Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cardenas an All-Star

Adrian Cardenas will represent the Midland Rock Hounds in the Texas League All-Star Game in Frisco on Wednesday night. Adrian is batting .344, good for second best in the Texas League.

Delmarva tops Claws

The Delmarva Shorebirds banged out 18 hits, leading to a 13-9 win over Lakewood in the rubber game of their series last night in Lakewood. Justin De Fratus took the loss in his first start of the year, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits over the first 3 innings. De Fratus will limited to 50 pitches as the staff stretches him out slowly to go into the rotation. Rob Roth was also hit hard, allowing 6 runs in 2.1 innings, and Ryan Bergh absorbed some punishment, too, giving up 4 runs, 3 earned on 7 hits in 2.2 innings of work. Jared Simon, here on a rehab assignment, threw a 1-2-3 9th inning.

Offensively, Moose Mattair had 3 hits and 2 RBI, Harold Garcia, Jim Murphy, and Troy Hanzawa had 2 hits each, with Garcia, Zack Collier and Murph, who hit a long home run (his 7th) all driving in 2 runs. Lakewood trailed 12-2 in the 6th inning but did not roll over, battling back and making a game of it in the end with a 5-run 9th inning rally.

The Greensboro Grasshoppers come into town tonight and Lakewood will send Jason Knapp to the hill.

Savery wins 10th

Joe Savery, who threw 1 inning before having his start rained out Friday, threw 6.2 2-hit shut out innings in Trenton Monday leading Reading to a 12-2 mauling of the Thunder. Savery walked 4 and struck out 2 to become the first pitcher in the organization to win 10 games. At 10-1, with a 3.08 ERA, he has to be a candidate for the spot start that will come up with the Phillies next week. Pat Overholt threw 2 shut out innings, and Tyson Brummett, moved to the bullpen, gave up 2 runs in the 9th inning. Brummett was moved out of the rotation to make room for Yohan Flande, who has been promoted from Clearwater. Flande was 7-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 13 games for the Threshers. To make room for Flande on the roster, Sam Walls has been released.

Michael Taylor (.351) had 4 more hits for the R-Phils and Kevin Mahar also had 4 hits as Reading pounded out 17 hits en route to the win to improve to 43-32 on the year. The Phils head to home to face Altoona for 4 games, my guess would be Flande to make his debut tonight.

The Threshers outslugged Palm Beach 9-8 Monday. Tim Kennelly, Matt Rizzotti and Jesus Villegas all had 2 hits, Villegas drove in 4 runs and Mike Durant belted his 9th home run of the year. Tyler Cloyd made his debut for Clearwater, throwing 5.2 innings and giving up 6 runs, 4 earned on 9 hits. Chris Kissock recorded his first win of the year, giving up just 1 run in 2 innings of work.

Williamsport split a doubleheader with Batavia, losing 4-1 in the opener and taking the nightcap, 4-3. T.J. Warren (.424) had 2 hits and 2 RBI, and Leandro Castro (.393) added a double and a triple and scored twice in that second game.

Floyd shines for Sox; Escalona back with Phils

The White Sox defeated the Indians Monday behind shut out pitching from Gavin Floyd. Gavin (6-5, 4.12) threw 7.2 innings of 5-hit ball, walking 2 and striking out 5 as Chicago won, 6-3.

With Antonio Bastardo going on the DL with a shoulder problem, Sergio Escalona has been recalled again. Speculation is wild about who with make Bastardo's scheduled start on Thursday, but with the off day on Monday, J.A. Happ, fresh off his complete game shut out of the Blue Jays on Saturday, will be on schedule to go. The off day has given the entire rotation an extra day off, so they can all pitch on their regular rest, but when Bastartdo's next turn comes up next week, it could be any one of a number of guys. My guess is Carlos Carrasco. He has won 4 of his last 5 starts, is pitching as well as anybody under consideration, and is probably ready to make his debut.

Monday, June 29, 2009

injury update

Most of the news here is not good. We start with Josh Outman, who the Athletics have moved from the 15-day to the 60-day DL with a sprained left (pitching) elbow. It is unknown if he will pitch again this year.

Alfredo Simon, who won a job in the Orioles rotation during spring training, had season ending on a ligament in his pitching elbow in late May, and is hoping to be ready for spring training.

Taylor Buchholz, who signed a big deal for this year before the season, had Tommy John surgery on June 17 and will miss the rest of this year.

Antonio Bastardo has a strained left (pitching) shoulder and will miss at least his next start Wednesday. His return is uncertain at this time.

I spoke with Andy Barb on Sunday, he has a problem in his pitching shoulder and will probably undergo season ending surgery sometime in the next few months.

Robinson Tejeda has come off the DL for the Royals and is back in their bullpen after a month on the shelf. Robinson pitched 8 days ago, allowing 2 hits and a walk, recording just 1 out.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Lakewood pitches their way to sweep

The Lakewood BlueClaws rode their superior pitching to a doubleheader sweep over Delmarva Saturday night winning a 1-0 walk-off in the opener and a tense 3-2 game in the nightcap.

In game 1, which was stared by Jesus Sanchez (3 scoreless innings)Friday, Freddy Ballestas made his debut for Lakewood with 5 splendid scoreless innings, allowing just 2 hits, NO walks and striking out 8. The 22-year old Venezuelan was in complete control all evening. B.J. Rosenberg threw a scoreless 9th and picked up the win when the Claws broke through in the bottom half. Harold Garcia started the Lakewood 9th with a single and Anthony Gose (who earlier stole his 45th base) got the 2-strike bunt down the move him to 2nd base. Travis D'Arnaud smacked his second hit of the game, a double down the right field line to win it for the 'Claws. It was the team-leading 40th RBI for Travis.

In the nightcap, Heitor Correa went the distance for his 5th victory of the year, allowing just 2 runs on 6 hits, NO walks, striking out 5, lowering his ERA to 2.78. Anthony Gose led the attack with 2 singles and a double, and scored a run. Lakewood scored 2 runs on wild pitches and that was the difference in the ballgame.

The promotion of Tyler Cloyd to Clearwater has moved Justin De Fratus into the rotation. He will make his first start Monday night.

Trevor May will pitch this afternoon for Lakewood as we go for 3 in a row.

Reading-Trenton split

In Trenton, Reading lost the first game of a doubleheader, which was started by Joe Savery Friday, by the score of 8-2. Alex Concepcion threw 3 scoreless innings before Sam Walls and Angel Castro gave up 7 runs in 2 innings to let the game get away. Chance Chapman threw a 1-2-3 8th inning for Reading, who managed just 3 hits.

The R-Phils bounced back in game 2, behind Vance Worley, to beat the Thunder 7-2. Worley went 6 strong, giving up 2 runs on 6 hits and 1 walk, to improve to 5-4, 3.63 for the year. Michael Taylor (.337) had a single, a double, a walk, scored twice and stole a base (#13), Neil Sellers (.295) had 2 doubles and 3 RBI and Jeremy Slayden (.395) belted his 3rd home run.

In Jupiter, the Threshers scored 5 in the 11th to break open an 8-3 win over the Hammerheads. Steve Susdorf had 4 more hits (14 for 28), and Javis Diaz (.296, single double 3 RBI), Fidel Hernandez (.274, 2 RBI) and Matt Rizzotti (.251, 2 singles, walk, 2 runs scored) all added 2 hits for Clearwtaer. Julian Sampson started and pitched well, going 6.2, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk. Walter Tejeda pitched for 2.1, allowing 3 hits and no runs, but he did let the inherited tying run score, then Dan Brauer threw a scoreless 10th and received the win when the offense exploded.

In Williamsport, T.J. Warren (.400) had 2 hits, a walk, scored 2 runs and stole a base, and Jiwan James (.303) added 2 hits and an RBI as the Crosscutters defeated Mahoning Valley, 6-1. Nicholas Hernandez started and went 4 innings, allowing just 1 run on 6 hits, Luke Werth tossed 3 shut out frames to get credit for the win, and Austin Hyatt went the final 2, allowing no hits.

Carpenter wins again

Drew Carpenter threw 8 shut out innings as the IronPigs continued their winning ways with a 5-0 victory over Indianapolis. Drew allowed just 5 hits and 1 walk, striking out 7 to improve to 7-1, 2.75 on the year. If Antonio Bastardo cannot make his next start, Carpenter is certainly a candidate. Mike Spidale (.353) had 3 hits, scored a run, drove in a run and stole a base for Lehigh Valley and Lou Marson had 2 hits and 2 RBI as Lehigh Valley improved to 13-3 in the last 16 games, and at 37-38 is only 6 games out of first place.

In Nashville, the Sounds beat Oklahoma City 11-5, Greg Golson (.279) had a single and a double for the RedHawks. In Las Vegas, Kevin Howard (.287) had 2 more hits and drove in a run, and Randy Ruiz (.323) was 1 for 4 and drove in his 65th run of the year, but the 51s lost to Sacramento, 11-5. In Reno, the Aces scored 6 runs off Andy Baldwin in the first 2 innings en route to a 6-5 win over Tacoma. Baldwin ended up throwing 7.2 innings altogether, allowing 6 runs, 5 earned on 9 hits and 1 walk, to fall to 5-5, 4.90 on the year. Chris Roberson (.296) had 1 for 4 for Reno.

