Made it just in time!
Record This Week: 3-4.
Overall: 21-25, third place, three games behind Columbus (CLE).
5/21: Louisville tries to break its long losing streak by hosting Syracuse (TOR) at Mugga Slugga Field. Adam Pettyjohn, Thankless Utility Pitcher (he and Justin Mallett could form their own tag team), to the hill. The Skychiefs nickel ‘n dime him for nine hits, one a two-run homer by ex-Braves prospect Ryan Langerhans, and four runs (three earned) in six innings (L 0-5, 4.74, 0 BB, 4 K). Federico Baez came on for his Bats debut and served up a bases-loaded single with two outs (0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB) before Jeff Kennard came on to get out of the inning. Meanwhile, the Bats had two more errors (RF Jonny Gomes #3- news flash: he can’t field very well- and SS Luis Bolivar) and had just two runs through six. 3B Wilkin Castillo, an interesting presence in the leadoff slot today, doubled home Bolivar for one (following that CF Drew Stubbs singled, but Wilkin was thrown out at the plate). Louisville executed a fundamentally flawless one-run strategy in the sixth (SWEETBALLLLLL) when pinch-hitter Michael Griffin doubled, went to third on Castillo’s sacrifice bunt and scored on Stubbs’ sacrifice fly. Of course, the Bats were trailing 4-1 at the time, so it wasn’t quite as exciting or useful as it might have been. The Skychiefs loaded the bases on Kennard in the eighth, but he held them to one run after a strikeout, a sacrifice fly and a flyout (3.38, 2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K). 7-2 going to the final two Bats bats. Only a Bolivar single dented the eighth. Stubbs led off the ninth by lining a base hit (2-for-3, .316) in front of erstwhile Skychief CF Corey Patterson (hitting .205 in 88 at-bats so far in 2009). Pinch-hitter Brian Peterson struck out. Jonny Gomes walked, but Wes Bankston struck out. This left it up to Danny Richar to hit the game-tying five-run homer. He wasn’t able to get that done, but he did poke a single to center, scoring Stubbs and Gomes. He also took second on Patterson’s error! So up steps C Craig Tatum, who ended the game with a popup to second. Bats lose again, 7-4.
5/22: BATS WIN! Two clutch runs in the bottom of the eighth overturned a 1-0 deficit and pushed Louisville to sweet victory, 2-1. Richar led off that inning with a double, moved to third on Bolivar’s infield hit, and scored on pinch-hitter Mike Griffin’s sacrifice fly. Norris Hopper, back from the DL, grounded out to move Bolivar to second. Stubbs scratched a hit off a roller to the mound, then Syracuse hurler Preston Larrison uncorked what would turn out to be a game-losing wild pitch. Josh Roenicke struck out the first two men he faced, allowed back-to-back singles (one to the dastardly Patterson), then got the last man on a grounder to second to lock down save #4 (4.70). Robert Manuel (W 2-1, 3.13, 1 IP, 2 H, 1 K) got the victory with a scoreless eighth. Matt Maloney threw seven brilliant innings (2.28, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K). Stubbs finished 1-for-2 with two walks and stolen base #15 (also caught-stealing #4). LF Danny Dorn, still on the interstate at the plate, cut down a runner at the plate in the third inning with help from C Wilkin Castillo. On the next play, Castillo then picked a runner off second to end the inning.
5/23: Ben Jukich, who hasn’t been terribly impressive in a mostly-relief role so far in 2009, fired seven innings of two-hit shutout ball as Louisville took a 2-1 lead in the series, 6-0. Jukich threw just 74 pitches in doing so (W 3-1, 4.32, 1 BB, 3 K). Pedro Viola threw the eighth and new promotee Federico Baez the ninth. Dorn was 2-for-4 with homer #5 and two total RBI (.200, HEY-HEY!) and Bolivar hit homer #2.
5/24: The Skychiefs earned a split with a 12-inning, 8-6 win in a game that saw Louisville come back from a 6-0 deficit. A throwing error by Bolivar allowed the bad guys to start their fateful two-run rally off Robert Manuel (L 2-2, 2.77, 3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K). After Sam Lecure’s hittable outing (5.68, 5 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 2 HR), the Bats bullpen pitched six straight innings of scoreless ball before that 12th. Justin Mallett took care of two (0.00, 1 H, 2 K), Kennard the eighth, and Roenicke the ninth. Bolivar did drive in three runs, two on homer #3 in the fourth. 1B Kevin Barker was 3-for-5 with three runs scored, two doubles, a walk, and a RBI.
