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I'm telling you, kid, the public will lap it up! This moving-picture sensation has it all! There's the fallen phenom, returning from the operating table to pitch a masterpiece! There's the powerful kid with an artillery name tailor-made for Broadway! There's a bad-blood rematch that goes badly for the heroes! There's one team throwing a huge lead away, and another overcoming a huge deficit! Thrills, heroics, failures, triumphs, and a whole lotta longball! It'll be the movie-house hit of the year! Write it down, kid -- this show's gonna make us all stars!

Richmond 11 Syracuse 5

The Richmond Braves, without E-6 Snead, did their damage with the bats, playing the New York Yankees to Syracuseís Tampa Bay Devil Rays last night. After spotting the Skychiefs a 5-0 lead, the Braves roared back with 11 runs to ice this contest. Chris Baker started and faced the minimum through 4 innings, striking out 4 batters. Then the roof fell in: 3 singles and a double scored 2 in the 5th, and after a single-homer-single-triple outburst in the 6th (sandwiched around 2 more Kís), Baker was replaced by Matt Duff, who was not wonderful: single-single-double-wild pitch, and the Braves had 5 runs and no reason to look back. Richmond added a another run against Duff and 2 more on Spike Lundberg, and a bad night was in the books.

Anton French continued his revival with 3 more hits (including a triple), scoring a run, while Julius Matos singled twice and drove in a run. John-Ford Griffin drew a walk, but otherwise whiffed 3 times and saw his line fall to .259/.353/.456 after a hot start. Griffin now has 70 strikeouts in just 262 at-bats: is the magical run finally over?

Box score

New Hampshire 6 Erie 5

In the Eastern League, meanwhile, the Fisher Cats pulled off the same trick in reverse, overcoming a 5-run deficit, only in even more dramatic fashion. Zach Jackson was matched up against Tigers sensation Joel Zumaya, but ZachJack didn't keep his end of the prospect bargain. In his second consecutive mediocre start, he was gone after 4 2/3 innings, allowing 4 earned runs on 7 hits and 3 walks, striking out 4. Bubbie Buzachero rode to the rescue, keeping the game close with 3 1/3 innings of 2-hit ball, surrendering only a solo home run. Zumaya, meanwhile, came as advertised: he shut down the Fisher Cats for 7 innings, scattering 6 hits with no walks and 8 strikeouts, yielding only a solo shot off the bat of Maikel Jova. New Hampshire went into the bottom of the 8th trailing 5-1. Cue the magic.

Erie reliever Lee Rodney took over for Zumaya and got 2 quick outs. But Ryan Roberts walked, and Clint Johnston reached on an infield single and error that sent Roberts to third. Jova then doubled to deep right field to score Roberts, and Ron Davenport walked to load the bases. In came reliever Edwin Almonte, and out went the baseball: Ron Acuna unloaded the bases with a go-ahead (and eventual game-winning) grand slam. Lee Gronkiewicz allowed a hit and a walk in the 9th, but struck out 2 to close out the huge F-Cat comeback. Jova had 3 hits (homer, double and single), while Miguel Negron continued his June hot steak with a double and single to push his batting average to .260.

Box score

Dunedin 8 Tampa 4

There was no shortage of good news coming from the Florida State League. Dustin McGowan made his second consecutive strong start, scattering 4 hits and a run over 6 innings, walking nobody and striking out 6. Thereís no word so far whether McGowan is throwing breaking balls yet, but if all heís got in his repertoire right now are fastballs and change-ups, heís looking pretty good. I imagine the Jays will give him a look-see at New Hampshire before the year is over, once his breaking stuff is working, but I think McGowan will probably spend most of the season in Dunedin. The Jays have little to gain by rushing him in his comeback; if they want him to get some extra innings, they can keep him in warm-weather action in the Arizona Fall League, as they did with similarly rehabbing Francisco Rosario last autumn.

Offensively, Chip Cannon just kept on rolling, launching his 20th home run of the campaign (his 9th as a D-Jay in just 60 at-bats, a ridiculous number). Intoxicating as his .857 slugging percentage is, keep in mind that Cannon has only 2 doubles and a triple to his credit in addition to those 9 bombs, and that suggests that this monumental power display has more than a little helium in it. And all those strikeouts (2 more yesterday, 20 in 60 Florida at-bats) canít be overlooked; unless Cannon wants to be Dave Kingman Lite (or more to the point, John-Ford Griffin, whose homers account for 2/3 of all of his extra-base hits), he canít get carried away with the long ball. All that said, I suspect the Blue Jays will give him some Double-A exposure if he even partially maintains this pace.

