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Only one win on the farm, as the bats are unable to take advantage of good pitching. Keep reading for bonus, and double bonus coverage.


Scranton WB 2 Syracuse 1 in 14 innings

Pitching was the name of the game in Syracuse. This was the third start forScott Downs, the first two started well but fell apart in the fourth inning. Not so on Sunday as Downs pitched seven strong innings allowing two hits while recording nine strikeouts. A home run by Ryan Howard, his first of the year, was the only blemish on his record. Jason Arnold, Spike Lundberg and Mike Nannini provided strong relief until Nannini allowed a home run in the fourteenth, Nannini's third inning.

The Chiefs had only nine hits in 14 innings, Aaron Hill had three of them to run his average to .354. Gabe Gross scored the only Chiefs run in the fourth. Gross singled, stole second, and scored on a single by Jason Alfaro. The Chiefs had a chance to tie or win in the bottom of the fourteenth, after Eric Crozier had a lead-off double, but could not get the run home.

New Hampshire 2 Binghamton 4

The Fisher Cats were facing Mets pitcher Brian Bannister, the league leader in ERA and son of former major leaguer Floyd Bannister. Bannister continued his fine pitching holding the Fisher Cats to an unearned run in 5.1 innings. The Fisher Cats allowed an unearned run of their own in the first. A throwing error by Rob Cosby contributed to the run off Fisher Cats starter Ismael Ramirez. In the fifth inning the Mets used two bunt singles and a sacrifice bunt to score a second run. A home run in the seventh made it 3-1. Ramirez pitched 7 innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on seven hits and two walks. Jordan DeJong conceded the fourth run in the eighth inning. The Fisher Cats had only six hits, Mikael Jova had three of them while Carlo Cota scored both runs.

Dunedin - scheduled day off

Lansing 3 Beloit 2

Casey Janssen continued his fine pitching allowing only one run in six innings. Beloit scored the first run of the game in the third on two singles and a sac fly, but Janssen only allowed two hits in the other five innings. Janssen walked one and struck out five. Chip Cannon was the offensive star, hitting a solo home run in the fourth and a two run shot in the sixth. Danny Hill allowed an unearned run in the ninth while earning his fifth save.

Your Three Star Selection

Third star - Scott Downs

Second Star - Casey Janssen

First Star - Chip Cannon 2 home runs

Standings Update

Syracuse record is 6-5. The Chiefs are tied for second, one game back of Scranton.

The Fisher Cats are also 6-5, also tied for second, but are four and a half games behind undefeated Portland.

Dunedin's record is 7-3 which puts them in second place, one game behind Lakeland.

The Lugnuts are 7-3, the only Jays team in first place, by one game.

Bonus Coverage

I saw three Fisher Cat games in Binghamton this week, here are some mini scouting reports on some of the players I saw as well as a picture of opening day, Binghamton style, at the bottom of this report.

Vince Perkins does indeed throw hard, 94-95 mph fastball. Perkins is a big guy, 6'4" or 6'5", with big wide shoulders, see his picture at the bottom of the report. On the day I saw him his off speed stuff was not working but he still had seven strikeouts in six innings. Only one hitter pulled a Perkins fastball in the air, pitching coach Dave LaRoche says that Perkins throws a "heavy ball". I completed an interview with Perkins which should be on Da Box within a week. He is working on some drills, from spring training, to keep his delivery as straight as possible.

Bubbie Buzachero also pitched on Thursday. Bubbie is listed at 5'11" but is more likely either 5'9" or 5'10". Surprisingly Bubbie is not the shortest memebr of the bullpen, Lee Gronkiewicz is about an inch shorter. Bubbie throws a 90 mph fastball with a slider and changeup. The hitters looked like they saw his stuff better than Perkins though, so decption will be something he will need to work on.

Shaun Marcum pitched on Sunday. Marcum is 5'11" or maybe 6'. When Marcum comes out to the mound to start the game and throws you wonder what is he doing, he throws so relaxed that it looks like he is playing catch with the catcher. But that is Marcum's delivery, a short, almost straight leg kick, and a quick 3/4 throw home. Marcum's fastball is 84-88 mph. He also throws a very good changeup that looks just like the fastball and drops late; a sweeping slider, and a curveball. Looking at Marcum pitch you wonder if his "stuff" will work in the major leagues, but as a couple of scouts told me "it will if he keeps getting outs like this." AAA will be a big test for Marcum, when he faces the more experienced hitters. Deception and location will be the keys to his success.

Jamie Vermilyea was as advertised, lots of movement on his pitches, a sinker, a sweeping slider and a cutter for left handed hitters. As with Marcum, his stuff does not blow hitters away, deception and location will also be the key for Jamie.

Miguel Negron is very fast and an excellent centre fielder. In the three games I saw Negron was 1-16, and the one hit was a groundball between first and second. Negron tends to roll over and hit ground balls to second or short or hit flyballs to centre. This is a good spot to talk about the problems with making judgements based on three games. Negron could have been in a "funk" or developed some bad habits that he will cure tomorrow. But for the three games I saw Negron was struggling at the plate.

