Archive for June, 2009

The Visit

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

The Situation…Top 5th, two on two out, Lakewood up 4-1, Greensboro has runners on first and second. Jason Knapp at 99 pitches with leadoff hitter Kevin Mattison at the plate.

The Visit…Dusty Wathan comes out to talk to Knapp with Jordan Ellis ready in the bullpen. What did he say? According to Knapp, first Dusty asked how Knapp was feeling, to which the answer was “Great.” Then Dusty told him…

“Don’t mess around. Get this guy out. I want you to get this win.”

Knapp struck out Mattison on four pitches, the last a 98 mph fastball, his hardest of the night…Of course Knapp didn’t get the win as Ellis gave up a three-run game-tying HR to Ben Lasater in the 6th, but it was still a great outing for Knapp…12 Ks (2nd highest total of the year) against just two walks and two hits and the one run.

Game 74: BlueClaws (44-29) vs Greensboro (38-36)

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Welcome back to FirstEnergy Park…A new team in town, Greensboro, a Marlins affiliate, against whom Lakewood is 5-3 this year. First of four.

LAK: RHP Jason Knapp (2-6, 3.62)
GBO: RHP Johnny Dorn (7-5, 3.15)

Score Him Some Runs…The BlueClaws have tallied just 30 runs in Knapp’s 14 starts…Jason has walked nine over his last two starts, however.

Who’s Hot…Anthony Gose is hitting .341 in June and Harold Garcia is at .373 since June 12th…Travis d’Arnaud is 14 for his last 40.

Game notes hereAudio here.

5:37: We expect the rain to continue to pester our friends in western New Jersey and not here. Tarp is not on the field, and we don’t expect to put it on the field.

6:56: Getting set to go…70s, overcast, breeze. Conditions are just fine.

7:02: The BlueClaws have lost two games in a row for the 8th time, but they are 7-0 when on a two-game losing streak, so that bodes well, I think. Who knows?

7:38: A controversial run for Greensboro on a double-steal. Kevin Mattison came in from 3rd “before” Jeremy Synan was tagged out at second by Harold Garcia…We thought, so did Dusty, that the run crossed well after the out was recorded.

8:00: Knapp…6 Ks through three innings…still 1-0 GBO to the home third.

8:16: Lakewood takes the lead…Harold Garcia’s hot hitting continues, a base hit and he scores on a Murphy SAC fly. Gose scores the go-ahead run on an errant throw by the catcher Langely…2-1 Lakewood, top 4.

8:23: Knapp is dealing…8 Ks so far through 3.2 innings.

8:24: Now 9 through 4…5 off his team record.

8:36: Two more for Lakewood on four hits…a 2-run single for Harold Garcia, who is now 21 for his last 54.

8:49: Knapp…wow…3 more Ks…12 through 5…he’s probably done, at 103 pitches, but what a great outing…5 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 12 K, and the one run from back in the first…the last 9 outs he recorded were via the K and 8 of those were swinging.

9:00: Knapp’s last pitch was clocked at 98 on a gun that we’re told is about 2 mph slow…The last nine outs he recorded were via the K. Jordan Ellis in and in trouble…1st/3rd nobody out.

9:27: Ellis allowes a three run home run to Ben Lasater and we are tied at 4…the BlueClaws get two men on in the bottom of the sixth and go away begging…two strikeouts and we are still tied 4-4.

9:45: MURPH!!! Jim Murphy’s 8th home run of the year gives Lakewood the lead. 6-4 BlueClaws to the 8th…BJ coming in.

10:46: Final was 7-4…BJR got the final six outs for his 12th save.

Kid Rock Tickets: Thirsty Thursday

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

This Thursday’s Thirsty Thursday ticket giveaway: Kid Rock and Lynyrd Skynyrd, July 8th at PNC Bank Arts Center.

Ibanez to Lake(land)?

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Could Raul Ibanez rehab with the BlueClaws? From Jeff Schuler’s Hog Blog at the Morning Call in Allentown…

The most likely scenario is that Ibanez will get in some game time this weekend with either Clearwater or Lakeland, since both Class A leagues use the DH exclusively. If he’s not back on the Phillies roster by Tuesday, he may find his way to Allentown to play a game or two against Pawtucket. 

