picked up a win when the Threshers scored in the bottom half of the inning, John Urick picking up his 16th RBI to give Clearwater their margin of victory. The Threshers stay at home to face Jupiter Wednesday, Dan Brauer (0-2, 8.76) will get the ball.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Floyd loses no-hitter in 9th

Floyd pitching Tuesday night.
Tuesday night in Chicago, Gavin Floyd went to the 9th inning pitching a no-hitter against Minnesota. Joe Mauer broke it up with a one out double into left center. Floyd was then removed from the game with a 7-1 lead, allowing Bobby Jenks to register the last 2 outs. Floyd is now 3-1, 2.50 for the year for the White Sox.

Carrasco mows down Mets

Carlos Carrasco pitched 7 innings against Binghamton Monday night, allowing NO runs, 2 hits, 2 walks, striking out 7, recording his 3rd win of the year for Reading in the R-Phils 11-0 victory. Jason Donald had a double and a home run, driving in 3 and scoring 2. Javon Moran had a walk and a hit, and scored 2 runs and Greg Golson had a double and an RBI. Carrasco is now 3-2, 3.25 for the year.

In Clearwater, the Threshers scored 2 in the 7th and 2 in the 8th to post a 7-6 come from behind win over the Manatees. Joe Savery started and struggled for Clearwater, giving up 5 earned runs on 5 hits and 4 walks. Brian Schlitter came in and picked up the good luck win, pitching 2 scoreless frames. Clay Harris had 3 more hits and is 6 for 12 since his return. Quintin Berry (single, double, walk, RBI, 10th steal), P.J. Antoniato (2 singles, walk, run scored), and John Urick (single, home run #2, 3 RBI) all had 2 hit games for the Threshers.

Tyson Brummett will start Tuesday in his Clearwater debut.

R.J.Swindel promoted

On my way out to the game, I noticed that R.J.Swindel was promoted from Reading to Lehigh Valley, with Jason Anderson going the other way.

Swindel was in 11 games for Reading, a total of 16.2 innings of work, only 1 run, on just 8 hits, 1 walk, 16 strike outs, 0.54 ERA. He pitched in 20 games for the BlueClaws last season, posting a 2-1 record with 10 saves, and an 0.93 ERA. The IronPigs are 4-28 and in need of all the help they can get.

'Claws top Legends, 11-7

Aided by 7 Lexington errors, 4 by shortstop Ronald Ramirez, the Lakewood BlueClaws rode the momentum of a 6-run 2nd inning to an 11-7 victory over the Legends. Dennis Winn (3 singles, 2 RBI) and Travis Mattair (3 singles, RBI) led the 13 hit onslaught as the BlueClaws scored 11 runs for the 2nd consecutive game. Mike Durant had 2 walks and his 7th home run (second in the league), and Michael Taylor had 2 hits including a huge 3-run blast to close out the scoring in the bottom of the 8th inning. Walter Tejeda started and gave the team 4 innings, the longest outing of the year for the left hander, and Chris Kissock got the win despite giving up 3 runs on 5 hits in 2 innings of work. Sergio Escolona made his first appearance for Lakewood this year, picking up a "hold", and Jared Simon got the last 5 outs to record his 3rd save.

The BlueClaws are 4-3 on the current home stand which wraps up tonight with one more against the Legends at 6:30, Julian Sampson (1-1, 7.18) will get the start.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Tejeda pitches well, no decision

Robinson Tejeda pitched for the Oklahoma RedHawks this afternoon in Tacoma, and did not allow a run. 6 innings of work, only 2 hits, NO walks, 4 strike outs, left the game with a 1-0 lead. The Rainiers scored 2 in the bottom of the 9th to beat Oklahoma 2-1, and snatch Tejeda's victory. But a great outing nonetheless.

Early and often

The BlueClaws were all over the Lexington Legends on Sunday, striking for 5 runs in the first inning and never looking back, en route to an 11-2 blowout. Drew Naylor was incredible, going 8 strong innings, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits, with 11 strike outs!! Naylor picked up his 2nd win, striking out the side on 2 separate occasions, and looked just great changing speeds. Derrick Mitchell continues to come on strong after a slow start, picking up 3 more hits, including a double and an RBI, and scored 2 runs. Dominic Brown hit his 2nd home run in the first inning, and had an RBI-single later. Mike Durant had a single, a double, a walk, and 2 RBI (that's a team best 17), and Travis Mattair, Joel Naughton, and Herman Demmink (3 runs scored, .308) all had 2 hits for Lakewood. Michael Taylor, Matt Rizzotti, and Freddy Galvis all had RBI sac flys in addition to a hit. Contributions from all around!!

