Saturday, May 19, 2007

Seeing Red Socks Again

Rene Leveret stopped me prior to the game about his new nickname "Tiny". He said J.W. started calling him that, and because I'd blogged on it, he got a call from St. Maarten on it.

"Well, what would you like to be called?" I asked him.

"They always called me 'Big Papi Junior' at home."

See...that's the problem. They all want to be the second coming. No one wants to be the first coming. And being an original is so much more fun.

I mean, if we're gonna call him "Junior", we may as well stick with "Tiny".

The boys were calling Ivan "Big Papi" last year and he didn't like it.

Tyler Roberston's new nickname is "Socks" but we'll get to that in a bit.

The GCL Twins defeated the GCL Red Sox in an extended spring training game that Lee County Sports Complex, 4-1. Big Papi was not there, although I'm sure the Red Sox coach felt differently about it.

The only run the Sox (not to be confused with "Socks") scored was an unearned run off Elliott Biddle in the fifth inning. I'd just gotten done telling Jose "Cheo" Hernandez, catcher David Hernadez's father, about 3rd baseman D.J. Romero's lack of hands when he kindly demonstrated the problem for us.

Otherwise it was the pitching that carried the day, and the Red Sox never really threatened.

Matt Lawman hit a nice single in the first inning and was driven home by catcher Wilson Ramos who doubled out to center field. It was a nice hit by Ramos, who should be Elizabethton bound in another month.

Liam Hendricks pitched two strong innings to start the game for the Twins. My notes for the first inning are very garbled, but I recall Ramos caught someone stealing second, and I believe we ended that inning on an outfield fly, so I'd say he only faced three batters. He had one strike out in the second inning, which I Youtubed, and which I will put up shortly.

Carlos Garcia pitched a third, getting a groundout and two flies. Kevin Harrington hit a nice single to get on base, and J.W. Wilson laid down a nice sacrafice bunt to move him to second. Esterin De Los Santos smacked a double, drive Harrington home, making the score 2-1.

Mike Rogers, who I'd not seen pitch in about forever, thrilled me by getting out on the mound for the fourth inning. I was talking to Cheo and missed the first out when I said "Who is that on the mound? Please excuse me..." Rog allowed a single, got the next batter to ground out and took the final guy on a strike out (dropped 3rd K, Ramos tagged him).

Ramos singled to start off the fourth, and Romero followed in suit. Tiny singled as well, pushing Ramos across the plate. Rodolfo "Rocky" Palacios ground out, and Wes Conner reached on an error (which makes 3 of Wes' 6 base hits that I've seen coming on an error or a fielder's choice). For the seven games I've seen him in so far, he's hitting over .300. He also had a nice diving catch in the outfield earlier in the game.

Harrington got up to bat and they decided the roll the inning. "Kevin, what did you do? You scared them all back into the dugout!" Beware the Shag-master!!!

Elliott Biddle got up for the fifth inning. Biddle is on the roster from Victoria, Australia, and is "visiting" us for extended spring training. I understand he has another year of baseball academy to attend so he won't be here for the GCL season. So...I've been trying to get to see him pitch before he heads back down under.

He got the first two batters out handily, but then got a little flustered and allowed a pair of singles. It was on the second one that Romero missed the catch at third and what should have been a ground out, ended up driving in the lone Red Sox run. He got the following batter to ground out, ending the inning. I tried to get both video and film in one inning, something that's really hard to do, as I'm only one person, and which I probably didn't do very well.

Tyler Robertson would take the next two innings. Socks had his socks down today, but he tells me Dave Ringler is getting him some short pants so he can wear his socks up. This will also give me something else to tease him about - not being old enough to get out of short pants. I still like watching Tyler pitch though. He faced three batters in the sixth, recording one strike out and five in the seventh, recording another strike out, hitting one batter (and that hurt too), walking the next, and taking the next two guys on ground outs, one of which was a stretch and some nice work by Tiny at first base to make the play.

Shaggy lined out in to start the fifth, and the offense slumbered until the seventh, when Romero hit a single and stoled second. Tiny ground out, and Rocky and Wes both singled, which brought Romero home. Shaggy hit into a double play to end the inning.

That would be it for the Twins offense (batting line up to follow).

Brad Tippett finished off the game, striking out one in two innings, allowing one single, and ending the game on a nicely handled double play.

For those who like such things: DeLo was 1-for-4 (with the double), Lawmy was 1-for-4, Rene Tosoni was 0-for-4, Ramos was 2-for-2, Romero was 2-for-4, Tiny was 1-for-3, Rockey was 1-for-3, Wes was 2-for-3, Shaggy was 1-for-3, J.W. was 0-for-3 and catcher David Hernandez was 0-for-2. Interestingly enough, not one of the Twins walked today.

Notes: The Beloit Snappers placed left handed pitcher Jose Lugo, on the Disabled List with left shoulder soreness. Lugo is 1-2 with a 4.68 ERA and 28 strikeouts in seven games this season.

Brian Kirwan and Matthew Fox were added to the Beloit roster from Extended Spring Training. Pitcher Armando Gabino was transfered from the Snappers to the Fort Myers Miracle.

I knew Foxy had gone, Tom Stuifbergen told me about Kirwan. "Great now I have to tell the Betsy Babes and break their hearts."

"Why are you going to break their hearts?"

"They're all in love with Kirwan up there."


I can't figure that one out either.

"Hammerin' Hank" Sanchez has started taking batting practice as he recovers from a hammate bone injury. Cheo wanted to know what the story was on him. Well, I said, he came in here late, and he was having trouble hitting the ball because (supposedly) his contact prescription was wrong. Which made me wonder, you know, how he was playing baseball previously if he couldn't see. Then he gets up to Elizabethton and experiences something which Jim Rantz said he'd never seen before. It was called a curveball.

So now I'm wondering, what program did he play in that they didn't throw curveballs? He's from California and I'm pretty sure they know how to throw curveballs out there. On top of that, he plays the position bass ackwards (that's the only way I can explain it) and he's got a bad attitude. He's also a horrible athlete, something that was well documented in this scouting report.

And if you've not figured it out by now, I'm not a big fan of Hammerin' Hank Sanchez. Heck, I'll take Tiny or Tosoni at first over Sanchez any day of the week and as per my last blog entry, I think we've already got a much better first base prospect in Jon Waltenbury.

Joel Lepel is in town so we played on fields 2 & 3 so he could watch both games of the split-field double-header from the tower. The wind was a factor as it was blowing against us. We had quite a number of outfield flies that fell short, but did the Red Sox.

It's time for Terry Ryan's annual trip, so I look forward to seeing him next weekend.

The GCL boys have tomorrow off, the Miracle take on the West Palm Beach Cardinals, who all wear their socks up and look like a bunch of elves (Tyler). And it's really embarrassing to be beaten by guys who look like a bunch of elves, so...I'm hoping we can get the High-A team turned around. Maybe Joel can make Bolesy behave.

Rene Leveret

Scoreboard for May 18, 2007

Rochester 0 at Richmond 4

Record 19-14

W: T. Hodges (2-2, 2.06); L: N. Blackburn (0-1, 4.91)
HR: RIC: G. Koonce (4).

From The Richmond Braves beat the Red Wings 4-0 Friday night, the third straight loss for the Wings. Jose Morales had three of the seven Rochester hits.

Nick Blackburn started for the Red Wings, in place of scheduled starter Scott Baker. Blackburn allowed two runs in the fourth, on an RBI single and RBI groundout. Graham Koonce hit a two-run homer off Blackburn in the sixth, pushing the R-Braves lead to 4-0.

The Wings offense couldn't get anything started against Trey Hodges (2-2), who limited Rochester to four singles over his six innings pitched.

Blackburn (0-1) tossed 7 1/3 innings, allowing the four runs on eight hits. He walked one and struck out two in his first start for the Wings since a promotion this week from Double-A New Britain. Carmen Cali retired both batters he fasced in relief.

NOTES: Class A Ft. Myers 1B Erik Lis homered off Roger Clemens Friday night, but the Tampa Yankees beat the Miracle 2-1. Clemens allowed three hits in four innings, including the first inning homer to Lis. Miracle starter Yohan Pino struck out five in five innings and Kyle Aselton added three scoreless relief innings, as the Miracle out-hit the Yankees 5-4. ..The Twins were expected to promote Baker Friday night, and send 1B/Of Garrett Jones to Rochester. Baker will start Saturday for the Twins against Milwaukee... Matt Tolbert, who entered the game leading the league in hitting, had an 0-for-3 game that dropped his average to .356.....The Wings left 16 men on base..... Rochester was shut out for the third time this season; Richmond's pitching staff now leads the league with seven shutouts.

