2016-01-24T09:23:41.198-06:00Royals fans had held out hope season after season for 'the year' that the prospects gelled and long-awaited success was back. Season after season the hope fell flat. Key players would get injured. The defense would falter. Short hitting funks turned into crippling slumps that turned into demotions. Simply put, no breaks were caught in Kansas City. Frustrations mounted as 'Trust the Process' turned into a joke. Then, 2014 saw it happen. No one player really carried the team, but nobody was a big drag either. Fans packed Kauffman Stadium (yet KC still finished 11th in the AL in attendance) and the team and fans created a lasting bond. A wild playoff run would end up etching this team into the #2 spot in Royals history, second only to the 1985 World Champs.1. 1985 Royals2. **2014 Royals**3. 1980 Royals4. 1977 Royals5. 1976 Royals6. 1978 Royals7. 1984 Royals8. 1981 Royals9. 1975 Royals10. 1982 Royals11. 1989 Royals12. 1979 Royals13. 2013 Royals14. 1973 Royals15. 1971 Royals16. 1994 Royals17. 1988 Royals18. 1987 Royals19. 1993 Royals20. 2003 Royals21. 1991 Royals22. 1972 Royals23. 1995 Royals24. 1974 Royals25. 1983 Royals26. 1990 Royals27. 1986 Royals28. 1992 Royals29. 2000 Royals30. 2011 Royals31. 2012 Royals32. 2008 Royals 33. 1996 Royals34. 1969 Royals35. 2007 Royals36. 1998 Royals37. 1999 Royals38. 1970 Royals39. 1997 Royals40. 2009 Royals41. 2010 Royals 42. 2001 Royals 43. 2002 Royals44. 2006 Royals45. 2004 Royals46. 2005 Royals"Be Royal" was an apt slogan for the 2014 Royals team. They took home the AL 'crown' in shocking fashion, just 4 years removed from the sixth worst season in franchise history (by my count), and hearkened back to the days of the late '70s juggernauts. No, there was no George Brett tearing the league apart like 1980 (now relegated to #3 among Royals seasons), but much like those teams there was a solid core of players who had spent years together. Original Royals GM Cedric Tallis had made shrewd moves to assemble George Brett, Frank White, Willie Wilson, Hal McRae, John Mayberry and Freddie Patek, and Tallis's replacement, Joe Burke, added Whitey Herzog and others to the mix to build those teams. The 2014 Royals owed a small debt to former GM Allard Baird (mainly Billy Butler and Alex Gordon -- as ugly as Baird's tenure was, it's nice that some good came out of it) but mostly belonged to GM Dayton Moore. When the Royals made their first trip to the World Series in 1980, it was more a culmination of Tallis's and Burke's work and celebration of a squad that had gotten so close in the past getting over the hump. The Royals' third trip to the World Series in 2014 was more of a bolt out of the blue. It felt like lightning in a bottle that you hoped would last (and thank God it did for another 12 months and counting). It's hard to think of the sensationalism that would surround a player, say if Alex Gordon had made a run at .400 in 2014 and ended up at .390 like George Brett in 1980, but even lacking that rare form of legendary player production, 2014 was a thing to behold for Royals fans. The fact that the team was maybe one-sent-runner-from-third away from taking Game 7 of the World Series to extra innings just cemented it in franchise history.In line with the unexpected nature of the Royals' 2014 season, there were no earthshaking 'We got that guy!' pick-ups in the offseason. It was more addition of pieces that you wouldn't necessarily expect to fit when the puzzle was more complete than you knew. Jason Vargas was signed in November 2013 to replace 2012 bounceback starter Ervin Santana. The next month reliever Will Smith was sent to Milwaukee for OF Nori Aoki, who would get a chance to fill the Royals' open RF spot. A couple weeks later IF Omar Infante was given a 4-year deal coming off a .318 batting average/.795 OPS 2013 with Detroit. Fourth OF David Lough, who had bee[...]
2016-01-23T13:28:56.037-06:00Wow, has it been three years since I posted here? I guess so, the dates don't lie. What a three years it's been for Royals fans. The slow rise indicated in my last post - the 2012 rehash - has continued to the pinnacle of baseball. This blog started in 2005, in the absolute darkest times for the franchise (see #45 below and read the link), when the Royals were a national joke, an easy target, an ESPN rarity. Even in 2012, the hometown All-Star Game fans booed Robinson Cano mercilessly in the Home Run Derby and the ESPN talking heads gave off a 'they're just lucky to have a team' vibe in their reactions. This blog went dormant in 2011 after grinding out 6 1/2 years of minor league updates and seeing some glimmers of hope but not much dazzle on the big stage. If you look back, though, the pieces were there. The edges were rough (Yordano Ventura was in low-A ball, for example) and some pieces were in wrong places but they were there. There were some missing spots, still, but nothing that couldn't be shaped if decisions were made well. In 2013, the team took another leap forward but couldn't get over the top. However, the campaign would end up the best KC season since 1989.1. 1985 Royals2. 1980 Royals3. 1977 Royals4. 1976 Royals5. 1978 Royals6. 1984 Royals7. 1981 Royals8. 1975 Royals9. 1982 Royals10. 1989 Royals11. 1979 Royals12. **2013 Royals**13. 1973 Royals14. 1971 Royals15. 1994 Royals16. 1988 Royals17. 1987 Royals18. 1993 Royals19. 2003 Royals20. 1991 Royals21. 1972 Royals22. 1995 Royals23. 1974 Royals24. 1983 Royals25. 1990 Royals26. 1986 Royals27. 1992 Royals28. 2000 Royals29. 2011 Royals30. 2012 Royals31. 2008 Royals 32. 1996 Royals33. 1969 Royals34. 2007 Royals35. 1998 Royals36. 1999 Royals37. 1970 Royals38. 1997 Royals39. 2009 Royals40. 2010 Royals 41. 2001 Royals 42. 2002 Royals43. 2006 Royals44. 2004 Royals45. 2005 RoyalsIt wasn't hard to slot the 2013 squad in the above list. Going by wins it was the 12th best season in Royals history, and compares well to '73, when the Royals were nearing a breakthrough and racked up 88 wins. But 2013 doesn't quite beat '79, when the team won 85 games and was in the midst of five playoff appearances in six years (with '79 being the odd man out, as they were second in the AL West). Maybe had I done this recap in 2014 I would put 2013 below '73, but with the luxury of some perspective, #12 feels right. After the 'Our Time' debacle of 2012, the Royals went basic with 'Come To Play' as the 2013 slogan, and for a change they lived up to it for most of the season. If not for an ugly month of May, 2013 may have marked the team's first of three straight playoff trips rather than the preamble to the last two seasons. There were a couple twitches of the needle on the Royals' seismograph (that hit San Andreas levels in 2015) during the 2012-13 offseason. On Halloween 2012 the Royals flipped a minor-leaguer to the Angels for RHP Ervin Santana, who had struggled with an ERA in the 5s in Cali in 2012. SP Jeremy Guthrie resigned in November and Pipeline favorite 1B/DH Clint Robinson got shipped to Pittsburgh for peanuts soon after. The blockbuster came Dec. 12 in a controversial deal where KC flipped top prospects OF Wil Myers and SPs Jake Odorizzi and Mike Montgomery to the Rays for SPs James Shields and Wade Davis. Most of 2013 would be spent by Royals fans arguing who won the deal, mainly because Shields pitched well but got the Royals nowhere, and Davis was a struggling starter. It finally became evident in late 2014 that the trade was worth it, mainly because of the emergence of Davis in a stacked Royals' bullpen and the team's run to the World Series. A largely ho-hum 2012 set little expectations for the Royals going into 2013, yet the Royals came out of the gate strong. They sat in first place a few days in April and ended[...]