Robinzon Diaz drove in 3 runs with a double and 2 singles, while Rodney Medina scored a run with the same output. Adam Lind cracked a pair of doubles and drove in 3 of his own. Lind has brought his line back to .285/.361/.409, and if you need a reminder of how quickly Chip Cannonís hot streak could go cold, remember that we were all pretty crazy about Lind back in April.

Box score

Lansing did not play (Midwest League All-Star Break)

Batavia 4 Auburn 0

Okay, this is where the games get much less exciting. Kristian Bell struck out 6 batters in 4 1/3 innings of work, but also allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits and 3 walks in that span. Jayson Rodriguez allowed another unearned run in 2 2/3 IP of relief, scattering 3 hits and a walk while whiffing one batter. Doubledays batters managed just 3 singles and 5 walks on the night.

Box score

Danville 12 Pulaski 3

The news was little better in the Appalachian League, where Jesse Litsch did his best by holding Danville to 2 runs on 5 hits (including a homer) in 6 innings, walking 1 and striking out 6. But the bullpen cratered: Raymon Sanchez took the loss by allowing 3 runs in just 1 1/3 innings, but the worst damage was done to Scott Byrnes, who was ripped for 5 runs in just 2/3 of an inning, sending his ERA to 67.50. Offensively, third baseman Paul Franko singled twice and doubled to drive in a run, while catcher Jonathan Jaspe had 2 singles for Pulaskiís only other multi-hit performance.

Box score

Your Three-Star Selection:

3. Maikel Jova, New Hampshire: Homer, double and single in the Fisher Cats' big comeback victory.

2. Dustin McGowan, Dunedin: 6 innings, 4 hits, 1 run, 0 walks, 6 Kís. Boy, does it feel good to write that. I'd like to make him the first star, but...

1. Ron Acuna, New Hampshire: You just can't say no to an eventual game-winning grand-slam home run with 2 outs in the bottom of the 8th.

Walter Monheit Proudly Presents: | 9 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Thursday, June 23 2005 @ 09:36 AM EDT (#120370) #
Control, control, control.

Dave Bush starts for Syracuse tonight against Richmond.
Josh Banks toes the rubber this morning at 11 a.m. for New Hampshire against Erie.
Casey Janssen goes for the D-Jays tonight against those Verlander-less Lakeland Tigers, who just might be beatable in the second half.

After being a DH/1B for a couple of years in Pulaski, Nick Thomas has been converted to the outfield and is starting in left-field for Auburn.
infielddad - Thursday, June 23 2005 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#120394) #
Believe Chi-Hung Cheng is pitching for Lansing. That is why he did not throw in the All-Star game on Tuesday.
jvictor - Thursday, June 23 2005 @ 12:06 PM EDT (#120400) #
In the humble opinion of you all, who is the Jay pitching prospect with the highest upside? Put another way which pitcher would you least like to see traded? For myself it would be McGowan. But who can forget Chacin last year. Opinions.
Mike Green - Thursday, June 23 2005 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#120407) #
JVictor, it's funny that you should ask because we were just planning a prospect poll. In light of your question, I decided to start with the pitchers, and it's up now. Please add your list.
Jordan - Thursday, June 23 2005 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#120409) #
No Spy magazine fans at Da Box, huh?
Maldoff - Thursday, June 23 2005 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#120414) #
Fisher Cats are leading 3-1 in the sitxh, but they already took Banks out of the game. This is a couple games in a row that Banks has had a short outing. Anyone have an idea as to why?
Gerry - Thursday, June 23 2005 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#120457) #
Fisher Cats win 7-1. Re: Banks, I don't know but I can speculate...

Banks, like Marcum, throws strikes. When he had that rough patch a few weeks ago there was some talk that the hitters were swinging early in the count and getting to Banks before he could nibble. In the last couple of starts he might be throwing more balls off the plate to keep the hitters more honest. I don't know for sure, but that's my theory.
R Billie - Thursday, June 23 2005 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#120479) #
I think the plan with McGowan was always to just let him shake the rust off at Dunedin and advanced as soon as he was stretched out and comfortable. He has nothing to gain pitching in Dunedin. If Rosario can pitch in AA the year after surgery then so can McGowan who has better size and stuff.
fishercatsradio - Thursday, June 23 2005 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#120508) #
Josh threw 100 pitches through five innings. Give Erie some credit for long at bats, I had 30 foul balls through the five innings today.
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