You'll find all of the wins up top in a 3-2 night for the U.S.affiliates. The Dominican Jays were 1-0.
Salt Lake City, UT - The 51's snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a four-run ninth against the Angels affiliate.
Batting - Everyone had a hit except for the left field duo of Chris Aguila and Chris Lubanski, who were a combined 0-for-4, and Brad Emaus, who came into to pinch-run for Brian Dopirak in the ninth and scored a run. Everyonesave for Adam Calderone had at least two hits but Calderone did pick up a double and was hit by a pitch. They were too busy hitting they didn't even draw a walk. Jorge Padilla had the big blow with a two-outbases-clearing double in the ninth. J.P. Arencibia was the clubhouse leader with three hits, Jarrett Hoffpauir connected for a two-run homer to put the 51's on the board. Brett Wallace drove in a run among his two hits. Wallace, Arencibia andBrian Dopirak are heating up as we approach summer as they are batting well over .300 over their past 10 games.
Running - The 51'sdid plenty of running around the bases but they didn't steal any. They did it the old fashioned way, they earned them!
Pitching - Lance Broadway was lit up for five runs over 6 1/3 innings as he gave up eight hits, including a homer, and was even in the K-BB department with two apiece. Josh Roenicke allowed an inherited runner to score over his 2/3 of an inning by giving up a hit but he did strike out a batter. Lefty Jesse Carlson earned the win with a perfect inning and two K's. Jeremy Accardo locked it up in the ninth with a one-hit, one K performance for the save.
Defence - Arencibia threw out a runner trying to steal and Wallace turned an unassisted double play.
Manchester, NH - A run in the first got the Fisher Cats rolling and they scored five runs over the fifthto seventh innings to overcome the Indians attempt at picket fences during those stanzas.
Batting - Shawn Bowman clubbed his 10th homer of the season among his two hits. Callix Crabbe, Daniel Peraltes and Manny Mayorsonhad two safeties apiece with Mayorson also drawinga walk. Darin Mastroianni had a hit,a walk and a run batted in and Brian Jeroloman had a single and two RBI. Alas, he could not add to the BJBBM total of 39. Eric Thames had a hit and an RBI. Adam Loewen and David Cooper were a combined 0-for-8.
Running - Daniel Peraltes stole his second base of the campaign.
Pitching - B.J. "Birdy" LaMura put together a nice five inning outing by allowing just one run on five hits and a walk. He gave up a home run and threw a wild pitch but he struck out four and recorded seven groundball outs. "Yo" Adrian Martin could not hold it together for LaMura as he gave up two runs on three hitsand a walk over 1 1/3 of an inning. Despite giving up a homer, Martin would pick up the victory. Lefty "Tiny" Tim Collins restored order with a strikeout in a perfect 1 2/3 innings and Danny "Lord" Farquhar allowed just one hit in a scoreless ninth to get save number 15 on the season.
Defence - Crabbe, Mayorson and Cooper teamed up to turn a pair of 4-6-3 twin killings.
Tampa, FL - Five runs in the seventh and another in the eighth overcame a 2-0 Yankees deficit.
Batting - Jon Talley was the only D-Jay with more than one hit as he collected three of them, including a home run. Brian Van Kirk made his hit count with a three-run bomb. Mark Sobolewski hada hit and anRBI. Travis d'Arnaud and Welinton Ramirez had a safety apiece. Adeiny Hechavarria was 0-for-4 and Tyler Pastornicky only drew a walk in his four appearances at the dish.
Running - Ramirez pilfered his seventh base of the year.
Pitching - My favourite former Edmonton Cracker-Cat was on the hill for this one as Scott Richmond worked six innings and allowed two runs on six hits and two walks. He struck out four and had seven groundball outs. Alan Farina struck out two batters in a perfect seventh and lefty Frank Gailey struck out three and walked just one over two scoreless innings.
Defence - The D-Jays made all the plays in the field so a gold star for all of them!
Bowling Green 6 Lansing 1(Game 1- 7 Innings)
Lansing, MI - The Lugnuts scored the first run of the game in the fourth but the Hot Rods scored six in the six.
Batting - Kenny Wilson and Kevin Nolan accounted for half of Lansing's eight hits with two apiece. Nolan had a double and a sac fly to cap off a 2-for-2 night while Wilson also had a two-bagger. A.J. Jimenez accounted for the other double. No Lugnut drew a walk in this one. Ryan Goins, Brad Glenn and Balbino Fuenmayor each had base knocks. Kevin Ahrens and Justin Jackson were a combined 0-for-6 with a strikeout each.
Running - Wilson stole his 20th base of the year.
Pitching - Matt Fields gave up just two hits over the first five innings but he gave up a run on two hits and a walk before leaving with one out in the sixth. Aaron Loup couldn't strand Field's two runners and gave up three runs of his own in two-thirds of an innings on four hits, a walk and a hit batsman. He did strike out a man. Lefty Matt Wright worked a scoreless seventh with a punchout.
Defence - Goins booted one at short and Fields dropped one to give the Lugnuts two clanks but they did not figure into the scoring. A.J. Jimenez was 1-for-2 in throwing out base stealers.
Bowling Green 5 Lansing 2- Game 2 (7 Innings)
Lansing, MI -The Rays affiliate completed the sweep with a five-runninthto overcome the Lugnuts two-run fifth.
Batting - Karim Turakami provided both Lugnuts runs with a two-run homer among his two hits. Justin Jackson also had two hits and a walk,Eric Eiland got aboard twice via the bases on balls route, Kenny Wilson had a hitand Ryan Goins drew a walk.
Running - Wilson stole his 21st bag of the year while Jackson was picked off at first and caught stealing second.
Pitching - Nestor Molina was in line for the victory as he pitched five shutout innings while yielding just two hits and a walk while striking out three. "Nest-Mo" also recorded seven groundouts. Brian Slover gave up just one hit and struck out a batter in a scoreless sixth but Steve Turnbull blew the save and took the loss by giving up five runs (three earned) in the seventh on four hits and a walk. He gave up a homer and struck out a batter.