In Midland, Adrian Cardenas (.344) had 2 more hits and scored a run as the Rock Hounds beat San Antonio 6-4. In San Jose, Scott Mitchinson pitched 4 innings for Stockton, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks, striking out 6, and was charged with the loss in the Giant's 7-1 win over the Ports. Mitchinson, who missed all of May with an injury, has now pitched 3 times since being reactivated by the Oakland affiliate, going 2, 3 and 4 innings respectively as they continue to stretch him out again.

Happ tosses gem!!

J.A. Happ pitched a complete game , 5-hit shut out, the first of his professional career as the Phillies trounced the Blue Jays, 10-0. It was the first win for the Phils in 5 games this year against Toronto. Happ struck out 4, walked NONE, and basically threw strikes in a game where he had a 4-0 lead before he ever took the mound. Jay is now 5-0, with a very good 3.00 ERA so far this year. Ryan Howard had 3 hits and a walk, scored twice and drove in his 58th run of the year and Carlos Ruiz had a single, and a double and drove in 2, as Philadelphia won for just the 3rd time in the last 14 games.

In Houston, Michael Bourn (.300) was 3 for 4 with a walk, scored a run, stole his league-leading 25th base, and drove in a run as the Astros put an 8-1 beating on the Tigers.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

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Cloyd promoted

Tyler Cloyd has been promoted to Clearwater. He packed his things last night in Lakewood and said his goodbyes. We wish him all the luck in the world for the Threshers!!

Velasquez strong in Threshers debut

Jon Velasquez threw 6 shut out innings in his Clearwater debut Friday night, allowing just 4 hits and 2 walks in Clearwater's 5-3 win over Jupiter. Brett Harker (1.95 ERA) started for the Hammerheads and was impressive also, going 6 and allowing just 2 runs on 5 hits, NO walks. Neither figured in the decision as Jupiter scored 3 off Mike Schwimer in the 9th to send the game to extra innings and the Threshers won it in the 10th. Carlos Monasterios threw another good 1.2 innings, lowering his ERA to 2.81 and Darren Byrd recorded his first save with a scoreless 10th.

Arlon Quiroz (.231) had 3 hits, including a double, drove in a run and stole his 14th base of the season.

Lakewood's game was suspended in the 3rd inning and will resume tonight at 6:00 before the regular game, and Reading's game in Trenton suffered the same fate.

O, I forgot to mention 2006 BlueClaw Andy Barb showed up in town with Delmarva this week. Andy missed all of 2008 with injury problems and will be attempting a comeback in the Orioles system. Barb was traded to Seattle in mid-season in 2006 as part of the Jamie Moyer deal.

the old Carlos is back

After not winning a game in April and May, Carlos Carrasco won 4 of his 5 starts in June, including a great effort Friday night. Carlos went 6.1 innings in Allentown against Indianapolis, allowing just 1 run on 7 hits and 3 walks, striking out 7 in the IronPigs' 6-1 victory. Carrasco is now 4-7 and looking like his old self for the first time in 2009. Sergio Escalona came in for him in the 7 and recorded 5 outs, giving up 2 hits and 1 walk, before Cedric Bowers cleaned up in the 9th. Mike Spidale had a single, a walk, a stolen base, and scored 2 runs to help Lehigh Valley to the win.

In Portland, the Beavers swept a doubleheader from the Reno Aces. Chris Roberson was 4 for 6 on the day and is now hitting .296 for Reno. In Oklahoma City, Elizardo Ramirez (4-6, 4.81) pitched 6 strong innings for the RedHawks, allowing just 1 run on 4 hits and 1 walk, striking out 8 as Oklahoma City defeated Round Rock, 2-1. Greg Golson (.277) was 1 for 4 and stole his 8th base for the RedHawks. In Tacoma, Kevin Howard (.282) was 2 for 5 and drove in 2 runs for Las Vegas, but Tacoma scored 3 in the bottom of the 9th to take an 8-7 win. In Midland, Adrian Cardenas (.341) had a single and a double, scored a run and drove in his 46th of the year, but it was not enough for the Rock Hounds, as they lost to San Antonio 10-7.

Cole losses cool

As the frustration of the Phillies current slide continued last night in Toronto, the usually cool Cole Hamels was removed from the game with 2 outs in the 5th inning by Charlie Manuel. On his way to the dugout, Hamels had words for home plate umpire Mark Carlson and became the first Phillies player to be tossed from a game this year.

Cole was charged with 4 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks, and saw his record fall to 4-4, 4.44 for the year. The Phillies, who eventually lost 6-1, did not get their first hit until Chase Utley led off the 7th with a single. Philadelphia has now lost 11 of the last 13, and will send J.A. Happ (4-0) to the mound this afternoon to face the Jays and right the ship.

In Pittsburgh, Jason Jaramillo his his 3rd home run of the year and helped the Pirates to a 5-3 win over the Royals. In Houston, Michael Bourn had 2 hits and 2 walks, as the Astros came from an early 4-0 deficit to defeat the Tigers, 5-4.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Flande to join Drabek

Yohan Flande will also pitch in the "Future Stars" game the Sunday before the major league game in St. Louis. Flande will pitch for the "world" team and Drabek for team USA.

Jon Velasquez is making his debut for Clearwater tonight, against Brett Harker and the Jupiter Hammerheads.

Luckless Knapp sharp again

Jason Knapp continues to pitch well without any luck. The big right-hander lost again last night, 4-2 to Delmarva and continues to be a victim of non-support. Although he is 2-6, he has a very good ERA of 3.62 and the team just seems to come up a little short every time he takes the mound. On Thursday, he allowed 3 runs, just 2 earned, on just 3 hits and 4 walks, striking out 8 over 5 innings of work as the BlueClaws opened their second half. Rob Roth allowed a run over 2 innings, and looks as if he is coming around, not walking anyone this time, and Ryan Bergh threw 2 scoreless frames, keeping Lakewood in the game.

Another encouraging note for me was Zack Collier. Zack hit the ball hard in his first 3 at bats, coming up with 2 hits, and was robbed the 3rd AB when he hit a ball that was heading up the middle that Delmarva pitcher Travis Keating snagged. Speaking of hitting the ball hard, Travis D'Arnaud had a single in 4 at bats, and hit 2 more rockets that were caught. If half of the balls that Travis has hit hard had found some holes, he would be hitting 50 points higher, but he certainly has had good at bats.

Susdorf, Slayden still hot-Drabek to pitch in St. Louis

Steve Susdorf had 3 more hits, including 2 doubles, and a walk Thursday night and the Threshers took a 7-6, 12-inning win in Jupiter to open their second half. Steve is now 9 for 18 since his promotion from Lakewood. Matt Rizzotti had 2 hits, including his 7th home run and drove in 3 runs, and Fidel Hernandez (.273) and Javis Diaz (.294) also chipped in with 2 hits each. Drew Naylor started and went 6.1 innings, allowing 6 runs (only 4 earned) on 9 hits and 2 walks, Chris Kissock recorded 8 outs without allowing a hit, Walter Tejeda tossed 2 scoreless frames and picked up the win, and Santo Hernandez got through the 12th despite walking 2 to record his 2nd save with Clearwater.

Meanwhile, over in Reading, Jeremy Slayden continues to make his case, picking up 3 more hits to increase his average to .467 for the R-Phils, in support of Kyle Drabek in Reading's 9-3 win over New Hampshire. "Slay" is 14 for 30 since being reassigned to Reading and, in my opinion, should be getting these at bats in Lehigh Valley. Jeremy has played at each level in the Phillies chain, improving with each step, and has earned a spot in the IronPigs everyday line-up.

As for Drabek, this kid is unstoppable!! Thursday night he went 7.1 innings, allowing just 3 runs on 6 hits and a walk, striking out 9, to improve to 4-0 for Reading (8-1, 2.46 overall). Congratulations to Kyle, who has been selected to pitch for the USA team in the "Future Stars Game " at the major league All-Star festivities in St Louis next month!!!

One more item of note, Jon Pettibone threw 6 shut out innings for Williamsport Thursday night against Mahoning Valley in the Scrappers 6-1 win. Pettibone has now thrown 11 consecutive scoreless frames in his 2 starts, giving up just 6 hits, striking out 12. Shortstop Jeremy Barnes had 3 more hits and is off to a .393 start for the Crosscutters.

Maloney, Kendrick, & Homie

Matt Maloney was back in AAA this week, and threw 8 innings against Charlotte Tuesday night. Matt gave up 3 runs on 7 hits, NO walks, unfortunately taking the loss in a 3-2 Knights win over the Bats. Matt made 3 starts for the Reds during his first major league stint this month.

In Allentown Thursday night, Kyle Kendrick continues to show progress. Kyle threw 6 good innings for the IronPigs giving up 4 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks, and receiving no decision in Lehigh Valley's 5-4 victory over Indianapolis. Kyle is 4-4 with a 3.97 ERA in 15 starts this year. Lou Marson (.256) had a single, a double and a walk, driving in a run for Lehigh.

In Tacoma, Kevin Howard (.278) had a single and 2 doubles, driving in 2 runs, and Randy Ruiz (.330) added 2 hits, both doubles, a walk and scored 3 times as Las Vegas pounded Tacoma, 11-4. "Homie" is 16 for 30 (.533) over the last 7 games with 5 doubles, a triple, 4 homers and 9 RBI. Not a bad week, eh?!!!

