Friday, September 25, 2009

Wednesday night in Miami, Cole Hamels pitched well, but 7 innings were not enough for a win as the bullpen (Madson and Lidge) gave up 3 runs in the last 2 frames and the Marlins won, 7-6. Hamels gave up 4 runs on 8 hits, NO walks, over his 7 innings throwing 100 pitches and leaving with the Phillies ahead, 6-4. Ryan Howard had 2 hits, including his 42nd home run, and drove in 4 (130) for the Phils.

On Thursday, Howard drove in 2 more to back a good effort from Jay Happ, as Philadelphia beat Milwaukee 9-4. Happ, gave up 2 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks, striking out 7 to improve to 11-4, 2.79 for the year.

In Cleveland Thursday, Carlos Carrasco made his 4th start for the Indians against the Tigers. Carlos went 5 innings, and looked good for 4 of them. Detroit's 4-run 4th cost him the game, and the decision (he is 0-3), but he looked more comfortable to me, and mixed his pitches well most of time. He also got some help for his friends in the outfield running down some hard hit outs. In all, I think progress continues to be made.

Friday's games include: Matt Maloney, his first big league win now under his belt, and the Reds go into Houston to face Michael Bourn and the Astros, and Robinson Tejeda (4-1, 2.94) will take the hill in Kansas City against the Twins.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Phillies split with fish

The Phillies split a doubleheader with the Florida Marlins on Tuesday, winning the opener 9-3. Ryan Howard (.272) had 2 hits and drove in 3 runs (126) in the victory. Sergio Escalona came on in the 8th and had his first sub-par performance. In 8 prior outings, Escalona had allowed just 2 runs, but on Tuesday he faced 4 hitters, retiring only 1, and all 3 scored.

The Marlins won game 2, 3-0 with Chase Utley recording the only 2 hits for Philadelphia.

In Pittsburgh, Jason Jaramillo did not start, but had a single in his only at bat in the Pirates' 10-4 loss to Cincinnati. It has been a good year for "JJ", who has spent the entire season with Pittsburgh, even playing regularly while Ryan Doumit was injured. Jaramillo is hitting .259, with 3 home runs and 24 RBI in 59 games so far. In Cleveland, the Indians are getting a look at all of the young pitching prospects they accumulated at the trade deadline so Carlos Carrasco has not made a start in 2 weeks, but Lou Marson continues to play a few games a week. Last night, Marson had 2 walks in 4 appearances. In DC, the Dodgers pummelled the Nationals, 14-2, but Zack Segovia stopped the bleeding for Washington, throwing 2 scoreless innings at LA. Zack has been in 5 games; 3 good, 2 not-so-good. He will definitely be in the mix for a bullpen job in spring training. North of the border, Randy Ruiz (.274) had a double in 3 at bats in Toronto's 6-5 10-inning win over Baltimore.

Although he did not pitch on Tuesday, a shout out to an original BlueClaw and one of my favorite people: Robinson Tejeda, who is pitching great right now for Kansas City. Robinson has won his last 3 starts, 2 of them over Detroit, and has allowed only 2 earned runs in his last 30 innings of work. If healthy, Robinson has shown maturity and talent, and at 27 years old seems to have found a comfortable spot!! Go, Robinson!! We are still watching from Lakewood!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

here and there

Lets start with once around the major leagues,

In Atlanta, the Braves beat the Phillies, 6-4. Ryan Howard belted his 41st home run of the year, a 2-run shot in the 9th inning to give Ryno 123 RBI. Sergio Escalona retired all 4 hitters he faced, including 1 strike out. Escalona has pitched 7.2 innings for the Phillies this year, allowing just 2 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks.

In Milwaukee, the Brewers beat the Astros 7-2. Michael Bourn was 0 for 4 for Houston. Mike is hitting .293 for the Astros, with a league leading 58 stolen bases. In Tampa, the Rays topped the Jays, 4-0. Randy Ruiz came into the game in the 9th to play defense. Randy is hitting .273, with 7 home runs and 14 RBI in 88 at bats for Toronto.

In the baseball world cup, which is going on in Europe right now, the Australian team is benefiting from Joel Naughton's hot bat. Naughton is off to an 8 for 14 (.571) start, with 2 doubles and a home run. Tim Kennelly has been playing the outfield and is hitting .364 in 5 games, with 3 home runs and 9 RBI. Brad Harman and Drew Naylor (1-0) are also on the Austalian side.

B.J. Rosenberg is our only member on team USA, Chris Kissock and R.J. Swindel are suiting up for Canada, and Erick Arteaga is on the Venezuela roster.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

BlueClaws Champions again!!

The Lakewood BlueClaws have won their second S.A.L. championship in the past 4 seasons with a 5-1 victory over the Greenville Drive in South Carolina Friday night. Anthony Gose led the way with 2 hits, 2 runs scored, an RBI and 3 stolen bases. Gose, who finished the regular season in a bit of a slump, hit .407 in the 6 playoff games. Troy Hanzawa and Vladimir De Los Santos also had 2 hit apiece, and Lakewood used the strong pitching of Korey Noles (7 ip, 1 run, 6 hits, NO walks) and Austin Hyatt to finish off the Drive.

