UPDATE (7:50): So much for that 9-game winning streak. The Baysox dropped the first game of the double header 3-5, as the Senators showed that they had finally learned to hit Radhames (noooo)... The next game should be starting any minute now.
After yesterday's rainout, the Baysox and Senators get to play a doubleheader today. There are a few changes though, as the Senators take the day off as an opportunity to send a different pitcher against Radhames Liz (Woooo!). Instead of Mike Hinckley (who will pitch game 2), LHP Mike O’Connor (0-0, 2.57 ERA) will toe the rubber in tonight's 1st game. O'Connor doesn't have much history with the Senators, and actually can hardly be found on his own team's game notes. From what I can tell, O'Connor has some potential (he was named the Washington system's pitcher of the year in 2005 according to his MiLB page), but has only appeared in 2 games this year. In those games he has pitched 7 innings, struck out 7, walked 2, and allowed 2 runs. There is a tiny soft spot in my heart for him because he attended GW. But, that isn't enough to overcome my excitement of Radhames.
In game 2 we actually do get to see Mike Hinckley (5-6, 4.99), who has been anything but consistent this year for Harrisburg. In his last outing, he lost to Liz, but was inconsistent within even the game itself, giving up 4 first inning runs, and then tossing 5 shutout innings. Bien Figueroa has decided to save today's scheduled starter, Fredy Deza, for tomorrow. I talked with Ryan Roberts, Baysox Director of Communications, and he assured me this wasn't a move made due to injury. Instead of Deza, we get to see Felix Romero (2-3, 3.26) come out of the 'pen for the start. Romero has shown some good control in relief appearances this year, earning 58 strikeouts in 38.2 innings pitched.
In one transaction that occurred today, the Baysox got RHP Bob McCrory from high-A Frederick. He's been pretty effective down there earning a 1.23 ERA in 22 innings with 22 K, 12 BB and a respectable WHIP of 1.27.
I will try to get out lineups tonight, but I make no promises, as I have some stuff to get ready before I fly to Chicago tomorrow. I hope to have a few posts up during my trip, and make sure to keep checking in.
Before I go, I hate to sound overconfident, but I really think this is a great chance for the Baysox to end the day on a 9-game winning streak. Liz (wooo) has shown some great skill lately, and Hinckley doesn't worry me. I've got a good feeling about this. Since WRGW can't travel to this series, be sure to catch the action here. You have to sign up, but it's free.
LET'S GO BAYSOX!
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
This looks to be an easy series for the Baysox, as the Senators have the worst record in the Eastern League, but looks can be deceiving. Another win would stretch this amazing win streak to 8. It would also be RHP Radhames Liz' (5-3, 3.55) first back-to-back win of the season. In his last outing, Liz was stellar, striking out 11 and walking 3 in a one-hit 6-inning performance. Going against Liz tonight is Senators LHP Mike Hinckley (5-6, 4.99) who got roughed up in the first inning of his last start, against the Baysox. After giving up 4 runs in that frame, he settled down to go 6 innings with no walks and 4 K. Lineups below, as I get them.
Liz (5-3, 3.55)
Hinckley (5-6, 4.99)
And despite what I said about looks being deceiving, the Baysox are 6-0 against the Senators this year, so I feel really good about this game, especially since Liz is on the mound.
LET'S GO BAYSOX!
Catcher Eli Whiteside is out on the DL with a broken nose after taking a pitch to the face in Sunday night's win. Taking his place is Brian Bock, a catcher just called up from High-A Frederick.
Losing Whiteside is a bit of a blow to the Baysox offense. Check this stat out; in 76 at bats, Whiteside has 21 hits (making his average .276) and 21 RBI. His OPS (On Base plus Slugging) of .856 puts him at 13th in the Eastern League, and highest of the active Baysox. Of his 21 hits, almost half of those (10) are for extra bases. Now, with so few at bats, small sample size caveats do apply, but it is safe to say that Whiteside was showing that he could be a powerful hitter for Bowie, and hopefully he can return to the lineup very quickly. Until then, we can hope that some of the other players can keep producing, especially Oscar Salazar and Paco Figueroa.