Defence - Turnbull made a throwing error in the fateful ninth. The Lugnuts did turn one double play of the 6-3 variety with Jackson at short and Balbino Fuenmayor at first.
DSL Blue Jays 7 DSL Angels 6(10 Innings)
*** 3 Stars!!! ***
3.Nestor Molina, Lansing
2. Jon Talley,Dunedin
1. J.P. Arencibia, Las Vegas
Luis Rivera is the new manager of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Previously Rivera was a utilty infielder who totalled 2215 major league at-bats over eleven seasons from 1986 - 1998. Rivera was a coach in the Cleveland Indians minor and major league systems until the end of last season. I spoke with Rivera last weekend when the Fisher Cats were in Erie. Here is the transcript of the conversation.
BB: You have a had a pretty good season to this point, although the last week has been a bit of a tougher slog, is that just normal ups and downs or were you hurt when you lost some players to AAA?
LR: No, when we lost those guys we continued to play well. This is a cycle, baseball goes in cycles, and right now the guys are throwing the ball well, the last four or five days we haven't swung the bats well. We are capable of swinging the bats a lot better than that and that's why we went through that little hump. But last night we had better at-bats and we hope to continue to do that.
BB: Kyle Drabek is a new player to the organization. What have you seen in him this season that will get him to the big leagues?
LR: This is a guy who has a good fastball, and good breaking ball and a change-up and he just has to put it all together. A couple of starts ago he gave up eight innings, three hits, no walks and he is capable of doing that when he is consistent with his wind-up, his delivery. What is going to make him a better pitcher is his mechanics straight to the plate. His arm is there, he has to stay back on the rubber and have a good sound wind-up. His arm will take him to the big leagues, he has to make sure his mechanics are good.
BB: He has given up a few too many walks, so that's it, he needs to get his mechanics corrected?
BB: Zach Stewart did not have a good start to the season, his April numbers were not good but he has been pitching better since then. What has made the difference for him?
LR: He pitched, then we pulled him out for several days, and since then he has been pitching better. He is attacking the strike zone, now he is keeping the ball down and throwing to both sides of the plate. He is throwing the sinker in, he is throwing it away. Now his slider is getting better and he is getting outs with it.
BB: Last year when the Jays acquired him there was discussion as to whether he could be a starter or a reliever. Does he have a third pitch developing or a fourth so he could be a major league starter?
LR: We have to give him time, he is a young kid and it is a process. You cannot rush him. if you want him to throw in the big leagues this year you have to take some pitches away from him amd have him throw sinker, sliders. But if you want to develop him as a starter you have to take a little time and let him develop a feel for the change-up and the other stuff. Right now that is what he is doing. He is getting a good feel for the change up and he is throwing it more and we have to continue to get him to do that.
BB: Another player who had a slow start but it now playing better is Adam Loewen. Has he improved or is he having better luck?
LR: He has really improved since spring training. I watched him in spring training and I see a guy just trying to hit the ball without any purpose. Now he is trying to hit the ball with purpose, where it is pitched. Now he is using the whole field, coming out of spring training he was trying to hit to right field, trying to create power to right field. But he found out trying to do that his average is going nowhere. Now he is hitting the ball up the middle, hitting the other way, he is driving the ball both ways now. At home he hit a 380 foot homer to left centre, that is telling me right there that he is staying through the ball and driving the ball. That has been the difference and that is why he is a better hitter now.
BB: Defensively do you think his defense is good enough to be an outfielder in the major leagues?
LR: Yes, right now he is an average outfielder but he can still improve because he is a tireless worker and during batting practice he always works on it. He takes pride on it and he has a good arm. He has been a big surprise for me because I didn't expect that from a guy who was pitching a couple of years ago.
BB: Eric Thames didn't play a lot for the Blue Jays before this season because of injuries. Is it just a case of getting playing time now or is there something he needs to do to get to AAA?
LR: Both. Before this season this kid had about 216 at-bats and he is already in AA. Thta is very good and he is hitting around .270 with 12 home runs and almost 50 RBI's, he is one of the top guys in the league. With this guy he needs to play more and more and more, to continue to get at-bats, to know himself, to know how they attack him and to know how to hit pitches in different locations. It's a process, he is going through it right now but all he needs to do is to continue to play. That's what is going to make him better and I think the more he plays the better he is going to get.
BB: Brian Jeroloman is back for part of a third season in AA. He didn't hit very well last season but he is hitting better this year. You didn't see him last season but what do you see in him this year?
LR: He is putting a lot of time in and hitting a lot of extra BP. When we are home he is taking early hitting every day and Ralphie is doing a great job with him. He is trying to level that swing instead of an uppercut swing. we are trying to make him more aggressive at the plate. He has the best on base percentage in the league but now we want to complement that with aggressive swings. Don't take so many pitches, if you get a good pitch to hit in a good count then go after that and be more aggressive. If he does that he is a good hitter, a better hitter.
BB: You have left him at number 9 the whole season, are you going to leave him there?
LR: He is hitting good there, leave him there, that's the way I look at it.
BB: David Cooper, another guy with a slow start but over the last few weeks he has had some big hits for you.
LR: We are trying to make him more aggressive also. He is only hitting .200 but he is hitting the ball well. If you look back at the reports there are a lot of hard hit balls, quality at-bats. But there are a lot of fly balls to left field, we want him to be more aggressive and turn on some pitches. He did that for two weeks and hit five or six home runs and drove in fifteen runs. He is cooling off a little again but he is there, we just have to push him and get the best out of him.
BB: Danny Farquhar is back in AA and his ERA is much higher this season. Is there something happening or is he just unlucky?
LR: I think that is the result of two or three games but there are a lot of games that he pitched great for us. He is leading the league in saves so he is throwing good but there was one game where he gave up four runs and another game where he gave up five runs in one inning. And if you are a reliever and you give up four or five runs in one inning that is a killer right there, it will kill your ERA. So I don't really look at the ERA, I look at the days he pitched to save a game and how did he do it. How did he do after he blew a game or how did he do after he gave up four runs, that happened twice where he gave up four runs and came back the next day 1-2-3 and got the save.
BB: He walks too many guys. I assume Tom (Signore) is working with him to tighten his delivery?
