Friday, November 16, 2007

Phoenix stuns Surprise, 8-0

Craig Tatum

Phoenix 8 at Surprise 0

W: H. Penn (1-0, 6.45); L: A. Miller (0-2, 9.00)
HR: None.

The Phoenix Desert Dogs took a surprise shut out win over the Surprise Rafters Thursday afternoon, finishing off the regular AFL season. Both teams will play each other again on Saturday for the Championship.

Nyjer Morgan's (Pittsburgh) single was followed up by a walk to Cliff Pennington (Oakland). Nolan Reimold (Baltimore) hit his 4th double of the AFL season to score the pair, then came home when Ryan Sweeney (Chicago White Sox) doubled off Cleveland's Adam Miller to give the Dogs a 3 run lead to start the game.

They added to it in the 2nd inning when Chris Getz (Chicago White Sox) reached on a throwing error by Sean Rodriguez (LA Angels). After Reimold was taken out on strikes, Sweeney hit his second double of the game to plate Getz.

Phoenix's Hayden Penn (Baltimore) allowed 5 hits and walked 1 while striking out 5 over 5 innings to pick up the win, his first of the season. Miller lasted only .1 of the first inning, giving way to Devon Lowery and Nate Hoelscher, both from the Kansas City Royals organization.

Pennington took a walk off Van Stertzbach (LA Angels) to start the sixth, then stole 2nd. Raul Padron (Oakland) would double to bring him in, making it 5-0 for Phoenix.

David Haehnel (Baltimore), James Simmons (Oakland) and Brad Kirby (Oakland) kept the Rafters off the board for the next 3 innings.

Reimold singled to start the top of the ninth. With one out Jason Delaney (Pittsburgh) singled and then Reimold came home when Andrew McCutchen (Pittsburgh) doubled. Following a ground out by Matt Macri (Minnesota), Pennington would single to bring in Delaney and McCutchen. Baltimore's Jake Arrieta would mop up the bottom of the inning for Phoenix.

The big victory celebration though will have to wait until Saturday, as the Rafters are still full of surprises. Nick Blackburn (Minnesota) is expected to get the start for the Dogs in the championship game.

Scottsdale took an 11-4 win over the Peoria Javelinas to finish off the season for those two, and the Peoria Saguaros fell to the Mesa Solar Sox, 6-5.

I asked La Velle E. Neal III if he'd heard anything concrete about Trevor Plouffe's injury to which he responded "Plouffe strained a shoulder but is back playing." Well, you couldn't prove that by my boxscore. Perhaps he's at home, playing with his X-Box?

Plouffe finished off the season with 7 runs on 14 hits in 15 games (50 at bats) for a .280 average (.379 OPB/.360 SLG/.697 OPS), Macri had 13 runs on 26 hits in 28 games (101 at bats) for a .257 average (.315 OBP/.406 SLG/.721 OPS), and Drew Butera ended up with 4 runs on 8 hits in 12 games (32 at bats) for a .250 Average (.314 OPB/.313 SLG/.627 OPS).

Pitching wise, Blackburn finished up with 1.64 average and a .68 Whip, picking up a 4-0 record in 22 innings pitched, Edward Morlan had no earned runs charged to him, a 1-0 record, and a 1.11 whip in 12.2 innings. Ryan Mullins posted a 1-0 record with a 2.84 average, and a 1.11 whip in 19.0 innings, and Anthony Swarak finished up with a 1-1 record, a 2.05 ERA and a 1.09 whip in 22 innings pitched.

With the regular season ended, I'd like to thank Miracle blogger Ed Pelegrino for the Southern and Midwest League top prospect sets which provided much of the image material for the these game recaps. I hope I've managed to keep these reports at least somewhat entertaining for you.

One of these years I must really take a week off in November and go watch this league play.


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