Bastardo hit hard

Major league hitters appear to have figured out Antonio Bastardo, and the hard throwing lefty was hit hard by the Rays last night in Tampa. The time has come for Antonio to make some adjustments. Last night he lasted just 3.2 innings, giving up 6 earned runs on 7 hits (including 2 homers) and 3 walks to fall to Tampa, 10-4. Bastardo is now 2-3, 6.75 after winning his first 2 starts. Hitters are sitting on his fastball, and he has to start using his other pitches more.

Ryan Howard had a 2-RBI double for the Phillies and now has 57 RBI.

Cole Hamels (4-3) will open the series in Toronto tonight.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

That's me with our transport (Air Palamara) at Charleston airport.

Anthony Gose, Justin DeFratus (waving) and Harold Garcia signing autographs at fan fest Monday night in Charleston.

Taylor red hot

Michael Taylor had his 3rd straight 3-hit game last night for Reading, but the R-Phils dropped a 4-3 decision to New Hampshire. Mike is hitting .340, with 13 home runs and 50 RBI so far this year. Tyson Brummett (3-7) took the loss last night, allowing 4 runs on 8 hits and 4 walks over 5 innings of work.

In Tampa, Steve Susdorf had 2 more hits and drove in a run, as the Threshers topped the Yankees 7-6. Steve is 6 for 13 (.462) since his promotion from Lakewood. Yohan Flande continues his remarkable season, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits over 5 innings to improve to 7-1. 2.52 on the year. Darren Byrd's struggles continue, as he gave up 2 runs in less than an inning, before being bailed out by Carlos Monasterios. "Monte" continues to like working out of the pen, throwing 2.1 more hitless innings yesterday. Mike Schwimer encountered some trouble in the 9th, but Santo Hernandez came in and put out the fire, recording his 1st save with the Threshers. Lights out, baby!!

In Oklahoma City, Greg Golson (.281) had 2 hits, stole a base (#7), and drove in a run in the RedHawks 3-2 over Round Rock. In Tacoma, the Las Vegas 51s took a 4-1 win from the Rainiers. Randy Ruiz (.328) had a double and a triple and rove in his 64th run of the year to lead all HomeSiders. Kevin Howard (.268) was 1 for 3 and also drove in a run for Vegas. In Frisco, Adrian Cardenas (.347) had 3 hits and drove in 2 runs (that's 45 on the season) as part of a 16-hit attack which lead the Rock Hounds to a 14-3 win over the Rough Riders.

Floyd stops Dodgers

Gavin Floyd gave the White Sox 6 strong innings and was the beneficiary of 6 Sox homers,as Chicago beat the Dodgers 10-7 Wednesday night. Floyd allowed 3 runs, but only 1 earned, throwing 108 pitches, and working his way out of a couple of big jams. Gavin is now 5-5, 4.45 on the year for Chicago.

In Pittsburgh, Jason Jaramillo had a single and a 2-run homer (his 2nd in majors) to help lead the Pirates to a 10-6 win over Cleveland. JJ is now hitting .282 in an impressive rookie campaign. In Houston, Michael Bourn threw out a runner at home, but the Astros fell to KC, 4-3 in 10 innings.

The Athletics have placed Josh Outman on the 15-day DL with an elbow sprain. Josh is 4-1 with a 3.48 ERA for Oakland in 14 appearances (12 starts). Exactly how long he will be out is still undetermined, and doctors will review the MRI results today. The Reds have sent Matt Maloney back to AAA-Louisville.

Antonio Bastardo (2-2) will start tonight for the Phillies in Tampa.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Back in Jersey

Bob Palamara and I at the game in Charleston (photo)

So for 48 glorious hours, I was in West Virginia and saw NOT ONE drop of rain. I am home again, and sure enough, it is raining! Anyway, the North beat the South 8-7 in the SAL All-Star game last night, and our boys made a good showing. Anthony Gose played the entire game, had a single, a hustle double, stole 2 bases, and scored 2 runs! Travis D'Anaud, one of 3 catchers for the North squad, played the middle 3 innings, picking up a 2-RBI single in his only at bat! Tyler Cloyd pitched a scoreless 2nd inning for us, and Harold Garcia was 0 for 2, but hit 2 balls hard and could have easily had a hit on either one (or both). Justin De Fratus pitched the 9th inning, and blew the save when he allowed a game tying home run to Lexington's Elbert Rosario. But when the North rallied for the winning run in the bottom of the 9th, De Fratus was the winning pitcher!

West Virginia slugger Calvin Anderson won the home run derby and Lake County's Karexon Sanchez was voted "Star of the Stars".

Afterwards, we attended a fine after party and rubbed elbows with all of the players from all the teams. There was free food and the liquor flowed!! I cannot remember the last time I stayed out so late partying!!

Some notable SAL promotions are Chase D'Arnuad, Travis' brother has been promatoed to high A Lynchburg, where he will play for former BlueClaw manager P.J. Forbes! Also going to the Carolina league is Delmarva starter Rick Zagone, who was promoted to Frederick.

O well, it is back to regular life first thing tomorrow morning. I will try to catch up with results from around our teams and roster moves to be made.

Lakewood opens their second half with a 9-game home stand beginning tomorrow night against Delmarva.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Live from Charleston

Good Morning from beautiful downtown Charleston, West Virginia. First of all let me say I am only here due to the generosity of HomeSiders Bob & Kathy Palamara, who invited me to join them on this extravaganza! Monday was good day, we attended the Fan Fest at the ballpark followed by the "Downtown Hoedown" which was held for all the All Stars and their guests. Players, fans, management and guests of all 16 SAL teams were in attendance. Heartfelt thanks to Anthony Gose, who had us taken care of on that score.

There will be a home run hitting contest before the actual game tonight at Appalachian Power Park, which is right in the middle of downtown Charleston. I will have all the results for you right here tomorrow!

Ellison slam leads Pigs to win

The IronPigs won their 8th game in the last 9 tries on Monday night, defeating Norfolk 11-1 in a rain shortened affair. Jason Ellison hit the big blow, a grand slam home run in the 7-run 4th inning which gave Lehigh a 9-2 lead. Mike Spidale had a walk and 2 more hits (Mike is 14 for 41, .341 in 10 games since arriving from Reading) and Lou Marson had another hit and another RBI.

Kyle Kendrick started for the Pigs, but an hour and a half rain delay in the bottom of the 1st inning ended his evening after just 2 hitters. Francisco Butto came in when the game resumed and benefited from all the offense, recording win #1 with 2.2 innings of work, allowing 3 hits and 1 walk.

In Clearwater, the Threshers resumed play after their All-Star break, losing to Tampa 4-3. All-Stars Tim Kennelly and Fidel Hernandez had 2 hit each, Steve Susdorf had a hit and an RBI in his Clearwater debut and Santo Hernandez was "lights out" again, pitching 2 hitless innings, and striking out 3.

Julian Sampson was the starter for the Threshers and went the first 3 innings, allowing just 1 run on 4 hits and 1 walk. He was charged with the loss and is now 1-8 with a 7.74 ERA for the year. OUCH! Manny Ayala was roughed up for 3 runs on 4 hits in just 1.2 innings, before Chris Kissock and Hernandez restored order.

In Batavia, New York, the Crosscutters dropped a 6-5 decision to the Muckdogs. T.J. Warren (.571), OF Jiwan James (.286) and SS Jeremy Barnes (.389) had 2 hits each for the Cutters and OF Michael Dabbs (.471) had a triple and 3 RBI.

Monday, June 22, 2009

West Virginia bound

Have a great day, HomeSiders, I am out the door on my way to Charleston for the "All-Star Jubilee" and will check in from there!

Senators top R-Phils

The Harrisburg Senators beat Reading 8-7 on Sunday, despite another good game from Mike Taylor. Mike had 3 more hits, including another home run (#12), and Jeremy Slayden pounded out 4 more hits, including a home run, and scored 3 times for Reading. "Slay" is 11 for 24 (.458) with 10 RBI in 9 games since joining Reading. Hindsight is 20/20, but maybe he should be playing at Lehigh Valley? Ya think?

Reading is now 39-29 on the season, tied for 2nd place, 7 games behind Akron.

Tides stop Pigs winning streak

The Norfolk Tides defeated the IronPigs, 4-2 on Sunday, ending Lehigh Valley's season long 7 game winning streak. The Pigs are now 32-37 on the year, and will send Kyle Kendrick (4-4) against the Tides tonight in the finale of the road trip.

Drew Carpenter sustained his 1st loss of they year, allowing 3 runs on 9 hits and a walk over 6 innings of work. Drew is now 6-1, 3.02 on the season. Lou Marson had 2 hits and drove in a run for Lehigh, and Mike Spidale had the other RBI.

In Vegas, red hot Randy Ruiz had 3 more hit to raise his average to .326, driving in his 63rd run of the year, and Kevin Howard (.255) added 2 hits, including a home run, but the 51s fell to Portland, 10-9. Ruiz is 15 for 33 (that's .455) over his current 8-game hitting streak, with 4 doubles, 4 homers and 9 RBI.