Here's to a speedy recovery for Eli.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Oscar Salazar Home Run, Baysox 5/24/07
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Streaking to 7 wins in a row, hopefully more! Well then, what a week this has been for the Baysox. As with the last post-weekend update, we go to bullets.
- This weekend's series against the New Britain Rock Cats went even better than could have been expected. The Baysox secured their second sweep in a row, and completed the homestand 7-0.
- Game 1 saw the Baysox win 5-4 on the strength of a 3-run eighth inning rally. Oscar Salazar grounded into a run-scoring fielder's choice to start the scoring in the 8th. Then Rock Cats 3B Brian Buscher committed an error with the bases loaded that let Ruddy Yan and Oscar Salazar score to cap the inning and give the Baysox the lead for good. Rosman Garcia's 6 innings of 3-run ball weren't enough for Bowie in the early going, but Sendy Rleal was able to pick up the win by getting 4 outs.
- Game 2 Matt Cepicky had his 5th HR of the year on a solo shot in the 1st and the Baysox were able to overcome a 3-run 4th inning by the Rock Cats to win 4-3. Starter Craig Anderson threw 6.1 strong innings in gaining the win. Nick McCurdy got the 2.2 inning save.
- Game 3 was an extra-innings affair, and not even 3 extra frames could slow down the Baysox right now. Despite a lackluster performance from starter Chris Waters, who gave up 3 homers in 5 innings, the Baysox lineup was able to carry the team. Bryan Bass, Oscar Salazar, and Val Majewski all had RBI for Bowie, as the Baysox won 6-5.
- The pitching staff was dominant in this homestand. In 7 games spanning 62 innings (two 7-inning double header games, plus one 12 inning affair), the Baysox staff struck out 73 batters. That means that 34.5% of official Senator or Rock Cat at bats ended with a strikeout. Equivalently, that is 3+ innings per game of nothing but K's. And no matter how you look at that stat, that is beautiful.
- Transactions: The Baysox send LHP Craig Anderson and RHP Jim Miller to the AAA Norfolk Tides. This is yet another blow to the Bowie pitching staff that has lost some key players to transaction and injury. RHP Manny Basillio is being sent down to High-A Frederick. To fill one of the spots, the Baysox will get RHP Richard Salazar from Frederick.
- Up next: The Baysox travel to the Harrisburg Senators, against whom they are 6-0 this year. It will be a 3-game series that kicks off at 6:35 on Tuesday with the familiar pitching matchup of Radhames Liz against the Senators Mike Hinckley. More on that game on Tuesday.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Let's hope that RHP Rosman Garcia (1-2, 5.60 ERA) can keep that alive for the Baysox tonight as he faces LHP Ryan Mullins (0-0, 2.25) from New Britain. The Rock Cats are currently in 2nd in the Northern Division at 31-29.
Lineups as I get them/get back online (update 7:54: here they are, sorry about the delay):
LET'S GO BAYSOX!
• Blog Of The Week. Robert Lintott, a 21-year old music major at George Washington University, has started a blog dedicated to the Bowie Baysox (Class-AA Eastern League). A worthy subject, as it was the Baysox who gave us Office Space Night, as you'll recall. Check out his blog right here. Live blogging from the press box, with no NCAA interference! You go, America!I am actually giddy at being mentioned in Deadspin. Just... wow. Thanks so much Rick! And be sure to read that every week, it's a necessity for keeping up on the wacky world of MiLB.
By now, everyone knows about the quirky Gilbert Arenas is (though some disagree). Not everyone, though, realizes that Ichiro brings nearly that same quirk to the table. First, a quick overview of some of Agent Zero's finer moments in quirkery (and if I haven't mentioned it, Wizznutzz gets credit for that amazing nickname):
- Began yelling "Hibachi!" every time he made a shot.
- Then replaced "hibachi" with "Quality Shot" during a Suns-Wizards game in 2006.
- Won a $20,000 bet with teammate DeShawn Stevenson. The terms: Gil could hit more college 3's one-handed than Stevenson could hit NBA 3's two-handed. (One of the best videos ever)
- Had his house converted to the atmospheric pressure of a Denver-esque altitude, so he could be "always above sea-level."
