Cracker-Cat/Fisher Cat Trumps Rock Cats

Wednesday, April 16 2008 @ 06:02 AM EDT

Contributed by: #2JBrumfield

Former Edmonton Cracker-Cats hurler Scott Richmond picks up his first win as a member of the Blue Jays organization to highlight a perfect 4-0 night for the affiliates.

Syracuse 7 Buffalo 5

Buffalo, NY - Kane Davis, who pitched in Buffalo in the 2000 and 2004 seasons and spent last season in Ottawa, got the start for Syracuse against fellow righty Sean Smith.   

The first 1 1/2 innings of the ball game was brought to you by the letter "K".  Wayne Lydon drew a leadoff walk and stole second but he would be left there as Curtis Thigpen, Adam Lind and clean-up hitter (really?) Russ Adams all went down swinging.  Kane Davis continued the strikeout run by whiffing Jesse's boy, Josh Barfield before Jason Tyner finally put the ball in play by grounding out to short.  Davis then got back to the regularly scheduled program by getting Ben Francisco to go down swinging.  Sean Smith matched Davis' two punchouts in the top of the 2nd, stranding a Matt Watson walk to keep the game scoreless.

Buffalo would score first in the home half of the 2nd as Tommy's Boy (not to be confused with the Chris Farley/David Spade movie "Tommy Boy"), Aaron Herr singled home a Jordan Brown double to give the Cleveland affiliate a 1-0 lead.  Syracuse roared back with a three spot in the top of the 3rd with all the runs coming with two outs.  Adam Lind singled home a Jorge Velandia leadoff walk and Lind was brought home by a Russ Adams double.  Adams was then doubled home by former Bison Hector Luna for a 3-1 Syracuse advantage.

The Bisons went to the bullpen as southpaw Reid Santos took over for Sean Smith in the 4th.  That seemed to spark the Herd as they scored four runs on six singles to grab a 5-3 lead against Kane Davis, who left the game one out short of getting out of the inning.  Lefty Mike Gosling, the former D-Back and Red, ended the Bison threat by whiffing Ben Francisco. 

The Chiefs would erase the 5-3 deficit in the top of the 5th as Matt Watson delivered a two-run single to score a Russ Adams single and a Hector Luna double to knot up the game at 5-5.  Mike Gosling kept the game tied after five by punching out a couple of Buffaloes.  The Herd had to make a call to the bullpen in the 6th when Adam Lind singled and stole second and Russ Adams drew a walk with two outs.  However, Edward Mujica bailed out Reid Santos by getting Hector Luna to ground out.

In the top of the 8th, Curtis Thigpen singled to bring up Adam Lind and he belted one to left-center field for a two-run homer off Edward Mujica for a 7-5 Syracuse lead.  Former Devil Ray Shawn Camp made sure the lead held up as he pitched a pair of 1-2-3 innings, including two punchouts, to get his third save of the year and preserve a well-deserved "W" for Mike Gosling.

Boxscore Notes - Adam Lind's third homer of the year capped off a 3-for-5 night and he also stole his first base of the year.  He is now batting .391 on the year.....Hector Luna (3-for-4, two doubles, stolen base) and Russ Adams (2-for-4, BB) also got on base three times.......Wayne Lydon stole his 5th base of the year, giving the Chiefs three pilfered bags on the night.......Chip Cannon was feast-or-famine at the dish as he was unable to put the ball in play in his five plate appearances (3 K's, 2 BB) and is batting only .194........That average is lofty in comparison to Sergio Santos, who is hitting a paltry .135 after an 0-for-5 evening......Kane Davis gave up 9 hits in 3 2/3 innings work but on the bright side, he didn't walk anybody and he picked up 3 K's...Mike Gosling gave up just a hit and a walk in 3 1/3 innings to even his record at 1-1.......Shawn Camp's ERA is still 0.00 after 9 innings of work and his walk total is also zero as his K/BB ratio is 12-COB!  He's only allowed 3 hits to this point. 

New Hampshire 4 New Britain 2

Manchester, NH - Scott Richmond toed the rubber for the Fisher Cats, lefty Ryan Mullins did the same for the Minnesota-affiliated Rock Cats.

Mullins would blink first as Jacob Butler launched a solo shot to right in the 2nd to give the Fisher Cats a 1-0 lead.  The F-Cats tacked on another run in the 3rd when Ryan Klosterman doubled and was driven home by an RBI single from Chris Gutierrez.  That was all the New Hampshire offence would muster for a while but it really didn't matter as Scott Richmond was just flat out dealing.  The pride of Langley, B.C. surrendered just 3 singles over six scoreless innings, with a Pizza Pizza 7 K's.  He also managed to erase one of the singles by picking off a runner in the 6th inning. 