Carlo Cota is listed at 5'10" but he is more Menechino size, with broad shoulders on his short frame. Cota had good at-bats in the games I saw, with a good eye, recording only one K in ten at-bats. Cota also played a good second base. The only issue I noticed with Cota was that his hits were mainly bloops or soft line drives over the infield, so I wonder about his stength. But a hit is a hit, right?

Raul Tablado returned for his first game of the season on Thursday and his hitting was "off". Tablado's "eye" needs some work and the Mets were working him away with sliders a lot. Tablado hits the ball hard when he makes contact but he needs to make better contact and develop a better eye. Tablado will not be a major league shortstop, he made an error and did not get to a few balls that a major league shortstop should get to. Tablado does have a strong arm.

Vito Chiaravalloti has the most power of any of the younger Fisher Cats. Vito had four doubles in the three games, a couple of which were off the wall. Look for a Vito interview later this week.

Double Bonus Coverage

Gary Cathcart, the Pulaski manager in 2004, is now the hitting coach for the Fisher Cats. I talked to him this week about the 2004 team to get a belated look at the prospects on the Pulaski Blue Jays.

I first asked about Yuber Rodriguez. "As far as tools go, he probably has the most talent of any player at the younger levels, it's going to be up to him how he develops. He needs to develop the mental game, he needs to learn how to hit better, not just go up there and swing, but he is a young guy, just 20 years old, time is on his side. He will be a good centre fielder, he is still learning where to play the hitters, getting good jumps, which base to throw the ball in to."

The most notable pitcher was Chi-Hung Cheng. I asked Gary if Cheng could be compared to a typical crafty lefty? "Cheng is more than tricky, he has 87-88 mph fastball with a little life, and last year, as a 20 year old kid, he had a major league curveball. He has a change up as well and he needs to develop command of that so he can throw it in any count. The problem he had last year was that he was behind in the count too often because he didn't throw his fastball for strikes, which is normal for a young guy. But as he develops command of his fastball, and can use his curveball in any count, if I was a betting man I would bet he would pitch in the big leagues."

David Hicks was one of the better hitters at Pulaski and has started well in 2005. "David Hicks went to Auburn after the draft but wasn't playing very much as we had three first basemen there so I talked with Dick Scott and said I could use another bat, so David came down from Auburn and was as enjoyable a kid to be around as you will find. He has worked hard on his swing, he is good defensively, and he got better at the end of the year. He picked up where he left off in the spring. He is very coachable, the kind of kid you pull for to get better."

Another hitter that Gary mentioned is Luke Hetherington who missed a year due to a vehicle accident. "He has a lot of tools, very strong and fast, hopefully he will get a lot of at-bats this year."

I asked about Brian Grant, a high school pitcher drafted by the Jays. "Brian Grant is in his fourth year, he still needs to make adjustments. He is more talented than where he is, he needs to learn another pitch. He is a fastball change-up guy and they look alike the second or third time through the order. He needs a breaking ball but he is still a young guy."

Gary also talked about Daryl Harang saying he was a lefty who knew how to pitch. Harang was injured at the time of the draft and was brought along slowly in 2004 by the Jays.

Adrian Martin was called up to Dunedin the day we talked. "Martin is a strike throwing machine", said Cathcart. "Sometimes he catches too much of the plate; he has an 88 mph fastball, an overhand curve and a changeup. To succeed in the FSL you need to be able to command your fastball and of all the guys in extended spring training, Martin can command his fastball the best." And Cathcart added,"Rick Langford, the Dunedin pitching coach, will help him with his off speed pitches."

Cannon Fires Twice | 20 comments | Create New Account
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Lugnut Fan - Monday, April 18 2005 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#112375) #
One thing about the Lugnut game in Beloit yesterday. Carlos Silva started on a rehab assignment from Minnesota and pitched five innings. He gave up one run.
Mike Green - Monday, April 18 2005 @ 11:19 AM EDT (#112388) #
Great report, Gerry. I'll save the "Hark, the Cannon roars" joke for another time.

I listened to Marcum's game on Saturday. He seems to have pinpoint control, and in particular, the ability to just miss the strike zone. He is learning how to use that ability. Most reassuringly, he seems to be developing endurance. He is much like Bush, except with even better control, but not quite the same instinctive feel for pitching. He is learning though.

Marcum pitches at a Kaat-like pace, as though he has a mid-afternoon date that he simply cannot be late for.
#2JBrumfield - Monday, April 18 2005 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#112391) #
I had an opportunity to see the Jays top 2 farm clubs in action
over the week-end in New York State. I’ll start with the bad and end off with the good.

Yesterday afternoon, the missus and I saw the SkyChiefs take on the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Red Barons at the newly named Alliance Bank Stadium. On the mound were a couple of former Cubs in Scott Downs for the SkyChiefs and Amaury Telemaco for the Red Barons.

My first look at Scott Downs live was last season with the Montreal Expos when they were at the Dome for the Expos last ever series against the Jays. Toronto really lit him up like a Christmas tree and I don’t think he pitched anywhere above 84 MPH. And after Downs first 2 starts for Syracuse this year, I wasn’t expecting much but he would pleasantly surprise me and show why Mr. Ricciardi picked him up in the off-season. Downs would set the tone early for the kind of day he was going to have by getting the first 2 batters to strike out looking on 85 and 86 MPH offerings on the way to a 1-2-3 inning. Telemaco would also take care of the Skychiefs in the 1st 1-2-3, finishing it by striking out Gabe Gross with an 80 MPH pitch.