R Braves*
Richmond Times Dispatch
R News

Connecticut 2 at New Britain 1

Record: 20-14

W: D. Sack (2-3, 5.85); L: K. Waldrop (0-1, 1.29); SV: B. Anderson (7)
HR: None.

E: PlouffE (7, missed catch), Molina, F 2 (7, fielding, fielding).

From Kyle Waldrop impressed in his Double-A debut, but fell victim to errors in the field as the Rock Cats fell short of yet another comeback in a 2-1 loss to the inter-state rival Defenders.

The 21-year-old Waldrop limited the Defenders to five hits and two runs (one earned) through seven innings. He struck out two and walked none in his first start since being promoted to New Britain.

Waldrop, the Twins' first round draft pick in 2004, quickly retired the first three batters of the game on groundouts. The Defenders then took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Carlos Sosa doubled to right field and moved to third when shortstop Trevor Plouffe mishandled the throw into the infield. Another miscue on the next play, this time a fielding error by second baseman Felix Molina, allowed Sosa to score.

In the seventh, Sosa doubled again and then scored on Stephen Holm's double to right field for a 2-0 advantage.

The Rock Cats struck back in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single by Kyle Geiger that scored Garrett Guzman to cut the lead in half. In the bottom of the ninth, the Rock Cats rallied with a broken-bat single by David Winfree, who moved to second on a throwing error by Sosa in left field. Rashad Eldridge, who led the ‘Cats with two hits, then drew a walk to put two men on base with one out. Defenders' reliever Brian Anderson retired the next two batters, though, to close out the game and pick up his seventh save.

Defenders' starter Darren Sack (2-3) allowed one run on four hits in 6 2/3 innings. For the Rock Cats, Jose Mijares fired two shutout innings with four strikeouts in relief. Waldrop (0-1) suffered the hard-luck loss.

Rock Cats
CT Defenders

Erik Lis
Erik Lis

Fort Myers 1 at Tampa 2

Record 15 - 26

W: B. Villalona (2-3, 4.18); L: Y. Pino (0-2, 2.08)
HR: FTM: E. Lis (3). TAM: R. Corona (1).

From The Fort Myers Miracle will always remember 7:06 p.m. on Friday night, May 18th, 2006 at Legends Field. That's when the Miracle shared the diamond with a first-ballot hall-of-famer as Roger Clemens tossed four innings of work beginning his 23rd season of major league baseball in front of a Florida State League record crowd of 10,257 fans. On a side note, the Tampa Yankees did go on to defeat the Miracle 2-1.

Everyone will remember Friday night in their own special way, but Erik Lis will have a special memory aside from anyone else. With two-outs in the first inning, Clemens delivered a fastball to Lis who quickly sent it over the right-field wall to give the Miracle a 1-0 lead. To add icing on the cake, thanks to his dad Greg, Lis now has the home run ball in his possession for the trophy case at home.

The difference in the ball game was a Reegie Corona two-run dinger to right that gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead. Tampa reliever Guillermo Villalona-Bryan went five innings in relief of Clemens allowing just two hits to pick up his first save.

The Miracle will have less than 24 hours until the face another guy on the Tampa mound with big league experience. LHP Kei Igawa, who started the season in New York, will get the start on Saturday night. The Miracle will counter with LHP Ryan Mullins (1-3, 2.40) in the rubber-game at 7 p.m.

Photo gallery

ECHL Hockey: The Florida Everblades season came to an end yesterday, 3-1 at Germain Arena. Dayton progresses on to the Kelly Cup finals.

Beloit 4 at Peoria 2

Record 24-14

W: D. Vais (3-1, 4.56); L: J. Renshaw (3-1, 2.97); SV: A. Craig (2)
HR: BEL: D. Valencia (7), J. Woodard (4).

E: Ortiz (7, throw).

Inning 1 2 3  4 5 6  7 8 9   R  H  E
BEL 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 1 0 4 8 1
PEO 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 2 9 1

Triples for Beloit: None
Triples for Peoria: None
Doubles for Beloit: None
Doubles for Peoria: Malone (1), Canzier (6)
Notes: The Snappers continued their recent winning ways on Friday night with a 4-2 win over the Peoria Chiefs.

Danny Vais, making his second straight start, picked up his third win of the season and improved his record to 3-1.

The Snappers got things going in the top of the fourth inning with a lead off home run by Danny Valencia. Valencia took the first pitch he saw from Chiefs’ starter, Jacob Renshaw, over the left field wall to give Beloit a 1-0 lead. RBI singles by Danny Santiesteban and Yancarlos Ortiz gave the Snappers a 3-0 lead after three and a half innings.

After Peoria got a run of their own in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Snappers regained their three run advantage in the top of the eighth off the bat of Johnny Woodard. Woodard blasted his fourth home run of the season to right, and gave the Snappers a 4-1 lead.

Peoria scored one right back in the bottom of the eighth inning to draw them to within two runs, but that would be all that they could muster. Reliever, Aaron Craig, pitched two innings of one hit, one run baseball to pick up his second save of the season and give Beloit the 4-2 victory.

With the win the Snappers improved their overall record to 24-14.

In other news: The Beloit Snappers placed left handed pitcher, Jose Lugo, on the Disabled List with left shoulder soreness.

Lugo is 1-2 with a 4.68 ERA and 28 strikeouts in seven games this season. Opponents are batting .315 against the left hander so far this season.

Brian Kirwan and Matthew Fox were added to the Beloit roster from Extended Spring Training. Pitcher Armando Gabino was transfered to the Fort Myers Miracle. Snappers

Beloit Daily News
Star Journal

* InfinityProSports, who hosts most of the Minor League baseball sites is not responding as of this writing. I will update this later once it gets itself up and running. This is the problem with putting all of your eggs in one basket,as it were.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Scoreboard for May 17, 2007

Rochester 1 at Richmond 2 (7 Innings)

Record 19-14

W: M. Acosta (4-1, 0.84); L: B. Korecky (1-1, 4.80)
HR: None.

From Richmond left fielder Doug Clark singled to left to lead off the Braves’ fifth inning. The next batter, Carlos Mendez, drilled a double down the left field line to score Clark, giving the Braves a 1-0 lead.

Rochester finally scored with two outs in the top of the seventh to tie the game at one. The Red Wings’ Glenn Williams singled back to the pitcher for the infield hit. Gil Velazquez entered the game to pinch run for Williams. Velazquez then advanced to second when Tommy Watkins walked. Trent Oeltjen connected on a 1-0 pitch to tie the game at 1-1, with his two-out RBI single to center.

The Braves came right back in the bottom of the seventh. Clark collected a one-out double to start the Braves’ rally. After intentionally walking Mendez, Rochester reliever Bobby Korecky got Corky Miller to line out for the second out of the inning. With two-outs, Jonathan Schuerholz came through in the clutch for the Braves, singling home Clark for the game-winning run.

Braves’ starter Buddy Carlyle extended his scoreless-inning streak to 30.1 innings after not allowing a run in his 6.2 innings in the first game of Thursday’s double header. After nearly a month of scoreless ball, Carlyle finally allowed his first run since April 20 with two outs in the top of the seventh. Manny Acosta came on to get the Red Wings’ last batter to pick up his fourth win of the season. Acosta improved to 4-1 with a 0.84 ERA.

Bobby Korecky fell to 1-2 with a 4.80 ERA in his 16 games for Rochester. The Red Wings’ starter Jeremy Cummings didn’t come back out for the third inning and left the game after just two innings. Brian Bass and Ricky Barrett each saw action for Rochester. Bass allowed the first Braves’ run in his two and one-third innings of work. Barrett pitched one and two-thirds scoreless innings for the Red Wings.

The Braves were lead offensively by Doug Clark, who finished the first game 3-for-3 and scored each of the Braves two runs. Jonathan Schuerholz was 2-for-3 and drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Carlos Mendez was 1-for-2 and drove in his 13th run of the season.


Rochester 3 at Richmond 4 (7 innings)

Record 19-13

W: R. Cormier (1-0, 0.00); L: M. Garza (2-3, 4.07); SV: B. Boyer (1)
HR: ROC: D. Deeds (2).

From Gregor Blanco led off the second game with a single to left field. Blanco advanced to second on T.J. Bohn’s walk. Both runners advanced a batter later on a pass ball by the Red Wings’ starter Matt Garza. Graham Koonce picked up Blanco with his one-out RBI single to right, to give the Braves an early 1-0 lead. Richmond tacked on another run when Doug Clark grounded out to first baseman Glenn Williams to give the Braves a two-run advantage.

