Sunday, May 31, 2009

Claws win 4th straight

The first place Lakewood BlueClaws started their critical 8 game road trip off with a 3-2 victory in Greensboro Saturday night. Heitor Correa started and picked up the victory, winning his 2nd consecutive start by going 6 innings, allowing just 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks, striking out 4. Santo Hernandez threw 2 more scoreless innings (he has given up just 1 earned run in his last 21.1 innings of work) and Ryan Bergh recorded his team leading 8th save with a scoreless 9th. It was Lakewood's 4th win in a row, and 6th in the last 8 games, and moves them to 10 games over .500 for the first time this year at 29-19.

Lakewood won despite getting just 3 hits. Travis D'Arnaud hit his 5th home run in the top of the first to get us off to a good start, and Moose Mattair contributed 2 singles and a couple of web gems. The victory, combined with Delmarva's loss in Kannapolis, gives the Claws a 2.5 game lead over the Shorebirds. The Grasshoppers fell to 4.5 games back.

Lakewood and Greensboro go at it again Sunday at 4:00, with Jesus Sanchez getting the assignment.

Milner, Spidale lead R-Phils to another win

The Reading Phillies made it 8 out of 10 Saturday night with a 9-5 pounding of New Hampshire. Mike Spidale (.302) had 2 hits, including his 3rd home run (2nd in 2 days) and Gus Milner had a single, a double, a walk, stole a base, scored a run and drove in 4! Quintin Berry chipped in with a single, a walk, a run scored and his 15th steal.

Joe Savery recorded his 5th win, with 5 innings in the books. Savery struggled with his control, walking 5 and giving up 4 runs on 5 hits. Joe Bisenius, off of the DL, looked good, pitching 3 innings, allowing just 1 hit (a home run by Brian Dopriak), and Francisco Butto threw a scoreless 9th, despite walking 3. Reading will go for the series sweep today with Vance Worley (4-2) on the mound.

In Port St. Lucie, the Threshers wasted another great performance by Yohan Flande, falling to the Mets 4-3. Flande (2.95) put in 7 innings, allowing just 1 unearned run on 4 hits and a walk, striking out 6, and left the game with a 3-1 lead. Darren Byrd (.2 IP 1 run) and Mike Schwimer (.2 IP, 2 runs) let it get away in the end. Arlon Quiroz (.278) had his second straight 3 hit game, and Tim Kennelly had a single and a double and drove in his 29th run. With all the rain outs in Florida the last week or so, I am not sure who will go today for Clearwater.

here and there

In Pittsburgh Saturday, the Pirates defeated the Astros 7-4. Michael Bourn (.288) had a double and a walk for Houston. In Sacramento, Bourn's Lakewood teammate, Randy Ruiz (.301) had 2 hits, including a double and drove in his 40th run of the year for Las Vegas in the 51s' 4-3 loss to the River Cats. Chris Roberson (.268) had 2 hits and scored a run in both games of a doubleheader for Reno last night, as the Aces split 2 decisions with in Salt Lake City.

My apologies to Brett Harker, whose promotion I overlooked. Harker was promoted from Jupiter to AA-Jacksonville by the Marlins 2 weeks ago. He has made 3 appearances so far for the Suns, logging 4 innings, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits so far. Congratulations to Brett and good luck! Harker is now once again a teammate of Ron "Bear" Hill, who has made 9 appearances so far for Jacksonville. Both Bear and Brett were selected by the Marlins last December in the rule 5 draft.

Philadelphia BlueClaws!

Ryan Howard hit 2 home runs (# 13 & 14), including a grand slam, to help lead the Phillies to a 9-6 win over the Nationals Saturday night. It was the second 2 home run game in less than a week for the big man, and the grand slam was the 8th of his career, surpassing the Phillies record of 7 held by Mike Schmidt. Carlos Ruiz added a double and a walk, scored 2 runs, and stole a base, and Cole Hamels had a single and a sacrifice to drive in his first run of the season. Hamels struggled with his control through 6 innings, giving up 6 earned runs on 8 hits and a walk, but still recorded his 3rd win of the year.

Myers disabled; Bastardo to be promoted

The Phillies have placed Brett Myers on the 15-day disabled list and recalled Sergio Escalona from Lehigh Valley. Late last night, the Phillies announced they will call up Antonio Bastardo on Tuesday morning to make the start Myers would have been in line for. It remains to be seen whether Bastardo will stay with the big club, or if they will seek another solution.

With the addition of Bastardo and Escalona, there will be 6 former BlueClaws on the Phillies active roster. Hamels, Happ, Howard and Ruiz are the other 4.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Claws come from behind to win again!

Jeremy Hamilton had 2 hits and 2 walks, including the walk-off single in the bottom of the 10, as the Lakewood BlueClaws made it 5 of 7, with a come-from-behind 3-2 win over West Virginia to wrap up their home stand. "Ham" is 6 for 17 in his last 5 games and playing outstanding first base in less than ideal conditions in the rain riddled New Jersey this week. Harold Garcia, who had the game winning RBI Thursday night, knocked in the tying run in the bottom of the 9th with a sac fly, which I thought was a home run when he hit it. D'Arby Myers had another good game, with 2 hits and a walk, including a bunt single in the game-tying rally in the 9th. D'Arby is finding his stroke now that he is getting to play everyday, with Steve Susdorf sidelined after being hit in the head with a pitch Wednesday afternoon.

Jason Knapp started and pitched well, throwing 6 innings and giving up 2 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk, striking out 4, and hitting 96 MPH on the gun regularly. Ryan Ariail was spectacular, throwing 3 flawless innings to set up the late inning heroics. B.J. Rosenberg threw the 10th inning and picked up his 4th win of the season.

Lakewood is now 28-19, and leads Delmarva by 1.5 games as they head out on a critical 8 game trip to Greensboro and Delmarva. Heitor Correa (1-1) will start off the trip tonight against the Grasshoppers. The BlueClaws are 10-6 with 8 games remaining in the 24 game in 24 day odyssey (which includes 2 trips to North Carolina with out an off day!) that is this section of the South Atlantic League schedule.

Drabek tosses gem

Kyle Drabek threw a complete game 5-hit shut out Friday night in Clearwater as the Threshers topped the Stone Crabs, 4-0. Drabek struck out 7, walking only 1 to improve to 4-1, 2.48 for the year. Arlon Quiroz had 3 hits for the Threshers, and Jesus Villegas chipped in with 2 of his own. Mike Durant added an RBI double, and the Threshers are now 23-20, and in second place, 7 games behind front running Brevard County. Yohan Flande (5-1) will get the start tonight in St Lucie.

Reading wins in 11

Michael Taylor had 5 hits Friday night, including his 9th home run of the year, driving in 4 runs in the R-Phils 8-7 win over New Hampshire. Taylor (.342, 37 RBI) scored the winning run on an error by Fisher Cats' third baseman Al Quintana. Quintin Berry (.281) had 3 more hits, and Mike Spidale (.294) hit his 2nd home run for Reading. Chance Chapman picked up his 2nd win in 2 days, throwing a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the 11th. Reading has won 7 of 9, improving to 26-20 on the year. Joe Savery (4-1) looks to keep it going tonight.

Marson gets 3 hits, Golson notches game winner

Lou Marson had 2 singles, a double, scored a run and drove 1 in, and Carlos Carrasco settled down after giving up 2 in the 1st inning to turn in another positive performance, leaving after 7 with a 3-2 lead, but Rochester rallied for 3 in the 9th to take a 5-3 decision from Lehigh Valley Friday night. Carrasco gave up just the 2 runs (on a 2-run homer by Justin Huber), on 6 hits and 2 walks, striking out 6. Carlos seems to by finding whatever it was that has been lacking this year, throwing much better in the last 2 starts. Jeremy Slayden had another hit, to give him a modest 6 game hitting streak.

In Oklahoma City, Greg Golson (.289) smacked the game-winning single, his 3rd hit of the night, in the bottom of the 9th to give the Red Hawks a 6-5 win over Albuquerque. Greg had 2 singles, a triple, a walk, stole his 6th base, and scored twice. In Sacramento, Gio Gonzalez threw 7 shut out innings against Las Vegas, surrendering only 2 hits and 3 walks, striking out 6. Sacramento topped Vegas, 2-1 in 16 innings. In Bowie, Zack Segovia threw 4 shut out innings for the Senators, as Harrisburg beat the BaySox, 8-4. Zack, who allowed 3 hits and 1 walk, striking out 5 to record his 2nd "hold" of the year, seems to be getting stronger each outing as the recovery from his surgeries continues to improve. The news is not so good for Brian Schlitter, who blew his 3ed save and absorbed his 3rd loss for the Tennessee Smokies last night. Brian came into the game with a 2-1 lead, and gave up 3 runs, on 4 hits and a walk in 1.1 innings.

Adrian Cardenas (.381) had an RBI single and dove in another run with a sac fly as the Midland Rock Hounds took a 7-1 decision from Northwest Arkansas Naturals.

