Record this week: 3-3. Overall: 13-7, one game in front of Indianapolis (PIT).
4/17: A hard-fought struggle with Norfolk (BAL), this one was. The Tides led 4-1 until the bottom of the eighth, with most of their runs coming on a fifth-inning three-run homer by Norfolk’s Chris Roberson off starter Adam Pettyjohn (5.12, 7 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K). But Louisville BATS BACK!, with SS Paul Janish’s two-run homer (#1) in the bottom of the 8th cutting the deficit to 4-3 and 1B Kevin Barker’s sacrifice fly tying it up in the ninth. (DH Jolbert Cabrera had singled and moved to third when Rehabbin’ Dave Ross reached on an error). Bill Bray pitched a 1-2-3 eighth with two strikeouts (0.00) and on came the Majik Man for the ninth. He got through that frame okay, but proceeded to allow a pair of singles, uncork a wild pitch, then surrender an RBI groundout to give the Tides the lead at 5-4. His ERA dropped to 12.00 (1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 K) Yet the Bats again came back, with Drew T. Anderson’s RBI triple scoring 2B Andy Green to send it to the 11th. Scott Sauerbeck (L 0-1, 7.71, 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K), who’d come on to get the last out of the tenth, immediately served up a single, a double, a walk, and a two-run single to the first four Tidesmen. A third time Louisville rose from the mat, as Barker, 3B Adam Rosales, and CF Chris Dickerson lashed two-out singles to make it 7-6. Janish stepped up with the tying run on second… and struck out looking. Bats lose, 7-6. Green finished 3-for-5 (.255) and Barker 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI, including his first homer.
4/18: Can reigning IL Pitcher of the Week Justin Lehr keep it rolling against the Tides? Through the first five innings of this one, he could… but with two on and two out in the sixth, Norfolk’s Oscar Salazar hit a three-run homer to tie the game. Lehr then allowed a double and a walk, but Rehabbin’ Ross picked the runner off second base to end the inning and preserve Justin’s quality start (1.71, 6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K). Tyler Pelland pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth (6.00, 1 H, 2 K), and the proceedings moved to the top of the ninth with closer Marcus McBeth in. He whiffed Salazar and grounded the next man to third. Then this series of events followed:
• Chris Heintz singles on a ground ball to shortstop Paul Janish. Chris Heintz advances to 2nd, on throwing error by shortstop Paul Janish.
• Chris Roberson singles on a ground ball to center fielder Jay Bruce. Chris Heintz scores.
• Adam Stern singles on a ground ball to right fielder Chris Dickerson. Chris Roberson to 3rd.
• Eider Torres singles on a line drive to right fielder Chris Dickerson. Chris Roberson scores. Adam Stern to 3rd.
• With Alex Cintron batting, wild pitch by Marcus McBeth, Adam Stern scores. Eider Torres to 2nd.
• Alex Cintron walks.
• Scott Moore walks. Eider Torres to 3rd. Alex Cintron to 2nd.
• Luis Terrero hits a grand slam (1) to left center field. Eider Torres scores. Alex Cintron scores. Scott Moore scores.
McBeth saw his ERA go from 0.00 to 12.60 (L 1-1, 0.2 IP, 5 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 1 K). He then headed to the DL with shoulder inflammation. Bats lose, 10-3.
4/19: Our Man Homer, three good outings under his belt, tried to make it four against Toledo (DET). His Bats scored in four separate innings, piling on a Janish two-run homer (#2) and three hits from 3B Jerry Hairston Jr. (.404) as OMH threw 7.1 innings over 101 pitches (64 strikes) of shutout ball (W 3-1, 1.03, 5 H, 1 BB, 3 K) in the 5-0 whitewash.
4/20: Tom Shearn to the hill. He wasn’t great (W 3-1, 3.98, 5.1 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR), but Hairston drove in no less than five runs (HR #3, 3-for-5, .421) and Ross and Cabrera added solo shots in a 10-7 victory over Toledo. Bruce added two hits, a stolen base (#4) and two RBI (.333). Again the Louisville bullpen was a little porous (Majewski 1 IP 1 ER, Bray 0.2 IP 1 ER, Sauerbeck 0.2 IP 2 ER) but Jon Adkins struck out the the Tides’ Brent Clevlen to notch save #2 (0.93). Legendary Mud Hens slugger Mike Hessman pounded three homers (off Shearn, Bray, and Sauerbeck) for his Toledo squad.