The Red Wings’ Doug Deeds came back to tie the game at two with his two-out, two-run home run in the fourth. Deeds scored Jose Morales, who reached earlier in the inning, on his home run.

Braves third baseman Wes Timmons led off the bottom of the fifth with his third double of the season. He was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jonathan Schuerholz. With two outs, T.J. Bohn singled home Timmons to give the Braves a 3-2 lead. On the next pitch, Yunel Escobar chased home Bohn with his two-out triple, giving the Braves a 4-2 lead.

In his first game back from Atlanta, Richmond starter Kevin Barry pitched two and one-third scoreless innings. He allowed two walks and two hits but struck out three and was pulled after he reached his pitch-count for the game. Richmond reliever Phil Stockman came on and allowed two earned runs in one and one-third inning before being replaced by newly acquired Rheal Cormier. Cormier didn’t allow a run in two innings in his first appearance for the Braves to pick up the win. Blaine Boyer came onto the close it for the Braves. He picked up his first save of the season in his fourth relief appearance.

Rochester starter Matt Garza allowed four earned runs in six innings to drop the decision and fall to 2-3 with a 4.07 ERA.

The Braves will look for the series victory when they wrap up the four-game set with the Red Wings on Friday. Richmond will send RHP Trey Hodges (1-2, 2.48 ERA) to the mound to battle Rochester RHP Scott Baker (3-2, 3.16 ERA). Start time for the series finale is 7:00 p.m.

R Braves
Richmond Times Dispatch
R News

From The Rochester Red Wings dropped a doubleheader at The Diamond in Richmond, Va., on Thursday night, losing 2-1 and 4-3 to the Braves.

In Game 1, Jonathan Schuerholz lined a two-out single off Bobby Korecky in the bottom of the seventh (and final) inning to score Doug Clark with the winning run. Rochester had tied the game on Trent Oeltjen's two-out single in the top of the seventh. In the nightcap, the Braves scored two runs off Matt Garza in the fifth inning to break a 2-2 tie, then held on for the sweep. The Wings play a pair of doubleheaders this weekend in Norfolk.

The Wings are 5-11 since a torrid 14-4 start. Richmond (26-11) has the best record in Triple-A. Wings Game 1 starter Jeremy Cummings sailed through two innings before leaving with an apparent hamstring injury. The right-hander allowed only one hit and struck out three before giving way to Brian Bass. Clark singled to open the Braves' fifth, then scored on a double by Carlos Mendez.

It remained 1-0 through six, behind red-hot Buddy Carlyle.

In the seventh inning — the final regularly scheduled inning — Rochester's Glenn Williams beat out an infield bunt with one out and was replaced by pinch-runner Gil Velazquez. But when Carlyle retired Jose Morales on a fly to center, it appeared the Wings would be shut out. Instead, Tommy Watkins drew a walk and Oeltjen lined a game-tying single to left. It broke a scoreless string of 30 innings by Carlyle, who had not allowed a run since April 20. Braves closer Manny Acosta relieved Carlyle and ended the inning by retiring Matt Tolbert.

In the bottom of the seventh, T.J. Bohn drilled a fly to straightaway center but Denard Span made an over-the-shoulder catch on the warning track. Clark followed with a double down the right-field line and Mendez was walked intentionally. Former Red Wing Corky Miller then lined a shot to Oeltjen in right, but Schuerholz laced a Korecky pitch to the right-center gap to win it.

In the nightcap, the Braves scored twice off Garza in the first. Graham Koonce singled in a run, and another scored on Clark's groundout. Doug Deeds tied it for Rochester with a two-run homer to right in the fourth inning. The Braves took control in the fifth. Wes Timmons led off with a double after Watkins tried to make a shoestring catch of his sinking liner. He moved to third on Schuerholz's sacrifice bunt, then scored one out later on T.J. Bohn's single to center. When Yunel Escobar tripled to right, the Braves were ahead 4-2. The Wings cut the lead to one on a sacrifice fly by Matthew LeCroy in the seventh, but they stranded the tying run at third when Blaine Boyer struck out Williams to end the game. Matt Moses had singled, then moved two bases on a pair of wild pitches by Boyer.

NOTES: New Wings reliever J.P. Martinez went to high school with NY Giants quarterback Eli Manning....The Red Wings' road record dropped to 10-6 record...Thursday's doubleheader at Richmond was the third of 11 doubleheaders the Red Wings have scheduled so far this season - the most Rochester has had in a season since 1996, when the club played 20 doubleheaders.

Harrisburg 3 at New Britain 4

Record: 18-14

W: T. Lahey (1-0, 5.14); L: Z. Zinicola (0-2, 11.12)
HR: HAR: C. Guerrero (2).

E: Winfree (3, throw).

From The Rock Cats combined timely hitting and impressive pitching – and clawed back for yet another comeback – to sweep a double header from Harrisburg at New Britain Stadium.

In the first game, Trevor Plouffe doubled to left field to score Brandon Roberts in the ninth inning to give the Rock Cats a 4-3 win. Brad Baker tossed 6 1/3 solid innings, limiting the Senators to two runs on three hits. He struck out seven. Jay Sawatski added an inning of scoreless relief before Tim Lahey allowed one run in 1 1/3 innings. Lahey (1-0) still picked up the win.

Plouffe led the Rock Cats with three hits, including two doubles. Brandon Roberts also had a three-hit day, including an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh that tied the game and sent the scheduled 7-inning game into extra frames. In the ninth, Rashad Eldridge singled, moved to second on Korey Feiner's sac bunt, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Roberts knocked in Eldridge to tie tha game again, this time 3-3. Roberts stole second base before scoring on Plouffe's game-winning RBI double.

Brock Peterson added an RBI single in the fourth inning.


Harrisburg 3 at New Britain 6 (7 Innings)

Record: 19-14

W: J. Floyd (2-3, 4.540; L: M. Hinckley (4-4, 5.36)
HR: HAR: R. Bernadina (1).

From In the second game, the Rock Cats were led by Brian Buscher (3-for-4, 2 runs) and Garrett Guzman (2-for-3). Rock Cats starter Jesse Floyd (2-3) fired six strong innings. He allowed eight hits, but limited the Senators to two runs and struck out six.

The Rock Cats got on the board early with an RBI single by Peterson and RBI double by David Winfree. The 'Cats struck again in the third. With the bases loaded, Guzman delivered an RBI single. Peterson then scored when Feiner was hit by a pitch. Luke Hughes added an RBI single and Guzman scored on a ground out by Eldridge to give the Rock Cats a 6-0 lead.

Harrisburg’s Rogearvin had a solo homer in the fifth inning. Michael Hinkley (4-4) suffered the loss.

Rock Cats
Patriot News

Eddie Ovalle
Eddie Ovalle

Fort Myers 8 at Tampa 5

Record 15 - 25

W: D. Shinskie (3-1, 2.66); L: W. Arias (2-1, 5.01); SV: E. Morlan (5)
HR: None.

E: TollEson (11, fielding).

From The calm before the storm on Thursday night went back and forth all night long before the Fort Myers Miracle put up four runs in the top of the ninth to snag an 8-5 victory over the Tampa Yankees. Edward Ovalle completed the night 4-for-4 with four singles, a RBI and three runs scored as the Miracle win their third-in-a-row.

Tampa drew first blood with a run in the opening inning. After a leadoff double from Reegie Corona, a wild pitch and ground out from Jose Tabata, the Yankees would have a their quick 1-0 lead. The Miracle would grab their first of three advantages on the night with a bases-loaded, two-out, two-run single off the bat of Caleb Moore in the second putting the good guys ahead 2-1.

After a pair of Tampa runs in the fourth gave them a 3-2 lead, the Miracle came charging back again with runs in the fourth and sixth innings for a 4-3 margin. In the fourth, Eli Tintor’s single to right would plate Ovalle with the tying run while Ovalle would pick up his RBI on the night with a single to center. Whit Robbins, who smacked a one-out double in the sixth, plated on Ovalle’s base hit.

Trailing 4-3 at stretch time on Thursday, the Yanks would even things at four with Juan Miranda’s fielder’s choice scoring Tim Battle from third. With one out in the ninth, Ovalle would slap his fourth hit on the night cueing the final Miracle comeback.

After back-to-back walks by Dwayne White and Tintor loaded the bases, Moore would register his third RBI on the night reaching on a fielder’s choice to first. A bases-loaded walk by Luis Ugueto would score White with a second insurance run before Erik Lis pulled a two-out single to right plating Tintor and Moore with the final two tallies.

