Saturday, April 28, 2007

Too much caffine

Mark Dolenc

"I have a schedule which clearly says 12:30 on it."

"Oh," Milt says. "It's 12. When we play Baltimore either here or at home, it's always at 12."

"I didn't get this memo?"

"I didn't know you were coming over."

"I told David I was."

"Then David should have told you the game was at 12."

Mr. Bromberg is not going to tell me anything. I have him and Mr. Robertson trained well, they both think I am the fount of all knowledge. Therefore, they need not tell me anything.

So...I would have been there at 12:00 anyway, except I spent too much time playing the air pressure in the tires. Personally, I think I let more out than I put in, but there was something wrong with that airguage at the Speedway. In any case...

I missed most of the first inning, however, nothing much happened. One of the players got on base, but the other three didn't. Loek Van Mil recapped his first inning as "a strike out, a hit, and a couple of fly outs."


Deibinson (DJ) Romero, Rene (Tiny) Leverett and Rodolfo (Rocky) Palacios all ground out. Van Mil then proceeded to allow a double and a single, for the first score, before getting a pop out, a strike out and a ground out to end the inning.

J.W. (J-Dub) Wilson steps up the plate and strikes out. Kevin Herrington is next, and he singles. James ("Don't call me Jimmy") Beresford gets on base on a failed fielders choice. Harrington is not only safe at second, they overthrow the base so he goes to third. Esterlin De Los Santos singles and Harrington comes home. Yangervis Solarte pops out (lots of pop ups today) and MarK Dolenc flies out to end the inning.

(Harry's hit & subsequent action.)

Jim Shellenback comes by and says "You can have that chair."

"Which one? The little rusted out one?"

"It's really quite sturdy," he says as he chases David over to warm up. And it was, actually.

Van Mil walks to start inning but then gets two straight strike outs. It should have been three, but the guy calling the balls and strikes couldn't tell a sinker from a breaking ball from a ball in the dirt. Everything was "low". So he had to settle for a fly out to end the inning.

(Loek Van Tall Guy)

Lew Ford leads off with a single. Romero and Tiny both double, making it 3-1. Rocky grounds out and J-Dub flies out. Harrington gets plunked by a pitch. Beresford steps up to the plate. Harrington steals second. Beresford still at the plate. Harrington steals third. Beresford hits a single and Harrington comes home, making it 4-1. De Lo grounds out.

Harrington's a tall kid, 6'6". But he's fast. He's like a cheeta. Zoom!

I discover I can shoot sitting down in the little chair with the still camera. I probably could with the video camera too, but I left the mono-pod in the car. Must get a little chair. That was nice.

Coach Shelly

Bromberg stikes out to start the inning, but then gets into a bit of trouble, allowing a single and issuing a walk with an outfield fly in between. Then he gives up a double that drives in the two runners. He finally strikes out to end the inning. Coach Prada continues to argue with the umpire over the balls and strikes.

"Well, what about tomorrow?" I ask Milt. 12, I'm told. They're playing a double header against the Red Sox at home. Schedule is obviously good for nothing.

Yangervis (I need a cool nickname) Solarte fails to get on base. I was talking to one of the guys and not paying attention. Bad photog. Dolnec, Lewfie and Romero all go for walkies. Tiny hits a double and tries to stretch it for a triple. He gets taken out at third, but not before all the guys on base come home. The Baltimore coach starts screaming "Roll! Roll! Get those guys off the field." Awwww...we were just starting to have fun!

Bromberg goes three up, three down. Way to go Big Sexy. (David Bromberg highlight reel.)

Rocky doubles. J-Dub grounds out. Deciding at this point it's dangerous to allow Harrington ANYWHERE NEAR a basepath, Baltimore strikes him out. Jimmy ("Oh, sorry, James.") grounds out.

A Baltimore guy comes by with seeds and gum. Harrington stuffs his pockets with seeds before heading out to field. "Would you like some gum?" he asks.

"Don't feed them," I tell him. "They'll follow you home and you'll never get rid of them." He laughs. "I'm serious, we starve them at our complex. Starve them!" And do you have any idea who much those kids eat?

Winston Marquez takes to mound. He's one of the new kids, 6'1" 170 pound lefty from Tovar, Vz. He gets the first guy to ground out, but then gives up a single, a walk, and a single. The next play is at second, making it a fielder's choice, but the first runner comes home. It's now 7-4 Twins. I'm still reasonable comfortable with this lead.

We start getting the replacement players now. De Lo walks to start off the inning. Jakub (The Czech Kid) Hajtmar strikes out. Wang-Wei Lin (which sort of sounds like he's saying "wrong way" when pronounces it) hits a double. Lew Ford doubles to score De Lo and Lin. Romero singles and Tiny grounds out. "Tiny" is tiny in the way that Sidney Ponson might be called "Slim". He's 6'1" and 238 pounds. There's nothing tiny about him.

I should note that little chair or not, running from one side of the park to the other to take still shots of the batters and bouncing up and down to take video, I probably put in as many miles on as the kids to. And since I got there late and was trying to balance camera work with record keeping, I forgot my sunscreen. So now I look like lobster woman. Fear my claws!

Shelly tells Brad Tippett that "We're going to put (Danny) Rondon in, and if he has like a 20-pitch inning, then you'll go."

Winston allows three walks and an infield fly before the next one goes over the wall. Just like that, it's 9-7 Twins and nice little lead we had has evaporated. Meanwhile, Shelly has Rondon warming up in the pen. Winston hits the next guy with a pitch, and that's it for him. Brad Tippett, baseball assassin, starts pacing around behind me like a nervous tiger. I'd be afraid, but they'd given him no balls, so he had no amunition...yet.

Rondon goes in and induces the next guy into a double play. Nice...out... Tippett continues to prowl.

Rocky is replaced by one of the new catches, David Hernandez. I ended up calling him "Danny" the whole time and hope that he will forgive me. David is 6'2", 180 pounds and hails from Miami, Florida. Hernandez lines gounds out, J-Dub strikes out, and Juan Richardson fouls out.

Rondon starts off with double. He then strikes out the next guy and lines out the next. The last time I went to Twin Lakes they gave me a roster. This time they offer me gum? I'd rather have the roster. I like to know who I'm watching. The next guy doubles, making it 9-8 Twins. This is not looking good. The final out come on a pop up.

Kevin Harrington strikes out. He wasn't the only one. We waste the ninth inning.

"Go get 'em Tippy."

Loek comes over. "I'm taking over your job. This is Brad's camera." Nice, but I'm sure it doesn't double as an MP3 player. "I have it on continous shooting." Big deal. I'm shooting video.

Tippy did not get the memo on making quick trips to the mound due to the upload limits on He takes his own sweet time about things. But we still win the game.

Brad Tippett (Part I)
Brad Tippett (Part II)
Brad Tippett (Part III)

We played 10 anyway. Lin and Beresford get runs in the tenth and Tippett closes down the game. He tries to kill one of the Baltimore guys, but luckily, the fence gets in the way. He's dangerous with a baseball.

Uppsy-Downsy Rose processed the still photos upside down again. I was going to say something but then I thought that would be rude...anyway, I'll probably put those up later. I've got enough trying to sort out the video.

We do this all again tomorrow...

Lew Ford

Lew Ford
...and lots of it.

Scoreboard for April 27, 2007

Rochester 2 at Toledo 6

Record 9-4

W: V. Vasquez (3-2, 3.21); L: J. DePaula (1-2, 3.00)
HR: ROC: G. Jones (3). TOL: M. Hessman (7), J. Hannahan (1).

E: Watkins (2, fielding), DePaula (2, throw), Tolbert (5, fielding).

From Toledo took advantage of three Rochester errors, and rallied for a 6-2 win over the Red Wings Friday night. Garrett Jones homered for Rochester, who got a strong start from Matt Garza. for Rochester. First baseman Glenn Williams left the game in the third inning, after diving in an attempt to field a ball hit by David Espinosa. Williams landed on his left shoulder and appeared to be in serious pain while being helped off the field. Williams will be evaluated Saturday.

Toledo’s Virgil Vasquez, the reigning International League Pitcher of the Week, went seven and a third, scattering seven hits, surrendering two earned runs. He struck out six with no walks, and retired the last nine batters he faced until being pulled after a Matt Tolbert single.

Rochester cleanup batter Jones got the Wings started in the second by blasting his third homer of the year to the right-center gap, a solo shot off Vazquez to make it 1-0.

The Mud Hens would tie it in their half of the third, on an RBI single off the bat of Ramon Santiago, just past the outstretched glove of the diving Tolbert at second base into right. Espinosa scored easily from third base after he led off the inning with a double, and was moved over on a base hit by Dane Sardinha.

