Friday, November 23, 2007

Eagles soar over Tigres, 7-6

vs Zulia
Photo courtesy of los Tigres de Aragua

Zulia 7 at Aragua 6

W: H. Totten (4-0, 3.03); L: K. Tolar (0-1, 1.86); SV: R. Garces (11)
HR: None.

Los Tigres de Aragua managed run on 6 hits, but couldn't rally past the Aguilas de Zulia, falling 7-6 Thursday at Jose Perez Stadium in Maracay.

Aragua did get onto the board first, Michael Rivera (Milwaukee) took a walk, then moved to second on a wild pitch from Zulia starter Henry Rodriguez (Oakland). Jesus Feliciano (NY Yankees) would double him in.

Gerardo Avila (Seattle) doubled in the top of the third inning for Zulia, then moved to 3rd base when former Miracle Henry Bonilla (LA Angels), who was making his second start of the season, unleased a wild pitch. Rodney Medina (F/A) then doubled up the middle to plate the runner.

Consecutive hits by Luis Figueroa (F/A), Yurendell DeCaster (Pittsburgh) and Randy Ruiz (San Francisco) filed the bags in the 4th. Bonilla then walked Carlos Gonzalez (Arizona) to force in a run, while Medina's single scored DeCaster. A double play by Luis Oliveros (Seattle) ended the Eagles' threat.

Los Tigers roared in the bottom of the fouth. With one out, Luis Rodriguez (San Diego) walked. After Alex Delgado (F/A) stuck out and was then ejected for arguing the same, Ronney Cedeno (Chicago Cubs) hit to right field. Luis Maza (LA Dodgers) then walked to fill the bases. Moses Melendez (Philadelphia) was called up to the mound for Zulia, but Ruben Salazar (F/A) put a 2-2 pitch into center field to bring in two runners, with Maza making it to 3rd. Rivera then walked to fill the bases again before Hector Gimenez (Houston) went deep out to right to bring in 2 more, but Rivera would be tagged out at 3rd to the inning.

Bonilla would work 5.1 innings, giving up 3 runs on 7 hits and 1 walk while striking out 3. Jose Guanchez (F/A) would relieve him for only one out before being replaced by Oswaldo Sosa (Minnesota).

With one out, Sosa allowed consecutive hits to Figueroa and DeCaster. Ruiz would hit to center to drive in Figueroa. Kevin Tolar (F/A) would enter the game for the Tigres and Gonzalez singled to bring in DeCaster, tying up the game again.

Medina got on base for Zulia in the 8th with a single and moved to second on a pop out. Alberto Callaspo (Arizona) hit out to right, putting Medina on 3rd, and a misplay by Martin Prado (Atlanda) moved Callaspo to 2nd. Medina would come home on a wild pitch, and Carlos Leon (Philadelphia) plated Callaspo for the game winning run.

Rodriguez would come home on a Cedeno hit in the 9th, but it was all the Tigres could manage against Aguilas closer Rich Garces (F/A).

Former Miracle (and SaraReds) Jan Grandado (F/A) worked 1 inning for Zulia, striking out 1. Maza would finish up 0-for-3 with a walk and a run for the Tigres, Rodriguez was 1-for-3 with a walk and 2 runs, and Alex Romero (Arizona) as 0-for-2.

Obviously, this corrects Wednesday's recap as the Tigres played Zulia, not Lara on Thursday. Hey, you know, they were both birds. After taking Friday off, the Tigres rematch against Zulia ot 6:00 PM AST Saturday and 4:00 PM AST Sunday to finish off the week feline.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Tigres blank Caribes, 1-0

Horacio Estrada
Photo courtesy of los Tigres de Aragua

Caribes 0 at Aragua 1

W: H. Estrada (2-1, 1.80); L: A. Prieto (4-1, 3.44); SV: K. Tolar (4)
HR: None.

In the end, the hitting wasn't any better on Wednesday, but los Tigres de Aragua relied on the strength of their pitching staff to pull out a win over los Caribes de Anzoategui.

Horacio Estrada (F/A), Yohan Pino (Minnesota), Jose Mijares (Minnesota), Bobby Korrecky (Minnesota) and Kevin Tolar (F/a) held Caribes to six hits and 1 walk over the course of the game.