Tampa would score a run in the ninth and further threaten, but Eddie Morlan would end up shutting the door saving his fifth ball game of the season. After reliever David Shinskie fanned Reegie Corona to begin the frame, the Yankees would follow with three-straight hits against Shinskie to score their lone run and bring the tying run to the plate.

Juan Miranda picked up the RBI-single that brought in Battle and ended the night for Shinskie. Morlan would then retire Edwar Gonzalez on strikes before a lengthy at-bat by James Cooper ended the ball game on a pop out to Portes at third.

Game two of the series will take place on Friday night at Legends Field with more than 8,000 fans expected to turn out as Roger Clemens will begin his climb to the majors against the Miracle. With Kyle Waldrop recently being promoted to double-A New Britain, RHP Yohan Pino (0-1, 1.62) will get the start for the Miracle on Friday night.

Tomorrow night’s broadcast on will also be heard on ESPN Radio’s 1050 AM in New York City. Also, pitch-by-pitch by Clemens will be seen nationally on ESPN news.


ECHL Hockey: The Florida Everblades forced game 7 in the Eastern Conference finals be defeating the Dayton Bombers, 6-3 at Germain Arena. Dustin Johner and Vince Belllismo each netted two goal apiece, while Craig Kowalski kicked out 26 Bombers shots to preserve the win. Game 7 is tonight at Germain Arena.

Brian Dinkelman

Beloit 2 at Peoria 1

Record 23-14

W: D. Leatherman (4-1, 2.57); L: M. Carrillo (0-1, 3.90); SV: R. Delaney (12)
HR: None.

E: Woodard (8, fielding), Olson (7, fielding).

From The Peoria Chiefs dropped a second straight one-run game to the Beloit Snappers 2-1 at O’Brien Field on Thursday afternoon. The loss drops the Chiefs to 20-18 on the season and 7-9 at home this season.

The Chiefs had an early scoring opportunity in the first inning after a lead off walk to Matt Camp followed by an infield single by Jim Adduci. Josh Lansford moved both runners over with a sacrifice bunt but Yusuf Carter popped out to second and Alfred Joseph grounded out to second to end the inning.

Danny Valencia led off the fourth inning with a double and quickly came around to score after the next batter Johnny Woodard singled to center to make the score 1-0

Catcher Matt Canepa reached on an error by the third basemen Garrett Olson in the fifth inning and was moved over by a sacrifice bunt by Jonathon Mota. Lansford tied the game with a single that bounced off the bag at third allowing Canepa to score from third base to tie the game 1-1.

The Snappers added a run in the seventh inning after three straight singles by Joe Benson, Chris Parmelee and an RBI single by Garrett Olson off Chiefs reliever Marco Carrillo to extend the lead to 2-1.

Lansford came through for the Chiefs in the eighth inning with a double down the right field line to get the tying run into scoring position. Yusuf Carter singled off the glove of the reliever Armando Gabino to give the Chiefs runners at the corners with just one out but Alfred Joseph grounded into an inning ending double play.

Chiefs starter Jose Pina had his best outing of the season allowing just one run on four hits over a season high six innings. Carrillo took the loss allowing one run on three hits over the game’s final three innings. Dan Leatherman worked two shut out innings out of the bullpen to pick his fourth win of the season. Closer Rob Delaney picked up the save for the second straight game and now leads the league with 12 saves.

Notes…The DARE Day crowd of 8,622 was the largest of the season at O’Brien Field and the fifth largest crowd in the stadium’s history…The Chiefs stranded 14 runners on base…Matt Camp’s hitting streak was snapped at 10 games… The Chiefs have scored just one run in the last 18 innings of play…The Chiefs and Snappers will conclude the series on Friday night at O’Brien Field…Friday is Pink at the Park Night at 6:30 PM with the players using pink bats and wearing pink uniforms that will be auctioned off during and after the game to benefit the Susan G Komen Foundation…There will be a Fireworks show after the game…The Chiefs will send RHP Jake Renshaw (3-0, 2.54 ERA) to the mound against RHP Danny Vais (2-1 5.23 ERA)…The game can be heard live beginning with the pre-game at 6:15 PM online at or on WOAM 1350 AM.

Beloit Daily News
Star Journal

Ontario - Yours to discover

Jon Waltenbury A useless bit on camps is that there's always one kid that seems to impress me more than the others. Last year, for Spring Training, it was Alexi Cassilla. Last fall for Instructional League, it was Danny Valencia.

This year, for Extended, it's Jon Waltenbury.

"Walt" or "Wally" is from Whitby, Ontario, Canada, which I will have to ask to have placed on the map for me as they do not have a professional hockey team (or a junior major team, for that matter).

He was the Twins 7th round draft pick in the 2006 entry draft (216th overall). He played with the Ontario Blue Jays and Canadian National Junior team and was scouted by the Toronto Blue Jays, St. Louis and the Red Sox as well as the Twins.

The Twins have a pretty good record for signing their draft picks, Waltenbury had a ride for Connors State College in Oklahoma that he passed up to play pro.

Getting him here however, was a bit from a problem as he should have played last season but was delayed by visa issues, putting in his first appearance at Instructional League in the fall.

His down side, per his draft report, was moderate athletism (duely noted) and a fringe average arm. The arm strength is not to much of a concern at first base, but may prove difficult later as the Twins seem to have a number of hard hitting batters at first.

(Enough so that Erik Lis, as a stand out for Beloit last year, was moved back to the outfield this year in High A Fort Myers.)

He shows a lot of confidence around the plate though, with above-average bat speed and a good extention on a nice swing. He can hit for power...he reported hitting a few of the press box in the Metrodom...and can use the entire field.

In fact my response to his playing has been "You're too good for this program, Mr. Waltenbury, you will be going to be Elizabethton, I think."

He says he's not hitting as well as he'd like, he thinks he's "only" hitting in the low 300s through camp. Only? What does he normally hit? The stats for the games I've seen have him hitting well over .600, but granted, those are far from complete. He's show the ability to draw walks as well, something that a lot of the kids have problems with early on.

Now, if you've started thinking about American League MVP Justin Morneau...perhaps in terms of the Justin Morneau of the future, don't stop. There are some similarities (although in all honesty, I've viewed and still do view Chris Parmelee as the "next Morneau" as it were).

The amusing bit was that Walt knows Justin from Baseball Canada, so when Walt showed up in March for his first Spring Training, Justin had a gift for him - a gift of equipment - bats and cleats to get him started.

Much like Morneau and a number of other Canadian ballplayers, he sports a lefty bat. There is some speculation this is because most of the Canadians played hockey prior to starting baseball (Walt was a center) and because your stronger hand goes on top of the hockey stick when you're shooting right - and Waltenbury was a right-handed shot - so that once you start batting, it's more natural to bat left.

I was at an extended game Saturday, and the other guys were giving him a hard time about his accent, which, honestly, isn't bad. It's a standard Ontario accent, you get the "aboot" instead of "about". Big deal. I think the more amusing bit was when I was talking to Tyler and I said "And I've never, ever said a bad thing about you."

"You say bad things about us?" Waltenbury asks. Only if you deserve it, which to this point, he hasn't. (Just keep hitting those balls Mr. Waltenbury...) "I'm going to have to start reading that..."

I actually like him better than Henry Sanchez. While Sanchez might have the ability to hit for more power, he doesn't seem to have the ability that Waltenbury has shown to simpley hit. And if Waltenbury's downside is his athletisim, Sanchez's is much worse.

He also plays better defensively than Sanchez, who always struck me as playing the position backwards, and he's actually seen a curveball, something Jim Rantz reportedly said that Sanchez had never experienced before.

Anyway, I thought I was done talking to him, when all of the sudden he's like "Wait! I want to show you my new glove!"

"Did Justin give you that glove?"

"No," he says, "Justin didn't give me any gloves, just bats and cleats."

(Yes, it's a nice glove, Mr. Waltenbury.)

He was sidelined briefly at camp with a slightly twisted ankle and was out for about a week or so, but that didn't seem to slow him down any, as he hit 2-for-3 during Sunday's 8-3 pasting of the Orioles.

I've been asked for video of him...I will work on that, although there's a fairly good selection of still photos up from the April 1, April 29, and May 12 games.

If the E-Town girls want to get excited now, great. Start getting excited (he's 19, 6'3", 220 lbs according the roster and he's an April Fool). I know I will miss watching him. The E-Town fans on the other hand, won't.