Happ wins again

J.A. Happ improved to 3-0 on the year Friday night with 5.1 innings of work against the Nationals. Jay gave up 3 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks in the Phillies' 5-4 victory. Carlos Ruiz had a single, a double, and a walk, picking up RBI #10, bumping his average up to .299. In Arlington, Josh Outman started the first game of the twin bill between the Athletics and the first place Rangers. Josh gave up 2 in the 1st inning, then settled down. In all Outman went 6.2 frames, allowing 3 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks (sound familiar?), picking up 9 Ks in the process. He received no decision in a game eventually won by the Rangers, 6-3. In Pittsburgh, Michael Bourn had 2 hits and an RBI in the Astros' 6-1 win over the Pirates. Jason Jaramillo knocked in the Pirate's only tally in the bottom of the 9th as Pittsburgh avoided the shut out.

Friday, May 29, 2009


Anthony Gose had 3 hits, including a double, scored 2 runs and stole 3 bases to help lead the Lakewood BlueClaws to a 5-3 win over the West Virginia Power Thursday night. Gose now leads all of baseball with 30 steals. In a game played in a constant drizzle, the BlueClaws got another great pitching performance from Tyler Cloyd to hold on to first place by a game over Delmarva. Cloyd gave us 7 strong innings, allowing 3 runs (only 2 earned) on 7 hits, (need I say NO walks anymore) and struck out 8 to improve to 5-2, 3.08 on the year. In 64.1 innings so far this year, Tyler has struck out 62 hitters, while walking only 7, only 1 in the last 34.1 frames! Justin De Fratus (1.73 ERA) , also a "walkless wonder"-1 walk in 36.1 total innings, threw a 1-2-3 8th inning, and Ryan Bergh (2.14) tossed a scoreless 9th to record his 7th save. Sebastian Valle had a single, an RBI double and was hit by a pitch, and Jim Murphy (.328) had a walk and a 2-RBI single. Lakewood is now 27-19 on the season and will send Jason Knapp against the Power tonight in the finale of the home stand. Have I mentioned how much fun this team is to watch?!

In Clearwater, Matt Rizzotti belted a grand slam, one of his 2 hits on the night, and Joel Naughton (#6) and Cody Overbeck (3rd in 2 days) also went deep as the Threshers crushed the Charlotte Stone Crabs, 10-1. Dominic Brown (.338) smacked 3 more hits, including a double, and Mike Cisco notched his first win of the year with 6 solid innings. Cisco gave up just 1 run on 6 hits and 1 walk. Carlos Monasterios threw 2 scoreless frames and Dan Brauer worked the final frame to finish off the victory.

In Akron, Reading and Akron split a doubleheader. Francisco Butto gave up 3 runs in the bottom of the ninth as Akron won the opener 6-5, but Reading rebounded with a 2-1 win in the nightcap. Chance Chapman was the winning pitcher for Reading, following Alex Concepcion's excellent 5 inning stint (0 runs, 1 hit), and Mike Zagurski recorded the save. Gus Milner had 2 hits in each game, including his 2nd home run of the year, and Quintin Berry had a 3 hit day, stealing his 14th base in the process.

Keeping with the theme of great pitching, Antonio Bastardo threw 7 shut out innings, allowing 6 hits and 1 walk, to gain his first AAA win, as the IronPigs topped Buffalo, 7-1. Jeremy Slayden, playing everyday now with John Mayberry in Philadelphia, is finding his stroke. "Slay" had 2 more hits, drove in 2 runs and scored 1, and is 6 for 19 the last 5 games.

It was a good night for HomeSiders in Nevada last night, as the Reno Aces topped Oklahoma City, 7-6. Greg Golson (.274) had a single, a double, a walk, and scored a run for the RedHawks, while Chris Roberson had a 2-run triple and scored a run in Reno's 7-run 2nd inning. Bobby Korecky recorded the save for Reno, his 6th. In Vegas, Randy Ruiz (.308) was 3 for 4 and scored a run for the 51s, but New Orleans won the game 7-3.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Catching up

There is much to cover today, so let's get to it.

After dropping a 4-3 decision to West Virginia on Tuesday, the BlueClaws rebounded with a 5-3 win Wednesday afternoon. Jim Murphy had 2 doubles on Tuesday, and continues to hit the ball hard. The other strong performance in that game came from Santo Hernandez, in relief of Jesus Sanchez. Hernandez gave the team 4 scoreless ( and hitless) innings, giving Lakewood an opportunity to get back into a game in which they trailed 4-0.

I cannot say enough about Hernandez performance so far this year, in particular lately. In his last 7 outings, Santo has worked 19.1 innings, allowing only 1 earned run on just 7 hits. He has struck out 23, walking 10. His ERA for the season is an excellent 2.42, and the bullpen in general continues to be very strong.

In Wednesday's victory, the BlueClaws maximized 6 hits into 5 runs, as Jon Velasquez recorded his team leading 6th win of the season. J.C. Romero (who seems to be following me!) threw 2 scoreless frames and B.J. Rosenberg picked up his 7th save. Anthony Gose swiped his 27th base, and is on a pace to break the team record of 59 set in 2003 by Chris Roberson.

The Clearwater Threshers played an exciting game in the first of a doubleheader Wednesday night. Let me set the stage for you. Despite Mike Durant's 6th home run, a 2-run shot in the 2nd inning, Clearwater entered the bottom of the 7th trailing 5-3. Remember, doubleheaders are 7 inning games. Cody Overbeck and Jesus Villegas hit back-to-back home runs to start the 7th to tie the game. When Chris Kissock gave up 2 runs in the 9th, the Threshers found themselves behind again, but a lead-off single by Joel Naughton was followed by Overbeck's second dinger of the game and play continued until the 11th when Dominic Brown singled in Villegas with the game winning run in an 8-7 win. Charlotte gained the split with a 2-1 victory in the nightcap. Drew Naylor was the hard luck loser, but pitched great. 2 runs, 4 hits, NO walks, 7 Ks.

Tuesday night in Akron, Vance Worley (4-2, 2.83) and Mike Zagurski combined on a 4-hit shutout, leading Reading to a 5-0 win. Tuffy Gosewisch was 3 for 3 with a walk, scoring a run and driving one in. Tuffy has reached base in 10 of his last 11 plate appearances (7 hits, 3 walks). Michael Taylor (.324) added 2 more hits for the R-Phils. Wednesday's game was rained out.

Tuesday night in Buffalo, Drew Carpenter had his good stuff, giving the IronPigs 7 solid innings in a 2-1 Lehigh Valley win. Carpenter allowed just the 1 run, on 6 hits, 1 walk, striking out 4 to improve to 2-0, 3.61 on the year. Sergio Escalona retired 4 hitters (2 on strike outs), recording a "hold". Lou Marson and Jeremy Slayden each had a double and a walk, with Lou scoring both runs for the Pigs. On Wednesday, Slayden hit his 3rd home run, and David Newhan and Paul Hoover had 3 hits each as Kyle Kendrick went 6 innings (3 runs, 9 hits, NO walks) to pick up his 4th win of the year in a 5-3 victory.

Outside the system, Matt Maloney pitched very well, but Louisville did not give him any run support and the Bats lost to Pawtucket, 2-0. Matt went 7 innings, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks, striking out 7. Matt is 3-3, with a stellar 2.31 ERA so far for the Cincinnati affiliate.

It was the same story last night in Anaheim for Gavin Floyd, who threw a complete game, 8 innings, 3 runs, 7 hits, 2 walks, 8 strike outs in the Angel's 3-1 win over the White Sox. In Cincinnati, Michael Bourn (.286) was 1 for 3 with a walk, stealing his 16th base, in the Astros 6-1 loss to the Reds, and in Philly, Ryan Howard (.263) had a single and a double, and Carlos Ruiz hit his 2nd home run of the year, but the Phillies dropped a 6-2 decision to the Marlins.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

BlueClaw boogie

Everybody's favorite dancers do it again at our annual fundraiser for ALS Wednesday night!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Every year, Ryan Howard get on one of his rolls. After a quiet weekend in New York, where he was just 2 for 14, it could be happening now as "Ryno" belted 2 last night (#11 & 12) in the Phillies 5-3 loss to the Marlins.

Correa, Murphy keep Claws in first

The Lakewood BlueClaws pounded the Greensboro Grasshoppers 11-1 Monday afternoon to stay in first place in the SAL Northern Division. Heitor Correa had his best game of the year, throwing 7 shut out innings. He allowed 6 hits and 1 walk (he also hit 2 hitters) to pick up his first win of the year. The 19-year old has a 2.40 ERA in his 5 starts so far. Jim Murphy (.313)was the offensive star of the game, driving in 5 runs in 4 separate at bats. Jim blasted a loooong 2-run home run into the picnic area in center field in the 7th inning that took one hop and bounced off the scoreboard!! D'Arby Myers had a very good game. He started by making a great catch in the first inning with 2 runners on base to get Correa out of an early jam, then got 2 infield hits on pure hustle. Just for good measure, Myers started a relay that nailed Brandon Turner at home plate in the top of the 6th, the relay throw made by Troy Hanzawa. Catcher Sebastian Valle completely blocked home plate, and Turner never got there. Valle also had a big game offensively, with a double, a triple and 2 RBI, and Hanzawa got 3 hits again. It was the 4th multi-hit game in the last 6 for Troy (pictured), and third 3-hit game in the same stretch. Over the 6 games, he is 11 for 21 (that's .523 if you are doing the math). The BlueClaws lead the division by 1 game over Delmarva and 1.5 games over Greensboro. Lakewood will take on West Virginia in a 4-game set starting tonight, weather permitting.