In the 2nd, Downs was lit up by Ryan Howard with a no doubt about it solo homer to center field. Chris Coste would then single to centre and then Downs induced a double-play ball from the catcher Carlos Ruiz but SS Aaron Hill booted it so it was 1st and 2nd and nobody out. Then Downs began dealing. He induced another ground ball this time to the right side on the infield from Shane Victorino on an 83 MPH offering and 2B Danny Solano started the 4-6-3 DP. Then Downs got out of the inning by striking out A.J. Hinch on a 85MPH heater. In the bottom half of the inning, the first indication it was not going to be a banner day for the Syracuse offence came when Aaron Hill, in an attempt to make up for his error in the previous half inning, sent a rain maker to the warning track in deep left field, but it stayed in the yard because the wind was not blowing out yet as it died in the glove of LF John Castellano, who would go on to break the SkyChiefs hearts much, much, much later in the game. So the Chiefs went down 1-2-3 in the 2nd..

In the 3rd, Downs had another 3 up, 3 down inning – including a swinging strike out on lead-off man Mark Budzinski on a 76 MPH pitch. He ended the inning with a 10 pitch battle against Anthony Medrano but the Scranton 2nd baseman would line out to SS Aaron Hill to end the inning. In the bottom half, Syracuse got their first base runner on board after Eric Crozier worked a lead-off walk. Ken Huckaby would strike out on an 82 MPH pitch and Danny Solano would line out to left. Anton French beat out an infield single to 1st to send Crozier to 2nd but Amaury Telemaco ended the inning by punching out Bryant Nelson on an 87 MPH heater. To say Nelson would be in for a long day would be an understatement.

In the 4th, Downs would really settle in with another 1-2-3 inning. The highlight was a caught-looking punch out on Ryan Howard to gain revenge for the homer he hit back in the 2nd. Downs stayed with the off-speed stuff, with 4 of the 5 pitches registering in the 70’s, with a 74 MPH pitch to finish off Howard. Then the good guys would tie it up in the 4th as Gabe Gross punched a single to right. Gross would then steal 2nd but in the meantime, John-Ford Griffin struck out on an 83 MPH pitch and Aaron Hill grounded to 3rd. Then Jason Alfaro singled to left to score a hustling Gabe Gross, who beat the throw home with a headfirst slide to tie the game at 1-1. Alfaro went to 2nd on the play. Then, in what turned out to be the first of a few game savers by the Scranton defence, 1B Ryan Howard flagged down a hard smash by Eric Crozier down the right-field line. Howard got up and tossed the ball to the pitcher Telemaco to retire Crozier. That was a huge play, because Alfaro would’ve scored had that ball gone through. I know about Howard’s bat but that was a great defensive play by the big fella.

In the 5th, Scott Downs would continue to cruise along with yet another 3 up, 3 down inning. The last 2 outs were punch-outs, one swinging and the other looking, both on 86MPH fastballs, getting Shane Victorino and A.J. Hinch respectively. The Skychiefs also went down 1-2-3, as Dan Giese, who came in on relief of Telemaco got Anton French looking on a 75 MPH pitch to end the inning. Giese had a funky delivery, there’s not much of a windup at all.

In the 6th, Downs yet again had a 1-2-3 inning, with the highlight being a strike-out of Mark Budzinski on 3 pitches. Downs really did a great job changing speeds, starting off with a 75 MPH called strike and an 84 MPH fastball for another called strike. Then Budzinski went down swinging on a 69 MPH curve. Syracuse tried to get a rally going in the bottom half on a pair of 2-out singles by John-Ford Griffin and Aaron Hill but Dan Giese got Jason Alfaro to ground into a fielder’s choice 6-4 to end the threat.

In the 7th, Scott Downs, like a broken record, had another 1-2-3 inning. He struck out Ryan Howard again with all off-speed pitches. He fell behind 1-0 on a 75 MPH offering but followed up with 3 straight strikes. Howard watched a 73 MPH pitch go by for strike 1 but Downs would go with a 69 MPH curveball for a swinging strike and finished him off with another curveball at 71 to get Howard swinging. Downs handled him perfectly once again. That would be the last we’d see of Downs on the day. For those keeping score, he set down the last 17 batters he faced. Ladies and gentleman of the jury, the man deserved the “W”. It was an out-an-out crime he didn’t get one. He was absolutely brilliant. He seemed pretty relaxed before the game. While I took some pictures, a kid asked Downs for some pitching advice while he was stretching. I expected Downs to ignore the lad but he joked around, saying “Throw strikes”. Then he said, don’t throw any curveballs unless you have to, which I took to mean, wait until you’re older.

On to the bottom of the 7th, Martire Franco was the 3rd Scranton pitcher of the day. The Skychiefs had another 2 out rally on the go with Danny Solano beating out an infield single to 3rd followed by an Anton French walk but Bryant Nelson came up empty again by striking out on a 79 MPH offering.