Rochester took back control in the fifth, on a Texas-league single to center by Trent Oeltjen that scored Matthew LeCroy from third, after a leadoff double and a base hit by Jose Morales.

The score would remain 2-1 in favor of Rochester until the sixth, when Jack Hannahan hit his first homer of the year to the right-center gap off Red Wings starter Garza with the bases empty to tie it.

That would spell the end of Garza’s night, who wound up with the tough-luck no-decision. Garza went six strong, allowing five hits and two earned, while striking out six and walking just one.

His replacement, right-hander Julio DePaula, would not fare nearly as well.

Mike Hessman led the seventh with a double, and got to third easily on an Espinosa ground-out. Sardinha then laid down a perfect suicide squeeze along the first base line, and Hessman scored ahead of a wild throw that sent Sardinha to second, and he scored on a two-out Kevin Hooper double down the left field line. Just when it looked like the inning was over, Rochester second baseman Tolbert bobbled an easy grounder hit by Brent Clevlen and Hooper, sprinting all the way from second, scored on an offline throw to the plate by Tolbert. The error was the Red Wings' third of the inning. DePaula was removed from the game in favor of lefty Mike Venafro after the error. The Mud Hens were in control 5-2, heading to the eighth.

Hessman tacked on an extra insurance run, with his seventh homer of the season off righty Jeremy Cummings of Rochester.

Pitchers Vic Darensbourg and Preston Larrison came in to close out the final inning and two-thirds for the Mud Hens (11-10).

A game played in a quick 2:29 ended on a leaping grab by Hessman on a line-shot to third off the bat of Morales. Vasquez improved to 3-2 as the victor. DePaula took the loss for the Red Wings (9-4), dropping to 1-2.

NOTES: Vasquez has struck out 34, and walked only six through five starts and 28 innings pitched...The Wings left 13 men on base...Twins OF Lew Ford (DL, knee) is expected to be sent on a minor league rehab assignment on Monday or Tuesday... Twins INF Jeff Cirillo (DL, knee) is expected to be activated without a rehab assignment later next week...Twins OF Rondell White (DL, calf muscle) has a muscle tear and will be out for at least a month.

R News

New Britain 2 at New Britain 5

Record: 6-8

W: D. Sack (1-1, 1.93); L: J. Floyd (1-3, 5.40); SV: B. Anderson (3)
HR: CT: T. Ishikawa (2).

E: Floyd, J (1, fielding).

From The Connecticut Defenders would not allow the rainy weather throughout the day to prevent baseball at Dodd Stadium. Instead they would play on against the visiting New Britain Rock Cats. The Defenders would send RHP Darren Sack to the mound against New Britain Rock Cats RHP Jesse Floyd. Connecticut would treat the hometown crowd to some early scoring and hold on to win 5-2.

The Rock Cats would put 1 run on the board in the first inning. After Darren Sack retired the first two batters he faced, he’d allow an infield single to OF Garrett Guzman. Sack would attempt to pick off Guzman at first, and throw the ball away, allowing Guzman to advance down to second base. The error would matter as the very next batter, 3B Brian Buscher, would slap a single to score Guzman and give the Rock Cats the early lead. But the Defenders would get things going in the bottom of the second inning with a little help from former Defender Jesse Floyd. Floyd would walk 1B Travis Ishikawa then proceed to give up a single to 3B Simon Klink, followed by an RBI double to SS Jake Wald to put the Defenders on the board. Floyd would strikeout the next batter C Todd Jennings, but Floyd, after inducing a ground ball from 2B Trey Webb, would fail to handle the throw from Velazquez in a foot race to the bag. As a result of the error by Floyd, 2 runs would come around to score and by the end of the inning, the Defenders would lead 3-1.

The Rock Cats would get 1 run back in the top of the third inning as leadoff batter OF Brandon Roberts would reach on a liner to first that nicked the glove of 1B Travis Ishikawa and fell into right field. The play would be ruled an error. SS Trevor Plouffe would follow with a single to put runners at first an second and Garrett Guzman would sacrifice the runners over to second and third. Brian Buscher would follow and record his second RBI of the day with a groundout to the pitcher Sack, scoring Roberts. It would be 3-2 Defenders after 3 innings.

Things would remain scoreless until the top bottom of the seventh inning. RHP Tim Lahey would be on the mound in relief of Floyd and he’d run into trouble. Lahey would surrender a 1-out walk to OF Brian Horwitz and after striking out OF Eddy Martinez-Esteve swinging, he’d serve a breaking ball to Travis Ishikawa that was parked over the right field wall for a 2-run home run. That would extend the Defenders lead to three runs, 5-2 after 7 innings. It would hold up to be the final score as RHP Brian Anderson would come on in the ninth inning and though he’d load the bases, he’d get Roberts to ground out to second to end the game. The Defenders take game one over the Rock Cats 5-2.

Starter Darren Sack (W, 1-1) picked up his first win of the 2007 season pitching 5 innings, giving up 2 runs (0 earned) and striking out 3, without walking a single batter. Brian Anderson (S, 3) would earn his third save of the year with his scoreless duties in the ninth, giving up 1 hit, walking 2, and striking out 2 batters. Jesse Floyd (L, 1-3) would take the loss for the Rock Cats. He pitched 5 innings, surrendering 3 hits, 3 runs (1 earned), 1 walk, and struck out 5 batters. Game 2 is scheduled for a 4:05 start time on Saturday, April 28.


Eli Tintor
Eli Tintor

Fort Myers 10 at Dunedin 4

Record 10 - 11

W: K. Waldrop (3-0, 3.08); L: K. Isenberg (1-3, 4.71)
HR: FTM: E. Tintor (2).

Eli Tintor hit a grand slam and drove in five runs to power visiting Fort Myers to a 10-4 triumph over Dunedin on Friday.

Tintor had only six RBIs in his first 17 games of the season but put the Miracle ahead, 5-0, in the fourth inning with a slam to left field off Blue Jays starter Kurt Isenberg.

Isenberg, who loaded the bases on an error, a walk and a single, managed to strike out the side to end the inning.

Looking for more, Tintor singled home Erik Lis in the ninth for his fifth RBI. The 22-year-old center fielder also had a grand slam and drove in five runs last July 24 for Class A Beloit.

Lis began the five-run ninth with a two-run double, while Caleb Moore and Edward Ovalle each drove in a run. Lis went 3-for-5 with three RBIs, adding a run-scoring single inthe opening frame.

Kyle Waldrop (3-0) remained unbeaten, despite allowing four runs on six hits in five innings. He struck out four and walked one.

News Press

ECHL Hockey: The Florida Everblades defeated the Texas Wildcatters 5-2 to take a 2-1 lead in the best of seven South Division championship series. Vincent Bellissimo scored twice and goalie Craig Kowalski made 33 saves in giving the Blades their first regulation-time win at Ford Arena this season.

Dayton 2 at Beloit 3

Record 10-7

W: J. Lugo (1-1, 3.50); L: J. Smith (1-2, 3.93); SV: R. Delaney (3)
HR: None.

E: Valencia (3, fielding), Benson (2, throw).

From A combined five errors between the Snappers and Dragons resulted in the fifth straight home victory for Beloit. Behind another strong performance from the Snappers' pitching staff, the Snappers beat the Dayton Dragons 3-2.

Beloit got on the board first in the bottom of the first inning with an RBI groundout from slugger, Danny Valencia. Valencia drove home Brian Dinkelman who was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning.

After Dayton tied the game up in the top of the fourth inning, the Snappers came right back and scored one of their own in the bottom half. Danny Berg scored on a Johnny Woodard single to left. Woodard's single made it a 2-1 Snappers' lead after four.

After Beloit stretched their lead to two after the seventh inning, the Dragons scored one of their own in the eighth. Beloit failed to score in the bottom of the eighth, and went to the top of the ninth inning with a 3-2 lead.

Rob Delaney avoided a Chris Heisey one-out single and got the next two batters out to claim his third save of the season. Starter, Jose Lugo pitched six innings of four hit, one run baseball to pick up his first win of the season.

The Snappers improved their record to 10-7 and remained unbeaten at home (5-0).

Daily News

Friday, April 27, 2007

Scoreboard for April 26, 2007

Rochester - Travel Day

Record 9-3

No Game Scheduled

Portland 8 at New Britain 11

Record: 6-7

W: B. Forystek (1-1, 6.55); L: M. James (0-2, 5.63)
HR: NBR: T. Plouffe (3), L. Hughes (1), G. Velazquez (1).

E: Plouffe (3, throw), Hughes (2, fielding).

From Luke Hughes hit a three-run walk-off homer to hand the Rock Cats an 11-8 win over visiting Portland. It was the third comeback victory in the past four games for the 'Cats.