As good as the pitching was, if I had to pick an MVP of the playoffs, I would have to split it between Gose and Travis d'Anaud. d'Arnaud, who struggled through the first half, hitting under .200 at the All-Star break, had a fantastic second half, raising his average over 60 points, and driving in runs seemingly whenever they BlueClaws needed them. Travis continued his hot hitting in the playoffs, hitting .391 in the post-season.

In my perspective, this title is even more impressive than the first one. In 2006, the Phillies assigned some more experienced players, guys who had played at higher levels, to Lakewood to help the young nucleus. Lakewood does not win in 2006 without the contributions from Mike Spidale, John Urick and Avelino Aprilla. This year's team had no such help, and won the title with the youngest group of players we have had here in the 9 years of BlueClaws baseball!!

Congratulations to the team, the coaching staff, and the Phillies front office for a job well done. I am especially excited for Lakewood hitting and first base coach, Greg Legg. Greg has been a great asset to the Phillies organization, over 25 years as a player or a coach. He was the manager of of Piedmont Bol Wievels in 2000, and moved with the Phillies affiliate to Lakewood to be the first BlueClaw's manager. He was selected by the Phillies in the 1982 draft and has been in the organization ever since, working at all different levels of the minors. He has always had a few minutes to talk to me, and never made me feel like I was intruding. Great job, Legger, congratulations!!

So, where do I get my 2010 Clearwater Thresher season tickets?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Drive stays alive against Lakewood

The Greenville Drive took a 3-2 decision from the Lakewood BlueClaws in game 3 of the SAL Championship Series Thursday night in South Carolina. Jacob Diekman was the losing pitcher, allowing all 3 runs in the 6th inning. This was after Trevor May tossed 5 shut out frames to start the contest.

Anthony Gose and Jim Murphy had 3 hits apiece for Lakewood, but the BlueClaws stranded 12 runners and were always 1 hit short of what they needed.

Lakewood still leads Greenville, 2 games to 1 with game 4 Friday night, weather permitting, in Greenville. Korey Noles (1-0, 1.17 for Lakewood) will get the assignment for the BlueClaws.

Maloney gets 1st big league win

Matt Maloney, one of the heroes of the 2006 SAL Champion BlueClaws, won his first major league decision Thursday night in Cincinnati in the Reds' 3-2 win over the Marlins. Matt gave up 2 runs on 7 hits and just 1 walk over 5 innings. The Reds bullpen got the final 12 outs, without allowing a run and Maloney got his elusive first win.

In Philadelphia, Cole Hamels won his 10th game of the year, with 8 solid inning against Washington. Cole allowed just 1 run on 5 hits and 1 walk, striking out 10. Just for good measure, he also had an RBI single in the Phillies' 4-2 win.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lakewood takes game 2, 1 win away!

Using the now familiar formula of great pitching and clutch hitting, the Lakewood BlueClaws beat Greenville 3-0 on Tuesday night in Lakewood to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-5 game series.

Jesus Sanchez, who won 10 games during the season, was the starter and winning pitcher, a result of 6 innings of 3-hit ball. Jesus walked 3 and struck out 5 to record the victory. Austin Hyatt was very good, recording 6 outs, 4 by Ks, and Santo "lights out" Hernandez has been living up to the nickname, posting his 3rd post-season save!!

The BlueClaws broke the scoreless tie in the 5th on a single by Jeremy Hamilton and another RBI hit, this one a double, by Troy Hanzawa. Harold Garcia and Sebastian Valle had RBI in the 2-run 6th and it proved to be enough. Jim Murphy had 2 excellent plays, one digging out a throw from Greg Dobbs at third, saving a run when the game was still scoreless, and a running catch of a foul ball down the right field line. The BlueClaws need only 1 more win to secure their second S.A.L. Championship in the last 4 years.

Game 3 is in Greenville Thursday night.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Anthony Gose leads off for Lakewood. He hit this pitch into the "Rat Trap" Bar in center field, to get Lakewood off to a 1-0 lead.
Posted by Picasa
Anthony Gose, Harold Garcia, Jim Murphy, Sebastian Valle and Brian Gump ready for actionPosted by Picasa

Claws take game 1 of final

The Lakewood BlueClaws got 2 hits each from Harold Garcia (double, home run, 2 RBI) and Travis d'Arnaud (.545 in playoffs) and spread the pitching a round well enough for a 6-3 win in game 1 of the SAL finals. Matthew Way struggled through 4.1 innings, allowing 2 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks, and was working out of trouble almost constantly. Luke Wertz was awarded the win, pitching 1 clean inning and stranding 2 inherited runners to keep Lakewood in a 3-2 lead at the time. Jacob Diekman finished off the 6th inning, Clay Condrey made a rehab assignment and allowed a run in the 7th, before Austin Hyatt and Santo Hernandez each threw a scoreless frame to end it.