In the 8th, Jason Arnold came in on relief. He gave the hometown fans a good scare when Carlos Ruiz hit a fly ball to the warning track in centre but Anton French would flag it down. Shane Victorino would ground out to 2nd for the 2nd out but after 19 consecutive outs, A.J. Hinch singled to centre to end the Scranton drough. But Arnold would induce a fly ball to centre off Juan Sosa to end the inning. In the bottom half, the Skychiefs would hit the ball hard but would come up with nothing. Gabe Gross lined to centre and John-Ford Griffin lined out to 2nd as Anthony Medrano made a nice leaping catch and snow-coned the ball to boot. Aaron Hill singled to centre after Martire Franco brushed him back with a pitch before. It was nice to see Hill get that kind of revenge, by singling on a 3-2 pitch. Then Jason Alfaro lined a shot deep to right but it was caught at the wall by Mark Budzinski, who made a short leap to make the catch. Again, not enough wind to blow that one out.

In the 9th, Jason Arnold joined the Scott Downs 1-2-3 club by setting them down in order, with help from 2B Danny Solano who snared a liner to start off the inning and caught a couple of pop ups to end the inning. Arnold’s offerings ranged from 84-92 MPH for his 2 innings of work. In the bottom half of the inning, Franklin Perez was on the hill for Scranton, the 4th pitcher of the day. Syracuse had yet another opportunity to win it. Eric Crozier would draw a lead-off walk and Ken Huckaby, in what wasn’t exactly a textbook bunt, sacrificed him over to 2nd. Perez thought seriously about going to 2nd when the ball was bunted to him but fortunately, Crozier got a good jump and made it safely to 2nd. However, Huckaby’s “good” sac bunt would come back to haunt the Chiefs later. Danny Solano would ground to 3rd on the first pitch he saw for the 2nd out and Anton French lined one to left but John Castellano was able to flag it down running towards the line to send the game into extra innings.

In the top of the 10th, lefty Jesse Carlson would come in to face Ryan Howard but after 2 pitches, Carlson’s day was done after Howard drilled a ground rule double to centre. Buzz Hannahan came on to pinch run. So Spike Lundberg came on in relief. He induced a bunt pop up from Chris Coste but would walk Carlos Ruiz. But he induced a line-out to 3rd and a fly ball to right on 90 and 91 MPH fastballs to end the Scranton. It was nice to see Scranton blow an opportunity for a change! But Syracuse would return the favour in the bottom half. Gabe Gross drew a one out walk, stole second, and advanced to 3rd on an infield hit to SS Juan Sosa when Sosa had trouble getting the ball out of his glove. But Jason Alfaro flew out to centre to end the inning.

In the 11th, Spike Lundberg retired the side in order, including an inning-ending punch out on Anthony Medrano on an 86 MPH pitch. Then Geoff Geary became the 5th Scranton pitcher of the day and he came out throwing smoke. Eric Crozier put up a decent 7 pitch battle but he struck out on an 86 MPH offering and Ken Huckaby was sent packing on 4 pitches, going down swinging on a 95 MPH heater. Geary threw 93-95 pretty much the whole time and Solano fouled out to 1st to end the inning.

In the 12th, Mike Nannini came on for Syracuse out of the pen and surrendered a lead-off single to John Castellano, he was sacrificed over to 2nd but Nannini sent down the next 2 batters to give the SkyChiefs another chance to win it. But Geoff Geary had another 1-2-3 inning, including a swinging strike out of Bryant Nelson, whose rough day at the dish continued.

In the 13th, Mike Nannini struck out Shane Victorino and A.J. Hinch swinging on 77 and 76 MPH pitches but pinch hitter Jim Rushford singled to centre and would steal 2nd. However, Nannini ended the threat by getting Mark Budzinski to ground to 2nd. Geoff Geary would once again send Syracuse packing 1-2-3 in the bottom half and still maintained decent velocity of 92-93 with the odd 80 pitch as he sent the 4-5-6 hitters Griffin, Hill, and Alfaro down in order. Around the time, the final score was posted from Texas on the out of town scoreboard on the outfield fence at Alliance Bank Stadium – 6-5 Rangers over the Jays, a harbinger of things to come in Central New York State.