2016-01-23T13:10:46.797-06:00OK, we're up to date. The countdown to this point:1. 1985 Royals2. 1980 Royals3. 1977 Royals4. 1976 Royals5. 1978 Royals6. 1984 Royals7. 1981 Royals8. 1975 Royals9. 1982 Royals10. 1989 Royals11. 1979 Royals12. 1973 Royals13. 1971 Royals14. 1994 Royals15. 1988 Royals16. 1987 Royals17. 1993 Royals18. 2003 Royals19. 1991 Royals20. 1972 Royals21. 1995 Royals22. 1974 Royals23. 1983 Royals24. 1990 Royals25. 1986 Royals26. 1992 Royals27. 2000 Royals28. 2011 Royals29. 2012 Royals*** 30. 2008 Royals 31. 1996 Royals32. 1969 Royals33. 2007 Royals34. 1998 Royals35. 1999 Royals36. 1970 Royals37. 1997 Royals38. 2009 Royals39. 2010 Royals 40. 2001 Royals 41. 2002 Royals42. 2006 Royals43. 2004 Royals44. 2005 RoyalsThe Royals finished a game better in 2012 than they did in 2011, and finished third instead of fourth, but I still slotted them just behind their 2011 counterparts. There was just something missing in 2012. It was the injuries, the sophomore slumps, the fact that the front office brashly marketed 2012 as "Our Time" when the team was coming off another 91-loss season and hadn't proven itself quite yet. The team had pieces in place -- young pieces at that -- but the only stalwart part of the 2011 team was the bullpen. Offensive steadiness from Alex Gordon and Billy Butler was joined by up-and-coming seasons from Eric Hosmer and the late surge of Salvador Perez, but OF surprise Melky Cabrera got shipped to San Francisco in the big Dayton Moore trade of the offseason with the idea of Lorenzo Cain taking over CF. A dismal starting rotation only got a dose of control-deficient lefty Jonathan Sanchez, tho midseason pickup Felipe Paulino had pitched well in 2011 and Danny Duffy was getting worked into regular action with the organization hoping he would take a step forward in 2012. Rather than do any more to shore up the offense or the rotation, the Royals' philosophy going into 2012 seemed to be let's add a couple more bullpen pieces and cross our fingers that the young guys continue to improve and stay healthy. Hey, they had momentum and 2012 was the year the All-Star Game returned to KC for the first time since the '70s, they expanded the playoffs by a couple teams...surely the stars were aligning in the Royals' favor, right? No dice there, KC. For that reason I put 2012 behind the promising 2011, but ahead of the pitching-richer, offense-lacking 2008 squad. As Royals fans harbor hopes for 2013 relevance, it should be noted that Dayton Moore has yet to post a season that has ranked in the top half of this countdown, and he's been here since mid-2006. The Royals ended 2011 with a winning September, then made the Melky trade, picked up setup guy Jonathan Broxton and bullpen piece Jose Mijares, but really didn't add any more impact guys to the mix. The first big blow to "Our Time" came in the spring when closer Joakim Soria, who had finished a 2011 season that was more Clark Kent than his prior Superman work, came up with an elbow injury that required the Red Badge of Pitching Courage -- Tommy John Surgery. Within the first couple weeks of the season, Cain suffered a groin injury making a great catch in center and would have problems getting healthy (he played only 61 games), and within a short time of each other in June, Duffy and Paulino both suffered their own elbow injuries that required TJS. The guys Moore tried to add to the mix -- C Humberto Quintero, OF Jason Bourgeois, the return of IF Yuniesky Betancourt like a vampire rising from the grave to suck the life out of the offense, utility guy Tony Abreu -- didn't work out. The bullpen was once again great but the rotation was even worse than in 2011. "Our Time" had fallen apart by June and became a punchline. An offense that had been top 5 in many categories in 2011 really lost some of its shine in 2012 despite finishing top 5 in the AL in doubles (3rd, 295), triples (2nd, 37), hits (3rd, 1,492) and batting average (4th, .265). The team OBP dropped 12 points to .317 for[...]
2013-04-05T22:13:24.813-05:00In case you've forgotten, or not looked down and to the right on the main page of the blog, here's the countdown to this point:1. 1985 Royals2. 1980 Royals3. 1977 Royals4. 1976 Royals5. 1978 Royals6. 1984 Royals7. 1981 Royals8. 1975 Royals9. 1982 Royals10. 1989 Royals11. 1979 Royals12. 1973 Royals13. 1971 Royals14. 1994 Royals15. 1988 Royals16. 1987 Royals17. 1993 Royals18. 2003 Royals19. 1991 Royals20. 1972 Royals21. 1995 Royals22. 1974 Royals23. 1983 Royals24. 1990 Royals25. 1986 Royals26. 1992 Royals27. 2000 Royals28. 2011 Royals ***29. 2008 Royals 30. 1996 Royals31. 1969 Royals32. 2007 Royals33. 1998 Royals34. 1999 Royals35. 1970 Royals36. 1997 Royals37. 2009 Royals38. 2010 Royals39. 2001 Royals 40. 2002 Royals41. 2006 Royals42. 2004 Royals43. 2005 RoyalsBlowing the dust off the blog means updating the Legacy Countdown, and to do that we must first revisit 2011. One of the most unfortunate things of being a 21st century Royals fan is the fact the years kinda run and blend together....a big oil spill of baseball mediocrity (and that's talking Royals baseball at its best over that time). A good proving point is that the 71-91 mark the Royals posted in 2011 is arguably the second best post-2000 season in team annals. I shelved the 43rd season of Royals baseball between the offensive floodlight/pitching nightlight that was the 2000 Royals and a 2008 squad that finished 4 games better than the 2011 team, but did so with an older, less promising group of guys all in all. It could be said, should the Royals' core of youth become a perennial AL Central contender, that 2011 showed the first glimpses of said future. But at this general point in time, should a baseball-psychopathic home invader enter my home and hold me at gunpoint with a command to tell him or her what I know about the 2011 Kansas City Royals, I probably could come up with the solid rookie season from Eric Hosmer, the (at last) emergence of Alex Gordon and the delightful surprise of Melky Cabrera (tho knowing what we know now, was that legit? perhaps a topic for another day, or later in the post at least). Pitching? I would be at a loss. Record? I could say....'I think KC finished strong (thinking to myself...safe guess in recent years)??? and I know one of these seasons they had a decent first month, was 2011 it?' Perhaps it would be enough to persuade that home invader to calmly and quietly leave my house and my health intact, tho the concept is decidedly absurd. Let's take a trip back to 2011. After a trip back to the AL Central cellar in 2010 the Royals would rebound to a mighty return to 4th in the division, sooo it was another year without much baseball fever in the City of Fountains. It marked the first full campaign of Yostball in Kansas City as NASCAR-lovin' Ned Yost rode the momentum of his 17-games-below-.500 partial 2010 season into 2011. The Royals never did get any mojo rising in '10 as they won only 10 games in two of the last 3 full months of the season. Moore spent the dog days of summer sloughing off veterans for prospects (Callaspo, Ankiel, Farnsworth) or just to get them off the roster (Guillen, marking an end to an opposite-of-remarkable run in KC). The first big move of the 2010-11 offseason was bidding farewell to local favorite (tho I can't say I ever got it) OF David DeJesus in a deal to the A's for two minor league pitchers. In his continuing quest for ex-Braves with great OBPs, Moore inked OFs Jeff Francoeur (fresh off a .293 OBP overall in 2010, though to be fair he had good stints with the Mets and Rangers that season) and Melky Cabrera (coming off an uninspiring .317 OBP/.671 OPS season in the ATL) in December. The move to trump all Dayton Moore moves came 9 days after the Cabrera signing when KC shipped Yuniesky Betancourt and ace pitcher/malcontent Zack Greinke to Milwaukee for slap-hitty SS Alcides Escobar, OF prospect Lorenzo Cain, Brewers top pitching prospect Jake Odorizzi and closer prospect J[...]
2012-04-06T23:01:43.571-05:00After much thought and with mixed feelings about the decision, I am calling it quits on the Royals on the Farm reports. It's not easy to stop after 6 1/2 years of chronicling the Royals' minor league action, but I think the timing is right. I remain a Royals fan and will continue to track the progress of up and comers but my commitment isn't at the point where I can do nightly reports and do them justice. I want to thank everyone who has read the blog over the years and the Royals fans that have hung in through a lot of lean times. Things are as optimistic for KC going into 2012 as they've been for the franchise since 1994, and if Dayton Moore can make any kind of headway in piecing together a starting rotation, they'll just get better. For that reason I don't see 2012 being the step forward some think it will be but we'll see. After the days of "Wait 'til '08" and "Wait 'til '11", maybe that target year will finally get here. I may still post and find motivation to keep the Legacy countdown going (that would have to start with a 2011 post) but time will tell. Again, thanks for reading and here's to better days for the Royals....
2011-09-20T22:09:57.865-05:00Luis Mendoza with the win tonight for KC! Hope he can finish strong at the MLB level.
2011-09-11T18:02:13.012-05:00Put me in the camp of people who can't believe it's already been 10 years since one horrible Tuesday. Thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of those killed in New York City, D.C. and Pennsylvania, and those who have lost their lives fighting the war on terror since that day. Rarely in my life have I felt as raw of emotions as I did around that time...I think it's silly to say "never forget" because if you were alive and cognizant on that day, how could you ever forget?