Lakewood now hold a 1-0 advantage in the best-of-5 series. Game 2 is tonight in Lakewood, with Jesus Sanchez (10-6 this year)making his playoff debut.

Tonight in Memphis, Adrian Cardenas and the Sacramento River Cats take on the RedBirds in game 1 of the PCL final.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The weekend action

Ok, if you have not heard by now, Reading was swept out of the playoffs by Akron, the Aeros winning 9-3 Saturday night in Baseballtown. The R-Phils had a memorable season, but were trounced in the 3 games in the playoffs by a combined 24-9 tally.

Some of the notable performances for 2009-

Kyle Drabek- 8-2 for Reading, 12-3 overall coming off his surgery

Michael Taylor- .333 in his 86 games with Reading

These 2 were the Paul Owens award winners for this year!!

Quintin Berry posted a .355 on base percentage and stole 48 bases!

Domonic Brown hit .279 in 39 games after his promotion from Clearwater and certainly showed he could play at this level.

Joe Savery - 12-4 in 20 starts before being bumped up to Lehigh Valley, where he won 4 more!

In the Sacramento v Tacoma series out west, Adrian Cardenas and the River Cats took games 3 and 4 to advance to the PCL finals for the 3rd time in a row. Friday, Cardenas had 3 hits and 3 RBI, as the River Cats took it to Andy Baldwin and the Rainiers, 13-2. Andy tailed off towards the end of the season, and lasted just 2.1 innings Friday night, giving up 6 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks. Cardenas had 2 more hits and a walk as the Cats finished off Tacoma Saturday, 13-8. Adrian was 7 for 15 (.467) in the series with 2 doubles, 4 walks, 8 runs scored and 3 RBI as Sacramento scored 36 runs in the 4 games!

The River Cats advance to the PCL finals for the 5th time in 7 years, and will travel to Memphis to play the RedBirds in game 1 on Tuesday.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Lakewood to finals!!

The Lakewood BlueClaws swept the Kannapolis Intimitadors out of the playoffs with a convincing 9-0 win on a rainy night in Lakewood to advance to the SAL finals for the second time in the last 4 years. Solid pitching from Trevor May (6 IP 2 hits, 3 walks, 8 Ks) and a 14-hit attack puts the BlueClaws in the finals beginning Monday at home against the Greenville Drive. Designated hitter Sebatian Valle (pictured) had 3 hits, including a big 3-run home run to cap off the scoring, and 4 RBI and Troy Hanzawa also added 3 hits to the attack. Lakewood got contributions up and down the line-up, Travis d'Arnaud had 2 doubles and an RBI, Harold Garcia added 2 hits and an RBI, and Jacob Diekman, Ryan Bergh, and Freddy Ballestas each threw a scoreless inning of relief.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Reading game rained out

Reading's first home playoff game of 2009 has been rained out. They will try to play game 3 again Saturday night at 7:00.

Aeros go 2 up on R-Phils

The Akron Aeros defeated the Reading Phillies Thursday night, 6-2 in game 2 of their best-of-5 series to take a 2-0 stranglehold on the series. Reading will try to stay alive in game 3 tonight in Reading. Mike Cisco will be the starter.

Yohan Flande started and took the loss in game 2, going just 4+ innings and giving up 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks. It could have been worse, but Scott Mathieson came in with 2 on and no outs and retired the side without allowing a run in the 5th. Then, Mathieson gave up 3 in the 6th. Carlos Monasterios threw 2 clean innings to finish it for Reading.

Ozzie Chavez (2 doubles), Mike Taylor and Neil Sellers all had 2 hits for the R-Phils.

In Tacoma, the Rainiers even their series with Sacramento, defeating the River Cats, 5-2. Adrian Cardenas was 1 for 4 for Sacramento. The series, tied at a game apiece, shifts to California tonight for game 3.

In Asheville, Ryan Lavarnway and Will Middlebrooks hit back-to-back home runs in the top of the 9th inning to give the Greenville Drive a 3-2 come-from-behind win in game 1 of their SAL South Division Series. That series moves to Greenville for games 2 & 3 beginning tonight.

Speaking of tonight, Game 2 between Lakewood and Kannapolis is scheduled for 7:00 tonight, but the weather is not promising. We will need at least a 3 hour window, to get the field ready and play this one. If it stops, we will play.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

sorry, Zack!

How could I miss it??!! The Washington Nationals have called up Zack Segovia to the majors, completing the journey from the disabled list back to the major leagues!! Good Luck, Zack, I will try to be watching a little more closely in the future. Zack was called up 3 days ago.

The Phillies have recalled lefty Sergio Escalona to help out in the bullpen down the stretch.

Claws win game 1 behind Way

Travis d'Arnaud congratulates Santo Hernandez as BlueClaws win in Kannapolis, 4-2.

Matthew Way threw 7 strong innings in Kannapolis Wednesday night, and the Lakewood BlueClaws won game one of their opening round series, 4-2 over the Intimidators. Way allowed a run on 3 hits in the 1st inning, but settled down and put up 6 scoreless frames after that, giving up just 7 hits in all, 1 walks, and struck out 7 to give Lakewood a 1-0 advantage in the best of 2 series. Games 2 and 3 (if necessary) will be here in Lakewood Friday and Saturday nights.