The Rock Cats pounded out 15 hits on the day. Shortstop Trevor Plouffe, the Twins' first round draft pick from 2004, led the way with a 4-for-5 performance. Plouffe fell a triple short of hitting for the cycle, with a single, two doubles, and a home run. Gil Velazquez added three hits, including a grand slam in the fourth inning.

Rock Cats' starter Nick Blackburn surrendered five runs (2 ER) on five hits and three walks in 4 2/3 innings. For the Sea Dogs, Andrew Dobies lasted 5 2/3, allowing six runs on seven hits. He walked none and struck out nine.

Portland took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning on Plouffe's throwing error to first base as he attempted to turn the double play. The Rock Cats got on the board in the second with an RBI double by Brock Peterson to close the gap 2-1. Velazquez then put the Rock Cats ahead 5-2 with his grand slam in the fourth.

The Sea Dogs quickly retaliated in the top of the fifth on an RBI double by Jacoby Ellsbury. An error by Hughes allowed Jeff Corsaletti to reach first safely and scored Ellsbury. Hamden's Jeff Natale added an RBI double to tie the game.

The Rock Cats regained the lead on Plouffe's solo shot to left field in the fifth inning. Plouffe added an RBI double that scored Rashad Eldridge in the seventh for a 7-5 'Cats lead.

Portland came back yet again, this time striking for three runs in the eighth off reliever Brian Forystek for an 8-7 Sea Dogs lead. That set the stage for yet another Rock Cats comeback. In the bottom of the ninth, Plouffe led off the inning with a double to right field. Brian Busher reached base on an intentional walk and was replaced by pinch runner Brandon Roberts. Matthew Allegra's single to left field scored Plouffe to tie the game 8-8. Hughes then stepped up and delievered a shot to left field that won the game.

Michael James (0-2) allowed all three hits and four runs in the ninth inning. Despite blowing the lead in the eighth, Forystek (1-1) came away with the win for the Rock Cats.

Rock Cats

Whit Robbins
Whit Robbins

Fort Myers 0 at Dunedin 4

Record 9 - 10

W: R. Savickas (1-2, 3.28); L: J. Rainville (2-3, 2.84)
HR: None.

E: Tolleson (5, throw).

Russ Savickas scattered three hits in his first career shutout as Dunedin beat Fort Myers, 4-0, in the first game of Thursday's doubleheader.

Savickas (1-2) went seven innings and struck out three as the Miracle (9-10) managed just three singles and one walk. After giving up a two-out single in the first, the right-hander retired 16 of 18 batters before Whitney Robbins led off the seventh with a base hit.

Robbins went 2-for-3 and was the only batter for Fort Myers to reach base more than once.

Starter Jay Rainville (2-3) took the loss after he giving up four runs on five hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings.


Eli Tintor
Eli Tintor

Fort Myers 0 at Dunedin 4

Record 9 - 11

W: D. Harang (1-0, 0.00); L: Y. Pino (0-1, 1.64); SV: C. Falkenbach (6)
HR: DUN: J. Butler (4).

Aaron Tressler and two relievers scattered seven hits as Dunedin defeated Fort Myers, 3-0, to sweep Thursday's doubleheader at Knology Park.

Tressler gave up five hits, fanned two and walked a batter over four innings as the Blue Jays held the Miracle scoreless for the second consecutive game.

Eli Tintor went 2-for-3 and Jeff Christy led off the second with a double for Fort Myers (9-11), which has gone 18 innings without scoring a run.

Starter Yohan Pino (0-1) took loss, yielding two runs on five hits and one walk while striking out five in four innings.

News Press

Dayton 2 at Beloit 4

Record 9-7

W: A. Burnett (1-1, 3.68); L: M. DeJesus (2-1, 4.15); SV: D. Leatherman (2)
HR: BEL: D. Santiesteban (2).

From The Snappers have yet to be beaten at Pohlman Field this season. Even the 13-2, Dayton Dragons could not contain the red-hot Beloit squad. Behind another strong performance from starter, Alex Burnett, the Snappers beat the Dragons 4-2.

Dayton struck first with two runs in the top of the first inning. The Dragons scored off of three hits, but left two stranded.

The Snappers tied the game up in the fifth inning off of Danny Santiesteban's second home run of the season. Johnny Woodard led off the inning with a double and was followed by Santiesteban's homer to left. Danny's home run made it a 2-2 game after five.

The game would remain scoreless until the bottom of the eighth inning, when the Snappers scored two more runs. Brian Dinkelman led off the inning with a double to center, and was driven home off the bat of Danny Valencia one batter later. Johnny Woodard singled to center two batters later and drove home pinch runner, William Luque, from third. Woodard's RBI made it a 4-2 game after eight.

Dan Leatherman pitched a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his second save of the season. Starter, Alex Burnett, went eight innings while only allowing two runs off four hits. Burnett also picked up five strikeouts on the night and registered his first win of the season.

Daily News

Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Lewfie Matinee

The GCL Twins defeated the GCL Reds 3-2 in an extended spring training game at the Lee County Sportsplex this afternoon. A great pitching effort by Mike Allen, Ricky Barrett, Brian Kirwan and Danny Rondon carried the day.

Major leaguers Lew Ford and Ken Harvey made rehab starts in the game, with Ford going 2-for-4 at the plate and Harvey 0-for-4 with one strike out. Harvey played first base for part of the game, Ford was out in left field during the same part.

Esterlin De Los Santos opened up the scoring for the Twins when he got on base with a single and stole over to second. Ford ground out and Harvey struck out before Juan Richardson singled De Los Santos home. The Twins would nurse that one point lead into the sixth inning when Yangervia Solarte singled with two outs and then moved to second on a balk by the Reds pitcher. Jakub Hajtmar from the Czech Republic singled him in, giving the Twins two. Mark Dolenc struck out to end the inning.

Wang-Wei Lin doubled to open the bottom of the eighth, and was singled home by Solarte to make it 3-0 Twins. During this time period, the Reds never made it as far as second base...that's how good the pitching was. That came to an end though in the ninth inning when closer Aaron Craig suffered control problems and allowed 2 runs on three hits, with two additional runners reaching on a fielder's choice with the ground outs going to second, instead of first. Still, Craig managed to get the third out on an outfield fly, and get the save.

Of note, Wilson Ramos hit a home run in the first inning that fell fair, hit the retaining fence and bounced back onto the field, at which point the umpire ruled it foul. I believe coach Prada nearly ate the umpire from lunch on that one, but there were some seriously questionable rulings that went against the Twins and I was wondering if the PBL on their caps stood for Professional Bowling League, as they sure didn't seem to know how to call a baseball game.

Eric Santiago had the play of the game on a put out in shallow right field. Unfortunately, he was injured during the play, but was able to make it off the field under his own power. He appeared to have injured the ankle he hurt last season during GCL. Hopefully it's not serious and he was removed more as a matter of precaution. Santiago will likely go to Elizabethton when the camp breaks in June.

Wesley Conner nearly had a home run with the Twins doing extra batting at the bottom of the ninth. A stiff wind from left field kept the ball in the park, otherwise it would have been over the fence.

De Los Santos was 1-for 2 in the game, Richardson was 2-for-3 with a double, Ramos - the disallowed home run aside - was 0-for-3 with one strike out, J. W. Wilson was 1-for-2, Lin was 1-for-2 with a walk, Santiago was 0-for-2, Solarte - who hails from Valencia Carabobo, Venezula - was 3-for-3 with a double, Conner was 0-for-2, Hajtmor was 1-for-2, Mark Dolenc was 1-for-2 with a strike out, Rene Leveret from St. Maarten was 0-for-1 with a walk, and Rodolfo Palacios was 0-for-1.

The Twins take on Pittsburgh tomorrow in Bradenton and face Baltimore in Sarasota on Saturday before returning home to take on the Red Sox on Sunday. All games are at 12:30 pm.

Off the cuff: Listening to Kyle Edlich explain me to one of the new guys was kind of um...odd. Discussions on the bench today included a Lewfie special - how to iron your shirt while wearing it.

David Bromberg says he's been hitting 92-93 on the speed gun and hopes to see 95 by the time camp breaks in June. He is expected to go to Elizabethton. Do not expect Mike Allen in Betsy however, I hear he's been earmarked for Beloit. Bromberg will be pitching on Saturday, so we'll have a look at him then.

Matt Fox was not pitching today so he was back to his usually witty, charming and incredibly silly self. He said he roomed with Kyle Aselton for Instructs once and twice for spring training and was going to stay with him this year, but David Shinski needed a place to stay and moved into the apartment with Aselton, Tintor and Ward instead.

He also accused me of not seeing Kyle Aselton as Aselton is pitching out of the bullpen and I said that was not the case, which he would find out if he actually bothered to read my blog. Kyle has been semi-randomly assigning "boy"friends to me, I believe to get back at me for calling him "Pookie" in public.