2011-09-10T18:48:33.646-05:00AAA - Omaha: Storm Chasers 4, Round Rock 2 (10)LF Lough 2-5 -- .2501B Ka'aihue 1-3, BB, S, walkoff HR, 2 RBI (6), 2 RS -- .267, Ghostface!3B Arias 1-3, BB, 2B (2), RBI, K -- .375C Clark 1-4, RBI, 2 K -- .250RF Cain 1-4, BB, 2B (2) -- .474DH Robinson 1-4, BB, 2 RS -- .313O'Sullivan 8 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 2 H, BB, 7 K, HRA -- 1.13 ERASisk 2/3 IP, 2 BB, K -- 0.00 ERAPucetas 1 1/3 IP, K -- W, 1-0, 0.00 ERA* Kila Ka'aihue used one swing of the bat to put Omaha in the Pacific Coast League Championship Series. Cody Clark singled in a run in the 2nd and Sean O'Sullivan took a perfect game into the 7th. Joaquin Arias doubled Ka'aihue home in the 6th to make it 2-0. O'Sullivan issued a walk in the 7th to spoil the perfecto but kept the no-hitter intact until 3B Luis Cruz tied it with a 2-run homer in the 8th. Kevin Pucetas stranded 2 in the 9th and, after a 1-out Clint Robinson walk in the 10th, Kila laid the Express to rest with a 2-run bomb off the right foul pole. Omaha moves on to the best-of-5 PCL Championship Series versus either Reno or Sacramento. Reno leads that series, 2 games to 1, going into game 4 today. The Championship Series will start Tuesday.AA - NW Arkansas: Arkansas 9, Naturals 5CF Orlando 3-4, K, 2 RS -- .3332B Bianchi 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, RS, CS -- .286DH Smith 1-4, HR, RBI (2), K, RS -- .200C Eigsti 0-2, BB, RBI -- .000SS Colon 1-5, E -- .067, not his best in the playoffsRF Myers 0-3, HBP, 2 K, E -- .100, dittoJeffress 3 2/3 IP, 6 R (3 ER), 6 H, 3 BB, 3 K, HRA, 2 WP, E -- L, 0-1, 7.36 ERA, had a bad feeling it would go this wayVolz 1 1/3 IP, ER, 2 H, K, HRA, pickoff -- 2.25 ERABaumann 2 IP, H, 2 K -- 0.00 ERADennick IP, 2 ER, 3 H, BB -- 18.00 ERADobies IP, BB -- 0.00 ERA * And then there were 2. The NW Arkansas Naturals will not get a chance to repeat as Texas League champs, as Arkansas battered Jeremy Jeffress and didn't look back Saturday. Jeffress got out to a rough start as 3B Luis Jimenez hammered a 3-run homer in the 1st. NWA stranded 2 in the 3rd and the Travs chased Jeffress with a 3-run 4th. Tim Smith led off the Naturals 4th with his 1st playoff homer and a wild pitch and Jeff Bianchi groundout added runs to trim it to 6-3. Jimenez clubbed his 2nd homer of the game in the 5th off Kendal Volz. Bianchi hit an RBI double and Ryan Eigsti drove in a run with a groundout in the 6th to cut it to 7-5. Ryan Dennick gave up 2 RBI doubles in the 8th and the Naturals didn't threaten any further comebacks. A - Kane County: Quad Cities 7, Cougars 0 (4-hitter)3B Cuthbert 2-3 -- .267CF Eibner 1-3 -- .214SS Calixte 1-3 -- .167LF Fletcher 0-4, 2 K, assist at second -- .133L. Perez 4 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, K, HRA -- L, 0-1, 9.00 ERAGarrido 2 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, BB, K -- 6.75 ERACarl 2 1/3 IP, ER, 3 H, 4 K -- 4.15 ERA* It was all Bandits in Saturday's game 1 as SP Trevor Rosenthal pitched a complete-game shutout. Quad Cities got the only run they needed in the 2nd, then added 2 in the 3rd and 1 in the 4th. KC stranded 2 in the 2nd, and wouldn't threaten again. The Bandits polished it off with 2 in the 7th and 1 in the 9th. The series shifts to Quad Cities for Sunday's must-win game 2 for the Cougars. Jason Mitchell will start.[...]
2011-09-09T23:18:19.451-05:00Say what you will about Judgment Night, the Emilio Estevez/Cuba Gooding Jr./Denis Leary movie from the '90s, but that was a great soundtrack. AAA - Omaha: Round Rock 9, Storm Chasers 8 (11)RF Cain 5-6, 2B, K, 3 RS -- .533, GIVE 'EM A DOSE!1B Ka'aihue 2-3, BB, HBP, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, K, RS -- .250, vintage Kila game3B-1B Arias 2-6, 2B, K, RS, E -- .385LF Lough 1-6, RBI, 3 K, RS, assist at home -- .200DH Robinson 1-4, 2 BB, RBI (3), 2 K, RS -- .333C Pina 1-3, 2 BB, RBI (5) -- .444SS Falu 0-4, S, SF, RBI -- .182Omaha stranded 11.Montgomery 3 IP, 5 ER, 6 H, 4 BB, 3 K, HRA, WP -- 15.00 ERA, hasn't seemed to settle in at AAA all seasonTejeda 2 IP, ER, 2 H, BB, 2 K -- 4.50 ERACastaneda 3 IP, H, K -- 0.00 ERA, niceMiner 3 IP, 3 UER, 5 H, BB, 2 K -- L, 0-1, 0.00 ERA* The Chasers gave Round Rock all they could, but the Express lived to play another day on Friday. Mike Montgomery had a start to forget, but David Lough kept him off the hook early with an assist at the plate to end the Express 2nd. A Chad Tracy grand slam keyed a 5-run Round Rock 3rd off Montgomery. Omaha started digging itself out slowly as Lough hit an RBI groundout in the 3rd, but Round Rock got the run back in the 5th. Kila Ka'aihue made his presence felt with a 2-run homer in the 6th and Manny Pina singled in a run to trim it to 6-4. Ka'aihue came back up in the 7th and clipped a clutch 2-run double to tie the game. Zach Miner got a bases-loaded double play to escape the 10th, and Mike Jirschele's decision to pinch run for Kila with Lance Zawadzki in the bottom of the 10th would factor in later. Omaha left the bases loaded in the inning and 2 Chaser errors in the 11th helped Round Rock grab a 9-6 lead. Clint Robinson singled in a run in the bottom of the frame and Zawadzki, hitting in Ka'aihue's place, popped out before an Irving Falu sac fly cut the lead to 1. Joaquin Arias struck out to end it, tho. Omaha will try to drive a stake into the Express' hearts Saturday as Sean O'Sullivan starts. Omaha GM Martie Cordaro was named PCL Exec of the Year on Friday. That's the first Omaha rep to be so named since 1990.AA - NW Arkansas: Naturals 3, Arkansas 11B Romak 1-4, RBI -- .111RF Myers 0-1, 3 BB, RBI -- .143LF Robinson 1-4, K, RS -- .182DH T. Smith 1-3, BB, 2 RS, SB -- .182M. Santiago 6 IP, UER, 4 H, 4 BB, 2 K -- W, 1-0, 0.00 ERALafferty IP, BB -- 0.00 ERAHardy 2 IP, K -- SV, 1, 3.38 ERA* The Naturals offense finally stepped up to reward a third straight good start and stay alive in the Texas League playoffs. Mario Santiago allowed a run in the 1st to start on a sour note, but Jamie Romak hit a 2-out RBI single in the bottom of the inning to tie it. Derrick Robinson scored on a wild pitch in the 5th to make it 2-1 NWA. Wil Myers took a bases-loaded walk in the 8th and Blaine Hardy finished it for his 1st save of the postseason. The Travs will have another chance to finish off the Naturals Saturday. Jeremy Jeffress will start. A - Kane County: Cougars 3, Burlington 2CF Eibner 1-4, 3B, RBI, 3 K -- .182LF Fletcher 1-4, 2B, RBI (2), 2 K, RS -- .1822B Franco 1-4, 3B, RBI (2) -- .2003B Cuthbert 0-4, K, E -- .167Adam 5 2/3 IP, 2 UER, 4 H, 5 K -- W, 1-0, 0.00 ERARivers 2 IP, H, K -- 0.00 ERARogers 1/3 IP, K -- 0.00 ERABoruff IP, BB -- SV, 1, 0.00 ERA* The Cougars became the first Royals affiliate to advance in the 2011 postseason with a narrow win over the former Royals affiliate, the Bees. Brian Fletcher got it started with an RBI double in the 4th and Brett Eibner tripled him home to give Jason Adam a 2-0 lead. Angel Franco added an RBI triple in the 5th to make it 3-0. Burlington's only runs came on 1 play in the 6th as Orlando Calixte and Kevin David made errors and 2 run[...]
