Is there more rain in the US Northeast this year or something? I think New Hampshire's played more doubleheaders than singleheaders this year.
Also, I have an incredible opportunity that you cannot miss!
That's right, as Gwyn so aptly pointed out, you can vote for the Triple-A All-Star Game this year. This is quite possibly the best thing that's happened to me this week. Where else can you see top prospects, has-beens and Jose Lima?
My latest ballot for the International League looks like LIMA TIME! will start with Jon Lester as the other SP, Brandon League and Terry Adams in relief, Hee Seop Choi at first, Cesar Crespo at second, Jason Bartlett at short, the somehow-still-around Fernando Tatis at third and Howie Clark, Adam Stern and Victor Diaz left to right in the outfield. Alejandro Freire beats out Kevin Cash at DH.
If you could somehow get to Toledo (something nobody not named Klinger has ever said), I guarantee you will have the time of your life. Imagine a Major League All-Star Game where everyone is from the Royals and Pirates, then remove the good stadium and high attendance.
Balloting ends June 23. Get your votes in now!
And now, onto the games:
Syracuse 5 @ Norfolk 1 (9th inning, rain)
This one had rain all the way through; David Purcey was supposed to start but had already gone through his pregame routine and missed his turn after the skies opened. Shaun Marcum sort of started, I guess, and went five innings, striking out six and allowing just one run in the first.
Interesting note, though: here are the first three entries in the game log for inning #1:
Pitcher Change: Shaun Marcum replaces David Purcey.
Anderson Hernandez turns around to bat right-handed.
Anderson Hernandez walks.
At the time of this writing, Purcey's shown as facing 0 batters with 0 pitches thrown, but earlier last night, it was one batter with 6 pitches (2 strikes), which fits with the leadoff walk. MiLB.com's Gameday shows things differently: switch-hitter Hernandez turning around, then Marcum coming in, then the walk. Colour me confused.
Anyway, the Chiefs banged out over a dozen hits, including two from Wayne Lydon who scored three times. I thought Lydon was doing sort of okay, if that makes sense, and he is, having slugged around .400 with a good walk rate. However, he's been caught 7 times in 15 attemps on the basepaths -- this is a guy who stole 87, 75, 65 and 42 bases in the last four years. An 80% success rate does not become 47% that quickly, does it?
New Hampshire was rained out. Old-fashioned doubleheader tonight, starting at 6:35.
Sarasota 2 @ Dunedin 7
Jesse Litsch continues his fine pitching as of late. In his last three starts, he has the following numbers: 20 IP, 17 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 14 K. Last night, it was eight shutout innings with more strikeouts than hits. Litsch has basically skipped Auburn and Lansing (having pitched in only four games as a Doubleday) after a great year in Pulaski. And he's still pretty young, being two years minus a day older than yours truly.
Ryan Patterson dropped his average to .310 with "just" a 1-for-4, but the one was a solo homer in the fifth. Ryan Klosterman followed with a two-run home run of his own in that inning, making four jacks on the night for the D-Jays. Juan Peralta put Dunedin on top in the second for good with a three-run homer, which kind of surprises me, since it's Juan Peralta -- that matches his HR total from 2005.
Yes, it was all Litsch and homers last night in Dunedin. Too bad only 510 people were there, eh?
Dayton 8 @ Lansing 5
Lansing was down 7-0 in the fourth, so it was kind of a stinker. Joey McLaughlin threw three scoreless innings (7, 8, 9) and Cory Patton hit his ninth homer of the year.
Three Star Selection
3. Shaun Marcum
2. Wayne Lydon
1. Jesse Litsch