There should be at least one more of these for regular-season games, then one for playoffs... then perhaps another? We'll see.
Record: 4-2. Overall: 86-53, first place, thirteen (!) games ahead of Toledo (DET).
8/21: Adam Pettyjohn scored win number fourteen with eight more Browning-ish innings (W 14-5, 4.66, 8 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 1 HR) and Louisville defeated Durham (TB), 6-3. Jon Adkins pitched the ninth for save #26. A balanced Bats attack got three runs in the fourth to take a 5-2 lead on RBI hits from C Craig Tatum and sacrifice flies from SS Danny Richar and 3B Luis Bolivar. Ex-Red Calvin Medlock pitched two scoreless innings for the Bulls (3.62, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K) after the Bats chased starter Wade Davis.
8/22: The Bulls came roaring back to stomp the Bats, 6-2. Bobby Livingston took the L (3-3, 4.98, 5.2 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K). CF Drew Stubbs wasn’t retired all night, as he was 2-for-2 with two runs scored, a walk, a HBP, and steal #2.
8/23: Drew T. Anderson’s sacrifice fly brought home Stubbs (who’d singled, stolen second, and moved to third on a wild pitch) to tie Columbus (WAS) at 6 in the sixth, then a two-run single from Richar the next inning provided the winning margin, 8-6. The Clippers’ Kory Casto had hit a grand-slam homer off Danny Herrera in the top of the sixth to wipe out a 5-2 Louisville lead; three of those runs charged to Homer Bailey, who finished with a mediocre line (4.77, 5.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HR). Herrera got the win despite blown save #5 (4-3, 2.04, 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 K). Josh Roenicke took care of the eighth (2.86, 2 H, 2 K) and Adkins the ninth (save #27, 3.66, 1 IP, 1 K). 3B Mike Griffin slammed a three-run homer in the fifth (#3, 2-for-5, .264) and Richar also had three RBIs total. Stubbs ended up with two more hits and two more runs scored as well as an outfield assist.
8/24: Four runs in the seventh again wiped out a Columbus Colum-back and pushed the Bats to victory, 8-5. Again Richar’s exploits proved crucial, as he socked his eleventh homer, a two-run blast, in that inning. Danny finished 3-for-4 with two doubles and three runs scored to raise his average to .261. Again Stubbs got a pair of hits as well as a RBI, a run scored, and a walk (.348). Matt Maloney was hittable but good enough to win (W 11-4, 4.35, 7 IP, 10 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR) and Justin Lehr got save #1 (2.03).
8/26: The Clippers actually manage a win, getting the Bats and Pettyjohn 3-2. Adam pitched well again (L 14-6, 4.63, 7 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 10 K, 1 HR). 1B Luis Bolivar doubled twice and scored twice (.264).
8/27: The Bats built a big lead over Indianapolis (PIT) then hang on, 7-5. Livingston started well but was hit hard in the fifth and sixth innings (W 4-3, 5.22, 6.2 IP, 11 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 HR). Adkins got save #28. Bolivar slammed a pair of homers, a three-run bomb in the second and a solo shot in the fourth (#6 and #7). 1B Kevin Barker also hit #18 and RF Rob Mackowiak #5. Richar was 3-for-5 with two stolen bases (.264, 14).
Notes: 8/20 (missed this one last week): RHR Todd Coffey returned from the DL. UT Adam Rosales headed back north. 8/26: RHS Homer Bailey DL’ed with a right knee strain, necessitating the re-ascension of LHS Ben Jukich from Chattanooga.
Plaudits for manager Rick Sweet and C Ryan Hanigan, as both were named to the International League’s Postseason All-Star team.
Record: 3-3. Overall: 27-37, last place, 11.5 games behind Carolina (FLA).
8/21: Pedro Viola pitched five shutout innings after serving up a three-run homer in the first (W 3-7, 4.60, 6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K) and the Lookouts got big lumber from 2B Justin Turner (#8, 3-for-3, 3 RBI, .292), SS Chris Valaika (#10), 3B Michael DeJesus (#2), and RF Danny Dorn (#19) in a 9-3 spanking of Jacksonville.
8/22: Chattanooga fell just one short of erasing a 6-0 deficit, finally succumbing 6-5 after scoring two in the sixth and three in the seventh. C Eddy Rodriguez provided that bunch of runs in the seventh, pounding his third homer (.214, 2-for-5). Dorn was 3-for-4 with two runs scored (.284) and 2B Drew M. Anderson 3-for-5 (.262). Camilo Vazquez started and lost (L 2-3, 5.61, 5 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 2 HR). Scoreless relief from Mike Hrynio (5.96, 1 IP, 1 K), Ramon Geronimo (3.44, 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB) and Sean Watson (4.83, 1 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 K) helped allow the comeback attempt.