Candian first baseman Jon Waltenbury does fit the right-handed hockey shot/left-handed batter profile that was theorized by Everblades president Craig Brush. Waltenbury was a center prior to starting his baseball career. Beyond that, he didn't add much and I understand now where is camp nickname comes from. He did like his photos however, as did Fox, Bromberg and Kevin Harrington.

My friend Ed made a comment at the Miracle game on Tuesday night that I really need to get a professional digital camera and put the old film based Nikon out to pasture. "It will totally change the way yout take pictures." He's right. It would totally change my lifestyle. I'd never get any sleep then, I'd be too busy uploading, editing and printing shots.

When asked what he thought of Wednesday's Education Day Miracle game, Loek Van Mil answered "It was loud!"

Mike Allen told me his mom liked the last video, so I got her another one...
Lew Ford and Ken Harvey
Ricky Barrett
Brian Kirwan - 6th Inning
Brian Kirwan - 7th Inning
Danny Rondon

Still Photos

Scoreboard for April 25, 2007

Pawtucket at Rochester - Postponed

Record 9-3

Wednesday's International League contest between Pawtucket and Rochester was postponed due to rain at Frontier Field.

Wednesday's rainout at Frontier Field gives the Red Wings 10 doubleheaders this season, including a split with Pawtucket on the road last week.

Wednesday's game will be made up as part of a doubleheader at Frontier on July 6 beginning at 6:05 p.m. Fans missed a dream pitching matchup between Rochester's Matt Garza and Pawtucket's Jon Lester. By July, it's highly likely that both could be pitching in the majors.

"I was excited about seeing it," Red Wings manager Stan Cliburn said.

Garza will start for the Wings when the team begins an eight-day Ohio road trip on Friday night in Toledo.

Twins general manager Terry Ryan is expected to scout the Wings on Saturday night.


Portland at New Britain - Postponed

Record: 5-7

Wednesday's Eastern League game between the Portland Sea Dogs and New Britain Rock Cats was postponed due to rain and wet field conditions at New Britain Stadium.

No make up date has yet been determined.

Erik Lis
Erik Lis

Clearwater 4 at Fort Myers 5

Record 9 - 9

W: F. Mata (2-0, 1.00); L: Z. Stott (0-1, 1.69); SV: E. Morlan (3)
HR: None.

E: TollEson (4, throw), Lis (2, fielding).

From It was an educational day at Hammond Stadium with Erik Lis giving the Clearwater Threshers a hitting lesson by going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles helping the Fort Myers Miracle to a 5-4 win over the Threshers on Wednesday afternoon. The day game featured Education Day I at the ball park with 2,323 screaming youngsters on hand.

Starting things off early, the Miracle would tally two in the second as Steve Tolleson delivered a one-out single to right scoring Javi Sanchez who led off with a walk. Dwayne White would follow with a groundout to first that scored Toby Gardenhire from third.

Clearwater responded with a pair of runs of their own in the third as Jeremy Slayden connected on a two-run single to center bringing home Matt Thayer and Greg Golson. Thayer drew a one-out walk while Golson reached base with a double to left.

A three-run fifth frame for the Miracle gave them the lead for good as Dwayne White, who led off with a single to center, scored on the first of two doubles by Lis on the afternoon giving the good guys a 3-2 lead. Ovalle would soon trade places with Lis at second base with his own RBI-double before scoring on a fielding error by Thresher shortstop Fidel Hernandez.

Clearwater would threaten with runs in the fifth and sixth cutting it to a one run game. Welinson Baez would slap a two-out RBI single to right scoring Thayer in fifth, while a couple of Miracle errors led to the Clearwater run in the sixth. Hernandez would reach on a throwing error by Tolleson at short in the sixth and later score as Thayer reached on a fielding error by Lis at first base to keep the inning alive and score Thayer from third.

Miracle relievers Frank Mata and Eddie Morlan would shut the door on the Threshers in the final three innings. Mata tossed two perfect innings with one strikeout picking up his second win of the year. Morlan registered his third save of the season allowing no runs on a couple of hits in the ninth.

The Miracle now embark on a seven-game in six day road trip beginning with a four-game set at Dunedin. The Miracle and Blue Jays will play a doubleheader on Thursday evening beginning at 5 p.m.

News Press

ECHL Hockey: Texas bounced back to hand Florida a 5-0 loss at Germain Arena in Game 2 of the South Division finals. The series now moves to Ford Arena in Beaumont, Texas for two games with the first to be played on Friday night. The Texas Wildcatters are the ECHL affiliate of the Houston Aeros, who are the Minnesota Wild's AHL affiliate. Florida is the shared ECHL affiliate of the Florida Panthers and the Carolina Hurricanes.

Dayton at Beloit

Record 8-7

No Games Scheduled

The Snappers have Wednesday off before they return home on Thursday, April 26 for an eight game homestand starting with four games against the Dayton Dragons (Cinci Reds).

First pitch on Thursday is set for 6:30 PM.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Scoreboard for April 24, 2007

Pawtucket 2 at Rochester 5

Record 9-3

W: K. Slowey (3-0, 0.96); L: D. Hansack (1-2, 3.22); SV: M. Venafro (2)
HR: PAW: G. Kottaras (1).

From Kevin Slowey struck out nine, improving to 3-0 on the season and leading the Red Wings to a 5-2 win over Pawtucket Tuesday night at Frontier Field. Jose Morales had two hits and an RBI for Rochester, who hosts Pawtucket in a Wednesday matinee at 12:05 pm.

The game offered a rematch from April 19's game in Pawtucket, with Slowey taking the mound against the Paw Sox' Devern Hansack. Slowey struck out the side in the first inning, and had six strikeouts in the first three innings.

Garrett Jones and Matthew LeCroy led off with consecutive singles, bringing up switch-hitting catcher Morales - who entered the game hitting just .200 against left-handed pitchers, but .333 against righties. Batting left against the right-hander Hansack, Morales stroked a 2-2 pitch up the middle to bring in Jones for a 1-0 Rochester lead. The hit increased Morales' average with runners in scoring position to .571, tops on the team so far this season. Matt Moses' run-scoring sacrifice fly scored LeCroy and the Wings went up 2-0.

Speedster Denard Span reached first on a fielder's choice in the third, then scored without a run - after stealing second and third, and coming home on a wild pitch by Hansack.

Slowey was in top form, crushing along with a one-hitter and eight strikeouts through six. He walked Brandon Moss on a close call in the seventh, then allowed a two-run home run to George Kottaras for the Paw Sox' only runs of the night. Slowey's final line: seven innings, three hits, two earned runs and a walk to go with nine strikeouts - the second straight nine-strikeout start for Slowey.

The Wings added single runs in the sixth and seventh, on sacrifice flies by Jones and Matt Tolbert respectively.

Julio DePaula fanned two in a perfect inning, helped by a nice defensive play at short by Tommy Watkins. Mike Venafro struck out two in the ninth to record his second save.

NOTES: Third baseman Moses also made a great play, diving to snag a ball hit down the line by Jeff Bailey in the fourth inning. Moses got up and fired a strike to first base, getting Bailey by two steps... If Rochester can win four of their next five games (13-4 record) it would be the Red Wings' best 17-game start to a season since manager Cot Deal’s 1958 squad started with a 15-4 record... RHP Tristan Crawford was optioned to Double-A New Britain Tuesday. Crawford was 0-1 with a 10.12 ERA in three appearances for Rochester... The Paw Sox are now 7-4 on the road, and 1-5 at home.

R News

Portland 4 at New Britain 5 (10 innings)

Record: 5-7

W: T. Crawford (1-0, 0.00); L: M. James (0-1, 1.17)
HR: None.

From Rashad Eldridge led off the bottom of the tenth inning with a triple and scored on a sac fly by Gil Velazquez as the Rock Cats topped Portland 5-4 in extra innings. It was the second walk-off win for the ‘Cats in three games.

Tristan Crawford, who was reassigned to New Britain from Triple-A Rochester earlier in the day, allowed two hits in a scoreless tenth inning. Crawford (1-0) appeared in the Rock Cats’ dugout after the game started and ended it with a win.

Portland starter Clay Buchholz lived up to his billing on Tuesday night, as he shutout New Britain through 5 2/3 innings. The Red Sox’ first round draft pick in 2005 limited the Rock Cats to two hits and one walk. Buchholz, who was named the Red Sox’ 2006 Minor League Pitcher of the Year, struck out eight on the night. The game was decided far after he left, though.