In the 14th, A RUN WAS SCORED. Unfortunately, it was the wrong team. With 1 out, Nannini, whose offerings ranged from 73-86 MPH, fell behind 3-1 to John Castellano and worked it to a full count but he hung the next pitch which Castellano took over the wall in left for a solo shot. Nannini got the next 2 batters so it was on to the bottom half of the inning. Brian Sanches came in to try to nail it down for Scranton. Syracuse again raised the fans hopes as Eric Crozier doubled down the left-field corner to get the rally started. Ken Huckaby was due up next. This is where I play armchair manager. I thought Andy Dominique was coming in to pinch-hit as I saw him standing outside the dugout after coming in from the left-field bullpen. He stood out there for a bit but went back to the bench as Huckaby stayed in the game. Huckaby, who had a sac bunt earlier in the game, was asked to do the same thing again. As I noted earlier, Huckaby’s first sac bunt was not a thing of beauty but it got the job done. He bunted the first 2 pitches just foul down the 3rd base side but was caught looking on a 3rd strike. Huckaby had an ugly day at the plate and I thought Dominique should’ve pinch hit for him there. I guess with both catchers being right-handed hitters, Pevey elected to stay with Huckaby. But Chad Mottola came on to pinch hit for Danny Solano and he drew a walk. Then Aton French drew another walk to load up the bases. But Bryant Nelson struck out swinging for the 2nd out, going 0-for-7 on the day, leaving it all to Gabe Gross. And Gross hit the bejesus out of the ball, but Scranton 1st baseman Jim Rushford saved the day by making a diving catch to his right to rob Syracuse and send the SkyChiefs fans home very disappointed. Scranton stole this game, plain and simple. Syracuse could’ve won this game, they hit some balls hard but right at people. It was an exciting game but a heart-breaking and gut wrenching game. Scott Downs deserved a much better fate. The baseball gods were smiling on Philly and their top triple A team. On the drive home, I got to listen to Philly rally in extra innings to beat Atlanta
Three stars of the game….

1. Scott Downs – 7 great innings, setting down his last 17 batters and striking out 9 by my count.
2. Aaron Hill - 3 singles on the day and nearly sent one out of the yard. We’ll see him in Toronto this year, just a question of when.
3. Gabe Gross – a hit, a walk, 2 stolen bases, a run scored, nearly won the game in the 14th.

Honourable mentions – Eric Crozier with 2 walks and a double, left stranded at 3rd twice, Jason Alfaro with an RBI single and a warning track out, Jason Arnold, Spike Lundberg, and Mike Nannini with strong relief work all in all.

As well, I guess Mrs. Brumfield and I were not meant to see a Jays farm team beat a Phillies farm team. We’re now 0-and-3 in that department. Last season, we saw Dunedin lose to Clearwater and Auburn lose in Batavia. I guess we better not see Reading and New Hampshire at this point!

However, speaking of the Fisher Cats, and on to more pleasant topics, we got to see the defending Eastern League champions for the very first time in Binghamton at NYSEG Stadium Saturday afternoon on a gorgeous sunny day for baseball. The F-Cats wore their green uniforms and green hats and they look really sharp. Anyways, Shaun Marcum was on the hill against Kevin Deaton. Both pitchers retired the side in order to start off the 1st. F-Cats 2B Carlo Cota made a nice play to his right to get the 2nd B-Mets batter of the game, Anderson Hernandez.

In the top of the 2nd, the F-Cats Rob Cosby and Raul Tablado lined solid singles up the middle but Vito Chiaravallotti popped out to 2nd to end the threat. In the bottom of the 2nd, Marcum would again face the minimum 3 batters in the 2nd after surrendering a leadoff single to Bingo DH Mike Jacobs but erasing him on a 6-3 double play started by Raul Tablado on a Prentice Redman ground out. Tablado then snared a line drive off of Jeff Duncan to end the inning.

In the top of the 3rd, the F-Cats went down 1-2-3 with Jose Umbria called out on strikes and Miguel Negron going down swinging on a 80 MPH offering from Kevin Deaton. Shaun Marcum would return the favour in the bottom half, getting his first 2 K’s to end off the inning, getting Chase Lambin to chase (yeah, that’s incredibly witty!) a 79 MPH pitch and Zachary Clements went down swinging on a pitch that came in at 78.

In the top of the 4th, Kevin Barker drew a leadoff walk for New Hampshire but the F-Cats went down in order after that. In the bottom of the 4th, the B-Mets threatened to score. Leadoff man Victor Hall snapped an 0-for-20 or 0-for-21 skid with a double to right. Anderson Hernandez reached on a bunt single to the mound as Marcum got to the ball in plenty of time but Carlo Cota was late covering the bag so Marcum had to eat the ball so it was runners at 1st and 3rd and nobody out. But then Marcum got some help from catcher Jose Umbria, who threw out Hernandez trying to steal 2nd. Keeping an eye on Hall at 3rd, Umbria bounced a throw to 2nd but Tablado made the dig and slapped the tag on Hernandez for the out. I thought Hernandez was safe, personally, but the B-Mets didn’t argue so that was one down. Marcum then got Aarom Baldiris on a swinging K with an 81 MPH offering and then Marcum induced a tapper back to Marcum at the mound. Marcum kind of stumbled around, perhaps shocked about the way the inning turned around, and he decided to run to the 1st base bag to make the play himself and end the inning. That was the first indication that this was going to be Marcum’s day.

In the top of the 5th, after Tablado went down swinging, Big Vito pounded a double off the left-field wall which was almost snared by LF Victor Hall but he couldn’t come up with it. Vito would be stranded as Jose Umbria and Miguel Negron were retired on flyballs. In the bottom of the 5th, there was 1 out when Marcum induced a pop-out to 3rd base in foul territory. However, Rob Cosby was battling the sun, and he would drop the ball as it clanked off his glove. It was a bright, sunny day but it should’ve been caught. And of course, Jay Caligiuri got the reprieve and he would double down the left field line. Caligiuri would go to 3rd after a ground out to first but he would be stranded as Zachary Clements grounded out to 2nd to end the B-Mets threat. Again, another indication this was Marcum’s day.

