Thursday, July 31, 2008

Kyle Drabek season debut

Kyle Drabek is back. Kyle made his season debut with GCL Phillies yesterday afternoon and pitched 3 good innings, giving up just 1 hit and NO walks. Phillies beat Yankees, 10-0.

HomeSider notes

The Lakewood BlueClaws evened their series with West Virginia Wednesday afternoon with a 7-3 win over the Power. The win draws Lakewood back within 2 games of first place West Virginia with 2 games left in the series. Freddy Galvis, Tim Kennelly and Matt Rizzotti each drove in 2 runs for Lakewood to provide Julian Sampson with his 7th win of the year.

Adam Eaton will start tonight for Lakewood and will throw 55 pitches before yielding to scheduled starter Walter Tejeda.

The Threshers topped Sarasota last night, 7-1 behind strong pitching from Darren Byrd, while Reading was shut out by Harrisburg. Javon Moran (.269) , Jeremy Slayden (.301), Fidel Hernandez (.231), Michael Taylor (13 for his last 35-that's .371), and Quintin Berry (15 game hitting streak, up to .270) all had 2 hits for the HomeSide, while Gus Milner had 3 hits and Tuffy Gosewisch led the way with a 4 for 5 game!

Adrian Cardenas also had a 4 for 5 game for Stockton last night, and is hitting .333 since the trade, while Matt Spencer added 2 more hits, including his first California League home run to up his average to .432 since joining the Oakland affiliate.

In Minnesota last night, Gavin Floyd bounced back with a great performance , throwing 7.2 innings against the Twins, allowing just 1 run on only 5 hits and 1 walk as the Sox won 8-3. Gavin improved to 11-6, 3.43 on the season.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

BlueClaws sweep Intimidators, ready to face Power

The Lakewood BlueClaws, who won both games of a doubleheader Monday making up for Sunday's rain out, combined with West Virginia's extra inning loss to Lake County, find themselves only 2 games out of first place as they ready for a 4 game showdown with the Power starting Tuesday night at First Energy Park.

Chance Chapman (6-5) struggled his way through 3.1 innings, and did not record the win despite the BlueClaws scoring 6 early runs for him. Lakewood got 3 RBI from Mike Durant for the second consecutive game and ran out to a 6-1 lead after 2 innings. Kannapolis would battle their way back into the game, cutting the lead to 6-4 by the 4th. T.J. Warren's first home run of the season, a monster blast into the left center field berm, gave Lakewood their margin of victory as Chris Kissock picked up his 3rd win of the season 7-4. Jared Simon (Simon says, "Game Over") notched save #22 with a 1-2-3 7th.

The second game belonged to the pitchers, as Mike Cisco made his Lakewood debut by throwing 5 scoreless innings. Cisco was promoted from Williamsport to replace Sergio Escalona, who was promoted to Reading yesterday morning (I guess Joe Rocchio was not ready to come off the DL as I speculated) , where he had a 1.86 ERA in 9 games for the Crosscutters. On Monday, he gave up just 1 hit and NO walks, striking out 3. Reymond Cruz got the next 6 outs, not without adventure, but no runs crossed the plate and Zack Sterner (Mr Opportunity) was once again in the right place, as he retired Kannapolis in the 8th, and Lakewood scored in the bottom half to take a 1-0 thriller. Sterner is now 9-1, 1.60 on the year. The big hit was a 1-out double by Matt Rizzotti, who continues to get big hits since his return to the line-up.

The sweep, combined with the Powers' 6-5, 13 inning defeat to the Captains has the BlueClaws poised for their biggest series of the year. Vance Worley (1-0, 1-50)will get the ball tonight for Lakewood, who has now won 3 in a row and 21 of the last 28.

In Tucson last night, Jesus Merchan continued his hot hitting, adding on 2 more hits, and is 25 for 55, that's .455, in his last 13 games.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Another HomeSider going to Oympics

It has been an eventful month for R.J. Swindel. After receiving his first major league call up and spending a few days on the Phillies roster, R.J. has been named to play for his native Canada in the upcoming Olympic games in China. R.J. joins Lou Marson and Jason Donald, who will represent the USA.

Escalona promoted

The Phillies announced that Sergio Escalona, who has done a fine job for the BlueClaws, has been promoted directly to Reading. (That is Sergio on the right, Alberto Cambero on the left.) Good Luck Sergio!!

This could mean that Joe Rocchio is ready to come off the DL.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Threshers stopped by curfew

For the first time in the history of the Clearwater Threshers, the game was called for curfew Friday night, as the umpires did not allow an inning to begin after 1:00 AM. After 14 innings of play, Clearwater and Fort Myers are tied at 2-2 and will complete the game before tonight's contest. In the game Quintin Berry had 2 more hits, extending his hitting streak to 13 straight, going 19 for 55 (.345) in the streak to raise his average to a season high .267. After setting a BlueClaw mark with 152 hits last season, Berry now has 102 hits for Clearwater this season, with 36 steals.

