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Syracuse wins big to get out of last place, while Pulaski wins big to finish the Rookie season. Charleston wins, New Hampshire is rained out. Auburn lets one slip away in the rain, while Dunedin loses to the Evil Empire.

Syracuse 10 @ Buffalo 5

A satisfying night for the SkyChiefs as they not only took it to the runaway division leaders, they escaped the cellar thanks to another loss for the Ottawa Lynx. Glenn Williams continued his hot hitting with 4 safeties, including a double, while Russ Adams had three hits. Eric Crozier singled and walked twice, Guillermo Quiroz slapped a single and drew a one-pitch free pass, and Jorge Sequea was held to a single in 5 trips.

Starting pitcher Josue Matos was knocked around but receipted for the W thanks to the prolific offence. Jesus Sanchez turned in 3-1/3 shutout innings in relief, and Talley Haines saved the day, coming on in the bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded and 1 out and inducing a ground ball for a 5-3 double play.

Boxscore - Recap - Post-Standard

Norwich @ New Hampshire - Postponed

The Navigators and Fisher Cats were rained out. They’ll play a double-header tonight to make it up.

Dunedin 2 @ Tampa 4

Unfortunately no boxscore for this game is available at this time. This short recap from tells us that Ron Davenport doubled and collected both Blue Jay RBIs, while Manny Mayorson had 2 of the team’s 5 hits. Shaun Marcum started and it appears he did not fare especially well, as Tampa collected 12 hits for the game.

Lexington 2 @ Charleston 5

A sterling outing for Danny Core, as he shut down the Legends on 3 hits and 2 walks over 6 innings, whiffing 9. Core’s season line is now 10-8, a 3.37 ERA in 152 innings, 135 hits, 50 BB, 127 K, 15 HR. When people talk of the impressive depth of pitching in the Blue Jay system, they’re talking about guys like Dan Core.

The hitting in this game was furnished mostly by 2B Jermy Acey (3 singles), RF Rod Medina (single and double), and 3B Willie Rivera (single and homer). The Alley Cats took advantage of 3 Lexington errors, and reliever Brad Mumma committed one for the home team.

Boxscore -

Auburn 5 @ Oneonta 6 (8 innings)

A most untimely suspension due to rain for the Doubledays, as they had runners on the corners and 1 out in the 8th inning when the clouds let loose. A rare poor start from Casey McKenzie (2-1/3, 3 earned runs of 5 total on 7 hits) was followed by strong relief pitching from Scott Roy and Derek Tate while the Auburn offence battled back. DH Chip Cannon hit two singles while C David Corrente had a single and a double. CF Eric Nielsen, SS Ryan Klosterman, and 1B Joey Big City Metropoulos all added doubles.

Recap & Boxscore - The Citizen

Greeneville 0 @ Pulaski 13

The Pulaski Blue Jays won’t be going to the playoffs but they finished the season with a bang, trouncing the Appalachian League’s West Division champions. The P-Jays end up at 40 – 27 in the East Division, just 1-1/2 games behind the Danville Braves.

The game featured a masterful 5 innings from Chi Cheng, who struck out 8 while allowing just 3 singles and a solitary walk. He was capably relieved by the bullpen trio of Eddie Cannon, Bryan Gale, and Daryl Harang, who struck out another 7 batters while walking 2 and conceding just one base knock.

It was a Power & Patience offence, with 4 extra-base hits to complement 8 walks and 6 singles. 3B Tony Garibaldi led the charge with a homer and a single for 4 RBIs. SS Manny Sena and 2B Graig Badger chipped in with 2 singles each; C Josh Lex and LF Lucky Luke Hetherington with 3 walks apiece; RF Jon Ashford homered.

Boxscore -

Three-Star Selection!

The Third Star: Glenn Williams, Syracuse. 5 bases on 4 hits.

The Second Star: Chi Hung Cheng, Pulaski. 5 shutout innings featuring 4 baserunners and 8 Ks.

The First Star: Danny Core, Charleston. 6 shutout innings featuring 5 baserunners and 9 Ks.

Minor League Update: August 31 | 18 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Marc - Tuesday, August 31 2004 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#38160) #
Lefty Ben Harrison finishes up the season in Pulaski with a really interesting line.

0.00 ERA in four games (he has battled injuries). He pitched three and a third innings and of the 10 batters he got out, he struck out nine of them! Unfortunately he also allowed four hits and four walks, which equates to a terrible 2.42 WHIP.