8/23: Ben Jukich picked up his tenth victory (10-4, 3.82, 6 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 5 BB, 4 K) and Dorn continued a torrid streak with homer #20 (2-for-5, .286) in Chattanooga’s 6-4 win. He also recorded an assist at home. C Chris Denove had three hits and two RBI (.255). Joe Valentine pitched two hitless innings for save #3 (3.00).
8/24: One start after throwing 7.2 perfect innings, Travis Wood gave up 12 hits and 10 earned runs in just 3.2 (L 3-9, 7.54, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR) in a 10-1 rout. Dorn couldn’t be stopped though, collecting three hits and a solo homer, #21. His average climbed to .292.
8/25: Tennessee (CHC) tied a 1-0 game in the bottom of eight and got the winner in the 10th off Lee Tabor (L 1-1, 5.35) to take it, 2-1. Sam Lecure started and pitched six scoreless (3.50, 5 H, 1 BB, 2 K). Valaika had three hits (.303) and Lecure a couple of his own.
8/26: Rained out.
8/27: MAKEUP MADNESS! against the Smokies. In game one, the Lookouts scored a single run in the top of the eighth (extra innings in makeupland) to win it, 5-4. CF Chris Heisey, playing great since his promotion, doubled home Tonys Gutierrez to finish a stellar game (3-for-4, homer #1, .316). Valaika (#11) and 1B-3B Eric Eymann (#7) also homered. Viola started and left after just 1.2 innings (4.74, 2 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB) but the bullpen took over and allowed just one more run, with Valentine (W 1-0, 2.45, 2 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 2 K) recording the win and Watson (#3, 1 IP, 1 H, 2 K, 4.50) the save.
Game two? Didn’t happen due to “other”. Sorry.
Notes: Dorn was named Southern League Hitter of the Week for the period of August 18-24, batting .519 (14-for-27) with three homers.
Record: 2-5. Overall: 27-37, last place, 18 games behind Dunedin (TOR).
8/21: Dallas Buck was pulled after three innings (2.25, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K) and Clearwater (PHI) went on to pop the Reds, 7-3. The loss went to lefty Joe Krebs (1-2, 4.03, 2 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 K). SS Todd Frazier doubled twice and scored twice (.283).
8/22: Sarasota gets an increasingly rare win, beating the Threshers 8-4 with help from temp CF Efrain Contreras’ three-run homer (off prospect lefty Joe Savery, no less) and three hits apiece from Frazier and LF Carson Kainer (.262). 1B Logan Parker hit #6. Matt Klinker went eight for the win (W 2-2, 6.67, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K).
8/23: Rained out.
8/24: MAKEUP MADNESS, for reals! Game one: a 7-0 whitewash of Tampa (NYY), as Misael DeJesus ripped through five (W 5-4, 3.64, 5 H, 1 BB, 7 K), CF Dan Perales hit homer #3, and DH Yuber Rodriguez drove in three (2-for-3, .256). Tampa returned the favor, 3-0, in game two. Logan Ondrusek lost (1-6, 3.88, 4.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K) and Sarasota recorded just three hits.
8/25: Tampa beats Rehabbin’ Daryl Thompson, 5-3. Thompson has been less than impressive in this rehab stint, here serving up seven hits and five earned in five innings (6.89). Sarasota got eleven hits but couldn’t get ‘em when they needed.
8/26: Clearwater won, 4-1, outhitting the Reds thirteen to four. Rafael Gonzalez (L 5-11, 6.70, 6 IP, 11 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR) took the defeat. This game was marked by the debut of 2008 first-rounder Yonder Alonso, who doubled in his first pro at-bat and scored on a Frazier single. Yonder finished 1-for-3 with a walk and run scored.
8/27: Another easy Threshers win, 8-3. Alonso: 0-for-4 with a strikeout. LF Juan Francisco did hit homer #23 and Kainer socked two solo shots- his very first big flies of the year. Buck started and lost (L 0-1, 4.15, 5 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K). Four straight losses.
Notes: Todd Frazier was the Florida State League Hitter of the week for 8/18-8/24, going 8-for-19 (.421) with a homer, three doubles, five RBI, and six runs scored. 8/27: RHR Tyler Rhoden came up from Dayton; RHR Justin James went to Chattanooga. UT Justin Tordi was placed on the DL with a broken nose, making room for Alonso on the active roster. Juan Francisco was also placed on the temporarily-inactive list. Newly-christened RHP Jerry Gil was also added.
Record: 4-3 . Overall: 36-29, second place, six back of South Bend (ARI).