The Cats would tally in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, Alex Nunez (F/A) would reach on a throwing error by Caribes starter Ariel Prieto (Free Agent) which went into the dugout, putting Nunez on 2nd. Former Miracle Alex Romero (Arizona) would single to move him to 3rd. Nunez would come home on a Mike Rivera (Milwaukee) ground out.

Romero would finish up the game 2-or-3, Luis Maza (LA Dodgers) would go 1-for-3 and Luis Rodriguez (San Diego) was 0-for-2 with a walk.

Aragua takes on los Cardenales de Lara on Thursday and Saturday. The Tigers sleep on Friday.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tigres fall to hot Leones bats

Vs Leones
Photo courtesy of los Tigres de Aragua

Caracas 4 at Aragua 1

W: E. Cyr (1-2, 5.31); L: R. Garcia (1-1, 0.87)
HR: CAR: H. Blanco (1), C. Mendez (1).

Lack of hitting has plagued los Tigres de Aragua since the start of the season, so it wasn't surprising to find the week feline starting out Tuesday with the same deficit. Los Tigres only put six hits on the board compaired to los Leones del Caracas' 15.

Cory Bailey (Chicago Cubs) worked three scoreless innings for Aragua, being replaced in the top of the 4th by Rosman Garcia (Baltimore). With one out Jose Castillo (Pittsburgh) singled, Carlos Maldonado (Atlanta) and Franklin Gutierrez (Cleveland) all singled to load the bases. Garcia then issued a walk to Mario Lisson (Kansas City) to force in a run for los Leones. He would get former Minnesota Twins catcher Henry Blanco to strike out and Drew Macias (San Diego) to ground out to end the inning without further damage.

Frank Mata (Minnesota) took the mound for the top of the 5th walking Omar Vizquel (San Francisco) and allowing a single to Marco Scutaro (Toronto). A wild pitch would move the pair around. After taking Alex Cabrera (F/A) out on strikes, Castillo would hit a sac fly to make it 2-0, Leones.

Blanco would homer off Mata in the 6th, for Caracas' 3rd run of the evening.

Jose Mijares (Minnesota) worked one out, allowing a single in the 7th before being replaced by Oswaldo Sosa (Minnesota). The southpaw from Tovar would work 1.1 innings before giving way to Jose Guanchez (F/A), who finished off the top of the 8th for Aragua.

Despite several pinch hitting substitutions in the 8th, it appeared that Aragua was looking to be shut out by Caracas. Bobby Korecky (Minnesota) would take to the mound for the top of the 9th, giving up a home run with 1 out to Mendez. After allowing a single to Castillo, he'd issued two straight strike outs to retire the side.

With free agent Jorge Julio on the mound for los Leones in the bottom of the 9th, Ronney Cedeno (Chicago Cubs) would single, but would be taken out at 2nd when Luis Rodriguez (San Diego) hit into a force out. Martin Prado (Atlanta) singled, and the pair was moved when Julio, who played in the 2007 season for the Jupiter Hammerheads, unleashed a wild pitch. Ruben Salazar (F/A) would hit a sac-fly to right to bring in Rodriguez, ending Caracas shut out aspirations. Hector Gimenez (Houston) would strike out swinging however, to end the contest.

Cedeno would be the only Tigre with multiple hits, going 3-for-4 at the plate. Prada, Gimenez and former Miracle Alex Romero (Arizona) had the other hits for Aragua.

Caribes de Anzoategui visits Aragua on Wednesday, while los Aguilas de Zulia visit on Thursday. Los Tigres sleep on Friday, which is good since I really want to hit up the Target 2-day Sale-a-thon.

Former Miracle Victor Moreno (Baltimore) has been placed on the DL and will be out for at least one week following a bout of Mononucleosis. He is resting at home, and will be re-evaluated next week to determine when he may be available to the Tigres again.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Team USA strikes Gold!

Evan Longoria

USA 6 at Cuba 3

WP: Shell (1-0) LP: Marti (1-1) SAVE:Stevens (2)
HR: USA: Nix

It was evident fairly early on in the tournament that Team USA and Team Cuba were the baseball power houses, so it was really no surprise to see them square off for the gold medal. Cuba has owned this tournmant over the years, so perhaps it was a bit of a surprise to see Team USA come away with the gold.