Anthony Gose snapped a 1 for 25 slump that ended his regular season with 3 hits, Travis d'Arnaud, Brian Gump and Travis Mattair had 2 hits each, and D'Arby Myers had 2 walks, and scored twice as everyone in the line-up reached base at some point in the game.

Lakewood will look for the clincher on Friday when they send Trevor May to the mound.

The news was not so good in Akron, as the Aeros pounded 12 hits en route to a 9-4 win over Reading in game 1 of their series. Akron pitcher Josh Tomlin allowed Reading 2 runs on 3 hits in the 2nd inning, but then proceeded to retire 17 R-Phils in a row while his offense rocked Mike Stutes for 6 runs (only 3 earned) on 9 hits in just 5.1 innings. Reading looks to even the best of 5 series tonight in game 2, and will send Yohan Flande to the hill.

In Tacoma, Adrian Cardenas had a single, 2 walks, and scored 2 runs to help the Sacramento River Cats to an 8-2 win over the Rainiers to grab a 1-0 lead in their best of 5 series. The River Cats, 2-time defending PCL champions, look to grab a stranglehold on the series in game 2 tonight, before returning home for the remainder of the games.

In Kansas City last night, Robinson Tejeda threw 6 shut out innings against the Detroit Tigers and recorded his 2nd win of the season. Tejeda allowed just 3 hits and 2 walks, striking out 8, and lowering his ERA to 3.21. Robinson has now thrown 19 consecutive scoreless innings for the Royals, will start again next week in Detroit and is being considered for a spot in the Kansas City rotation for 2010!

Tuesday night in Denver, Matt Maloney made his best start of his young major league career, going 5 innings against the Rockies and yielding just 1 run on 4 hits, NO walks, 2 Ks. It was the 5th start this year for Matt, and the first time he did not allow 2 home runs in an outing. He did absorb a loss, as Colorado topped Cincinnati, 3-1.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Carrasco's 2nd start

Carlos Carrasco made his 2nd start for the Cleveland Indians Tuesday in the opening game of their doubleheader with Texas. Carlos was scheduled to go on Monday, but the game was rained out. He threw 5 innings tonight, allowing 5 runs on 8 hits, 3 walks (1 intentional), striking out 4. He pitched better today than last week in Detroit, this time managing to get ahead of the hitters. Now if we can just keep those 2-strike pitches away from the fat part of the plate....O well, baby steps...Lou Marson was his catcher tonight, and Lou had a double and scored a run in the bottom of the 5th. So it is Rangers 5, Indians 3 going to the 6th.

In another note, Matt Maloney, Carrasco's 2006 teammate here in Lakewood, is going tonight for the Reds in Denver. It will be Matt's 5th start for the Reds this year.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happ scratched, Moyer to make spot start

The Phillies have scratched Jay Happ from his start today due to a strained oblique suffered 2 days ago during a batting practice drill. Jamie Moyer will come out of the bullpen to make the start in place of Jay.

3 hits for JJ

Jason Jaramillo had 3 hits, including a single to lead off the 9th inning to start the winning rally, as the Pittsburgh Pirates came from behind to beat the Cardinals, 6-5 Sunday.

In Toronto, Randy Ruiz was 1 for 3, and drove in 2 runs to help the Blue Jays top the Yankees, 14-8. For Ruiz, he now has 11 RBI in 20 games since being called up to the Jays after knocking in 106 in Las Vegas.

Hamels falls to Astros

Michael Bourn had 2 more hits and is 5 for 13 against his former team the last 3 days, as the Astros beat the Phillies again Sunday, 4-3. Mike also stole 2 more bases, increasing his league leading total to 52, and raising his average to .298 on the year as Houston made it 3 in a row over the Philles. Cole Hamels allowed 4 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks over 6 innings of work, striking out 6, and is now 8-9, 4.32 for the year.

Jay Happ (10-4) will look to help Philadelphia avoid the sweep in the finale of the series Monday afternoon. Tonight in Cleveland, Carlos Carrasco will make his 2nd major league start against the Texas Rangers.

Garcia home run enough for Lakewood

After the bats have been carrying the Lakewood BlueClaws the last few days, Lakewood rode the strong arms of Trevor May (5 IP, 3 hits, 2 walks, 7 Ks), Freddy Ballestas (3 IP, 2 hits, NO walks) and Jacob Diekman (1 IP, 1 hit, 1 K, save #2) to a 1-0 win over Delmarva Sunday, winning a game in which they managed just 4 hits. Harold Garcia's 8th home run of the year in the top of the 1st was the difference. Sebastian Valle had a single and a double, and D'Arby Myers pick up the other hit (and stole his 16th base). The BlueClaws wrap up the regular season tonight in Maryland before heading to Kannapolis to open the playoffs Wednesday.

Drabek, Taylor win Owens awards

Kyle Drabek and Michael Taylor have been awarded the 2009 Paul Owens Awards, as the top pitcher and position player, respectively in the Phillies minor league system for the year.