Meanwhile, Zack Segovia has moved again, and is now with AA Harrisburg. Zack pitched Thursday at Bowie and got a win for the Senators. It was his 5th win with 6 different teams so far this year, but he has moved up the Nationals' system back to the Eastern League where he started 2008. On Thursday, Zack threw 5.2 innings, giving up 3 runs on 8 hits in the Senator's 8-7 win over the BaySox. His next scheduled start will come up on Tuesday against, you guessed it, Reading!!

R-Phils take 2 in a row

The Reading Phillies have won a couple in a row, winning the final game in New Britain 7-3 on Thursday, and the opener of their homestand 6-4 over New Hampshire.

On Thursday, Mike Spidale (.282), Jason Donald (.305), Jake Blalock (.295) and Clay Harris (.341) all had 2 hits and Brad Harman smacked his 9th home run of the season to support another great pitching performance by Fabio Castro. Castro, (8-1, 4.20) threw 7 innings, allowing just 2 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk, striking out 5, and has been fantastic sine his reinsertion into the rotation. In fact, in his last 5 starts, he is 4-0, giving up just 9 earned runs in 32 innings of work.

On Friday, Reading returned home and after J.D Durbin allowed 4 runs in the top of the 1st inning, Reading pounded their way to a 6-4 win, led by 3 hits from Greg Golson (.291), and 2 hits each from Lou Marson (.321) and Brad Harman (.211) , who also drove in 2 runs. Meanwhile, Durbin found his groove, and pitched 5 more innings without giving up another run. Travis Minix came in and threw 2 scoreless innings to pick up the win, and Justin Pope recorded his 6th save.

Tyson Brummett will start Saturday for Reading.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Jesus saves!!

HomeSider of the week goes to Jesus Merchan. Jesus, playing for the AAA Tucson Sidewinders, is 19 for 42 (.452) over the last 10 games. Merchan is hitting .342 with 49 RBI in 83 games for the Diamondback's affiliate, making him a prime candidate for a September call up. Jesus spent 6 weeks (June 6-July 16) with the BlueClaws in 2005.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Baldwin strong for Rainiers

Last night in Nashville, Andy Baldwin pitched 7 strong innings for Tacoma, leaving the game with a 2-1 lead, which the bullpen gave up. Andy gave up just 1 run on 4 hits and 2 walks, striking out 4. Andy has a 6-5, 5.27 mark in 22 games, 15 starts, for the Mariners affiliate.

Billings no-hits 'Claws

Bruce Billings of the Asheville Tourists no hit the Lakewood BlueClaws in the finale of Lakewood's road trip Wednesday night in North Carolina. It was the first no hitter against the BlueClaws in the 8 year history of the team. Lakewood wrapped up the road trip with a 6-2 mark, and once again find themselves 3 games behind West Virginia, who topped Rome 12-10, as they head home to start an 8 game home stand beginning Friday against Kannapolis.

Last night in Buffalo, Chris Roberson had 3 hits, scored 2 runs and drove 1 in, in Norfolk's 8-5 win over the Bisons. Robey is batting .262 with 44 RBI and 17 stolen bases in 92 games for the Oriloes AAA affiliate.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Carpenter, Brummett both sharp Monday

A strong effort from Andrew Carpenter led the Clearwater Threshers to a 5-1 victory over Jupiter Monday. Carpenter (2-3, 2.55 for Clearwater) pitched his second complete game for the Threshers since his demotion from Reading, allowing jut 1 run on 4 hits, NO walks and 7 strike outs. His only flaw was a home run allowed to Jupiter's Logan Morrison (his 10th). Morrison hit 24 home runs in the SAL last year, and gave the BlueClaws fits. Gus Milner (.274) led the Clearwater attack with 3 hits and Michael Taylor had 2 hits, 2 walks and 2 RBI to raise his average to .232, after hitting .361 in the first half for Lakewood. Quintin Berry added to the attack with a hit and 3 stolen bases. "Q" is 34 for 43 in steals this year, after swiping 55 for the 'Claws last season. The Phillies have signed 28 year old second baseman Rob Watson and 27 year old outfielder Kevin Mahar from the independent Kansas City T-Bones to replace Cardenas and Spencer on the Thresher's roster.

In New Britain Monday, Tyson Brummett recorded his second AA win with 6 innings of work for the R-Phils. Tyson gave up just 1 run on 4 hits and 5 walks, and it was good enough for a 3-1 win. Neil Sellers had 3 hits to lead the Reading attack. Edgar Garcia will be seeking his first AA win again in a 12:00 start this afternoon.

The BlueClaws won in extra innings again on Monday, as Freddy Galvis had 5 hits. His 5th hit was a 2-out double in the top of the 10th inning and he scored the winning run on Joel Naughton's single. Galvis (.240) is 9 for 15 the last 3 games and is in his best stretch of the season. The 6-5 victory over Asheville was the 6th straight for the 'Claws, who have now won 18 of 22 and remain 1 game back of West Virginia. Sergio Escalona (5-1, 3.50) was the winning pitcher after blowing the save in the 9th inning. That makes 2 nights in a row that the Tourists rallied for 2 in the bottom of the 9th only to have Lakewood take the game in extra innings.