In Tacoma, Chris Roberson (.287) had 2 doubles and scored a run, as the Reno Aces collected 18 hits, defeating Andy Baldwin and the Rainiers, 11-2. Baldwin lasted 5 innings, giving up 5 runs on 9 hits, NO walks, 5 Ks, to fall to 5-4 on the season.

Hamels loses despite superior effort

The Orioles completed their sweep of the Phillies on Sunday, winning 2-1 over Cole Hamels. Cole was great, going 8 innings and allowing just 2 runs, scattering 9 hits, NO walks, and striking out 10. Cole is now 4-3, 4.24 on the year.

In Minnesota, Michael Bourn had 2 more hits, scored 2 more runs and stole his 24th base as the Astros beat the Twins, 4-1. Bourn is now hitting .300 and I would not be surprised if he is named to the National League's All Star team as a reserve.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

and so it begins

The migration of the BlueClaws heading south to Clearwater has begun. Jon Velazquez has been promoted to the Threshers. Jon, who was signed out of a tryout camp this past March, has been excellent for Lakewood, going 9-2 over the first half and will join the Threshers immediately. Also promoted were Santo "lights out" Hernandez, who I have been raving about for weeks now, and Steve Susdorf, who is just too good for the South Atlantic League. With the release of Ryan Ariail, that leaves some open spot on Lakewood's roster, which will have to be filled by the time we resume play Thursday.

My sense is that Tyler Cloyd will not return to Lakewood after attending the "All-Star Jubilee" in Charleston, West Virginia this week. Cloyd is among the 6 BlueClaws going to the festivities, joining Travis D'Arnaud, Anthony Gose, Harold Garcia, Justin De Fratus and B.J. Rosenberg.

I will be reporting from Charleston for the next couple of days.

Claws, Captains suspended

The BlueClaws and the Lake County Captains played 11 innings Saturday afternoon dodging the rain, but decided nothing. The score is tied at 2-2 and we will try to finish it today at noon before the regular game which will wrap up the first half schedule. Travis Mattair had 2 hits and a steal for the Claws, including his 2nd home run, and Anthony Gose (#44) and Harold Garcia (#21) also swiped bases.

Tyler Cloyd went 6 innings for Lakewood, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits and 5 walks, working out of trouble constantly. Ryan Bergh (2 IP) and B.J. Rosenberg (3 IP) threw scoreless relief once again for the bullpen.

more pitching

Saturday night in Norfolk, Carlos Carrasco continued his return to form for the IronPigs, with another good 7 innings. Carlos allowed just 1 run on 5 hits and 2 walks, 5 Ks, to record his 3rd win this month in the Pigs' 5-3 win over the Tides. Carlos has now won 3 of his last 4 starts. Mike Spidale was 3 for 4, and Lou Marson picked up a double and 2 RBI.

In Reading, after Brad Lidge threw a scoreless 1st inning, Joe Savery came on for the R-Phils and tossed 5 shut out frames to improve to 9-1, 3.24 on the year. Savery allowed just 4 hits and a walk, striking out 5 in Reading's 6-2 win. O yeah, he also got 2 hits!! Pat Overholt gave up the 2 runs in 1.2 innings of work, before Mike Zagurski came on the retire all 4 hitter he faced, 2 by strike out, to notch his 3rd save.

Quintin Berry (.281) had 3 hits to pace the attack, Tuffy Gosewisch had a walk, a single and a double, and Mike Taylor belted a grand slam home run, his 11th dinger of the year and increased his RBI total to 46.

In Fort Myers last night, the North division won the FSL All-Star game 6-4. Tim Kennelly (0 for 4), Fidel Hernandez (0 for 2), Yohan Flande (1 IP, no runs), and Carlos Monasterios (1 IP, no runs) all participated for the North squad.

In Williamsport, the Crosscutters lost their home opener, 4-3 to State College. After pounding out 19 hits Friday, the Cutters got 10 more last night. DH Michael Dabbs had 3 hits and an RBI, shortstop Jeremy Barnes had 2 hits, including a home run, scored twice and drove in 2 more, and second baseman Evan Porter had a single and a triple for Williamsport.

Jonathan Pettibone threw 5 scoreless innings in his debut. The 18- year old from Yorba Linda, California allowed just 2 hits and 1 walks, striking out 6 in an impressive performance.

Bourn leads Astros to win

The Astros beat the Twins 6-5 Saturday, with Michael Bourn getting a walk, a double and a 2-run home run, raising his average to .298. Michael is 10 for his last 24 (.416) over his last 7 games.

In Philadelphia, J.A. Happ did not have his best control, but pitched his way through 6 innings against the Orioles, allowing just 2 runs. He did give up 10 hits and 4 walks, but managed to get out of trouble time and time again. Then, in the bottom of the 7th, the Phillies scored 5 runs, the last 3 on a long pinch hit home run by Ryan Howard, his 20th. Howard, who did not start for the first time in over 2 years, was hospitalized briefly Friday night after the game with flu-like symptom's. Reports say Ryno had 104 degree fever. The Phils carried the 5-3 lead into the 9th, but Ryan Madson could not close it out and the Orioles scored a 6-5 win.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

First Half Champs!

First of all, I apologize for miscalculating yesterday, the BlueClaws had already clinched the first half title before ever taking the field yesterday. So, with the playoff spot in the bag for September, Lakewood returned to New Jersey to face the Captains last night.

Jon Velasquez (9-2) continued his impressive season for the BlueClaws, tossing 6 innings, and allowing just 1 run on 3 hits and 3 walks, working out a couple of serious jams, and leaving the game in a 1-1 tie. Santo "Lights out" Hernandez came in for 3 more scoreless frames. I know I must sound like a broken record, but this guy has really impressed me. Santo has given up just 3 earned runs in his last 10 appearances, covering 24.1 innings of work. Another good sign for Lakewood was Robert Roth, who posted a scoreless 10th inning and picked up the win when the Claws won it in the bottom half. Roth has been struggling with his control since returning from the DL, but looked more comfortable and threw good pitches Friday night. Welcome back, Rob!!

Offensively, Steve Susdorf (.348) had 2 hits, and a walk to start the winning rally, and Jim Murphy (.296) also had 2 more knocks. Alan Schoenberger picked up his first hit for Lakewood, a double to help build a run in the 5th inning, and played a solid game at shortstop. The winning rally began with a Susdorf walk. Anthony Gose came in to run for Steve and pitcher Annillins Martinez seemed to lose his focus. Worrying about Gose at first, Martinez walked Jim Murphy, pushing the winning run to second. After a perfect sac bunt by Jeremy Hamilton, the Captains intentionally walked Moose Mattair, and then the first pitch to Zack Collier hit the BlueClaws leftfielder and the game was over. That is what I call taking one for the team.

Lakewood is scheduled for a day/night doubleheader today, weather permitting. Tyler Cloyd (7-3) and Trevor May (0-0) are the slated starters.

Last night in State College, Pennsylvania, the Williamsport Crosscutters began their season with a 15-2 trouncing of the Spikes! The Cutters got 19 hits, and Leandro Castro, who started the season here with the 'Claws, was 5 for 6 with a home run, 2 runs scored and 2 RBI. T.J. Warren added a single, a double, and a triple, scored 3 times and drove home 4. Catcher Jean Rodriguez, from the Bronx, also had 3 hits and drove in 2 runs, and first baseman Francisco Murillo added 2 doubles and 3 RBI for Williamsport. 22-year old Siulman Lebron went 5.2 innings to record the victory, with Eric Massingham, Justin Long and Sean Grieve all pitching shut out relief.

The 2 teams will move over to Williamsport tonight for the Crosscutter's home opener.

pitching, baby!

We got some good pitching from HomeSiders on Thursday night. Starting in Sarasota, where Mike Cisco improved to 3-0, 2.43 on the year with 7 shut out innings against the Reds. Mike gave up just 3 hits and 2 walks, as the Threshers parlayed only 2 hits (both doubles by Derrick Mitchell) into a 2-0 win. Michael Schwimer (2.43) threw the final 2 frames to complete the shut out and record his 7th save.

The Threshers are off for the weekend, and the FSL All-Star game is tonight in Fort Myers.

Thursday night in Bowie, Tyson Brummett also had a strong outing for Reading. Brummett (3-6), like Cisco, threw 7 shut out innings but was not as fortunate. Bowie scored 2 runs off Alex Concepcion and took a 2-0 decision from the R-Phils. Reading managed just 3 singles, by Gus Milner, Tuffy Gosewisch and Ozzie Chavez.

Reading returned home Friday and defeated Harrisburg 4-0 behind Kyle Drabek. Drabek (3-0 for Reading, 7-1 overall) continues to shine, this time for 8 shut out innings, dropping his ERA to 2.08 for Reading in his 4 starts (2.36 in 87 IP overall). O, and he got a hit, too!!

Quintin "the catalyst" Berry had 2 hits, scored 2 runs and stole his 21st base (in 27 attempts). Brian Stavisky (.256, 3rd HR) and Neil Sellers (.313, single, double RBI) also had 2 hits for Reading, who improved to 38-28 on the year.

Former major leaguer Rodrigo Lopez threw 7 great innings for Lehigh Valley Thursday night in Durham as the IronPigs beat the Bulls 6-2. Lopez allowed just 1 run, scattering 8 hits to record his 3rd win of the season. Mike Spidale had a double, scored twice and drove home 2 more to help lead Lehigh to victory.