- After hitting a game-winning 3-pointer claimed, "My swag was phenomenal!"
- Sponsors his own video game team, the #1 Halo team in the world, Final Boss.
- Had this amazing quote: “The hibachi is coming to a city near you. I’m cooking chicken and shrimp, but if you want to throw a double team my way, filet mignon gets cooked too"
- On a missed fly ball: "The ball became the same color as the sky, so I wasn't able to see it," he said through his interpreter. "It's not like I had my eyes closed."
Then, he continued.
"I was sending mental signals for the ball not to come my way because at that time of day, it is impossible for me to see. I was lacking mental signals. Usually, I don't think about these things, but this was the first time I said to the ball, 'Please don't come my way.'"I lacked mental signals and that's what I regret."
- On how he convinced himself to get a hit: "Yesterday when I played, inside my head I said 'I want to go home quickly,' and I swung and I was able to get a hit because I wanted to go home," Ichiro said through a translator. "Today I thought, 'I want to hurry up and get something to eat,' and I swung and got a hit today."
Seriously?"That's true," he said in English, sporting a big grin
- On breaking out of a hitting slump: "Yesterday, I ate two ice creams," he said through an interpreter. "Usually I only eat one."
- On the city of Cleveland: "To tell the truth, I'm not excited to go to Cleveland, but we have to," Ichiro said through an interpreter. "If I ever saw myself saying I'm excited going to Cleveland, I'd punch myself in the face, because I'm lying."
- On coming to the states to play in the MLB: "When I came here to play, I didn't know where I would be or where I wouldn't be."
- On fans at Wrigley: "Before the game started, the fans were nice and polite, and that was nice," Ichiro said. "But after the game started and they started drinking beer, lots of beer, their personality changed. And that was fun for me to see."
- On the Tao of Ichiro: "I have many different Ichiros inside me," the center fielder said. "I'm always one of them. At different times, I have different personalities."
What does it Mean?
I find it impossible to think of anyone in Major League Baseball more like Gilbert Arenas than Ichiro. MLB could take a lesson from the NBA and try to learn from Gilbert. The NBA has worked quite hard to promote Gilbert this year, and interest was definitely up when he was playing. That interest = more TV Revenue, more ticket sales (across the league), and more money from endorsements (both for Gil and the league). The MLB ought to try the same thing with Ichiro. The problem for them will be convincing Ichiro to play along. He is notoriously focused on baseball, but of late has started to show a bit more of the public face he has in Japan. There, he hosts a game show, stars in ads, and has a museum dedicated to him. Maybe if baseball can tap into that personality, they can use Ichiro as a tool to help fans forget the steroid problems, the broadcasting rights issues, and just remember that baseball is supposed to be fun. It worked with Agent Zero, why not Agent Fifty-One?
Both Ichiro and Gil are due for huge free-agent contracts in a very short time. Ichiro is looking to cash in big at the end of this year, and has raised speculation that he might command up to 20 million dollars per season. Where could Ichiro be heading? He very well may stay in Seattle, who has shown some playoff potential this year, but is nowhere near being the force they were in 2001 when Ichiro joined them. ESPN's Buster Olney speculates that Ichiro could be signed by the Chicago White Sox, while bandying about the Braves and Rangers as other teams in the market for a CF. It's hard to tell what will happen right now because Ichiro isn't talking to the press. That puts the Mariners in a bind. If they are still contending, do they keep him in the hopes that he stays or do they trade him to get some much-needed pitching? If they keep him and he leaves, all the Mariners get is a compensatory draft pick, and that is no even deal. My guess though, is that the Mariners keep him and then ante up the big bucks to re-sign him this winter.
Gilbert, on the other hand, has been anything but coy. This past weekend he sent shockwaves through the NBA (and the blogosphere) by announcing that at the end of the 2007-08 season, he would opt out of his contract (rather than extend it) and become a free agent. Right now in the NBA a phenomenal guard is one thing every team is after. Even though the Spurs just won with great inside play, the Suns and Warriors set the tone that fast, uptempo guard-based play is incredibly marketable. And with his quirks (next post) and sometimes superhuman abilities, Agent Zero will command top dollar. The catch? He probably won't go anywhere, saying that this decision is purely a business one to get him the most money possible and a six-year deal.
