Saturday, August 30, 2008

Grand Slam a nice finish for Miracle

Juan Portes

Tampa 0 at Fort Myers 4

W: A. Slama (4-1, 1.03); L: P. Bartleski (2-1, 1.67)
HR: FTM: J. Portes (12).

A sac fly would have done it. Heck, a ground out would have done it. Just about anything would have worked.

Johnny Woodard had drawn a walk in the bottom of the ninth for the Fort Myers Miracle and Danny Lehmann moved him to 2nd with a sac bunt. Edward Ovalle was brought in to pinch hit for Danny Santiesteban and was intentionally walked so that Philip Bartleski could get at Rene Tosoni. But Tosoni, even coming off the DL, is a good hitter and patient and he took walk as well to fill the bags. Yancarlos Ortiz would go in to run for him and Juan Portes came up to bat.

"Juan, whatever you do, don't strike out!" Lynn says helpfully. Not that he could hear her. Portes didn't wait long enough to get walked, launching the first pitch he saw, a fast ball, over the left center field wall for a grand slam, the 2rd walk off grand slam he'd belted this season.

Prior to that, it was quite the pitcher's duel. Matt Fox limited the Yankees to 4 hits over six inning, striking out three and Jose Lugo worked the next two, issuing a single walk. For Tampa, Ryan Pope pitched 7, scattering six hits and a pair of walks while striking out four.

Anthony Slama worked the final for the Miracle, striking out one while Bartleski walked 4 over 1.1 innings and allowed a pair of hits. It was the second one that really counted.

Tomorrow is Fireworks Fan Appreciation Night with give-aways all night long for the people that only come out to watch the fireworks. Look for Alex Burnett (8-6, 3.79), who evidently did not go to Sports Clips for his last hair cut and messed it up - bad, to be on the mound.

News Press

* Iris was concerned that there wasn't an article on the Miracle in the paper yesterday, but she needs to understand that High School Football has started and the Miracle just can't compete with High School Football in Fort Myers. God help us all if the Eagles ever get a football stadium built.

* Alex wants to know if I though he was going up to AA next year and I said yes. Ditto with Deolis who was sitting there, if only because of his win record. Devries will go and probably Fox as well. I think Robertson will spend another half a season here though, since he missed most of the second half of the year with tight shoulder. They all want paw prints so they can go to AA, but I want them to win a Championship first, before I hand them out. (Actually, I'll be happy if they just beat Dunedin.)

* Steedley says he'll be available for the playoffs, but that blister looks painful and I can't imagine that being a big, tough, baseball player makes your skin grown any faster than it does for us normal folks. Maybe if we make it out of the first round....

* Speaking of playoffs, Racetrac is hosting "Park the Park" for the playoffs, so the next time you make a pit stop at Racetrac for gas, pick up a free pair of general admission seats to the playoff game on Wednesday at Hammond Stadium and Thursday (if necessary).

* The Binghamton Mets defeated the New Britain Rock Cats, 3-1 at New Britain stadium. Jose Mijares took the loss. Jay Rainville worked 5.2 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits and a pair of walks while fanning seven for the no decision. Brian Dinkelman, who was named the Mightiest Miracle for the second year in a row, was 0-for-4 at the plate for the Cats. Toby Gardenhire as 1-for-2 with a pair of walks, and Danny Berg was 1-for-4 with a double and the lone Rock Cats' run.

* Garrett Jones hit his 22nd home run of the year, a solo shot in the fifth, to help power the Rochester Red Wings to a 9-3 win over the Scranton/WB Yankees. The former Miracle first baseman was 2-for-5, hitting a double as well and gaining 2 RBIs on the night. Brock Peterson, another former 1st baseman was 1-for-2 on the night with a home run as well. He also had a pair of RBIs and drew two walks in the game. Former Miracle shortstop Trevor Plouffe was 2-for-4 with double and a pair of runs.

* Now that they've been eliminated from playoff contention, the Beloit Snappers have gotten hot, winning their third straight, 6-4 against the Burlington Bees at Pohlman Field. David Bromberg picked up his 9th win of the season. Andrew Schmiesing was 2-for-3 at the plate with a walk, a run and a RBI. Soon to be catcher Juan Richardson was 2-for-4 with a run. Every Snapper, except for Greg Yersich who was playing first base, had at least one hit, and only Yersich, and former Miracle Allan de San Miguel and Yangervis Solarte went without a run.

* Dan Osterbrock and the Elizabethton Twins blanked the Pulaski Mariners 7-0 to go up 2-0, sweeping the best of three Appalachian League Championship game and repeating as Appalachian League Champions. Jon Waltenbury knocked a double shot home run over the wall in the first inning to get things rolling. He finished up 3-for-3 at the plate with a walk and 3 RBIs. Nick Romero was 2-for-5 with a run and a RBI and Angel Morales was 1-for-3 with a pair of runs.

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