8/21: Ruben Medina surrendered the tiebreaking run in the bottom of the ninth, enabling West Michigan (DET) to nip Dayton, 6-5. Medina (L 1-1, 3.52, 0.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER) spent most of the season at Sarasota pitching well, but was demoted a few weeks ago for reasons I don’t quite understand. He just turned 22, though, so Low-A isn’t a wildly inappropriate level. Anyway, the Dragons got a great game from SS Zach Cozart, who finished 4-for-4 with two RBI (.276), three hits from RF Denis Phipps (.254) and three from 2B Jake Kahauleilo (.276). Starter Luis Montano wasn’t particularly great (4.01, 4.1 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 2 HR).
8/22: 3B Brandon Waring doubled and homered (#18) and Dayton survived a comeback attempt to beat the Whitecaps, 4-3. Waring had struggled through much of August (.212) after a strong June and July. Jeremy Horst continued his very strong starting experiment, pitching 5.1 innings of one-run ball (W 7-2, 2.53, 6 H, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR) and Aguido Gonzalez whiffed five in 2.1 innings to finish for save #5 (2.04).
8/23: Enerio Del Rosario threw six shutout innings to continue his Midwest League dominance following struggles in the FSL (W 4-2, 1.33, 5 H, 2 BB, 5 K) in a 6-0 whitewash. Daniel Guerrero went the final three for the long save (#1, 8.24, 2 H, 3 K). A balanced Dragons attack included Phipps’ third consecutive multi-hit game (.258, 2-for-5, 2 RBI) and a homer for C Jason Bour (#6).
8/24: SS Neftali Soto’s two-run homer (#6, 2-for-4, .321) is all Dayton can muster as they drop a 4-2 decision. Curtis Partch started (L 5-10, 4.82, 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K). Derrick Conatser, struggling badly over the last several weeks, threw three scoreless in relief (5.04).
8/25: Lansing (TOR) held up Dayton’s impending clinching of a MWL wildcard playoff slot by scoring in the eighth off Jeff Jeffords (L 3-5, 3.41, 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) and winning it, 3-2. Juan Rafael started and left a 2-2 tie (4.62, 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K). Soto, DHing this time, smacked three more hits (.330).
8/26: Montano (W 12-8, 3.96, 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) and the Dragons capitalized on four Lugnuts errors to win, 6-3. Soto: two more hits and two more RBI (.333). Mace Thurman struck out six in three innings for the save (#1, 5.52, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB). With this win, the club reduced its playoff-qualifying magic number to three.
8/27: Waring homered twice (#19, #20) and Soto added one (#6) as Dayton staved off a Lansing comeback to hang on, 5-4. Horst fired six innings of two-hit shutout ball (W 8-2, 2.38, 2 BB, 6 K), although the Lugnuts got to Henry Arias for two earned and Medina for two unearned (without a hit in 1.1 innings). Jeffords pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for save #6, though. The magic number became two!
Notes: SS Zach Cozart and 3B Brandon Waring were named to the MWL’s post-season All-Star team. With a 12-team league and only one player at each position, that’s quite an honor.
INF Neftail Soto cracked the Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet by going 12-for-28 (.429) for the week with two homers and eight RBI.
Record: 4-4 . Overall 16-11 second half, first place by one game.
8/21: Billings and Casper (COL) completed a suspended game from 8/14, with the Ghosts finishing the flogging of starter Clayton Shunick (L 1-3, 8.21, 4.1 IP, 14 H, 11 R, 10 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2 HR) in a 14-7 win. 1B Mike Konstanty did hit a pair of homers (#8 and #9, 3 RBI, 3-for-5, .277) and LF Tony Brown added three hits and a solo homer (#11, .279). Casper then completed a sweep, finishing the regularly-scheduled seven-inning contest by outslugging the Mustangs a second time, 12-9. Enrique Garcia started and lost that one (L 3-1, 5.72, 4.2 IP, 13 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 3 HR). 1B Brett Bartles was 3-for-4 with homer #1 (.262, 3 R). CF Matt Stiffler also socked his first homer and drove in three. RF Byron Wiley was 2-for-2 with two walks to raise his average to .350.
8/22: Billings bounces back from a baaaad stretch to beat Helena, 5-0. Oscar Castro rounds the Mustangs’ struggling starting pitchers into shape, firing six shutout frames (W 3-2, 4.15, 6 H, 2 BB, 8 K). 3B Jose Gualdron finished 2-for-2 with two runs scored, a triple, a stolen base, a RBI, and a walk (.301). Stiffler was 2-for-4 with RBI and run scored (.220).
8/23: The Brewers got their revenge, beating up the recently-demoted Josh Ravin (L 0-1, 10.29, 4 IP, 6 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 HR) and Billings 9-3.
8/24: Lowly Missoula (ARI) then rolled into Dehler Park and routed the Mustangs, 13-3. Drew Bowman has descended quickly after a strong start (L 2-3, 5.48, 4 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2 K). Konstanty keeps hitting (2-for-4, 2 R, .283) but the bats are on hiatus again.