Then the F-Cats broke through in the 6th, Carlo Cota singled to right and 1 out later, Mikael Jova pushed him to 2nd with another single to right. Ron Davenport fouled out to 3rd and just when it looked like New Hampshire was about to waste an opportunity, Rob Cosby grounded one to short and Anderson Hernandez ranged far to his left to get to the ball and tried a behind the back flip to get Jova at 2nd but Jova beat it out and Cota scored to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. It was the only play Hernandez had and it was a valiant effort, it would’ve been a highlight reel play for sure. Kevin Deaton would end the inning by getting Raul Tablado swinging on an 85 MPH pitch.

In the bottom of the 6th, Shaun Marcum faced the minimum 3 batters thanks to some defensive help and a lucky bounce. After inducing a grounder to first for the 1st out, Anderson Hernandez tried a slap bunt to get on but Marcum knocked it down, fell down towards first, booted the ball a bit but kept it in front of him, and recovered to throw out the runner just in time. Again, another indication it was Marcum’s day. He showed great presence of mind to stay with the play and get the runner out. Then Aarom Baldiris hit one fair down the left field line and I automatically expected it to be a double. Fortunately, Ron Davenport did not feel the same way. He fired a seed to Carlo Cota at 2nd to tag out Baldiris rather easily. I think Baldiris may have taken the double granted there. Again, another indication it was Marcum’s day.

In the top of the 7th, Timothy McNab came on in relief for the B-Mets, and he was greeted by Big Vito’s double to left for his 2nd 2-bagger of the day. However, Vito appeared he would be left there after Jose Umbria grounded out to the mound and Miguel Negron hit a ball solidly but right at the center fielder for the 2nd out. Then the B-Mets defensive misadventures began. RF Prentice Redman had a Carlo Cota fly ball clank off his glove for a 2 base error, scoring Big Vito to make it 2-0 F-Cats. Then Kevin Barker lifted a fly ball to left but LF Victor Hall and CF Jeff Duncan bumped into each other with Hall getting the error, and Carlo Cota scampered home to make it 3-0 New Hampshire. Mikael Jova would strike out swinging to end the inning. In the bottom of the 7th, Shaun Marcum settled into a groove with 3 fly ball outs.

In the top of the 8th, Raul Tablado got his 2nd single of the day with 2 outs but that was it for the F-Cats that half inning. In the bottom half, the B-Mets got on the board as Chase Lambin chased one (sorry!) over the wall in left for a solo homer to make it 3-1. That was it for Marcum as Jamie Vermilyea came on in relief. A sour note to an otherwise great pitching performance by Marcum, who ranged around 71-87 with his pitches. He showed some moxie in getting out of a couple of early jams and overall, had a helluva game. Anyways, Vermilyea got the next 2 batters on a fly out and ground out to end the inning, both on 84 MPH offerings.

The top of the 9th started innocently enough as B-Mets pitcher Luz Portobonco induced a ground out and fly out but Carlo Cota doubled to left and would advance on a wild pitch. Kevin Barker was then plunked by a pitch and that would set the stage for clean-up man Mikael Jova, who did just that, clean up as he hit a 3 run shots off the auxiliary scoreboard in left field. It was a nice thud off the scoreboard to make it 6-1 New Hampshire. Ron Davenport got on base with a 2 out walk but Rob Cosby flied out to end the inning. So, Jamie Vermilyea was left in to pick up the save but it didn’t come that easy. He walked Aarom Baldiris to lead off the inning but then got a double play ball 4-6-3 from clean-up man Mike Jacobs. Then Prentice Redman would double to keep the B-Mets going but Miguel Negron, who showed some nice range in centre on the afternoon despite a hitless day at the dish, caught a liner off the bat of Jeff Duncan to end the ball game. Vermilyea’s save came after offerings of 83-87 MPH. A nice win for the F-Cats, who got all of their runs with 2 outs. The B-Mets looked like the Bad News Bears in the 7th with their misplays in the outfield. That’s minor league ball for you, the plays you think should be made aren’t. After shopping in Bingo, we caught the tail end of the Jays 8-0 win over Texas on 900 CHML out of Hamilton on the way back to Syracuse. The signal held up pretty well for the most part. It was a great day for baseball Saturday. NYSEG Stadium in Binghamton is not a bad little park. It was an enjoyable day at the yard.

The three stars of the game….
1. Shaun Marcum - 7.1 IP to get the victory
2. Carlo Cota – 2 hits and 3 runs scored, showed some nice range defensively
3. Vito Chiaravollotti – 2 doubles, 1 run scored, also allowed me to take a picture of him before the game!

Honourable mentions – Raul Tablado with 2 singles, Mikael Jova’s 3 run HR, and Jamie Vermilyea getting the save and ending a B-Mets uprising in the 8th.

If you read all this, thanks for bearing with me. You’re definitely hard core!!!