LR: It's tough on him because he throws underarm and overhand. If you just throw overhand you can work to control that but when you throw both that is twice as much to control.
My voice recorder died at this point so I lost my last Q&A. I asked Rivera about Shawn Bowman and he said they were working to shorten his swing and that his defense was great.
Batters Box thanks Luis Rivera for his time.
As has so often been the case this year.
We knew the offense would come down eventually. And boy has it crashed hard (excluding last night's game). Fortunately, this team has a good enough rotation that a losing streak like last year's season-killer just isn't very likely.
Marcum has been the stopper this year, going 6-1 in games after the Jays lose. But what's nice about this year's team is that Marcum doesn't need to be the stopper. There are four guys in the rotation who can go out and dominate on any given day, and with Jesse Litsch back and Scrabble rounding into form in AAA, even the 5th spot looks promising. Let's take a look at the four guys who have consistently been in the rotation this year, with some funtistics courtesy of Fangraphs.
|Shaun Marcum||2010||14||92.1 ||6.53||1.75 ||8.21||0.78||0.282||73.60%||40.70%||7.00%||3.31||3.47||4.04||2.1|
Two of the affiliates had the night off, and two took the night off. Also: an in-depth look at the Dunedin roster.
Las Vegas 4 at Salt Lake City 7
Well, this is a story all about how
Las Vegas got flipped-turned upside-down
and I'd like to take minute for the reader's sake
and tell ya all about the game they lost to Salt Lake.
In Newnan Georgia born and raised
On the diamond was where he spent most of his days
Playin' catch battin' takin' grounders all cool
Spittin' sunflower seeds outside of school
When a couple of scouts
Thought they found their mark
Brought their radar guns to the ballpark
He went to one little camp and his mom got scared
She said "You're going to college if I have to march your butt there"
He studied for a year but still his path wound
To baseball, he was drafted in the 7th round
Little more than 2 years later he was in triple A
Facing off against the affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays
He went 8 and 2 thirds, 4 runs, pretty nice!
Struck out Hoffpauir, Padilla and Calderone twice
Brian D. hit a homer but not a difference did it make
Will Smith, 2 and 4, the Fresh Prince of Salt Lake.
New Hampshire - scheduled day off
Dunedin 3 at Tampa 7
In the top of the first, all of these things happened (consecutively):
Florida State League
John Tolisano, Dunedin
.429/.529/.929, 6-for-14, 1 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 6 R, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 SB
John Tolisano, whom the Blue Jays nabbed in the second round of the 2007 Draft, is working on his finest pro season at the plate. He's never hit above .250, even going back to his Gulf Coast League campaign the year he was drafted, but his performance this week puts his season average at .309, up from .262 on June 1. He singled, walked and scored a run Monday, and he was 3-for-4 with a homer and two runs scored on Wednesday. In the last game before the All-Star break, on Thursday, Tolisano went yard again and chipped in a double.
|Jon Del Campo||2B||6||17||3||7||4||0||0||1||11||0||2||0||0||.412||.647||.412||1.059||2|
|Michael McDade||1B||56||217||32||64||13||1||12||37||115||14||61||2||0||.339||.530||.295||.869||5 +.267|
|Travis d'Arnaud||C||35||130||24||39||11||0||5||27||65||12||21||2||1||.354||.500||.300||.854||0 -.055|
|Welinton Ramirez||OF||55||182||27||50||13||1||7||31||86||12||62||6||2||.330||.473||.275||.803||4 +.202|
|Danny Perales||OF||40||148||15||38||6||2||6||16||66||6||26||6||0||.288||.446||.257||.734||1 -.104|
|Tyler Pastornicky||SS||52||198||34||52||12||0||3||20||73||27||34||16||6||.350||.369||.263||.718||8 -.037|
|Yan Gomes||C||31||104||12||28||11||0||0||16||39||4||26||0||0||.315||.375||.269||.690||2 -.152|
|Raul Barron||2B||33||122||13||31||6||0||2||12||43||9||19||9||3||.306||.352||.254||.658||6 -.276|
|Brian Van Kirk||OF||51||185||19||40||5||2||1||21||52||14||48||1||0||.266||.281||.216||.547||1 +.022|
|Joel Carreno||3||3||4.32||13||12||0||0||0||66.2||77||36||32||4||3||19||83||1.44||0||1 -0.24|
|Andrew Liebel||5||5||5.85||12||12||0||0||0||60.0||71||46||39||4||7||30||39||1.68||0||0 +1.68|
|Chuck Huggins||5||0||2.30||10||10||0||0||0||58.2||44||19||15||3||2||16||47||1.02||0||0 +0.69|
|Henderson Alvarez||5||2||2.78||11||11||0||0||0||58.1||64||26||18||4||1||11||40||1.29||0||0 +1.15|
... the season Alex Rios is having in Chicago? Hitting third for the White Sox, he's batting .317 and currently on pace to finish with 36 home runs and 52 steals. The OPS is .951 while the K/BB ratio is a respectable 1.37. Them's MVP-caliber numbers, folks!
The only downside is the lack of RBI production -- his pace is for "just" 85, which is currently third on team, but he is leading the squad in runs scored.
I had no idea. Anyone out there, you know, care?
What a difference a day makes for Adam Loewen.
Marc Rzczynski took a small step towards not sucking on Sunday. While he allowed six earned runs (7 total) in six and two thirds, he struck out seven against just one walk. Though on the flip side, he nailed three batters. His GO:FO was 8:2 so that was good. Look, I said it was a small step, ok. Oh, and he made an error. Ok, no steps. He stood still.
The 51s scored 6 runs and all came courtesy of 3 RBI days from Brian Dopirak and Jorge Padilla. Dopirak's was part of a 3 hit day. Brad Emausand Brett Wallace eachhad a hit while Jarret Hoffpauir was 2-for-5 with a double.
Remember yesterday when we were falling all over Adam Loewen's 5-for-5 day? Well, he took a ride to the other end of the spectrum with a Golden Sombrero on Sunday. That's quite a swing. Crazy game, this baseball.
Darin Mastroianni, Shawn Bowman, and Callix Crabbe each had two hits while David Cooper picked up three including a double and a homer. He's hitting .194 over his last ten games but slugging .528. Weird.