5/25: Pawtucket (BOS) into L’ville with a boom, as pheenom Clay Buchholz stymied the Bats on one hit and zero walks in a 96-pitch, 3-0 shutout win. The freshly-demoted Ramon Ramirez (L 0-4, 4.80, 6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 2 HR) was okay but no match. New acquisition Justin Lehr (see below) pitched a 1-2-3 ninth. Richar was the only Louisville hitter to get a hit off Buchholz, as he led off the ninth (!) with a single.
5/26: Louisville shows some resilience, blowing an early lead then hanging on to beat the PawSox, 7-5. Adam Pettyjohn Browninged his way into his first ’09 win (W 1-5, 4.35, 6.1 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K). Viola struck out three of five for save #3 (4.50, 1.1 IP, 1 BB). Hopper was the hitting star, going 3-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored. Stubbs was 2-for-4 with a RBI to raise his average to .316.
5/27: The Bats are one-hit for the second time in three games- this time by knuckleballer Charlie Zink and two relievers, 2-0. Zink walked six in 7.1 innings but the only hit Louisville could muster was a Griffin infield single in the fifth. Matt Maloney pitched great again (L 3-3, 2.31, 7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K) but was robbed for the second straight start. Jukich took the eighth and Roenicke the ninth (4.15, 1 K). Stubbs did get two of the six walks issued by Zink along with steal #16.
Moves & Notes: Lots of ‘em this week. (5/22) OF Norris Hopper activated and OF Darnell McDonald DFA’d (he’d clear and accept his assignment on 5/26); RHS Homer Bailey called up by Cincinnati to get mauled by the Indians, RHR Carlos Fisher recalled, and OF Jonny Gomes’ contract purchased. (5/23) RHS Ramon Ramirez demoted back to Louisville. INF Drew Sutton DL’d with dehydration, retroactive to 5/21. RHR Justin Lehr was purchased from Philadelphia. (5/24) UT Wilkin Castillo recalled by Cincinnati and RHS Homer Bailey demoted back to AAA. INF Eric Eymann brought up from Carolina. (5/26) UT Wilkin Castillo demoted from Cincinnati. (5/27) INF Eric Eymann returned to Carolina.
Record This Week: 6-1.
Overall: 22-24, second place, 2.5 games behind Huntsville (MIL).
5/21: Lefty Alex Smit’s Southern League startin’ van der debut! He pitched five innings of four-hit, two-run ball as Carolina beat Chattanooga (LAD), 7-4. Smit (W 1-0, 2.81, 0 BB, 6 K) got strong relief help from Ruben “Funky Cold” Medina (3.18, 2 IP, 1 BB, 4 K) and Derrik Lutz (2.29, 1 IP). Sean Watson gave up two in the ninth (5.40). RF Sean Henry (#3) and C Chris Kroski (#2) homered as everyone in the starting lineup except 2B Eric Eymann had at least one hit.
5/22: Another debut- this time by righty Zach Stewart- another win! Stewart shut out the Lookouts on five hits through seven (W 1-0, 2 BB, 8 K, 103 pitches, 67 strikes) in Carolina’s 4-1 victory. 3B Juan Francisco hit homer #7 (.229, 2-for-5). SS Zach Cozart was 2-for-3 with two RBI (.258) and Stewart himself added a single, double, and run scored.
5/23: A 1-0 Mudcats lead… until the sixth. By the end of 8, it was 10-0. New acquisition Kyle Aselton served up a three-run homer in the ninth to lose the shutout. Travis Wood threw seven shutout frames (W 3-3, 1.38, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 K, 96 pitches, 64 strikes). CF Chris Heisey was 3-for-5 with three runs scored and a three-run homer (#6, .342). Francisco had three singles and three RBI (.240). 2B Jose Castro also popped his first homer and drove in two (2-for-4, .278). Three double plays helped keep Wood’s plate clean.
5/24: Four straight wins over the hapless Eyeballs, this one 7-4. LF Todd Frazier was 3-for-4 with three RBI after missing three games (.297) and Henry was 3-for-5 with homer #4 (.310). That’s .412/.444/.706 (1.150 OPS) over his last 10 games. Heisey was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, two walks, and an outfield assist at home (.348). Jordan Smith got his fourth win with seven innings (4-0, 2.45, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K). Again Watson was scored upon (5.40, 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) but Logan Ondrusek got the last out for save #1, stranding two runners with the tying run at the plate.