Ichiro and Gilbert are in similar situations when it comes to their teams as well. Both are playing for teams that have shown a little spark, but generally are below elite level. For the Mariners of the past few years, that is an understatement. They sucked, pure and simple. Because of their roles as superstars, both have played essentially the same role for their teams. Ichiro hasn't been a vocal leader, but his on-field performance has kept the Mariners somewhat respectable. Some of his highlights have been his record 262 hits in 2004 (also earning the AL batting title that year, going .372), his streak of 6 consecutive 200 hit seasons, and his streak of 45 consecutive stolen bases. His play was always something to tune in for.
Gilbert hasn't played on a team quite as bad as the Mariners (the Wizards have been to 3 consecutive NBA playoffs), but he has helped make the team what it is. Throughout the nation, people tune in to see Gilbert play. There is always the potential for a game-winning buzzer-beater or some spectacular 3-point shooting. In addition, Gilbert has a great court vision and spectacular control of what's happening at all times. When he was injured this year, the Wizards began collapsing (albeit they were also missing fellow All Star Caron "Tough Juice" Butler) and couldn't avoid being swept by the LeBron James-led Cavs in the 1st round of the playoffs.
It's obvious that both players are the cornerstone of their teams. Without either play, each team could have easily sunk into obscurity; losing fans and revenue along the way. Both players are key to bringing in ticket sales, and both represent the public faces of their franchises.
Part 2 is coming shortly, keep checking in. And let me know what you think in the comments...
I really think that blogging is an amazing tool in the discussion of sports across this here interwebs, and I hope that I can eventually add something akin to what we have seen from the Sports Bog, The Fanhouse, Deadspin, Dan Shanoff, and more. If you are looking for a model on which I base the Baysox coverage (I could only hope to be as good as these guys) check out Lookout Landing and USS Mariner. Yeah, I know the Baysox are a Baltimore team, but I am a Seattle fan when it comes to the bigs. You now have the first 6 blogs I read every morning, and hopefully some idea of where I see this going. So, even if you are just here for the Baysox, stick around, that coverage isn't going anywhere. Hopefully though we will be joined by a broader base. Thanks for reading, and enjoy the ride.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
The Baysox look to close out the sweep of the Senators tonight at Prince George's Stadium. The Senators have yet to come up with a win against the Baysox this year, but have their best chance yet as they face the beleaguered former bullpen man Fredy Deza, who earned his 5th loss of the year in his last appearance (his first start).
Lineups as I get them.
| Figueroa, 2B || DeMent, 2B|
| Hernandez, SS || Whitesell, 1B|
| Salazar, 3B || Blanco, DH|
| Fiorentino, CF || Mortimer, RF|
| Majewski, RF || Larson, 3B|
| Jimenez, 1B || Brown, LF|
| Cepicky, DH ||Herrera, C|
| Whiteside, C || Bynum, SS|
|- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |
Deza (1-5, 6.43)
|- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -|
Nall (2-8, 5.30)
Of note, tonight is Army Night, perhaps your only chance to ever meet WWE's Sergeant Slaughter... so head on out to the park. And if you can't tune in on this here interwebs and feel free to comment as the game goes on.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
7:04 - The rain has started to fall out at Prince George's Stadium according to play-by-play man Steven Smith
7:26 - Still no sign of let-up. So a few things to take note of. Tomorrow (Thurs.) night is Army Night out at the PG Stadium, a night not to be missed lightly. Sergeant Slaughter (he of pro wrestling fame) will be at the Stadium all night, mingling with fans. And if you ever wondered what it would be like to be a pro wrestler, he will gladly put you in a number of different wrestling holds! Imagine the thrills! Imagine the fun! Imagine the chiropractic work needed if that goes awry! But seriously, this has great potential. I may quest up to the game just to blog the appearance.