R-Phils clinch it!!

The Reading Phillies will join the BlueClaws in the playoffs this year, winning over the Connecticut Defenders, 6-0 Saturday behind strong pitching from Mike Cisco (6 IP, 5 hits, NO walks), Scott Mathieson (2 IP 2 hits, 4 Ks) and Mike Zagurski (1-2-3 9th). Hitless through the first 5 frames, Reading exploded for 6 runs in the 7th. Freddy Galvis had a 2-RBI single, Steve Susdorf an RBI hit and Domonic Brown a 2-RBI double to highlight the rally.

Antonio Bastardo has been activated and added to Reading's roster for the playoffs, and Brad Harman and Tim Kennelly have been placed on the temporary inactive list for the purpose of representing Australia in the upcoming Baseball Wold Cup.

Reading will open the playoffs Wednesday night in Akron.

Kendrick recalled

The Phillies have recalled Kyle Kendrick now that he will no longer pitch for the IronPigs this year. Speaking of Lehigh Valley, Tuffy Gosewisch had 2 hit Sunday, and Joe Savery had a pinch-hit single in their 5-4 win over Buffalo. The Pigs led the game 2-1 going to the 9th inning, when the Bisons rallied for 3 to take a 4-2 lead. But a double by Gus Milner scored 1 run and then scored the tying run, on a 2-out, 2-run game winning single by J.J. Furmaniak. The IronPigs are 70-73 on the year and will wrap up the season tonight at home against the Bisons.

The International League playoffs will featured Scranton (Yankees), Durham (Rays), Gwinnett (Braves) and Louisville (Reds). Matt Maloney will not pitch for Louisville, and will probably be recalled to Cincinnati this week.

Adrian Cardenas had 3 hits and 3 RBI the last 2 days for the Sacramento River Cats, and is hitting .247 in 50 games for the Oakland AAA affiliate. "A.C." has had a good year, hitting .298 with 79 RBI in 129 games for Midland and Sacramento. Sacramento will look for their 3rd straight PCL title when the playoffs start Wednesday, their opponent will be determined today. Memphis (Cardinals) will face Albuquerque (Dodgers) and Tacoma (Mariners) and Colorado Springs (Rockies) will square off today for the final berth, with the winner taking on the River Cats.

In the Southern League, Brian Schlitter and the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs) will take on first half winner Huntsville (Brewers). Schlitter has made 59 appearances for Tennessee, posting a 1-7 mark and recording 22 saves. The Jacksonville Suns (Marlins) and Birmingham Barons (White Sox) in the other series starting Thursday.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Floyd struts his stuff; 76 and still counting

Former BlueClaw Gavin Floyd showed his stuff again Saturday, this time on national TV, retiring the first 17 Boston Red Sox in a row before yielding a single, and in all threw 8 innings of 3-hit, 1-run ball in Chicago's 5-1 win over Boston. Floyd is now 11-9 on the season for the ChiSox.

In Houston, Michael Bourn had 2 hits and stole his league leading 50th base of the season in the Astros 5-4 win over the Phillies. Houston led the game 3-0 going into the 7th, when the Phillies rallied for 2 (including 1 on a pinch single by Carlos Ruiz) and 2 more in the 8th to take a 4-3 advantage into the 9th. Ryan Howard added an RBI (#114) in the 8th inning rally, but the Astros came back to win in the bottom of the 9th against former teammate Brad Lidge, who blew his 10th save of the year and fell to 0-7.

In Toronto, Randy Ruiz hit his 6th home run of the year off Andy Pettite, after having one called back earlier on replay. The Yankees prevailed, 6-4. Randy, a Bronx native, has hit 3 of his 6 home runs this year off of New York.

In Norwich, the Reading Phillies swept a doubleheader from the Defenders which, combined with Erie's 5-4 loss to Akron moved the R-Phils into a commanding 2 game lead with 2 games remaining in the battle for the final playoff spot. Either 1 win in the last 2 games, or 1 loss by Erie will clinch the berth for Reading.

In Delmarva, the Shorebirds defeated the BlueClaws 13-7. The good news here is that Lakewood has now scored 24 runs in the last 3 days and appears to have heated up their bats right on time for the playoff which begin Wednesday. D'Arby Myers had 2 hits and 2 stolen bases, Anthony Gose swiped #76 and Troy Hanzawa stole home!!

Austin Hyatt made his debut for Lakewood and started out with 4 scoreless frames before running into trouble in the 5th. Ryan Bergh absorbed most of the punishment (8 runs, 7 earned in just 1.1), and outfielder Brian Gump threw a 1-2-3 inning to spare the bullpen staff.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Way, Murph lead Claws to win

Matthew Way (pictures above) did not give up a hit until the 6th inning, and Jim Murphy had 4 hits, including 2 doubles, and 3 RBI to help lead the BlueClaws to a 9-3 win over Delmarva Friday night. Murphy now has 67 RBI, and is 7 for 9 in the series so far! Way is now 4-1, 3.11 in 6 starts and has been named starting pitcher for game 1 of the playoffs Wednesday night in Kannapolis. (Trevor May, who makes his final regular season start tomorrow, will go in game 2, and Jesus Sanchez will get the assignment if the series goes to a third game.) Luke Wertz came on to make his Lakewood debut when Matt got in trouble in the 6th, and after walking in 1 run and allowing a 2-run single, Wertz seemed to find his rhythm, striking out 4 of his 7 outs recorded.