5/25: Make that a straight series sweep (on the road no less!), 4-3. It was Zach Cozart’s second homer that broke the eighth-inning tie, but the night belonged to Francisco; he drove in the other three Mudcats runs with a pair of bombs (#8 and #9). According to game reports, one of Juan’s homers bounced off a pressurized water reactor at the Sequoya Nuclear Power Plant near Lookouts Field. Heisey was 3-for-4 with a run scored and steal #9 (.358). James Avery pitched six good innings (2.65, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K). Medina got the win despite a blown save (W 1-2, 3.28, 2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER)and Lutz got save #2 (2.08, 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB).
5/26: Carolina returns to Zebulon to host Montgomery (TB)! This time, RBI singles from Francisco and Frazier in the seventh turned a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 lead that Ondrusek (W 1-0, 0.00, 2 IP, 1 H, 3 K) and Ramon Geronimo (save #3, 5.12, 1 IP, 2 K) made hold up. Six wins in a row, ah ah ah! Smit started and did okay (3.23, 5 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 2 HR, 83 pitches, 56 strikes). Both Francisco and Frazier finished 2-for-4 with two RBI (.251 and .307, respectively). Cozart also had two hits and two runs scored, raising his average to .268.
5/27: Finally the streak ends, as the Mudcats are shut out on two hits, 3-0. Stewart pitched four scoreless (4 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 69 pitches) before giving way to Aselton, who was again bombed and got the loss (L 0-1, 19.89). Watson came on and did well (4.81, 2.2 IP, 1 BB, 1 K, 1-1 inherited runners scored). Heisey got one of the two Carolina hits with a triple and Frazier doubled for the other. Not sure why Stewart came out early; will have updates.
Moves & Notes: RHS Jordan Smith was the Southern League Pitcher of the Week for May 18-24, going 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in 13 IP- he whiffed ten and walked nobody.
(5/21) LHR Kyle Aselton, just released by the White Sox, was signed as a free agent. Aselton, 26 (and a native of Chehalis, WA), was an 11th-round pick in 2004 out of Oregon State University (this was prior to their 2007 College World Series win). Aselton was known for both velocity and wildness, striking out 8.7 batters per nine but walking 5.3 batters as a pro. He ascended as high as Double-A with Minnesota before earning his release following the 2008 season. He had a 15.43 ERA in five games with Birmingham in the White Sox system before being released. The Reds snapped him up within just a couple days of that recent release.
(5/24) 1B-3B Jason Louwsma came up from Sarasota to fill in for Eric Eymann (himself filling in at Louisville). (5/27) RHS James Avery DL’ed (retro to 5/26) with a right forearm strain. (5/27) Louwsma returned to Sarasota. RHP Justin Mallett came back down from Louisville. Eymann also returned from Louisville.
Record This Week: 1-4
Overall: 18-25, fifth place, 10.5 games out.
5/21: Tough, tough loss for Jeremy Horst. He dominated Jupiter (FLA) on three hits over an eight-inning complete game, but his teammates couldn’t score despite eight hits and lost a 1-0 shutout. Horst fell to 2-4 while lowering his ERA to 2.33 (1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K). The only run Jeremy gave up scored on a Mike Stanton sacrifice fly. I swear, that guy is like the Bill Hall of the Florida State League. SS Alex Buchholz was 2-for-2 (.250) and both 1B Yonder Alonso and 3B Neftali Soto continued recent strong stretches with two hits apiece (.285 and .274, respectively).
5/22: Rained out.
5/23: A ray of hope for Jerry Gil, as he got his first victory of 2009 after six straight losses with his best effort yet (W 1-6, 8.23, 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K). The Reds hung on to beat St. Lucie (NYM), 3-2. Enerio Del Rosario set down six straight (1.37, 2 IP, 3 K) and Phil Valiquette got save #5 (1.53, 1 IP, 1 K). RF Denis Phipps drove in two of Sarasota’s runs with a single; Soto brought in the other.
5/24: Alonso slammed homer #6 in the first inning, but that would be the highlight of the game as St. Lucie won easily, 6-1. Travis Webb was feast or famine (L 2-3, 4.43, 4 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 HR).