2011-09-08T22:42:02.218-05:00AAA - Omaha: Storm Chasers 7, Round Rock 23B Arias 3-4, K, 2 RS -- .429C Pina 2-3, BB, HR, 4 RBI, K, RS -- .500SS Falu 2-4, 2 RS, SB -- .286DH Robinson 2-4, BB, K -- .375CF Dyson 1-4, S, RBI, K, RS -- .143RF Cain 1-5, RBI (2), 2 K -- .3332B Mertins 0-2, BB, SF, RBI, 2 K -- .400Mazzaro 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, BB, 6 K, HRA -- W, 1-0, 2.84 ERALebron 2 IP, H, 2 BB, 2 K -- 0.00 ERASisk 2/3 IP, K -- SV, 1, 0.00 ERA* Omaha had another strong game to take both games in Round Rock and return to Werner Park in the catbird's seat in the series. Manny Pina took a bases-loaded walk in the 2nd and Kurt Mertins added a sac fly before Jarrod Dyson squeezed home a run to make it 3-0 Chasers. Vin Mazzaro gave up a 2-run homer in the bottom of the inning but that was his only misstep. Pina singled in a run in the 6th to make it 4-2. Willy Lebron came in with the bases loaded and 1 out in the 7th and got a big 5-4-3 double play that kept the lead intact. Pina proved himself the star of the night as he slammed a 2-run homer in the 8th for some insurance. Lorenzo Cain hit an RBI forceout in the 9th to make it 7-2. Brandon Sisk came in with the bases loaded and 1 out in the 9th and did his job as a forceout at home and a swinging K finished it. Omaha is up, 2-0, in the best of 5 coming back home for the remainder of the series. Mike Montgomery will make his biggest start of the season in game 3.AA - NW Arkansas: Arkansas 1, Naturals 0 (2-hitter)CF Orlando 1-3, 2B (2), K -- .250C Theriot 1-3 -- .333SS Colon 0-4 -- .000RF Myers 0-2, HBP -- .167Odorizzi 6 IP, H, 3 BB, 3 K, E -- 0.00 ERA, it's a shame the Nats wasted 2 good startsE. Garcia 2 2/3 IP, ER, 2 H, HRA -- L, 0-1, 3.38 ERA* The Naturals' offense was once again dynamic (sarcasm) as it was two games, two walkoffs for Arkansas. The Nats were no-hit into the 6th but Jake Odorizzi handed a 1-hit shutout to Edgar Garcia in the 7th. The first two Naturals reached in the 8th but NWA could make nothing of it. Garcia had 2 out in the 9th when LF Roberto Lopez launched a walkoff homer to left to give the Travelers a 2-0 series lead. That means the Naturals have to win out from here to stay alive. Mario Santiago will pitch game 3 back in the friendly confines of Arvest Ballpark. A - Kane County: Burlington 5, Cougars 12B Franco 1-4, HR, RBI, K, RS -- .167CF Eibner 1-4, K -- .1433B Cuthbert 1-4, K -- .250LF Fletcher 0-4, 2 K -- .143Ventura 3 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, BB, 3 K, WP -- L, 0-1, 12.00 ERAA. Cruz 3 IP, 3 H, 5 K -- 0.00 ERACarl 2 IP, ER, H, 2 BB, 2 K -- 4.50 ERA* It was the Cougars' turn to get shut down on Thursday as the Bees set up a do-or-die game 3 Friday. Angel Franco got it started with a solo homer in the 3rd, but the main problem was the Cougars only had 1 hit after that. The Bees responded big time off Yordano Ventura as 4 straight singles were part of a 4-run rally in the bottom of the inning. The Cougars stranded 2 in the 7th. And, that other hit? Came with 2 outs in the 9th as the Cougs came up short. The best-of-3 series is tied, 1-1. Jason Adam will start the deciding game 3 Friday in Burlington.Rookie - Idaho Falls: Orem 6, Chukars 5 (Wed.)1B Espy 2-4, 2B (17), 2 RBI (39), K -- .318RF Davis 2-3, 2B (18), HR (8), RBI (39), K, 2 RS -- .324, ejected in 6th3B Threlkeld 1-3, BB, HR (4), RBI (31), RS -- .271SS Antonio 0-3, SF, RBI (5) -- .303DH Gallagher 1-4 -- .200Moen 2 IP, 6 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, HRA, WP -- L, 2-7, 7.25 ERADooley 4 IP, 4 H, 5 BB, K -- 6.79 ERAJ. Sanchez 2 IP, H -- 8.17 ERA* Orem pounded Kellen Moen early and held on to slip past Idaho Falls. Moen gave up a 2-run homer before he got an out, then gave up 2 RBI singles later in the 1st inning. Orem added 2 r[...]
2011-09-07T22:58:25.154-05:00AAA - Omaha: Storm Chasers 4, Round Rock 0 (5-hitter)RF Cain 2-4, 3B, RBI, K, RS2B Mertins 2-3DH Robinson 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, RSLF Lough 1-4, RS, assist at secondMendoza 7 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K, WP -- W, 1-0, 0.00 ERAHerrera 2 IP, 4 K -- 0.00 ERA* A 3-run 1st was key along with another good Luis Mendoza outing as Omaha grabbed the early advantage in the series. Jarrod Dyson was caught stealing in the 1st before Lorenzo Cain tripled in a run and Clint Robinson socked a 2-run homer to make it 3-0. Mendoza stranded 2 in the 3rd and 7th. A Dyson double play ball scored another run in the 8th. Kelvin Herrera sat down all 6 he faced. Omaha leads the best of 5 set, 1-0. Game 2 is Thursday. Vin Mazzaro is set to start. Clint Robinson was the PCL player of the month for August, and rightfully so.AA - NW Arkansas: Arkansas 2, Naturals 1 (11)DH Smith 1-5, RBILF Robinson 1-3, 2 BB, 2 K, RS, CSSS Colon 0-3, HBP, S, KRF Myers 1-4, BBDwyer 6 IP, UER, 2 H, 3 BB, 7 K, pickoff -- 0.00 ERA, can't ask for much moreLafferty 1 1/3 IP, H, 2 BB, K -- 0.00 ERAVolz 2 2/3 IP, H, BB, 5 K -- 0.00 ERAHardy 2/3 IP, ER, 2 H, BB, 2 K -- L, 0-1, 13.50 ERA* Both teams scored in the 1st, but it would be 10 innings before the next, and final, run would be scored. Tim Smith hit an RBI groundout in the 1st to make it 1-0 NWA, but a 2-out Anthony Seratelli error helped the Travelers tie it in the bottom of the inning. NWA left a runner at third in the 4th and Kendal Volz stranded the bases full of Travs in the 8th. The Nats stranded 2 in the 10th and loaded the bases with 1 out in the 11th only to come up empty, as Paulo Orlando struck out and Wil Myers popped out. Blaine Hardy got 2 outs without incident in the 11th, but a single and walk were followed by a walkoff single by SS Darwin Perez. Arkansas took a 1-0 lead in the best of 5. Game 2 is Thursday. Jake Odorizzi will pitch to try to even the series.A - Kane County: Cougars 4, Burlington 0 (3-hitter)LF Fletcher 1-3, SF, RBI, RSSS Calixte 1-3, 2B, RBI, K, SBRF Beltre 1-3, SF, RBI, RSCF Eibner 0-3, BB, 3 K3B Cuthbert 1-4, 2B, 2 KBillo 7 IP, 3 H, BB, 7 K -- W, 1-0, 0.00 ERARogers 2 IP, BB, 2 K -- SV, 1, 0.00 ERA* The Cougars had only 1 more hit than the Bees but rode a great Greg Billo start to the game 1 win. Billo stranded 2 in the 4th. Cheslor Cuthbert broke up a fledgling no-hit bid with a leadoff double in the 5th but he would be thrown out at the plate in the inning as the scoreless tie continued. Geulin Beltre broke the ice with a sac fly in the 6th and Orlando Calixte doubled in a run in the 7th. A passed ball and Brian Fletcher sac fly increased the lead to 4-0 in the 8th. Nick Rogers hurled two hitless innings to finish it. KC is up, 1-0, in the best of 3. They go for the quick sweep Thursday with Yordano Ventura pitching. Brian Fletcher's regular season .328 average was the second best in Cougars' history behind Jason Stokes' .341 in 2002.Rookie - Idaho Falls: Chukars 5, Ogden 4 (Tue.)LF Elder 3-4, 3B (4), HR (9), RBI (27), RS -- .297, double shy of cycle3B Mateo 2-4, BB, RBI (36), RS -- .3412B Piterson 2-5, 2 2B (11), K, RS -- .307SS Antonio 2-5, K, RS -- .3331B Moreno 1-5, HR (11), 2 RBI (41), K, RS -- .274DH Gallagher 0-3, BB, K -- .190RF Davis 1-4, K, assist at second -- .319B. Martin 6 IP, ER, 5 H, BB, 4 K, HRA, WP -- 4.02 ERAAvinazar IP, 3 R (2 ER), 2 H, K, WP -- BS, 1, 8.89 ERAPatton 2 IP, H, 4 K -- W, 3-1, 3.40 ERA* Idaho Falls scored 3 late runs to take down the Raptors. Ogden hit a solo homer in the 3rd off Brennon Martin but an error scored the tying run for IF in the 4th. Daniel Mateo hit the go-ahead single in the 6th. Martin stranded [...]