Note: The BlueClaws in this case are Lakeland…Lehigh Valley and Reading are iffy because they do not use a DH during home games during games against American League affiliates. The BlueClaws are home through Friday before an eight-game road trip so if it happens it’s probably either Thursday or Friday.

The slugger is nursing a groin strain and is eligible to come off the DL on Friday.

Update: Jen Grooome checks in with the Eastern League correction. The DH is used in NL/NL only games. Any game with an American League affiliate seems to use the DH.

Back in Bed

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

We’ll be back in the bed tonight for a special SLEEPY’S Broadcast in Bed, the second of five that we will do this season from the concourse behind home plate. So if you’re coming to the game, stop by and say hello. You can’t miss it.

This goes into the Enjoying a Game category because there, frankly, is no better place to enjoy a game than a queen-sized bed on a beautiful summer evening.

JA Happ Bobblehead Dolls for the first 2,000 fans, thanks to Verizon Wireless. See you tonight.

Game 73: BlueClaws (44-28) vs Delmarva (38-35)

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Welcome back to FirstEnergy Park for the rubber game of a five-game series between the BlueClaws and Shorebirds, after Delmarva won yesterday 7-5. Click here for tonight’s game notes. Audio here.

Welcome Back to the Rotation…That’s the sign in Justin De Fratus’ locker. He makes his first start of the year tonight after spending an All-Star half as a reliever.

Who’s Hot…Anthony Gose is 6 for his last 7…Travis d’Arnaud is 14-37 since a 26-157 stretch.

LWD: RHP Justin De Fratus (2-0, 1.58)
DEL: RHP Oliver Drake (3-4, 2.97)


De Fratus to Start; ClawCast Interview

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Justin De Fratus, a starter in his first two pro seasons and college career, makes his first start of 2009 after a great half as a set-up man in the Lakewood bullpen (2-0, 1.59).

Here is a ClawCast interview with De Fratus which spends a lot of time talking about the transition…Some quotes…

“I don’t really care what I do, as long as I’m out there pitching,” he said. “But now, I guess I’m going back home in a sense. It’s where I’ve been my whole life and it won’t be too much of a transition.”

“Now that I’m rebuilding, I can build my stamina but take that same intensity, max effort from the bullpen, and carry that over a longer game.”

“I have a more agressive approach when I’m pitching. Last year, I would try to preserve myself, but now I know I can attack hitters and as a starter I can bring that now. Relieving has definately helped me.”

Carrasco to Debut This Week?

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Signs seem to point to former BlueClaws RHP Carlos Carrasco making his big league debut later this week. After a dynamite spring, Carrasco got off to an awful start with AAA Lehigh Valley, but has allowed two runs or less in five of his last seven starts just to runs over his last two starts. He’s won three in a row.

Overall this year, the right-hander 4-7, 4.92.

He was Baseball America’s top ranked Phillies prospect for the last two years before Dominic Brown moved into that slot this year, with Carrasco at number two.

“I used the word ‘electric,’ “Rod  Nichols, pitching coach for the Phillies’ triple-A Lehigh Valley club, said in the Philadelphia Inquirer. “His stuff was electric.”

Nichols thinks he can hold his own up there.

“The way he has thrown his last few starts – yes,” Nichols said. “You’d like to see more success here, see if he can continue it, but he does have stuff that would play at the big-league level.”

UPDATE: Carrasco would be the 30th former BlueClaw to play in the Major Leagues.

Ballestas Named Pitcher of the Week

Monday, June 29th, 2009

In his debut in Lakewood, Freddy Ballestas made a strong impression throughout the South Atlantic League. Ballestas started the resumed portion of a suspended game on Saturday where he came in to start the fourth inning. He went five innings, allowed just two hits, no walks, while striking out eight batters. He did not allow a run in the no decision. By virtue of that performance, Ballestas was named the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week for the week that ran from June 22-28th. Ballestas, recently promoted from Williamsport, will be a key member of the BlueClaws bullpen in the second half of the season.

Jason Knapp was the only other BlueClaws player this season to be named as the Pitcher of the Week in the SAL after his 7-inning 14k performance.

Jonathan Pettibone, of the Willaimsport Crosscutters, was named as the New-York Penn League Pitcher of the Week, as he went 11 innings of shutout baseball with 12 strikeouts and three walks.