Friday night, the Pigs moved into Norfolk, and kept the winning streak going, beating the Tides, 8-6. Lou Marson came off the DL and smacked 2 hits, and picking up an RBI for Lehigh, and Sergio Escalona got the last 4 outs and notched his 2nd save. Andy Tracy was 3 for 3, including 2 home runs, scored 4 times and drove in 5!

Thursday night in Vegas, Randy Ruiz (.313) had 2 singles and a double, and drove in his 59th run for the 51s in a 4-3 win over Portland. On Friday in Tacoma, Chris Roberson (.283) had 2 hits, stole a base and scored a run in Reno's 10-2 triumph over the Rainiers.

4 starts, no wins

In the last 2 days, former BlueClaws have made 4 major league starts, resulting in no wins. OUCH!...

We begin with the best performance: Thursday at Wrigley Field, Gavin Floyd took the hill for the White Sox against the crosstown rival Cubs. Floyd (4-5) went 7 strong innings, allowing just 1 run on 4 hits and 3 walks (and 2 successful sac bunts!), and left the game with a 3-1 lead. The Sox extended the lead to 5-1 in the top of the 8th, only to lose it 6-5 on a Alfonzo Soriano single in the bottom of the 9th.

At Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, the Atlanta Braves roughed up Matt Maloney in Atlanta's 7-0 shut out of the Reds on Thursday. Maloney (0-2) gave up 6 runs on 6 hits, including 2 home runs, in 6 innings, in which he threw 109 pitches.

Friday night at Petco Park, Josh Outman (4-1) had to leave the game in the 2nd inning with a "mild flexor-extensor strain" in his left (pitching ) elbow. It has not been determined whether Josh will make his next scheduled start, but I will keep my eyes open for any info. The Athletics came from behind to beat the Padres, 7-5.

The results were mixed for Antonio Bastardo (2-2) Friday in Philadelphia. He did give up 4 runs on 5 hits, NO walks, striking out 5 in his 7 innings, but suffered the loss when the Orioles beat the Phils, 7-2. At one point, Bastardo did retire 10 straight Orioles, and I think showed enough to earn another start in the Phillie's beleaguered rotation.

The hitters are not faring much better, Ryan Howard is 1 for 8 the last 2 games, and Carlos Ruiz just 1 for 6. Jason Jaramillo was 0 for 3 in the Pirates 5-1 loss to the Twins on Thursday.

Michael Bourn, hitting .294 and the bright spot in this dark report, was 2 for 6 the last 2 days, with a triple, 2 walks, and 2 RBI

Friday, June 19, 2009

Susdorf's 4 hits leads Claws to win

Steve Susdorf (.338) had 4 hits and drove in 2 runs, and Travis D'Arnaud and Jeremy Hamilton both homered and drove home a pair as the Lakewood BlueClaws defeated Hagerstown 8-3 Thursday night, eliminating Delmarva and reducing their magic number to 1 over Kannapolis. This means just 1 win in the last 4 games or 1 Kannapolis loss over the weekend will clinch a September playoff berth for Lakewood.

In addition to Susdorf's big game, D'Arnaud and Anthony Gose each contributed 3 hits, with Travis hitting his team leading 8th home run and Anthony stealing his 43rd base. Hamilton (.285), Harold Garcia (.285) and Troy Hanzawa (.275) added 2 hits each for the BlueClaws, who return home Friday to take on Lake County.

Jesus Sanchez pitched his 2nd straight very good game, putting in 7 innings and allowing just 1 earned run (3 overall) on just 5 hits and 2 walks, striking out 6 to improve to 3-4 on the year. Justin De Fratus pitched the final 2 frames, picking up his 3rd save and lowering his ERA to 1.58 for the season.

I have a full day of work ahead of me, so I will see everyone at the ballpark tonight! Jon Velasquez (9-2) will try to clinch it for us!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ibanez disabled

The Phillies have placed Raul Ibanez on the 15-day disabled list with a groin injury. John Mayberry has been recalled and is in the line-up for Thursday's matinee against Toronto. There has been no word who will take Mayberry's roster spot in Lehigh Valley, but my best guess has to be Jeremy Slayden, who has been hitting the ball well since going to Reading.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Rain cancels Claws tonight; 2 matinees

The rain in Hagerstown has postponed tonight's game between the Suns and the BlueClaws. Boy, am I glad I didn't make the drive! It remains to be seen if there will be a doubleheader tomorrow.

In a day game in Sarasota, the Reds beat the Threshers, 3-1. Javis Diaz and Tim Kennelly had 2 hits each for Clearwater. Darren Byrd started and threw 7 innings, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits and a walk, falling to 1-2 on the year. Carlos Monasterios picked up the last 2 innings, retiring all 6 hitters he faced.

In Durham, the IronPigs scored 4 in the 11th to take a 4-0 win and sweep their series with the Bulls. Kyle Kendrick threw the first 6 innings, and gave up just 4 hits and 2 walks, receiving no decision.

Claws ride Correa's arm to win

The Lakewood BlueClaws rode a superior pitching performance by Heitor Correa to a 6-5 victory over Delmarva Tuesday night, reducing their magic number to just 2 for the first half title. Heitor was fantastic, allowing NO runs on just 2 hits and 2 walks in his 6 innings, throwing a total of 97 pitches. He left the game with a 6-0 lead and had to sweat it out with the rest of us, as Ryan Ariail allowed Delmarva back in the game. Ariail struggled through just .2 inning, and was charged with 5 runs. He walked 2 and gave up 3 hits, and all 5 runners scored. Ryan Bergh (1.1 IP) and B.J. Rosenberg restored order, BJ striking out all 3 hitters in a 1-2-3 9th inning, to pick up his 11th save.

Zack Collier and Troy Hanzawa had 2 hits apiece, and everyone in the Lakewood line up had a hit. Steve Susdorf and Anthony Gose each drove in 2 runs, and Collier (#12), Harold Garcia (#20)and Gose (his league leading 42nd) all stole a base. Garcia is 10 for his last 22 (.455) after slumping for a little bit, but appears to be back on track now. Gose is now 19 for his last 59 (.322) and Travis Mattair is hottest of all, 19 for his last 51 (.373)

Travis D'Arnaud had a hit and a walk, and now has a modest 7-game hitting streak. Travis is 9 for 25 (.360) in the 7 games.

Lakewood can clinch the division tonight in Hagerstown with a win and little help. The BlueClaws lead Delmarva and Kannapolis by 5 games with 6 left. Jesus Sanchez (2-4) who had his best start of the year last week at Lake County, get tonight's assignment against the Suns.

O, those crazy bubble heads!

The BlueClaws are at it again, that is newcomer Trevor May on top (from last night), and Tyler Cloyd (last week) below!!

Threshers offense explodes!

The Clearwater Threshers broke out for 17 hits Tuesday night in a 9-1 trouncing of Sarasota. Mike Durant and Tim Kennelly had 4 hits each and Fidel Hernandez, who is having a great season, added 3 knocks. Cody Overbeck drove in 3 runs with a double and his 7th home run of the year. Drew Naylor was the beneficiary of all the offense, throwing 7 shut out innings, giving up just 4 hits, while striking out 9 to improve his record to 4-6, 4.24 on the season. Manny Ayala (1 IP, 1 run) and Walter Tejeda ( 1 IP, 1 hit, 2 Ks) finished off the Reds.

Mike Spidale had 4 singles and a walk, stole a base and scored 3 times Tuesday night, as the Lehigh Valley IronPigs pummeled the Durham Bulls, 16-8. Mike is now 8 for 18 (that's .444) since being moved up from Reading last week. Andrew Carpenter improved to 6-0 on the year, tossing 5.2 innings, allowing 10 hits. Drew gave up 7 runs, but only 3 were earned, before yielding to Sergio Escalona. Sergio got the next 7 outs, allowing only 1 hit while striking out 2, and Francisco Butto gave up a run on 3 hits in the 9th.

Phils pen blows Hamels win

Cole Hamels pitched well enough to win Tuesday night, going 6 innings, and allowing just 2 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks, striking out 6. Cole threw 110 pitches and left the game with a 3-2 advantage. Ryan Madson gave up the tying run in the 9th, and Clay Condrey was charged with 5 runs in the 10th, as the Phillies fell to Toronto, 8-3.

In Arlington, Michael Bourn (.294) had a single and a double for Houston, but the Rangers beat the Astros, 6-1. Mike was thrown out stealing for only the 5th time this year.

Kevin Howard has come off the disabled list for the Las Vegas 51s, and is 7 for 29 (.241) in his 8 games back so far. Kevin was 1 for 4 with a double Tuesday night, but Chris Roberson (.284) had 3 hits including a double and scored 2 runs in the Ace's 4-2 win over Vegas. In Portland, Andy Baldwin improved to 5-3 on the year, throwing 7 strong innings for Tacoma in their 7-5 win over the Beavers. Baldwin allowed 3 runs on 7 hits and a walk, reducing his ERA to 4.54.

