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But for the struggling Skychiefs and a Pulaski rainout, it would have been another clean sweep for the Jays' farm system. Also struggling is my computer, which wouldn't access several sites this morning, including and the New-Hampshire Union-Leader. Accordingly, if I've missed any highlights, stories or other aspects of last night's minor-league action, please add them to the thread.

Pawtucket 9 Syracuse 6

Box score

Game story

It just keeps going from bad to worse for the Skychiefs. Mike Smith started and was pounded by the PawSox for 8 runs (6 earned) on 8 hits and 3 walks in 5 innings, striking out 3. Smith's ERA now stands at 6.83, and the end of the line is almost certainly approaching. Remember when Smith and Pasqual Coco were the Blue Jays' best two pitching prospects? Those days are gone and are utterly not missed. Dave Maurer continued his resurgence, firing 3 strong relief innings in which he allowed just 2 hits (one a solo homer) and 1 walk in 3 innings, whiffing 4. Bob File threw a shutout inning at the end.

At least the batters did some damage. Russ Adams was the hitting hero: sandwiched into the #2 spot, he had 3 hits, including his 2nd homer of the campaign, scoring two runs and driving in 2. Adams was able to bat 2nd because newly promoted Anton French led off and swiped his first two bases for Syracuse, which becomes I think his fifty-ninth professional team. Simon Pond collected 3 hits and 2 RBIs out of the cleanup spot, while Gabe Gross doubled and walked twice with an RBI. Guillermo Quiroz went hitless in 4 trips.

**** Hijack by Robert Dudek ****

In honour of Russ Adams's solid performance, here is a great action photo sent to me some time ago by Ed Gonser, Syracuse freelance writer & photographer. This was meant to be part of the Russ Adams interview posted about 3 weeks ago, but it got lost in a hectic shuffle before I went on holidays. My sincerest apologies to Mr. Gonser.

**** End hijack ****

New Hampshire 3 Portland 1

Box score

Game wrap

Chris Baker, who had been getting ripped in Syracuse, continued to establish himself as a vital member of the Fisher Cats' playoff drive. Baker fired 8 innings of 4-hit ball, allowing just 1 run with 1 walk and 4 strikeouts, but didn't get the win. Justin Singleton won the game with a dramatic two-run homer in the 9th inning; Tyrell Godwin had tied it in the 8th with a solo shot of his own. Aaron Hill wrapped up a red-hot July with 2 more hits and a walk. John-Ford Griffin was hitless in 4 trips, while John Hattig went 1-for-4 against his old team and is off to a slow Fisher Cats start at .154.

Dunedin 4 Clearwater 3 (12 innings)

Box score

A marathon effort in Dunedin last night, and an exciting finish. In the top of the 12th, the Threshers pushed across a run against Todd Ozias to take 3-2 lead. In the bottom of the inning, Jason Waugh scored on a single-passed ball-groundout-wild pitch combination, and Vito Chiaravalotti later won the game with a bases-loaded RBI single. Big Vito led the offence with 2 singles and a double, while Jayce Tingler and Manny Mayorson each had 2 singles and a walk. Ryan Roberts cranked his 3rd homer of the season.

On the mound, Chad Pleiness had one of his best outings of the year, throwing 5 1/3 innings of 1-hit ball, surrendering just 2 unearned runs (though his own error contributed to that); however, 3 walks and no strikeouts is not a good sign. Derrek Nunley and Brian Reed combined to throw 5 2/3 innings of shutout relief, with a combined 5 hits, 4 walks and 2 strikeouts (the K's belonged to Reed). The D-Jays are now one game out of the division lead.

Charleston 6 Hagerstown 3

Box score

Game story

The recovery of Kurt Isenberg continues. Back off the disabled list, Isenberg fired 4 shutout innings for the Alley-Cats, allowing only 1 hit and striking out 3; excellent news for the struggling lefty, who left the game with a 5-0 lead. Less excellent was the performance of John Wesley, who followed Isenberg and allowed all 3 Hagerstown runs on 4 hits, striking out 2. Matt Dalton picked up the win with 1 2/3 perfect innings (1 K), and Jordy Templet earned his 2nd save, a 2-inning, 2-hit performance.

The offence was shared equally last night, as every starter in the lineup picked up exactly one hit. Clint Johnston cracked a solo homer, his 11th, while Eric Arnold doubled and drove in 2.