8/25: After falling behind 2-0 earlier, the Ponies saddled up and roared back, scoring six runs over four times up between the fifth and the eighth and winning easily, 6-2. Starter Jamie Arneson was wild but not hittable (4.70, 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 2 K) while Brandon Rice went a scoreless sixth and seventh for the win (W 2-2, 6.75, 1 H, 1 K). Mike Bohana got through the final two for save #2 (3.86). Stiffler sparked the offense with three hits from the leadoff slot (.254, also steal #2) and CF David Sappelt socked homer #5.
8/26: Billings steals one, scoring two in the bottom of the ninth to win 8-7 on a parade of errors:
Billings Bottom 9th
• Pitcher Change: Pedro Rodriguez replaces Bayron Zepeda.
• Chris McMurray grounds out, second baseman Rafael Hilario to first baseman Nelson Gomez.
• Offensive Substitution: Pinch hitter Jose Gualdron replaces Miguel Rojas.
• Jose Gualdron singles on a line drive to center fielder Alberto Diaz.
• Matt Stiffler reaches on fielding error by left fielder Bobby Stone. Jose Gualdron scores. Matt Stiffler to 2nd. Missed catch error by shortstop Reynaldo Navarro.
• Alex Buchholz singles on a ground ball to shortstop Reynaldo Navarro. Matt Stiffler out at home, shortstop Reynaldo Navarro to catcher Rossmel Perez.
• With Cody Puckett batting, Alex Buchholz advances to 2nd on a balk.
• With Cody Puckett batting, wild pitch by Pedro Rodriguez, Alex Buchholz to 3rd.
• Cody Puckett reaches on throwing error by shortstop Reynaldo Navarro. Alex Buchholz scores
Konstanty hit a three-run homer earlier in the contest (#10), but 2B Alex Buchholz had the most impressive line: 5-for-5, all singles with two runs scored and a RBI. The 2008 sixth-rounder raised his average to .407. Leo Astorga started (2.50, 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K) but Jordan Hotchkiss (W 1-3, 4.66, 3 IP, 2 H, 1 K) got the win in relief after Dan Zeffiro was popped for four earned (4.60, 1 IP).
8/27: Three consecutive wins over the Osprey, as Billings rolled up big runs in a 14-4 rout. Three RBIs apiece for Sappelt and SS Miguel Rojas. Starter Castro got another W (4-2, 4.33, 6 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR).
Rookie- Gulf Coast
8/21: Rained out.
8/22: The Reds beat the Pirates, 7-3. SS Mariekson Gregorius, struggling badly with the bat all season long, was 3-for-3 with two RBI (.155) and DH Donald Lutz doubled twice, scored twice, and drove in three. Evan Hildenbrandt got the win with five strong (W 4-2, 2.67, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K).
8/23: Back-to-back wins, as the Reds score in the eleventh to nip the Orioles, 6-5. Jerry Gil started (7.07, 3 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K). Five relievers then each pitched a scoreless inning. Luca Panerati blew a lead, but also got credit for the win (W 1-0, 3.00, 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER). Rafael Ceballos pitched the bottom of the eleventh for the save. CF Sam Vasquez doubled twice and singled in five trips while throwing out a runner at home plate (.252) and 1B Eli Rimes singled thrice (.229).
8/24: MAKEUP MADNESS! The Red Sox hammered the Reds in game one, 10-2. Vasquez drove in both Reds runs with a single and double (.259). Rafael de la Rosa struck out eight in 4.1 innings of relief (5.93, 3 ER). Game two went a little better- but the bats were helpless in a 2-0 defeat. Tyler Cline allowed one run in two innings (L 0-3, 9.72) with Mauro Pizziconi permitting one in three in relief (0.76). NDFA Greg Dombrowski, a 22-year-old righty out of UK, struck out the side in his inning (2.25 in 4 G).
8/25: The Twins beat the Reds, 7-5, in a game shortened by rain. Lutz homered (#1). Luis Machuca took the loss (1-3, 6.48, 3.2 IP,9 H, 6 ER).
8/27: Season finale against the Pirates! The Reds went out strong, triumphing 3-2 in the eleventh on Frank Pfister’s game-winning RBI double. LF Theodis Bowe doubled twice and tripled (.200). Again Gil started and this time he whiffed four in two scoreless (6.19). Eight more relievers followed before the game ended, with Pizziconi the final man in for the win (W 3-0, 0.70, 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K).
The Reds finished 25-31 and in fourth place, twelve games behind the Pirates. This is not exactly good, but it’s the first non-last-place finish the club’s had since I began following them in 2004. So they break the chain, at least.
Notes: Jerry Gil was moved to Sarasota’s roster at the end of the season.