Not to be outdone by Correa's performance, Joe Savery threw a gem of his own Monday in Altoona. Savery went 6 shut out frames, allowing just 4 hits and 4 walks, striking out 3 as the R-Phils topped the Curve 6-0. Pat Overholt (5 outs, 2 hits) and Francisco Butto (4 hitters, 3 KS) completed the shutout for Reading. Carlos Leon had 3 hits and 2 RBI, and Michael Taylor belted his 8th home run as Reading won their 4th straight game. The Phillies head to Akron to take on the Aeros next, Vance Worley (3-2) goes tonight.

outside the system

Randy Ruiz (.306) had 2 hits and drove in his 37th run of the season for Las Vegas in the 51s' 8-5 loss to New Orleans. In Reno, Chris Roberson entered a tie game in the bottom of the 9th inning as a pinch runner and scored the game winning run for the Aces in their 5-4 victory over Oklahoma City. Greg Golson (.278) had a triple in 5 at bats for the RedHawks.

In Midland, the Rock Hounds outscored Corpus Christi 10-7. Adrian Cardenas (.389) was 1 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI. Matt Spencer did not play for Midland. "Spence" is hitting .244 in 10 games since his promotion from Stockton. (ask and you shall receive, Legger!)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Good Morning HomeSiders and Happy Memorial Day to one and all.

I am a little pressed for time so as quickly as I can, some of Sunday's highlights.

The Phillies took the rubber game of their series with the Yankees on Sunday, winning 4-3 in 11 innings. Carlos Ruiz had 3 hits on the day, including a double and the game winning RBI. Ruiz has his average up to .302, with a 14 for 38 streak (.438) in the past 9 games. Ryan Howard had 2 hits, backing a strong effort by Cole Hamels. Cole allowed 2 runs on 8 hits, NO walks over 6 innings, striking out 5.

Josh Outman recorded his second win of the year, a sparkling 7.2 innings of work against the Diamondbacks in which he yielded 2 runs (1 earned) on just 4 hits. He did walk 5, but benefited from the Athletics turning 4 double plays. Hitting his stride in his last 3 starts, Outman has logged 19.2 innings, giving up just 2 earned runs. His ERA now stands st 2.10.

It was good to see Mike Durant have a big game for the Threshers, going 3 for 4, including a 3-run homer and an RBI double in Clearwater's 11-7 loss to Tampa. He was not the only HomeSider with 3 hits yesterday, as Reading had an 18-hit attack in Altoona. Quintin Berry(.275,run scored, stolen base #13, 2 RBI), Gus Milner (.233, 2 doubles,a walk, 3 runs scored), Tuffy Gosewisch (3 singles and a walk, 2 runs scored and an RBI) and Michael Taylor (.323, 2 singles, a triple, RBI #31) all had 3 hits for the R-Phils in their 10-3 win over the Curve.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Claws rally for exciting win

The Lakewood BlueClaws rallied late from a 3-1 deficit, scoring 2 in the 7th and 1 more in the 8th to take a 4-3 win over Greensboro and extend their lead on the Grasshoppers to a game and a half. The BlueClaws improved to 24-17 and have still not lost 3 in a row all season. Tyler Cloyd was impressive again, going 6.1 innings, allowing just 3 runs on 6 hits and a walk. The walk is noteworthy because in 57.1 innings this year, Cloyd has walked just 7, while striking out 54! Santo Hernandez continues to do the job out of the pen, this time getting 5 outs, allowing just 1 hit to record his 3rd win. In his last 6 outings, Hernandez has thrown 15.1 innings, surrendering just 1 earned run on 7 hits and 7 walks. The walks are a little high, but you cannot argue with the results! B.J. Rosenberg threw a scoreless 9th inning to notch his 6th save. Zack Collier (pictured) and Troy Hanzawa had 3 hits each for the 'Claws, and Harold Garcia chipped in with 2 hits and a stolen base (#13). Lakewood sends Jason Knapp Sunday night as they look to make it 2 in a row.

Happ great in first start

J.A. Happ has certainly made the most of his opportunities this year. Earning a spot on the roster in spring training, Jay has worked effectively out of the bullpen until Chan Ho Park proved ineffective. Happ stepped in Saturday at Yankee Stadium and gave the Phillies all they could ask for. 6 innings, 2 runs on 4 hits and NO walks, 4 Ks, and he left the game with a 4-2 lead thanks to the 3-run home run from John Mayberry Jr. in his Philadelphia debut. Unfortunately for the World Champs, Brad Lidge surrendered 3 runs to New York in the 9th to take the win out of Happ's column.

In Chicago, the White Sox shut out the Pirates for the 2nd straight day. After only getting 2 hits Friday, Pittsburgh exploded for 5 hits Saturday in the Sox' 4-0 win. Jason Jaramillo was 1 for 3 for Pittsburgh. He has 2 of their 7 hits in the series.

On to Lehigh Valley, where Antonio Bastardo made his AAA debut for the IronPigs. Impressive as ever, Bastardo went 6 innings, giving up just 3 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks, striking out 11. He left the game with a 4-3 lead, but like the parent team, the bullpen lost it in the final frame, when the Durham Bulls rallied for 2 runs off Mike Koplove for a 5-4 win. My opinion: they should have gone to Sergio Escalona! Anyway, Lou Marson hit his first dinger of the year, and Jason Donald had a double and an RBI for Lehigh Valley. Carlos Carrasco will try for that elusive first win Sunday afternoon.

Next stop, Nevada. In Reno, Chris Roberson (.261) had a double, 2 walks, 2 stolen bases, and scored a run in the Aces' 6-4 win over New Orleans. Bobby Korecky threw a 1-2-3 9th inning for Reno to notch his 5th save. Over in Vegas, Kevin Howard had a 2-run single in Las Vegas' 4-run 9th inning rally to help the 51s to a 6-5 comeback win over Oklahoma City. Greg Golson was 1 for 4 for the RedHawks.

In Altoona, Reading swept a doubleheader from the Curve to get themselves back on track. In the opener, a 5-3 win for the R-Phils, Quintin Berry had 2 hits, stole a base (#12), knocked in a run and scored one, and Mike Spidale had a pinch-hit RBI single, then scored in the 4-run 6th innings which decided the game in Reading's favor. Gustavo Chacin picked up the win with 5 good innings, allowing just 1 run on 4 hits and 1 walk in his Reading debut. Mike Zagurski was knocked around again, surrendering 2 runs on 3 hits in 1 frame. "Zag" has hit a rough spot, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks in his last 2 innings. Francisco Butto allowed 2 hits, but no runs, pitching the 7th to pick up the save. The nightcap was a combined 1-hitter for Alex Concepcion (1 hit, 1 walk over 5 innings) and Pat Overholt (2 perfect innings) as Reading took a 5-0 decision. Brad Harman (.293, single, double, run scored, RBI), Michael Taylor (.312, single, home run #7, 2 runs scored, 2 RBI) and Neil Sellers (.310, RBI) had 2 hits each for the Phils. Spidale (.322) had an RBI triple and then scored a run, and Tuffy Gosewisch had a single and a walk and scored a run. Tyson Brummett (1-5) will try to rebound from a bad start last Tuesday in Sunday night's contest.

In Tampa Saturday night, Kyle Drabek pitched 5 hitless innings, before allowing 4 runs on 4 hits in the 6th as Tampa topped the Threshers, 4-3. Dominic Brown (.336) had a single, a double, 3 walks, and scored a run, Tim Kennelly (.295) had 2 hits and 2 RBI, and Joel Naughton hit his 5th home run of year for Clearwater. Carlos Monasterios and Mike Schwimer each threw a scoreless frame.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Escalona to Lehigh Valley

The Phillies brought up outfielder John Mayberry from AAA-Lehigh Valley and sent Sergio Escalona to the IronPigs to make room for him. Escalona pitched well, but there are only 25 spots on the active roster and the Phillies are looking for right handed hitters. Mayberry was hitting .275, with 8 home runs and 25 RBI for Lehigh Valley.

My condolences to Ann & Carol Becker on the HomeSide in Lakewood, Sergio's host family last year. They have been so excited this week for Sergio. In fact, they told me about the call-up 24 hours before I could verify it anywhere. Looks like I have another inside source! Thanks, girls!

HomeSide HighLights

Friday was a busy day for our boys, so I will start in the major leagues where, in Chicago, Gavin Floyd bounced back from a few sub-par games the throw a gem at the Pittsburgh Pirates. Gavin was masterful, tossing 8 shut out innings of 2-hit, 2-walk baseball, striking out 8 as the White Sox won, 2-0. One of the hits was by Jason Jaramillo (.259), as Floyd improved to 3-4 on the year.

In Houston, Michael Bourn had 3 singles, scored a run, stole his 14th base and knocked in his 11th runs of the year, but the Rangers topped the Astros 6-5 anyway. In New York, the Phillies paid their first visit to the new Yankee Stadium, and led by Carlos Ruiz' 3 hits (.271, 1st HR) Philadelphia picked up a 7-3 win. It was the first win in the Bronx since 2000 for the Phils. Raul Ibanez hit his 16th homer, driving in his 41st run, which leads the National League. Jay Happ (2-0) will make his first start of the year today against Andy Pettitte. R.J. Swindel, who was recalled by the Brewers the other day, threw an inning Friday in Minnesota's 11-3 pounding of the Brew Crew, giving up 2 runs on 2 hits, but picking up 2 Ks.