Jon Waltenbury

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Scoreboard for May 16, 2007

Rochester at Richmond (Postponed)

Record 19-13

Wednesday night's International League game between Rochester and Richmond was postponed due to rain at The Diamond.

The game will be made up Thursday as part of a doubleheader, starting at 6 p.m. ET.

Richmond Times Dispatch
R News

Harrisburg at New Britain (Postponed - Rain)

Record: 17-14

The Harrisburg Senators and the New Britain Rock Cats were rained out Wednesday night in Connecticut.

The two teams will play a doubleheader on Thursday, May 17.

Rock Cats
Patriot News

Island Night Parade
Island Night Parade

Clearwater 1 at Fort Myers 13

Record 14 - 25

W: Z. Ward (1-5, 2.70); L: D. Brauer (4-3, 6.00)
HR: None.

E: Portes (4, fielding).

The Miracle lost Kyle Waldrop and Frank Mata to promotions, but somehow managed to find their bats in the deal. least, they hit well following a two hour rain delay Wednesday night at Hammond stadium.

Steve Tolleson and Whit Robbins both took walks in the first inning with one out. Robbins was hit by a pitch, but with the Miracle the goal is to get on base any way you can.

Juan Portes struck out swinging while Tolleson and Robbins orchastrated a double steal. Then Dwayne White took a walk before Eddie Ovalle trippled to put the Miracle up 3-0 and behind a strong outing by Zack Ward, it would be all the Miracle needed.

All in all the Miracle walked 8 times, making me wonder if they didn't have a team meeting on plate discipline. During the rain delay, Jim "Slice" Dwyer was down in the batting cages working with the guys. Perhaps the extra practice time helped.

Or perhaps it was all the sugar from the candy that was tossed out during the Island Night Parade. Whatever the case, the Miracle errupted in the fourth inning for 8 runs, an inning that started out much like the first, with Luis Ugueto getting called out on strikes, and Steve Tolleson taking a walk.

Clearwater's Daniel Brauer was charged with 9 runs (all earned) on five hits and seven walks in 3.1 innings before being replaced by William Savage, who allowed 4 runs on 3 hits and an error.

Ugueto would single in the sixth, but that pretty much ended off the Miracle offensive involvement in the game.

I'd been asked why I though Ward was not performing in the Twins organization the same way he did in the Reds, and my answer was the Ward was a pitcher that used his fielders quite a bit. This was evident last night, as Ward only struck out 2 in five innings worth of work.

Erik Lis was given the night off and served as third base coach. Mark Betsill was insterted into the game late at first to relieve Whit Robbins, and Toby Gardenhire put in a brief stint behind the plate as catcher.

Josh Hill allowed the only Threshers run on the night, an unearned run that started with Welinson Baez reached on a fielding error by Juan Portes. Orlando Guevara would cross the plate when Fidel Hernandez singled to center.

The Miracle head out on the road now for a brief three game road trip to Tampa. Jay Rainville (2-4, 3.81) gets the start on the mound for the Miracle.

Notes: Waldrop and Mata replace former Miracle pitchers Nick Blackburn and JP Martinez on the Rock Cats roster. Blackburn and Martinez were promoted to AAA Rochester. Matt Fox was activated from the Extended Spring Training roster and sent to the Beloit Snappers. No announcements were made regarding replacement players for the Miracle.

News Press
Photo Gallery

Beloit 1 at Peoria 0

Record 22-14

W: J. Manship (4-1, 1.60); L: C. Platt (2-1, 2.53); SV: R. Delaney (11)
HR: BEL: J. Woodard (3).

E: Ortiz (6, throw).

From The Peoria Chiefs dropped a 1-0 decision to visiting Beloit on Wednesday night at O’Brien Field. The loss drops the Chiefs to 20-17 on the season and 2.5 games back of now first place Beloit and Clinton who was idle tonight.

Chiefs starter Chris Shaver worked around one out doubles in each of the first two innings by Danny Valencia and Chris Parmelee to keep the game scoreless after an inning and a half.

The Chiefs threatened in the bottom of the first inning after Jim Adduci singled to right followed by an error by the shortstop Yancarlos Ortiz that made it first and second with one out. A wild pitch by Snappers starter Jeff Manship made it second and third but Yusuf Carter struck out and Josh Lansford grounded out to third to end the threat.

Beloit picked up back-to-back singles to start the fifth inning by Greg Yersich and Yancarlos Ortiz against Chiefs reliever Chuckie Platt. Brian Dinkleman moved both runners over on a sacrifice bunt to give Beloit runners and second and third with one out. Platt got Joe Benson to hit a line drive to second baseman Matt Camp that turned into an inning ending double play.

The game remained scoreless into the sixth inning when Johnny Woodard connected on a solo home run to right field off Platt. The home run was the 21st allowed this season by the Chiefs staff.

Snappers starter Jeff Manship worked 7 2/3 innings and did not allow a run while picking up eight strikeouts. Rob Delaney picked up the final out of the eighth and sent the Chiefs down in order in the ninth to pick up his league high 11th save.

Chiefs starter Chris Shaver did not allow a run in four innings pitched in his first start of the year for Peoria. Chuckie Platt suffered his first loss of the season to fall to 2-1 on the season. Jeremy Papelbon worked 2 2/3 scoreless innings while racking up four strikeouts.

Notes… The Chiefs are now 4-14 when the opposing team scores first…Peoria is 7-8 at O’Brien Field this season…Matt Camp extended his hitting streak to a season high 10 games with a sixth inning single…Jim Adduci has now hit safely in three straight games…Thursday is DARE Day at O’Brien Field with gates opening at 9:30 AM…The Chiefs and Snappers will play game three of the four game series on Thursday morning at 11:00 AM…Peoria sends RHP Jose Pina (0-3, 5.86) to the hill against RHP (Alex Burnett (2-2, 3.32)…The game can be heard live beginning with the pre-game at 10:45 AM online at or on WOAM 1350.

Beloit Daily News
Star Journal

Jeff Manship

Manship Shuts Down Peoria

Beloit Snappers Press Release

Final Score: Beloit 1, Peoria 0

Inning 1 2 3  4 5 6  7 8 9   R  H  E
BEL 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 7 1
PEO 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0

Winning Pitcher: J. Manship (W, 4-1)
Losing Pitcher: C. Platt (L, 1-2)
Save: R. Delaney (11)

Home Runs for Beloit: Woodard (3)
Home Runs for Peoria: None
Triples for Beloit: None
Triples for Peoria: None
Doubles for Beloit: Valencia (5), Parmelee (6)
Doubles for Peoria: Mota (2)
Notes: Jeff Manship pitched another gem for Beloit as the Snappers won 1-0 on Wednesday night. Johnny Woodard provided the only spark offensively for the Snappers, hitting his third home run of the season.

The game stayed scoreless until the top of the sixth inning when Woodard belted his homer. Johnny hit the first pitch he saw over the right field wall to give Manship all he would need.

Jeff pitched seven and two thirds innings of no run, five hit baseball. Manship also compiled another eight strikeouts in his fourth win of the season.

Reliever, Rob Delaney, pitched an inning and a third of scoreless relief to pick up his eleventh save of the season.

Upcoming schedule: The Snappers play game three of a six game series with the Chiefs in Peoria on Thursday. They will be returning home on Saturday, May 19th.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Scoreboard for May 15, 2007

Rochester 3 at Richmond 1

Record 19-13

W: K. Slowey (4-2, 1.46); L: J. Johnson (1-2, 5.09); SV: B. Korecky (8)
HR: None.

From Kevin Slowey allowed one run in seven 2/3 innings, and the Wings scored three in the sixth inning to top Richmond 3-1 Monday night. The game was the opener of a four-game series, and an eight-day road trip.

The Wings trailed 1-0 when they put together the winning rally against Braves starter Johnathan Johnson. Matt Moses, moved up to third in the batting order, drilled a double to tie the game; Jose Morales had an RBI single, and pinch-hitter Tommy Watkins hit an RBI sacrifice fly to put the Wings up.

Slowey snapped a streak of two straight complete game losses, scattering seven hits and walking one while striking out seven. Slowey (4-2) now has a league-best 1.46 ERA. Julio DePaula retired one batter, and Bobby Korecky finished with a perfect inning to record his eighth save.

Matt Tolbert, the league's leading hitter, had a hitless night in four at-bats and now has a .379 batting average.

NOTES: Roger Clemens will pitch for the Tampa Yankees against the Twins' Class A Ft. Myers club Friday night. Clemens is scheduled to make one start for Double-A Trenton and one for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but is not scheduled to pitch against Double-A New Britain or the Red Wings.