Zach Stewart started this one and was quite good in moving his record to 4-1. He went seven innings, allowing a run on three hits and two walks while striking out five. Tim Collins finished things off with a two-strikeout ninth.
Dunedin- Off; All-Star Break
The Lugnuts managed just three hits but pulled one out thanks in large part to Ryan Goins who had two hits, including a double and two RBI. Bradley Glenn had the other base hit while Kevin Ahrens was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. He'll be in my slo-pitch league by August at this rate.
Ryan Shopshire pitched very well in going seven frames and allowing a run on five hits with three strikeouts. Steve Turnbull had his 16th save.
Lots of offense in this one. Tanguard Perez swung the big bat with three hits and 4 RBI while Gonzalo Gonzalez had two hits and scored three runs. Cesar Barazarte was six months old when Joe Carter touched 'em all. On Sunday he had two hits, a homer, stole a baseand had three RBI.
Richard Rodriguez started and wasn't good. But Luis Zerpa was brilliant in relief allowing an unearned run on two hits while striking out six in four innings.
3rd Star: Ryan Shopshire- 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 K
2nd Star: Zach Stewart- 7 IP,3 H,1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
1st Star: David Cooper- 3-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI
Ted Lilly, he of the ex-Jay status, has just been pulled from his start for the Cubs against the cross-town interleague rival ChiSox after eight wonderful innings. Lilly took a no-hitter into the ninth, looking to be the fourth pitcher (and second ex-Jay) this season to toss a no-no, but leading off the ninth, pinch-hitter Juan Pierre lined a clean single up the middle.
The game, at this writing, is 1-0 Cubs. And it's raining, hard, but they're trying to finish the game ...
And now it's final. Cubs win! Cubs win!
Adam Loewen single-handedly beat up on Erie Saturday. Loewen was 5-5 with three doubles and a home run leading New Hampshire to an 11-5 win. Lansing had a come from behind victory with Brad Glenn hitting a home run and stealing home. Two pitchers coming off injuries started those games, Bobby Bell and Egan Smith.
Las Vegas were blown out 10-1 although JP Arencibia hit his 13th home run.
Reidier Gonzalez was back to the not so good Rey on Saturday. Rey was tagged for thirteen hits and nine run in 5.1 innings. Merkin Valdez pitched the last 3.2 innings. When he came into the game he gave up a couple of hits but then pitched well the rest of the way. Garbage time? Strangely the 51's made 5 errors but all ten runs were earned.
The 51's got their only run in the seventh when JP Arencibia hit his 13th home run. Arencibia was 2-3 with a walk. Brad Emaus also was 2-3.
Yours truly was in Erie for this contest and I was a witness to the Adam Loewen show. Loewen was 5-5 with three doubles and a home run, that's eleven bases people. Loewen drove in four runs. None of the doubles were cheap shots either, he was hitting the ball to left centre, right centre and the home run down the right field line.
Fellow Canadian Shawn Bowman had a couple of hits as did Darin Mastroianni. Al Quintana hit a 2 run homer off the first pitch in the game by an Erie reliever.
Bobby Bell came off the DL to start and was inconsistent. Bubbie Buzachero pitched two shutout innings for the win. Trystan Magnuson had a good seventh inning but struggled with his control in the eighth and gave up his first run in over a month. Danny Farquhar pitched the ninth for the save.
Look for my scouting reports and interviews next week.
Dunedin - All Star Break
In the All-Star game Travis d'Arnaud was 1-2 with a RBI. Yan Gomes was 0-2. Henderson Alvarez pitched a perfect inning. Matt Daly recorded two out while walking one.
Lansing had only two hits until the seventh inning and trailed 2-0. Brad Glenn homered to lead off the seventh and later Ryan Goins second double of the night drove in Kevin Nolan to tie the game. Glenn's home run was his second in as many nights, maybe he is finding his April form again. In the eighth Kevin Ahrens, now batting exclusively right handed, singled and Glenn walked. Kenny Wilson singled in one run and then a double steal allowed Glenn to score the second run of the inning. A third run scored on an error.
On the pitching side Egan Smith started and went five innings, with two runs scored off him, one earned. Matt Wright pitched two shutout innings. Nestor Molina gave up a run but Casey Beck got the last four outs for the save.
3rd star -
2nd star - Brad Glenn
1st star - Adam Loewen
Las Vegas were losing to Colorado Springs but they scored three runs off Huston Street and four off Juan Rincon to get the win. New Hampshire had excellent pitching by Ronald Uviedo, BJ LaMura and Tim Collins to shut out Erie. An Eric Thames home run in the first was all the scoring they needed. Ryan Tepera pitched seven innings and didn't give up an earned run as Lansing won. Dunedin are in their all star break.
Brad Mills gave up a run in the first inning, two infield singles followed by another ground ball single to the outfield made it 1-0. Jarrett Hoffpauir tripled to lead off the Vegas first and scored when Brett Wallace singled.
Mills was touched for a solo home run and following an error, a two run home run in the fourth and Colorado led 4-1. JP Arencibia doubled leading off the fourth and he scored on a ground out.
Mills was pulled after four innings and 81 pitches and Josh Roenicke came on and pitched three hitless, shutout innings. Colorado brought on Huston Street in the seventh and Jorge Padilla greeted him with a double. With two out Adam Calderone singled to drive in Padilla. Calderone stole second and scored when Hoffpauir singled and went to second on the throw. That tied the game. Luis Figueroa followed with another single to score Hoffpauir. Wallace singled again but the 51's ended the inning with a 5-4 lead.
Jesse Carlson pitched the eighth and loaded the bases but escaped without allowing a run. Colorado called on Juan Rincon in the eighth and Arencibia greeted him with a solo home run. Padilla then reached on a single, Emaus walked, Calderone singled, Hoffpauir drew a bases loaded walk, Diaz singled in two more runs. In all Las Vegas scored four more runs to put them up 9-4. Carlson pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
Las Vegas had 14 hits, Wallace had three hits, Hoffpauir, Arencibia, Padilla and Calderone had two hits each.