Jacob Diekman has been sent to Williamsport, and pitchers Eryk McConnell and Michael Stutes have been promoted to Lakewood. Stutes in 2-1, 1.33 in 6 starts for the Crosscutters while McConnell pitched 14 innings in 9 games, recording 1 save.

Josh Outman, limited to 41 pitches because he needs to be stretched out slowly again, struggled in San Antonio last night. In 1.2 innings, Josh gave up 3 runs (2 earned) on 2 hits and 3 walks and got no decision in Midland's 4-3 loss to the Missions.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Claws top Tourists, 1 game out

Matt Rizzotti's 3rd home run in 3 games, this one in the 11th inning, gave the Lakewood BlueClaws their 5th straight win on the current road trip and brings them to within 1 game of first place West Virginia. Jared Simon picked up his 6th win of the year, after allowing 2 unearned runs in the bottom of the 9th. It was an excellent start for Walter Tejeda, who threw 6 innings of 4-hit, 1 run ball. Travis Mattair (.255)had his second consecutive 3-hit game,. including his 2nd homer and Freddy Galvis (.227) and T.J. Warren (.282)added 2 hits each for Lakewood.

Matt Spencer had 3 hits and a walk, the last hit in the 10th inning, game winning rally as Stockton beat Inland Empire 7-4. Adrian Cardenas also added a hit as the pair played in their 2nd game for the Oakland affiliate.

Zack Segovia picked up his second win for Potomac on Friday night, in the Nationals' 13-5 win over Lynchburg. Zack threw 6 innings, giving up 3 runs on 7 hits, 1 walk, 6 strike outs, to improve to 2-1, 2.70 for Potomac.

Josh Outman to make his first start for Midland in San Antonio tonight, as the A's have put him in the rotation.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lakewood rallies from 6 down

Once again the Lakewood BlueClaws did not give up on a game where they were way behind. On Saturday, Lakewood completed the 4 game sweep of the Hickory Crawdads despite trailing 6-0 after 4 innings. Jacob Diekman did not get out of the second inning, allowing 5 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits in just 1.2 frames. The BlueClaws, who had just 1 hit in the first 4 innings, pounded out 13 more hits the rest of the way, led by Moose Mattair's 3, to a thrilling 12-7 win. Derrick Mitchell had 2 hits, a double and his 8th home run, driving in 4. After Mitchell drove in the tying runs with his double in the top of the 6th, Matt Rizzotti smashed a 3-run blast, his 5th, to give Lakewood the lead it would never relinquish. Alberto Cambero and Freddy Galvis chipped in with 2 hits each, Galvis hitting his second home run. Moises Melendez (3-1, 3.81) was the winning pitcher, recording 10 critical outs after coming in for Diekman, and Chris Kissock picked up his 3rd save. The 'Claws have now won 16 of 20, and with West Virginia losing 2-1 to Columbus last night, Lakewood in now 2 games out of first place as they head into Asheville to take on the Tourists for 4 games.

Harris, Donald lead R-Phils

Clay Harris and Jason Donald had 3 hits each, including a home run apiece, to back strong pitching from Fabio Castro, and the Reading Phillies defeated Bowie 5-1 Saturday night. Donald, preparing to head for China to represent Team USA in the Olympics, had a double to go with his 14th home run and drove in 2 (making 50 RBI for the year), while Harris had 2 singles and his 3rd home run of the week and is 11 for 30 (.367) in 10 games since joining Reading from Clearwater. Castro was solid, throwing 7 innings and giving up just 5 hits and 2 walks to improve to 7-1, 4.33 on the year. His only mistake was a home run ball thrown to Bowie's Luis Montanez. It was Montanez' 21st long fly this year, to go with a .310 average, and 69 RBI.

HomeSiders gone west

In San Bernadino, California last night, Adrian Cardenas and Matt Spencer played their first game in the Oakland system, each picking up a hit in the Stockton Port's 8-3 loss to Inland Empire. The Ports are the equivalent level as the Threshers. The 3rd member traded to the A's, Josh Outman, was assigned to AA Midland in the Texas League.

Oakland has become the organization with the most HomeSiders. Scott Mitchinson , on Kane County's DL, and Gio Gonzalez, just called up to the major league team are also in their system.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

'Claws roll on

The BlueClaws have continued their winning ways, taking the first 3 games of the current road trip in Hickory. Friday they parlayed 4 hits into a 4-1 win behind Julian Sampson (6-3 4.69). Matt Rizzotti belted his 4th home run of the year. Rizz is 8 for 15 (.533)since returning from his injury. Lakewood hs now won 15 of 19 to improve to 18-10 in the second half (56-42 overall), still 3 games behind West Virginia.

The Threshers dropped a double header to the Manatees, 3-2 and 5-2. Brett Myers was the loser in game 1 and Carlos Monasterios took the defeat in the nightcap. Michael Taylor had 3 hits on the night, including his second home run for Clearwater (#12 overall) to raise his average to .226 for the Threshers.