But that is exactly what happened, as Team USA doubled up Team Cuba 6-3 to take home the coveted hardware.

Singles to Delwyn Young (LA Dodgers), Justin Ruggiano (Tampa Bay) and Jason Jaramillo (Philladelphia) put USA on the board in 2nd inning with one. Brian Bixler (Pittsburgh) would be walked by Cuban starter Yadel Marti to load the bases with just one out. Colby Rasmus (St Louis) drew walk off Cuban reliever Norberto Gonzalez as did Jayson Nix (Colorado), making the score 3-0 before Yuniesky Maya came in for team Cuba to retire the side.

The Americans added another run in the 3rd with Evan Longoira (Tampa Bay) leading off a single which was followed 1 out later by Ruggiano's second of the game was well. Jaramillo's double plated Longoria.

Nix make it 5-0 USa with a solo home run, his second of the tournament.

Minesota's Brian Duensing took the start for Team USA and was near perfect through 4 innings. with 2 outs on the board and a runner on 1st, Young over-ran a single in the outfield putting runners on 2nd and 3rd. Alfredo Despaigne then ripped a single to right, scoring the runners, making the score 5-2. Duensing was lifted in favor of Steven Shell (LA Angels) who got Cuba to hit into a ground out to end the inning.

A Longoria single and a Young double gave Team USA their 6th run in the 7th inning.

Shell would give up a double to Yulesky Gourriel and a single to Alexander Mayeta to make it a 6-3 game in the 8th.

Jerry Blevins (Oakland) and Jeff Stevens (Cleveland) finished off the game for the States.

Duensing would allowed 5 hits and strike out 2 during his time on the mound, only one of his runs was earned.

Cuba took home the silver with Japan earning the Bronz with a 5-0 win over the Netherlands. Minnesota Twins prospect Loek Van Mil pitched 1.2 innings for the Dutchmen, allowing 1 earned run on 2 walks while striking out 2.

Team USA

Korea 6 at Australia 2

WP: Cho (1-0) LP: Wiltshire (1-1) SAVE:Hyun (1)

Korea would drop the Aussies 5-2 to pick up 5th place in the tournament with the Boys from Down Under having to settle for 6th.

Minnesota's Trent Oeljen would be 2-for-5 at the plate, Glenn Williams as 1-for-5 and Luke Hughes was 1-for-3.

Following an ejection yesterday, Josh Hill (Minnesota) would pitch for .2 innings in the 8th.

Australia got on the board first in the bottom of the 1st when Oeltjen singled, then stole 2nd. Brad Harman (Philadlephia) would draw a walk and the pair would then pull a double steal of 3rd and 2nd respectively. Justin Huber's (Kansas City) single plated Oeltjen, and Ben Risinger (San Diego) ground into a fielder's choice that allowed Harman to score. Williams would hit into a double play to end the inning.

Adam Bright (Colorado) allowed a triple to Si Hyun Son in the top of the 6th that contributed to a 4 run inning for team Korea. The would tack another run on in the 8th with Ji Hwan Son doubling in Si Hyun Son off Adrian Burnside.

Andrew Wiltshire (Independant) took the loss, working 5.1 innings and being tagged for 3 earned runs on 4 hits, and 1 walk while striking out 5.

Mexico defeated Chinese Taipei for the 7th and 8th placement in the tournment.

Aussie play-by-pay
Australian Baseball

Monday, November 19, 2007

Caribes' Smith blanks Tigres

Vs Caribes
Photo courtesy of los Tigres de Aragua

Aragua 0 at Caribes 4

W: M. Smith (3-2, 2.90); L: B. Bass (3-2, 2.77)
HR: ORI: R. Washington (5).

Sunday, Twins pitching didn't help much as Minnesota's Brian Bass gave up 4 runs (3 earned) on 5 hits and 1 walk while striking out 4 over 5.2 innings. Caribes starter Mike Smith (St Louis) would limit Aragua to just 4 hits over 8 innings. Smith's perforance would earn him the League's Player of the Week Award.

