It was a good night for the big club and a good night on the farm as Syracuse, Dunedin, and Lansing were all winners last night. The only thing missing was a New Hampshire victory - they had the night off.
Syracuse 3 Louisville 0
Syracuse, NY - Geremi Gonzalez took to the hill for the Chiefs, looking to make an impression on the big club. He set the tone early by striking out former Jay farmhand Tyrell Godwin to start the game and only gave up a single through the first 2 innings. Anderson Machado got to Gonzalez with a single and stolen base in the 3rd but he got Machado by starting a 1-6-5 fielder's choice. Though he gave up a walk later in the inning, Gonzalez got out of it unscathed. Gonzalez settled down by retiring the side in the 4th.
The Chiefs offence was held in check for the first 3 innings, failing to do anything with a John-Ford Griffin leadoff single in the 2nd as well as a walk and stolen base for Jeff Duncan in the 3rd. In the 4th, they scored the game's first run. Ryan Roberts singled to lead things off but he was asleep at the wheel as he was picked off. John-Ford Griffin followed with a walk, stole 2nd on a Kevin Barker strikeout, and was singled home by Curtis Thigpen for a 1-0 Syracuse lead.
Geremi Gonzalez faced the minimum 3 batters in the 5th after erasing a walk on a 6-4-3 double play. Ray Olmedo laid down a bunt single and got to 2nd on a Wayne Lydon walk. However, Russ Adams grounded into a DP to end the frame.
In the 6th, Gonzalez had to navigate around a single and walk but got out of the inning by striking out Toronto's Joey Votto to end the Louisville threat. Syracuse would add to their lead in the next half-inning as Ryan Roberts led off with a single. He would stick around on the basepaths this time around and that was a good thing as Kevin Barker belted a 2 run homer to triple the Chiefs lead to 3-0. Louisville starter Tom Shearn apparently wasn't too impressed. Before calling it a night, he plunked Curtis Thigpen with a pitch. I'm sure that wasn't intentional. Thanks for playing, Tom! Your parting gift is brought to you by the big, fat letter "L".
Jamie Vermilyea relieved G-Gon, who went 6 scoreless innings, surrendered 3 hits and 3 walks and struck out 5. Vermilyea loaded up the bases with 2 walks and a single but he got 3 outs on the ground to keep the shut-out going. Ray Olmedo singled in the 8th but was doubled up on a liner by Jeff Duncan. Vermilyea lasted all of 1 batter in the 8th as he gave up a lead off single. That led to Brian Wolfe coming out of the pen. He walked a batter but also recorded a strikeout to end the inning. Ryan Houston came on to close out in the 9th. Like Wolfe, his only blemish was a walk but also recorded a K to nail down his 2nd save of the season.
At the plate, Ryan Roberts and Ray Olmedo had 2 hits apiece, providing over half of the Chiefs 7 hits on the night. Roberts was 2-for-4 with a run scored, hiking his average to .333 and is also slugging .515. John-Ford Griffin was also on base twice with a hit and a walk. He added a stolen base and scored run. He now has 12 walks, boosting his OBP to .365, just over .100 points higher than his batting average. However, he has struck out 22 times in 72 AB's. Curtis Thigpen got aboard a couple of times as well with a single and a hit by pitch and drove in a run. He's batting a respectable .269 with a SLG of .500 thanks to 3 doubles and 3 homers.
On the negative side, Wayne Lydon drew a walk but struck out 3 times for the hat trick and Russ Adams was 0-for-4 with a GIDP, dropping his average to .227. The only positive for Adams is he's drawn 9 walks compared to 8 strikeouts.
On the hill, Geremi Segundo Gonzalez could be earning a call-up to the bigs if he keeps performing like this. He is 2-and-1 on the season and has struck out 25 and walked 11 in 22 2/3 innings. His ERA is 2.78 and hitters are batting just .217 off him. Brian Wolfe is proving to be more than just a thrown in to the Corey Koskie deal. He lowered his ERA to 0.75. He has K'd a batter an inning over 12 frames, has a WHIP of less than 1, and hitters are only batting .156 against.
Syracuse is now 9-and-13 on the season but they're 6 games back of Rochester for first place in the International League's North Division.
