Record: 2-3 (reg. season), 1-3 (playoffs). Overall: 88-56, first place, thirteen games ahead of Toledo (DET). Total record including playoffs: 89-59.
8/28: Danny Herrera stumbled in Indianapolis, serving up a two-run homer to light-hitting Luis Cruz that allowed the Indians to nip the Bats, 5-4. Herrera (2.33, 0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER) evened his record at 4-4. Jared Burton started as rehab and allowed one run in one inning, then Ben Jukich followed with an adequate performance (4.37, 5.1 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K). 3B Mike Griffin socked three hits and drove in one (.274), LF Drew T. Anderson drove in two with a triple (.290) and CF Drew Stubbs picked up a single, triple, and run scored (.328).
8/29: For a guy who’s going to start the Bats’ first playoff game against Durham, it hasn’t looked good for Matt Maloney lately. He was whacked for seven earned in 3.2 innings by the Indians (L 11-5, 4.68, 3.2 IP, 10 H, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR) in Indy’s 8-4 win. 1B Kevin Barker hit two solo homers (#19 and #20), C Alvin Colina was 3-for-4 with two runs scored (.256), and SS Paul Janish 2-for-4 with two RBI (.255).
8/30: Three runs in the ninth snapped a 1-1 tie and gave Louisville a 4-1 win. After Janish walked to open the ninth, C Craig Tatum struck out and Wilkin Castillo grounded out. But Danny Richar followed with a pinch-hit triple, scoring Janish; Luis Bolivar doubled in Richar; and Bolivar came home on a wild pitch after stealing third to finish things off. Carlos Fisher notched his fifth victory (1.04, 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K) and Jon Adkins got save #29. Starter Daryl Thompson pitched quite well (2.76, 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K).
8/31: A three-run Kevin Barker home run (#21) in the seventh got the Bats a 6-4 win. Adam Pettyjohn got his 15th victory with seven innings (W 15-6, 4.59, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K). Adkins got save #30 (3.48). Anderson also homered in the game (#8, 2-for-4, .290).
9/1: Louisville drops its regular-season finale, 5-2. Bobby Livingston pitched well but lost (L 4-4, 4.98, 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR) and Herrera again struggled (2.78, 1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER). Josh Roenicke walked the bases full in the ninth, then got out of it without a scratch.(2.54, 1 IP, 3 BB).
9/3: Game one of the IL divisional playoffs at Louisville Slugger Field! Matt Maloney pitched much better this time, at least at first- pitted as he was against Bulls phenom David Price. But Durham got back-to-back solo homers off Maloney in the seventh after just one run in the first six innings (L, 6 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 3 HR). Meanwhile Price bent but didn’t break, allowing three hits and three walks through five scoreless innings. The Bulls bullpen hit three Bats batters over the final four innings, but permitted no runs. Carlos Fisher threw two scoreless innings and Todd Coffey one. Durham wins game one, 3-0.
9/4: No Bats bat problems in game two, as Louisville unloaded on three Bulls pitchers (but not ex-Red Calvin Medlock, who threw a perfect inning) for 19 runs and 24 hits. Homer Bailey dominated for six innings, striking out eight (W, 2 H, 1 BB). Josh Roenicke allowed Durham its only three runs in the eighth; final score, 19-3. SS Paul Janish led the hitters by going 4-for-5 with four runs scored, four RBI, and a three-run homer. 2B Danny Richar was also 4-for-5 with four runs scored and two RBI. C Craig Tatum connected for a two-run homer and CF Drew Stubbs, 1B Kevin Barker, and DH Drew T. Anderson each drove in three.
9/5: Rained out.
9/6: Durham’s pitching staff returned to shutting down the Louisville hitters, as the Bats got just three hits and lost 3-2 despite scoring in both the eighth (on a Rosales single) and the ninth (Anderson solo homer). Adam Pettyjohn started and took the loss (L, 6.2 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 HR).
9/7: The Bulls won the series 3-1 by beating on starter Bobby Livingston (L, 4 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) and three relievers in an easy 9-1 victory.
Record: 3-2. Overall: 30-39 second half, fourth place, 11.5 games out. Total 2008 record: 67-72.
8/28: The Lookouts snowed a four-run Huntsville (MIL) top of the first by piling up six of their own in the bottom of the first. Four of those came from 3B Eric Eymann, who hit a grand-slam homer (#8, 3-for-5 overall, .299). In the seventh, CF Chris Heisey broke open a 7-5 game with a grand slam of his own (#2, 3-for-5, .339) and Chattanooga went on to beat the first-place Stars, 11-7. Camilo Vazquez started and won despite a lackluster performance (W 3-3, 6.05, 5 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 5 BB, 4 K).
8/29: James Avery was outdueled by the Stars starter in a 6-2 loss. Avery did okay (L 7-8, 4.89, 6.1 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR) and wrapped up a second year of Double-A with slightly better results than his first (11-10, 5.22). RF BJ Szymanski was 3-for-4 (.236).