New Britain capitalized on miscues by the Sea Dogs, including five errors. The Rock Cats scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game and they were able to do it without using much lumber. Brian Buscher reached first on a fielding error by second baseman and Hamden native Jeff Natale. Bryson Cox then walked Felix Molina and Gil Velazquez. He then hit Brock Peterson with a pitch to score Buscher from third to close the gap to 4-2. Kory Feiner then delivered a single that knocked in Molina and Velazquez to even the score.

UConn product Michael James (0-1) suffered the loss with three hits and one run in 1 1/3 innings. Portland’s Cory Keylor was 4-for-5 with a triple and an RBI double.

Rock Cats’ starter Brian Duensing allowed six hits and three runs through 4 1/3 innings. J.P. Martinez tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings in relief, allowing just one hit.

Rock Cats

Toby Gardenhire
Toby Gardenhire doffs his hat to the crowd during player introductions.

Clearwater 6 at Fort Myers 4

Record 8 - 9

W: C. Willey (2-0, 5.40); L: D. Shinskie (2-1, 3.86); SV: B. Harker (3)
HR: FTM: E. Tintor (1).

Sean Fox made the comment before the game that he'd rather be watching the game between the Everblades and the Wildcatters. I couldn't blame him, I felt we had a better chance of winning that one.

Ozzie Sosa got off to his worst start of the year, lasting only 2.2 innings and allowing 4 runs on 9 hits, while striking out only 3 before being replaced by David Shinski.

Eli Tintor singled in a Eddie Ovalle, who got on base after bring hit by a pitch, in the second inning. He would be his three run homer in the bottom of the fourth that tied the game and prevented Sosa from taking the loss.

Unfortately, Shinski couldn't hold the score, walking Welinson Baez who would score on a Lou Marson double to Eric Lis in left field.

Tintor accounted for all four Miracle runs. (I told you those white batting gloves worked better.)

Eli Tintor
Eli Tintor in the on deck circle, just moments before his 3 run blast over the left field fence.

Zack Ward put in a strong 3.1 innings, finishing up for Shinskie in the fifth and going to to walk only 1 while striking out 5 in 3.1 innings worth of work.

Ward's 5th inning
Ward's 6th inning

Kyle Aselton walked three, including an intentional pass to Baez, but managed to get out the jam by getting Aussie Brad Harman to strike out, swinging.

The two teams rematch tomorrow for a morning Education Day game. I've heard that either 500 or 2,000+ children are expected to attend.

I however, will not, so we will have to wait for another day to get Loek Van Mil's commentary on Alex Smit's pitching.

(And for what it's worth, Florida did defeated Texas, 5-0, in the first game of the ECHL South Division Finals. Game two is Wednesday night April 25th, at Germain Arena.)

News Press
Photo Gallery

Beloit 1 at Lansing 0

Record 8-7

W: J. Manship (1-0, 1.08); L: C. Lirette (2-1, 0.49); SV: R. Delaney (2)
HR: None.

E: Olson (3, fielding).

From Jeff Manship tossed six innings of three hit baseball as he led the Beloit Snappers to a 1-0 victory over the Lansing Lugnuts before 1,455 fans at Oldsmobile Park Tuesday night. The win earned a split of the four game series for Beloit.

Each starting pitcher was phenominal on Tuesday night. Manship (1-0) allowed just one runner to reach second base and fanned five batters in his outing. He did walk two batters in the game, which were the first free passes that he has issued this season.

Not to be outdone, Lansing's Chase Lirette hurled 6 2/3 gorgeous innings, allowing just four hits in his start. He suffered the hard luck loss, as the only run of the game scored on a passed ball by Matt Liuzza in the fifth to make it 1-0 in favor of Beloit. The run was not earned to Lirette (2-1), who has allowed just one earned run in 18 1/3 innings this season.

The Lugnuts made it interesting in the ninth by putting two men in scoring position with no one out. Chris Gutierrez singled to left and Travis Snider doubled to right to put runners at second and third. After Brian Pettway struck out, Matt Lane was intentionally walked to load the bases. However Chris Emanuele grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the game.

Lansing State Journal
Beloit Daily News

The Beloit Snappers and the Cedar Rapids Kernels have come to an agreement on make-up dates for the two games that were postponed earlier in the season. April 5th and 6th's games that were postponed due to frigid weather will now be made up as two doubleheaders in June.

The Snappers and Kernels will play two seven inning games on Monday, June 11th starting at 5:00 pm and two seven inning games on Wednesday, June 13th starting at 5:00 pm.

"This is going to be an important stretch for us," said General Manager Jeff Vohs. "With the first half of the season coming to an end on Sunday, June 17th, these two doubleheaders have the possibility of having playoff implications. The players, coaches, and staff will all have to be extremely focused during this stretch."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The other side of the coin

I get a lot of people that say "Oh, it must be great to know these guys, to see them do good and move up in the organization." It is, but there's another side of the coin.

Since I was down at the minor league complex on Sunday, I was talking to Matt Fox who in turn asked after Kyle Aselton. The two are pretty good pals, I believe they were roommates in E-Town but it always sort of cracks me up the way they keep tabs on each other.

Like Matty can't walk acrossed the parking lot?

Anyway, Aselton was up on the concourse last night signing autographs. He's not in the program, so he was sort of signing advertisements. Now I'm thinking...why didn't he sign Foxy's profile? (I must suggest that to him.)

Kyle Aselton

Kyle Aselton

In any case, Fox had asked me how he was doing and I said I watched him once, and he pitched really well, and then, I didn't stick around for the next game and he blew.

"I didn't blow," Aselton says. Okay....taking a look...

Opening Night: no runs on 1 hit, 1 walk while striking out 1 in 1 inning

They were at Sarasota, so I didn't see this one...

April 9 vs. Sarasota: no runs, no hits, 1 walk, while striking out 2 in 1.2 innings

This is the game I saw, and yes, I have video.

This is one of the first clips I took. And he did pitch really well that game, reminded me of what he looked like at the start of last year.

The next game he pitched, it was kind of chilly and for some reason, I couldn't get warm despite the new $50 Twins hoodie so I left yearly and missed this...

April 13 vs. Dunedin: 3 runs on 4 hits and 1 walk (3 earned) while striking out 1 in 1.1 innings (6.75 era).

(You blew buddy.)

This sort of reminds me of what he looked like at the end of last season. Now...I blamed the end of last season on his elbow injury and agreed with me. When I spoke to him in spring training he said that he was feeling a bit tenative about it. However, he said he was good to go for this season.

Regarding spring training, he was given a fair chance to make the New Britain team, and for the game I talked to him prior to, I pointed out that he needed to pitch like he did the first half of the season.

He went out there and struck out the first two batters he faced, then issued a walk and gave up a double for a run before he got the third out on a grounder. Next inning, he lead off with a single. The second hit was another nice ground that they played at second base, leaving a runner on first. He induced the third guy to hit into a double play. So far so good?

He issued a walk to start the third inning, struck out the next guy and then gave up a single and another walk. The first guy was taken out on a fielder's choice leaving two men on when the next batter put one over the wall, bringing in three for Portland. The last out was a grounder.
Not my idea of a stellar outing and that's why he's back in Fort Myers instead of with the NB squad. I know, he was unhappy with that.

Fox had questioned that as well, and I said, "He's feeling old and if he doesn't make the New Britian squad by the end of the season, he's pretty sure his days are numbered."

"What about me?" Fox asks. "I'm old!"

"Yeah, but they gave you a lot of money, Foxy. They're not going to let you go so easily." Fox would happily have given the money back if he'd never gotten injured, doesn't work that way.

Going back to Aselton and his last outting...

April 19 vs. Tampa: no runs on 1 hit and 1 walk while striking out 1 in 2 innings worth of work.

Which was decent. Aselton is big 6'5" lefty that can hit 91. His problem is that he has had control issues and evidently, still does. However, if he can get past the one bad outting and continue on with the way he's pitched otherwise, he could certainly be looked at to move to New Britain mid-season.

Then again...he might be replaced, promotion wise, by younger guys like Yohan Pino and Eddie Morlan whose stock in the organization is a little higher than Aselton's as been. So he might not move to AA until next season, in which case yes, even given a good year in Fort Myers, his playing days could well be over.

As for Fox, I wouldn't be surprised if instead of going to E-Town again, which he seems to think is going to be the case, if they send him to Fort Myers mid-season to replace a player that moves to New Britain. He feels like his velocity needs to come up for them to do that, but I don't necessarily see that as the case. They could well put him with the Miracle because of his age.

I still think he could help us and I believe that facing that kind of competition he'd see at a High A level might wake something up in him. His confidence level's been fairly low.

I dunno...maybe I'm misreading him, but it seems like the competative fire he should have is just not there. He isn't quite the same he was a couple of years ago...that...I'll bet you $50 I can (insert action here). He needs to get that cocky attitude back somehow. And I think once that happens his confidence, and his pitching will come with it.