My vote for the top 3 Pulaski players this season are:
1. C.H. Cheng
2. Yuber Rodriguez
3. Jordan Timm
_Jordan - Tuesday, August 31 2004 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#38161) #
Interesting to see where the Pulaskians rank on the overall Appalachian League leaderboard (COMN). Yuber Rodriquez finished 2nd in RBI (big deal), 2nd in hits (75), 1st in triples (6), T3rd in extra-base hits (27), and T3rd in runs scored. The only other P-Jay on the offensive leaderboard was Charlie Anderson and his 2nd-place .429 OBP. Considering that Pulaski led the league (by far) in runs scored and walks, and was 3rd in BA and homers, it really was a team effort. I think Rodriquez is unquestionably the team MVP, but Anderson's numbers were very good too.
Craig B - Tuesday, August 31 2004 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#38162) #
1B Joey "Big City" Metropoulos

Awesome nickname.
_Jordan - Tuesday, August 31 2004 @ 12:32 PM EDT (#38163) #
Now I'm reconsidering:

151 AB, 37 R, .311/.429/.523, 14 2B, 0 3B, 6 HR, 20 RBI, 29 BB, 39 K, 0 SB, 0 CS
245 AB, 49 R, .306/.394/.506, 13 2B, 6 3B, 8 HR, 50 RB, 28 BB, 70 K, 9 SB, 3 CS

MVP is a closer race than I thought. From a developmental point of view, however, Rodriquez is two years younger and more promising.
Craig B - Tuesday, August 31 2004 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#38164) #
My "MVP Ballot" for Pulaski...

1. Yuber Rodriguez
2. Jordan Timm
3. Nick Thomas
4. Chi-Hung Cheng
5. Charlie Anderson
_Jonny German - Tuesday, August 31 2004 @ 01:06 PM EDT (#38165) #
1B Joey "Big City" Metropoulos

Awesome nickname.

Credit where it's due - Mike Green coined that one.

Rodriquez has really become an interesting prospect this year. Signed as a 17 year old out of Venezuela in November 2000, he spent 2001 in the Dominican summer league and stole a bunch of bases at a good rate but didn't hit a lick. In 2002 he went to the Venezuelan summer league and hit an empty .272, maintaining the speed. He pretty much repeated that performance last year in Pulaski, except that he ran not at all. This year he's really stepped it up, as seen in the line Jordan quoted above.

Next year will be his age 21 season. I wonder if he'll skip Auburn and start at Charleston.
_#2JBrumfield - Tuesday, August 31 2004 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#38166) #
As Tom Cheek likes to say from time to time - "A day late and a dollar short". The parent club had the day off and I didn't have time to check out the Batters Box yesterday but here's a minor league report from the week-end.

My lady and I were in Batavia Saturday to get our first look at the Auburn Doubledays at Dwyer Stadium. Much like my first time seeing the Jays and Phillies affiliates do battle (Dunedin vs. Clearwater), it was the underdog Phillies club that came out on top of the heavily favoured Jays team (Maybe it's payback for the '93 World Series!). And the starting pitcher in both cases picked up his first win of the year. I sure can pick 'em!

Anyways, Chris Leonard got the start on the hill for Auburn while J.A. Happ got the call for Batavia in a match-up of lefties. Leonard came into the game 2-0 vs. Batavia while Happ, according to the Batavia game notes, was coming off an injury and hoping to go at least 4 innings.

After Auburn went 1-2-3 in the top of the 1st, Batavia got a one out single from John Hardy and he stole second uncontested. Leonard appeared to have gotten out of the inning when SS Ryan Klosterman fired to first for what should've been the final out but Joey Metropolous dropped the ball and Hardy, with some good aggressive base running, beat out Metropolous' throw to first to put Batavia up 1-0.

Auburn was retired quickly in the top of the 2nd and Batavia added another run on a homer by Ryan Frith (meaning free tacos at Taco Bell!) to make it 2-0 Batavia after 2 innings.

Then Auburn finally got its first hit on a 1-out single by Jason Armstrong. David Corrente singled to move Armstrong to second and he was brought home on an RBI single by lead-off man Aaron Matthews. With runners on 1st and 2nd, it appeared to look like the Doubledays were on the verge of getting to the starter Happ. Ryan Klosterman almost snuck a bouncing ball through the right side of the infield but Greg Isaacson, the 2nd baseman, was able to get to it and threw to the pitcher covering for the 2nd out. Then Brian Hall struck out to strand runners at 2nd and 3rd.

That was as close as Auburn got. Batavia pounded Leonard with a bat-around inning as the first 5 batters came in to score to make it 7-1 Muckdogs. Doubledays left fielder Eric Nielsen got plent of exercise as 4 of the run scoring hits were sent to left field. The other run came home as the result of a wild pitch. Leonard finished the inning but he was done after 3 innings, giving up 7 runs (6 earned).