7:28 - Word from PGS has it that our estimated game time is now 8 PM for the Bowie Baysox to host the Harrisburg Senators. Radhames Liz (no-no last time he played the Senators) pitches against Mike Hinckley.
7:41 - We are 2 minutes from the beginning of the Baysox pregame show on WRGW. Steven Smith has the call for you tonight, so be sure to tune in.
8:06 - Lineups:
- Yan, RF
- Figueroa, 2B
- Cepicky, LF
- Salazar, 3B
- Jimenez, DH
- Majewski, CF
- Whiteside, C
- Sing, 1B
- Bass, SS
- Guerrero, RF
- Brown, LF
- Larson, 3B
- Mortimer, 1B
- Blanco, DH
- Suomi, C
- Diaz, CF
- DeMent, 2B
- Bynum, SS
8:09 - After only half an inning, it doesn't look like Radhames Liz is having any of the control issues we saw in his last start. He put up 2 Ks in the first, and gave up one hit.
8:12 - The Baysox take an early 1-0 lead on a Ruddy Yan 1-run leadoff dinger. Didn't sound like that one was going to make it. Good sign for the Baysox. Liz can work with a bit more comfort if he gets a little run support. 1-0 Baysox
8:16 - Liz can definitely pitch easy now after Matt Cepicky's 2-run shot to dead center. The Baysox really seem to have the Senators' number in the batters box this year. They've scored 12 runs in 14+ innings in this series so far. 3-0 Baysox
8:26 - An error contributes to another run, the Senators just want to get out of the first frame. 4-0 Baysox
8:31 - Liz is blowing through the Harrisburg lineup, striking out the side in the Top of the second (thats 5 in 2 innings). If you aren't listening, you may want to. It's not a no-no, but its a heck of a performance thus far. 4-0 Baysox
8:43 - The Baysox really have to regret that 2nd inning caught stealing. If that doesn't happen you have runners on 1st and 2nd with only one out. I guess that is the kind of mistake a 4-0 lead affords you, as we head to the top of the 3rd. 4-0 Baysox
8:44 - Stop me if I've said this, but Liz is looking ridiculous tonight, he just got a strikeout on a 99 mph fastball at the eyes, K number 6. Only one walk, not bad.
8:46 - K #7... that's 7 Ks in 2 2/3 innings 4-0 Baysox
8:48 - And he strikes out the side! 8 K in 3 innings. 4-0 Baysox
9:01 - Liz finally decides to let some other Baysox players into the defensive game, getting a pop-up and a caught stealing. But that's only 2... yeah, he got K #9. 4-0 Baysox
9:08 - Hinckley has apparently decided he wants to leave Bowie quickly tonight as he has settled into a Liz-like stretch, retiring 7 in a row. Onto the top of the 5th now. 4-0 Baysox
9:12 - As Mike Miller is on the air now, you ought to go check out his writing at Orioles Hangout. Some of the best, concise write-ups anywhere in the Orioles system. A must-read for anyone interested in the Orioles and their farm system.
9:18 - Liz is rapidly approaching a Baysox K record. At PG Stadium, the record is 13, and in franchise history its 16. Liz now has 11 after 5 innings of work. 4-0 Baysox
9:26 - 10 in a row retired now by Hinckley. The Baysox have to be loving that 4-run 1st inning right now. That and Liz' dominant performance thus far, as we head to the top of the 6th. 4-0 Baysox
9:29 - Top of the 6th over after a brilliant Oscar Salazar catch that had Steven, our play-by-play guy fooled. He thought the ball was somewhere in left field, but Oscar came up with that. Let's hope that play shifts some momentum over to the offensive side at the bottom of the inning where Salazar leads off and tries to break his 0-20 streak.
9:31 - Slump over. Salazar gets his single, now he's 1-21 in his last 21 AB.
