Some breaking news here for you…Just got confirmation that TLC’s Table for Twelve stars Eric and Betty Hayes, plus their 10 children, will be joining us at the BlueClaws game on Thursday (6:35 pm). From Marlboro, the Hayes family will be signing some autographs and throwing out ceremonial first pitches, plus some special surprises!
Of the ten kids in the family, there is one set of sextuplets and two other sets of twins.
“Betty is a stay-at-home mom, while Eric is a police officer. Even so, he is as involved in parenting as his wife — and the kids also pitch in with the older ones helping out with the younger ones and with the six loads of laundry the family does daily. And everybody has their daily chores.
The older twins are 12-year-olds Kevin and Kyle, followed by 10-year-old twins Kieran and Meghan. The four-year-old sextuplets are Tara, Rachel, Ryan, Connor, EJ and Rebecca, who has cerebral palsy.”
This came in this morning from Larry Shenk with the Phillies…
Players of the Week
**Pitcher: RHP Rodrigo Lopez, Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Was 1-0, 1 start, a 3-1 win on Wednesday, 7 innings, 5 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts; threw 91 pitches, 58 for strikes. The 33-year-old was signed as a free agent on March 5. He missed most of last season recovering from 8/22/07 Tommy John surgery.
**Player: 2B Brad Harman, Reading Phillies. Hit .429 in 7 games with organization-high 12 hits and 9 RBI. Boosted average from .269 to .296. Scored 6 times, collected 3 doubles, 2 home runs. Had his second 4-hit game of the season on Friday and hit a slam on Sunday. Hitting .439 in last 10 games; .359 for May. The 23-year-old was signed as an amateur free agent, 3/4/03, out of Fairhills High School, Australia.
Welcome back to FirstEnergy Park for today’s 1:05 game between the BlueClaws and Greensboro Grasshoppers, who won a rain-shortned eight-inning game last night 9-3. GBO has won two of the first three, but Lakewood still leads by a half-game in the SAL North.
Not as it seems…Brad Hand might have an 8.68 ERA but over his last four starts he is 2-2, having allowed nine runs over 19 innings. He gave up eight and nine runs in back-to-back starts in April and his ERA will feel the pain all year.
New BlueClaw…As you can see from the previous post, Steve Susdorf is back in Lakewood. He was here for a week last year and spent the majority of the season with Williamsport. He was rehabbing in Clearwater from hip surgery and will bat 5th and DH today.
The BlueClaws will play at 1:05 today in an important game against the Greensboro Grasshoppers, who trail the BlueClaws by just .5 game. If the BlueClaws win, they’d split the four-game series and go back 1.5 ahead of their closest rivals. A loss would drop the BlueClaws out of first.
Promotion: Post game photo on the field! Join us on the very grass the BlueClaws play on!
On the Mound: Heitor Correa 6′ 3″ 200lbs
Correa is making his fifth start of the season since coming up to the BlueClaws from extended spring training to replace Rob Roth who was placed on the DL. Since his callup, Correa is 0-1 with a 3.13 ERA and has pitched well, despite a setback in his last start. Correa began playing for the Phillies as a 16-year-old and is from soccer hot bed Brazil. In his only other home start this season, Correa went 6 innings and did not allow an earned run.
On the Move: Leandro Castro and Steve Susdorf
The BlueClaws welcome #9 outfielder Steve Susdorf to the team and have sent the struggling outfielder Leandro Castro to extended spring training. Susdorf, who will start in today’s ballgame, was drafted our of Fresno State after winning a shock NCAA Championship. A 19th round selection in 2008, Susdorf is a much needed lefty bat in the BlueClaws lineup. He played most of 2008 with Williamsport and hit .305 in 167 abs. He also had decent slugging numbers with 13 doubles and five home runs. Susdorf played two games in Lakewood last season going 1-for-9.
Back at ’em Monday, 1:05 Memorial Day game between Lakewood and Greensboro, the finale of the four-game series. GBO has won two of the first three and Lakewood’s lead in the SAL North is down to just a half-game.
Welcome back to FirstEnergy Park…BlueClaws and Greensboro tonight at 7:05. Lakewood, 4-3 winners last night, is up 1.5 games in the SAL North on Greensboro and 1.5 on Delmarva, who beat Kannapolis 2-1 earlier today.
LAK- Jason Knapp (2-3)
GBO- Graham Johnson (1-0)
Knapp Time…Jason Knapp makes his 9th start tonight. His first four, all in April, yielded a 1.85 ERA, but in May, Knapp has 6.88 ERA. He walked five in his last start, lasting 3.2 (2R) on Tuesday at West Virginia.
Defending the Three…The BlueClaws with last night’s win avoided losing three games in a row yet again. They have four two games losing streaks but have won the night following each time.
Who’s Hot…Troy Hanzawa is 11 for his last 22 and Harold Garcia 13 for his last 35.
It was his first start of the season, and it came against the red hot Yankees in the new Yankee Stadium on national television. And JA Happ threw a fine ballgame, certainly good enough to win. He left with a 4-2 lead after allowing two runs over six innings, but Brad Lidge gave up a two-run homer to Alex Rodriguez in the 9th and then a walk-off singel by Melky Cabrera to complete a 5-4 Yankees win. Happ, nonetheless, was satisfied with his outing.
“I’m definitely pleased,” said Happ, who threw 75 pitches, 50 for strikes. “From the get-go, I was hoping to give four or five solid innings and keep the pitch count down by throwing strikes and letting them put the ball in play. I went six, so I’m definitely happy with it. I’ll try to build on this.”
To make matters worse, the Mets got a 9th inning home run from somebody named Omir Santos off of Jonathan Papelbon to beat the Red Sox 3-2.
Kyle Drabek threw five hitless innings for Clearwater but gave up four in the sixth and took the loss. Joel Naughton hit his fifth home run of the season for the Threshers…Antonio Bastardo, in his first start with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, gave up three runs (all in the fifth) over six innings, with a 11 Ks, for a very solid AAA debut. The IronPigs did blow a 4-0 lead and lost 5-4.
Lakewood and Greensboro tonight, game three of the four game series. A win will get Lakewood back to 2.5 games up in the SAL North over the Grasshoppers and ensure at least a split of the series. Here are tonight’s game notes.
Jason Knapp on the hill tonight, off of his first five-walk start of the year (3.2 IP, 2 R) Tuesday at West Virginia. He has an ERA near seven in May after a sub-2 April.
Troy Hanzawa by the way is 11 for his last 22 and is up over .260. Hanzawa and Zach Collier (who has family in town from California) each went 3-4 last night.