As Gerry pointed out last night, Matt Michael of the Syracuse Post-Standard says Dustin McGowan is coming on back. I'm sure Syracuse is thrilled.
New Hampshire - Day Off
In case you missed it........
Pitcher Jesse Litsch was named Eastern League Player of the Week according to nhfishercats.com
The New Hampshire Union Leader has a piece on Fisher Cat alumni Aaron Hill
Ricky Romero's Player Journal on milb.com
Dunedin 7 Tampa Bay 1
Tampa Bay, FL - I know I said this last week but it bears repeating. It doesn't matter what level it is, I love it when the Jays beat the Yankees! D-Jays starter Orlando Trias got a lead to work with before throwing a pitch as Cory Patton scored on a throwing error after getting aboard on a double. Trias gave up a 2 out single but that was all after one.
Dunedin upped their lead to 2-0 in the 2nd as Brian Jeroloman singled home a Kyle Phillips double. Orlando Trias gave up a walk but that would be erased on a double play.
The D-Jays added another single run in the 3rd as Corey Patton walked, stole a base, and scored on an Eric Nielsen double. Trias surrendered a leadoff double but he started a 1-6-5 fielder's choice to take care of the runner. He gave up another single but that was all for that inning.
Dunedin kept up their run an inning pace in the 4th. Jacob Butler's sac fly brought home Luis Sanchez to make it 4-0 for the good guys, chasing Tampa starter Bryan Villalona from the game. Trias tried for the 1-2-3 inning but only got as far as 1-2. He gave up a pair of 2 out singles but left fielder Ryan Patterson, in his first game of the season, erased the runner trying to stretch his hit into a double to end the frame.
Trias gave up 2 more singles and a walk in the 5th but escaped trouble by getting a 6-4-3 double play to keep the score 4-0 Dunedin after 5. His luck ran out in the 6th as Tampa Bay brought home a run on a pair of doubles but Brian Jeroloman threw out the runner, trying for an extra bag at 3rd to stop the Yankee rally.
Dunedin got on the board again in the 7th as Eric Nielsen's RBI single cashed in a Cory Patton double. Ted Serro relieved Orlando Trias and pitched a scoreless inning, striking out 1 and walking 1.
The D-Jays proved they could score more than one run an inning in the 8th with a two spot. Singles by Brian Jeroloman, Luis Sanchez, and Anthony Hatch loaded up the bases. A sac fly by Jacob Butler and an RBI single by Cory Patton brought home the 2 runs for a 7-1 lead. Daryl Harang worked around an Anthony Hatch fielding error in the 8th and Danny Core struck out a man in another shut-out inning of relief to lock up Orlando Trias' 2nd win of the season. He improves to 2-and-3, lowering his ERA to 3.90. A total of 10 of his 12 outs in play were on the ground.
At the dish, the D-Jays collected 15 hits with Brian Jeroloman getting 4 of them but the line of the night belonged to Cory Patton. He had 2 doubles in a 3-for-4 performance, a walk, 3 runs scored, an an RBI. His average is up to .325 and is slugging an even .500. Eric Nielson also had 3 hits in 5 at-bats with a double and 2 runs knocked in. Anthony Hatch was also on base three times, going 2-for-4 with a walk. Though he didn't have a hit in 3 official at-bats, Jacob Butler drove in a pair of runs with two sac flies. Butler is almost batting .300 and his OBP is nearly .400 on the season.
Pitching wise, Daryl Harang has not been scored upon in 4 2/3 innings. He has struck out 4 without issuing a walk.
Dunedin is now within 2 games of the .500 mark at 11-13. They're 5 games behind Clearwater in the Florida State League's North Division.
Lansing 7 Burlington 6
Burlington, IA - The Lugnuts threatened to break it open early as they loaded up the bases on walks by Chris Gutierrez and Jonathan Diaz and a single by Travis Snider. The best they could do was a single run after Brian Pettway grounded into a twin killing to score Gutierrez. Chase Lirette toed the rubber for the Lugnuts. He kept the score 1-0 after 1 as he stranded a 1 out double.
The Lugnuts would tack on their 2nd run of the night as Brian Bormaster (love that name!) connected for his 1st home run of the season. Jonathan Jaspe and Chris Gutierrez drew a pair of 2 out walks but they would not cross home plate. Chase Lirette ran into problems in the 2nd. He walked the first two men he faced but was able to get a double play ball. However, he gave up a 2 out double and that got Burlington to within a run at 2-1.