Eric Thames hit a two run home run in the first inning and the pitching took care of the rest. Ronald Uviedo was outstanding, he pitched five shutout innings giving up just three hits and two walks. He also had four K's. BJ LaMura added two shutout innings and Tim Collins pitched the last two perfect innings, striking out the side in the ninth. Fisher Cat closer, Danny Farquhar,might have been on call for the ninth but the Fisher Cats added two unearned runs in the top of the ninth. Shawn Bowman singled, stole second and scored on an error. Manny Mayorson, who had been intentionally walked, scored on a Brian Jeroloman sac fly.
Darin Mastroianni was the only Fisher Cat with two hits.
Dunedin - All Star Break
Lansing jumped out to a big lead before the bullpen coughed up some late runs. The Lugnuts scored their first run in the second, Balbino Fuenmayor walked and later scored on a passed ball. In the third inning Kevin Nolan and AJ Jimenez singled and Brad Glenn hit a three run home run to make it 4-0. Sean Ochinko added a solo home run to make it 5-0.
Manwhile Ryan Tepera had things under control, he didn't have more than one base runner an inning until the seventh where he threw the ball away with a runner on first. The runner scored to make it 5-1 but Tepera escaped further trouble. Tepera went seven innings and gave up just the unearned run.
The Lugnuts got that run back in the eighth, Ryan Schimpf doubled and scored on a Fuenmayor single. Evan Crawford gave up a run in the eighth and Brian Slover two runs in the ninth but Steve Turnbull nailed down the save.
Kevin Nolan had three hits for the Luggies.
3rd star -JP Arencibia
2nd star - Ronald Uviedo
1st star -Ryan Tepera
Bauxite Anders' most recent Minor League Update (Groundouts, Groundouts, Everywhere) leads off with the exploits of Baby Jay hurlers Lance Broadway and Kyle Drabek. Those are two given first names you didn't hear a lot in Major League Baseball's earlier days, a time stuffed with guys named George and Joe andHonusand monikers of that ilk.
Now quick, though, consider that MLB of more recent vintage has featured 20 players with the given first or middle name "Kyle" and another 16 named "Lance" and that's decently even odds, so make your guess ... sure, we can't fill out a full 25-man roster for either, but which name, Lance or Kyle, will fill out a lineup card better?
Let's find out ...First, a few of the usual caveats; for instance, no last/family names are considered here, so among Kyles, sorry, 1912 Cincinnati CF Andy Kyle; and it's no go for the misspelled and more recent 133-game winning NL RHSP Darryl Kile.
Over in Lance-land, bid farewell to 1977 Kansas City RHRP Gary Lance and to three-time 1982-90 cuppajoe 1B/OF Rick Lancelloti, who did at least blast 276 career home runs in the minor leagues. But none of these guys are eligible for these teams. Drabek will be eligible for one someday soon, and Broadway already is after recent brief stops with the White Sox and Mets.
Speaking of misspellings and the like, on the Lance side, there are a few other difficult eliminations. Yank Terry's full name was Lancelot Yank Terry, so he's right out. You might have heard of Lance Rautzhan, briefly a LHRP with the Dodgers and Brewers in the late 1970's, but his given name was Clarence George Rautzhan, so he's out, too. Laynce Nix might wonder "why" he's not eligible, but the answer to his "why?" is "the 'y' in his name."
Now let's toss a coin to see ... okay, we'll start in reverse alphabetical order and meet the unfortunately-named squad called ...
THEY LIKE BEING LANCE --A LOT!
** Hall of Famer (none)
C Lance Parrish* (.252, 324 HR, three GG; seven teams, 1977-95)
1B Lance Niekro (2003-07 SFG; .246/17/79 in 535 AB)
2B Lance Zawadski (hitting around .205 in 2010 SDP debut so far)
SS Lance Blankenship (.222, 1988-93 OAK; mostly 2B/OF, played two games at SS)
3B Patrick Lance Borders (.253, nine teams, 1988-2005; mostly C, five games at 3B)
LF Lance Berkman* (.298, 319 HR with HOU since 1999)
CF Lance Johnson* (.291, 327 SB, 1987-2000, five teams)
RF Lance Richbourg (.308, four teams, 1922, '24-31)
LHSP Lance Davis (8-4, 2001 CIN)
RHRP Lance Carter* (26 saves for 2003 TBD; three teams, 1999-2006)
LHRP Lance Painter (23-18, five teams, 1993-2003)
RHRP Lance McCullers (28-31, 39 saves, four teams, 1985-92)
Other not-so-notables: LHRP Lance Clemons, RHRP Lance Cormier
And let's introduce the competition, and a special Batter's Box No-Prize to the first Bauxite who can correctly interpret this cryptic team name, as it's time to meet ...
** Hall of Famer (none)
C Kyle Phillips (5-for-18 as 2009 TOR rookie)
1B Kyle Blanks (mostly OF; .212/13/37 with 2009-10 SDP)
2B Jason Kyle "Jay" Canizaro (.250, 10 HR, parts of 1996-2002, SFG, MIN)
LF Matthew Kyle Watson (.183, 2003 NYM, 2005 OAK)
CF Leonard Kyle Dykstra* (.285, 285 SB - how 'bout that?, 1985-96)
RF Jason Kyle Perry (TOR draftee was 2-for-17 with 2008 ATL)
DH Dustan Kyle Mohr (.249, 49 homers, five teams, 2001-07)
RHSP Kyle Lohse (85-94 since 2001, four teams; 27-19, 2002-03 MIN)
RHSP Kyle Davies (38-49 since 2005 with ATL, KCR)
LHS/RP Kyle Abbott (4-17, parts of 1991-96, CAL, PHI)
RHRP Kyle Farnsworth (32-53, 27 saves since '99, five teams; 16 saves, '05 DET/ATL)
More not-so-notables: RHSP Kyle Denney (1-2); OF Brandon Kyle Boggs (.217, eight homers, 2008-09 TEX); RHSP Kyle Kendrick (27-16 since 2007 with PHI); RHRP Kristopher Kyle Wilson (14-9, 2000-03 KCR, '06 NYY); RHS/RP Kyle "Skinny" Graham (11-22, 1924-26 BSN, '29 DET -- MLB's first and only Kyle for more than 50 years)
Others missing the Kut: RHSP Kyle Peterson (5-9, 1999, 2001 MIL); RHSP John Kyle Mitchell (9-14, 1986-89 NYM, '90 BAL); RHS/RP Kyle Snyder (8-17, 2003-06 KCR, 2006-08 BOS); RHRP Kyle McClellan (6-12, five saves, for STL since 2008)
So who wins?