Auburn 11 Aberdeen 1

Box score

Really, now, this is just unfair. The Doubledays are dominating the New York-Penn League and are on pace to shatter last year's franchise record of 56-18. Last night, Auburn put the game away with 8 runs in the first 3 innings and cruised from there. Right fielder Adam Lind had the line of the night, pasting two homers and driving in 6 runs. Third baseman Vinny Esposito doubled twice and singled, while CF Erik Nielsen homered and singled twice. Joey Metropoulous poked his 2nd homer of the season, and Chip Cannon singled twice and scored a run. Curtis Thigpen took the lone oh-fer on the night.

Casey Janssen started and was superb, allowing just 2 hits and 1 walk in 5 1-run innings, striking out 4. Four relievers mopped up with one inning each behind Janssen, who lowered his ERA to 2.21.

Pulaski was rained out. This is the third consecutive minor-league update I've done where the P-Jays were rained out. I must be some sort of evil Appalachian rain god.

Your Three-Star Selection:

The Third Star: Syracuse's Russ Adams, with 3 hits, 1 homer, 2 runs scored and 2 RBIs in the Skychiefs' loss.

The Second Star: New Hampshire's Chris Baker, who threw 8 terrific innings of 1-run ball to lead the Fisher Cats to victory.

The First Star: Auburn's Ryan Lind, with a 2-homer, 6-RBI performance to pace another dominant Auburn win.

Minor-League Update: July 31 | 21 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_NDG - Saturday, July 31 2004 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#47107) #
The First Star: Auburnís Ryan Lind, with a 2-homer, 6-RBI performance to pace another dominant Auburn win.

Is everyone on this site now required to go by the name of Ryan? Was there a vote?
_Ryan NDG - Saturday, July 31 2004 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#47108) #
What's nice about what's going on in Auburn is the recent hitting of Metropoulous, Lind and Mangioni, who are each doing well and are quite young. This should make the 'upside group' at DaBox quite happy.
_Thomas M - Saturday, July 31 2004 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#47109) #
Nickname proposal for Metropoulus: Greek God of Homer
_Ryan Emerald - Saturday, July 31 2004 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#47110) #
It looks like after that great start that Thigpen is in a huge slump.
I wonder if it's just a slump or if he's fallen back to Earth.
Probably a slump would be my guess.
_R Billie - Saturday, July 31 2004 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#47111) #
Hattig has 8 strikeouts and just two hits in his first 13 at bats with New Hampshire. Pretty ugly, striking out in more than half of his at bats even if they haven't been many.

Here's an interesting take on Hattig from BA's Trade Central:

The 24-year-old switch-hitter has started to make progress the last two years after taking his conditioning more seriously. He has a good swing from both sides of the plate as well as emerging power, and the Red Sox envisioned him taking a Brian Daubach-like career path. Hattig missed time with back spasms earlier this year but pounded the ball when healthy, hitting .295/.411/.519 with 12 homers and 35 RBIs in 75 games at Double-A Portland. He must continue to watch his weight at 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds, and his lack of first-step quickness may eventually force him to move to first base. Hattig is a career .280/.365/.396 hitter with 28 homers and 241 RBIs in 486 minor league games.

Of particular interest is the improved conditioning suggesting his uptick in power and performance probably hasn't been a fluke. Now all he has to do is stop striking out in a Fishercats uniform.
_Ryan Jonny Germ - Saturday, July 31 2004 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#47112) #
New Hampshire's playoff chances got a huge boost yesterday with the meltdown of the New York Mets front office. The Fisher Cats are currently tied for first with the Binghampton Mets, who lost two of their top three starters in Ryan Scott Kazmir and Ryan Matt Peterson.
_Ryan Rob - Saturday, July 31 2004 @ 01:37 PM EDT (#47113) #
Here's a Union-Leader story: Fisher Cats land at home in first place.
_Ryan Rob - Saturday, July 31 2004 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#47114) #
And, here's the Game Story: Singleton homer wins it for Fisher Cats.
Mike Green - Saturday, July 31 2004 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#47115) #
Robert and Gerry, the comparison has been made between Russ Adams and Walt Weiss. Is it a trick of the camera, or is Adams a substantially bigger guy? It looks like he could generate some pop with those legs. Not that he's in Greg Luzinski territory, but he doesn't look like your Punch and Judy infielder.
Coach - Saturday, July 31 2004 @ 01:42 PM EDT (#47116) #
Good point, Ryan Jonny. Even though Gus Chacin outduelled Kazmir two starts back, it's always nice when your main rival loses two studs down the stretch. The shock of the Mets gutting their system for no apparent reason was so great, I hadn't even thought of the implications for the F-Cats.