Richmond appeared to run out of gas in the 7th as he yielded a one out solo homer to Brock Peterson to cut the F-Cats lead to 2-1.  It looked like he was getting the ball up as all three outs in the inning were flyouts, including a liner to right.  Seth Overbey preserved the lead in the 8th by allowing just a single to go with two groundouts and a punchout.   

Finally, the F-Cats awoke from their slumber as Erik Kratz came through with a clutch two-out single off New Britain lefty Ben Julianel to score pinch runner Scott Campbell (who replaced Jacob Butler after he drew a walk) and Ryan Patterson (who had singled) to increase the home team's lead to 4-1.  Those runs would prove to be beneficial when Luke Hughes took Fisher Cats reliever Mike Gallo for a one out, solo shot in the top of the 9th to make it a two-run game.  However, the former Astros lefty recovered to get the final two outs by striking out Matt Moses to end it.

Boxscore Notes - Chris Gutierrez, Erik Kratz, Ryan Patterson and Marcos Cabral each had two hits, accounting for 8 of the 10 New Hampshire hits........Despite his two hit evening, Patterson is below the Mendoza Line at .192..........Jacob Butler also reached base twice with a homer and a walk in three official at-bats but he's struggling along with a batting average of .182.....Kyle Phillips struck out 3 times in an 0-for-4 night at the dish.....Scott Richmond's K/BB ratio was 7-0 but one concern may be his groundout/flyout ratio of 10-3.  However, a foul bunt pop up to the catcher and an infield popup accounted for two of the flyouts.  On the year, Richmond's K/BB mark is 18-4 and has allowed 14 hits in his 16 2/3 innings of work.  Now he needs to work on whittling down his 4.32 ERA.

Dunedin 5 Tampa 4 (12 Innings)

Dunedin, FL - This game turned out to be the "Thrilla in Manila" of all the games last night as the D-Jays Robert "Sugar" Ray went toe to toe against the Tampa Yankees Michael "Smoking Gun" Dunn.

This one didn't start well for the home side as the T-Yanks used a double and single to break out on top, 1-0.  However, one Travis James Snider quickly erased that with a solo homer to right in the bottom of the first to even up the game at 1-1.

After rounds, er, innings two and three were scored even, Tampa regained the lead with a pair of runs in the fourth.  Robert Ray almost got out of a jam when he induced a double play ball which left a runner at third.  However, a pair of singles did him in and Tampa had a 3-1 advantage.  Ray rebounded nicely with a 1-2-3 fifth inning and turned the game over to Paul Phillps.  However, Phillips was greeted rudely in the form of a walk and a triple and it was 4-1 Tampa after six.  South Coast League refugee and former Astros farmhand Celson Polanco relieved Phillips in the 7th and survived a two-out walk and single to hold Tampa off the board. 

Tampa finally used the pen after the 7th inning stretch as former Texas Longhorns closer J. Brent Cox took to the hill for the Bombers.  J.P Arencibia cut Tampa's lead to 4-2 when he doubled home a Cory Patton single.  However, as quickly as he started the rally, Arencibia helped kill it by being thrown out at third trying to advance on a groundball to short and was retired 6-5 on the scorecard.   

Celson Polanco and Edward Rodriguez pitched a scoreless inning for Dunedin to send the game to the bottom of the 9th and the D-Jays delivered a one-two punch on Tampa reliever Jonathan Hovis as Cory Patton and J.P. Arencibia launched back to back jacks to tie up the affair at 4-4.

Even though they had a runner in scoring position to deal with each inning, Edward Rodriguez pitched a scoreless 10th and Chad Blackwell laid a goose egg in the 11th and 12th.  The "capacity" crowd of 414 at Knology Park were finally sent home in the bottom of the 12th as Jesus Gonzalez led off with a triple and Jonathan Diaz cashed him in with a single off Yankee reliever and loser Stephen Artz.

Boxscore Notes - After a slow start, Travis Snider has hit .310 in his last 10 games to raise his average to .283 with an OPS of .892.......Jonathan Diaz, who picked up the GW RBI, is showing some early season pop with a .935 OPS, hitting .278.........Cory Patton is also mashing at a .955 OPS clip but he's only drawn 2 walks in 45 at-bats.......Brian Dopirak had a quiet 1-for-5 night but the former Cubs prospect is still hitting .395......J.P. Arencibia swung the big club with a 3-for-5 effort, including the game tying homer and an RBI double, bringing his batting average to an even .300.......Robert Ray had a nice K/BB mark of 8-1, giving up 3 runs on 6 hits over 5 innings......The Dominican duo of Celson Polanco and Edward Rodriguez have ERA's of 0.00 with Polanco pitching a perfect 7 1/3 innings and Rodriguez surrendering an unearned run in 6 2/3 innings....Winning pitcher Chad Blackwell is 2-0 on the year and has given up only one run in 9 innings of work.