The Doubledays tried to get something going in the 4th as Curtis Thigpen led off with a single but he was erased on a fielder's choice as he was tagged out by 2nd baseman Greg Isaacson but not before bearing the full brunt of a collison with Thigpen (think Delgado running into Mientkiewicz). Afterwards, Jared Mangioni singled but Joey Metropolous killed the rally by grounding into a DP.

Chris Neylan came on in relief of Chris Leonard in the 4th and allowed the first 2 runners to get on board on a single and walk, but rallied to retire the side.

In the 5th, much like the 4th, the D-Days tried to get something cooking. David Corrente drew a one out walk and Aaron Matthews was plunked by a pitch, but Ryan Klosterman grounded into another rally-killing DP.

In the bottom half of the 5th, Chris Neylan retired only 1 of the 3 hitters he faced and that led to Juan Perez being called in from the pen. He would strike out the first batter he faced but then allowed the 2 inherited runners to score on a 2-run double by lead-off Sean Gamble.

In the 6th, Auburn got 2 more hits on singles by Curtis Thigpen and Jared Mangioni but did nothing with them as reliever Ken Rose, taking for over for J.A. Happ, got out of the jam.

Nothing of note happened until the 8th when Auburn greeted reliever Mike Mihalik with a home run over the right field wall, courtesy of Vincent Esposito. It was a nice poke, you knew it was gone from contact. Esposito had just come into the game at 3rd base, moving Jason Armstrong to short and Ryan Klosterman on the bench.

That put Auburn within a converted TD at 9-2 but Batavia would add a safety in the top of the 9th on a 2 run triple by Greg Isaacson off Kyle Yates. Yates took over for Juan Perez, who went 2 2/3 scoreless innings but did allow 2 inherited runners to score.

Auburn's bats finally woke in the 9th when Joey Metropolous doubled and Jason Armstong singled to put runners on the corners. A passed ball scored Metropolous but Gooby Gerlits (love that name!) and Aaron Matthews both went down swinging. Just when it appears Auburn was going to add to its LOB collection, Vincent Esposito walked and Greg Powers - a mid game replacement for 2B Brian Hall - tripled to centre to score Armstrong and Esposito. But Powers would be stranded at 3rd as Curtis Thigpen struck out swinging to end the game, making the final 11-5 Batavia.

Metropolous' 1st inning error really set the tone in this one for Auburn but Chris Leonard did not look sharp. He's no flamethrower and his delivery seemed to be in slow motion. I'm no pitching coach but that was just my impression. He wasn't fooling anybody, especially in that 5 run third inning. The two players who impressed me from Batavia was lead-off man Sean Gamble, 2 doubles and 2 walks in 5 plate appearances. Starter J.A. Happ looked pretty good, going 5 innings and seemed to be throwing pretty hard if you go by the sound of the glove. Not bad for someone coming off an injury.

Anyways, my three stars for the Doubledays......

1. Vincent Esposito: 1-1, HR, BB - gave the few Auburn fans something to cheer about with a majestic poke over the wall in right field
2. Greg Powers: 2-3, 2 run triple - made the score a bit more respectable
3. Jason Armstrong 2-4, 2 runs scored - also wears my favourite number!!

Honourable mentions - Curtis Thigpen 2-5 with a memorable collision with the Batavia 2B, Jared Mangioni 2-4, Juan Perez 2 2/3 scoreless innings, 4 K's

Dwyer Stadium's a nice little park, it's serviceable but remember to bring seat cushions unless your rear end is made of granite. Pontillo's restaruant on Main Street, not far from the park, is also a good place to eat after the game. Lots of food and fairly cheap too.


Our final stop was Buffalo on Sunday to witness another senseless beating of a Jays farm club, this one turned in by the IL North Division champion Buffalo Bisons (which the PA announcer loved to keep pointing out on every occasion it seemed!).

The Skychiefs got off to a great start in this one as Anton French singled to centre and Russ Adams drew a walk. Then the "Thunder from Down Under" Glen Williams poked a 3 run homer off Bisons starter Kyle Denney to give Syracuse a 3-0 lead. Williams basically hit a laser beam over the wall, a lined shot you could hang your laundry on. But that was it for the Syracuse offence on this day. In the top of the 2nd, Jorge Sequea picked up a 2 out single but was cut down at 2nd trying to stretch it into a double on a nice throw by RF Nate Grindell for a 9-6 put-out.