4/21: Off day.
4/22: Matt Maloney tried to build on his solid outing of six days ago (5.1 IP, 3 ER) against Indianapolis (PIT). A pop-fly double, hit batter, and passed ball got things started poorly in the first, but Matt popped up the Indians’ #3 hitter foul to third. He hit the next man with a pitch as well, loading the bases and drawing the pitching coach to the mound. He got two strikes on the fifth hitter, then hit him, too, to force in a run. Maloney then promptly threw three straight called strikes past the sixth Indian, but the seventh looped a two-run double to right to make it 3-0. #8 walked, bringing Indy starter John VanBenschoten (formerly an All-American 1B and NCAA HR leader at Kent State) to the dish. He grounded the first pitch to second, ending the string of little Indians headed plateward at nine. Maloney then pitched scoreless second and third innings, walking one man in each. Ex-Bat Matt Kata singled in a run in the fourth, finishing Matt’s night (L 1-1, 7.27, 4 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 3 HB, 89 pitches, 59 strikes). The guy’s 2008 so far has been a strange trip down Lost Command Blvd. Anyway, new callup Justin Mallett came on and threw three one-run innings with four strikeouts. Meanwhile, VanBenschoten, a guy who put up Dumatraitian numbers in Pittsburgh last season (0-7, ERA over 10) pitched 6.2 no-hit innings with eight Ks to run his record to 4-0. The Bats avoided the ignominy of a no-hitter when Chris Dickerson tripled with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but Bruce immediately struck out to end the 7-0 Bats loss. Tyler Pelland again struggled out of the pen; three hits (one a homer) and two more runs in his inning. ERA is now 7.71.
4/23: Big-time revenge on the previous day’s whitewash, as the Bats battered former #1 overall pick Bryan Bullington for seven runs, four unearned, through the first five innings. 3B Adam Rosales hammered a two-run triple in the first, 1B Kevin Barker hit homer #2 in the third, and another Dickerson triple, a Green double, and an E-6 brought in the other three an inning later. Starter Adam Pettyjohn permitted just two hits through four, but a Rosales throwing error and a single followed by another throwing error, by RF Jolbert Cabrera, put the Indians on the board in the fifth. A third error in that inning, on Barker, made it 7-2 before Pettyjohn grounded top prospects Andrew McCutchen into a double play and Neil Walker to first to escape it. Kata slammed a three-run homer the next inning, chasing Adam and bringing on the Majik Man with the lead down to 7-5 (W 2-0, 5.11, 5.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 ER, . Amazingly, Gary held the line in the sixth. McCutchen punched a base hit to left leading off the seventh, but Bruce threw him out trying to stretch it to a double. (Did I mention Jay was in LF for this one? Strange.) Majik then walked Walker and wild-pitched him to second, but managed to pop up Steve Pearce and ground spring-training-physical-failin’ Craig Wilson sharply to second to get out of the inning (9.35, 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB). Jon Adkins, the one rock-solid shutdown pitcher in the Bats bullpen so far this season, came on to pitch a 1-2-3 eighth and a scoreless ninth to lock up the well-deserved save (#3, 0.77, 2 IP, 1 BB). Dickerson finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored, a RBI, and two steals (5).
Notes: 4/21: Utilityman Jerry Hairston Jr. was summoned to the Reds to replace the DFAed Juan Castro. And Rehabbin’ Matt Belisle headed up I-71 to take the spot of Disablin’ Dave Weathers. LHR Scott Sauerbeck headed back to the DL with a hamstring strain.; RHR Marcus McBeth to the DL with shoulder inflammation. 4/22: RHR Justin Mallett came up from Chattanooga along with UT Luis Bolivar. 4/24: LHR Danny Ray Herrera, all five-foot-eight of him, came up from Chattanooga. 4/24: C Ryan Hanigan was activated and C Chris Kroski placed on the seven-day DL.
Record this week: 5-2. Overall:11-9, 4 games back, fourth behind Carolina (FLA).