9:37 - Liz is out of the game, falling 2 K short of the PG Stadium record with 11 to end the game. The final, impressive, line on Liz is: 6 innings, 1 hit, 3 walks, and 11 strikeouts. He leaves the game with a 3.55 ERA and a shot at his fifth win. He is replaced by Sendy Rleal. 4-0 Baysox
9:44 - Another quick inning for the Baysox staff. Its stretch time as we head to the bottom of the 7th. 4-0 Baysox
9:49 - I neglected to mention that Hinckley is out of the game after 6 innings of work: 7 hits, 4 runs (3 earned), no walks and 4 K. He leaves the contest with a 4.99 ERA and the chance at nothing better than a no decision.
9:54 - Gerald Plexico comes in to relieve Zechry Zinicola for the Senators. Plexico is a big 6-4, 210 pound lefty with a 5.31 ERA in 20.1 innings coming into tonight's game. 4-0 Baysox
10:00 - After a perfect 1-2-3 inning Rleal leaves the game and is replaced with RHP Jim Miller (2-3, 2.97). Miller has held opponents to .198 in 30.1 innings this year
10:07 - The Baysox head into the bottom of the 9th maintaining the 4-0 lead on the strength of pitching which hasn't given up a hit since 1-out in the 1st inning. Ridiculous. 4-0 Baysox
10:12 - Baysox go down 1-2-3 on the strength of a nice Harrisburg double play. We head to the 9th with the Baysox looking to complete the combined shutout 1-hitter. 4-0 Baysox
10:18 - Jim Miller gets the Baysox 12th K of the game giving them 34 in the 22 2/3 innings that this series has gone.
10:22 - The Baysox win! A phenomenal pitching performance tonight as 3 pitchers combined for a 1-hit shutout of the Harrisburg Senators. All of the Baysox runs came in the first inning, on the strength of 2 home runs (Yan, Cepicky) and an error. Radhames Liz had another stellar performance against the Senators as he struck out 11, walked 3, and only gave up one hit in 6 innings of work. Final: 4-0 Baysox
10:24 - Well, this has been a lot of fun, and a Baysox win certainly doesn't hurt. Check back for more live blogging as the season goes on. For now, have a great night, and thanks for reading.
Friday, June 8, 2007
Secondly, I have to give a shout-out to Dan Steinberg of the D.C. Sports Bog who was kind enough to make Go Figueroa one of his Top Five reads on Monday. I can't tell you how much I have grown to love "Agent Steinz" blogging. He covers the weird and the weirder in the DC sports scene and does so with great aplomb. Also definitely a daily must-read. And the link was phenomenal in this wildly self-referential universe that is the blogosphere.
Make sure to check out those sites, as well as the ones on the blogroll (to your right...)
Enough of that, however, onto the update. Bullets for all:
- We didn't miss too many games, but what we did miss was bad. The Baysox got swept by the Southern Division bottom-feeding Connecticut Defenders in a 3-game series, including losses from Sendy Rleal (0-1), Chris Waters (2-5), and Radhames Liz (4-3).
- Game 1 was a 10-inning heart breaker that snapped the Baysox 3-game winning streak, 5-4. After 4 early runs, the Bowie bats went dead in the final 6 frames, and reliever Sendy Rleal gave up three consecutive 1-out singles in the 10th to allow the winning run to come across. One highlight for the Baysox was a two-run Matt Cepicky home run in the 4th inning.
- Game 2 of the series saw the Defenders come out swinging as starting pitcher Chris Waters got tagged for 7 runs off of 7 hits in 2.1 innings. It might have been worse had he put more balls where the hot bats of Connecticut could get to them, Waters had 5 walks in the short outing. Things didn't get any better in the 4th when reliever David Haehnel would give up a 3-run shot to Defenders' catcher Stephen Holm. The Baysox managed to score runs with the help of an Eli Whiteside 3-run homer, but it was not enough as Bowie lost 10-5.
- Game 3 featured Radhames Liz fresh off of his no-hitter of the Harrisburg Senators, and the reigning Eastern League pitcher of the week. He was able to extend his hitless innings streak until the third, when the Defenders got their first hit of the game. He would end up giving up 5 runs in as many innings, while the Baysox were unable to muster a single trip across home plate. Final score: a 5-0 loss. Good news for Bowie came as newest reliever Nick McCurdy pitched 3 innings of shutout ball, with 3 K and just 2 hits. If McCurdy can maintain his performance, he would be a huge help to a struggling Baysox bullpen.