R News

Harrisburg 11 at New Britain 8

Record: 17-14

W: B. Perez (3-2, 5.59); L: B. Duensing (3-1, 2.97); SV: B. Campbell (4)
HR: HAR: T. Blanco 2 (4). NBR: B. Peterson (2), D. Winfree (2).

E: Winfree (2, fielding), PlouffE (6, throw).

From New Britain fell short of what would have been its most dramatic comeback of the season. In a game that pitted one of the hottest teams in the league against the last place team in the Southern Division, the Rock Cats’ rally came up short as the Cats lost to the Senators 11-8 on Monday night.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Rock Cats rallied with a four-run inning. David Winfree had an RBI double and Matthew Allegra knocked in two runners with a ground rule double to close the gap to 11-7. Allegra then scored on a single by Brandon Roberts. The Rock Cats had the opportunity to tie the game when Trevor Plouffe stepped to the plate with two runners on base and two outs, but Plouffe flied out to center field to end the game.

The Senators knocked out Rock Cats’ starter Brian Duensing early and went on to pound out a total of 16 hits, led by Tony Blanco and Rogearvin Bernadina. Blanco finished the game 3-for-5 with two homers, three runs scored, and four RBI. Bernadina added four hits, including two doubles, and three RBI.

Harrisburg lit up Duensing, who entered the game with the ninth-best ERA in the league, for four runs in the second inning. Brandon Larson opened the inning with a double to center field and moved to third on a groundout. New Britain shortstop Trevor Plouffe then misfired a throw to first that allowed Dan DeMent to reach first and Larson to score for a 1-0 lead. Blanco blasted a two-run shot to center field for the 3-0 advantage. Bernadina capped off the inning with an RBI single that scored Melvin Dorta, who reached base on a triple.

Larson started off the third with another double and scored on DeMent’s double to left field. Brett Logan added an RBI double for a 6-0 lead.

Duensing (3-1) left after just 2 2/3 innings, allowing six runs (4 ER) on seven hits. His ERA rose from 2.14 to 2.97. Prior to Monday night, Duensing had allowed just eight runs in six starts and hadn’t given up more than three runs in a start this season.

The Rock Cats used three consecutive doubles in the fifth inning to get on the board. Korey Feiner, who reached base after being hit by a pitch, attempted to score on Brandon Roberts’ double, but was thrown out at the plate. Felix Molina and Plouffe then hit back-to-back RBI doubles.

Brock Peterson had a solo homer in the sixth and David Winfree added a solo shot in the eighth for the Rock Cats.

Blanco went yard again in the ninth inning with a two-run shot to center field. Harrisburg starter Beltran Perez (3-2) pitched five solid innings, limiting the Rock Cats to three runs on eight hits and now walks. He struck out four.

New Britain clubbed a season-high 17 hits, including three-hit nights from Plouffe (2 doubles), Allegra (2 doubles), Roberts, and Felix Molina. J.P. Martinez tossed 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief for the Rock Cats.

Rock Cats
Patriot News

whit Robbins
Whit Robbins

Clearwater 3 at Fort Myers 4 (10 innings)

Record 13 - 25

W: E. Morlan (2-1, 3.15); L: B. Harker (0-2, 4.61)
HR: None.

No matter how tough I want to be on the boys, when I get down there to talk to them, they are tougher on themselves. Once again, this was pretty much the case, as Eli was way down in the dumps prior to the game.

However, just when it looked like the night was over, the Miracle rallied back to give us a big tenth inning. Erik Lis singled a line drive to right field and Luis Ugueto ran really fast to come home from second base to make the final score 4-3 and hand the Fort Myers squad their 13th win of the season.

It was Ugueto's second run of the night, as Lis doubled him in the bottom of the first inning to give the Miracle the early lead. With our daily allotment of three hits used up for the night, the fans settled in to watch what would be a long game.

Despite a lack of strikes on the night, Oswaldo Sosa pitched well, allowing 5 hits and 2 walks in six innings, but keeping the Thrashers off the scoreboard. Meanwhile Carlos Carrasco was pulled after giving up one run to the worst team in the Florida State League, to be replaced by Zac Stott, who allowed four hits while striking out 4 over six.

Frank Mata allowed Clearwater to tie the game, earning himself the blown save, and gave up an additional two runs on five hits, while striking out five in 2 innings.

Ugueto finished up the night 3-for 4 with a walk and two runs, while Lis as 2-for 5 with 3 RBIs. Steve Tolleson had the night off except for pinch hitting in the 10th for Toby Gardenhire, so the Miracle managed to play without an errors tonight.

The two teams will finish up the series tomorrow on Island Night.

I was trying to convince the GCL boys if they came to no other game this year, they had to come for Island Night, when suddenly down on the end of the bench, Matt Williams starts going off about Thirsty Thursday. I'd sort of forgot he'd been with the Miracle for a while and had actually experienced Thirsty Thursday, even if he had not pitched for one.

"Willie," I said. "Island Night is like Thirsty Thursday on steroids. There's nothing else like it." We shall see if any of them are brave enough to try it.

I did think about warning Alex, but Eddie said, "No. Let him find out the hard way." I'm sure this will prove quite amusing.

News Press
Photos of the offensive jugernaut

ECHL Hockey: The Florida Everblades fell 4-2 to the Dayton Bombers, to make the series 3-2 in favor of Dayton. Game 6 is Thursday night at Germain Arena. Blades

Sliding In
Courtesy of the Peoria Journal Star

Beloit 1 at Peoria 3

Record 21-14

W: J. Ruhlman (3-1, 2.63); L: A. Hawes (1-4, 4.06); SV: R. Roquet (9)
HR: BEL: D. Santiesteban (5). PEO: Y. Carter (4).

E: Singleton (3, throw).

From The Peoria Chiefs took game one of a four game series with the Beloit Snappers 3-1 at O’Brien Field on Tuesday night. The Chiefs move to within two games of first place Clinton who was rained out today.

The Chiefs picked up back-to-back singles with two outs in the second inning from Wellington Castillo and DJ Lewis but Snappers starter Adam Hawes got Jonathon Mota to fly out to right to end the threat.

Chiefs starter Alex Maestri allowed just one base runner through the first eight hitters but surrendered a one out home run in the third inning to Danny Santiesteban to give Beloit a 1-0 lead. The homer was just the second allowed by Maestri in 23 innings pitched.

The Chiefs wasted no time in answering back the run put up by Beloit in the top of the third. Jim Adduci reached on an error by the shortstop Steven Singleton and then just one batter later Yusuf Carter connected on his fourth home run of the season to make it 2-1.

Carter continued to swing a hot bat with at two out double into the left field corner. Josh Lansford came up with an opposite field single to right to extend the Chiefs lead to 3-1.

Maestri worked the first four innings allowing just one run on three hits while recording one strikeout. Jayson Ruhlman came onto work three shutout innings allowing just one hit en route to his third win of the season. Oscar Bernard worked a scoreless eighth to keep the Chiefs lead 3-1. Rocky Roquet extended his scoreless innings streak to 18 2/3 and picked up his ninth save which ranks him second in the Midwest League.

Beloit Daily News
Star Journal
Photo Album

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Scoreboard for May 14, 2007

Buffalo 6 at Rochester 2

Record 18-13

W: R. Perez (3-1, 3.22); L: D. Gassner (0-2, 6.83)
HR: BUF: K. Ginter (6), L. Rivas (3), A. Marte (2), M. Rose (1).

From The Red Wings lost their second straight to Buffalo Monday night at Frontier Field. Buffalo broke out with four home runs and shut down the Wings' offense to win 6-2. Matt Tolbert had two hits to raise his International League leading batting average to .396, and Alexi Casilla added two hits and an RBI for the Wings.

Buffalo starter Rafael Perez got the win after pitching seven and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs while striking out seven. Andy Marte went 4-for-4 with a home run and Mike Rose added two hits with two RBI to lead the Bisons offense.

The Wings threatened to score first in the second inning when Matt LeCroy led off with a walk, followed by a Jose Morales single to center. But Tommy Watkins hit into a double play and Matt Moses followed with a strikeout to end the threat.

The Wings struck first in the fourth inning. Casilla got things started with a leadoff single and advanced to second base because of an error by Bisons' shortstop Hector Luna. Glenn Williams followed with a single to right and LeCroy knocked in the first run with a line-drive single to left field. Watkins ended the inning after grounding into his second double play.