Mike Green - Monday, April 18 2005 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#112396) #
Thanks for the report, #2JB.
#2JBrumfield - Monday, April 18 2005 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#112438) #
Thanks, Mike. I appreciate it. I was really worried about the length. I know I get carried away with these things, for which I apologize, but yesterday's game was so compelling and Saturday's was a pretty close one until the late innings. However, I'll do my best to make sure my reports are shorter in the future. What can I say, I love keeping score of minor league games and I wanted to break in a new scorebook that the future Mrs. Brumfield designed for me and gave me for Christmas. It was the best Christmas gift ever. She's too good to me.

I'm a big fan of radar guns which I'm glad they have in Binghamton and the 'Cuse so for most of the at-bats, I kept track of pitch speeds. I have trouble deciphering offspeed stuff, but Downs' curveball was a thing of beauty, especially during the Howard at-bats. What's the general rule of thumb - fastballs high 80's to low 90's, sliders 80's, changeups 70's and 80's, curves 60's and 70's. I need to sit behind home plate to figure them out a little better instead of behind the Toronto farm team's dugout.

Gerry, I was just wondering, where were you sitting Saturday in Binghamton? We sat to the right of the F-Cats dug-out. I did see a couple of Ontario licence plates in Syracuse yesterday as well.

If I get around to it tonight, I have some pics to share as well from the week-end and I'll try to pass them along.
Gerry - Monday, April 18 2005 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#112460) #
I was sitting right behind home plate, just in front of Josh Banks and Izzy Ramirez.
#2JBrumfield - Monday, April 18 2005 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#112475) #
I thought I saw a couple of players behind home plate and was one of them working a radar gun by any chance? I thought they were pretty young to be scouts. I'm sorry I didn't drop you a line beforehand to say hello. If I recall correctly from that Baseball Day in Canada, are you the same Gerry who happens to have a brother named Niall?
Mike Green - Monday, April 18 2005 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#112556) #
Tonight's games:

Scranton W-B (Bascik) at Syracuse (Gaudin) 6 p.m
New Hampshire (Banks) at Harrisburg 6 p.m.
Sarasota (Verlander) at Dunedin (Purcey) 7 p.m.
Lansing (Wideman) at Beloit 7:30
Brent S - Monday, April 18 2005 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#112561) #
Sarasota (Verlander) at Dunedin (Purcey) 7 p.m.

Hoo lordy, what a match-up!

#2JBrumfield - Monday, April 18 2005 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#112564) #
BBRadio in progress - Top 5th - Syracuse 0 Scranton 0. Chad Gaudin pitching for Syracuse.

* Chris Coste flies out to right - 1 OUT
* Nate Grindell called out on strikes, 5 K's for Gaudin - 2 OUT
* Shane Victorino walked I believe
* A.J. Hinch singled I believe
* Juan Sosa hit into a fielder's choice 6-4 - 3 OUT

Bottom 5th - Scranton 0 Syracuse 0. Lefty Mike Bacsik pitching for Scranton.

* Andy Dominique doubles to the gap in left-centre
* Eric Crozier pops up to 2nd on a 3-2 pitch - 1 OUT
* Danny Solano bloops a single to right, Dominique SCORES -Solano caught in a rundown but 1B Ryan Howard threw the ball away after cutting off the throw, allowing Solano to reach 2nd - Syracuse 1 Scranton 0
* Anton French grounds to 2nd, Solano advances to 3rd
* Bryant Young walks
* Gabe Gross strikes out swinging - 3 OUT

1 run, 2 hits, 1 error, 2 left on base

After 5 innings - Syracuse 1 Scranton 0
#2JBrumfield - Monday, April 18 2005 @ 07:39 PM EDT (#112565) #
Technical difficulties. BBRadio back in progress. Bottom 6th - Syracuse 1 Scranton 0. Mike Bacsik

* Chad Mottola singles to left on the first pitch
* Hill flies out to centre - 1 OUT
* John Ford Griffin singles to right, Mottola advances to 2nd

Lefty Eude Brito relieving another lefty, Mike Bacsik.

* Dominique fouls out to first - 2 OUT
* Eric Crozier flies out, connection cut out on me but is now back - 3 OUT

0 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 left on base

#2JBrumfield - Monday, April 18 2005 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#112568) #
Bottom 7th - Syracuse 1 Scranton 0. Eude Brito pitching for Scranton.

* Danny Solano pops up to shallow centre - 1 OUT
* Anton French walks, steals 2nd without a throw as the cathcer bobbled the ball
* Bryant Nelson triples to centre as Shane Victorino overran the ball, may have lost it in the twilight - French SCORES - Syracuse 2 Scranton 0
* Gabe Gross hits into a fielder's choice 6-2 as the infield was drawn in, Nelson out at the plate - Gross at 1st - 2 OUT
* Chad Mottola homers to left-field - Gross SCORES, Mottola SCORES - Syracuse 4 Scranton 0
* Aaron Hill becomes the 3rd out - missed it, sorry!

3 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 0 left on base

After 7 innings - Syracuse 4 Scranton 0

#2JBrumfield - Monday, April 18 2005 @ 08:13 PM EDT (#112569) #
Top 8th - Syracuse 4 Scranton 0. Ryan Glynn now pitching for Syracuse.

