Third Time’s The Charm
Tuesday, April 18 2006 @ 08:00 AM EDT
Contributed by: Jonny German
Casey Janssen figures out AAA in his third start. Jason Phillips already knew how to handle it. Chi-Hung Cheng continues to increase control of his curveball.
The righty who could do no wrong in soaring through the minor leagues in 2005 was greeted rudely in AAA to begin the 2006 season, touched for 16 hits and 9 runs in just 10 innings over his first 2 starts. Yesterday afternoon in Indianapolis, Casey Janssen announced his arrival to the International League: 7 innings, 3 hits, and 8 tickets punched. Dustin McGowan capably finished off the shutout, his 2 innings marked by just 1 hit and featuring 1 whiff. Despite his initial struggles, Casey now boasts 16 Ks and no walks in his 17 AAA innings.
The SkyChiefs got the required offense out of the way early, when Chad Mottola and Jason Phillips scored on a Sergio Santos single. Mottola drove in the 3rd Syracuse run with a double in the 6th, and subsequently scored the 4th on a single by John Hattig. Phillips singled home Kevin Barker to round things out in the 8th.
When it was all said and done, Phillips had three singles and a double, Barker two doubles, and Santos two singles. Wayne Lydon, Ryan Roberts, Rob Cosby, and Justin Singleton all wore collars.
All the scoring in New Hampshire happened in the top of the 4th inning. Lefty Kurt Isenberg had sailed through the Binghampton lineup 9-up 9-down, but he plunked the leadoff man the second time around. After a fly ball out, the Mets tallied two with a double and a single, and collected another single and a walk to load the bases. A groundout produced the third run, and that was that. Isenberg kept things in check until being relieved by Tracy Thorpe with one out and a man on second in the 6th. Thorpe stranded the runner and pitched a scoreless 7th, and Ryan Houston and Jimmy Bullard followed with a clean frame each. Isenberg’s line for the night was 3 earned over 5-1/3, 5 hits, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts, 1 batter plunked.
The Fisher Cat offence amounted to 3 singles and 3 walks as Miguel Perez and two relievers were dominant for the Mets. Carlo Cota and David Smith each collected more than their fair share with a walk and a single.
Dunedin answered 3 early Tiger runs with 3 of their own in the top of the fourth when Lakeland graciously paved the way with 3 errors and a passed ball. Unfortunately, the Tiger defence settled down after that and the Jays had no reply for the subsequent 4 Tiger runs.
Robert Ray took some lumps for Dunedin, surrendering 5 runs on 9 hits and a walk over 4-1/3. Danny Core showed his sympathy by allowing another 2 markers over the next 1-2/3. Daryl Harang and Tommy John Gornati finished off with a scoreless frame each.
Left fielder Ryan Patterson continued his hot hitting with 2 singles and a double. Juan Peralta and Christian Snavely were the only other Jays to record a base knock. Catcher Robinzon Diaz contributed with a walk, an RBI, and a runner picked off at first base.
Another good start for Chi-Hung Cheng saw him go 5 innings, allowing an unearned run on 4 hits. Best of all for a prospect whose downfall last year was his control, Cheng walked just 1 and struck out 7 Lumber Kings. Billy Carnline allowed his first run of the season in another strong appearance. That run came on a solo homer and that was all he allowed while striking out 3 in his 3 innings. Paul Phillips collected his first Save of the campaign with a 2-strikeout 1-walk ninth.
The Nuts got the scoring started pronto when Sean Shoffit led off the game with a triple and was immediately brought in by a Chris Gutierrez single. The leadoff man was back at it in the 3rd, opening the inning with a walk and scoring on a Cory Patton double. Joey Metropoulos got into the leadoff swing of things by opening the 8th with a solo homer that proved to be more than just an insurance run.
Big City also collected a double in the contest, while Patton totaled 2 doubles, Gutierrez a double and a single, and catcher Josh Bell 2 singles. Second baseman Shoffit ended up with 2 walks and the three-bagger.
Three Star Selection!
The Third Star: Chi-Hung Cheng, Lansing, 5 dominant innings.
The Second Star: Jason Phillips, Syracuse, a 4-hit night.
The First Star: Casey Janssen, Syracuse, 7 innings like we know he can.