Lansing 5 Burlington 1

Burlington, IA - Kyle Ginley got the starting assignment for the Lugnuts against Matthew Mitchell of the Bees in a matchup of righties. 

The two engaged in a pitching duel as they traded zeros in the first four innings.  The Lugnuts saw Mitchell pick off a pair of Lugnuts at first base as Darin Mastroianni and Justin Jackson were sent back to the dugout where they felt shame.  Ginley handcuffed the Royals affiliates with six strikeouts in the first four frames.  He gave up a single to prized Royals prospect Mike Moustakas in the 4th but wound up stranding him at 3rd and another runner at 2nd to keep the game tied at zero.  

The Lugnuts scored the first run of the game in the top half of the 5th inning when Justin Jackson, atoning for being picked off earlier, doubled home a Michael McDade hit by pitch.  Jackson's RBI total remained at one as Moises Sierra was gunned down at the plate.  The Lugnuts would get their second run of the game in the top of the 6th when Darin Mastroianni, also atoning for being picked off, led off the frame with a triple and was sent home on a Jonathan Jaspe sacrifice fly.  Jaspe also contributed behind the plate in the bottom of the 6th as he threw out a runner trying to steal second.  That capped off a 2-for-2 night in throwing out runners for Jaspe as he also gunned down a runner trying to pilfer second back in inning number two.

Kyle Ginley pitched into the 7th and was burned by a leadoff triple.  He struck out the next two hitters but after walking his one and only batter of the night, he handed the rawhide off to lefty Cody Crowell and he stranded the two runners with a punchout.  The Lugnuts gave themselves some breathing room with a two-out, three-run rally in the 9th that was highlighted by a two-run triple by Justin Jackson and he came home on a Raul Barron single.  Burlington ruined the shutout on a Clint Robinson solo homer but Cody Crowell recovered to pick up his second save and help Kyle Ginley improve to 2-0 on the campaign.

Boxscore Notes - A K/BB ratio of 10-1 is a stone cold lock that you will not suck most nights as Kyle Ginley dropped his ERA down to 1.53.  His overall K/BB mark is 21-3 over 17 2/3 innings but he needs to lower his OBA as hitters are batting over .300 against him........He blew the shutout but Cody Crowell did strike out four without walking anyone in 2 1/3 innings to nail down the save.........Justin Jackson, who went 2-for-4 with a double, triple, walk and 3 RBI in the leadoff spot, may only be hitting .250 but he's showing a good eye at the plate with a .412 OBP thanks to 10 walks in 40 at-bats........Raul Barron had a two-hit night to put his batting average at .522, despite drawing no walks in 23 at-bats.  However, when your OPS is 1.194, that's a small detail........Darin Mastroianni and Manny Rodriguez also had two hit nights.......Jonathan Jaspe is hitting .343 after going 1-for-3 with an RBI and was 2-for-2 in throwing out would-be basestealers.


*** 3 Stars ***

3.  Adam Lind, Syracuse - 3/5, HR, 2RBI, 2R, SB, .391 BA

2.  Scott Richmond, New Hampshire - 7IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, 7K = W

1.  Kyle Ginley, Lansing - 6 2/3 IP, 8H, 0R, 0ER, 1BB, 10K = W (2-0, 1.53)


Honourable Mentions.......

Syracuse - Hector Luna, Russ Adams, Mike Gosling, Shawn Camp.

New Hampshire - Jacob Butler, Chris Gutierrez, Erik Kratz, Marcos Cabral, Ryan Patterson, Seth Overbey.

Dunedin - J.P. Arencibia, Cory Patton, Travis Snider, Robert Ray, Celson Polanco, Edward Rodriguez, Chad Blackwell.

Lansing - Justin Jackson, Jonathan Jaspe, Raul Barron, Darin Mastroianni, Cody Crowell.



Syracuse - 6-7, 3.0 GB (Scranton), International League North Division

New Hampshire - 3-8, 5.0 GB (Portland), Eastern League Northern Division

Dunedin - 9-3, 2.5 GA (Sarasota), Florida State League West Division

Lansing - 8-4. 1.0 GA (Dayton/West Michigan), Midwest League Eastern Division


Today's Games.........

New Britain @ New Hampshire, 11:05 a.m. EDT - RHP Anthony Swarzak, NB (1-0, 0.90) vs. RHP Brandon Magee, NH (0-1, 6.10)

Lansing @ Burlington, 12:30 p.m. EDT - LHP Nathan Starner, LAN (0-1, 0.90) vs. RHP Edward Cegarra, BUR (0-0, 0.00)

Syracuse @ Buffalo, 1:05 p.m. EDT - LHP Davis Romero, SYR (0-0, 3.86) vs. LHP Jeremy Sowers, BUF (0-2, 3.75)

Tampa @ Dunedin, 7:00 p.m. EDT - RHP Ryan Pope, TAM (0-1, 2.00) vs TBD, Dunedin.