In Louisville, Matt Maloney had his third consecutive strong outing. Matt went 7 innings, allowing just 1 unearned run on 6 hits and a walk. He left the game trailing 1-0, but the Bats won after he left, 2-1. Maloney (3-2, 2.28) has now thrown 21 innings his last 3 games, giving up just 1 earned run. Awesome!! In Allentown, Kyle Kendrick evened his record at 3-3 with 6 good innings against Durham. Kyle surrendered 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks, striking out 4 in Lehigh Valley's 5-3 win over the Bulls. Jeremy Slayden had a single and a double and drove in a run for the IronPigs. Jason Donald had an odd evening. Jason went to the plate 5 times, walked 3 times and was hit by a pitch twice. He also scored 2 runs. Antonio Bastardo will pitch Saturday night for the 'Pigs, making his AAA debut.

In Reno, The Aces survived a 4-run 9th inning rally by New Orleans to hold on for a 7-6 win over the Zephyrs. Bobby Korecky put out the fire, after allowing a 3-run home run to Michael Ryan which cut the lead to 1 run, picking up his 4th save. Chris Roberson (.257) was 0 for 2 for Reno. In Las Vegas, Randy Ruiz (.307) was 3 for 3, a double and 2 singles, and scored 3 runs in the 51s' 10-1 thrashing of the RedHawks. Greg Golson (.283) took an 0 for 3 for Oklahoma City. In Kodak, Tennessee, Brian Schlitter blew his second save this year, giving up 2 runs in 1 inning in the first game of a doubleheader against Birmingham. The runs were the first allowed by Schlitter in May. The Barons won, 3-2 in extra innings. Brian is 0-2 in 16 games for the Smokies, recording 5 saves so far. In Midland, Texas, Adrian Cardenas (.398) and Matt Spencer (.270) had 4 hits each, spearheading a 28-hit attack as the Rock Hounds annihilated the Corpus Cristi Hooks, 24-6. "AC" scored 5 runs and drove in 3, while "Spence" tallied twice and knocked in 4. Not Surprisingly, this was the greatest output in the 38-year history of the Midland franchise!

In Altoona, Brad Harman was 4 for 4 with a walk, scoring 2 runs to lift his average to .298, and Gus Milner (.212) had a single, a double, a triple and a walk, scoring a run and driving one in, but the Curve rallied from a 7-1 deficit in the final 2 innings to steal a game from the R-Phils 8-7. Michael Taylor added 2 hits, 2 steals, and 2 RBI (that's 27), as Reading wasted a good effort from Mike Stutes. Stutes gave up 1 run over the first 6, but tired in the 7th as the Curve put up 4 to get back in the game. Chance Chapman came in, walked 2, then gave up a double before recording the final out of the inning. Jason Anderson came in to start the 8th and gave up the tying and winning runs. The teams will play 2 tonight, starting at 5:00. Gustavo Chacin has been brought in from extended spring training to pitch the opener, with the nightcap assignment still undecided at this point. Reading has now dropped 5 straight to fall to 19-19.

The rain stopped long enough in Florida for the Threshers to lose in Tampa Friday night. Drew Naylor got the start, after the team had 4 days off due to the weather, and gave us 4.2 innings, allowing just 2 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks. Chris Kissock came in, striking out the only hitter he faced, then Mike Cisco got 3 innings of work in, giving up 4 runs on 6 hits, as the Yankees won, 7-1. Javis Diaz (.283)was the only Thresher with more than 1 hit. With the rotation completely in disarray, I have no clue who will start tonight, but my guess would be either Monasterios or Drabek.

In Lakewood, the Greensboro Grasshoppers inched to within a half game of the first place BlueClaws with a 7-4 victory. Jon Velasquez was roughed up, allowing 5 runs in just 3 innings, but the bullpen continues to do excellent work. Jacob Diekman came in for 4 good innings, allowing just 1 earned run, and Justin De Fratus and BJ Rosenberg threw a scoreless inning each. Jeremy Hamilton had a double and a triple (the triple may have been a home run, but a fan reached out and deflected the ball) driving in 2 runs, while Harold Garcia and Troy Hanzawa also had 2 hits each. Lakewood will try to hold on to first place tonight with Tyler Cloyd (4-2) getting the ball.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thursday's action

Ryan Howard hit his 10th home run of the year, 1 of 4 long balls belted by the Phillies as they wrapped up their series in Cincinnati with a 12-5 win over the Reds. Sergio Escalona pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning for the Phillies. Sergio has now retired 7 major league hitters in 2 appearances, allowing just 1 hit, striking out 2.

The Phillies have also reassigned Antonio Bastardo to Lehigh Valley, sending Jason Anderson back to Reading. Speaking of Lehigh Valley, Drew Carpenter threw 6 shut out innings against Durham Thursday night, allowing 8 hits and 3 walks in the IronPigs' 6-2 win over the Bulls. In Reading, the New Britain Rock Cats completed the sweep of the R-Phils with a 7-1 victory. Vance Worley pitched well enough, giving up 3 runs on 8 hits, NO walks, over 7 innings to fall to 3-2, 3.22 on the year. Struggling Pat Overholt (6.08 ERA) faced 3 hitters, allowing a walk and home run, recording just 1 out, and Francisco Butto worked a scoreless 9th.

The BlueClaws ended their road trip with a 6-1 loss in West Virginia, and return home tonight for a 4-game set over the holiday weekend with Greensboro. Lakewood leads Greensboro by 1.5 games in the SAL Northern Division. Jesus Sanchez pitched OK last night, going 6 innings, allowing all 6 runs, only 3 earned, on 9 hits, only 1 walk, and struck out 3. Ryan Airial threw 2 scoreless frames to finish for the 'Claws. The lone Lakewood run scored on a sac fly by Jeremy Hamilton, driving in Zack Collier, who had doubled. Anthony Gose was 1 for 4 and used the opportunity to steal his 26th base. Gose leads not only the SAL, but all of minor league baseball with mark!!

The Clearwater Threshers were rained out for the 4th consecutive day in Florida, but the Threshers and Dunedin do not play again in the first half, so these games may be lost unless they have playoff implications.

In Tacoma Thursday, Andy Baldwin picked up his 3rd win of the year in the Rainier's 7-6 win over Memphis. Baldwin went 5.1, giving up 4 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks, striking out 3 to improve to 3-2, 3.83 on the season. In Las Vegas, Randy Ruiz (.294) had a single, a double, scored a run and drove one in (#35) in the 51s' 8-5 win over Oklahoma City. Kevin Howard chipped in with a single, a walk, and a run scored. Greg Golson (.291)had a hit for the RedHawks.

The Oakland A's have reassigned Adrian Cardenas back to AA-Midland, and placed Scott Mitchinson (Stockton) on the 7-day DL.

Some others on the DL include Zack Sterner, Matt German and Jared Simon.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Reading Recap, another Romero sighting

After 2 games in Allentown, I saw Reading drop a pair of games Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday evening was a night to forget for Tyson Brummett. He gave up hits to the first 6 hitters (including 2 home runs) in the top of the 1st inning before ever recording an out. In all, 2+ IP, and a total of 9 runs allowed, as Reading lost 14-6. (I am sure if we had kicked that extra point, we would have been right in that game!?)

Ok, silver linings from Tuesday: Quintin Berry had 3 hits, as did Brad Harman. In fact Harman had a single, an RBI double and a 3-run home run. Alex Concepcion came in for Brummett with no outs in the 3rd, and gave us 4 innings, allowing just 1 run. Francisco Butto threw the final 2 frames, but Reading could never get close.

Other Tuesday accomplishments included Josh Outman throwing 3-hit shut out ball in Toronto for 6 innings, and Cole Hamels picking up his second win in Cincinnati, with support from Ryan Howard , who hit his 9th homer. For me, Tuesday highlight of the night came in the Astros' game where Michael Bourn kept himself in a rundown between first and second long enough to allow Kaz Matsui to steal home. Then, when the defense divided their attention, Bourn returned safely to first base in a masterful job of baserunning. If you have not seen this highlight, it is worth looking for.

Back to Reading, where on a beautiful Wednesday morning, Joe Savery took the hill for the R-Phils. Joe pitched well, 6 IP, just 3 runs, but trailed 3-0 early. J.C. Romero pitched a scorleless inning for Reading. The Phillies clawed back, getting 3 hits from Mike Spidale (.325) and 2 from Gus Milner, tying the game in the 7th. Then Berry led off the 8th with a bunt single, stole second (#11), went to third on an error and scored on a line single to right by Michael Taylor, and with Mike Zagurski on the mound, heading to the 9th with the lead. The inning started out innocently enough, with a ground ball single to deep short. Then 2 consecutive New Britain hitters bunted and neither was retired, and the inning turned into a 3-run game winning rally for the Rock Cats. Recently promoted Chance Chapman came in to bail out Zag, but Reading could not score in the 9th.