Meantime, on the mound, Cameron Reimers got the start for the Skychiefs. He pitched a scoreless 1st, giving up one hit but ran into trouble in the 2nd by giving up 2 singles to Josh Bard and Nate Grindell. But Russ Adams made a nice play to range far to his right to throw out Bard at 3rd for the fielder's choice. Then Reimers induced a 4-6-3 DP to get out of the inning.

Save for a 2 out single to centre from Russ Adams in the top of the 3rd, the Skychiefs did nothing. In the bottom of the 3rd, Reimers luck would run out. An error by Eric Crozier put the lead-off man Jason Cooper aboard. Crozier dove to his left and I don't know if he thought it was a foul ball but he lost the handle on the ball and threw late to Reimers covering the bag. It was a tough play but one that should've been made. Reimers then plunked Jason Tyner with a pitch and both runners advanced on a Jhonny Peralta ground out. Then stepped former Jay Sandy Martinez to the plate. The stat on the scoreboard read that Martinez smacked 8 of his 16 homers on the season vs. Syracuse. As if on cue, Martinez made it 9 of 17 as he drilled one out to centre to tie the game at 3-3. I sure don't remember Martinez being a masher of great reknown when he was in Toronto!! Josh Bard then draw a walk but Russ Adams made a nice play to end the inning and saved Glenn Williams an error. Williams failed to handle a grounder at 3rd from Nate Grindell but Adams was able to react and force Bard at second for an unconventional 5-6-4 fielder's choice.

In the top of the 4th, Anthony Sanders reached on catcher's infeterence but he was erased on an inning ending double play off the bat of Simon Pond. Reimers worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the 4th and then Syracuse appeared poised to take the lead in the 5th.

Jorge Sequea was succesful in squeezing out an extra base or two this time around when he tripled with 1 out. But Anton French grounded out to 2nd with the infield drawn in and Eric Crozier would fly out to left to strand Seqeua.

Then Reimers endured an "ugly, but could've been a hell of a lot worse" 5th inning. Brandon Phillips led off the inning with a single and Reimers balked him to 2nd. Jason Tyner wanted to sacrifice himself by laying down a bunt but Reimers turned him down, and wound up walking him. Reimers then caught a break as Jhonny Peralta lined out to 2B Howie Clark, who doubled off Phillips at 2nd. But Reimers wanted to continue his charity to Jason Tyner by balking him to 2nd. Reimers was clearly thrown off his game at this point. In an attempt to give Sandy Martinez an intentional pass, visions of Terry Adams came to mind as he sailed one over Guillermo Quiroz's head to advance Tyner to third. But Reimers did wind up completing the intentional pass to Martinez. The Bisons then took the lead as Josh Bard bounced one through on the right side just past Howie Clark to score Tyner and give the Bisons the 4-3 lead. Reimers' adventure would continue as Guillermo Quiroz contributed a passed ball to the cause to move a pair of runners up to 2nd and 3rd. But Reimers escaped the inning by getting a fly ball out to centre out of Nate Grindell to mercifully end the inning.

Just to recap that half-inning, we had 2 hits, 2 walks (one IBB), 2 balks, a wild pitch, and a passed ball - and all the IL North Division champion Bisons could get was 1 run!!! Why baseball doesn't make sense, example #456,783,322.

The Skychiefs did nothing in the top of the 6th to take advantage. Reimers had more trouble to navigate through in the bottom half of the inning. He plunked Corey Smith with a pitch and then erased him on a double play. Then he gave up a single and stolen base to Jason Cooper but got Brandon Phillips out swinging with 3 straight sliders.

Then the IL North Division champion Bisons pulled away with a 7 spot in the 7th. Hindsight is 20/20 but I thought Reimers should've been pulled after 6 but Marty Pevey elected for him to start the 7th. Reimers only lasted 3 batters in the frame, leaving after Sandy Martinez RBI single made it 5-3. Then Aquilino Lopez came on in relief but it would only get worse. He gave up 4 hits, including a
2 run homer by Nate Grindell, a 2 run single by Dusty Wathan, and then to top it all off - a 2 run homer by Jason Cooper. Hard to believe this was the same Aquilino Lopez who saved 14 games for the big club last year. After this performance, it wouldn't surprise me if he'll be looking for work elsewhere next season.

There was one positive of sorts for Syracuse, Adam Peterson worked a 1-2-3 8th inning, striking out Sandy Martinez. According to the radar gun, his fastball came in at 93-95 and the slider was about 83-85 if I recall correctly. The one nice thing about Dunn Tire Park is the radar gun also identifies the pitch as well.