The lead was short-lived after Buffalo started the fifth inning with four consecutive hits. Marte tied the game with a leadoff home run that hit the video scoreboard in left field. After Luna followed with a single, Rose gave Buffalo a 3-1 lead when his homer to left field fell just out of reach of Watkins' glove. The Bisons then loaded the bases after back-to-back singles with only one out, and Shin-Soo Choo drove in their fourth run after grounding into a fielder's choice, making it 4-1. Starting pitcher Dave Gassner took the loss after allowing four runs on nine hits in five and one-third innings pitched.

Buffalo threatened again in the sixth. After Rose's single forced Gassner to leave the game, the Bisons loaded the bases when Jason Cooper hit a single off Wings' reliever Jason Miller with only one out. But Miller forced Ryan Mulhern to ground into a double play to end the inning.

After the Wings continued to struggle on offense, Buffalo added two more runs in the seventh. Luis Rivas and Keith Ginter hit solo home runs off Miller to extend the Bisons lead to 6-1.

Rochester added a run in the eighth when Casilla hit a line-drive double to left field to score Tolbert, finishing the scoring for the Wings.

The Wings hit well off of Bisons reliever Brian Sikorski in the ninth inning, loading the bases following Trent Oeltjen's single with only one out. However, Tolbert and Denard Span followed with consecutive strikeouts to end the game.

NOTES: The Wings left 22 runners on base..... INF Gil Velazquez joined the Wings from Double-A New Britain on Monday but did not play... Tolbert also leads the league in on-base percentage.

Buffalo News
R News

New Britain Rock Cats

Record: 16-14

No Games Scheduled

Velazquez promoted: Rock Cats infielder Gil Velazquez was promoted to Triple A Rochester. He hit .267 with one homer and 13 RBI in 17 games at New Britain. ... Rock Cats outfielder Matt Allegra was named Eastern League player of the week. He hit .464 (13-for-28) with a homer and six RBI.



Clearwater 1 at Fort Myers 0

Record 12-25

W: J. Outman (3-3, 3.89); L: R. Mullins (1-3, 2.40); SV: C. Weatherby III (2)
HR: None.

E: Moore (1, catcher interference).

From Clearwater catcher Lou Marson went 2-for-3 with a double on Monday night as the Clearwater Threshers picked up a 1-0 win over the Fort Myers Miracle at Hammond Stadium. The Miracle have now lost five-straight and are now 7-9 in one-run games this season.

Marson would lead off the Thresher fifth with a bullet off the wall in left-center picking up his fifth double of the season. After a Brad Harman single to center moved him to third, Marson would later score on Matt Thayer’s groundout to second giving Clearwater their only run of the night.

Starters again looked good on Monday evening as the Threshers Josh Outman and Charles Weatherby combined on the three-hit shut out. Outman tossed five innings allowing two, first inning singles. Outman did have a few control issues walking six, but did strike out seven registering his third win of the year. Weatherby went four innings allowing just one hit while fanning five for his second save.

Miracle starter Ryan Mullins received another tough-luck loss on Monday throwing seven frames allowing just the one run on six hits, while striking out five. Reliever Yohan Pino went the final two innings allowing just one hit while he struck out two.

Best scoring opportunities for the Miracle came in the first and fifth innings with runners on first and second with one out. In the first, Steve Tolleson and Erik Lis each had singles in the inning but were left stranded as Juan Portes flew out to right and Whit Robbins grounded out to first. In the fifth, it was back-to-back walks from Luis Ugueto and Lis with one-out to start a potential threat, but a Portes strike out and Robbins ground out again ended the inning.

The Threshers and Miracle will battle in the middle game of the series on Tuesday night. The Miracle send RHP Oswaldo Sosa (0-2, 3.55) to the mound opposite RHP Carlos Carrasco (4-1, 4.05) for the Threshers. Game time is set for 7 p.m. on a TK Sports Bar “2-for-1” Tuesday sponsored by Cat Country 107.1. It is also “Shrek 3” night with Shrek visiting Hammond Stadium on Tuesday night.

News Press

Beloit Snappers

Record 21-13

No Games Scheduled

Monday, May 14, 2007

Scoreboard for May 13, 2007

Matt Tolbert
JAY CAPERS RDC staff photographer - Red Wings' second baseman Matt Tolbert makes a diving stop in the third inning. Tolbert had one hit for Rochester in its 8-0 loss on Sunday.

Buffalo 8 at Rochester 0

Record 18-12

W: J. Harris (2-2, 5.40); L: S. Baker (3-2, 3.16)
HR: None.

E: Tolbert (6, missed catch).

From The Red Wings fell to the Buffalo Bisons Sunday afternoon at Frontier Field. Buffalo had a three-run fourth inning and scored another four runs in the ninth to win 8-0. Starting pitcher Scott Baker (3-2) took the loss, allowing four earned runs off eight hits in six innings pitched. Matt Tolbert and Matt Moses had one hit apiece and Tommy Watkins hit two singles (2-for-3).

Buffalo's starter, Jeff Harris (2-2), earned the win, holding the Wings to three hits in six innings pitched. Mike Rose was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and one RBI. Ben Francisco, Joe Inglett and Ryan Mulhern each had two RBI.

The Bisons picked up a second inning run off Baker. Rose hit a two-out single, and scored on Brad Snyder's double. Then, in the fourth inning, Rose hit a two-RBI single then scored on Ryan Mulhern's RBI single. Carmen Cali relieved Baker in the seventh but was replaced by Brian Bass in the ninth after loading the bases. Francisco hit an RBI single followed by a two-RBI triple by Inglett.

Cali pitched pitched two innings, plus three batters in the ninth. He gave up four hits and allowed three runs. Bass gave up one run off two hits in one inning pitched.

NOTES: The Wings wore special pink jerseys as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Day, a partnership with the Pluta Cancer Center. The jerseys were auctioned off to raise money for the Pluta Cancer Center; Rochester fans helped raise over $5,500. The team will also wear special jerseys for Prostate Cancer Awareness Day on June 17...LHP Mike Venafro was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays organization Saturday.Venafro was 1-0 with two saves and a 5.40 ERA in 12 games for the Red Wings... INF Gil Velazquez will join the Wings from Double-A New Britain on Monday... OF Trent Oeltjen (wrist) was out of the lineup again after getting hit by a pitch Friday night. He's expected to be available to play Monday...New Britain 2B Felix Molina had his 16-game hitting streak snapped in a 2-1 loss to Trenton, in a game that was suspended Saturday night and completed Sunday afternoon. Molina's streak is the tops in the Eastern League this season.

R News

New Britain 1 at Trenton 2

Record: 16-13

W: G. Casadiego (1-1, 2.08); L: D. Powers (1-3, 7.62)
HR: None.

E: Floyd, J (2, pickoff).

From The Rock Cats (16-14), who had won a season-high five consecutive games, were delt back-to-back losses on Sunday afternoon against the Yankees farm club Trenton (23-10).

The Thunder won the rain-suspended game from Friday nights 2-1 as Matt Carson singled home Noah Hall in the B-9th inning against reliever Danny Powers.

2B Felix Molina had his Eastern League high 16 game hit streak come to an end in the defeat, going 0-4 with two strikeouts.


New Britain 1 at Trenton 5

Record: 16-14

W: J. Jones (3-1, 3.13); L: T. Crawford (3-2, 7.00)
HR: TRE: M. Carson (5).

From The Thunder got a great start from RHP Jason Jones who improved to 3-1 with the victory in the originally scheduled game, 5-1.

Rock Cats hurler Tristan Crawford was reached for four runs (3ER) in four plus innings, including a home run by Matt Carson, while taking the loss.

The Rock Cats finished the road trip at 5-2 and return to New Britain Stadium on Tuesday night to take on the Harrisburg Senators.

Rock Cats

Fort Myers Miracle

Record 12 - 24

No Games Scheduled

ECHL Hockey: The Florida Everblades fell 3-1 to the Dayton Bombers, knotting the Eastern Conference Finals at 2 games each. Florida Panthers prospect David Brine had the lone Everblades goal. Game five of the best-of-seven series is Tuesday May 15th at the Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio.

Joe Benson
BDN Staff photo by Jim Franz-
Beloit’s Joe Benson slides into third base with a run-scoring triple as Kane County’s Christian Vitters flags down a throw Sunday during the third inning of game two. The first-place Snappers swept a twinbill at Pohlman Field.

Kane County 3 at Beloit 4

Record 20-13

W: C. Devries (3-1, 1.64); L: S. Deal (1-3, 5.40); SV: R. Delaney (10)
HR: KCC: G. Dowling (3). BEL: A. De San Miguel (2).