5/26: Dunedin (TOR) didn’t seem to care that the game was halted after six innings due to rain; they bombed the Reds 10-3. Loss to Luis Montano (L 4-4, 5.79, 2.2 IP, 3 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 3 K). Rafael Gonzalez wasn’t missing any bats either (5.79, 2.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K). LF Carson Kainer was 2-for-3 with a run scored and double (.284).
5/27: Valiquette suffered his first really poor outing of the season, as a pinch-hit two-run homer by Dunedin’s Chris Emanuele pushed the Jays past the Reds, 3-2. DH Tony Brown, up from Dayton, homered for the two Sarasota runs. Jeremy Horst threw seven great innings (2.19, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K) but got nothing to show for it. Valiquette’s ERA rose to 2.41 (L 1-1, BS #1, 1 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K).
Moves & Notes: (5/22) INF Alex Buchholz DL’ed with a left shoulder injury. (5/23) INF Yen-Wen Kuo added from the GCL squad. (5/24) 1B Mike Konstanty added from the Billings roster. 1B Jason Louwsma moved to Carolina. (5/26) Kuo was moved down to Dayton. SS Mariekson Gregorius added to Sarasota from the GCL Reds. LHR Justin Walker moved to Billings. LHR Jesus Carnevales back up from Dayton. (5/27) C Jake Long moved to Billings. 1B Jason Louwsma returned from Carolina.
Record This Week: 5-2. Still getting better!
Overall: 18-28, fifth place, thirteen games back. See ya, cellar!
5/21: Dayton scored five runs in the fourth and cruised past Quad Cities (STL), 8-5. 3B Carlos Mendez and 1B Humberto Sosa were both 3-for-5 with two runs scored (.337 and .248 respectively) and 2B Cody Puckett socked homer #7. SS Miguel Rojas chipped in two hits, two walks, and two RBI (.240). Lance Janke started and won (W 1-1, 2.45, 5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 K). Aguido Gonzalez turned in a 1-2-3 ninth for save #4 (3.66, 2 K).
5/22: A Ferris Bueller first for Dayton- they scored NINE TIMES. That would be all they’d get and all they’d need as the River Bandits were spanked again, 9-5. Puckett, Sosa, and CF Dave Sappelt each drove in two. Juan Carlos Sulbaran got the victory (W 1-0, 3.60, 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 6 K, 1 HR).
5/23: Ace Matt Fairel stymied Burlington (KC) with seven innings of two-hit ball (W 3-2, 2.68, 1 BB, 1 K) in a five-zip shutout. Puckett was 3-for-4 with homer #8 (.286) and Rojas had a two-run triple.
5/24: Burlington got the game’s only run in the first off Josh Ravin (L 1-6, 4.60, 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 5 K). Dayton left eight on base from five singles, a double, and five walks; they had baserunners in every single inning except the third, but three double plays helped squelch any rallies before they began. Drew Bowman (5.16, 2 IP, 1 BB, 1 K) and Scott Gaffney (3.44, 1 IP, 1 H, 2 K) turned in solid relief work.
5/25: The levee broke! Dayton hammered the Bees 12-2, building a 11-0 lead after seven. Puckett led the attack with three hits, three runs, two doubles, and homer #9 (.290). RF Byron Wiley hit a two-run homer in the first (#2). Sappelt was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and stolen base #14 (.286). Curtis Partch threw a one-hitter for five innings (W 3-3, 5.28, 1 BB, 3 K). Royals pheenom hurler Tim Melville took the loss for Burlington.
5/26: Wisconsin (MIL) popped Dayton at 1.667 Field, 7-2. Janke gave up three homers in 5.1 innings (L 1-2, 2.90, 7 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K). Puckett, not to be stopped, lashed three more hits (.301). Check these numbers.
5/27: Another offensive ‘splosion! Seventeen hits propelled the Dragons past the Timber Rattlers, 14-4. Mendez was 4-for-5 with three RBI (.316). Rojas was 3-for-5 with three RBI and his second homer (.235). Sulbaran continues to give up tons of homers, but little else (W 2-0, 3.48, 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 2 HR).
Moves & Notes: (5/21) OF Andrew Means added to the roster; read about him here.
(5/26) INF Jose Gualdron was placed on the DL. INF Yen-Wen Kuo was moved down from Sarasota. LHR Jesus Carnevales ascended to the S-Reds.