In Bowie, the BaySox defeated the Reading Phillies, 4-2. Michael Taylor (.335) had 2 hits for the R-Phils, a double and a triple, as well as throwing out a runner at home. The runner isn question; Mike Costanzo, who had 2 hits and a walk on the night for Bowie. Vance Worley absorbed the loss, throwing 5 innings, and giving up 3 runs on 8 hits and 3 walks to fall to 4-4 on the year. Pat Overholt did throw 2 scoreless frames for Reading. The R-Phils are now 37-26, 4.5 games behind front-running Akron. Michael Stutes (4-2) will take on Bowie Wednesday.

leftover from Monday

Here are a few tidbits left over from Monday's action-

After not winning a game in April or May, Carlos Carrasco won his 2nd decision in June, defeated the Bulls in Durham Monday night, 8-3. Carlos threw 6.1 innings, charged with 4 runs on 6 hits and 1 walk, striking out 5, to improve his mark to 2-7, with a 5.57 ERA.

In Oklahoma City, Greg Golson was 1 for 3 with a walk, scoring a run and driving in another, in the RedHawks 5-1 win over Iowa. In Reno, Randy Ruiz had a single and a double and drove in his 55th run of the year, but Reno beat Las Vegas, 5-3. Chris Roberson had a double for Reno, and Bobby Korecky threw a 1-2-3 9th inning, to record his 8th save.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Claws split, stay 4 in front

The BlueClaws and the Shorebirds split their doubleheader Monday, so Lakewood stays 4 games in front of Delmarva with 7 games to go. Lakewood wasted another good effort from Jason Knapp, who continues to pitch well, but in hard luck. Knapp went 5.1 innings, allowing no EARNED runs on 2 hits, with 5 walks, 7 strike outs and hitting 97 MPH on the gun on a few occasions. Jason has given up just 1 earned run in his last 17.1 innings of work. Delmarva scored 5 unearned runs en route to a 5-1 win in the opener.

Lakewood bounced back for a rain shortened 6-4 win in the nightcap. Trevor May made his debut and was impressive, striking out 8 in just 3.2 innings. He did seem to lose a little after the rain delay, allowing a 3-run home run to Garabez Rosa, but the offense gave him the runs back.

On the night, Travis D'Arnaud had a single, a double, and a triple, adding an RBI and a run scored. Travis Mattair had 2 hits and 3 walks, and Anthony Gose had 2 hits and stole 2 more bases, extending his league leading total to 41.

Lakewood will try to capture the rubber game of this series and put a stranglehold on first place tonight, with Heitor Correa (3-2) going to the mound.

I have a busy work day, so I will catch up on the rest of Monday's action tomorrow.

Monday, June 15, 2009

R-Phils win early game

The Reading Phillies beat Harrisburg 5-2 Monday in a 9:30 AM start. Joe Savery recorded his 8th win against only 1 loss by throwing 6 1-hit innings at the Senators. Savery walked 3 and struck out 4. Chance Chapman gave up 2 runs, getting just 2 outs, but Alex Concepcion came in and went the last 2.1 innings, giving up no runs and registering the save, his first.

Gus Milner was 2 for 3 with a walk, including his 3rd home run, and Brad Harman and Kevin Mahar also chipped in with 2 hits.

Phillies win finale with Sox

The Phillies salvaged a win in their series with Boston, coming from behind to top the Sox, 11-6 on Sunday. Ryan Howard (.257) had a single and double and drove in 2 runs (that makes 51 RBI for Ryno), and the Phillies survived after J.A. Happ got a little roughed up up. Jay gave up 5 runs on 7 hits and 6 walks in just 5.2 innings, but with the Phillies bats doing the job, kept the team in the game and actually had a 5-4 lead before Boston pitcher Josh Beckett homered off of him in the 6th to tie it.

The Fightin' Phils have a day off today before beginning a series with Toronto on Tuesday. Cole Hamels will start the opener.

In Phoenix, Michael Bourn had a single and a walk, scored 2 runs and drove in another, and stole 2 more bases to increase his league leading total to 22, helping the Astros to an 8-3 win over the Diamondbacks.

In Clearwater, Yohan Flande (6-1, 2.45) threw a complete game shut out against Jupiter as the Threshers won, 2-0. Flande gave up 6 hits and only 1 walk, while picking up 6 strike outs. Mike Durant had 2 hits, including his 8th home run of the year, and Cody Overbeck also had 2 hits, driving in Clearwater's other run.

In Reading, after dropping the suspended game from Saturday night, 2-1 in 11 innings, the R-Phils bounced back for a 6-5 walk-off win over Harrisburg. Jeremy Slayden was 4 for 4 and a walk, driving in 3 more runs to lead the Reading attack.

In Reno, Chris Roberson (.274) had 3 more hits, including a triple, scored twice, drove in 3 runs and stole his 10th base to help the Aces take a 14-6 decision from Salt Lake.

In New Orleans, Greg Golson had an RBI double, and threw out a runner at second base, but the Oklahoma City RedHawks lost to the Zephyrs, 4-2.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Claws sweep Captains

The Lakewood BlueClaws made it a sweep in Lake County with a 9-7 win over the Captains Sunday afternoon. The Claws pounded out 15 hits, 3 each for Harold Garcia and Steve Susdorf, each of whom homered. Travis D'Arnaud, Moose Mattair and D'Arby Myers added 2 hits each as the BlueClaws won their 4th straight game to improve to 37-24 on the year.

Tyler Cloyd (7-3) was the winning pitcher, and the win, combined with Delmarva's 6-0 loss at Hagerstown, puts the BlueClaws 4 games in front of the Shorebirds with a big 3 games in the next 2 nights in Lakewood. Jason Knapp will go in the opener and righthander Trevor May, just called up from extended spring training, will be given the assignment in the nightcap.

May, a 6'5", 215 pound, 19-year old from Kelso, Washington was selected by the Phillies in the 4th round of last June's draft.

Velasquez, Claws win again

Jon Velasquez won his league leading 9th game of the season, and the Lakewood BlueClaws won their third straight game, topping Lake County, 4-2 Saturday night. 7 different BlueClaws had hits, led by Anthony Gose, who had 3, including a double, and Harold Garcia, who had 2 and an RBI. Travis D'Arnuad picked up his team leading 36th RBI (tied for 5th in the league) and D'Arby Myers also drove in a run with a 2nd inning single. Myers easily could have had another hit, but for a questionable scoring on his infield ground ball in the 8th inning which was ruled a 2-base error on pitcher Mike McGuire and probably should have been a hit and an error.

Velasquez threw 7 great innings, allowing just 2 runs on 5 hits, again NO walks, and 3 strike outs. Jon has walked only 14 hitters in 63.2 innings so far this year. Justin DeFratus retired all 4 hitters he faced, striking out 2 of them, and Ryan Bergh recorded his 10th save by getting the final 2 outs. The BlueClaws improved to 36-24, and with Delmarva splitting their doubleheader in Hagerstown, Lakewood now leads the division by 3 games. The Claws have 10 games remaining in the last 8 days of the first half in their quest for first ever first half division title.

Lakewood will send Tyler Cloyd (6-3) this afternoon, looking for the sweep of the Captains.

Hammerheads win again

In Clearwater, the Thresher offense continues to struggle, and Jupiter won on Saturday 2-0. The Threshers are really missing their catalyst, Dominic Brown, who is out with a broken bone in his hand, and managed just 4 hits for the 2nd straight day. Mike Cisco continues to be strong as the organization stretches him out, this time for 5 shut out innings, allowing only 3 hits, NO walks, and striking out 4. It is hard to pitch under the kind of pressure the Clearwater staff is under. Sam Walls came in for 2 scoreless frames, but Walter Tejeda gave up a 2-run home run to Ben Harrison and that was the difference.

The Threshers will try to get back on track Sunday, throwing ace Yohan Flande (5-1) against Jupiter.

Reading game suspended

The game between Reading and Harrisburg was suspended after 9 innings last night with score tied at 1-1. The rain would not allow them to finish it, so they will try to decide that game before today's contest. Hats off to Tyson Brummett, who threw 7 strong innings, allowing just 1 run on 6 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 6. Alex Concepcion threw the 8th and 9th, yielding just 1 hit, while picking up 3 Ks. The R-Phils managed just 4 hits, 2 by Neil Sellers. Quintin Berry did walk 3 times and steal his 20th base (in 26 attempts). The Phillies had the tying run at third base with 1 out in the ninth inning when manager Steve Roadcap tried the suicide squeeze play with Mike Taylor on third and Brad Harman at bat. Harman was called out for interfering with the catcher and the threat went by the wayside.

In Mobile, Brian Schlitter recorded his 10th save, and 2nd in 2 days, throwing a 1-2-3 9th inning in Tennessee's 5-3 win over Mobile. In Corpus Christi, Adrian Cardenas (.377) had 3 hits and Matt Spencer (.274) had 2 hits and an RBI in a 16-hit Midland attack, but the Rock Hounds lost to the Hooks, 5-4 in 10 innings.

Pigs lose rain-shortened contest

The Charlotte Knights beat the IronPigs 6-4 last night in Lehigh Valley, as the rain in the area shortened the game to just 7 innings. Mike Spidale was 1 for 3 for Lehigh. The news out of Allentown is that Jason Donald has a torn meniscus in his right knee and will be out about 6 weeks, joining fellow Olympian Lou Marson on the DL. Marson is expected back a little sooner.