2011-09-06T22:56:13.713-05:00AAA - Omaha: off dayOPS rundownEric Hosmer 1.107 -- .439/.525/.582, look at that line in 26 games, we may never see him back in AAA1B/DH Clint Robinson .932 -- .326/.399/.533, 86 RS, 35 2B, 23 HR, 100 RBI, 58 BB/88 K, 2/3 SB, 8 E in 134 G/503 ABs -- had down July but was back to best at 1.126 OPS in August, hit .400 in the month, too bad it's a logjam at 1B in the majorsOF Lorenzo Cain .877 -- .312/.380/.497, 84 RS, 28 2B, 7 3B, 16 HR, 81 RBI, 40 BB/102 K, 16/22 SB, 8 E in 128 G/487 ABs -- three smokin' months were followed by August cooldown, but he still was good this season, surprised KC didn't make room for him in the OFIF Johnny Giavotella .871 -- .338/.390/.481, 67 RS, 34 2B, 2 3B, 9 HR, 72 RBI, 40 BB/57 K, 9/14 SB, 11 E in 110 G/453 ABs -- KC AAA player of the year had a great campaign, hope we don't see him back in AAA eitherOF David Lough .850 -- .318/.367/.482, 87 RS, 26 2B, 11 3B, 9 HR, 65 RBI, 36 BB/49 K, 14/22 SB, 4 E in 114 G/456 ABs -- only down month was JuneOthers...Salvador Perez .847 (only got 12 games in before KC called)...3B Mike Moustakas .845 (15 2B, 10 HR, 19 BB/44 K in 55 G/223 ABs, wasn't spectacular but good enough to get an MLB look)...1B Kila Ka'aihue .812 (.379 OBP, 19 2B, 11 HR, 57 BB/81 K in 95 G, ship may have sailed for Kila)...IF Irving Falu .747 (.301/.358/.390, 50 RS, 10 2B, 9 3B, 35 BB/47 K, 21/32 SB, 12 E in 111 G/385 ABs, keeps hanging around, puts up solid numbers)...C Manny Pina .735 (passed by Salvador)...OF Jarrod Dyson .713 (overshadowed by Lorenzo)...IF Yamaico Navarro .708 (unremarkable 25 games for Chasers)WHIP rundownEverett Teaford 0.97 -- 3-2, 3.34, 5 HRA, 11 BB/33 K in 35 IP -- rode Omaha-KC expressBrandon Sisk 1.00 -- 4-2, 1.41, 2 SV, HRA, 16 BB/30 K in 32 IP -- did well in PCLWilly Lebron 1.04 -- 1-1, 0.55, 1 SV, HRA, 5 BB/22 K in only 16 1/3 IPDanny Duffy 1.12 -- 3-1, 3.43, 5 HRA, 10 BB/48 K in 42 IP, one of the few pitching prospects in organization to hold own in 2011Kelvin Herrera 1.12 -- 1-0, 2.12, 6 SV, HRA, 7 BB/18 K in 17 IP -- rise continued to AAA for Absolute ZeroOthers...Robinson Tejeda 1.22 (15 BB/43 K in 45 IP, didn't get much play at MLB in 2011)...Luis Mendoza 1.25 (12-5, 2.18, 1 CG, 1 ShO, 2 SV, 5 HRA, 54 BB/81 K in 144 1/3 IP, PCL Pitcher of the Year did a little of everything in 2011, had good April, rough May, then was lockdown thereafter)...Sean O'Sullivan 1.35 (8-2, 4.22, 6 HRA, 16 BB/55 K in 74 2/3 IP)...Jeff Suppan 1.43 (11-8, 4.78, 2 CG, 1 ShO, 23 HRA, 51 BB/94 K in 165 2/3 IP)...Mike Montgomery 1.50 (5-11, 5.32, 15 HRA, 69 BB/129 K in 28 G (27 starts) and 150 2/3 IP, something to build on, I feel a bounceback in 2012)...Vin Mazzaro 1.62 (60 BB/107 K in 123 2/3 IP)...Jeremy Jeffress 1.88 (didn't cut it in AAA)...Blaine Hardy 1.97 (ditto)* Mendoza will pitch game 1 of the best-of-5 with the Round Rock Express on Wednesday.AA - NW Arkansas: off dayOPS rundownIF Mario Lisson .898 -- .293/.372/.527, 58 RS, 21 2B, 15 HR, 45 RBI, 31 BB/81 K, 15/17 SB, 17 E in 89 G/283 ABs -- hit .389 with 1.063 OPS in August to finish strongC Ben Theriot .893 -- .303/.377/.516, 10 RS, 9 2B, 3B, 5 HR, 22 RBI, 14 BB/28 K, 3 E in 46 G/122 ABs -- hit .457 with 1.125 OPS in AugustOF Paulo Orlando .889 -- .305/.362/.527, 30 RS, 5 2B, 10 3B, 4 HR, 24 RBI, 13 BB/35 K, 8/12 SB, 2 E in 45 G/167 ABs -- got the late season push down from Omaha and chipped in to playoff runOF Tim Smith .873 -- .311/.365/.508, 38 RS, 13 2B, 2 3B, 10 HR, 49 RBI, 19 BB/37 K, 8/10 SB, 2 E in 69 G/238 ABs -- returned from injury in time to hit .412 in 6 August gamesC Ryan Eigsti .804 -- .259/.338/.466, 6 2B, 2 HR, 6 [...]