The BlueClaws won their game in Charleston, West Virginia 4-3. Troy Hanzawa had 3 hits, and Jim Murphy, Travis D'Arnaud and Anthony Gose added 2 hits each. Anthony also stole his 25th base. Heitor Correa pitched well, but the win went to Justin De Fratus, who threw 1.2 more scoreless innings, lowering his ERA to 1.39. The 'Claws, winners of 7 of 9, wrap up their road trip tonight looking for the sweep in "The Toast Man's House". Lakewood is in first place, leading Greensboro by 2.5 games. Greensboro will invade Lakewood for 4 games beginning Friday night!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pigs end 8 game skid

Despite getting just 5 hits this morning, the IronPigs salvaged the final game of their series with Gwinnett, 3-1 behind strong pitching from Rodrigo Lopez. Lopez was solid for 7 innings, allowing just 1 run on 5 hits. David Newhan had the big blow, a 2-run home run over the double stack of signage in right field in the 2nd inning. John Mayberry had a single and a double for Lehigh Valley.

I have made my way over to Reading and am going to grab some lunch before heading over to First Energy Stadium for the 6:30 game tonight against New Britain.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pigs drop 8th straight

Even my presence at Coca Cola Park was not enough to get the IronPigs out of their losing streak, as Gwinnett let Lehigh Valley get out to a 3-0 lead, only to come back to take a 4-3 decision. Pablo Ozuna had 2 doubles, a single, and 2 RBI, and Lou Marson and Jason Donald had a hit each.

Despite giving up the 3 runs in the third inning, Gwinnett starter Charlie Morton seemed to be in control all night. He stretched 102 pitches to 7.2 innings to record his 5th win of the year.

I did manage to spend five minutes with one of my favorite guys, Carlos Carrasco, who was charting the game practically right next to me. He looks like he has put on some more muscle, and it occurs to me that when your body changes like that, sometimes it takes a while to adjust to it. I have to go back and see him pitch firsthand.

The BlueClaws got home runs from Jeremy Hamilton and Sebastian Valle, and superior pitching from Tyler Cloyd to pound West Virginia, 9-2. For both Hamilton and Valle, the homers were the 1st of the year, and Valle added on a single and a walk. Troy Hanzawa and Harold Garcia each picked up 2 doubles, with Harold scoring 2 runs and Troy driving 2 in. Anthony Gose had a triple, his 23rd stolen base, scored a run and drove 1 in. Meanwhile, Cloyd threw 7 innings, giving up just 1 run, 7 hits, NO walks, striking out 8, to improve to 4-2, 3.00 on the season.

Clearwater's game was rained out.

Romero to begin rehab tonight

So I just arrived in Allentown and the buzz is that Phillies pitcher J.C.Romero will work in tonight's game for the IronPigs. I will be taking it easy until the gates open at 6:00. Big thank you to Dan DeYoung in the Lakewood office who made sure that I was expected and taken care of.

Claws gain split

The resilient Lakewood BlueClaws scored a split with the Intimidators by taking the finale of their series on Sunday by a score of 5-4. Travis Mattair had 3 hits and a walk, and Korby Mintken and Leandro Castro each had a single, a double and an RBI as the BlueClaws got some clutch hits and backed fine pitching from Jon Velasquez and Justin De Fratus for the win.

Just a quick note on De Fratus, who has been phenomenal so far. Justin has been in 13 games, throwing 30.2 innings for Lakewood. He has allowed just 5 earned runs on 26 hits (that's a 1.47 ERA), striking out 33 hitters. O yea, he has only 1 walk!!! I was surprised when he was not in the rotation, but he has been a Godsend out of the bullpen.

We are halfway to the All-Star break, and Lakewood is 20-15, leading the division by a game and a half over Greensboro. The next 16 games are 8 with last place West Virginia, who just swept Delmarva, and 8 against Greensboro.

The Threshers won a back and forth game in Lakeland Sunday, scoring 3 in the 9th to take a 9-8 win over the Flying Tigers. Kyle Drabek started and pitched shut out ball for 6 innings. He started the 7th with a walk and 2 hits and was replaced by Chris Kissock, who let all 3 runners score, as well as 3 more. Darren Byrd came in for the final out of the 7th, but gave up 2 runs on 3 hits in the 8th. After Clearwater had their 9th inning rally, Chance Chapman came in for the save.

Fidel Hernandez (.301, 2 singles, double,a stolen base, 2 runs scored, RBI) and Dominic Brown (.328, single, 2 doubles, a stolen base, run scored, 3 RBI) lead the shark attack and Tim Kennelly chipped in with a pair of hits.

I am heading out to get some work done early today before taking off on a 3 day, 4 game trip which will start tonight in Lehigh Valley. Tuesday schedule has me in Lehigh for an AM game followed by a night game in Reading, and Wednesday morning I will take in the Reading game before heading home.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Escalona wins!!

In a game where Phillies' starter Chan Ho Park could only record 4 outs, the Phillies bullpen came to the rescue Sunday. Five relievers split the final 7.1 innings and Sergio Escalona got the right one. With the Phillies trailing 6-5 going to the bottom of the 7th inning, Sergio got the call to come in. His first major league inning was a scoreless one, yielding only 1 hit. When the Phillies rallied for 3 in the top of the 8th, Sergio picked up the win!! The win completed a 4-game sweep of the Nationals over the weekend.

One in, one out

After picking up his first major league win last night, Andrew Carpenter has been returned to the IronPigs, to be replaced by Reading's Sergio Escalona. So add another HomeSider to the list of major league call ups!!

Homesiders go back-to-back

The big moment Saturday night came in the 3rd inning in Clearwater, when Tim Kennelly and Mike Durant hit back-to-back home runs to boost the Threshers to a 6-3 win over Daytona. Kennelly's fine season continues (.291, 22 RBI) with an outfield assist and Durant seems to be coming around after a terrible start. Yohan Flande continues to surprise everyone, picking up his 5th win of the year with 6 more good innings.

The BlueClaws lost to Kannapolis 7-2 Saturday night, despite 4 for 4, including a home run, a stolen base (#11) and 2 runs scored for Harold Garcia, and a good performance from Jesus Sanchez. Santo Hernandez was the losing pitcher. After a great home stand, Hernandez was shaky, giving up 3 runs, 1 earned on 3 hits and throwing 3 wild pitches in 1 inning. Brenden Akashian made his first start at DH for Lakewood and had 2 for 3.

Reading's game was suspended because of rain last night in the 9th inning, Harrisburg having picked up 2 runs off Francisco Butto to tie it at 6-6. They will finish it today before the regular game. Neil Sellers has a double, 2 home runs and 4 RBI for Reading.

Saturday-some good, some not so good

In Washington, the Phillies swept a doubleheader from the Nats, 8-5 and 7-5. Andrew Carpenter started the rain shortened nightcap and picked up the first major league win of his career! Raul Ibanez had a big day, belting 3 home runs and driving in 7 in the 2 games. Ryan Howard was 3 for 7 (and a walk) on the day, hitting his 8th home run, a loooong one into center field in the 3rd inning off Daniel Cabrera. Ibanez now has 35 RBI, Ryan is up to 28 as the Phillies pull to within a game and a half of the surging Mets.

The Gwinnett Braves defeated Kyle Kendrick and the IronPigs Saturday, 4-1. Kyle last 5 inning, throwing 85 pitches, giving up 4 runs on 4 hits and 4 walks to see his record fall to 2-3, 4.17 on the year. The last 2 outings have been rough for Kendrick, 10 earned runs, 13 hits in just 10 innings! In Norfolk, Matt Maloney lost a heart breaker, 1-0 to the Tides. Matt had another great game, throwing 7 innings, allowing just the 1 run on 6 hits, 1 walk, striking out 5. Maloney is now 3-2, 2.64 in his 7 starts this season for Louisville.

Greg Golson's call up to the Rangers may have hurt his timing, as he is just 3 for 18 since he got back in the line up for Oklahoma City. This will happen sometimes when guys are called up to fill a roster spot and don't get to play in the major league games. Greg is too good a hitter for this to last long, I will be keeping my eye on it,

In Sacramento, Adrian Cardenas had a double, 2 walks, and scored 2 runs in the River Cats 8-3 win over Round Rock. Gio Gonzalez was the starter and winner for Sacramento, going 5.2 innings, and giving up just 1 run on 7 hits and 2 walks to notch his 3rd victory for the Cats.

Kevin Howard has been picked up by Toronto and will be assigned to LasVegas, where he will be a teammate of Randy Ruiz. Howard made his debut for Vegas last night, going 1 for 3.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Drew Carpenter

Andrew Carpenter has been called up to start the 2nd game of the doubleheader tonight for the Phillies in Washington.

Lakewood wins thriller

Jim Murphy hit a 2-run home run with 2 outs in the 9th to give Lakewood a come from behind 3-2 win in Kannapolis Friday. It was the 3rd home run of the year for Murphy, but lets not overshadow the job done by Heitor Correa, who threw 7 strong innings, yielding just 1 run on 4 hits, NO walks, striking out 3. The win goes to Brian Rosenberg, his 3rd, who finished the game for Lakewood. The BlueClaws did not get a hit against Kannapolis starter, 22-year old Charles Leesman, until Travis D'Arnaud got a single with 2 down in the 7th.