The BlueClaws offense is heating up right on time. Travis d'Arnaud had 4 more hits for Lakewood, driving in his team leading 71st run. Troy Hanzawa (.264) had 2 hits, including his 2nd triple in 2 days, and knocked in 2 runs. Harold Garcia shook off what looked like a left leg problem which forced him out of the game in Lakewood Wednesday and had an RBI double.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Noles sharp in debut for Claws

Korey Noles gave the Lakewood BlueClaws a much needed shot in the arm Thursday night in Salisbury, throwing 6.2 innings, allowing only 1 run on 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7. For Noles, it was his 15th win at 3 different levels so far this year. Jacob Diekman retired all 4 hitters he faced, before Ryan Bergh finished off the Shorebirds with Lakewood winning, 8-2.

Jim Murphy (.271) had 3 hits and 2 RBI (64), and Troy Hanzawa drove in 3 with a triple and a sac fly. Travis d'Arnaud had 2 hits and his team leading 70th RBI, and Jeremy Hamilton added a single and a double as the middle of the batting order has regained their batting eye just in time to start the playoffs.

Matthew Way (3-1, 2.81 in 5 starts) will make his final start of the regular season tonight as Lakewood and Delmarva go at it in game 2 of the 5-game set. Sebastian Valle, recently recalled from Williamsport will catch tonight, d'Arnaud will DH.

Manatees top Threshers in 11

They just love those extra innings in Clearwater. The Threshers fought back from a 4-0 deficit to tie the game in the bottom of the 9th, only to fall 6-4 in the 11th. Jon Velasquez started and gave up 4 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks in just 5.2 innings, but Clearwater would not go away. Home runs by Matt Rizzotti (his 13th) in the 4th and Jesus Villegas (# 4) in the 5th cut the lead in half. A Yonderman Rodriguez single made it 4-3 in the 8th (his third hit of the night) and Gus Milner hit a sac fly to score Villegas in the 9th to tie it. Meanwhile, Esmelvin Jimenez shut down Brevard County, pitching 3.1 innings and allowing just 1 hit and 1 walk. Walter Tejeda threw a scoreless 10th, but was touched for the winning runs in the 11th. Javis Diaz stole base #33 on the year for Clearwater.

Chapman shines again

Chance Chapman has done everything right since joining Reading. Last night, Chance started in New Britain and threw 5 scoreless innings as the Reading Phillies got back on the winning track with a 3-1 win over the Rock Cats. Chapman is now 7-1, 2.26 since being promoted from Clearwater, and 10-2, 1.80 overall in 75 total innings of work this year. I am sure he has opened some eyes around the organization.

Mike Zagurski (2 IP, 3 Ks, 0 hits) and Scott Mathieson (1 IP, 1R, 2 walks, 1 hit, +save) finished off the Rock Cats. Tim Kennelly had a hit and 2 RBI to help the Reading attack.

With Harrisburg defeating Erie, 4-3, the R-Phils are now a game in front of the Sea Wolves in the race for the final playoff spot! Vance Worley (7-11) will go tonight in Norwich against the North Division leading Defenders, while the Sea Wolves will face South Division pace-setter Akron in Ohio.

here and there

Wednesday night in Arlington, Randy Ruiz had 2 hits, including his 5th home run for the Blue Jays, in their 6-4 loss to the Rangers. In Philadelphia the same evening, Brad Penny shut out the Phillies, giving Jay Happ his 4th loss of the year, as the Giants won their one game of the 3-game set, 4-0. Jay is 10-4, 2.77 on the year.

On Thursday, the Indians announced they are shutting down Jason Knapp, who is still experiencing soreness in his shoulder. Unsure as to the extent of damage to his shoulder, the Indians had Jason go for an MRI Wednesday, and will seek a second opinion.

In Tacoma, Andy Baldwin threw 5 shut out innings, before tiring and giving up 4 runs, in the Rainier's 4-0 loss to Salt Lake. Andy (6-11) struck out 8 in his 5.2 innings. In Toledo, Jesus Merchan had a single and a double and drove in a run for Columbus and Lou Marson had 2 walks, but the Mud Hens won the game, 4-2. In Allentown, Tuffy Gosewisch had a single and scored a run, and Joe Bisenius tossed a scoreless frame in the IronPigs 8-1 win over Syracuse. Joe Savery will pitch in game 1 of Friday's doubleheader for the Pigs.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Moose home run gives Claws a win

Travis "Moose" Mattair has been testing the far reaches of the First Energy Park outfield lately, with most of his long fly balls finding the warning track in deep center. So Tuesday night he hit one into left centerfield and just kept running, providing the Lakewood BlueClaws with the margin of victory in their 3-2 win over Hagerstown. It was the 3rd home run of the year for Moose, who drove in a run earlier on a sac fly. Eryk McConnell was the winning pitcher, after a great effort from Trevor May, who threw another 5 shut out frames to start the game. May is 3-1 in 14 starts for Lakewood, posting a very impressive 2.74 ERA in 74 innings of work.