Lansing would give Lirette a bigger lead to work in the 3rd with as Josh Bell brought home a Travis Snider single and a Brian Pettway walk with a 3 run homer to make it 5-1 Lugnuts. However, Lirette gave some of that lead back to Burlington as the Bees got to him for 2 runs on a walk, double, groundout, and single. Travis Snider would come to Lirette's rescue by snaring a liner and doubling off a runner from 1st base for the inning ending double play.
The Lugnuts would add to their lead again in the 5th as Chris Gutierrez, Jonathan Jaspe, and Travis Snider would single to fill up the sacks. Brian Pettway brought in a run thanks to a sac fly to make it 6-3 Lansing. Lirette settled down with a pair of 1-2-3 innings in the 4th and 5th and Lansing would add another run in the 6th as Chris Gutierrez got aboard on a single and would score on a fielding error in the outfield to make it 7-3 Lugnuts.
Lirette looked to have this one under control but the Bees would make this one a nail biter. The Bees got a leadoff single and then with one run, Lirette mishandled a bunt to put runners at 1st and 2nd. He struck out the next batter swinging for the 2nd out but Michael Thompson would hit a 3 run homer to chop Lansing's lead to 7-6. Julio Pinto relieved Lirette and got a fly ball to right to end the Bees buzz.
The Lugnuts tried to get something going in the 7th. Josh Bell got aboard on a throwing error but was later retired on the front end of a double play. Then Yuber Rodriguez walked and stole 2nd but he would be stranded.
Just when it looked like Burlington had the momentum and were about to pull off the comeback, Julio Pinto and Paul Phillips did their best Duane Ward-Tom Henke impersonation. Pinto, after relieving Lirette and closing out the 6th, began inning number 7 with 2 punchouts and a fly out. That flyout would be the last time Burlington would put the ball in play. Pinto dominated the 8th by striking out the side swinging and Paul Phillips did the very same thing in the 9th to rack up save number 4 and preserve the win for Chase Lirette, who upped his record to 3-and-1.
Lots of positives at the dish for Lansing. Josh Bell was 2-for-5 with a 3 run homer but is only batting .175. Travis Snider is now batting .405 after going 3-for-5 with a run scored and an outfield assist for good measure. Despite walking only 4 times, his OPS is now 1.064. Leadoff man Chris Gutierrez got on base all 5 times with 2 hits, 3 walks, and 2 runs scored. His OBP of .444 dwarfs his SLG by a whopping .120 points. Brian Bormaster was only 1-for-5 but made his hit count with a solo homer. Brian Pettway was 0-for-2 with a walk, an RBI, and a run scored before being replaced by Sean Shoffit in left field.
The negatives, Matt Liuzza was 0-for-5 and Yuber Rodriguez was 0-for-3 but did have a walk and a stolen base. However, he's only batting .182.
On the bump, Lirette went 5 2/3 innings, giving up 6 runs (3 earned, despite his own fielding error) on 6 hits and 3 walks. He also punched out 3 batters. His ERA is 1.50. Julio Pinto has a K/BB ratio of 15-3 in 11 1/3 innings while Paul Phillips has struck out 12 batters over 8 innings and has yet to give up a walk.
3. Julio Pinto, Lansing - 2.1 IP, 5 K's
2. Chris Gutierrez, Lansing - 2/2, 3BB, 2 runs scored
1. Cory Patton, Dunedin - 3/4, 2 2B, BB, 2 RBI, 3 runs scored
Syracuse - Geremi Gonzalez, Brian Wolfe, Ryan Roberts, John-Ford Griffin, Kevin Barker, Curtis Thigpen, Ray Olmedo.
Dunedin - Eric Nielsen, Brian Jeroloman, Anthony Hatch, Orlando Trias.
Lansing - Travis Snider, Josh Bell, Brian Bormaster, Paul Phillips.
Dunedin @ Tampa Bay, 11:00 a.m. EDT
Buffalo @ Syracuse, 7:00 p.m. EDT
New Hampshire @ Trenton, 7:05 p.m. EDT
Lansing @ Burlington, 8:00 p.m. EDT