It's pretty clear, I think -- the Lances, even playing without a DH and sticking Borders at the hot corner, they could legitimately just slap the ball at the empty left side of the Kyle infield all day and run up the score pretty big.
Neither team is big in the pitching department, and though the Kyles are probably better -- and certainly deeper -- the Lances could coax 27 outs from Davis, Carter, Painter and McCullers, and there's always Cormier to go to in an emergency. The Lances have the most All-Stars (3-1) and the best single player, Berkman, who will get some HOF support but is unlikely to gain induction.
Actually, at a quick glance, if you combined these teams together -- though I can't think of an even semi-legitimate Hall of Names reason to do so, so speak up if you've got one! -- you'd have a pretty competitive 25-man roster that could make a run at .500 in any of the current 2010 divisions; the team is weak in the middle infield and in right field, and the pitching is a little dicey to start talk of a pennant run, but this team isn't bad ... and it's interesting to note that a slim majority (13/25) of the players on this roster are Kyles, not the probably-better overall single-name roster Lances.
C Lance Parrish*
1B Lance Berkman*
2B Lance Zawadski
SS Lance Blankenship
3B Jason Kyle "Jay" Canizaro
LF Leonard Kyle Dykstra*
CF Lance Johnson*
RF Lance Richbourg
DH Dustan Kyle Mohr
C Patrick Lance Borders
C Kyle Phillips
1B Lance Niekro
1B/OF Kyle Blanks
OF Matthew Kyle Watson
OF Brandon Kyle Boggs
RHSP Kyle Lohse
LHSP Lance Davis
RHSP Kyle Davies
LHSP Kyle Abbott
RHSP Kyle Kendrick
CL-RH Lance Carter*
SET-RH Kyle Farnsworth
SET-LH Lance Painter
RHRP Lance McCullers
RHRP Kristopher Kyle Wilson
So Bauxites, who's better? Is anyone missing? And have you got any legitimate ideas to justify combining the names "Kyle" and "Lance," no matter how far-fetched, into one team? Bring it on!
The teams that mustered more than four runs were winners Tuesday night. One of them came close to nailing an impersonation of the big league club's come from ahead loss.
Las Vegas, NV - The Posse, er, the 51's trailed 8-3 before tying the game in the second but were behind 10-8 after half-time. However, the 51's rallied with three runs in the fifth, three in the sixth and one in the seventh for a second half rally against the Giants affiliate.
Pitching - Jesse Litsch gave up 10 runs (six earned) on 11 hits, three walks and hit a batter over 4 2/3 innings. He gave up a homer, threw two pitches that got away from Raul Chavezbut struck out four. Litsch's final line would have been worse had Steven Register not stranded the bases loaded in the fifth. He scattered a hit and a walk while striking out three in two shutout innings. Lefty Jesse Carlson picked up Register by stranding two runners as he retired the lone man he faced. Merkin Valdez gave up three hits but managed to pitch a scoreless inning and Jeremy Accardo allowed a hit and a walk but posted a goose egg in the ninth.
Defence - Luis Figueroa kicked one away at secondfor his 10th error of the year. Eugenio Velez was successful in stealing second against the Litsch-Chavez battery but Velez was thrown out at thirdby Jorge Padilla in center on the same play to end the first. Padilla pegged Velez again at the plate to end the eighth.
Batting - Padilla's contributions weren't limited to his glove. The 51's leadoff man had one homer and two doubles among his four hits and drove in a pair. The number two hitter, Figueroa, reached base five times by going 3-for-3 with two walks and an RBI. Brian Dopirakand "The Dude" Chris Lubanskiwere each3-for-4 witha walk and three runs batted in. Dopirak had two doubles while "El Duderino",if you're notinto the whole brevity thing,had a triple. Brad Emaus clubbed his first Triple-A homer and Adam Calderone went deep as well to drive in three runs. Chavez had a hit while Brett Wallace and Jonathan Diaz got on base once with a walk apiece.
Running - Someone peed on Lubanski's carpet bythrowing himout at the plate. At least it's better than having your head shoved in the toilet or having a marmot attack you in the bathtub.
Reading, PA - Each club scored in five different innings but the difference was the Fisher Cats big inning was a six-run second while the R-Phils best single inning total was a four-run third.
Pitching - Despite giving up19 hits and issuing four walks, the Fisher Cats still managed to win this one. Starter Randy Boone got the first man out but gave up two singles before leaving the game with a sore ankle. Bubbie Buzachero replaced Boone and was rocked for five runs on nine hits, including two homers,in 2 2/3 innings. One of the homers was from Domonic Brown. Buzachero struck one out and walked none. B.J. LaMura gave up two runs on four hits that included a homer while posting a K-BB ratio of 1:1. Lefty Boomer Potts showed the art of pitching wasn't totally lost as he gave up one hit and struck out four in two scoreless innings. Lefty Tim Collins was burned for two runs on three hits and three walks but struck out three in 1 2/3 innings. Vancouver's Trystan Magnuson stranded a pair of runners and got the final out to collect the save and preserve Potts' first Double-A victory.
Defence - Brian Jeroloman was 1-for-2 in throwing out runners trying to steal. Buzachero was the pitcher in both instances.
Batting - New Westminster's Shawn Bowman toted the twig in this one with three hits, including a homer, a walkand four runs batted in. Manny Mayorson also had a three-hit game and an RBI. Darin Mastroianni had a leadoff homer among his two hits but he would leave the game with an injured shoulder.Jonathan Jaspe had a double and a single and Brian Jeroloman homered and walked (yes!! BJBBM is now 31!). He drove in a pair but also struck out three times. Adam Loewen doubled, drove in a run and walked twice while David Cooper had a single, a walk and an RBI. Callix Crabbe doubled and added a sac fly.