In Colorado Springs, the SkySox and the Las Vegas 51s split a doubleheader. Colorado Springs took the opener, 5-0 and the 51s bounced back to take a 1-0 decision in the nightcap. Randy Ruiz was 1 for 5, a double, with a walk and the evening. In Nashville, the Sounds defeated Memphis 4-3. R. J. Swindle retired the only batter he faced to notch his 9th "hold" of the year. Swindel has a minuscule 0.33 ERA for Nashville, allowing just 1 earned run in 27 innings! In New Orleans, Greg Golson (.289) was 2 for 4, and threw out a runner at home for the Oklahoma City RedHawks, but New Orleans won the game 7-3. In Reno, Chris Roberson (.265) was 2 for 4, including his 6th home (that's 2 in 2 days for Robey), but the Salt Lake Bees defeated the Aces, 5-3.

Outman, Bastardo both lose first

In the latest major league game last night, Josh Outman dropped his first decision of the year, after 4 wins, to Randy Johnson and the Giants, 5-2. Josh pitched well enough, giving up 2 runs over the first 6 innings, but began the 7th by giving up 2 hits. The Oakland bullpen let both runners score and Josh's line finished with 6 IP, 4 earned runs on 5 hits, NO walks, and 4 strike outs.

In Philadelphia, Antonio Bastardo was victimized by 3 Philadelphia errors in the top of the 1st inning, allowing 5 runs, 4 earned on 3 hits and 3 walks, and the Red Sox went on to an 11-6 win. The game was then delayed for over an hour and a half due to the rain. Sergio Escalona pitched the 6th and 7th innings for the Phils, giving up 2 runs on 3 hits to the Red (hot) Sox. Ryan Howard had 2 hits for Philly and Carlos Ruiz added a walk and a hit.

In Pittsburgh, Jason Jaramillo (.288) had a single and a double to help the Pirates post a 9-3 win over the Tigers.

Today's schedule has J.A. Happ (4-0, 2.98) going for Philadelphia as they try to salvage a game in the Boston series.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Guevara gets the call

It is so good to know someone is listening (LOL)- Orlando Guevara does indeed get recalled to Lehigh Valley....so, again I say- "let the guy play a little!!"

The Phillies have also sent Kyle Kendrick back to Lehigh Valley and recalled Sergio Escalona. This move makes more sense to me for the reasons I went into earlier. Escalona is a lefty who can be used effectively out of the pen.

Marson to DL

I just noticed that Lou Marson has been placed on the disabled list with a "contusion on his right ankle". This leaves Paul Hoover as Lehigh Valley's only catcher. Hello, can you say "Orlando Guevara"? And for crying out loud, play the guy once in a while!

Sanchez pitches Lakewood to victory

Continuing the great pitching laid down by the BlueClaw's starters this week, Jesus Sanchez (2-4) threw his best outing of the year, leading the BlueClaws to a 5-2 win over Lake County. Sanchez (on the right in the photo) threw 6 scoreless innings, before giving up a single and a double to start the 7th. Enter Santo "lights out" Hernandez. I cannot say enough about Hernandez, who has been there time and again for Lakewood this season. Santo got out of the 7th, allowing just 1 run to score and continued through the 8th inning, recording his 4th "hold" and lowering his stellar ERA to 2.13. B.J. Rosenberg came in for the 9th inning, to pick up his 9th save, after Rob Roth struggled again. Roth walked the only 2 hitters he faced, and has been having trouble with his control since coming off the DL. Harold Garcia had 2 hits for Lakewood, Travis D'Arnaud drove in 2 more runs, and the BlueClaws set a team record by hitting 3 triples in a game (by Gose, Garcia and Mattair) for the first time in the 9-year history of the team.

Our thanks go out to the Hagerstown Suns, who beat Delmarva 5-3, helping Lakewood extend their hold on first place to 2.5 games. The Suns and Shorebirds will play 2 tonight, and Lakewood will again take on the Captains, with Jon Velasquez (8-2), who coming off his best showing of the year, getting the start. (That is Jon on the left in the above photo)

Hammerheads top Threshers

In the battle of the sharks, the Jupiter Hammerheads defeated the Clearwater Threshers, 7-2 Friday night. Brett Harker, who is being used as a starter now by the Marlins, went the first 4 frames for Jupiter and only gave up 1 unearned run on 2 hits and 1 walk, striking out 4. Darren Byrd took the loss for Clearwater, giving up 3 runs, 2 earned on 8 hits in his 4 innings. Jesus Villegas had a single, a triple and a walk and scored both runs for the Threshers.

The teams will fight it out again tonight, Mike Cisco (2-0) get the nod for Clearwater.

Senators veto R-Phils

The Harrisburg Senators ripped the Reading Phillies 11-0 Friday night, allowing the R-Phils just 3 hits. Mike Stutes started and went 5.2 innings, allowing 3 runs, all on solo homers. Jason Mackintosh and Pat Overholt were lit up for 4 runs each and the game got out of hand late. Chance Chapman did throw a scoreless top of the 9th, and Zack Segovia a scoreless bottom half for the Senators . Both Chapman and Segovia struck out 2 of the 3 hitters they faced. Brian Staviski (2) and Quintin Berry had the only hits for Reading.

Tyson Brummett (3-6) will go tonight.

In Mobile, Brian Schlitter came into a 9th inning jam for the Smokies, and promptly struck out 2 hitters in a row to end the game, and record his 9th save in Tennessee's 5-3 win over the Bay Bears.

AAA notes

The Lehigh Valley bullpen took over for the IronPigs Friday night. The scheduled starter, Kyle Kendrick was called up to the big club (see post below) and Lehigh went with a team effort. Jake Woods started and went the first 4, Francisco Butto got the next 4 outs, and Gary Majewski, Cedric Bowers and Tyler Walker all threw scoreless ball as the Pigs toughed out a 3-2, 10-inning win over Charlotte, with Walker notching the victory. Mike Spidale was 2 for 5, including a double and a run scored in his season debut for Lehigh Valley.

In Colorado Springs, Randy Ruiz (.313) had a single, a double and a home run (#11, and 2nd in 2 days) and drove in 3 runs (for a total of 54 RBI), but the 51s still lost to the SkySox, 11-9. In Reno, Chris Roberson belted a 3-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th inning to give Reno a come from behind 6-4 win over Salt Lake. For Robey, it was home run #5, and 1 of 2 hits on the day. In New Orleans, Greg Golson (.284) had a double in 4 at bats in Oklahoma City's 6-4 win over the Zephyrs.

Maloney, Reds fall to Royals

The Kansas City Royals defeated the Reds and Matt Maloney on Friday night, 4-1. Maloney was pitching well, having given up 2 runs over his first 5 innings, but then gave up a 2-run home with 2 down in the 6th to Alberto Callaspo. His final line was 6 IP, 4 runs, 6 hits, 2 walks, 5 strike outs. Good enough to earn another start.

The Phillies put Scott Eyre on the 15-day DL and recalled Kyle Kendrick yesterday. Kyle got into the game in the 12th inning last night, and after throwing a scoreless frame, was roughed up for 3 in the 13th by the Red Sox. I am not sure how I feel about this move, because Kyle is a starting pitcher, and right now, the Phillies rotation is set. I hope this doesn't hurt Kyle mentally, as it has some of the other starters who the Phillies tried to use out of the pen. The game reached extra innings thanks to Ryan Howard's 19th home run of the year in the bottom of the 9th inning. It was home run #196 in Ryno's career, surpassing Bobby Abreu on the all time Phillies list.

In Pittsburgh, the Tigers topped the Pirates, 3-1. Jason Jaramillo (.280) was 2 for 3 for Pittsburgh.

Antonio Bastardo (2-0) is scheduled for the Phillies tonight against the Sox and Josh Outman (4-0) will draw the assignment in San Francisco for the Athletics.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Claws win fog shortened game

The fog rolled into Lakewood on Thursday night, and for the second time in team history, the game was called because it was just too dangerous to continue. The BlueClaws posted a 3-1 win over Hagerstown. Jeremy Hamilton and Anthony Gose each had a single and a double and a run scored, and Jim Murphy drove in the 2 game deciding runs in the bottom of the 5th inning, to make a winner of Heitor Correa (3-2). Heitor worked in and out of difficulty all night, but after giving up a home run to Derrick Norris (his league leading 14th), Correa kept the Suns off the scoreboard, throwing 102 pitches. Justin DeFratus recorded the final out and picked up his 2nd save when the game was called.

The win, combined with Delmarva's 4-3 loss at Lake County, gives Lakewood a 1.5 game lead with 12 games remaining in the first half. The BlueClaws will now spend the weekend visiting Lake County and the Shorebirds will battle the Suns.

Naughton's homer lifts Threshers

Joel Naughton belted a 3-run home run, his 7th of the year, and Matt Rizzotti had 2 hits and 2 RBI as Clearwater defeated Jupiter, 7-3 behind Drew Naylor. Naylor went 6.2 innings, giving up 3 runs scattering 9 hits and walking none to improve to 3-6, 4.68 on the year. Walter Tejeda finished the 7th and got the first out in the 8th, behind giving way to Sam Walls, who got the last 5 outs to record the save.

The 2 teams will meet again on Friday, Darren Byrd will start for Clearwater and Brett Harker will get the assignment for Jupiter!