Travis d'Arnaud continued his hot hitting, smacking a single and a double, and is 5 for his last 11. While they have not been as impressive as they were in the first half, the good starting pitching, and the hot hitting lately of d'Arnaud, Harold Garcia, Jim Murphy, Jeremy Hamilton, Anthony Gose and D'Arby Myers give this team as good a chance as any in the upcoming SAL playoffs.

Lakewood has also added pitcher Austin Hyatt from Williamsport. Hyatt, out the University of Alabama, was selected in this June's draft and has pitched 54.1 innings for the Crosscutters, allowing just 4 earned runs (That is a 0.66 ERA) with 81 strike outs!!

Threshers win marathon

The Clearwater Threshers outlasted the Brevard County Manatees, 4-3 in 17 innings Tuesday night. Drew Naylor was excellent, tossing 7 shut out frames, giving up just 4 hits and 1 walk. After Julian Sampson gave up 2 runs to tie it at 2-2, the bullpens took over. Chris Kissock struck out 4 in 2.1 innings, and after Dan Brauer gave up a run in the 14th, his 4th inning of work, Fidel Hernadez got a big 2-out single to score Mike Durant and the game continued. Esmelvin Jimenez threw 3 more shut out innings and picked up the win when Derrick Mitchell singled home Fidel with the winning run in the 17th!! It was Mitchell's only hit in 8 at bats. Joel Naughton had a double and 2 singles, and Mike Durant had 4 walks.

Reading falls to New Britain

The New Britain Rock Cats defeated the Reading Phillies, 2-0 Tuesday night behind excellent pitching from Mike McCardell. McCardell went 7 innings, giving the R-Phils just 5 hits and 3 walks, striking out 8. He is now 4-2 with the Rock Cats and 13-4 overall for the season in the Twins' system. Mike Cisco was the hard luck loser for Reading, despite a stellar effort of his own. Cisco went 6.2 innings, surrendering only 1 run on 3 hits and 1 walk. Kevin Mahar (307) had 3 more hits for Reading, and Domonic Brown had 2 hits to raise his AA average to .298. Reading stays 1.5 games ahead of Erie, thanks to Harrisburg's 8-7 win over the Sea Wolves. Reading has 7 games left, Erie has 6. Mike Stutes (8-7) will go tonight.

The Phillies have announced that they are shutting Kyle Drabek down for the year. Playoffs notwithstanding, the front office has decided that 158 innings is enough for the 21 year old who sat out more than a year after surgery. Kyle compiled a 12-3 season with Clearwater and Reading.

In another note, Carlos Monasterios has been promoted from Clearwater.

Kendrick wins again

Last night in Allentown, Kyle Kendrick was strong for 7 shut out innings, before tiring in the 8th. Jacob Woods came on and allowed both runners to score, before Brett Myers came on to close it out in the 9th and preserve a 3-2 win for Lehigh Valley. Kendrick is now 9-7, 3.34 this season for the IronPigs.

In Oklahoma City, Greg Golson had 2 hits and an RBI, and stole his 19th base of the year in support of Elizardo Ramirez, as the RedHawks took a 3-0 decision from New Orleans. Ramirez threw 6 clean innings, allowing just 5 hits, NO walks, striking out 3 to improve to 9-10, 4.47 for the Texas affiliate.

In Vegas, Kevin Howard belted his 13th home run to help the 51s take a 7-3 win over Fresno. Kevin now has 58 RBI on the year. In Reno, Adrian Cardenas was 1 for 2, an RBI triple, for Sacramento, but the Aces topped the River Cats, 8-6. In Columbus, Jesus Merchan had 2 hits and Lou Marson added another as the Clippers beat Louisville, 9-2. Marson will reportedly stay with the Clippers until Monday and then join the Indians for the rest of the season.

Cole being Cole

It has not been the best baseball season for Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels, but I would have to say he has come around at the right time. Cole threw a complete game 2-hit shutout at the Giants in Philadelphia last night in the Phillies 1-0 win, to win his 8th game of the year. He also picked off a runner and stole a base!! In his last 2 starts, Hamels has thrown 17 straight scoreless innings. Ryan Howard had 2 hits for the Phils, including an RBI (#112) double for the lone run.

In Detroit, Carlos Carrasco made his major league debut for the Cleveland Indians, and let's just say we hope it was a learning experience. The first place Tigers smacked Carlos around for 6 runs on 9 hits (3 homers) in just 3 innings, en route to an 8-5 win. Carrasco will pitch in the rotation, barring a repeat of last night's performance, for the remainder of the Indian's schedule. His next start will be Monday, against the Texas Rangers.