4/17: Trailing 4-2 at the hands of the Huntsville Stars (MIL) heading to the ninth, the Lookouts had their work cut out for them. First, 2B Drew M. Anderson led off the inning with his second homer. Then, after CF BJ Szymanski reached on an error, SS Eric Eymann flied out, and LF Shaun Cumberland walked, RF Cody Strait was retired on a popup to reduce Chattanooga to its last out. Up stepped 1B Luis Bolivar… and out went a three-run homer (#2)! Closer Josh Roenicke (W 2-0, 2.45, 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 2 K) went back out for the bottom of the ninth and whiffed Huntsville’s Alcides Escobar and Mat Gamel, two pretty decent prospects, to give the good guys the comeback win. Starter James Avery finished strong after allowing three runs in his first four innings (5.52, 6 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HR).
4/18: Homers by Strait (#2) and Bolivar (#3) in the sixth cut Huntsville’s lead to 3-2, but that was as far as the Lookouts could get in a game shortened an inning by rain. Stars starter Sam Narron, nephew of Jerry, again pitched quite well against Chattanooga- he beat them twice last year, I believe, although it seems like he doesn’t do as well against the rest of the Southern League. Ben Jukich (L 0-1, 3.77, 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K) took the loss.
4/19: Starter Sam Lecure (W 1-1, 5.28, 6 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 4 K) put it all together after two rough starts and the bullpen of Danny Herrera (3.07, 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB) and Robert Manuel (1 IP, 2 K) finished a 5-0 shutout of Mobile (ARI, a switch from SD the past several years). RF Shaun Cumberland hit a solo homer and a RBI single (.250) and Drew Anderson lashed a pinch-hit two-run single. SS Jose Castro added two more hits; he’s quietly hitting well early (.300).
4/20: Daryl Thompson kept pitching well (6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K) and departed with a 3-1 lead, but the BayBears got single runs off Derrik Lutz (1.29, 0.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB), Pedro Viola (6.75, 1.1 IP, 1 ER, 1 K, WP) and Carlos Fisher (L 0-2, 6.48, 1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 HR, blown save #3) to steal a 4-3 decision. Anderson hit a two-run homer, #3, again as a pinch-hitter.
4/21: C Craig Tatum, quiet at the plate this year after the Reds thought highly enough of him to send him to the Arizona Fall League last year, slammed a first-inning three-run homer (#2). Chattanooga totaled four in the inning and held on to beat Mobile, 5-3. Ramon Ramirez threw four no-hit innings before getting nailed in the fifth (W 1-1, 3.94, 5 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K), but it was enough for the duke. Herrera threw two more scoreless(2.70, 1 H, 1 K), Lutz got through the eighth despite a pair of walks, and Roenicke got save #3 (2.16, 1 IP, 1 H, 2 K). Cumberland, who’s done well enough lately to hit leadoff the last few games, scored two runs (.282). LF Sean Henry tripled and singled; he’s hitting .320 since his callup from Sarasota. CF BJ Szymanski, who’s tailed off after a hot start, also had two hits (.328).
4/22: The Lookouts blew a 5-0 lead to fall behind 6-5, grabbed the lead back at 7-6, then watched Roenicke blow the save before Cumberland’s RBI single- his fourth hit of the night- won it for Chattanooga in the bottom of the ninth, 8-7. Roenicke now has three wins to go with three blown saves (2.89, 1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K). Cumberland’s 4-for-5 put the 23-year-old (acquired from Tampa along with Jorge Cantu in last year’s Shackleford/Medlock deal) at .341 on the young season. His third homer and a total of three RBI came along with the four hits. Anderson also homered again- #4- and drove in three. Again starter James Avery had problems missing bats (6.98, 4.2 IP, 9 H, 6 ER) but Carlos Fisher bounced back to manage 2.1 scoreless despite zero Ks (5.06, 2 H, 1 BB) and Robert Manuel retired three straight.
4/23: Chattanooga scored three in the eighth to break a 2-2 deadlock (since the first inning), then survived a comeback attempt in the ninth to hang on and beat Mobile, 5-4. Starter Ben Jukich looked strong after two first-inning runs that stemmed from his own throwing error and a balk (3.43, 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 1 PO). Derrik Lutz got the last out in the seventh and Herrera turned in a scoreless eighth (W 3-0, 2.55, 1 IP, 1 K). Pedro Viola survived a passed ball and an error on Cumberland to get the save (#1, 6.00, 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 K). Craig Tatum slammed a key two-run pinch-hit double in that eighth inning.