In Bowie, Carlos Carrasco returned to the mound for the Phillies, tossing 4 strong innings, allowing 1 run on 2 hits and 1 walk. Pat Overholt came in to relieve and the BaySox exploded for 6 runs en route to a 7-4 victory. Jason Donald(13), Lou Marson(5), Mike Elyward(4), and Clay Harris(2 for Reading, 10 overall) hit solo home runs for Reading. Harris is hitting .308 for Reading, .344 overall in 52 games this year.

Friday night in Lehigh Valley, J.A. Happ entered a game that suspended on July 3, and pitched 7 no hit innings striking out 12, to record his 6th win for the IronPigs.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

HomeSiders to Oakland

The Phillies have acquired Joe Blanton from the Oakland A's for former BlueClaws Josh Outman, Adrian Cardenas and outfielder Matt Spencer.

Outman won 14 games for the BlueClaws championship team in 2006 and has been pitching at AA Reading this season, posting a 5-4 record with a 3.20 ERA. Josh was a starter for most of his career, but the Phillies had been trying him out as a lefthanded relief specialist this year, thinking they may need him at the major league level. Cardenas has been the most consistent hitter in the Clearwater line up his season, batting .309 in 67 games, and 16 for 16 steals. Spencer, also at Clearwater, is a left handed outfielder, batting .249 with 6 home runs and 41 RBI in 84 games. Matt never played here at Lakewood, going directly to Clearwater this year.

The Phillies top prospects, Carlos Carrasco, Lou Marson, Greg Golson and Jason Donald all dodge the bullet for now and stay with the organization.

'Claws start trip with win

The Lakewood BlueClaws started their 8-game trip through North Carolina with a 5-4 win over Hickory Wednesday night. Chance Chapman (2.76 ERA) turned in another quality start, tossing 6 innings, giving up just 3 runs, 2 earned, on 8 hits and 1 walk, striking out 4, and receiving no decision. Zack Sterner picked up the win. Sterner, Mr Opportunity, is now 8-1, 1.82 in 15 appearances this season. Sergio Escalona recorded his 10 "hold", and Jared Simon put save #20 in the books. Simon is now the all time save leader for Lakewood.

Tim Kennelly (2 RBI, .362) and Matt Rizzotti posted 2 hits each for Lakewood. "Rizz" is 4 for 9 (.444) in 3 games since returning from the DL. The BlueClaws have now won 13 of 17 and remain 3 games behind the Power in the north division. Vance Worley will make his 3rd start for the 'Claws tonight.

Last night in Manchester, New Hampshire, Greg Golson had 2 hits, including a home run, Jason Donald was 2 for 3 and a walk, with a run scored, and both Jeremy Slayden and Lou Marson had walks in the EL All-Star game. Josh Outman pitched a scoreless inning and Pat Overholt struck out the only hitter he faced. The North beat the South 5-3. Reading resumes play tonight in Bowie with a double header, Edgar Garcia and Travis Minix will get the assignment for the R-Phils.

The Threshers were rained out last night in Brevard County and will also play 2 tonight, my guess is Carlos Monasterios (2-5) and Drew Naylor (still looking for win #1 since his promotion) for Clearwater.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Donald, Marson make Team USA

The USA Olympic Baseball team named the final members for the 2008 games and Jason Donald (pictured) and Lou Marson have made the team. For boh of them it completes the 2008 trifecta: The future stars game, the Eastern League All Star game and now the Olympic team.

Kudos to both Jason and Lou!!!

Z-Man Cometh

On July 29, the Lakewood BlueClaws will be giving away Mike Zagurski bobble heads in their "made it to the Phillies" series. Zagurski, a member of the 2006 championship team who is recovering from surgery, will be in the house to celebrate with the Lakewood faithful. Welcome back, "Z-Man"!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Brummett pitches well, no decision

Tyson Brummett had a good day for Reading Monday, tossing 7 strong innings, giving up just 2 runs on 7 hits, 3 walks, and receiving no decision in Reading's 5-3 loss to Akron. Tyson, with his 3rd team already this year is 1-3, 4.43 with Reading and 6-6, 3.38 in his 20 starts overall for Lakewood, Clearwater and the R-Phils. Clay Harris had 2 hits for the Phillies, and is hitting .300 (1 HR, 3 RBI) in 6 games since his promotion last week.

The Threshers continued to struggle, losing again to Daytona 3-2. No Thresher had more than 1 hit, but Joe Savery was the DH again. That is the second time in a week that big right-hander was used in this capacity, he is 1 for 5.

A quick note about C.J. Henry, who after a slow start is 6 for his last 17 (that's .353) for the Tampa Yankees and is hitting .234 in 20 games, with 2 HR and 6 RBI. Let's see, he got his eyes fixed and got all other injuries out of his system and is turning into a good outfielder. No wonder Baseball America named him best athlete in the Yankee system before he was traded to us in 2006.

