I can't buy a win in the big-league game reports, it seems, but this is my second minor-league organizational sweep in a matter of weeks. I'm not sure what to say on this momentous occasion. What I really need here is a Repoz inspiration.
"I haven't been this excited ... since the CD release party for The Spaghetti Incident?!"Okay, I have a ways to go yet....
Syracuse 7 Louisville 5
Big comeback win by the Skychiefs last night, and they needed it. Down 5-0 entering the 6th (more on that shortly), Syracuse posted a 3-spot in that frame and tacked on 4 more in the 7th for the margin of victory. John Hattig grounded a two-run single to center to tie the game, and John-Ford Griffin provided the winning RBIs with a two-run double. The win went to Matt (Can’t Get Enough of That Wonderful) Duff, who struck out 3 in 2 scoreless innings. The save went to Matt Whiteside, and if anyone has any information about what happened to Jason Arnold, I’d love to hear it.
When the Blue Jays demoted Dave Bush to Triple-A several days ago, I wrote:
“[S]ending a young player down to Syracuse hasn't exactly worked wonders lately. Adam Peterson went down last season and cratered. Brandon League went down this year and is getting worse by the day. Gabe Gross went down after a week and still hasn't recovered. I'll lay even money that Bush is going to struggle once he arrives.”
Bush’s first outing as a Skychief this year: 6 innings pitched, 5 earned runs on 10 hits and 2 walks. He did strike out 7, for what that’s worth, but by and large, the Louisville batters just singled him to death. I’d have much preferred to be wrong.
New Hampshire 5 Norwich 3
Another comeback win. Trailing 3-2 in the 7th, the Fisher Cats surged ahead on a 2-run homer by Ryan Roberts in the 7th and added an insurance marker on an Erik Kratz sacrifice fly in the 8th. The win went to the resurgent Cameron Reimers, who threw 7 strong innings (3 earned runs, 7 hits, 2 walks and 4 strikeouts). But the real eye-opener was Ryan Houston, because of two stats following his name. The first was “Sv(1)” – Houston has apparently moved into the closer’s role. And the other was this: 7 batters faced, 1 hit, 5 strikeouts. We discussed Houston’s rapid development in yesterday’s New Hampshire report; if the Fisher Cats make him a closer and it sticks, buckle up.
Clint Johnston doubled and singled in his Double-A debut, while Vito Chiaravalotti cranked his third home run of the season in his first plate appearance. In his next at-bat, though, he was called out on strikes, and was then mysteriously replaced at first base by Rob Cosby. My guess (and my hope) is that Big Vito argued the strikeout call and got himself tossed by the umpire; with any luck, it’s not an injury. I won’t be available Saturday to check on this, so if anyone learns more, please pass it along.Box score
Dunedin 12 Clearwater 5
One of the few games played on a rain-soaked night in Florida saw Dunedin’s big bats booming again. Welcome to the Florida State League, Chip Cannon: 2 home runs and 4 RBIs for the newest D-Jay in a smashing debut. Third baseman Eric Arnold doubled, singled, walked and scored 3 times, while Jayce Tingler also singled and doubled. First baseman Joey Reiman drove in 2 runs on 3 singles and a walk. Every Dunedin starter recorded at least 1 hit.
Mike MacDonald would’ve liked to have benefited from all the offensive support, but he was gone after 4 innings, yielding 3 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks, striking out just 1 batter. The win went to Justin James, who stopped the bleeding by allowing just 1 earned run in 3 innings, walking 1 and striking out 2. Terrific closing work was provided by Tracey Thorpe, who struck out 4 batters in 2 shutout innings.Box score
Lansing 8 Clinton 6
The Lugnuts completed the organizational sweep, breaking open a close 3-2 contest with 5 runs in the 7th inning, then holding on for a slugfest victory. Third baseman Jason Armstrong was the hitting star, driving in 4 runs with a double, 2 singles and a walk. Is Yuber Rodriquez hearing footsteps from the newly promoted Charles Anderson? Rodriquez scored 3 runs with a double, single and walk. Christian Snavely's double was the only other extra-base hit for Lansing.
Russell Savickas got the start and was terrific, firing 6 shutout innings on 3 hits and a walk, striking out 4. The relief corps wasn't quite so hot, as Jordy Templet and Joey McLaughlin combined to let Clinton back into the game. Daryl Harang entered with 2 outs in the 9th and walked a batter before recording a strikeout to end the game and the sweep.Box score
Your Three-Star Selection: A lot of heroes tonight, and a lot of guys accepting new assignments:
3. Russell Savickas: 6 shutout innings for his best performance of the season by far.
2. Ryan Houston, New Hampshire: 5 strikeouts in 2 innings to earn his first save: do we have yet another closer in the organization?
1. Chip Cannon, Dunedin: 2 home runs and 4 RBIs in his first Florida State League game. Nice start.