- Bowie will make up it's rained out game with the Harrisburg Senator (from last Sunday) on June 12 as part of a 6:05 double header.
- STANDINGS: After the 3-game skid, the Baysox are now at 29-29, 5 games back of the Southern Division leading Akron Aeros.
- ROSTER MOVES: OF Matt Cepicky and RHP Nick McCurdy were both transferred from AAA Norfolk. Cepicky returned to Bowie on the 5th after a 12-game stint with the Tides. McCurdy came down on the 6th. In addition, LHP Oscar Alvarez was put on the DL on Wednesday, retroactive to the 4th, with shoulder stiffness. It was that stiffness that took Alvarez out of the game against Harrisburg in the 2nd inning on June 2.
- UP NEXT: The Baysox head to New Britain (29-25) for a 3-game series against the second place in the Northern Division Rock Cats.
- Probables (Rock Cat vs. Baysox):
- RHP Kyle Waldrop (0-3, 5.09 ERA) vs. RHP Fredy Deza (1-4, 5.23 ERA)
- RHP Jesse Floyd (4-4, 3.90 ERA) vs. RHP Rosman Garcia (1-2, 6.75 ERA)
- LHP Ryan Mullins (0-0, 2.77 ERA) vs. LHP Craig Anderson (4-1, 5.46 ERA
Friday, June 1, 2007
On a night when the Baysox lost their top bullpen pitcher, and had two others unavailiable, Liz had to give the team a strong (and long) outing. And a strong outing he gave, going 9 innings, stiking out 8, walking 3 and hitting one other. He faced 30 batters, only three above the minimum, and after some early control issues, retired the last 17 batters in order. In the 8th inning, it seemed that Baysox manager Bien Figueroa might have considered taking Liz out of the game, as he had action in the bullpen. However, after a 3-run outburst from the Baysox offense in the bottom of the 8th, the bullpen was quiet, and Liz was allowed to finish out. The final out, it should be noted, was no gimmie, as a lined shot by Senators 1B Juan Melo made Baysox LF Ruddy Yan nearly run into the outfield wall while making the catch.
Liz' performance was the first no hitter in the Eastern League since Tyler Clippard did the same to the Harrisburg Senators last year. Clippard is now starting for the New York Yankees. With his stellar performance tonight, Liz improves his record to 4-2.
On the other side of the field, Washington Nationals prospect Collin Balester (2-3, 2.94) also pitched a fantastic game, giving up only 2 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks. In the course of 7 innings, he struck out 5. After going 1-2-3 in the frist three innings, Balester gave up consecutive 1-out singles to 2B Paco Figueroa and SS Luis Hernandez. They were then driven in on consecutive 2-out singles by CF Jeff Fiorentino and RF Val Majewski. Those would be the only runs that Balester gave up. In the 8th inning, the Senators brought in Daniel Foli to try and hold the Baysox. Foli ended up giving up 3 walks and 2 hits after getting his first two outs. Hernandez drove in Figueroa and Majewski added the night's final two runs with his single off of Foli.
- Tomorrow: Harrisburg Senators (19-35) @ Bowie Baysox (28-26)
- Pitching Probables: LHP Mike Hinckley (4-4, 5.33 ERA) vs. LHP Oscar Alvarez (6-1, 3.92)
NOTES: Liz' 8 strikeouts brought his season total to 60, good for the team lead... Liz also set the team high for longest outing this season, previously it had been 8.1 innings pitched by Oscar Alvarez at Altoona on May 18th... Majewski now has 27 RBI for the season, good enough to tie him for second on the team with Luis Hernandez... Oscar Salazar had another tough night at the plate going 0-3 and dropping his average to .315 on the year. He did draw a walk in the 8th and came around to score on Majewski's single...
Luckily for the Baysox, they are getting some major-league talent, as the Orioles have optioned Sendy Rleal (lee-AL) to the Baysox for a rehab assignment. Rleal pitched 46.2 innings for the O's last season and came away with a 4.44 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP. Even if it is only temporary (as most rehab assignments are) it will definitely help the Baysox to have someone with big-league experience in the pen as they try to figure out who will take Hoey's spot in the closer role.