Running - Cooper was doubled off second base after a Mastroianni lineout to center to end the third.
Fort Myers, FL - The Twins affiliate scored once in the first and overcame a Dunedin two-run second with two-run frames in the fourth and fifth with another run for good measure. Dunedin could only muster single markers in the eighth and ninth.
Pitching - Henderson Alvarez was torched for five runs (four earned) in four innings on nine hits. He struck out four, walked no one but threwa pitch to the backstop. Dumas Garcia gave up two hits and hit a batter but delivered two scoreless frames. Ross Buckwalter gave up a run on one hit in the seventh. Shawn Griffiths struck out two in a scoreless eighth.
Defence - John Tolisano made a throwing error for his 10th clank of the year and that led to an unearned Miracle run in the first. Fort Myers stole a base against the battery of Alvarez and Travis d'Arnaud. The D-Jays did manage one double play of the 6-3 variety started by Adeiny Hechavarria and completed by Michael McDade.
Batting - Welinton Ramirez had a homer and a double andMcDade reached twice with a hit and a walk. Justin McClanahan tripled home two runs and Brian Van Kirk singled home the other Dunedin run. Tolisano had a double and Yan Gomes had a base knock. The top of the order (Hechavarria, Tyler Pastornicky and d'Arnaud) were a combined 0-for-12.
Lansing, MI - Two runs in the second and one in the third got the Angels affiliate rolling and they tacked on two more in the eighth. Lansing responded with one in the third and three in the ninth to come up a day late and a dollar short as the late, great Tom Cheek would say.
Pitching - Ryan Tepera's undoing was the long ball as he gave up two homers, including one tothe Angels 2009 first round pickMike Trout,in seven otherwise solid innings. He allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits and two walks while striking out a pair. His most impressive statistic was 11 groundball outs. Aaron Loup gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in the eighth inning. Chad Beck's control was not up to snuff in the ninth as he walked a pair and threw one to the backstop but he was able to stem the tide against the Rapids. Get it? Frickin' funny follies for a Wednesday!
Defense - A passed ball by A.J. Jimenez helped lead to an unearned run in the second. Jimenez was 0-for-2 trying to throw out Trout on the basepaths but was 2-for-2 against everyone else, including Justin Bass. Jimenez can reel in Bass but not Trout, got it? Good! The Lugnuts did convert a couple of twin killings involving the middle infield.
Batting - Eric Eiland had two hits and two walks and Kenny Wilson also had a two-hit game. Sean Ochinko had a homer and a walk, Brad McElroy had a hit and a walk and Oliver Dominguez drew two walks in two plate appearances. Ryan Goins had a bases-clearing double and Mark Sobolewski had a hit. Ryan Schimpf and Balbino Fuenmayor wore the collar with a combined 0-for-8.
Running - Avert your eyes! Eiland was caught stealing twice, Wilson was caught stealing and picked off at first while Jimenez was also nailed on the basepaths. Only Dominguez managed to pilfer a base successfully.
The DSL-Jays nearly matched the big club's version of blowing a big leadandsnatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
*** 3 Stars!!! ***
3. Brian Dopirak, Las Vegas
2. Shawn Bowman, New Hampshire
1. Jorge Padilla, Las Vegas
The Jays start the third month of the season with the 5th best record in baseball, bested only by the Rays, Yanks, Twins and Padres.
They also have the 5th best run differential at +49, with St. Louis replacing San Diego in the list of teams ahead.
Brandon Morrow was great on Monday night, allowing a single run over seven. And he didn't actually allow that run; it was an inherited runner that Scott Downs waved through.
So Morrow was great. We're used to seeing him shut down an opponent every few starts. And yet this is not how we're used to seeing it happen. Morrow, with his incredible rates of 11.7 strikeouts per nine innings and 5.8 walks per nine innings, managed to spend seven innings walking just two and striking out only one.
I would have been interested in watching this start to see what kind of contact he was getting. I'm sure there are plenty of Bauxites who can provide some insight. Was he keeping hitters off-balance, inducing weak swings and softly-hit balls? Or was he just getting lucky with balls in play?
I would love to get all excited about Morrow finding a new strategy (pitch to contact!) that works with his stuff and gets him to throw strikes. But to be honest with you, it seems like it's something new every week with Morrow. Marcum notices something and tweaks his mechanics. Buck talks about about establishing all his pitches early and not relying on the fastball. "Bingo!", I think. "Now, just do that every time." Were life that simple.
Do you think the Jays should pick one strategy and try to stick with it? Or does Morrow have so much naturally inconsistency (also known as Baseball ADHD) that it would be counter-productive? Would it be better to just send him out there and let him do his thing, gaining major-league experience and improving incrementally in each facet of the game rather than focusing on mastering a particular approach?
It's like my golf swing. When I was taught to swing a golf club - probably by my dad, though I'm not entirely sure on that, especially since my dad isn't a very good golfer - I was taught one basic thing: keep your left arm straight on the backswing, straighten both arms through the stroke, and then keep your right arm straight on the follow-through. And to this day, that's all I think about when I'm swinging. I'm not sure, for example, what my hips are supposed to do - I assume that's a big part of golf swings. Maybe mine do the right thing naturally. Probably not.
I've never bothered to try improving my swing because I don't play very often - probably between 0-2 times per year. Every time I hit the course it's been so long that it takes me some time to figure things out. I show up on the first tee not knowing if I'll slice, hook, or blast one right down the middle. (Usually none of the above - on the first hole I'm happy if I make it past the reds.) I spend a few holes alternately compensating my swing as the ball's trajectory gradually approaches straight, like damped harmonic motion, and by the middle of the round I'm into a rhythm and my strokes become more consistent and I end up playing about as well as I always do, no matter if it's been a week or a year.
But aside from the infrequency of my golfing, I'm just not a body mechanics type of person. If I tried to introduce new theory and components into my swing, I think it would be counter-productive, because I'd be thinking about it, and I just don't have the dedication to hit ball after ball at the driving range until it's drilled into my subconscious.