8/30: Travis Wood’s wild AA debut stint finishes strong (W 4-9, 7.09, 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR) in Chattanooga’s 5-2 victory. Wood’s numbers may look ugly, but the 21-year-old lefty’s got a lot of promise, so we’ll see if he gets more consistent when he returns to Chattanooga for 2009. Robert Manuel went three for the long save (#3, 1.40, 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K). C Eddy Rodriguez hit a two-run homer (#2). 3B Drew M. Anderson was 2-for-3 with two stolen bases (.257, 4).
8/31: Ramon Geronimo (L 1-2, 3.75, 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER) surrendered a tenth-inning unearned run to give Huntsville a 4-3 win. SS Chris Valaika’s fielding error led to a sacrifice fly. The Lookouts loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning after a walk and a pair of hit-by-pitches, but Eymann popped out and C Chris Denove struck out to end it. Sam Lecure pitched well again (3.42, 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K), finishing an August in which he posted a 1.45 ERA in 37.1 innings over six starts. 2B Justin Turner finished 2-for-3 with a triple, two walks, a RBI, and run scored (.290).
9/1: Chattanooga finishes its season with a win, beating Huntsville 2-1. Pedro Viola struck out eleven Stars over 6.1 innings (W 4-7, 4.48, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB). Joe Valentine got save #4.
Record: 0-4. Overall: 27-41, last place, 21 games behind Dunedin (TOR). Total 2008 record: 60-78.
8/28: Clearwater (PHI) wins, 2-1, beating Zach Stewart (L 0-2, 1.72, BS #1, 1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K) in the top of the ninth. Matt Klinker struck out ten in six shutout innings (5.50, 2 H, 1 BB). DH Yonder Alonso drove in the lone Sarasota run with a single (.200, 2 K).
8/29: Dunedin (TOR) survived four errors, three in the bottom of the ninth, to win 4-3 after Alonso grounded into a force play to end it. Misael DeJesus started and lost (L 5-5, 3.64, 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR). DH Logan Parker collected three hits and two RBI (.316). Alonso finished 1-for-5 with a single (still .200).
8/30: Another Jays win, 7-1. Logan Ondrusek finished a tough year (L 1-7, 4.97, 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER). Jerry Gil, newly-converted pitcher, did throw two scoreless innings in relief (1 H, 2 BB, 2 K). Alonso: 1-for-2 with two walks and RBI (.235).
8/31: The Reds end their year on a whimper, falling 3-0 for their eighth consecutive loss. Alonso did reach base all four times up, singling twice and walking twice (final line: .316/.440/.368, 6-for-19 with five walks and five Ks). Rafael Gonzalez lost (5-12, 6.44, 5.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K). Fellow conversion project Brodie Pullen threw a scoreless inning as well. 23-year-old Terrell Young threw 1.2 more scoreless innings, finishing a great year with a 2.41 ERA for the SaraReds (2.88 between both levels of A ball) in 43 total appearances.
Record: 1-4 (regular season), 2-2 (playoffs). Overall second half: 38-32, second place, six back of South Bend (ARI). Total for 2008: 68-74.
8/28: Enerio Del Rosario dominated the Lansing Lugnuts on five hits in a 2-0 shutout (W 5-2, 1.16 0 BB, 10 K). That’s the first (and only, as it would turn out) Dragons complete game of 2008. LF Brandon Menchaca’s fifth homer supplied one run, while 3B Brandon Waring’s RBI single brought home the other.
8/29: West Michigan (DET) shut Dayton out, 5-0, as the Dragons got only four hits. Curtis Partch started and lost (L 5-11, 5.00, 5.1 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K).
8/30: Juan Rafael gave up way too many walks (six) and too many homers (two), and the Whitecaps pasted him for six earned runs in five innings in a 7-3 win. Rafael (L 3-3, 5.17, 6 H, 4 K) has shown flashes, but tends towards inconsistency like most A-ball pitchers. SS Zach Cozart socked three hits, including a triple (.279).
8/31: The Whitecaps made it three in a row by scoring a run in the top of the tenth off Jeff Jeffords (L 3-6, 3.39, 2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K) to win it 5-4. Starter Luis Montano’s final non-playoff start was passable but not great (4.02, 5 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR). DH Neftali Soto hit homer #7 and C Devin Mesoraco picked up two hits and a RBI (.261).
9/1: Dayton finishes the regular season on a winning note, hanging on to beat West Michigan 5-4. Daniel Guerrero threw just enough at-‘em balls to get the victory (W 2-5, 7.92, 5.2 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 HR) and Aguido Gonzalez got save #6 (1.77, 1.1 IP). Waring got two hits and two RBI (.270) and C Jason Bour smacked homer #7, a two-run blast. Two more hits for Soto left his final A-ball line at .326/.343/.500.
9/2: Off day.
9/3: The Midwest League divisional playoffs begin! The foe is Lansing, again. Ace Jeremy Horst did what aces do, and stymied the Lugnuts on three hits and two walks for 6.2 innings (W, 5 K). Mace Thurman gave up a run but whiffed four, and Jeffords got the last two batters for the save of the 3-1 victory. Soto doubled in two runs in the sixth and RF Denis Phipps got the third one in with a sacrifice fly.