Reading, Clearwater both lose

The Harrisburg Senators are the first Eastern League team to defeat Vance Worley, beating Reading 6-1 Friday. Worley went 5, allowing 6 runs on 7 hits, NO walks, 3 Ks. Pat Overholt, Josh Shortslef, Mike Zagurski and Sergio Escalona each threw a scoreless inning of relief. Zack Segovia pitched for the Senators, shutting out the R-Phils for 2 frames. Brad Harman (.264) had 2 singles and double and scored Reading's lone run.

In Clearwater, the Threshers could get only 4 hits, losing to Daytona 7-2. Mike Cisco made his second start of the year, and looked good again for 5 innings: 1 run, 5 hits, 2 walks, 6 strike outs. Chris Kissock gave up 2 runs in his inning and absorbed the loss. Dan Brauer's problems continue as he faced 5 hitters, walked 2 and allowed 1 hit; they all scored. Darren Byrd came off the DL and made his debut, throwing an inning, giving up an unearned run.

I do want to mention Joel Naughton, who hit 2 home runs on Thursday night for Clearwater.

Friday's highlights

In Nashville, Chris Roberson (.283) had a single, 2 walks, and an RBI for Reno in their 8-4 loss to the Sounds. Over in Memphis, Randy Ruiz (.290) got 2 more hits, and scored 2 runs to help Las Vegas to an 8-1 win over the Redbirds. Out west in Sacramento, Adrian Cardenas walked and scored a run in the River Cats 8-1 win over Albuquerque. In Lynchburg, Mike Dubee earned his first win of the season, throwing a 1-2-3 10th inning against Wilmington.

In Washington Friday, J.A. Happ earned his 2nd win of the season for Philadelphia, throwing 2 innings, giving up just 1 hit and 1 walk, striking out 3 in the Phillies' 10-6 win over the Nationals. Carlos Ruiz (.293) had 3 hits, a walk, and 2 RBI and Ryan Howard launched his 7th home run, a 3-run job.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Taylor red hot

Michael Taylor drove in a run in the first inning with a single, and then slammed a 3-run home run in the third to lead Reading to a rain shortened 5-inning, 4-1 win over Harrisburg. Taylor is 5 for 11 with a double, 3 home runs, and 8 RBI in the last 4 games. You know what?...That's hittin', Baby!!

Joe Savery allowed just 1 run, on 2 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 4 to improve to 3-1, 3.89.

Bourn leads Astros to win

Michael Bourn had 4 hits, 2 stolen bases, and scored 2 runs as the Astros topped the Rockies 5-3 in Colorado Thursday. It was the second career 4-hit game for Bourn, and his first since 2007. After a slow start, Bourn now has his average up to .317. (Yes, I know that is a picture from last year, Mike has switched uniforms this year to #21)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday's calendar

This is what I have for today:

Rodrigo Lopez (1-2) and Drew Carpenter (1-0) will pitch for the IronPigs, first game at 11:30 AM

Cole Hamels (1-2) v Los Angeles 1:00

Joe Savery (2-1) v Harrisburg 6:30

Jason Knapp (2-3) @ Kannapolis 7:00

Drew Naylor (2-2) v Daytona 7:00

Andrew Baldwin (2-1) for Tacoma @ New Orleans 8:00

The Outman wineth

Josh Outman recorded his first major league win of his season, and second in his career, throwing 6 excellent innings against the Royals last night in Oakland. Josh required just 78 pitches, 50 strikes, to retire the Royals while the game was still close. He left with a 2-1 lead, and the Athletics went on to win, 7-2. I have seen Josh pitch on TV 3 times now, last night was the best. He has good stuff and shows more poise with each appearance, and generally continues to learn and improve. Last night, 1 run, 3 hits, 2 walks, with 4 Ks.

I am a big fan of the "OutMan", can you tell?

Not such a good report out of Philadelphia, as the Dodgers won, 9-2. Carlos Ruiz had a single, a double and 2 walks, but Ryan Howard was 0 for 4 with 3 Ks. J.A Happ relieved Jamie Moyer in the 5th inning, recording 2 outs to complete the frame, but allowed a walk and a hit, and both his inherited runners scored. Happ has shown he will take on any challenge head on, and I am still impressed by his season so far. He has made 11 appearances for Philadelphia, a total of 19.2 innings. 6 runs, 13 hits, 8 walks, 14 strike outs, 1-0, 2.75. Quietly excellent.

In Colorado, Michael Bourn (.297) had 2 singles , scoring a run a driving one in, as part of Houston's 24-hit victory, a wild 15-11 affair over the Rockies. I couldn't be happier for Bourn, a great kid, who was traded back to his home town team. The combination of being in a major league line up everyday, and having to do it in your home town can sometimes take awhile to find it's own comfort level, but Michael seems to have found it. For the record, Bourn is 11 for 14 on steal attempts.

There was another battle of HomeSiders in Nashville, Tennessee. Nashville had a 7-1 lead in the 8th inning when they called on R.J. Swidel. R.J. allowed a lead off single, before 2 ground balls gave him 2 outs and had him looking at a pinch-hitter for Reno, Chris Roberson. This round to Swindel, Robey retired on a ground out. Swindel has allowed 1 run in 13.1 innings of work for Nashville. That's 0.68 if your scoring at home!!

In Oklahoma City, Greg Golson was 1 for 3 and stole his 5th base for the RedHawks in their 5-1 win over Portland. Speaking of Portland, Kevin Howard was reassigned from Portland to AA-San Antonio by San Diego. On Tuesday in Sacramento, Adrian Cardenas had a single and a double in 3 at bats, scoring a run as well as knocking one in, in Sacramento's 3-0 win.

Rangers activate Hamilton, Golson back to minors

The Texas Rangers activated Josh Hamilton from the disabled list, and reassigned Greg Golson back to AAA Oklahoma City. Greg got only 1 AB while with the big club for 5 days.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Claws finish home stand with 3 in a row

After a thrilling game on Sunday, the BlueClaws topped Hickory again Monday night with a 4-3 walk off victory. Lakewood won despite getting just 6 hits, but made them all count. Jim Murphy hit a prodigious 2-run home run to center field in the 1st inning, Travis D'Arnaud belted his 4th dinger to tie it in the 6th and set the stage for the ninth inning heroics.

Lets back up a bit first. Jon Velasquez rebounded from a rough start earlier this week against Kannapolis by giving Lakewood 6 strong innings. He gave up 3 runs, just 2 earned on 5 hits and 2 walks, picking up 5 Ks, and receiving no decision. Santo Hernandez, who has been spectacular this home stand, threw 3 hitless innings in relief, striking out 6 to record the victory. Hernandez had 7 shut out frames in 2 appearances on the home stand.

Back to the ninth inning. After 2 outs, Zack Collier lined a single into right field. With Sebastian Valle batting, Collier took off for second, and when the throw went into the outfield, Zack scurried on over to third. It was the 9th steal for Collier, who has been torrid the last few weeks after a slow start. Then Valle, who has also been struggling, sent a line drive off the right field wall to win it.

Then, on Tuesday, the BlueClaws pulled themselves into a tie for 1st place, winning again 8-3. This time the catalyst was Anthony Gose. Gose had 2 hits, including a 3-run home run from which the team never looked back, scoring twice and stealing 2 more bases to take his league leading total to 21. Dare I say, the man is on pace to break Chris Roberson's team record of 59 steals, which he says is his goal. That is Gose in the picture with me from Sunday's charity auction.

Loose? I'll say!!

You could say the BlueClaws are a loose bunch, and here is your proof!! Leandro Castro was the object of this joke Tuesday night in Lakewood during the BlueClaw's 8-3 win over Hickory.

Threshers top Manatees twice!!

Monday in Brevard County, the Clearwater Threshers showed their resilience with a 4-3, 10-inning win after allowing the tying run in the 9th. Jared Simon continues to struggle, blowing the save but picking up the win when the Threshers scored twice in the 10th. Fidel Hernandez had a double and a 10th inning home run, Tim Kennelly had a walk and 3 doubles, the third one driving in what proved to be the winning run, and Dominic Brown had a hit, a walk, and drove in his 26th run of the season.

Kyle Drabek was solid for 5 innings, yielding just 1 run on 5 hits and 3 walks, striking out 5, lowering his ERA to 2.21. I believe Kyle will be heading to Reading soon. Zack Sterner and Chris Kissock each pitched scoreless relief and Walter Tejeda closed it out, picking up his 1st save.

On Tuesday, Clearwater won, 7-3 behind Carlos Monasterios (2-3, 3.24). Carlos went 5, allowed 3 runs, 2 earned, on 6 hits and 4 walks, picking up 6 Ks. Sterner recorded 2 outs and Dan Brauer turned in a great outing, going the final 3.1 frames, giving up NO hit, 1 walk, striking out 7. That has to be Brauer's best game this year. Kennelly had 2 more doubles, scored twice and drove in another to up his average to .300, and Joel Naughton had a single, a double, scored a run and knocked in 2. Mike Durant continues to show signs of coming out of his slump, with a triple, 2 walks, 2 runs scored and an RBI.

The Threshers are off on Wednesday and return home to face Daytona Thursday.