With one out, Jonathan Herrera (Colorado) and Andrews Torres (Detroit) hit back-to-back doubles for Caribes to start off their scoring in the 3rd. After Omar Infante (Detroit) ground out, Jody Gerut (F/A) would reach on a fielding error by Tigres 3rd baseman Mike Aviles (Kansas City) which allowed Torres to score. Gerut would then be picked off at 1st to end the inning.

It didn't end the scoring through, as the Anzoategui squad came back in the fifth. Eliezer Alfonzo (San Francisco) singled, followed by Rico Washington's (St Louis) fifth home run of the season to make it 4-0 Caribes.

The Tigres never mounted a scoring threat though, or got a runner past 2nd base. Boston's Travis Hughes finished off the game for Caribes, striking out 1.

Aragua's Ronny Cedeno (Chicago Cubs) was 2-for-4 in the game, Alex Nunez (F/A) and Martin Prada (Atlanta) had the other two Tigres hits.

Oswaldo Sosa (Minnesota) pitched .1 innings worth of work, getting Herrera to ground out to end the 7th inning.

Closers Frank Butto and Kevin Tolar, both free agents, earned the Tigres Player of Week honors.

Aragua rests on Monday, and begin a new week feline at home against Caracas on Tuesday. Cory Bailey (Chicago Cubs) is expected to make the start for los Tigres.


Over in the Dominican League, Alexi Casilla is hitting .295, with 14 runs on 23 hits in 19 games (78 at bats) and contributing 3 RBIs to the Aguilas Cibaenas. Pitcher Julio DePaula is 0-1 with a 5.63 ERA, allowing 5 runs, all earned on 12 hits in 8 innings pitched (7 games).

Hawaiin Winter Baseball finished up this week on a soggy note. Rain washed out the championship game, and the title was awarded to the North Shore Honu based on a their regular season record. SaraReds pitcher Logan Ondrusek and Jupiter's Brett Sinkbeil were both members of the championship team as were Lakeland's Danny Worth, Cincinnati's Chris Valaika, and Brevard County's Mat Gamel.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Team USA going for the gold!

Justin Huber

Netherlands 0 at USA 5

WP: Wright (2-0) LP: Bergman (1-1)
HR: USA: Colby Rasmus

While Team USA was the favorite in this semi-final game, it should be noted that it wasn't until the 8th inning the Americans blew the game open.

Leadoff man Colby Rasmus (St Louis) hit a home run in the first inning to give Team USA the early lead, but David Bergman settled down the Dutchman, going 7 inning.

Rasmus played 53 games for the FSL Palm Beach Cardinals in 2006, spending 2007 with the Double A Springfield Cardinals of the Texas League.

The bottom of the 8th started out with Brian Bixler (Pittsbugh) taking a walk, followed by Rasmus and Jayson Nix (Colorado) with back-to-back singles to bring him in. Bergman would be lifted from the mound in favor of Dorotheus Drajer, who issued an intentional walk to Andy LaRoche (LA Dodgers) to load the bases. Steve Pierce (Pittsbugh) would single to bring in Rasmus and Nix and a sac-fly by Justin Ruggiano (Tampa Bay) would bring in LaRoche to make it 5-0.

Matt Wright (Kansas City) worked 6 innings for Team USA, allowing 4 hits and walking 2 while striking out 6. Neal Musser (Kansas City) and Lee Gronkieweicz (Toronto) eached worked an inning of relief, and Chris Booker (Washington) handled the 9th, striking out 2 to finish up the game.

Predicatabley, Team USA will face off against Team Cuba for the gold Sunday at Tien-Mou Stadium. Team Netherlands will face Team Japan for the bronze medal round. Cuba topped Japan 5-3 in the other Semi-Final game played Saturday.

Team USA*

* Not updated as of this writing.

Australia 7 at Mexico 1

WP: Blackley, A. (1-0) LP: Cardenas Cortez (1-1)
HR: Aus: Williams

Team Australia used a big 3rd inning to get on top and kept Team Mexico quiet through most of the game to pick up a 7-1 win in one of the minor round consolation games on Saturday.

Glenn Williams (Minnesota) went yard at the top of the 2nd inning to put the Boys from Down Under up by one.