Lakewood faces Lexington again tonight, Walter Tejeda makes his first start for the 'Claws.

In Harrisburg, the 1-2 combo of Javon Moran and Jason Donald was 5 for 8 with 3 doubles, a walk, 4 stolen bases, 3 runs scored and 2 RBI. Believe it or not, the Senators won the game 5-4. The rest of Reading's line up produced just 2 hits, and Kip Bouknight (2-3, 4.64) was the loser. Joe Bisenius pitched a scoreless 6th in his second inning since being activated, and R.J. Swindel put up 2 more scoreless innings for Reading. In 11 appearances, Swindel has pitched 16.2 innings, giving up just 1 run on 8 hits, 1 walk, 16 strike outs, and an ERA of 0.54.

Reading returns home tonight, with Carrasco, to face Binghamton, Phil and Lynn Hoffman will represent the HomeSide.

Dubee wins again

Sunday afternoon in Winston-Salem, Michael Dubee picked up his 3rd win of the season in the Warthogs 7-3 win over Wilmington. Dubee threw 7 innings, giving up just 3 runs, 9 hits, NO walks and 3 strike outs. Mike is 3-1, 3.35 for the White Sox affiliate.

In Columbus, J.A. Happ turned in a gutsy performance, going 6 innings for the IronPigs, allowing just 1 unearned run on 5 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 5, and even though his record is 0-4, the ERA is an excellent 2.97. The Clippers won the game, 8-1.

Ruiz homers in Phillies win

The Phillies posted a 6-5 win over the San Fransisco Giants on Sunday, in a game in which Cole Hamels pitched 6 innings, giving up 4 runs on 7 hits, striking out 5, and received no decision, and Carlos Ruiz hit his 1st home run of the season. Ruiz, who is hitting just .203 and yielding playing time to Chris Coste, picked up his 9th RBI. Ryan Howard was on base 3 times with walks, and Brad Harman got an at bat as a pinch hitter for Hamels in the 6th inning. It was Harman's first at bat since a pinch hit walk on April 27.

Monday schedule includes:

Reading at home against Binghamton, with Carlos Carrasco (2-2, 4.03)
Clearwater at home against Brevard County, Tyson Brummett Thresher's debut (3-0, 1.95)
Lakewood at home against Lexington, Walter Tejeda makes his first start

Garcia continues turnaround

Edgar Garcia's strong start to 2008 continued on Saturday night, as Garcia improved to 4-0, 3.50 in his first 6 appearances this season. Edgar, who won only 4 games in 20 starts for Lakewood last year, has been on top of his game early this year. He is only 20 years old and the potential for this kid is very high if he develops some consistency. Saturday, he pitched 6.1 innings, allowing 3 runs on 8 hits, 3 walks, picking up 8 strike outs in the Thresher's 6-3 win over Brevard County. Brian Schlitter got 5 outs in a row to record his 1st "hold", and Samuel Walls pitched the 9th for his 3rd save. P.J. Antoniato (.290) and Welinson Baez (.238, 16 RBI) had 2 hits each for Clearwater, John Urick had 2 walks and a home run, and Quintin Berry had 3 walks and stole his 9th base in 11 attempts. Off the disabled list, playing for the first time this year, Clay Harris had a hit and an RBI.

On Sunday, the Manatees won, 4-1 as Clearwater got just 6 hits. Andrew Cruse got his first start and looked so much more comfortable than he does relieving. Andrew went 3 innings (building arm strength) and was charged with 1 unearned run on 4 hits, NO walks. Ron Hill, recently returned from Reading, took over and struggled. 3 hits and 2 walks in 2.2 innings and "Bear" was charged with 2 runs. Matt German got 5 outs without allowing a run, and Nate Johnson gave up 1 run in his 1 inning. Clay Harris (2 singles and a walk) and Gus Milner (walk and triple) were the only Threshers on base more than once.