Wednesday: Buy One Get One

Monday, June 29th, 2009

For those of you that have not seen the event on the BlueClaws Facebook page, we are doing a special promotion for Wednesday’s game…Buy one ticket and get one free. This offer is only valid on Wednesday, July 2nd at 7:05 pm!

All you have to do is print out this Facebook Event Page and bring it to the BlueClaws Box Office just like you would a coupon. The deal is buy a ticket get a ticket free, so if you buy 4 tickets, you get 4 free! Also, the first 2,000 fans ages 18+ will receive BlueClaws Luggage Tags, presented by Clayton Block! Kids 12 and under will also eat for free, just like at every BlueClaws game this season!

So become our friend on Facebook, print the event page, and take advantage of this special Facebook offer on Wednesday. See you at the park!

Crazy Day in the MiLB

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Came across two pretty crazy games in the MiLB today that I thought should be shared here on BlueClaws Blog.

I have been tracking James McOwen for a little bit and today he went his 36th consecutive game with a base hit. A California League record. However, that’s only the beginning…

The game between the Lake Elsinore Storm (Hi-A Padres affiliate) (Sweet logo to the right) and the High Desert Mavericks (Seattle Mariners) was a complete slugfest. In addition to the single in the first by McOwen, the Storm belted out 32 hits and 33 runs. The Mavericks had a modest 25 hits and 18 runs…that’s right 57 hits and 51 runs wowww! The game took place with a game time temperature listed at 100 degrees and sunny and the game lasted 4 hours and 14 minutes. USE SUNSCREEN!

Ian Snell is working his way back to the majors and stopped in AAA on assignment with the Indianapolis Indians. In his first start since being sent down, Snell showed he didn’t belong. In 7 innings, Snell allowed two hits, one unearned run while striking out 17 batters. At one point, Snell sent 13 in a row down swinging or looking.  Snell took the no decision in the game…This performance should remind you of Jason Knapp and his 7 innings 1 hit 14 strikeout performance where he also received a no decision.

Box scores to both games posted below in order they were discussed, check them out:

Cali SlugFest

Ian Snell’s 17 Strikeouts

Game 72: BlueClaws (44-27) vs Delmarva (37-35)

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Welcome back to FirstEnergy Park for Golf Day. You can see some photos on our Facebook wall or at our Twitter page. Lakewood looks for their third straight win after sweeping a double-header yesterday.

LWD: RHP Trevor May (0-1, 8.10)
DEL: RHP Ryan O’Shea (5-3, 3.13)

d’Arnaud Heating Up…After a rough 26-157 stretch, Travis d’Arnaud is 13 for his last 35 and has raised his average from .188 to .214.

May Day…Third start for Trevor May who has struck out 12 in just 6.2 innings but has walked seven. He has only lasted 3 and 3.2 innings in the two starts.

Game notes hereAudio here…rest below the fold.


USA – Brazil

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Today, the United States Men’s Soccer Team will compete in their first international final in a FIFA tournament in the history of their program when they take on Brazil in the 2009 Confederations Cup Final in South Africa. BlueClaws pitcher Heitor Correa, who pitched a complete game yesterday and South Atlantic League President Eric Krupa are from Brazil and are surely interested observers for the 2:30 pm game.

How did they get here? Well before the incredible 3-0 victory against Egypt and the virtue of having Brazil beat Italy by the same score, the United States had to qualify for this tournament, and that began two years ago. Each confederation holds a tournament and the winners are granted a spot into the Confederations Cup, one year before the World Cup in the WC host city. The United States erased a 1-0 half-time deficit way back in 2007 and beat Mexico 2-1 to win the Gold Cup (CONCACAF Champions) and earn a spot in the 2009 Confederations Cup. Benny Feilhaber, also born in Brazil, scored a magnificent game-winner (Link here).


Games 70 and 71: BlueClaws vs Delmarva

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

Let’s try this again from last night. The plan is to keep the one blog up for both games. RHP Freddy Ballestas and LHP Cole McCurry will be the pitchers in game one. RHP Heitor Correa and RHP Brent Allar in game two.

Situation…0-0, bottom of the 3rd…Vladimir De Los Santos will bat for Lakewood, with no count and nobody on base.

Here is the play by play from last night.

Rest below the fold…Enjoy.