In Chicago, Michael Bourn had 3 for 4 and stole #49, but the Cubs managed to overcome his efforts to post a 4-1 win over Houston. Bourn is hitting .296 now for the Astros.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Roth promoted

Rob Roth has been promoted to Clearwater, and is replaced on the roster by 2008 draftee Korey Noles. Noles, who has been with both the GCL Phillies and Williamsport this season, is another much needed lefty and will pitch Thursday night in the opener of the 5-game season ending series in Delmarva. The Phillies continue to tweak the roster for the playoffs.

BlueClaws fall to Frias, again

Marcos Frias seems to be the only Hagerstown Suns pitcher to be able to beat the BlueClaws, and he did it again Monday night in Lakewood. Frias improved to 9-4 on the year as the Suns beat Lakewood, 5-3. Anthony Gose had 3 hits, 2 RBI and a stolen base #75 to pace the Lakewood attack. Harold Garcia and D'Arby Myers had 2 hits each for Lakewood, who have been hitting the ball better lately and look to get the ship going in the right direction by the time the playoffs start next Wednesday.

A quick word about Garcia. Harold has been having a very consistent season, leading the team with a .293 average, and his 40 steals would be a bigger story if not for the season Gose is having. Garcia has been out of the line up a couple of times with injuries and the line up has suffered each time he was out. The combination of Gose and Garcia (or Garcia and Gose) at the top, along with the emergence of Myers in the #9 slot, has really set the table for Travis d'Arnaud and Jim Murphy and will be key if the 'Claws are to have post-season success.

Justin De Fratus left the game in the second inning, looking as if he pulled something in his left side (an oblique?). I have not heard about the nature of the injury, but Justin did give me a "thumbs up" later when I caught his eye.

Reading sweep has them back on track

Monday night, Reading won both games of a doubleheader from Bowie, winning both games in extra innings. In game 1, Mike Spidale, Domonic Brown and Tim Kennelly had 3 hits each, with Brown getting a triple and 2 RBI, and Spidale the game winning hit in the 11th inning of the 5-4 victory. After Yohan Flande got through 5.2 innings allowing 4 runs, B.J. Rosenberg, Mike Zagurski, Sergio Escalona and Mike Schwimer all pitched scoreless relief.

Kevin Mahar got the game winning hit in the bottom of the 9th to give Reading a 4-3 win and the walk off sweep. The 2 wins put Reading at 71-63, 1.5 games ahead of Erie in the race for the final playoff spot. The R-Phils will finish with 8 games in the final 7 days on the road, 3 in New Britain, and 5 in Norwich against the first place Defenders.

here and there....

In Oklahoma City, Greg Golson (.262) was 0 for 3, with a walk, but drove in 2 runs to help the RedHawks defeat New Orleans, 9-4. Greg has hit his worst slump of the season, and is 5 for his last 35.

Since pitching a complete game shutout back on August 5, Andy Baldwin's stuggles have left him in Tacoma's bullpen. Andy threw 2 innings in relief last night, allowing 1 run on 4 hits in the Rainier's 5-3 loss to Salt Lake City. In 5 relief appearances, covering 6.2 innings, Andy has just 2 runs on 8 hits, NO walks, with 6 Ks. For the season, Baldwin is 6-10 with a 4.50 ERA in the hitter friendly PCL. The Mariners have yet to expand their roster for September, but I am watching the transaction wire.

In Las Vegas, Kevin Howard was 4 for 4 and a walk, including 2 doubles, and 3 runs scored as the 51s edged the Fresno Grizzlies, 9-8. Kevin has upped his average to .314 for the Toronto affiliate and could also get the call with the Blue Jays out of the hunt.

In Reno, the Sacramento River Cats were all over the Aces, 17-6. Adrian Cardenas had 2 doubles and scored a run for Sacramento, while Chris Roberson had a hit and a walk for Reno.

After a good start for the Jacksonville Suns, Brett Harker had a nightmare last Wednesday. Brett came into a game against Mobile in the 7th inning, and faced 6 hitters, all of whom reached base (3 hits, 3 walks), and scored!! E-Gads!! He has since returned to Jupiter. Hang in there, Brett.

in the majors

In Wrigley Field, Michael Bourn had a double, a walk, scored a run and drove one in, in the Astros' 5-3 win over the Cubs. Michael is hitting .292, and while he didn't steal a base yesterday, still lead the NL with 48!!

In Arlington, the Blue Jays pounded the Rangers 18-10!! When I saw this score I got very exciting, thinking Randy Ruiz could have had a big game. Randy was 0 for 2 with 2 walks, and was hit by a pitch, scoring 1 run, so I was a little let down. O well, go get 'em today, Randy!!

In Minnesota, Gavin Floyd once again had grounds to sue his mates for non-support, as the Twins topped the White Sox, 4-1. Floyd went 6 innings, allowing 3 runs on 9 hits, NO walks, striking out 4, and absorbing the loss to fall to 10-9, 3.97 on the year.

O yea, the Reds have messed up Matt Maloney's post season. Matt has been optioned to AA, the Carolina Mudcats. I believe he is now ineligible for the International League playoffs.