But both of them are kind of down right now, and it's well...distressing to see that because you do want them throw well and progress and see their dreams realized.

Anyway, I had these nice pictures of Pookie and so I wanted to write something for the girls in E-Town and I left the notes on the Aussies at home. So, there you go.

Oh...speaking of Foxy's profile in the program...yes, he did see where he'd moved to Perth, Australia. I had to correct someone last night who was looking in the program and thought he was Australian. We have a few of them, but Foxy's not one. Then again...Orlando, Australia...what's the big difference? And for those scoring along at home, that is Jesse Floyd's picture next to his profile.

Scoreboard of April 23, 2007

Syracuse 2 at Rochester 6

Record 8-3

W: B. Bass (1-0, 8.53); L: R. Houston (0-1, 6.48); SV: C. Cali (1)
HR: SYR: J. Griffin (5). ROC: J. Morales (1).

From Jason Miller started - then stopped - then started up again, tossing four scoreless innings to help the Red Wings to a 6-2 win over Syracuse Monday night at Frontier Field. Tommy Watkins had two hits and drove in two runs for Rochester, who beat Syracuse for the seventh straight game going back to last season.

The teams completed one scoreless inning when a rainstorm hit the area, with high winds and lightning contributing to a delay of one hour, 41-minutes. When play resumed, Wings starter Miller came back out to the mound, while Syracuse brought Ryan Houston (0-1) in to replace original starter Dustin McGowan. Reliever Miller was making a spot start for the Wings.

In the Red Wings third, Watkins went to right field on a 1-2 pitch from Houston for a double, bringing home both Chris Heintz and Denard Span for a 2-0 Rochester lead. Watkins hustled to third on the play, then scored when Glenn Williams doubled to almost the exact same spot as Watkins' hit.

Miller worked a total of four innings, allowing a pair of hits and two walks. Brian Bass took over in the fifth inning and tossed a scoreless frame, then allowed a two-run homer to John-Ford Griffin in the sixth - bringing the Chiefs to within a run at 3-2. The Wings answered back in the bottom of the sixth. Matthew LeCroy walked to start the inning, and scored with Matt Tolbert when Span drilled a hard ground ball that second baseman Russ Adams couldn't handle.

In the bottom of the eighth, Jose Morales homered to right field to finish the scoring.

Carmen Cali relieved Bass (1-0) in the seventh and closed out the game, picking up his first save with the Wings.

NOTES: RHP Jeff Manship is the Minnesota Twins Minor League Player of the Week, after striking out 17 with no walks in 13 1/3 innings (two starts) for Class A Beloit. Manship was drafted last June after playing college ball at Notre Dame... Red Wings Chief Operating Officer Naomi Silver will be honored as part of Penfield Little League's 55th Annual Opening Day April 28, at the town's complex on Atlantic Avenue... OF Lew Ford (knee) is playing in extended spring games at the Twins' camp in Ft. Myers, getting in shape before goin on a rehab assignment. Ford was placed on the big league DL in March.

R News

Portland 8 at New Britain 5

Record: 4-7

W: K. Jackson (1-0, 10.50); L: B. Forystek (0-1, 5.00); SV: B. Vaughan (3)
HR: POR: D. Brown (2), E. Crozier (2). NBR: B. Buscher (1).

From Portland’s Jeff Natale made the most of his homecoming, going 4-for-5 to lead the Sea Dogs to a 7-5 victory over New Britain. Natale, a product of Trinity College who hails from Hamden, Connecticut, pounded out two doubles and two RBI.

Rock Cats’ starter Brad Baker, another New England native who is from Massachusetts, provided the Rock Cats with a solid start. The bullpen couldn’t hold on to the lead, though, and he came away with the no-decision.

The Sea Dogs jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning. Jacoby Ellsbury led off the inning with a double to center field and Natale knocked him in with a one-out double to deep left field. Natale struck again in the third inning when he singled to score Jeff Corsaletti, who reached base on a double.

The Rock Cats retaliated in the fourth inning. Trevor Plouffe led off the inning by reaching base on a walk. Garrett Guzman followed with a single and Matthew Allerga walked to load the bases. Plouffe scored on a sac fly by Luke Hughes to put the ‘Cats on the board, 2-1. Felix Molina’s single to left field scored Guzman and tied the game.

The ‘Cats broke out their bats again in the fifth inning. Guzman doubled in the fifth to score Brandon Roberts. Brian Buscher then connected for a two-run blast for a 5-2 lead.

Buscher finished the night with three hits for the Rock Cats. Felix Molina, Kyle Geiger, and Guzman all had two hits apiece.

Portland’s Eric Crozier delivered a two-run home run of his own in the top of the sixth. The Rock Cats sent Brian Forystek into the game in relief of Baker. Forystek struck out the first batter he faced, but allowed a double to Cory Keylor. Dusty Brown homered to left field to regain the lead for Portland, 6-5.

Baker finished with three runs on six hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings. Forystek (0-1) took the loss after surrendering three runs and three hits in two innings.

Portland starter Thomas Hottovy lasted just 4 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on three hits and three walks. Kyle Jackson (1-0) picked up the win, despite allowing two runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings. Beau Vaughn notched his third save of the season with 1 1/3 scoreless innings to close out the game.

Rock Cats

Eddie Morlan
Eddie Morlan

Clearwater 4 at Fort Myers 1

Record 8 - 8

W: J. Outman (1-1, 4.19); L: R. Mullins (0-2, 3.26); SV: B. Harker (2)
HR: None.

E: Tolleson (3, fielding). (I think Whit should have gotten one as well.)

I've been asked by several fans about the feasability of moving Eddie Morlan (pictured) into the starting rotation. Ryan Mullins has been, to my mind, the weak link the rotation, and the player most likely to go into the bullpen, but that all changed last night.

Mullins pitched brilliantly for most of 7 innings, record an astounding 10 strike outs, but suffering the hard luck loss when the winning run came home on Steve Tolleson's error.

Welinson Baez led off with a single to center in the fifth inning, with Lou Marson following with a free pass to first. After a successful Brad Harmon sacrifice bunt, the first Thresher run of the night came in via a Clay Harris ground out to third. Kevin Howard then hit a ground ball to short that Tolleson had trouble fielding, which allowed Marson to score from third.

The Miracle cut the lead to one in the seventh as Erik Lis led off with a double to right and moved to second on Edward Ovalle's sacrifice bunt. With two outs on the board, Javi Sanchez delivered a flare to right, scoring Lis on the play and accounting for the lone Miracle run of the night.

Josh "Shaggy" Hill came on in relief in the eighth. Since Brian wasn't at the game, I made sure to get video of his buddy, just for him...

Josh Hill (Part I)
Josh Hill (Part II)

Hillers appearance might also explain why it was "Aussie" night at the ball park with the a number of them trooping over from the minor league complex with Kyle Edlich to watch the game. Clearwater shortstop Brad Harmon is also an aussie, from Ferntree Gully.

Morlan followed up in the ninth. He was hitting 94-95 MPH on the speedgun, but seemed to have some problems with control, putting in what was likely his worst outing of the season.

Eddie Morlan (Part I)
Eddie Morlan (Part II)
Eddie Morlan (Part III)

In regards to his role on the team, Eddie says he will pitch where-ever they put him, as he plans on doing this for a long time.

"They put me in the rotation (in Beloit) to get me some innings. But I'm pretty happy working out of the pen and they seem content to leave me there for the time being."

Coach Nelson Prada, during the post game meeting Sunday for the Rookie Extended Spring Training team pointed out that it's hard for a team to win a game when they get only four hits. The Miracle managed only five. (Is that why these boys are playing in High A?)

Aside from Lis and Sanchez's hits, Toby Gardenhire smacked a double in the third, but was stranded when Tolleson flew out and Dwayne White ground out. Juan Portes and Caleb Moore had recorded the other two hits for the hometown team.

The two teams rematch tonight, with Ozzie Sosa (0-1, 5.11) taking the mound for the Miracle against Clearwater's Carlos Carrasco (1-1, 4.50).

News Press

Beloit 3 at Lansing 5

Record 7-7

W: A. Wideman (3-0, 2.76); L: S. Land (1-1, 2.57); SV: P. Phillips (3)
HR: BEL: A. De San Miguel (1). LAN: J. Jaspe (1).

Good going Dirty!!!

From One day after the Lansing's franchise record ten game winning streak ended, the Lugnuts got back to their victorious ways as they defeated the Beloit Snappers 5-3 on Monday night at Oldsmobile Park. The Lugnuts have now won 8-of-9 games in the current homestand.

With the score tied 3-3 in the sixth, Lansing's Jonathan Diaz delivered an RBI single into left-center field that plated Matt Liuzza from second base to break the deadlock and give the Lugnuts the lead at 4-3.