7:05 ET, Prince George's Stadium
- RHP Collin Balester (2-2, 2.98 ERA) v. RHP Radhames Liz (3-2, 4.06)
- Both team won last night, but the Senators enter the game at the bottom of the Eastern League's Southern Division standings. They are currently 11.5 back of the Division leading Akron Aeros, while the Baysox sit in 3rd place 3.5 out. This is the first meeting of the two teams this year.
- Liz is coming off of his worst start of the season, giving up 4 runs on 4 hits in a 3-inning no decision. He is, however, leading the Baysox in strikeouts this season with 58 in 10 starts.
- The Baysox made a couple of key transactions today, transferring closer James Hoey to Class AAA Norfolk and sending IF Travis Brown to High-A Frederick. Hoey had been phenomenal this year converting all 14 of his save opportunities, including a 3-strikeout performance last night against the Reading Phillies.
But, I found this post over at Jamie Mottram's Mr. Irrelevant blog (known locally as the Blogfather, Mottram also co-hosts Comcast Sports Net's Blog Show with DC Sports Bog author Dan Steinberg... a must-see every week). The premise: he asked bloggers and sports fans for their favorite live moments from different sports. This one really caught my eye:
David Pinto, Baseball Musings
A few years ago, when [Marlins catcher] Matt Treanor was with the Portland Sea Dogs, my friend Jim Storer and I were sitting in the front row at Dodd Stadium enjoying the contest between the Norwich Navigators and the the Sea Dogs. It was a perfect day for a game, sunny, but not too hot. At some point in the game, a pitch got by Treanor, and with no one on base, he ran to the wall where we were sitting to collect the ball. After picking it up, he looked at us and said, "Isn't it a great day for a ballgame?" then headed back to home plate.
Yes it is Matt, it's always a great day for a ballgame.
All the Baysox needed to snap the skid was a break-out 7th inning, aided a bit by some Reading fielding woes. Bowie trailed 2-3 heading into the 7th, having gotten runs off of a Ruddy Yan leadoff Home Run to start the game, and a Luis Hernandex RBI single in the 3rd. Chris Coste of Reading jumped all over a Waters pitch in the 4th for a 3-run home run that accounted for all of the Phillies offense.
In the 7th, Kyle Kendrick (the #15 prospect in the Philadelphia pharm system according to Baseball America) gave up consecutive singles to catcher Eli Whiteside and 3B Bryan Bass. This set the scene for a Ruddy Yan sacrifice bunt, which he executed quite well. However, while the runners were advancing, Phillies catcher Chris Coste fielded the ball and threw up the first base line only to hit Yan. The first base umpire ruled no interference and as the ball rolled off into the dugout, the two runners scored. Baysox 2B Paco Figueroa hit a sac bunt to advance Yan to second. Kendrick then allowed an RBI single off the bat of SS Luis Hernandez, and that was the end of his night. Having brought the score to 5-3, that would be all the offense the Baysox would need. At the end of the game, the score stood the same and the Bowie 4-game losing streak was history. The team returns home tomorrow to face the Southern Division cellar-dwelling Harrisburg Senators. With Akron losing tonight, the Baysox picked up a game on the Southern Division leaders and now stand only 3.5 back.
- Tomorrow: Harrisburg Senators (19-34) @ Bowie Baysox (27-26)
- Pitching Probables: RHP Collin Balester (2-2, 2.98 ERA) vs. RHP Radhames Liz (3-2, 4.06)
NOTES: James Hoey picked up his 14th save in as many attempts tonight, getting one hit against and three K... Jim Miller came into the game in the 7th inning for the Baysox and worked for 2 innings, giving up 3 BB, but striking out 5... the Phillies ran themselves into one of the more unique double plays seen in a while, 1-6-3-2 as a Reading runner was caught trying to round third while the Baysox attempted a more traditional 2nd and 1st base double play... the Baysox pitching staff nearly matched their season high (12) for strikeouts in a game with 11...