Saturday night in Tacoma, the Tacoma Rainiers were defeated by the Oklahoma RedHawks 6-3, on a 3-run 9th inning by Oklahoma. The starter in the game for Oklahoma was Elizardo Ramirez, who had already won 4 games this year. "Easy" put in another strong effort, going 6.2 innings, charged with 3 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks, striking out 4 and receiving no decision. Ramirez is 4-2, 4.11 for the year. Robinson Tejeda, bullpen experement apparently on hold, will get the start for Oklahoma Monday afternoon. While in Round Rock, Texas, Kevin Howard had a single and a double in the Las Vegas 51s 5-3 win over the Express. Howard is hitting .313 with 20 RBI for the Dodger affiliate.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Bastardo wins again

A move up to AA Reading did not slow down Antonio Bastardo, as the lefty from the DR continues to impress Phillies personnel by just winning and winning. Last night in Harrisburg, against the league leading Senators, Bastardo took the hill and went 5.2 innings, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits and 2 walks, striking out 2 before running out of gas in thr R-Phils 6-3 win. Javon Moran (2 singles, double, run scored, 2 RBI) and Lou Marson ( 3 singles, 2 RBI, .329) led the 14 hit attack for Reading. Greg Golson chipped in with 2 hits, and stole his 10th base in 13 attempts and is now hitting .307. Jeremy Slayden also contributed with 3 walks. R.J. Swindel pitched a scoreless 8th ( his 5th "hold", 0.61 ERA), and Pat Overholt closed the door with a scoreless 9th to record his 7th save. Bastardo, who was 10-0 last year (9-0 with Lakewood) is now 3-0 overall this year. His next start will be Thursday night at First Energy Stadium against Binghamton.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

some high lights

Some of the items that caught my attention the last few days:

Wednesday night, Lakewood- Tyson Brummett, in his finale for Lakewood threw 6 shut out innings, allowing just 3 hits, NO walks, 6 strike outs, in the BlueClaw's 10-1 win over Kannapolis. Brummett, who attended UCLA, is 23 years old, and pitched very well for the BlueClaws. He was 3-0, 1.95 in 6 starts and deserving of the promotion. (More on the promotion in a minute.) Lakewood got contributions from all over offensively, and it started at the top. Herm Demmink had 2 hits and 2 walks, scored 4 times, and every time I looked up, he was on base!! It all flowed from there. Derrick Mitchell had 2 2-run home runs, the first one in the 1st inning to set the tone, and the second in the 8th inning to put the exclamation point on this one. Michael Taylor continues his solid start to 2008, with 2 more hits and 2 more RBI, and Jesus Sanchez had 2 hits and a walk and scored 2 runs. Dominic Brown was also on base 4 times, causing all kinds of problems for Kannapolis' defense.

Back to Brummett: he goes to Clearwater and jumps right into the rotation there. Antonio Bastardo is on to Reading, and will make his first start tonight in Harrisburg. Brummett joins Joe Savery, Edgar Garcia, Dan Brauer and Darren Byrd in the rotation. Tyson will probably pitch Monday or Tuesday.

Bastardo goes to Reading and joins Drew Carpenter, Zack Segovia, Carlos Carrasco and Kip Bouknight. Segovia made the start Friday night and did not fare well. He gave up 3 hits and 4 walks, 5 earned runs in just 2.2 innings. Josh Outman made his first relief appearance since his role was redefined, and made in through 3.1 innings. He gave up 2 runs, on 4 hits and 2 walks. Harrisburg defeated Reading, 8-2, both Reading runs driven in by Jeremy Slayden, who leads all former 'Claws with 22 RBI. Bastardo gets thrown right into the fire, he takes on the league leading Senators tonight.

Thursday night in Tacoma, Andrew Baldwin made his best start of the year, throwing 6.2 innings, giving up just 1 unearned run, 2 hits, 1 walk, and got his first AAA win as Tacoma beat New Orleans, 3-2. Baldwin is now 1-1, 5.91 for the Seattle affiliate.

On Friday in Geneva, Illinois, Scott Mitchinson put in another strong effort for the Kane County Cougars. Scott went 7.1 innings, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk, striking out 6. He got no decision in a game the Cougars lost 6-2 in 10, and is 3-0, 2.54 in his 5 starts so far.

Kyle Kendrick got the start for the Phillies against the Giants Friday night, and made it through 6 innings. He gave up 3 runs on 8 hits, NO walks and struck out 6 to lower his ERA to 5.01. The Phils won in the 10th on a walk off 2-run homer from Pat Burrell.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Bastardo Promoted

Antonio Bastardo has been promoted to Reading.. The R-Phils also announced the Fabio Castro and Josh Outman are being moved out of the rotation to the bullpen. They are being replaced by Bastardo and Zack Segovia. Also, Carlos Monasterios put on Clearwater's disabled list. I am running to the game. Much posting tomorrow!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Tyson Brummett promoted

After pitching 6 scoreless innings for Lakewood last night, Tyson Brummett was promoted to Clearwater. Brummett was 3-0, 1.95 in 6 starts for the BlueClaws. (Maybe Bastardo gets the call for Reading.) This opens a spot in Lakewood's rotation. We have been awaiting Miguel Matos coming off the DL, maybe he is ready.