The bullpen was able to hold on from there, as Edward Rodriguez and Paul Phillips combined to toss the final three innings while allowing just one baserunner.

Lansing got out to an early lead when Travis Snider doubled down the right field line to plate both Sean Shoffit and Chris Emanuele to make it 2-0 in favor of the home team.

Another run crossed the plate in the second frame when Jonathan Jaspe belted his first homer of the year, a solo shot that extended the advantage to 3-0.

Beloit scored a run in the third on an Alan de San Miguel solo homer and added two more in the fifth to tie the game. Yancarlos Ortiz singled into left-center field to bring home Johnny Woodard and Danny Santiesteban to knot the score at 3-3.

A.J. Wideman (3-0) got the win for the Lugnuts by throwing six innings and allowing three runs on four hits. It marks his third consecutive victory.

Paul Phillips picked up his third save of the year.

Lansing (12-2) will wrap up the ten game homestand on Tuesday by concluding the series with Beloit (7-7). Chase Lirette (2-0, 0.77) will get the ball for the Lugnuts, while Jeff Manship (0-0, 1.42) takes the hill for the Snappers. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.

Lansing State Journal

Miracle, Mullins suffer hard luck loss

Clearwater 4 at Fort Myers 1

Record 8 - 8

W: J. Outman (1-1, 4.19); L: R. Mullins (0-2, 3.26); SV: B. Harker (2)
HR: None.

E: Tolleson (3, fielding). (I think Whit should have gotten one as well.)

I've been asked by several fans about the feasability of moving Eddie Morlan (pictured) into the starting rotation. Ryan Mullins has been, to my mind, the weak link the rotation, and the player most likely to go into the bullpen, but that all changed last night.

Mullins pitched brilliantly for most of 7 innings, record an astounding 10 strike outs, but suffering the hard luck loss when the winning run came home on Steve Tolleson's fielding error.

Welinson Baez led off with a single to center in the fifth inning, with Lou Marson following with a free pass to first. After a successful Brad Harmon sacrifice bunt, the first Thresher run of the night came in via a Clay Harris ground out to third. Kevin Howard then hit a ground ball to short that Tolleson had trouble fielding, which allowed Marson to score from third.

The Miracle cut the lead to one in the seventh as Erik Lis led off with a double to right and moved to second on Edward Ovalle's sacrifice bunt. With two outs on the board, Javi Sanchez delivered a flare to right, scoring Lis on the play and accounting for the lone Miracle run of the night.

Josh "Shaggy" Hill came on in relief in the eighth. Since Brian wasn't at the game, I made sure to get video of his golfing buddy, just for him...

Hillers appearance might also explain why it was "Aussie" night at the ball park with the a number of them trooping over from the minor league complex with Kyle Edlich to watch the game. Clearwater shortstop Brad Harmon is also an aussie, from Ferntree Gully.

Morlan followed up in the ninth. He was hitting 94-95 MPH on the speedgun, but seemed to have some problems with control, putting in what was likely his worst outing of the season.

In regards to his role on the team, Eddie says he will pitch where-ever they put him, as he plans on doing this for a long time.

"They put me in the rotation (in Beloit) to get me some innings. But I'm pretty happy working out of the pen and they seem content to leave me there for the time being."

Coach Nelson Prada, during the post game meeting Sunday for the Rookie Extended Spring Training team pointed out that it's hard for a team to win a game when they get only four hits. The Miracle managed only five. (Is that why these boys are playing in High A?)

Aside from Lis and Sanchez's hits, Toby Gardenhire smacked a double in the third, but was stranded when Tolleson flew out and Dwayne White ground out. Juan Portes and Caleb Moore had recorded the other two hits for the hometown team.

The two teams rematch tonight, with Ozzie Sosa (0-1, 5.11) taking the mound for the Miracle against Clearwater's Carlos Carrasco (1-1, 4.50).

Monday, April 23, 2007

Scoreboard for April 22, 2007

Syracuse 1 at Rochester 4

Record 7-3

W: M. Venafro (1-0, 6.75); L: B. Neal (0-2, 4.05); SV: B. Korecky (2)
HR: SYR: S. Fasano (4). ROC: G. Jones (2), G. Williams (2).

E: MosEs (5, throw).

From Glenn Williams and Garrett Jones hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning, powering the Red Wings to a 4-1 win over Syracuse Sunday afternoon at Frontier Field. Dave Gassner pitched five solid innings and was supported by four scoreless innings from the bullpen.

After Wings starter Gassner quietly set down the Chiefs in order in the top of the first, the Red Wings faced off against Jason Scobie to try and obtain an early lead. After Denard Span, wearing 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson, splintered his bat for a single he advanced to second on a fielders choice by Tommy Watkins, also wearing 42. Williams and Jones walked to load the bases for slugger Matthew LeCroy. However, LeCroy grounded to the left side of the infield for a double play, ending the Red Wings threat.

Gassner held the Chiefs scoreless through the first three innings and was helped out on a steller play by Watkins who caught a pop-up behind the Chiefs dougout reaching into the stands on the run to end the top of the third. Matt Tolbert led off the bottom of the inning punching a deep fly ball into the corner and off the left fielder's glove for a double. After a sacrifice bunt by Span, Watkins hit a sacrifice fly just deep enough to score Tolbert from third base for the first run of the game.

After surrendering a one-out home run to Sal Fasano, Gassner pitched around a soft line drive that a sliding Jones could not hang on to and a throwing error by Matt Moses to prevent any further damage in the inning. Gassner left the game after five innings having surrendered only one earned run on three hits.

In the bottom of the seventh, LeCroy led off the inning with an infield single and would advance to second on a throwing error. Doug Deeds pinch ran and advanced to third when the Chiefs failed to record an out on Jose Morales's soft grounder to the left side.

The tide of the game turned after Chiefs reliever Brian Wolfe exited the game with two outs in the eighth and was replaced by Blaine Neal. Watkins hit a solid single to left field and was driven in when Williams hit a home run off the roof of The Nest picnic pavilion in right field. Jones followed up the home run with a monster shot to right-center over the Patio Enclosures Power Alley Grill. The Wings went to the top of the ninth leading four to one.

Bobby Korecky, pitching in his third straight game, notched the save pitching a one, two, three ninth inning. The Red Wings bullpen pitched four shutout inninngs; Tristan Crawford, Julio DePaula and Mike Venafro each recorded a scoreless inning.

NOTES: Red Wing players wore Virginia Tech caps for the game, which were auctioned off for a donation to the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund. A total of $1413 was raised with the auction...A couple of Wings players suggested offering a cap to the Chiefs' Kevin Barker, who attended Virginia Tech. Barker also wore a Hokies cap for the game.... Span and Watkins wore uniform number 42 to honor Jackie Robinson, after last weekend's scheduled ceremonies were postponed here... LHP Jon Lester, who went 7-2 in 15 games as a rookie for Boston last season, is scheduled to start for Pawtucket on April 25 at Frontier Field. Lester was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma near the end of last season, and underwent six chemotherapy treatments. He was the first Red Sox rookie pitcher to win seven or more games since 1993 (Ken Ryan and Aaron Sele)... Double-A catcher Korey Feiner has hit in six straight games entering Sunday's game... Jones's home run gave him a team leading 11 RBI.

Wolfe made it to AAA? I'm impressed! Fiener's hitting streak came to an end. He took four straight walks in yesterday's New Britain game.

R News

Connecticut 8 at New Britain 9

Record: 4-6

W: J. Mijares (1-0, 1.35); L: B. Anderson (0-1, 5.14)
HR: CT: J. Bowker (3), J. Wald (1). NBR: T. Plouffe (2).

Matt Allegra’s two-out single to left field that scored Brian Buscher capped a three-run inning and gave New Britain a dramatic 9-8 come-from-behind win over inter-state rival Defenders.

The Rock Cats entered the bottom of the ninth down by two runs. Catcher Korey Feiner drew a walk to open the inning and was replaced by pinch runner Rashad Eldridge. Trevor Plouffe advanced Eldridge to third with a single to center field. Eldridge scored on a sac fly by Garrett Guzman. Buscher hit a double to right field to score Plouffe and tie the game 8-8 before Allegra stepped up to the plate and delivered an RBI single to give complete the comeback.

Rock Cats’ starter J.P. Martinez entered his first Double-A start – and only second career start – with six shutout innings. He added another scoreless inning in the first inning. In the second inning, though, things got out of hand.

The Defenders’ Carlos Sosa started off the inning with a single and Pat Dobson followed with a double. Simon Klink knocked in both runners with a double to left field for a 2-0 lead. Martinez then hit Todd Jennings with a pitch, but forced Jake Wald to ground into a double play to second baseman Felix Molina, who tagged out Jennings and threw to first for the unassisted double play. Alex Requena added an RBI single for the 3-0 lead.