2011-09-05T20:36:42.946-05:00AAA - Omaha: Iowa 7, Storm Chasers 23B Whittleman 2-4, K -- .500, Omaha debutRF Mertins 2-3, RS -- .274DH Robinson 1-4, RBI (100), K -- .326, nice that he hit the century markLF Lough 1-4, RBI (65), E (4) -- .318CF Cain 0-3, HBP, E (8) -- .3121B Ka'aihue 0-4, 2 K -- .272Pucetas 4 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, K, HRA -- 4.98 ERALebron IP, 4 UER, 2 H, 2 BB, 2 K, WP -- L, 1-1, 0.55 ERAMiner IP, H -- 1.59 ERATejeda IP, ER, 2 H, K -- 3.80 ERASisk IP, K -- 1.41 ERA* Iowa scored 5 unanswered runs to get the regular season finale Monday. Kevin Pucetas gave up a solo homer in the 1st and Iowa added a run in the 2nd to make it 2-0 Chasers. David Lough hit an RBI single and Clint Robinson singled in a run for his 100th RBI to tie the game in the 3rd. Iowa stranded 2 in the 3rd and Willy Lebron allowed 4 runs in the 5th, 3 on an error by Lorenzo Cain, to make it 6-2 Iowa. The Cubs added another run in the 7th. Only John Whittleman had a hit for Omaha after the 4th. The Chasers finished the season 79-63. I called 85-59. Close but no cigar. Stat recap tomorrow. The best-of-5 playoff set with the Round Rock Express (87-57, AAA Rangers) starts Wednesday in Round Rock. Luis Mendoza starts game 1.AA - NW Arkansas: Tulsa 4, Naturals 2LF Smith 2-4, RBI (49) -- .3111B Romak 0-3, SF, RBI (71) -- .251SS Colon 1-4, RS, E (18) -- .257RF Myers 0-3, K -- .254E. Pimentel 2 2/3 IP, H, BB, 3 K -- 6.35 ERA, pulled early for possible playoff appearanceBaumann 1 1/3 IP, ER, H, 2 K, HRA -- L, 4-3, 4.29 ERAJeffress 3 IP, ER, 2 H, 2 BB, K, HRA, WP -- 4.26 ERAHardy IP, 2 R (1 ER), 2 H, BB, 2 K -- 1.59 ERA* The Naturals were being no-hit until late when they spoiled the whitewash. Tulsa got a solo homer off Buddy Baumann in the 4th then got another homer in the 7th off Jeremy Jeffress. Tim Smith broke up a no-hitter with a 2-out single in the 7th but Tulsa added 2 runs in the 8th to make it 4-0. Smith singled in a run and Jamie Romak hit a sac fly in the 9th to cut the lead in half, but they could get no closer. NWA finished the regular season 38-32 in the second half and 73-64 overall. Stat recap tomorrow. I called 84-56 overall, so I was off. The best-of-5 series starts Wednesday with the first of 2 at the Arkansas Travelers (AA Angels). Jake Odorizzi will start game 1.A-Adv. - Wilmington: Blue Rocks 3, Frederick 0 (4-hitter)2B Merrifield 2-4, RBI (36) -- .262DH Lewis 1-4, HR (7), 2 RBI (25), K, RS -- .204LF Testa 0-4, 2 K -- .2903B Morales 0-2, 2 BB, K, RS -- .300Marks 7 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 8 K -- W, 8-8, 3.98 ERAKeck 2 IP, H, 4 K, WP -- SV, 4, 5.56 ERA* Justin Marks put together a gem with some backup from Jon Keck and the Rocks finished the season with a W. Joey Lewis cranked a 2-run homer in the 2nd for his 7th of the season and Whit Merrifield added an RBI single to give Marks a 3-0 lead. The Rocks kept the pressure on but could plate no more runners. The Keys got runners at the corners with 0 out in the 7th, but a strike-him-out, throw-him-out DP and swinging K got Marks out of the jam. Keck pitched the final 2 innings for his 4th save. Wilmington finished the season 30-39 in the second half and 66-72 overall. Stat recap tomorrow. For the record, I predicted 74-64 this season, so I was off a bit.A - Kane County: Clinton 9, Cougars 3LF Fletcher 2-3, BB, HR (14), 2 RBI (60), 2 RS -- .328SS Calixte 0-3, SF, RBI (31), K -- .208CF Eibner 0-3, BB, K, RS -- .2133B Cuthbert 0-4 -- .267Mitchell 4 IP, 5 ER, 10 H, K, HRA -- L, 3-1, 2.11 ERARivers 2 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, BB, K -- 4.56 ERABoruff IP, K -- 2.29 ERAGraham IP, ER, H, 3 BB -- 10.80 ERAGiovenco IP, K -- 6.93 ERA* [...]
2011-09-04T22:25:36.790-05:00AAA - Omaha: Iowa 2, Storm Chasers 1 SS Falu 2-4 -- .301 CF Dyson 1-5, 2B (10), RBI (26), 2 K -- .279 RF Cain 1-3, BB, picked off -- .314 LF Lough 1-3, BB, picked off -- .319 DH Robinson 1-4 -- .327 1B Ka'aihue 0-3, BB, K -- .276 Mazzaro 2 IP, ER, 3 H, 2 BB, K -- 4.29 ERA, appeared to have pitch count of 45 Montgomery 4 IP, ER, 4 H, BB, 6 K -- L, 5-11, 5.32 ERA Herrera 2 IP, BB -- 2.12 ERA * Omaha outhit the Cubs Sunday but didn't outscore them. Iowa nicked Vin Mazzaro for a run in the 1st but Omaha got an RBI double from Jarrod Dyson in the 3rd. Manny Pina was thrown out at home on the play. A pickoff of Lorenzo Cain at second factored in big in the 4th as Omaha stranded the bases full. The Chasers loaded the bases again in the 5th but again came up empty. Iowa took the lead off Mike Montgomery in the 6th and Omaha got the first 2 on in the 9th but couldn't plate the tying run. Omaha is 79-62. The regular season ends Monday. Kevin Pucetas will make the spot start. AA - NW Arkansas: Naturals 6, Tulsa 4 LF Smith 2-4, BB, 2B (13), 2 RBI (48), K -- .308 SS Bianchi 1-5, RBI (48) -- .259 2B R. Navarro 1-2, BB, HBP, RBI (18), RS, E (12) -- .270 C Eigsti 0-3, SF, RBI (10), K, RS -- .259 CF Robinson 1-4, BB, K, 2 RS -- .251 DH Colon 1-5, K -- .257 RF Myers 0-3, HBP, RS, SB (9) -- .256 E. Garcia 5 IP, ER, 4 H, 3 K -- W, 2-3, 3.47 ERA Chapman IP, ER, 2 H, HRA -- 4.99 ERA Volz 3 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, BB, 4 K, WP -- SV, 1, 6.75 ERA * NW Arkansas took command in the 3rd and didn't give it up. Jeff Bianchi hit an RBI single and Tim Smith doubled in 2 runs in the 3rd as NWA grabbed the lead. A Smith single scored another run in the 5th to make it 4-0 in support of Edgar Garcia. Garcia allowed a run in the 5th and Kevin Chapman and Kendal Volz allowed 2 runs in the 7th to cut it to 4-3. Rey Navarro hit an RBI single and Ryan Eigsti hit a sac fly in the 8th to give the Nats some insurance. The Drillers got a run in the 8th but Volz finished it for his 1st NWA save. NWA is 38-31. The regular season wraps up Monday. Elisaul Pimentel will start. A-Adv. - Wilmington: Blue Rocks 4, Frederick 1 CF Testa 3-4, 2 2B (27), RBI (43), 2 CS (7) -- .293, has finished very strong LF Ferguson 2-3, S, HR (6), RBI (43), RS -- .222 1B Lewis 2-4, 2B (13), RBI (23) -- .203 DH Batista 1-3, RBI (23) -- .219 3B Stovall 2-4, RS -- .245 SS Morales 1-4, 2B, K, RS -- .375 Melville 7 IP, ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 K -- W, 11-10, 4.32 ERA, finishes 2011 a winner Caldwell 2 IP, H, BB, K -- SV, 1, 1.50 ERA * Tim Melville held the Keys down Sunday as the Rocks got the win. Carlo Testa hit an RBI double in the 3rd and Joey Lewis and Deivy Batista hit RBI singles in the 4th. Melville finally allowed a run in the 5th but got out of a jam in the 6th. Tim Ferguson hit his 6th homer in the 8th and Allen Caldwell pitched the last 2 innings. Wilmington is 29-39. The season ends with a Monday matinee. Justin Marks will start. A - Kane County: Clinton 6, Cougars 1 (Sat.) C David 2-3, BB, RBI (11), PB (4) -- .247 CF Eibner 2-4, 2 K, RS -- .218 LF Fletcher 0-4, 2 K -- .326 Adam 4 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, BB, K -- L, 6-9, 4.23 ERA Garrido 3 IP, ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 2 K, WP -- 6.34 ERA Carl 2 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, BB, 5 K, WP -- 12.00 ERA, finding the going a little tougher in A-ball * A weather delay caused a late start and then things didn't roll the Cougars' way Saturday. Jason Adam gave up single runs in the 1st and 2nd. Yowill Espinal was caught stealing home on a would-be double steal to end the 3rd, and the Cougars got their run on a Kevin David RBI single in the[...]