Notes: 4/17: RHR Robert Manuel came up from Sarasota. 4/22: RHR Mike Hrynio, an offseason six-year FA signing from the Seattle organization, was added to the roster to replace the promoted Justin Mallett. 2B Michael DeJesus replaced the promoted UT Luis Bolivar. More is here. I hadn’t previously heard of Hrynio’s signing, but the converted third baseman appears to have some bat-missing ability if substandard control. 4/24: LHR Lee Tabor was promoted from Sarasota to replace the promoted Danny Ray Herrera.
Record this week: 3-3. Overall: 10-10, 2.5 games behind Fort Myers (MIN)
4/18: Travis Wood again turned in a solid outing (L 1-1, 1.23, 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K) but his bats didn’t do enough outside of 3B Juan Francisco (HR #4, RBI single, .356) and his relievers didn’t do enough either (Ondrusek 1 IP 3 H 2 ER, Medina 2 IP 1 ER). 2B Justin Turner and SS Chris Valaika did manage two hits apiece to run their averages to .386 and .355, respectively. Reds lose to Fort Myers (MIN), 5-3.
4/19: With the Reds scoring both of their runs by the end of the second inning, it took Jordan Smith (W 3-1, 1.42, 6 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) and scoreless relief from Ramon Geronimo (2 IP, still 0.00) and Sean Watson (1 IP, save #3) to capture a 2-1 win over Fort Myers. Interestingly, ex-Reds closer Danny Graves threw a scoreless inning for the Miracle in this one. Write your own punchline. Anyway, Turner’s 2-for-4 raised him to .396,, Valaika lashed an RBI double, and the pitcher-turned-outfielder Anthony Gressick brought home the other run with a sacrifice fly.
4/20: Four runs in the top of the ninth for Dunedin (TOR) off the struggling Watson (L 0-1, BS, 10.50, 0.1 IP, 1 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 HR) and Lee Tabor (3.86, 0.2 IP, 1 ER, 1 HR) downed Sarasota, 8-5. Starter Alex Smit made it two solid starts in a row (6.35, 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR) and Ondrusek struck out five of the nine Jays batters he faced (6.35, 2.2 IP, 2 H). CF Drew Stubbs was 2-for-4 with a triple (.323), 2B Michael DeJesus 3-for-4 (.262), C Justin Tordi drove in two runs, and backup OF Luis Soto was 2-for-4 with a run scored and RBI (.167).
4/21: After falling behind early, the Reds scored four in the fourth and three more in the seventh to dispatch Dunedin, 8-4. 1B Jason Louwsma drove in three runs with two hits (.292). Valaika drove home two more with a double and single (.329). Starter Camilo Vazquez, who’s had a rough time of it in this young season, righted the ship after a rocky first two innings by going five (W 2-1, 9.00, 5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K). Dayton call-up Kevin Gunter, who appeared in seven games for Sarasota last season, threw the sixth and seventh (2 H, 1 BB, 3 K) and Ruben Medina (6.75, 2 IP, 1 ER, 2 K, 1 HR) finished up. Interesting note: LHR Brandon Camardese, the Reds’ 34th-round pick in 2005 out of Miami (FL), pitched 2.1 scoreless innings for the Jays. He’d been released by Cincinnati after the ’06 season and pitched for the Charlotte County Redfish in the now-suspended South Coast League in 2007.
4/22: Things finally came together for righty Daniel Guerrero (W 1-2, 9.33, 6.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K) and Francisco drove in two runs with a single in Sarasota’s 4-1 win over Dunedin. Misael DeJesus (5.40, 1.2 IP, 1 H, 2 K) and Ramon Geronimo (save #1, 0.00, 1 IP, 1 BB, 2 K) finished up. Stubbs added an RBI knock and stolen base #9 (and an error).
4/23: Clearwater (PHI) rolled in to the Ed and beat the Reds, 7-2. Wood took the loss (L 1-2, 2.55, 3 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K). Juan Rafael’s first appearance of the year resulted in seven hits and two walks in 2.1 innings.