Justin Huber (Kansas City) singled to start of the top of the 3rd, and Ben Risinger (San Diego) drew a walk to advance the runner. Brett Roneberg (Pittsburgh) doubled Huber in. Jose Jimenez would take over the mound for the Mexican's at that point, replacing Humberto Cardenas. Williams drew a walk to greet the new pitcher then Tom Brice (Independant) doubled to bring in two. Mathew Kent (Boston/2006) would hit a triple to give the Aussies 2 more runs, making it 6-0 for Team Australia.

Team Mexico would turn to Gabriel Alvarez to get 3 outs, which he did, all on gounders.

Brice would single and Kent would be hit by a pitch putting Brice on 2nd. He's be singled in by Brad Harman (Philadelphia) to make it 7-0 Aussies.

Adam Blackley (Boston) pitched six innings for Team Australia, allowing 4 hits and walking 5. He'd be on the mound in the fifth, issuing back to back walks to Humberto Sosa and Jose Felix, and a follow up double to Alejandro Ahumada to give the Mexican's their one run of the game with 1 out. He'd get Octavio Sandoval to fly out and then issued a walk to Lorenzo Buelna, who he then picked off at 1st base to finish the frame.

Josh Hill (Minnesota) would come into the game at the top of the 7th, but last only through only 1 batter, Sosa, who he hit with a pitch. This would earn him an ejection, when the home plate umpire ruled that he'd intentionally thrown at the batter, and Richard Thompson (Indepentant) came in for the remainder of the inning.

Thompson would work 2 innings for Team Australia, and Tristan Crawford (Minnesota) mopped up in the 9th to finish off the game.

Trent Oeltjen (Minnesota) would go 2-for-5 at the plate, Williams finish up 2-for-4 and Luke Hughes (Minnesota) was 1-for-5.

Baseball Australia
Aussie Play-by-play

A note on Hill's ejection from Sandlot Swashbucklers: Tempers flared in the 7th inning, when Trent Oeltjen (Twins) was hit by a pitch, and the usually-mild-mannered Oeltjen had a few words to say to the Mexican pitcher. After two pick-off attempts at first, Oeltjen stole second base, and the Mexican team had a few words too. Then Oeltjen was picked off second base, and everyone had words for everyone else. Oeltjen also “reminded” the Mexican players of the score, pointing to the scoreboard, as he walked off the field. Both benches emptied, and those who can read lips can see some non-family-friendly words flying back and forth on the video. No one was ejected, at least not until the bottom of the inning, when Australian pitcher Josh Hill hit the first Mexican batter with a pitch and was immediately ejected.

No Surprise, Dogs win 4th AFL Title

Nick Blackburn
The totally awesome Nick Blackburn

Phoenix 7 at Surprise 2

W: C. Hernandez (1-0, 9.00); L: R. Rundles (0-1, 0.00)
HR: SUR: S. Rodriguez (1).

The Phoenix Desert Dogs exploded in the 8th and 9th innings Saturday to pick up their 4th consecutive AFL title. This is the 2nd year the Minnesota Twins have been part of the Desert Dogs co-op.

Minnesota's Nick Blackburn worked 6 inning for the Dogs, holding the Rafters to 1 run on 5 hits and 1 walk while striking out 2.

Sean Rodriguez (LA Angels) would take one of Blackburn's cruveballs deep over the left-center field wall for a Rafter's home run. That would tie up the game, after the Dogs took a first inning lead.

Nyjer Morgan (Pittsburgh) began the game with a double, but then tried to stretch it to 3, being taken out at 3rd. Dog's shortshop of choice Cliff Pennington (Oakland) singled, the stole 2nd base. Ryan Sweeney (Chicago White Sox) doubled in Pennington.

The Dogs would take the lead back in the top of the 4th, when Matt Macri (Minnesota) drew a walk, moved ot second on a Chris Getz (Chicago White Sox) single then came home on Morgan's fly ball single to right.

The Rafters however would have to wait until Chris Hernandez (Pittsburgh) took over the mound in the 7th to find an answering run. Brad Snyder (Cleveland) would single, and the Elvis Andrus (Texas) would double to move him to 3rd. A Craig Tatum (Cincinnati) sac-fly brought Snyder in tying up the score again.