Most minor leagues are also off today for the major league All-Star Game tonight. Lakewood is en route to Hickory, North Carolina to take on the Crawdads starting Wednesday, Clearwater will start a series at Brevard County, also Wednesday, and Reading is off until Thursday when they play at Bowie. Wednesday is the Eastern League All-Star game, and 7 R-Phils will be in that game. The are ALL HomeSiders: Carrasco, Donald, Golson, Marson, Outman, Overholt, and Slayden. All 7 have championship rings from either 2006 in Lakewood and/or 2007 in Clearwater.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

J-Rich goes deep

Juan Richardson belted his 7th home run of the year Friday as Northwest Arkansas lost to Springfield 4-2. Richardson, an original BlueClaw, and still the all time Lakewood home run leader, is hot for the Naturals, hitting .390 during his current 10 game hitting streak.

found a few more

Zack Penprase, a 2007 Lakewood BlueClaw, is playing shortstop in the independent Northern League for the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks. Zack is hitting .329, with a .408 on base percentage in 49 games, and is 19 for 25 stealing bases.

Chris Rhodes was playing for the Kansas City T-Bones, but was placed on their inactive list as of July 8.

injury updates

Michael Dubee has returned from the DL for the Winston-Salem Warthogs. After missing 3 weeks, Mike has made 6 appearances for the Warthogs since June 13, throwing a total of 17.2 innings. The results have not been good. 14 earned runs on 23 hits and 9 walks. It is like spring training all over again, so hopefully he can find the groove that he was in before the injury.

Another HomeSider back from the DL is Kevin Howard. After 8 games in the GCL to regain his timing, Kevin returned to the Las Vegas 51's on July 4. He is 7 for 24 (that's .291) in the 7 games since then, and hitting .268 in 43 games overall for the Dodgers affiliate.

The comeback continues for Zack Segovia. After 1 start (against the BlueClaws) for Hagerstown, Zack was promoted to Potomac, where he pitched 5.2 scoreless innings, 3 hits, 2 walks, 5 K's against Salem to earn the victory for the Nationals. He will face the same Avalanche team tonight in Salem.

Scott Mitchinson remains on the DL for the Kane County Cougars. Scott is 5-3, 1.90 in 12 starts for the Oakland affiliate.

HomeSiders on the mound in the show

Checking in on the major leaguers last night, Kyle Kendrick pitched 6.1 innings for the Phillies against Arizona, allowing 4 runs on 9 hits, NO walks, striking out 4, receiving no decision in the Phillies eventual 6-5, 12-inning victory. Kendrick is 8-3, 4.47 for the year.

Gavin Floyd had his roughest outing of the year Friday in Arlington. Gavin lasted only 2.2 innings, giving up a season high 6 runs and issuing a career high 7 walks in the White Sox 7-2 loss to Texas. Gavin is 10-5, 3.63 in 18 starts this season.

The news was not any better at Shea Stadium last night, where Taylor Buchholz gave up the game winning home run to Damion Easley in the bottom of the 8th inning in the Rockies 2-1 loss to New York. Taylor has hit a rough spot recently, but his overall numbers are still impressive. 40 appearances, 44.1 innings of work, 3-3 (and 1 for 2 in save opportunities) with a 1.83 ERA.

Ryno's midseason charge

Just a little too late to get him to the All-Star game, Ryan Howard is on one of his binges. In the last 7 games, Ryno has hit 7 home runs and driven in 11 runs. He leads the NL in both categories, 28 dingers and 84 RBI. The average is on a steady climb, and while the .236 mark is nothing to write home about, consider where he has come from. Howard is on a 14-game hitting streak, during which he is 20 for 56 (that's .357) with 9 HR and 19 RBI. He is hitting .378 in the month of July and has his lifetime ML average back to .280. Impressive!!

pitching notes

There is a lot going on for HomeSide pitchers, so here is the rundown.

Friday in Reading, Carlos Carrasco pitched 2 pain free innings in Reading's 3-2 loss to Akron. Pat Overholt took the loss, giving up 2 runs in the 9th inning. Overholt (3-4, 4.15) and Josh Outman were added to the Eastern League All-Star game rosters yesterday, making that 7 R-Phils going to that contest. Not bad for a last place team!!

Brett Myers will start for Reading tonight.
In Clearwater on Friday, Darren Byrd made his first start since returning to the Threshers from Lakewood and threw 7 scoreless frames, striking out 9. Ron Hill gave up 3 runs in 2 innings, losing his first game of the season as Daytona topped Clearwater 3-1. Joe Savery, who was a great hitter at Rice University, was used as the DH last night and had a double in 3 at bats!! Savery will pitch tonight. Both Berry and Cardenas had their hitting streaks stopped, Matt Spencer's 6th home run providing Clearwater's lone run. Gus Milner (.275) had 2 hits.