Notes: 4/16 (wasn’t posted by my deadline): RHR Dan Zeffiro, who’d pitched at Billings as a NDFA last season, was added to the Reds roster to take the spot of Robert Manuel, who was promoted to AA. 4/22: RHR Kevin Gunter came up from Dayton. 4/22: 2B Michael DeJesus moved up to Chattanooga; RHR Juan Rafael, who pitched in the GCL as well as the FSL in 2007, took his spot. 4/24: LHR Steven Otterness was added to the roster to replace the promoted Lee Tabor. Zeffiro has now mysteriously disappeared from the roster.
Record this week: 2-4. Overall: 10-9, two back of Lansing (TOR) and West Michigan (DET).
4/18: Clinton (TEX) pounds on Curtis Partch (L 0-2, 6.91, 4.2 IP, 6 ER) and the Dragons, 7-2. RF Denis Phipps did go 2-for-3 with both of Dayton’s RBI and lefty Phil Valiquette continued his strong start with two scoreless innings and four strikeouts (1.04).
4/19: The Lumberkings got an unearned run off Joe Krebs (L 2-1, 0.96, 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER) in the eleventh to nip Dayton, 4-3. 2B Kevyn Feiner’s throwing error was followed by a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly. 3B Brandon Waring led off the bottom of the inning by taking a Rudy for the team, but Phipps forced him at second and was then gunned down trying to steal second one out later to end the game. LF Keltavious Jones tripled twice en route to a 3-for-4 day (.415, 2 R). Starter Matt Klinker again looked strong, although a Todd Frazier error led to three unearned runs (0.00, 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR). Enerio Del Rosario fired four scoreless innings of relief (1.64, 2 H, 3 K).
4/20: Clinton finished a sweep weekend by hammering the Dragons, 11-1. They outscored our young men 22-6 over the three games. Starter Drew Bowman returned from extended spring training to be pulled in the first inning (L 0-1, 2.45, 0.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K) and Jamie Arneson took a beating in relief (9.82, 2.1 IP, 5 ER). Jeremy Horst did throw three hitless frames with five strikeouts (0.61), continuing a strong start. A Phipps solo homer (#3) was Dayton’s only run.
4/21: Dayton got exactly one single before the sixth inning off Cedar Rapids (LAA) starter Robert Fish, but as soon as young Fish completed his five innings, the rout was on. The Dragons scored three in the sixth and seven in the seventh off the Kernels bullpen en route to a 10-1 rout. Starter Scott Carroll struggled with his control (5.29, 4 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 2 K) and reached his pitch count early, leaving it to Jeff Jeffords (W 1-0, 0.71, 2.2 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 3 K) to pick up the win. LF Brandon Menchaca and 2B Kevyn Feiner- struggling thus far in the season- each drove in two runs. CF Justin Reed was 1-for-2 with a run scored, a RBI, two walks, and three stolen bases (5). Frazier played first base in this one (first time I’ve seen that) and was 2-for-5 with two RBI. He’d been slumping as of late and currently stands at .306. 2007’s second-round pick, 22-year-old SS Zach Cozart, played his first game this year and finished 0-for-3 with a walk and HBP.
4/22: Luis Montano threw 6.2 no-hit innings before an RBI triple broke the no-no and shutout. Luis (W 3-0, 1.61, 7 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HB) got the victory, 3-1, anyway as Del Rosario finished the last two innings for save #4. Frazier hammered a two-run homer (#6) and stole base #2 while Reed tripled and scored the third run on Cozart’s infield hit.
4/23: Dayton got homers from LF Keltavious Jones (#2) and DH Brett Bartles (#1), but the big guns were silent as Cedar Rapids cruised, 7-2. Again Curtis Partch struggled (L 0-3, 7.11, 4.2 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 4 K, 2 WP, 1 HB). New addition Tyler Rhoden held his own (0.00, 1.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K) and Terrell Young pushed his ERA below four (3.97, 2.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K).
Notes: 4/20: LHS Drew Bowman returned from extended spring training, taking the promoted Kevin Gunter’s spot. 4/21: INF Jacob Kahauleilo was returned to EST to make room for SS Zach Cozart (2007's 2nd-round pick). 4/23: Righty Tyler Rhoden (22nd round, 2007) was added to the roster from EST.