2011-09-03T22:46:47.446-05:00AAA - Omaha: rainout * The game won't be made up. Game 3 is Sunday as Vin Mazzaro starts. AA - NW Arkansas: Naturals 9, Tulsa 2 C Theriot 3-5, 2B (9), HR (5), 3 RBI (22), 2 RS -- .311 3B Lisson 3-5, 2B (21), HR (15), RBI (45), K, 2 RS -- .293 1B Romak 2-4, RBI (70) -- .255 2B-1B Seratelli 2-5 -- .282 LF Robinson 2-4, BB, K, RS, 2 SB (55) -- .251 SS Colon 1-4, S, RBI (61), RS, E (17) -- .257 DH Smith 1-4, BB, HR (10), RBI (46), RS -- .304 RF Myers 1-4, BB, HR (8), RBI (49), 2 RS -- .259 NWA stranded 10. M. Santiago 6 IP, ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 8 K, WP -- W, 5-1, 2.23 ERA Lafferty 3 IP, ER, 2 H, BB, K -- SV, 2, 4.32 ERA * The Naturals put up triple 3s late to rout the Drillers and clinch a playoff spot. Tulsa scored a run in the 3rd off Mario Santiago and the Drillers held a 1-0 lead into the 7th. Mario Lisson tied it with one swing of the bat to lead off the 7th with his 15th homer. A run-scoring error and Jamie Romak RBI single made it 3-1 Naturals. Brendan Lafferty gave up a run in the 7th, and Wil Myers and Ben Theriot homered in the 8th for their 8th and 5th homers of the season. Derrick Robinson swiped two bases in the inning and scored on a throwing error on the second SB to make it 6-2 Nats. Tim Smith led off the 9th with his 10th homer and Theriot doubled in 2 runs to put the game on ice. Lafferty finished it for his 2nd save. NWA is 37-31. Game 2 is Sunday. Will Smith will start. A-Adv. - Wilmington: Blue Rocks 3, Frederick 2 SS Batista 3-4, 3B (2), RBI (22), RS, E (16) -- .217 C Jones 2-4, 2B (2), K, RS -- .231 3B Morales 2-4, picked off -- .500, Wilmington debut 2B Merrifield 1-2, BB, S, HR (5), RBI (35), RS -- .260 RF Van Stratten 0-4, RBI (27), K -- .275 LF Testa 1-2, 2 BB, SB (18), assist at third -- .288 Sample 6 IP, UER, 2 H, 2 BB, 7 K -- 5.25 ERA C. White 2 IP, ER, 2 H, BB, K -- BS, 1, W, 1-0, 1.69 ERA Paukovits IP, BB, K -- SV, 7, 3.46 ERA * The Rocks limited the Keys to 4 hits in the win Saturday. Whit Merrifield led off the Rocks 1st with his 5th homer. Tyler Sample worked around 2 walks in the 4th but gave up a run in the 5th to tie it. Deivy Batista hit an RBI triple in the 5th but Cole White gave up the lead in the 7th. Nick Van Stratten hit an RBI fielder's choice in the 7th and White and Bryan Paukovits made it stick. Wilmington is 28-39. Tim Melville starts Sunday's matinee game 2. A - Kane County: Rain delays pushed this one back and it's 3-1 Clinton late. I'll recap it tomorrow. Rookie - Idaho Falls: Orem 7, Chukars 5 (Fri.) CF Chism 3-4, BB, RBI (35), RS -- .266 2B Piterson 2-4, BB, RS -- .295 SS Antonio 1-5, 3B, RBI (4), RS -- .375 1B Espy 1-5, 2B (16), RBI (37), K -- .309 DH Moreno 1-4, HR (10), RBI (36), K, RS -- .274 RF Davis 0-4, 3 K -- .322 Moen 5 IP, 6 R (5 ER), 6 H, BB, 3 K, 2 WP -- L, 2-6, 6.55 ERA J. Sanchez 3 IP, ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 2 K -- 8.65 ERA Avinazar IP, H, 3 K, WP -- 8.54 ERA * Idaho Falls made a last ditch comeback effort but didn't get enough Friday. Mike Antonio hit an RBI triple and scored on a Richard Espy double to make it 2-0 Chukars in the 1st. Orem scored a run in the 3rd, then added 4 in the 4th off Kellen Moen. The Owlz added another run in the 5th and got a steal of home in the 6th to make it 7-2. Henry Moreno slammed his 10th homer of the season in the 8th and Tyler Chism singled in a run and scored on a wild pitch to cut it to 7-5. The rally stopped there tho. IF is 14-18. A 4-game set at the Ogden Raptors (15-17, Rookie Dodgers) starts tonight. [...]
2011-09-02T22:59:43.470-05:00AAA - Omaha: Storm Chasers 15, Iowa 5 2B Y. Navarro 3-4, 2 BB, HR (2), 2 RBI (9), 3 RS, 2 SB (3) -- .272 RF Falu 3-6, HR (2), RBI (47), 2 RS, CS (11) -- .299 LF Lough 3-6, 3B (11), RBI (64), 3 RS -- .318 1B Arias 3-4, 2 BB, RBI (25), 3 RS, SB (7) -- .234 DH Pina 2-5, BB, 2B (13), 4 RBI (25), K, RS -- .238 C Clark 1-3, 2 BB, 2B (12), 2 RBI (13), RS -- .232 3B Mertins 1-5, RBI (4), K -- .250 CF Dyson 0-5, BB, RBI (25), RS -- .280 O'Sullivan 3 1/3 IP, 5 ER, 10 H, BB, 3 K, WP -- 4.22 ERA Lebron 2 2/3 IP, 2 H, 3 K -- W, 1-0, 0.59 ERA Tejeda IP, H, BB -- 3.68 ERA Castaneda 2 IP, 2 K -- 0.00 ERA * The Chasers made a close game a laugher in the 7th. Irving Falu cranked his 2nd homer of the season in the 1st, and Omaha added 3 in the 3rd on a David Lough triple (on which he scored on an error), and a 2-run Manny Pina double. Iowa got 3 in the 3rd to cut it to 4-3. The Cubs added 2 in the 4th to take a 5-4 lead, but Yamaico Navarro hit a 2-run homer in the 5th for his 2nd of the season. Omaha loaded the bases with 1 out in the 7th and a 2-run error was followed by a 2-run Cody Clark double, a Kurt Mertins RBI single, a Jarrod Dyson RBI forceout, and RBI singles from Lough, Joaquin Arias and Pina. Omaha is 79-61. Game 2 is Saturday. Vin Mazzaro will start. AA - NW Arkansas: Naturals 5, Arkansas 2 1B Seratelli 2-3, BB, RBI (64), 2 RS, SB (35) -- .281 RF Myers 1-2, BB, S, 2B (23), 2 RBI (48), RS -- .259 LF Robinson 1-4, RBI (25), K, CS (15) -- .248 C Theriot 0-1, HBP, SF, RBI (19), K -- .298 SS Colon 1-4, 2B (14), RS -- .257 DH Smith 1-3, BB, RS -- .305 CF Paulo Orlando had an assist at third. Odorizzi 7 IP, H, 2 BB, 6 K -- W, 5-3, 4.72 ERA, clutch start Baumann IP, ER, H, K, HRA -- 4.24 ERA Hardy IP, UER, H, BB, 3 K -- 1.40 ERA * Jake Odorizzi flirted with a no-hitter on Friday as the Naturals got another good win to head into the final showdown of the season. Odorizzi took his no-no into the 7th. Meanwhile the Naturals got 2 runs in the 5th on a Ben Theriot sac fly and Derrick Robinson RBI single. Odorizzi allowed a single in the 7th and Buddy Baumann lost the shutout with a solo homer in the 8th. NWA responded with 3 in the 8th on an Anthony Seratelli RBI single and Wil Myers 2-run double. Blaine Hardy allowed a run before shutting the door in the 9th. NW Arkansas is 36-31 and 2 games up on Tulsa going into the final 3-game set of the season, at the Drillers (34-33, AA Rockies). A-Adv. - Wilmington: off day * The Rocks' season ends with a 3-game home set with the Frederick Keys (39-28, A-Adv. O's) that starts Saturday. Tyler Sample will start. IF Adrian Morales got called up for the last series. A - Kane County: Cougars 9, Cedar Rapids 1 RF Beltre 4-5, HBP, 2B (17), 3 RBI (42), RS, assist at third -- .261 SS Espinal 3-4, BB, 4 RBI (24) -- .204 C Graterol 2-4, BB, RBI (5), K, RS -- .193 LF Fletcher 1-5, HBP, RBI (58), K, RS, assist at second -- .330 CF Eibner 1-6 -- .214 3B Cuthbert 1-5, BB, K, RS -- .271 KC stranded 15. Ventura 5 IP, ER, 4 H, BB, 5 K, HRA -- W, 4-6, 4.27 ERA Rivers 2 IP, H, K -- 3.74 ERA Boruff 2 IP, 2 H, BB, 2 K -- 2.33 ERA * The Cougars posted an upside-down 6 in the 6th to rout the Kernels. Yordano Ventura gave up a leadoff homer in the 1st but the Cougars would whitewash the Kernels the rest of the way. The Cougars made a habit of stranding runners early, but finally broke through in the 6th. Yowill Espinal got it started with a 2-run single, Geulin Beltre hit a bases-clearing 3-run double, Brian Fletcher [...]