But Sweeney walked in the top of the ninth off Mike Finocchi (Cleveland). Jason Delaney (Pittsburgh) reached on a force attempt that failed when Andrus overthrew the ball. Following a Andrew McCutchen (Pittsburgh) ground out, Macri would it a sac-fly to bring in Sweeney. A Getz single plated Delaney to give the Dogs a 2 run lead.

They'd add to it in the 9th, when Pennington singled with 1 out, then stole 2nd base. Nolan Reimold's ground ball deflected off first baseman Michael Aubrey (Cleveland). Combined with a fielding error by 2nd baseman Marc Maddox (Kansas City), Penning had more than enough time to get home. Sweeney would single to move Reimold to 2nd. Following a pitching change that saw Paul Kometani (Texas) take to the mound for the Rafters, Delaney singled to bring in Reimold. McCutchen would walk to fill the bases, and a passed ball by Tatum allowed Sweeney to score. Macri would strike out and Getz would ground out to retire the Dogs, leaving 2 men stranded.

Phoenix would look to Dave Davidson (Pittsburgh) in the 8th and Bob McCrory (Baltimore) in the 9th to finish up the game and keep the Rafters out of it.

After Andrus struck out looking to start the bottom of the ninth, the Rafters bench exploded, leading to the ejection of Surprise hitting coach Jon Nunnally and pitching coach Steve Luebber. It made no difference. Tatum would ground out and Chris Lubanski (Kansas City) struck out to end the inning.

Macri finished up the game 1-for-3 at the plate with a walk, a run and an RBI. Catcher Drew Butera finished up 1-for-4. Trevor Plouffe, who appeared in the AFL Rising Stars Showcase, last played on November 8th, when he was lifted at the end of the first inning following a ground out.


Twins pitching help Aragua sweep twin bill from Caribes

Luis Maza

Aragua 1 at Caribes 0

W: Y. Pino (2-2, 2.13); L: M. Palmer (0-3, 4.61); SV: K. Tolar (3)
HR: None.

Los Tigres de Aragua took a pair of back-to-back shut outs on Saturday against los Caribes de Anzoategui.

Yohan Pino (Minnesota) took the win in game one, pitching in relief for former Miracle Henry Bonilla (LA Angels), who work 3.2 innings allowing 4 hits and 2 walks and striking out 1. Pino would pick up his 2 win of the Venezuelan Winter League season after working through 1.2 innings and striking out 1.

Relievers Jose Mijares (Minnesota), Bobby Korecky (Minnesota) and Kevin Tolar (F/A) finished off the game.

Aragua found the game winning run in the top of the 4th inning when Jesus Feliciano doubled. Following back-to-back ground outs by Ruben Salazar (F/A) and Hector Gimenez (Houston) that saw Feliciano move to 3rd, Luis Maza (LA Dodgers) would single in the runner.

Maza would finish up the 7 inning game 1-for-2 with a walk, Luis Rodriguez, now with in the San Diego organization, would go 0-for-3 and Alex Romero (Arizona) was 0-for-3 was well.


Aragua 1 at Caribes 0

W: F. Mata (1-0, 0.87); L: I. Ramirez (0-2, 10.13); SV: K. Tolar (3)
HR: None.

In game two of the double header, Frank Mata (Minnesota) picked up the win for the Tigres, pitching in relief of Horacio Estrada (F/A), who missed his start earlier in the week due to flu.

Estrada would work 3 innings, allowing 1 hit and 1 walk, while striking out 1. Mata would strike out 3 and allow 2 hits in 2.2 innings. Jose Mijares (Minnesota), Jason Karnuth (Detroit) and Kevin Tolar (F/A) held Caribes hitless through the rest of the game.

Luis Maza (LA Dodgers) would single in the top of the 5th, move to 2nd on an Alex Romero (Arizona) sac-bunt and to 3rd on a Jose Martinez (St Louis) ground out. Alex Delgado's (F/A) line drive would plate Maza, giving the Tigres the only run they'd need in the game.

Louis Rodriguez was 1-for-2 with a walk but did not figure into the scoring, Maza was 1-for-3 with the run, and Romero was 0-for-2.