Chad Gaudin's line - 7IP, 4H, 0R, 0ER, 2BB, 7K - That's 14 shut-out innings by the last 2 Syracuse starters, including Scott Downs' sterling 7IP yesterday.

Justin Miller warming in the SkyChiefs bullpen.

* Juan Sosa singles to left
* Mark Budzinski lined off Ryan Glynn's foot, off the bottom of the foot apparently, and into left field - Sosa advances to 3rd
* Buzz Hannahan hits a sac fly to centre - 1 OUT - Sosa SCORES - Syracuse 4 Scranton 1
* John Castellano strikes out swinging - 2 OUT

Adrian Burnside now on in relief.

* Ryan Howard called out on strikes - 3 OUT

1 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 left on base

After 7 1/2 innings - Syracuse 4 Scranton 1
#2JBrumfield - Monday, April 18 2005 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#112570) #
Bottom 8th - Syracuse 4 Scranton 1. Sean Fesh now pitching for Eude Brito.

* John-Ford Griffin singles to center
* Andy Dominique singles to center
* Eric Crozier hits into a 6-4 fielder's choice - Dominique forced at 2nd - 1 OUT
* Solano grounds into a 6-3 DP - 2 OUT & 3 OUT

After 8 innings - Syracuse 4 Scnraton 1

#2JBrumfield - Monday, April 18 2005 @ 08:26 PM EDT (#112571) #
Top 9th - Syracuse 4 Scranton 1. Matt Whiteside now pitching for Syracuse.

Whiteside's numbers 0-0, 1.80, 2 SV

* Chris Coste pops up to 2nd - 1 OUT
* Nate Grindell pops up to 1st - 2 OUT
* Shane Victorino called out on strikes - 3 OUT


Final score - Syracuse 4 Scranton 1
Mike Green - Monday, April 18 2005 @ 08:32 PM EDT (#112572) #
Top of 8-NH at Harrisburg (AA)

With one out, Raul Tablado (1-2 previously with a walk) draws a walk.

Ron Acuna (2-4 previously) grounds into a 4-6 fielder's choice. Acuna takes off, the throw is high and sails into centerfield, but Acuna doesn't realize and stays on second.

Carlo Cota (2-4 previously) walks.

Kevin Barker (1-3 with a walk previously) hits a slow grounder toward third. Norris' throw is wide of first, but caught. Bases loaded, 2 out.

Mikael Jova lines out to right. 3 out.

5-1 NH after 7 and 1/2.

Bubbie Buzachero came on relief of Josh Banks in the bottom of the 7th, and will pitch the 8th. Banks gave up 3 hits including a solo homer and 2 walks, while striking out 6.
#2JBrumfield - Monday, April 18 2005 @ 08:38 PM EDT (#112573) #
Post Game Wrap Up

Syracuse 4R 11H 0E - 8 LOB
Scranton 1R 6H 1E - 6 LOB

WP - Chad Gaudin (1-0)
LP - Mike Bacsik (0-1)
SV - Matt Whiteside 3

HR - Chad Mottola (1)

Paid Attendance - 4,466

Mike Green - Monday, April 18 2005 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#112574) #
Bottom of 8 AA:

Buzachero deals.

Shortstop Lorenzo checks his swing on the 3-2, and walks.

Ryan Houston is warming in the bullpen.

Catcher McMillan hits a grounder to the bag at second. Tablado steps on the bag, but then his throw pulls the first baseman from the bag.

Watson hits a hard grounder to Cota, to Tablado for one, and this time Raul's throw to first is on the money for the DP.

5-1 New Hampshire after 8 innings.

In Dunedin, the Lakeland Tigers behind Justin Verlander lead the D-Jays 3-1. Verlander has struck out 9 through 6 innings, with only Adam Lind (who has doubled twice in 3 ABs) able to get him. Purcey walked 5 in 4 innings of work.
Mike Green - Monday, April 18 2005 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#112576) #
Top of 9:

Rivera pitching for Harrisburg.

Ron Davenport grounds out to second.

Rob Cosby lines a ball over the second baseman Gonzalez' head, but he leaps and makes a great catch.

Big Vito flares a ball at Gonzalez who misplays it for an error.

Erik Kratz hits a slow roller to short and Lorenzo boots it for the second straight Senator error. Runners on first and second, two out.

Raul Tablado flares a ball to right for a single, Big Vito rounds third, here comes the throw and fittingly the catcher drops the throw, Big Vito scores and Kratz comes to third and Tablado to second.

Ron Acuna grounds out to second.

6-1 NH going to the bottom of the ninth.

Lansing leads Beloit 5-3 after 4 innings with Cory Patton's 1st homer the big blow.

Mike Green - Monday, April 18 2005 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#112577) #
Bottom of 9 AA:

Lee Gronkiewicz on to pitch for the F-Cats.

Norris dumps a single into center.

Rich Lane strikes out.

Nieves lines a single to left, runners on first and second.

Gonzalez swings and misses on a 1-2 curveball for the K.

Kuzmic hammers a ball off the right field wall for a double, Norris scores, Nieves to third.

Guerrero grounds out to Cota at second.

6-2 New Hampshire FINAL.
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