9/4: Up to Lansing for game two, but it didn’t help the Lugnuts- the Dragons torqued ‘em, 7-3, to win the series 2-0! Del Rosario scattered eight hits over seven innings (W, 3 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K), 2B Jake Kahauleilo poked three hits and drove in two, Soto ripped three more, and Cozart hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth for some insurance.
9/5: Off day.
9/6: Rained out.
9/7: The South Bend Silver Hawks (ARI) came to Fifth Third Field to kick off the next round. Three runs in the top of the seventh off Ruben Medina (L, 1.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 ER) snapped a 2-2 tie and led to a 5-2 victory. A throwing error on Mesoraco and then a subsequent miscue on Medina himself aided the rally. Waring hit a solo homer and added a single and Soto knocked in the other run with a hit. Starter Luis Montano allowed two solo homers in five innings, but that was it.
9/8: Rained out.
9/9: The Dragons’ season ends with a 4-3 loss. Dayton jumped to a 3-0 lead after two innings on a Kahauleilo solo homer and a two-run bomb from 1B Michael McKennon, but Horst had one bad inning- a four-run fourth, including a three-run homer courtesy of South Bend’s Colin Cowgill- and that’s all it took (L, 5.2 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HR).
Record: 3-6 (regular season), 0-2 (playoffs) Overall 19-17 second half, first place by percentage points. Total 2008 record: 42-34.
8/28: Great Falls (CHW) flogged the Mustangs, 9-0. Clayton Shunick, who’s struggled badly ever since the first couple of weeks of the season, took the loss (L 1-4, 8.45, 4.1 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 6 K). Evan Hildenbrandt, who was the pitching star of the GCL Reds this year (4-2, 2.67, 11 starts, 56 K in 57.1 IP) allowed two runs in an inning of relief.
8/29: A run in the bottom of the eighth pushes the Voyagers past Billings in a seesaw matchup, 6-5. Loss to Justin Freeman in relief (L 1-2, 4.26, 2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER). Starter Drew Bowman allowed five runs, four earned, on seven hits in five innings (5.79). CF David Sappelt finished 4-for-4 with three runs scored and a solo homer (#6, .302). DH Cody Puckett also homered (#5).
8/30: Billings busts loose for ten runs and nineteen hits, routing Missoula (ARI), 10-3. 2B Alex Buchholz was 4-for-6 with two RBI (.409) and both Puckett (#6, 3-for-5, .314) and Sappelt homered again (#7, 2-for-5, .304). C Kevin Coddington, up from the GCL squad like Hildenbrandt, was 3-for-5 with three runs scored. Jamie Arneson managed the victory despite a shaky outing (W 6-3, 4.72, 5.1 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR).
8/31: Hildenbrandt draws the start and acquits himself well enough (5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR) but the Osprey beat Billings 5-1. 1B Brett Bartles hit a solo homer (#2) for the only Mustangs run.
9/1: Rained out.
9/2: MAKEUP MADNESS! Great Falls bombed Billings in game one, 14-4, although the Mustangs rose from the mat to take the nightcap, 4-1. LF Tony Brown homered in game one (#12). Sappelt was 2-for-3 with two runs scored in game one (.305). RF Byron Wiley drove in two with a double and pair of walks (.336) in game two. Freeman struck out four in two perfect innings to notch the relief win (W 2-2, 4.05), although starter Oscar Castro pitched five solid innings as well (4.14, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K).
9/3: Helena (MIL) outlasted Billings 10-8 in a 13-inning marathon. Josh Beal, normally a one-inning reliever, struck out six in three innings this time (L 1-2, 2.60, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB). Brown was 4-for-6 with two doubles and two RBI (.285). Buchholz added three more hits, one a triple (.405).
9/4: The Brewers tried it again by scoring three in the top of the 13th to take a 5-2 lead, but Billings got four in the bottom of the inning to win it anyway! RF Matt Stiffler’s two-run double was the final blow. Freeman won in relief despite the three runs, all unearned. Arneson started and whiffed nine in five innings (4.65, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB). Dan Zeffiro, Jordan Hotchkiss, and David Torcise then combined for seven innings of scoreless relief.
9/5: Helena nipped the Mustangs 3-2 in the regular-season finale. Alex Buchholz’s 1-for-4 dropped him to .396, sadly. Bowman turned in a quality start (L 2-4, 5.56, 6 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K) and Hildenbrandt threw three shutout innings in relief with four strikeouts.
9/6: Game one of the Pioneer League playoffs against Great Falls ended in a 3-2, 10-inning loss. Mike Bohana took the defeat despite pitching well overall (3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K). Starter Leo Astorga looked great as well (6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 10 K, 1 HR). 1B Mike Konstanty doubled twice and RF Tyler Stovall got two hits and a RBI, but that’s about as much as the bats were able to do.
9/7: Despite their winning both halves of the PL season, Billings exits early after an 8-3 loss. Zeffiro took the loss in relief (2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER) of Castro (3.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 4 K).