Jay Sawatski came on in relief for Martinez to start the third inning. Sawatski held the Defenders scoreless for two innings, giving the Rock Cats an opportunity to claw back into the game. The ‘Cats did just that in the third inning. Luke Hughes singled and Korey Feiner reached base on a walk before Trevor Plouffe blasted a three-run shot to left field to tie up the game.

Sawatski then encountered trouble in the fifth. Alex Requena walked and stole second, but was thrown out at home as he tried to score on John Bowker’s single to right field. Eddy Martinez-Esteve knocked in Bowker with a single to left field to take the 4-3 lead. Pat Dobson added an RBI single and Martinez-Esteve scored on a bases loaded walk. Sawatski was replaced by Danny Powers with one out in the inning, but was charged with the three runs. Bowker added a solo home run in the sixth inning to put the Defenders up 7-3.

The Rock Cats retaliated in the seventh on Guzman’s RBI single and a two-run triple by Buscher that closed the gap, 7-6. The Defenders Jake Wald hit a solo homer in the top of the ninth to put his team ahead 8-6.

Jose Mijares (1-0) tossed 2 1/3 innings, allowing one run on one hit and one walk, to pick up his first win.

Defenders’ starter Euguene Espineli allowed three runs and five hits through four innings. Brooks McNiven surrendered three runs on one hit and three walks in 1 2/3 innings. Brian Anderson (0-1) blew the save opportunity as he allowed three runs on four hits in two innings.
Rock Cats

Fort Myers

Record 8 - 7


Beloit 13 at Lansing 6

Record 7-6

W: C. Devries (1-0, 0.73); L: K. Ginley (0-1, 7.15)
HR: BEL: C. Parmelee (2), D. Berg (1), D. Santiesteban (1).

E: Devries (1, throw), Parmelee (1, fielding).

From The Lansing Lugnuts team record ten game winning streak came to an end on Sunday afternoon as the Beloit Snappers pounded out 17 hits in a 13-6 win before 6,109 fans at Oldsmobile Park. It is just the Lugnuts second loss of the year.

Beloit jumped on Lansing starter Kyle Ginley, scoring seven runs in the first three innings. Three runs scored in the first, highlighted by a Danny Valencia two-run double.

The Snappers extended the lead in the third frame, getting four runs to cross the plate with a two out rally. Danny Santiesteban blasted a solo homer to left-center field that made it 4-0. A Brian Dinkelman triple drove in two more runs and Garrett Olson's RBI single capped off the innning and gave Beloit a 7-0 lead.

Beloit added three more runs on a three-run shot by Chris Parmelee that made it 10-0 in the fifth.

Lansing scored two runs in the fifth, highlighted by a Sean Shoffit double to left field that cut the deficit to 10-2.

Lansing added four more runs, but could never close the gap in the game, falling 13-6.

Cole Devries (1-0) got the win for the Snappers, tossing five innings and allowed two unearned runs on four hits.

Ginley (0-1) took the loss for the Lugnuts, as he was chased after 2 2/3 innings of work while allowing seven runs on eight hits.

Lansing (11-2) and Beloit (7-6) will continue the series on Monday evening. A.J. Wideman (2-0, 1.74) will take the hill for the Lugnuts, while Adam Hawes (0-1, 2.45) will get the call for the Snappers. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.

(Audio highlights available, please check out above link!)

Lansing State Journal

Extended Spring Training Pirates 5 at Twins 2

W: Some pirates dude; L: R. Barrett
HR: TWN: W. Ramos

4 lousey hits and spotty fielding & a brief Lewfie report.

Mike Allen
Henry Reyes
Omar Alcala
Aaron Craig
Jesus Carnevale

Sunday, April 22, 2007

No frills baseball

The Extended Spring Training Twins dropped this afternoon's game 5-2 to the Pittsburgh Pirates at the Lee County Sportsplex. It was a game that would see Twins pitching give up 13 hits, while the Minnesota offense only generated 4 hits.

Wilson Ramos opened the scoring with a solo shot home run in the bottom of the first. We saw quite a few of the balls go deep right to about where Wilson's shot went over the wall, and I would say that at least three hits could have been saved if the outfielders had been playing for the wind. That wasn't done however.

Michael Allen turned in a quick first inning, but got into trouble in the second. After striking out the first batter, he allowed a walk and a single. A second single into the gap allowed the runner on second to score with out and put a runner on third, who came home on the next play, a sac-fly. The put the Pirates up 2-1.

Ricky Barrett made a rehab start in the third inning. He was supposed to pitch two, but threw too many pitches while he was on, allowing a single and a double while striking out 2. The runner he allowed the single to stole second and come home on the double, making it 3-2 Pirates.

Henry Reyes turned in a quick fourth inning, but the Twins could find no offense whatsoever in either the third or the four as it was three up/three down with Jon Waltenbury striking out in the third and both Esterlin De Los Santos and Mark Dolenc posting Ks in the fourth.

Reyes allowed a walk and a single in the fifth, but ended the inning on an outfield fly. Catcher Alexander Soto struck out to start the bottom of the fifth, but Waltenbury singled. Wang-Wei Lin lined out, before Wesley Conner hit what should have been a ground out. However, the Pirates short stop overthrew their first baseman, and Waltenbury jumped on the chance, making a tremendous run around the bases from first. I have to say, they beat him by like 10 feet with the play at the plate ("Oh, no," he insists, "I got in there.") and was way out, but the umpire called him safe, saying the Pirate catcher did not have the tag on him.

("No, really, I was in there.")

That would pretty much be it for the Twins offense, although Lin got a hit in the eighth, De Lo Santos got hit by a pitch in that inning, and Yangervis Solarte took a walk in the sixth.

Matt Fox pitched in the sixth, allowing a double and a single and striking out one. I was hoping for two innings out of him and Jesus Carnevale, who pitched the ninth, but there are too many kids in camp and most of the guys are only getting one inning every few days.

I should point out that the Twins also played an inner-squad match in the morning which I just caught the tail end of, to allow everyone some work.

Omar Alcala allowed a walk and a double single in the seventh. Fireballer Aaron Craig allowed two doubles in the eighth for one run, and Carnevale, who pitched very well the last time I saw him, allowed two doubles and a single in the ninth for the Pirates fifth and final run.

Lew Ford has played twice in rehab. He's having some soreness in his legs and is not expected to play again until Thursday. This happens to coincide with Tyler Robertson's next start and makes an extremely strong case for me requesting Thursday off so I can go watch the game.

I very much want to get Tyler on video so you call watch that flakey delivery of his, which he claims he has toned down some since he started playing for the Twins. (David Bromberg walks by and helpfully interjects that he is pitching tomorrow. Yes, but WHEN are you rapping for me, Mr. Bromberg?)

The boys are all in a state of disbelief over Anthony Swarzak's suspension. No one knows for sure, of if they know for sure, are not saying, but the general concesses seems to be that the was smoking pot. But to be 21 years old, have the kind of talent and potential he has, and then do something like that, is completely inconceivable to most of the players. That fact that Anthony is well liked and respected by most of his fellow players makes it even more difficult for them to deal with.

I met aussies Liam Hendriks, who served as our bat boy, today and Matt Ryan.

"No, I'm the kid who was an infielder that turned himself into a pitcher," Ryan tells me.

"You were a pitcher before," I point out.

"When I was sixteen!"

"Howie wanted to sign you as a pitcher before the Angels took you."

"How do you know all of this?"

"She knows EVERYthing," Tyler tells him.

"When you signed we got on the internet and looked you up," I explained to him. "We're nosey." We, refering of course, to the minor league message board at DTFC.

Elliott Biddle, another aussie, was our ball boy.

Anyway, video clips:

Mike Allen
Henry Reyes
Omar Alcala
Aaron Craig
Jesus Carnevale

I should note that I've only got the vaguest idea of what I'm shooting while I'm taking them, because the sun is much too bright to get any kind of clear resolution on that little screen. Additionally, since I'm shooting through a fence, there is almost no way for me to follow the play on the ball.

As with the video clips of the Miracle, this is an experiment in progress, so do not expect professional results in the first outings - or even very good results.

Still pictures are now uploaded, most of which are of Matt Fox. (This will make his girlfriend very happy.)

The Miracle program proved a great distraction to the boys. "You're right," Tyler says. "They really messed this up." I will discuss the Miracle program in more detail later on. We're still discovering errors.

Despite the loss, I was, on the whole, very pleased to be able to watch a game which did not include free food, fly t-shirts, dogs dancing on the dugout, and fun being rammed down my throat. It was a very pleasant afternoon, all things considered.

I believe I will put in a request to take Thursday off.