In Lakewood, Vance Worley made his home debut and impressed me. 6 innings, 2 earned runs, 3 hits and 1 walk, 5 strike outs. Zack Sterner (pictured, 7-1, 1.91) picked up his 7th win in relief with 2 scoreless innings, and Jared Simon collected his 18th save, tying Andy Barb's team mark. (Simon says, "Game Over")

The BlueClaws, trailing 2-0 heading into the bottom of the 8th, rallied for 4 runs to beat Greenville 4-2. The game winning hit was a 2-out, 2-run single by Mike Durant. Mike has 5 RBI in the 5 games on this home stand, but the most impressive thing to me is his play in the field. Since he has been playing everyday at first base, Durant has gotten better and better, and a game does not go by when he fails to make a web gem. He shows no lingering effects of the ankle injury that sidelined him for 3 weeks, although he was wearing a sleeve on his right arm last night, which was new. Hopefully, nothing major there.
T.J. Warren (.269)had the only 2-hit game for the 'Claws. (That's T.J. at the top of this post) Julian Sampson will get the ball Saturday night.
Matt Rizzotti has been sent the GCL to see some live pitching before returning to the BlueClaws.

Friday, July 11, 2008

some of the week that was

The highlight of this week had to be J.A. Happ's 2 starts for the Phillies. James pitched 11 innings and was no decisioned twice. He gave up 4 earned runs on 8 hits (not bad) and 8 walks (too many), striking out 8 (good!). He has been returned to the IronPigs, because with the major league All-Star break coming next week, he would not pitch for 15 days. So the team decided he should go back to Lehigh Valley and make his next 2 starts on his regular schedule. I agree with this logic.

Speaking of Lehigh Valley, Matt Maloney was in the house on Wednesday night, and gave the Phillies a taste of what we knew he could do. Matt threw 6.2 innings for Louisville, allowing just 1 earned run (3 overall), picking up 7 strike outs to improve to 9-4, 4.11 on the year for the Reds' affiliate. Louisville won the game, 10-3. The HomeSide was represented by Don and Kathy Kadlac and Lynn Hoffman.

R.J. Swindel made his major league debut the other night against the Mets. R.J. held his own for 3 frames, although he did give up a home run to David Wright, allowing 2 earned runs on 4 hits.

The Threshers have had a rough week, losing 5 of 6 since my last post. The good news is Carlos Monasterios is back pitching. The bad news is he has lost both starts this week as the team struggles for wins. Quintin Berry is red hot, batting .400 over the last 10 games with 2 hits or more in 7 of the last 8, raising his average to .257. Q is also 30 for 37 in the stolen base department. Adrian Cardenas is also hot, hitting in 9 of his last 10, batting .315 on the year (15 for 15 on steals, too). Clay Harris has been promoted to Reading after hitting .351 in 43 games for Clearwater.

Speaking of Reading, Greg Golson has been activated off the DL and homered last night, and Orlando Guevara has also been returned to the R-Phils, who have gone 3-4 in the past week. Carlos Carrasco will start tonight after missing 2 starts with "shoulder discomfort".

Finally, the BlueClaws have won 10 of their last 12 and at 13-8 (51-40 overall) are 3 games behind West Virginia as they open a series tonight against the Greenville Drive (Red Sox Affiliate). We will catch up on the details over the weekend.

back up and running

Good morning HomeSiders-

My computer was in the shop for a week and talk about being lost, I may as well have been floating around in cyberspace by myself!! I just got hooked up and on line again, and will get a catch up post when I return from work this afternoon.

stay tuned................

Friday, July 4, 2008

Nobody's perfect

Last night in Colorado, Taylor Buchholz blew his first save of the season, allowing a 2-run home run to Florida's Jorge Cantu. They were the first earned runs allowed by Taylor since May 29, and his ERA went up to 1.77. That makes just 8 earned runs in 40 innings of work. Can you say "all-star nominee"?

'Claws win 6th straight

The Lakewood BlueClaws got the best performance of the season from Walter Tejeda and used it to gain their 6th straight win, 4-0 over the Lexington Legends. Tejeda, who has struggled, put it all together last night, going 6 shut out innings, giving up just 2 hits and 1 walk, picking up 6 strike outs, to improve to 4-4, 4.12 on the year. Dennis Winn hit his 4th home run of the year, a 2-run jack in the first inning, and that would be all the 'Claws would need. Derrick Mitchell, Dominic Brown and Mike Durant all had 2 hits for Lakewood and Travis Mattair drove in his 34th run of the year as the BlueClaws improved to 9-6 in the second half, 47-38 overall.

Reymond Cruz pitched 2 scoreless innings and Joe Rocchio threw a perfect 9th to complete the shut out. This morning the BlueClaws find themselves in second place, 1.5 games behind West Virginia. Chance Chapman (5-4, 2.81) will go for Lakewood tonight, and 3rd round pick Vance Worley will make his Lakewood debut tomorrow night in the road trip finale.