Spidale, Slayden switch rosters

The Phillies have called Mike Spidale up from Reading to Lehigh Valley, and reassigned Jeremy Slayden back to the R-Phils. Slayden proceeded to belt a game winning, pinch-hit grand slam home run in the bottom of the 9th inning to give Reading a 6-3 win over Trenton. Vance Worley started for Reading, going 6 innings, allowing just 2 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks. Angel Castro threw the final 3 frames and posted the win. Quintin Berry had 2 hits, including a home run to raise his average to .280.

Lehigh Valley wins behind Carpenter, Escalona

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs scored a 2-1 win over Charlotte Thursday night behind the solid pitching of Drew Carpenter and Sergio Escalona. Carpenter went 7 innings, yielding just 1 run on 6 hits, NO walks, and striking out 4 to improve to 5-0, 2.75 on the year. Escalona retired all 6 hitter he faced, 3 by strike out to record the save.

In New Orleans, the Zephyrs routed Oklahoma City 10-1. Greg Golson (.285) was 1 for 3, driving in the only run for the RedHawks. In Colorado Springs, Randy Ruiz (.307) smacked his 10th home run (RBI # 51) as part of a 12-hit barrage as the 51s topped the SkySox, 14-4. In Sacramento, Andy Baldwin tossed 7 good innings, giving up just 4 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks, but received no decision in Tacoma's 6-4 comeback win.

Floyd sharp again

Although the bullpen blew the save and stole his win, Gavin Floyd flashed his form again on Thursday, throwing 8 innings for the White Sox against Detroit. Gavin, who is 4-5 on the year, allowed just 1 run on 5 hits, NO walks, and struck out 5 leaving the game with 3-1 lead. Bobby Jenks gave up the game tying home run in the top of the 9th and was awarded the win when the Sox tallied in the bottom half for a 4-3 win.

Matt Maloney will make his 2nd major league start tonight for the Reds in Kansas City.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wednesday's highlights

I am short on time today so I will get as much in as quickly as I can:

Reading defeated Trenton 4-1 behind Joe Savery, who is now 7-1 on the year! Neil Sellers, Brian Staviski and Ozzie Chavez had 3 hits each for Reading, Gus Milner had 2 hits, and Quintin Berry had a hit and 2 walks, and stole base #19.

Clearwater came from being down 3-0 early to tie the game late and then lost it in the 9th, 4-3. Julian Sampson continues to struggle, giving up 3 runs in just 2 innings, Dan Brauer threw 2.2 scoreless frames, Manny Ayala 2.1 innings, no runs, and Chris Kissock was the hard luck loser, surrendering an unearned run in the 9th. Cody Overbeck was the only Thresher with more than 1 hit.

Lakewood lost a 3-1, 11-inning contest despite a stellar performance from Jason Knapp. Knapp threw 7 shut out innings, allowing just 4 hits, NO walks, and picked up 6 Ks. D'Arby Myers had the only 2-hit game for Lakewood and scored the BlueClaw's run, doubling in the 8th inning and scoring on Harold Garcia's triple. Ryan Bergh (3-3) took the loss, forced to throw more innings than is usually asked of him. Lakewood will try to right the ship tonight, sending Heitor Correa to the hill.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Phils pick 2 high schoolers

The Phillies used their first 2 picks in the draft to select 2 high school center fielders. Kelly Dugan, 6'3", and 205, a switch hitter out of Notre Dame High in California was the Phillies first selection. Dugan hit .379 with 8 home runs in 95 at bats this year.

The 2nd selection was Kyrell Hudson out of Evergreen High in Washington. Considered a very good overall athlete, Hudson is 6'2", 185 and hit .306 in just 20 games his senior year.

Maybe the trend toward younger players is continuing, Lakewood is fielding it's youngest team ever this year.

Suns top BlueClaws

The Hagerstown Suns defeated the BlueClaws 4-3 Tuesday night. Tyler Cloyd took the hard luck loss to fall to 6-3. Tyler gave up 3 runs in the 2nd inning, but was victimized by bad luck. 2 of the hits were infield hits and then an error by Travis Mattair let in the 3rd run. Overall, Cloyd pitched 6 innings, allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits and 2 walks. Santo Hernandez came in to throw 3 shut out innings and give the team a chance to comeback, but Lakewood was unable to come up with the big when they needed it.

Steve Susdorf had 2 more hits, including a home run, and Troy Hanzawa had 2 doubles. Hanzawa'a second double, leading off the bottom of the 8th, put the Claws in good shape. When he advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch, it looked like Lakewood was knocking on the door. Consecutive strike outs by all stars Harold Garcia and Anthony Gose, and a line drive out by Travis D'Arnaud ended that threat. (Travis D'Arnaud has had no luck. He hits 2 or 3 balls hard every night, but none of them seem to find the holes. I can only hope if he keeps hitting the ball this hard, he will eventually start to see some results. Hang in there, Travis!!)

Jim Murphy hit an inside the park home run off the top of the center field wall in the 9th inning to draw Lakewood within 1 run. Mattair followed with a double and again it looked like Lakewood was in business. Hagerstown closer Osvaldo Rodriguez then struck out Sebastian Valle and Zack Collier to end the game and leave thinking about lost opportunities.

The loss combined with Delmarva's 6-4 win over Lake County reduces Lakewood lead in the division to 1.5 games was 14 to go. Jason Knapp will try to get us back on track Wednesday night.

Flande sharp in Threshers win;Brown disabled

Yohan Flande turned in another good performance in Clearwater last night, throwing 7 strong innings in the Thresher's 3-1 win over Palm Beach. Flande gave up just 1 run on 6 hits and a walk, striking out 6 and dropping his ERA to 2.78. Carlos Monasterios, working out the bullpen now, threw a scoreless frame and picked up his second win this week when the Threshers scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 8th on Tim Kennelly's hit.

The bad news is Dominic Brown has a broken bone in his hand where he was hit by a pitch the other day and will probably be out for a month. Brownie was having a great season so far, hitting .299 in 51 games, with 12 doubles, 3 triples, 9 home runs, 38 RBI, and 14 stolen bases. All our best to Dominic for a speedy recovery.

Drabek wins again

Kyle Drabek's impressive comeback continued Tuesday night in Reading, although he struggled a little with his control. Kyle walked 5 hitters, allowing 2 runs on 7 hits over 5 innings, but still managed to pick up the win, his 2nd in 2 starts for the R-Phils. Alex Concepcion notched the next 5 outs, 3 by Ks, Mike Zagurski recorded 4 outs (1 run, 2 hits), and Jason Anderson picked up his 3rd save.

Neil Sellers belted a 3-run home run in the bottom of the 1st inning to give Reading the early lead, which they rode to a 5-3 win. Mike Spidale (.309) had 3 hits, and Quintin Berry had a single and a walk and stole 2 more bases (#17 & 18).

Reading improved to 33-23, and trails first place Akron by 3.5 games.

Louisville sweeps Lehigh Valley

The Louisville Bats made it a 4-game sweep of the IronPigs on Tuesday with a 7-4 victory, roughing up Carlos Carrasco in the process. Carlos gave up 7 runs (6 earned) on 9 hits and 2 walks over 5 innings, and fell to 1-7, 5.56 on the year. Sergio Escalona threw a scoreless frame for Lehigh Valley.

In Las Vegas, Randy Ruiz (.308) had 2 more hits and 2 RBI (that makes 50 on the year) in the 51s' 6-3 loss to Tacoma.

Mets outslug Phils

In a game that featured 7 home runs, the Mets edged the Phillies 6-5 in the opener of a 3-game set in New York Tuesday night. J.A. Happ battled through 5.1 innings, allowing 4 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks. Happ struck out 4 and received no decision when the Mets scored late to pick up the win. Ryan Howard hit his 18th home run, 1 of 4 hit by the Fightin' Phils.

The Phillies announced that Brad Lidge has been placed on the 15-day disabled list and have called up catcher Paul Bako from Reading to take his spot on the roster.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Velasquez shines in BlueClaws win

Jon Velasquez (on the left above) threw his best game of the season Monday night in Lakewood, throwing 7 1-hit innings against Hagerstown in the BlueClaw's 3-0 win. Velasquez, from the Bronx, improved to a league leading 8-2 on the year, walking just 1 hitter while striking out 6. Rob Roth, in his first appearance since April 27, got 2 outs in the 8th inning, before walking the next 2 hitters and yielding to B.J. Rosenberg, who recorded his 8th save.

Steve Susdorf continued his hot hitting, with 2 more hits and 2 more RBI, making 5 hits and 5 RBI in the last 2 games, while Anthony Gose had an RBI double, scored 2 runs and stole 2 MORE bases, running his league leading total to 39 in 55 games.

Lakewood maintains their 2.5 game lead over Delmarva, who came from behind to beat Lake County, 8-7.

Threshers back on track

The Clearwater Threshers back solid pitching from Mike Cisco to take a 9-0 win from the Palm Beach Cardinals Monday night. Cisco (2-0, 2.61) threw 6 innings of 2-hit ball, walking 1 and striking out 5. Walter Tejeda, Manny Ayala, and Mike Schwimer each threw a scoreless frame to complete the shut out.

Matt Rizzotti and Yondeman Rodriguez had 2 hits each for the Threshers, while Dominic Brown stole 2 bases (#13 & 14). Cody Overbeck, Arlon Quiroz and Joel Naughton all drove in 2 runs as the Threshers improved to 26-27.