2011-09-01T22:51:20.647-05:00Gonna save any month-end updates for the teams until after the ends of the regular seasons. AAA - Omaha: Round Rock 9, Storm Chasers 4 LF Lough 2-4, K, RS -- .316 1B Arias 1-4, 2 RBI (24), 2 K, RS -- .225 C Pina 0-2, BB, SF, RBI (21) -- .234 RF Cain 0-4, RBI (81), 2 K -- .314 Suppan 3 IP, 6 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, K, 2 HRA -- L, 11-8, 4.78 ERA Pucetas 4 IP, 4 H, 2 K -- 5.00 ERA Herrera 2 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, K, HRA -- 2.40 ERA * In what would be a motif for the Royals minors on the night, the Chasers blew an early lead. They looked good early as Lorenzo Cain hit an RBI groundout, Joaquin Arias hit a 2-run single and Manny Pina added a sac fly. Round Rock answered quickly with 2 homers for 3 runs off Jeff Suppan in the 2nd, then 3 more runs in the 3rd. Kevin Pucetas held the line there, but Kelvin Herrera gave up a 2-run triple in the 8th and a solo homer in the 9th. The Chasers offense sputtered after the 1st. Omaha is 78-61. The first season of Werner Park ends with Friday's home finale. Sean O'Sullivan will start. AA - NW Arkansas: Naturals 5, Arkansas 3 DH T. Smith 2-5, RBI (45), RS -- .305 RF Orlando 2-4, BB, RS, two assists at second -- .316 3B Lisson 2-4, BB, 2B (20), 2 RS -- .285 CF Robinson 1-3, S, SF, RBI (24), RS, SB (53), assist at second -- .248 2B R. Navarro 1-2, 2 BB, 2B (8), RBI (17) -- .268 C Eigsti 0-2, 2 BB, RBI (9), K -- .273 SS Colon 1-3, 2 BB, SB (17) -- .257 NWA stranded 14. Dwyer 6 1/3 IP, ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 4 K -- W, 8-10, 5.60 ERA Chapman 2 1/3 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 3 H, 2 BB, 3 K -- 4.89 ERA Volz 0 IP, 2 BB -- 7.36 ERA Hardy 1/3 IP, nothing -- SV, 8, 1.43 ERA * NWA stymied a late Travelers rally to get a key win Thursday. Tim Smith singled in a run and scored on an error in the 1st as NWA staked Chris Dwyer to a 2-0 lead. The Nats left the bases loaded in the 3rd but got a Rey Navarro RBI double in the 6th. Dwyer allowed a run before getting pulled in the 7th but the Nats scored 2 that inning on a Ryan Eigsti bases-loaded walk and Derrick Robinson sac fly. Kevin Chapman had 1 on and 2 out in the 9th when an RBI double was followed by two walks by Kendal Volz to load the bases. A Jamie Romak error at first scored another run, but Blaine Hardy got a groundout to end it. NWA is 35-31 and a game up on first. The series ends Friday. Jake Odorizzi will start. Will Smith was named Texas League Player of the Month for August. He went 4-1 with a 1.91 ERA over the month with 9 BB/37 K in 42 1/3 IP. A-Adv. - Wilmington: Myrtle Beach 6, Blue Rocks 4 2B Merrifield 3-4, 2B (29), 2 RS, SB (24) -- .259 3B Stovall 1-4, 2B (16), 2 RBI (19), 2 K, E (10) -- .245 RF Testa 1-4, RBI (42), 2 K, RS -- .287 Mariot 7 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, BB, 4 K, HRA -- 3.41 ERA Odenbach 2 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, K -- L, 2-3, 3.50 ERA * The Rocks blew a 4-0 lead Thursday. Carlo Testa got it started with an RBI single in the 3rd and Ryan Stovall hit a 2-run double to make it 3-0 Rocks. Whit Merrifield doubled and stole home on a double steal with Nick Van Stratten in the 5th. Mike Mariot dodged trouble in the 4th but found it in the 6th as the Pelicans scored 4 runs, with the big blow being a 3-run homer. Dusty Odenbach escaped a jam in the 8th but walked 3 and gave up 2 singles for 2 runs in the 9th. The last 10 Rocks in a row went down. Wilmington is 27-39. The Rocks have Friday off. A - Kane County: Cedar Rapids 9, Cougars 6 CF Pickett 2-3, 2 BB, RBI (5), K, RS, 2 SB (8) -- .269 SS Calixte 2-4, SF, RBI (30), RS -- .212 1B Graterol 2-[...]
2011-08-31T23:11:53.090-05:00AAA - Omaha: Storm Chasers 12, New Orleans 2 RF Cain 5-5, 3 RBI (80), SB (16), E (7) -- .317, gave 'em a dose on Wednesday DH Mertins 3-5, 3B, RBI (3), K, 2 RS, SB -- .271 2B Y. Navarro 3-5, K, 2 RS, 2 E (10) -- .250 CF Dyson 2-5, BB, HR (3), 3 RBI (24), K, 3 RS -- .289 SS Falu 2-5, BB, 3B (9), 3 RBI (46), 2 RS -- .295 LF Lough 1-5, BB, RBI (63), RS, SB (14) -- .314 Omaha stranded 12. Mendoza 6 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 6 K -- W, 12-5, 2.18 ERA Miner 2 IP, H, BB, K -- 1.66 ERA Castaneda IP, H, K, WP -- 0.00 ERA, back from the Mexican League * Round Rock scored first but Omaha did all the scoring thereafter as the Chasers trimmed the magic number to a measly 1, and later clinched the division title with a Memphis loss. The Express started the game with 3 straight doubles to get two quick runs off Luis Mendoza, but the Omaha ace would only allow 1 more hit over the next 5 innings. Lorenzo Cain started a good personal night with an RBI single in the 1st, and Omaha added 5 in the 2nd on a 2-run Jarrod Dyson single, an Irving Falu RBI single, a David Lough RBI groundout and another Cain RBI single. Falu ripped a 2-run triple in the 3rd and scored on yet another Cain single to make it 9-2. Dyson led off the 5th with his 3rd homer and Kurt Mertins tripled in a run and scored on an error in the 6th. Zach Miner and Federico Castaneda took it home from there. Omaha is 78-60. Mendoza was named PCL Pitcher of the Year Wednesday. I can't believe his season line, but it's a well-deserved honor. He leads the league in ERA, WHIP and opponent BA. How can he be this good at AAA and so bad when he gets to the majors? The series ends Thursday. Jeff Suppan will start. For some reason, KC called up RP Jesse Chavez. He wasn't bad for Omaha, but he wasn't great either. The Chasers will head to the playoffs for the first time this century. It's been since 1999. AA - NW Arkansas: Arkansas 11, Naturals 5 DH T. Smith 3-4, HR (9), 2 RBI (44), K, RS -- .303 3B Lisson 3-4, 2 2B (19), HR (14), RBI (44), 2 RS, E (16) -- .281 CF Orlando 1-5, HR (4), RBI (24), 2 K, RS -- .311 C Eigsti 1-4, 2B (6), RBI (8), 3 K -- .283 SS Colon 1-5 -- .257 RF Myers 0-4, K, E (7) -- .257 E. Pimentel 3 IP, 5 R (4 ER), 5 H, 3 BB, 3 K, 2 HRA -- L, 0-1, 12.00 ERA, rough Nats debut Lafferty 3 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, BB, K, WP, balk -- 4.50 ERA Paulino IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 2 BB -- 5.46 ERA Dobies 2 IP, ER, H, 2 K, HRA -- 5.89 ERA * The Travelers broke out the bats to beat the Naturals Wednesday. Back-to-back homers scored 4 runs and proved a rude welcome to Elisaul Pimentel in the 1st. Arkansas added another run in the 2nd but Tim Smith smacked his 9th homer in the 2nd to get NWA on the board. Arkansas stranded 2 in the 3rd but scored 1 in the 4th and 2 in the 5th. Ryan Eigsti hit an RBI double in the 5th but the Travs would add 3 more runs. Paulo Orlando led off the 8th with his 4th homer and Smith singled in a run. Mario Lisson led off the 9th with his 14th homer but that's as close as NW Arkansas would come. NWA is 34-31 and now tied with Tulsa for first. Game 3 is Thursday. Chris Dwyer will start. Rehabbing C Matt Treanor was flipped to the Rangers...I have to say, he seemed serviceable at the MLB level. Not the future like Salvador Perez, tho. A-Adv. - Wilmington: Myrtle Beach 2, Blue Rocks 1 3B Stovall 2-4, RBI (17), SB (6) -- .245 DH Testa 2-4, 2B (25), RS -- .287, like to see him get moved up to help NWA push C Jul. Rodriguez 1-4, K -- .[...]