Erie sweeps Reading

The Reading Phillies went into Erie Monday on a roll and have been stomped down by the Sea Wolves. On Monday, Mike Stutes absorbed his first defeat of the year, falling to the Wolves, 3-2. Mike went 6 innings, allowing all 3 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks, but could not get the offensive support. Mike Taylor had 3 walks and a home run, and Neil Sellers had 3 hits for Reading. Quintin Berry drove in Sellers in the 9th, to cut the lead to 1, but Reading fell short. Gus Milner, Tuffy Gosewisch and Mike Spidale also had hits.

On Tuesday, Reading managed just 5 hits, wasting a prime effort from Antonio Bastardo, who threw 6 innings of 1-hit ball, walking 2 and striking out 10. Both Reading runs scored on Taylor's second home run in 2 nights (#5 on the season) as Erie won again, 5-2. Brad Harman had 2 hits for the R-Phils and scored on Taylor's blast. Mike Zagurski suffered the loss, allowing the first 2 runs of his comeback so far.

On Wednesday, Erie completed the sweep, beating Tyson Brummett by a final score of 8-5. Tyson made it through just 4 innings, giving up 7 runs, 6 earned, on 8 hits and a walk, striking out 5 to fall to 1-4, 3.89 on the year. Berry was 3 for 5, scoring a run and driving one in, and has his average up to .260, while Harman (.244, single, double) and Taylor (.306, single, double) each had a run scored and an RBI.

Reading returns to Baseballtown to take on Harrisburg Thursday night.

Maloney sharp

Monday night in Louisville, Matt Maloney showed his good form again, throwing 7 shut out innings against Scranton, in Louisville's 3-0 win over the Yankees. Maloney allowed just 4 hits and 1 walk, striking out 10, to improve to 3-1, 2.89 on the year.

Gavin Floyd was not so sharp. The Cleveland Indians roughed up Gavin Monday afternoon, getting to the big righthander for 8 runs on 11 hits and 3 walks en route to a 9-4 win over the White Sox. Floyd is now 2-3, with a 7.32 ERA. Ouch!!

Kendrick, Carrasco fall

Kyle Kendrick got the assignment Monday afternoon in the series finale in Toledo and the Mud Hens took it to him. Kyle lasted just 5 innings, giving up 7 runs, 6 earned, on 9 hits and a walk, striking out 4, to fall to 2-2, 3.75 on the year. Kyle gave up 2 home runs, including a 3-run shot to Jeff Frazier, from Point Pleasant. Lou Marson had a single in 4 at bats, 1 of 7 hits for the IronPigs, who lost 9-2.

On Tuesday, the team started a series in Columbus, and Carlos Carrasco fared no better. Carlos, who is in a real funk right now, only made it through 4 innings, and was bombed for 7 runs, all earned on 11 hits and 2 walks, to fall to 0-4, and his ERA ballooned to 6.62. Somebody really needs to help Carrasco make his adjustments to this level or his confidence will go right down the chute! Marson had a walk, a double, scored a run and drove one in, and Jason Donald also had a hit and an RBI. Jeremy Slayden did not play either game.

Wednesday's game in Columbus was rained out.

Monday, May 11, 2009

making Mom proud

It was a good Mother's Day for our boys, beginning in Lakewood where the BlueClaws evened their series with the Hickory Crawdads with an exciting 5-4 win. Donning the pink jerseys that were auctioned off for charity to help fight breast cancer, Lakewood got 4 hits from Anthony Gose, including a triple, his league leading 18th steal and , o yeah, the game saving catch for the final out with the tying run on third, and strong pitching for the victory. Jesus Sanchez made the start and turned in 5 good inning, allowing just 2 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks, striking out 8. I am very impressed with Jesus so far, while his pitching is still a work in progress (in case you didn't know, this is his first full year as a pitcher, converting from a catcher last season) he seems to show more confidence and poise in each game he goes to the mound. Ryan Airial made his second appearance since retuning from the DL, logging an inning, Ryan Bergh picked up his second win with 2 good inning, despite giving up the tying run, and BJ Rosenberg bounced back from Saturday's loss to record save #4. I also have to mention Troy Hanzawa, who had 2 hits and 3 RBI, including a double off the center field wall in front of the "Rat Trap" bar to provide the margin of victory. Lakewood is young, but they are turning into a very exciting team to watch! They are now 16-13 and just 2 game behind Delmarva for first place.

The Clearwater Threshers got a grand slam home run from Cody Overbeck in the first inning and rode that wave to an 8-6 win over Brevard County. Dominic Brown stays hot, with a hit and a walk, Javis Diaz belted 3 hits, including a double and home run, and Fidel Hernandez rapped out 2 more hits and is now hitting .283. Yohan Flande struggled for the first time this year, 6 runs in 6 innings, but picked up his 4th win, thanks to the offensive support. At 16-14, the Threshers are in second place, 6 games behind Brevard County.

They also broke out the pink jerseys in Reading, where Vance Worley improved to 3-0, 2.13 for the year in Reading's 2-1 win over Altoona. Vance went 8 solid innings, giving up just 1 run on 3 hits and 1 walk, striking out 6. Quintin Berry hit his first home run of the year and Orlando Guevara drove in the game winning run in his first start for Reading this year. Orlando has played 1 game for the IronPigs and 1 game for the R-Phils so far. Note to the Phillies: can we just play this guy a little more , please!! Orlando has been in our system for years, and cannot seem to get regular playing time, even if that turns out to be 1 or 2 games a week. The R-Phils are now 17-10, 5 games back of Akron, and just .5 behind Erie for a playoff position.

OK, I have to get down off my soapbox to go to work now, I will try to check to boys outside the immediate system later today.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Brown paces shark attack

Dominic Brown's red hot streak continued on Saturday, as he rapped out 4 more hits, including his 6th home run, and drove in 6 runs to lead the Threshers to an 11-6 win over Daytona. Brown is now 20 for his last 45 (.444) in the last 12 games to raise his average to .330. Fidel Hernandez also had 4 hits, and stole a base, scoring 3 runs. Matt Rizzotti and Joel Naughton also homered for Clearwater. Chance Chapman (3-1, 0.87) recorded the win, pitching 2 hitless innings in relief of Mike Cisco, who came off the DL to make his season debut with 4 innings of work, allowing 4 runs on 4 hits.

In Reading, the Altoona Curve defeated the R-Phils, 4-2. Brad Harman had 3 hits and both RBI for Reading, and Quintin Berry had had a single, a double, a walk, and scored a run to raise his climbing average to .241. Joe Savery pitched 5 innings, giving up just 2 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks, striking out 3 and receiving no decision. Matt German (0-1, 1.17) was the hard luck loser, giving up a home run to Hector Giminez in his only inning of work. Pat Overholt gave up a run in 2 innings of work, and Francisco Butto made his season debut, throwing a scoreless 9th.

The BlueClaws lost a 5-4, 10-inning game to Hickory despite an impressive game from 19-year old Brazilian Heitor Correa. Correa pitched for 6 innings, and gave up only 2 unearned runs on 3 hits, walking 1 and striking out 6. Justin De Fratus worked the next 3 innings, giving up 2 runs on 4 hits, and B.J. Rosenberg surrendered the game winning run in the 10th. The BlueClaws had only 6 hits, but 5 stolen bases, including 2 by Anthony Gose, taking his league leading total to 17. Harold Garcia (.299) had 2 hits for Lakewood and Travis D'Arnaud hit his 3rd home run, a long drive up over the left field berm to tie the game in the bottom of the 8th.

In Toledo, Jason Donald had 2 hits and 2 RBI in the IronPigs 11-7 loss to the Mud Hens. John Mayberry also drove in 2 runs, he now has 21 RBI on the year. In Reno, Chris Roberson had 2 more hits and drove in his 17th run of the year, raising his average to .287, as Reno lost to Fresno, 8-5. In Omaha, R.J. Swindel pitched 2 innings for Nashville, allowing the first earned run of his season( in 11.1 innings), in Omaha's 6-5 win against the Sounds.

In Las Vegas, Adrian Cardenas had 2 hits for Sacramento, driving in 2 runs, but the 51s defeated the River Cats, 8-7 in 10 innings.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Friday's Highlights

Not many highlights in Lakewood on Friday as Kannapolis got out of town with an 8-1 win over the BlueClaws. Jason Knapp had his first bad outing of the season, as the Intimidators roughed him up for 6 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks in just 3 innings. Jacob Diekman came in and saved the bullpen, throwing 5 innings and giving up just 1 run on 2 hits, NO walks, striking out 5 to keep Lakewood in the game, but the offense just could not get the big hit to get back in it. Jeremy Hamilton and newcomer Korby Mintken had 2 hits apiece for the BlueClaws, and Travis D'Arnaud knocked in his team leading 19th run.

Hickory is here to start a 4 game series Saturday, Heitor Correa (0-1) gets the start.

In Daytona, Mike Durant homered for the 2nd straight day, and Clearwater beat the Cubs, 7-2. Drew Naylor went 7 strong innings to get the win, allowing just 1 earned run on 5 hits, NO walks, striking out 6 along the way. Arlon Quiroz had 2 hits, a stolen base, scored 2 runs, and threw out a runner at third base, and Jesus Villegas, in his first game since his promotion this week, had a walk, stole a base and scored a run.