E: Santiesteban (4, fielding), Woodard 2 (7, fielding, throw).

From Reliever Rob Delaney survived a bit of a scare in the top of the seventh inning to help the Snappers to a 4-3 victory over the Kane County Cougars. Delaney picked up his league leading tenth save of the season in game one of the doubleheader.

Beloit struck first in the bottom of the third inning off the bat of catcher Allan de San Miguel. Allan belted a two run home run to center and gave the Snappers a 2-0 lead.

The Snappers struck again in the bottom of the fourth inning on an Allan de San Miguel RBI ground out to second.

After exchanging runs in the bottom of the fifth/top of the sixth inning, the Snappers entered the top of the seventh inning with a 4-1 lead. Kane County scored two runs off a Johnny Woodard error, and cut the Snappers lead down to 4-3. Delaney then got the next two batters out and ended the game with the Snappers on top, 4-3.

Starter Cole Devries pitched six innings of one run, five hit baseball to pick up his third win of the season.


Kane County 2 at Beloit 5

Record 21-13

W: A. Craig (1-0, 2.57); L: T. Cahill (0-1, 40.50); SV: D. Leatherman (3)
HR: None.

From The Snappers kept their hot bats going and won the final game of the series against the Kane County Cougars, 5-2. Newcomer Aaron Craig picked up his first win as a Snapper, and helped Beloit sweep the doubleheader.

The Snappers scored quickly in the bottom of the first inning, highlighted by a two run bunt single off the bat of Danny Berg. Berg was later driven home off the bat of Chris Parmelee. Parmelee’s RBI single made it a 3-0 Beloit lead after one.

The runs would not stop there, however. Beloit scored two more runs in the bottom of the third inning, highlighted by an RBI triple by Joe Benson. Benson was driven home one batter later by a sacrifice fly off the bat of Greg Yersich. Yersich’s sac fly gave the Snappers a 5-0 lead.

After allowing two runs in the top of the fourth inning, reliever Aaron Craig settled down and picked up his first win of the season. Aaron pitched two innings of two run, two hit baseball to help lead the Snappers to their 21st win of the season.

Dan Leatherman came on to pitch two strong innings and pick up his third save of the season.
Beloit Daily News

Extended Spring Training

The GCL Twins demolished the GCL Orioles 8-3 in an extended spring training game at the Lee County Sportsplex. While I realize that I go through this drill every single year, it didn't occur to me that they'd be starting early on mothers day, so I got there around the beginning of the fourth inning.

"Let me guess," I said to Van Mil, who was kind of, but not quite sitting in my spot."The game started at 10 and no one saw fit to inform me of it yesterday."

"Um..." Loek studies his shoelaces.

"I hate you all," I said sitting down next to him.

I missed Leavitt in the first two innings and Mike Rogers in the third which really was a bit of a let down, as I've not see Rog pitch in forever. I did get two innings of Mr. Fox, though, so I won't complain too much.

I don't have much of a score except for what I got from Mr. Bromberg. Foxy gave up one run...his first inning is always a bit weak and then he get's rolling for the second one. Jon Waltenbury was 2-for-3 at the plate with a walk. Evidently he has a bit of a nemisis on the Orioles team because as he stalked back to the dugout after striking out he says "I've never hit this guy!"

Both he and Tosoni have looked really good in extended, but I can see Waltenbury going to E-Town. Henry Sanchez is not even taking batting practice at this point, and Waltenbury has a much better defensive game than Sanchez. I'll get the shots up in a bit.

I have also added a Video Page which lists the video clips up alphabetically by last name if you're looking for someone in particular. There is a similar page added to the Miracle site.

Funny how the boys have no trouble finding their videos, but trying to find their shots online seems to be a real problem for them. ::sigh::

Wang-Wei Lin gives a real nice autograph:
Wang-Wei Lin Autograph

I have video up (finally) of Tyler Robertson, the elbowless wonder. Tyler is one of my favorite lefties in the system but that delivery of his is just....weird. You really must watch it.

He had some trouble yesterday but I probably should add that Alex Soto was catching for him. While Alex is as nice a piece of eye candy as I've seen of late, he needs a LOT of work behind the plate.

One of the other new catchers we got...David Hernandez, hit a home run yesterday. Hernandez had a full ride the University of Tennessee, but they wanted him as an fielder, and he'd converted to catching in high school and kind of liked it. The Twins were happy to take him. Mr. Hernandez hits quite well. I also rather like the other new catch we have, A.J. Anthony but I haven't quite figured out what it is I like about him.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Ugly pitch, beautiful results

When Tyler Robertson was drafted into the Twins farm system last year, the Baseball America report on him used the words "funky", "ugly" and "unorthodox" to describe his delivery.

"After he begins his windup, Robertson's left arm, in the words of one scout, plunges straight down," Baseball America wrote in their report. "He then brings the arm back up and goes to the plate."

It's a bit hard to visualize, but I needed to see him throw only one pitch to know who he was. It was that identifiable.

I've written about it, and generally, when someone shows up for a game, they "have to see this boy pitch" to see if I'm crazy or not. I'm not. Nor was B.A.

"I've cleaned it up some," Tyler tells me.

"You've never thrown a pitch in which you actually used that elbow," I tell him. It's okay. He pitches well. Funky, but well.

coming into the Twins out of Bella Vista High School, at 6'5" and 215 lbs, the question he generally gets asked is "What college are you from?" Well, they didn't make them that big when I was in high school either.

His size and his resume certainly override any mitigating factors the pitching style might hold. Some scouts don't feel that Robertson will be able to improve much without overhauling his mechanics. While not a fireballer, he has a good fastball that runs and can throw to overpower batters, at least at the this level.

Robertson finished up last year's Gulf Coast League season with a 4-2 record anda 4.25 era. But he lead the club in strike outs, 54 in 48.2 innings. It's his ability to get the strike outs that's key.

In any case, I've been wanting to get Robertson youtubed so that I could share his delivery with the rest of the world. So I was quite pleased when he showed up with in uniform. Except for the sock, which he says are staying up.

It's called a uniform, Mr. Robertson, because you are all supposed to look UNIFORM.

While the socks were up, so were his pitches in the first inning, which prompted him to say "I was terrible yesterday."

"Well, I wasn't really happy with the walk and the wild pitch, however you did get four strikeouts."

"I always get strike outs."

"You did really well in the second inning."

(He should teach Lirano to pitch, then he wouldn't need to worry about rehabbing that elbow.)

He seemed a bit tired of my teasing him about the elbow. He also gave up two runs in yesterday's game, a 9-4 shelling by the Pirates.

However, I can't lay the loss on him and I really can't say anything bad about the kid. He's very level headed around camp and doesn't goof off the way some of the guys do.

He enjoys fishing and was hanging around with Mike Allen last year, which seemed to suit them both. While Tyler had originally said he wasn't going to buy a car with his bonus money, he did end up purchasing a truck - don't ask, I forget which kind, but it's well tricked out - and his 16 year old brother is driving it around Sacramento. Which leaves him without wheels in Southwest Florida.

This year he's rooming with Thomas Wright, who is from Tennessee. I believe E-Town would suit them both.

"There's a place called the Electric Cowboy, which you'll like Tyler." Actually I think it's Johnson City, which if I'm not mistaken, is the next big city over.

"I'm there already," he says. Tyler really likes country music.

"You need to come to Elizabethton," he tells me. We'll see.

I think he was the only guy on the team who's mom came to visit him and told him to do his own laundry. I laughed and said "Good for her. But you're the only guy on the team who's mom took him Busch Gardens too."

Tyler Robertson

I think the key point with him now is his speed...In high school he was going throwing 88-to-90 miles an hour, he's been around 87 with the GCL Twins. He keeps saying "I'm going to throw 90 today," but I've not been there when..if..he's hit it.

That should change in Elizabethton. GCL and Extended is notorious for wearing pitchers out and keeping their speed down. Most however bounce right back when they get out of Southwest Florida.

Given that he was one of our most reliable starters last year, and assuming that yesterday's first inning was more of an aberration than a normal happening, he should be bound for the Smokey Mountain in another month.

And sorry, I can't report any strange and unusual nicknames for him. Just a rather unusual pitching style.

A strange, funky and wonderful pitching style.

Tyler Robertson - Game of May 12, 2007 (First inning, Part I)
Tyler Robertson - Game of May 12, 2007 (First inning, Part II)
Tyler Robertson - Game of May 12, 2007 (2nd inning, Part III)
Tyler Robertson - Game of May 12, 2007 (2nd inning, Part IV)