And maybe Morrow is the same way. Maybe routine just doesn't work for him. Maybe he's the kind of pitcher who needs to go in to a start not having a clue what his repertoire is going to be, and make it up as he goes along until something works. And the more he pitches, the more he gets a feel for what is going to work on a given day. Just like if I played golf every five days, I'd actually start to improve, even without reading Lower Your Handicap by 5 in 5 Minutes! or ordering the Swing Correctron 2000.
When I was in Lansing a week ago I took some video of the hitters and pitchers. I have split the videos into two sets of hitters and two sets of pitchers. Today it is the first of the hitters, namely Ryan Goins, Ryan Schimpf and Kenny Wilson.
I was not taping all game so it is tough to get a hit on video. So what we have today is three outs, Goins hit a fly ball to the outfield and Schimpf and Wilson grounded out.
The link to the videos is here.
For those looking for an actual picture, here is Kenny Wilson.
And here is Ryan Goins.
I would adapt a few more lines of the song to be baseball-themed, but that would be the lamest thing I've ever done.
Tacoma 7 at Las Vegas 4
Through seven innings Vegas held a 3-1 lead thanks to a strong outing from Brad Mills. Mills allowed a run on two hits over those seven frames while striking out five, though he also walked five and got 11 fly-outs to just five ground-outs. Unfortunately, the depleted Las Vegas bullpen, having already lost Josh Roenicke, Rommie Lewis and David Purcey to the big leagues, could not hold the lead. Sean "Ballpoint" Henn and "Hardly" Merkin Valdez each allowed three runs in their respective inning of work to let this one slip away.
In his first game for Las Vegas since 2009, organizational soldier Adam Calderone led the offense with three hits including a solo homer. It was not a banner day for the prospects - Brett Wallace and J.P. Arencibia combined for an 0-9 with 5 Ks. Chris Lubanski doubled, walked and K'ed in four trips.
Trenton 0 at New Hampshire 3
It was all Kyle Drabek. The Good Doctor (too soon to re-use the nickname?) was masterful on Monday, spinning eight innings of shut-out ball, allowing only four hits and one walk. If you want to nitpick, he only struck out four and allowed seven GBs to nine FBs, but hey, nobody's perfect. Except Roy Halladay.
Adam Loewen had the best day at the dish with a single and a double in three trips. Maestro Yanni doubled, Eric Thames had a pair of singles, Brad Emaus singled, walked and SFed (actually, maybe he had the best day at the dish), while David Cooper and Brian Jeroloman took 0-fers.
Dunedin - scheduled day off
Lansing at South Bend - Canceled
3. Brad Mills - 7 IP, 1ER, 5Ks
2. Adam Calderone, Las Vegas - 3 hits, HR
1. Kyle Drabek, New Hampshire - 8 shut-out innings
For anyone interested in the Dominican Summer League, somehow the entire DSL got rained out on Monday, except for one game (extra-inning, no less) between the DSL Cubs and Mets.
|Brad McElroy||CF||34||131||29||43||12||2||4||16||71||16||23||8||1||.409||.542||.328||.951||0 N/A|
|Mark Sobolewski||3B||36||139||17||44||11||1||3||21||66||7||23||0||2||.342||.475||.317||.817||6 -.107|
|Bradley Glenn||OF||35||131||17||37||9||1||4||14||60||14||33||6||3||.352||.458||.282||.810||0 -.259|
|A.J. Jimenez||C||34||125||19||39||11||0||2||26||56||10||29||10||2||.352||.448||.312||.800||2 N/A|
|Ryan Schimpf||2B||45||172||26||43||13||4||3||25||73||24||44||10||5||.361||.424||.250||.785||6 +.004|
|Karim Turkamani||C||11||28||3||9||1||0||0||1||10||4||9||0||0||.406||.357||.321||.763||2 N/A|
|Chris Hopkins||LF||26||64||10||19||4||0||0||7||23||11||11||9||0||.395||.359||.297||.754||0 N/A|
|Ryan Goins||SS||44||168||25||50||8||0||2||15||64||20||41||2||4||.370||.381||.298||.751||8 +.052|
|Sean Ochinko||C||43||162||21||46||14||0||1||20||63||14||21||0||0||.352||.389||.284||.741||5 +.014|
|Jon Talley||C||7||22||2||6||2||0||0||3||8||3||5||0||1||.360||.364||.273||.724||0 N/A|
|Oliver Dominguez||2B||28||70||12||17||4||0||2||11||27||8||10||8||3||.325||.386||.243||.711||3 N/A|
|Balbino Fuenmayor||3B||48||174||17||42||13||2||2||26||65||10||54||0||0||.287||.374||.241||.661||2 +.077|
|Kenny Wilson||CF||37||142||23||34||5||1||0||6||41||20||47||16||7||.357||.289||.239||.646||0 -.151|
|Eric Eiland||CF||41||141||18||33||6||2||0||18||43||11||34||11||2||.288||.305||.234||.593||3 -.049|
|Kevin Nolan||SS||19||59||1||9||5||0||0||9||14||5||6||4||3||.242||.237||.153||.480||4 N/A|
|Jack Murphy||C||2||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||.250||.000||.000||.250||0 N/A|
|Chad Jenkins||4||3||3.38||10||10||0||0||0||61.1||67||26||23||4||0||11||55||1.27||0||0 -2.25|
|Ryan Shopshire||2||4||5.73||10||10||1||0||0||55.0||68||36||35||4||2||17||38||1.55||0||0 +2.27|
|Ryan Tepera||5||1||3.68||9||9||0||0||0||51.1||51||24||21||1||0||14||35||1.27||0||0 +1.72|
|Evan Crawford||3||2||4.12||12||7||0||0||0||43.2||43||21||20||2||3||16||36||1.35||1||4 +0.26|
HOW IT WORKS
Scan your favorite baseball blogs every day.
Search over 150 baseball blogs
Click to visit the blog or browse all of the bloggers intros.
Baseball bloggers reach new audiences and readers find new baseball blogs and keep up with their favorites.
Link to BaseballWonks
Whether you like
Wine Blogs....there is a Wonks Community you will enjoy!
BaseballWonks.com is owned and operated by Dimat Enterprises.