Kazmir's probably headed to Durham, as the Rays are already making noises about calling him up this year, but he's gone from the EL. Peterson may end up helping Altoona clinch the Southern Division, and they will be a formidable playoff opponent. Either way, there's less joy among Binghampton fans than there is in Mudville, or at Shea.
Mike Green - Saturday, July 31 2004 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#47117) #
The Mikes stand firm against insidious Ryanism.

NH roster is down to 22 after the promotion of French. I wonder if one of the Dunedin outfielders might be promoted shortly. With Davenport, Negron, Tingler and Medina (and Waugh, who's likely to stay put), there are lots of choices.
robertdudek - Saturday, July 31 2004 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#47118) #
Adams is roughly 6 foot or perhaps a half-inch shorter. He has a lean, athletic frame, but he is not Alex Rios skinny. I seem to recall Weiss being a good deal smaller than that.
_R Billie - Saturday, July 31 2004 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#47119) #
Adams still has power upside despite the flak he sometimes gets. When I say power upside I don't mean 20 homeruns, just more than he has now. Maybe double digits. Catalanatto type power. He does look like a consistent 40 doubles guy though, especially when he gets to the Skydome turf.

Judging from that picture he may be taking full swings more often. I don't recall him having such a big follow through from video I saw of him in college and spring training. If he does hit the ball in the air the other way (and most lefties tend to do so) then maybe he can up his average by making an adjustment to hit on the ground the opposite way.
_Ryan Craig B - Saturday, July 31 2004 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#47120) #
Nickname proposal for Metropoulus: Greek God of Homer

How about Ryan Metropoulos?

As for Hattig, he's roughly Eric Hinske's size from the sounds of things. My main concern with Hattig would be his frame : he is Guamese, and in my experience Micronesians have a tendency (only a tendency, but a tendency nonetheless) towards weigfht problems.
robertdudek - Saturday, July 31 2004 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#47121) #
Do the Jays now get points with the Toronto Star for acquiring a Pacific Islander?
Mike Green - Saturday, July 31 2004 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#47122) #
Weiss was 6', 175 lbs., according to BR. Adams is 6'1", 180, according to That latter figure might be out-of-date.
_Ryan Jordan - Saturday, July 31 2004 @ 05:14 PM EDT (#47123) #
See, I'm taking anti-inflammatories for a muscle strain in my back, and I'm not getting much sleep, and I wrote this update bereft of coffee, and those are my excuses, and I'm sticking to them.

My apologies to Adam Lind, who is not in fact named Ryan. My apologies also to Todd Ozias, since it was actually Tommi Ozuna who gave up the go-ahead run and vultured the win. At least I didn't call him Ryan Ozuna.

I'm going to back to bed now.
_Sneeps - Saturday, July 31 2004 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#47124) #
Metropolous Prime.
_Thomas M - Saturday, July 31 2004 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#47125) #
How about Ryan Metropoulus?

Well great Battersboxichy first name, the surname is just a tad too uncommon for my taste.

I have been reading this site for a year or so and being German it is the place place for me to get information of our Jays. Thanks to everyone, you helped me alot to get interested in baseball again,
Coach - Saturday, July 31 2004 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#47126) #
Thank you, Thomas.

Great news from Manchester tonight. Gustavo Chacin improved to a league-leading 12-2 winning his 8th straight decision, and -- responding to R Billie's encouragement -- John Hattig hit two homers and an RBI single against his former teammates. The final was 8-1 for your first-place Fisher Cats, in front of another packed house.
_R Billie - Sunday, August 01 2004 @ 12:49 AM EDT (#47127) #
I saw that Coach, definately good to Hattig break out and with power against his former team to boot. He also drew a walk and didn't strike out on the night.

And Aaron Hill continues to be on fire for the Fishercats down the stretch going 3 for 3 with 2 doubles and a couple of RBI. His average is back up to .288, where it was in mid-June before he took a tumble down to .260. Chacin may be creating a difficult 40-man roster decision for the team. Great stuff from the AA team lately.
Minor-League Update: July 31 | 21 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.