Another walk off for Clearwater

The Clearwater Threshers found a way to win in their final at bat again last night, parlaying just 3 hits into a 4-3 victory over the Lakeland Flying Tigers. The Threshers turned 2 walks, 2 stolen bases and 2 errors into a first inning tally, and Quintin Berry's 3rd home run in the 3rd inning tied the game at 2-2. Berry then singled in Tuffy Gosewisch, who had walked, in the 5th to tie the game again at 3. Drew Naylor made the start for Clearwater and lasted 5 innings, allowing 3 runs on 3 hits and 4 walks, while striking out 6. Andrew Cruse came on and got the next 8 outs, surrendering just 1 hit before Matt German came on to retire all 3 hitters he faced. Bear Hill struck out the only man he faced and was the beneficiary of the ninth inning tally to notch his 2nd win. In the bottom of the 9th inning, Gosewisch led off with a walk, Jesus Villegas Andino laid down a sac bunt, which Lakeland pitcher Zack Simons threw away, allowing Tuffy to score the winning run. Maybe this can get the Threshers on a roll!!

5 R-Phils to Eastern League All Star Game

The Reading Phillies have had 5 players named to the Eastern League All Star Game scheduled for July 16 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, Greg Golson, Lou Marson and Jeremy Slayden have all been tabbed to represent Reading in this years game. Not bad for a last place team!!

Last night in Reading, Marson was 2 for 2 , with 2 walks, his 4th home run and 2 RBI (43) to lead the R-Phils to a 6-2 win over New Britain. Javon Moran (.278) also belted his first homer of the season, and Luke Appert also homered. J.D. Durbin picked up the win, going 6.2 innings, allowing 2 runs, only 1 earned on 5 hits and 2 walks, striking out 6 before giving the ball to Josh Outman, who pitched the final 2.1 frames to notch his first save of the season. Personally, I was hoping R.J. Swindel would get a chance to prove himself for the Phillies and Outman could be returned to the rotation, but Swindel has been returned to Lehigh Valley because of the need for Happ to start tonight's game in Philadelphia. So, it appear Josh will stay in the bullpen for now.

Reading is off to Portland, Maine for the holiday weekend.

Phils sweep Braves

In a series that already provided Kyle Kendrick with his 8th victory of the year, the Phillies rode the strong arm of Cole Hamels to a 4-1 win last night and a sweep of the Braves. Philadelphia seems to have Atlanta's number this year, it is the second sweep of a series in Atlanta this year for the Fightin' Phils, and appear to be back on track for a big series this weekend with New York. More on that in a minute. First, Kendrick followed up what was his best major league outing last week in Oakland with another stellar performance to improve to 8-3, 4.58 on the year. Last night, Hamels came within 1 out of a complete game shut out, throwing 125 pitches, before yielding a run with 2 down in the 9th, Tom Gordon picking up the final out for him. Cole is now 9-5, 3.22. Ryan Howard hit his 22nd home run, and 2nd in 2 nights, driving in his league leading 72nd run of the season.

The Phillies return home tonight to battle the Mets, with J.A. Happ getting the assignment against Johan Santana.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

it has begun

The dominoes have begun to fall into place. Kip Bouknight has been released from Reading, and replaced on the roster by Edgar Garcia. Garcia's spot in Clearwater has been taken by Darren Byrd, and Byrd's spot in Lakewood has gone to 2008 draft pick Vance Worley. Worley was the Phillies 3rd round pick last month from Long Beach State.

I have neglected to mention Matt Maloney. In his last 2 starts, Matt has pitched 16 innings, giving up just 2 runs on just 7 hits, picking up wins in each game. In 17 starts for AAA Louisville, Maloney is 8-4, with a 4.32 ERA.

Happ to start against Mets Friday

According to, J.A.Happ will start for the Phillies Friday night in Philly against the Mets.

Carlos Carrasco and Greg Golson were both to see the doctors in Philadelphia today. For Carrasco, it has to do with his shoulder discomfort last night. For Golson, it was a scheduled visit to check on his wrist.

update on Carrasco

According to the Reading broadcast last night, Carlos took 2 warm up throws off the bullpen mound and told pitching coach Tom Filer he felt something wrong in his right shoulder. Filer immediately shut him down and got Brett Harker into an emergency start. Harker, Pat Overholt and Justin Pope shared the 9 innings in Reading's 9-2 win. Jason Donald (.299) drove in 5 runs for the R-Phils (42 RBI) with 2 hits, including his 10th home run. Brad Harman also hit his 8th dinger.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Carrasco misses start

Carlos Carrasco experienced soreness in his pitching shoulder while warming up for tonight's game, and Brett Harker made the start. Hark fanned 2 in the first inning. I will see what I can find out about Carlos.

Another former 'Claw goes to the show

The Phillies have purchased the contract of R.J. Swindel from Lehigh Valley to take the roster spot of Brett Myers. This will give Philadelphia one more arm in the bullpen for the next few days. I am assuming, due to Pat Gillick's insistence that Chad Durbin will stay in the bullpen, that Swindel will stay with the Phillies for today, tomorrow and Friday. On Saturday, which would have been Myer's turn in the rotation, I am betting Swindel will be sent back to Lehigh Valley in favor of J.A. Happ, who should get the start against the Mets Saturday night. After that is anybody's guess.