Other than a couple of singles by pinch-hitter Chad Hermansen (pinch hitting for Russ Adams in the 9th) and Anthony Sanders, that was it for Syracuse as they lost 11-3 to the IL North Divison Champion Buffalo Bisons (sorry, this has been drilled into my head now!).

Three stars for Syracuse

1. Glenn Williams: 1-4, 3 run HR - accounted for all of the Syracuse offence
2. Jorge Sequea: 2-3, triple, single
3. Adam Peterson (have to nominate 1 pitcher here!) - pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning including 1 K

The boxscore doesn't indicate that Chad Hermansen pinch hit for Russ Adams to lead off the 9th so Chad may have been ripped off of a single here. So Adams was really 1-2 on the day with a walk instead of 2-3. Still, Adams had a decent day, he made the plays he was supposed on the day and saved Glenn Williams an error as noted earlier. Reimers was around 88-90 on the radar gun, but seemed to have his slider working later in his outing, as evidenced on the Brandon Phillips at-bat when he struck out on 3 straight sliders in the 6th. It was not the best of starts for Reimers but he kept the Skychiefs in the game after 6 and really should've been done at that point. He was basically in trouble all day.

As far as Dunn Tire Park goes, it was my second time there and my first time seeing the big video board. Maybe it's just me but they don't belong at minor league parks. I did like the radar gun though. Not a bad park but it's no Frontier Field.
_Nigel - Tuesday, August 31 2004 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#38167) #
Great summaries. Any thoughts on Leonard?
_Anthony - Tuesday, August 31 2004 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#38168) #
The Dunedin Box Score is now available. Tingler and Mayorson scored the two runs. After advancing to 2nd and 3rd on a Wild Pitch they both scored on the Double by Davenport. For Davenport it was his 38th double of the season, which further improves his Dunedin doubles record.
_Jonny German - Tuesday, August 31 2004 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#38169) #
Thanks, Anthony.

Shaun Marcum had an interesting start, allowing 9 hits over 5 innings but limiting the damage to 3 runs by striking out 6 and walking no one. Chad Pleiness and Felix Romero pitched the final 3 innings, striking out 4 more and also walking none.

COMN for the boxscore.
_#2JBrumfield - Tuesday, August 31 2004 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#38170) #
One other point from the Syracuse game, a bad call by the umpire on Jason Cooper's stolen base in the 7th. Quiroz's throw was there in time and Howie Clark slapped the tag down on his foot before he reached the base but the umpire called him safe. That brought Marty Pevey out of the dug-out. He had a busy day with the umps after arguing the balk calls against Reimers. Quiroz had a hitless day at the plate and a passed ball but he should've been credited with gunning down one runner at 2nd.
Coach - Tuesday, August 31 2004 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#38171) #
Thanks for the details, #2JB, especially the confirmation that Thigpen is a keeper.

I hope that a few P-Jays "skip Auburn" and play full-season ball next year -- all of Craig's top five, unless it's decided that Cheng would benefit more from extended spring training. If anyone finds Charleston too tough, they can drop back down to the NYPL in June.
_NIck - Tuesday, August 31 2004 @ 08:23 PM EDT (#38172) #
Syracuse up on Buffalo 2-0 after 4. Smith is criusing so far, allowed only 2 hits.
_NIck - Tuesday, August 31 2004 @ 08:34 PM EDT (#38173) #
Bisons go 1-2-3 in the 5th, still 2-0 Syracuse.
_NIck - Tuesday, August 31 2004 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#38174) #
Tough night for Mike Smith...shut out Buffalo on 3 hits through 7, left 2 men on base in the 8th. Both promptly scored courtesy of Nakamura to tie it at 2. Syracuse has hit into 3 dp's tonight. A nice effort wasted, too bad.
_Peter - Tuesday, August 31 2004 @ 10:52 PM EDT (#38175) #
That is the third consecutive quality start for Smith. I saw the one in Ottawa and he looked much more confident and in control than earlier in the year. I wonder if it is time to give him one last look at the major league level as he is likely out of options come next year. He may well pitch in a big league bullpen some year. Just don't know if it will be in TO.
_Matthew - Wednesday, September 01 2004 @ 08:42 AM EDT (#38176) #
Brian Grant and Chi Cheng got sent up to Auburn to finish the season.
_Ryan01 - Wednesday, September 01 2004 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#38177) #
Mike Smith was outrighted at the end of last season so he'll still have at least one more option year after remaining. (ie he didn't use an option this year since he wasn't on the 40 man roster.) He's not a six-year free agent for another couple years and he should be pretty safe in the rule 5 draft. We may yet see him back in TO someday.
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