The Threshers have placed Julian Sampson (1-4) on the DL and activated Mike Cisco, who I believe will start tonight.

Mike Spidale (.380) hit a game-winning 2-run homer, 1 of his 2 hits on the night, giving Reading a 3-1 over Altoona. Tyson Brummett was solid for 6.2 innings, allowing just 1 run on 4 hits and 3 walks, striking out 8. Mike Zagurski's rehab assignment had him in the right place at the right time, as he recorded 4 outs and picked up the win when Spidale came through. Sergio Escalona tossed a scoreless 9th to pick up his 9th save.

OK, I need to vent.....Why is Mike Spidale still in Reading?...Surely we can use this man in Lehigh Valley....Lets play Slayden, Spidale and Mayberry everyday in Allentown and watch all 3 flourish!!

Speaking of Lehigh Valley, the IronPigs scored 2 in the 9th to snatch a win from Toledo Friday. Lou Marson had a walk, a double to start the winning rally, and scored twice for the Pigs, and Drew Carpenter went 6 innings, allowing 4 runs on 3 hits and 4 walks.

In Reno, Chris Roberson (.280) had 2 hits, a walk, and drove in 2 runs as the Aces lost, 9-5 to Fresno. In Portland, Kevin Howard (.247) had a hit, a walk and scored a run in the Beaver's 6-5 walkoff win against Salt Lake. In Las Vegas, the 51s outscored Sacramento, 14-10. Randy Ruiz (.289) was 1 for 4 wait a walk, scored a run and drove in 2 (that's 29 RBI for "Homie"), and Adrian Cardenas walked and scored a run for the River Cats.

In Philadelphia, Cole Hamels recorded his first win of the year, as the Phillies beat the Braves, 10-6. Cool Cole, making his first appearance since April 28, threw 6 innings and gave up just 2 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks, striking out 7, while throwing 95 pitches. Ryan Howard had a double and scored a run for the Phils. In Oakland last night, Josh Outman threw 101 pitches, but could make it through the 5th inning to qualify for the win in the Athletics 5-3 win over Toronto.

A special thanks to Jay Ballz from Foxsports for stopping by and saying hello before yesterday's game. You can check out Jay's blog by clicking on the link in my links section.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday's assignments

According to my calendar:

Jason Knapp (2-2) will take on Kannapolis in the finale of the series in Lakewood.

Drew Naylor (1-2) will be on the mound in Daytona for Clearwater.

Tyson Brummett (1-3) opens Reading's home stand against Altoona.

Drew Capenter (1-0) takes the hill in Toledo for the IronPigs.

Cole Hamels (0-2) looks for elusive win #1 in Philadelphia against Atlanta.

Josh Outman (0-0) will face Toronto tonight in Oakland.

Durant goes deep

The Daytona Cubs topped the Threshers, 5-2 Thursday with Clearwater only getting 5 hits. Mike Durant got the big hit, a 2-run blast, his 2nd HR of the year. Dominic Brown was 1 for 4, and is now hitting .316. Carlos Monasterios was the losing pitcher, only lasting 3.2 innings, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits to fall to 1-3, 3.18 on the year. Javis Davis had 2 hits, a walk, and his 7th stolen base for Clearwater.

Drew Naylor will try to right the ship tonight.

Matt Maloney suffered his first loss of the year on Wednesday in Louisville, losing a 5-2 decision to Rochester. Maloney gave up 5 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks, striking out 3, and is now 2-1, 3.56 for the year.

Reading was rained out in Connecticut on Thursday and will return home to open a home stand Friday night against Altoona, with Tyson Brummett (1-3) pitching.

Thursday night in Sacramento, Chris Roberson hit his 4th home run of the season, and 2nd this week, for Reno, as the Aces topped the River Cats, 4-1. The home run was 1 of 2 hits for Robey, who is now hitting .268 for the Arizona affiliate. Adrian Cardenas picked up a hit for Sacramento, and is just 2 for 22 since his promotion. In Harrisburg, Zack Segovia pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the Senator's 9-6 loss to Erie in the first game of last night's doubleheader. Zack was the only Harrisburg pitcher who was not scored on in that game.

Carlos Carrasco was roughed up by the Buffalo Bisons yesterday, allowing 6 runs on 8 hits and 1 walk in just 5.1 innings of work. Buffalo beat Lehigh Valley, 6-4. Jason Donald had 2 doubles, 2 RBI and scored a run, and Lou Marson and Jeremy Slayden picked up a hit each.

Ryan Howard belted a double and his 6th home run of the year, driving in 2 runs in the Phillies' 7-5 loss to New York. J.A. Happ came in for the failing Jamie Moyer in the 3rd inning, and threw 3.2 innings of scoreless ball, keeping the Phillies in the game. Happ gave up just 2 hits, NO walks, struck out 2, and lowered his ERA to 2.84. Cole Hamels (0-2) will seek his first win again tonight against the Braves.

Greg Golson relieved Marlon Byrd for the Texas Rangers last night, making his Texas debut. Greg struck out in his only at bat. Greg was hitting .286 in 20 games in AAA-Oklahoma City.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

roster moves

The Phillies have reassigned Jesus Villegas from Lakewood to Clearwater, replacing him with outfielder Korby Mintken, who was in the line up Thursday against Kannapolis. Villegas will replace Freddy Galvis on the Clearwater roster, who has been put on the DL with what I believe is a broken finger.

The 'Claws defeated the Intimidators, 2-0 Thursday night, behind great pitching from Tyler Cloyd. Cloyd improved to 2-2, 3.08 by throwing 8 shut out innings, allowing just 6 hits and NO walks, striking out 8. Ryan Bergh threw a scoreless 9th to record his 4th save. Jim Murphy (.347) and Harold Garcia (.307) drove in the runs for Lakewood, who won despite getting just 5 hits. At 15-11, the BlueClaws are again tied for first place with Delmarva.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

More from Tuesday

Michael Stutes pitched another fine game, but the Reading bullpen let it get away, and Connecticut beat Reading, 6-1. Stutes went 6 innings, allowing just 1 run on 4 hits and 3 walks, striking out 5 and lowering his ERA to 2.88. Reading had only 6 hits, half of which were singles by Quintin Berry (.241), Tuffy Gosewisch (.228) and Mike Spidale (.381).

Antonio Bastardo (1-1) will go Wednesday night.

Wednesday afternoon in Sacramento, Chris Roberson had 3 for 4, including a triple, his 3rd home run, 2 runs scored and a stolen base to lead Reno to a 5-3 win over the River Cats. Adrian Cardenas was 0 for 4 for Sacramento, and is 1 for 14 since the promotion from AA.

Lehigh Valley will play Buffalo in a doubleheader tonight, Kyle Kendrick in the opener, Carlos Carrasco in the nightcap, and Mattt Maloney will pitch for Louisville against Rochester.
Jesus Villegas
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Manatees top Threshers, twice!!

Brevard County has gotten the best of Clearwater this week, with a 7-4 win Tuesday night and a 5-4 come from behind victory this morning. Last night the Manatees defeated Yohan Flande, who had given up just 1 earned run in his first 4 starts. Last night Brevard County got to him for 6 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks, striking out 5. Flande is now 3-1, 2.10 on the year. Walter Tejeda pitched a scoreless inning in his Clearwater debut. Dominic Brown homered again, his 5th of the year, and Fredddy Galvis had 2 hits and 2 stolen bases.

This morning Kyle Drabek got the assignment and was solid for 6.1 innings. He gave up 3 runs, just 1 earned, on 6 hits and 1 walk, striking out 9, and received no decision. Chris Kissoock and Zack Sterner also gave up a run apiece, Sterner suffering the loss. This time Brown had a double, a triple and a walk and is 15 for 33 (.455) in his last 9 games.

In the other game this morning, Kannapolis enacted their revenge on Lakewood, crushing the BlueClaws, 9-3. Jon Velasquez had his first rough outing, allowing 9 runs on 11 hits, suffering his first loss after 5 victories. The BlueClaws managed just 5 hits, 2 by Jesus Villegas, who is now hitting .435.

day game

I am running out to get some work done before the day game this afternoon, but if you check back later, I will try to recap all of Tuesday's action.

Claws come from 5 down to first place

The Lakewood BlueClaws rallied from a 7-2 deficit, to score 4 in the 8th, 1 in the 9th to tie, and 1 in the 10th to take an 8-7 win from Kannapolis to grab a piece of first place. Harold Garcia (.310, 2 doubles, run scored, 2 RBI), Travis D'Arnaud (.228, 3 singles, run, RBI) and Zack Collier (.265, double, triples, 3 runs scored) all had 3 hits, and Moose Mattair knocked in D'Arnaud with the winning run as Lakewood pounded out 15 hits to win a thrilling game that took place mainly in the pouring rain. The BlueClaws are now 14-10, and tied with Greensboro for 1st place.

You cannot say enough about this team fighting back in this one. On a night when everybody just wanted to go home, they stood in there and battled back to get the victory in the first game of an 8 game home stand. Hopefully, the momentum from this win will carry throughout the week. The 2 teams have a short turn around to the 11:00 AM start Wednesday.