Threshers walk off with win

John Urick singled in Quintin Berry with the game winning run in the bottom of the 9th inning on Tuesday as the Threshers topped Lakeland 6-5. Berry (.240) had 3 hits to lead the shark attack, and Adrian Cardenas (.315, steal #13 in 13 tries), Michael Taylor (grand slam previously mentioned), and shortstop Jesus Villegas Andino (.333 in 9 games for Clearwater) all added 2 hits to the offense. Joe Savery had a good outing, tossing 6.2 innings, and allowing just 2 unearned runs on 4 hits and 2 walks, striking out 6 and lowering his ERA to 4.48. Matt German gave up a walk and a 2-run homer, getting just 2 outs, and Brian Schlitter (4-3, 2.47) picked up the win after blowing the save. The 2 teams will meet again tonight in Clearwater, I believe Drew Naylor will make the start.

The Phillies have announced the signing of first round pick Anthony Hewitt (19) and will have him report to the complex in Clearwater later this week. Philadelphia has now signed their top 5 picks from last month's draft and 27 of the 53 players they selected.

In Reading last night, Javon Moran (.277) had a single, a triple, 2 walks, and scored a run in Reading's 7-3 victory over New Britain. Mike Spidale also had 2 hits and raised his average to .301 after a terrible start. Reading got the long ball from Jeremy Slayden (#11, 60 RBI, .299), Joey Hammond (his 3rd, .282) and Lou Marson (#3, 40 RBI, .322). Fabio Castro (5-1, 4.94) made the start for the R-Phils, going 6.2 innings, giving up 3 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks, with 4 strike outs. Joe Bisenius (2.35) struck out all 4 batters he faced. Carlos Carrasco gets the ball on Wednesday.

In Rochester, Jason Jaramillo (.254) belted his 5th home run of the year in the IronPigs 12-5 win over the Red Wings. Randy Ruiz (.304) had a hit and a walk for Rochester. In Norfolk, Mike Costanzo (.254) had his 9th home run and a double in the Tide's 4-3 win over Richmond. Chris Roberson (.251) added a hit and stolen base #14 to the Norfolk effort.

In Tacoma Monday night, Andrew Baldwin threw 8 strong innings for the Rainiers to post a 4-2 victory over Colorado Springs. Baldwin gave up just 2 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks, striking out 5 to improve to 5-4, 5.16 on the year. Andy has settled in after a very rough start to the season. In his last 3 outings, he has pitched 22 innings, giving up just 4 earned runs on 16 hits to pick up the win in each game.

Former BlueClaws Scott Mitchinson (Oakland), Kevin Howard (Los Angeles) and Mike Dubee (Chicago) are all on the DL and not currently playing.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Taylor comes through;Floyd wins 9th

Michael Taylor belted a grand slam home run in the first inning tonight in Clearwater to give the Threshers a 4-0 advantage after 1 frame. It is his first home run for the Threshers after bopping 10 earlier for Lakewood. The 4 RBI gives him 5 for Clearwater, 55 overall.

Meanwhile, last night in Chicago, Gavin Floyd registered his 9th win of the season beat Cleveland, 9-7. Gavin threw 6 innings, allowing 4 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits and 2 walks, striking out 10 to improve to 9-4, 3.45 for the year.

For those who are wondering, C.J. Henry is hitting .250 for Tampa in 10 games so far this season.

Brett Myers to Lehigh Valley

The Phillies have optioned Brett Myers to Lehigh Valley to work out his mechanical problems. Myers, who was great as a closer last season for Philadelphia, has not been doing the job since his return to the rotation. So far, no announcement has been made, but I suspect J.A. Happ will get a start or 2 in the next few times around the rotation for Philadelphia.

The Lakewood BlueClaws have completed a sweep of this afternoon's doubleheader in Hagerstown, winning both games by identical 4-2 scores. Zack Segovia was the starter and loser for Hagerstown in game 2. Zack pitched 5 innings and was charged with all 4 runs on 8 hits. An interesting side note here is Zack is playing for Darnell Coles, the Hagerstown manager, who just happens to be his father-in-law!! A real family affair going on in Maryland!! Anyway, now that the BlueClaws are leaving town, we wish Zack much success.

Dominic Brown had 2 hits in each game this afternoon to lead Lakewood's attack, and threw out a runner in each game. Jay Miller had 2 hits in the opener, and another hit in game #2 and gave the BlueClaws the lead with 1st inning RBIs in each game. Julian Sampson pitched 6.2 innings in game 1 to improve his record to 5-1, and Jared Simon came on to notch a 1-pitch save, his 13th. In game 2, Moises Melendez made the spot start, going 4 innings, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits. Zack Sterner picked up another win with a scoreless 5th inning to improve his mark to 5-1 and Sergio Escalona picked up his first save of the year, striking out 4 of the 6 hitters he faced. Lakewood as now won 4 in a row, and is 7-6 in the second half of the season, 45-38 overall. They head to Lexington for 4 games beginning Wednesday night.