Archive for August, 2009

Carlos Carrasco to Debut Tuesday

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Former BlueClaws pitcher Carlos Carrasco (2006) makes his big league debut on Tuesday night for the Indians when they play Detroit.

Carrasco was traded to the Indians as part of the Cliff Lee deal, and will move to the bigs as the rosters expand for September 1st.

“I’m excited to see him, to get him up here and get him started on this part of his journey,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “As a young pitcher, I don’t want anybody to expect too much, I don’t think that’s fair to the kid, but I just want him to come up here and get as comfortable as possible, help him relax and have fun.”

He will be the 30th former BlueClaws player to appear in a Major League game, and fifth to debut this year (click here).

Game 61: Suns (21-38) at BlueClaws (31-29)

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Welcome back to FirstEnergy Park for the first of the last. This is the first game of the last homestand the BlueClaws will host this regular season and it’s three with the Hagerstown Suns. Game notes hereaudio here

LWD: RHP Justin De Fratus (5-6, 3.23)
HAG: RHP Marcos Frias (8-4, 2.96)

Familiar Foes: The Lakewood BlueClaws ended their season with nine games in their last 20 against the Hagerstown Suns and Justin De Fratus will match up against Marcos Frias for the third straight turn in the rotation. This will be the rubber match between the two as Frias and De Fratus have split their first two meetings. Frias – 12ip, 1er – De Fratus: 13ip, 2 er

Sweeping Success: The BlueClaws last faced Hagerstown in Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown, MD and swept them in a three-game series. The BlueClaws have won five of their last six against the Suns and are 14-4 this season.

6:26: Bed broadcast! We are out on the Sleepy’s mattress enjoying a bed broadcast on the concourse. Unfortunately, updates will be limited.

Wathan and Gose on SAL All-Star Team

Monday, August 31st, 2009

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athan” width=”93″ height=”141″ />Congrats to BlueClaws manager Dusty Wathan and centerfielder Anthony Gose, who have been named to the 2009 South Atlantic League All-Star team.

Wathan is the first BlueClaws manager to be chosen, and his selection comes after he led the BlueClaws to the 2009 first-half title in the SAL’s Northern Division.

“It’s an honor to be selected by my peers but this is a team honor,” said Wathan. “You’re only as good as your players and staff and we’ve had a great group this year.”

Gose leads all of Minor League Baseball in stolen bases 74, and broke the BlueClaws franchise record on August 4th when he stole number 60.

“Gose has been outstanding all year,” added Wathan. “He provides a tremendous presence both in the box and when he gets on base.”

Former BlueClaw Howard Hitting at Torrid Pace

Monday, August 31st, 2009

He was the NL Rookie of the Year, NL MVP and a World Series Champion. By the age of 29, the former Lakewood BlueClaws star has seemingly already done it all in his Major League career, but hes not nearly done yet. Howard is hitting .271 with 37 home runs and 111 RBI this season. Let’s take a look at how those numbers looked on August 7th, just 24 days ago:

.258, 26 home runs, 79 RBI

Over his last 21 games, Howard is hitting .337 with 9 home runs and 32 RBI. Ridiculous.
The Phillies hold a comfortable eight-game lead in the NL East and look as they will cruise to their third-straight division championship. Two years ago, the Phillies clinched the division on the final day of the season and last year, the Phillies clinched with one game to go.

Howard is a late-season phenom. In his career, he is hitting .255 with a .537 slg. before the All-Star break…However, after the break, Howard boasts a .303 average with a .638 slugging.

Howard knows when to turn on his hitting and he has the Phillies as maybe the favorites in the NL to get back to the World Series and potentially win it for the second year in a row.

One Week From Today: The Roofman Arrives

Monday, August 31st, 2009

We are one week away from The Roofman, aka Ryan Ragan, COO of Central Jersey Blood Center. Ragan will head to the roof of FirstEnergy Park on Monday while we collect 300 pints of blood leading into the BlueClaws first home playoff game since 2006.

Between 10 am and 8 pm, we’ll have the blood trucks at FirstEnergy Park, and fans can come on by, donate (all donors get a ticket to the BlueClaws first home playoff game on September 11th plus a pre-game parade), and win various prizes including:

  • An authentic BlueClaws jersey signed by the entire team
  • An authentic basketball jersey signed by Julius Erving
  • A Cole Hamels autograph baseball
  • 2 Bushel of BlueClaws ticket packages for the 2010 season
  • 2 tickets to Thunderfest featuring Jason Aldean
  • 2 tickets to Wingstock featuring Foreigner and Blue Oyster Cult
  • 2 tickets to a Monmouth University 2010 football game
  • 2 tickets to the Toxic Avenger musical on Broadway
  • 2 tickets to the Gazillion Bubbles show on Broadway

“Living on a roof isn’t easy, but it’s certainly easier than what our transfusion patients have to go through every month,” says Ragan.   

Hopefully you can come on out and help. But if you can’t make it to the park, just mention this drive at other CJBC locations in Howell, Shrewsbury, or Toms River.

ClawCast: Jason Knapp

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

kanpp2Spoke with former BlueClaws pitcher, and current Lake County Captain Jason Knapp (listen to full audio here)…Knapp was one of four current/former BlueClaws traded to the Indians as part of the Cliff Lee deal on July 29th. Here are some snippets…

  • The trade: “I was walking around the mall and got a call from my agent and he said I was traded. It was surprising.”
  • Heard his name: “I heard it once or twice in the Halladay discussion, so when it seemed like they weren’t going to get Halladay, I kind of forgot about it.”
  • The formal word: “Right before the National Anthem, the asst. GM called Dusty and said I was officially part of the deal. I flew out that night.”
  • On Nick Hagadone (traded to Indians in Victor Martinez deal from Boston): “We’ve had a few interesting discussions about getting traded. It’s both of our first times being dealt. It’s good to have someone a little older to talk to.”
  • Did he want to face his former team: “Would have loved it. Would have been great…I was looking forward to that.”
  • Share scouting reports: “O yea…You have to…No question.”
  • Lakewood: “Loved it. But they don’t ask your opinion when they’re about to trade you.”

More in there. Enjoy.

Game 60: BlueClaws (31-28) at Lake County (34-27)

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Back at Classic Park…Rubber game of three and the final meeting ever between the BlueClaws and Captains…Lake County to the Midwest League next year…game notes hereaudio here (at 12:50)

LWD: RHP Heitor Correa (7-7, 4.07)
LCO: LHP TJ McFarland (8-4, 3.56)

On Correa…He was tagged for seven runs in four innings last time, and is 3-5, 5.25 in the second half…Last win was 7/19 vs Lexington (six starts)

On McFarland…He is 2-1, 7.56 agaist Lakewood and Jim Murphy has hit two home runs off him…He beat Lakewood with five innings, one ER on Monday.

10:53: It is 61 degrees. How nice is that?

12:50: Overcast, tarp was on the field when we got the park at 10:15, but we should be good to go.

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This Week’s Weather Forecast

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

How great is this…take a look at the weather.com weather forecast for Lakewood, New Jersey

  • Monday: 72 degrees, sunny, 20% chance of rain…The Famous Chicken and a tote bag giveaway (New Jersey Resources)
  • Tuesday: 73 degrees, sunny, 10% chance of rain…Reggy appearance, Seniors Eat Free
  • Wednesday, 74 degrees, sunny, 10% chance of rain…post-game fireworks (Toyota/Scion World of Lakewood), Fan Appreciation Day

Can’t beat that.

Sunday Notes

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Game notes for Sunday here.

When the BlueClaws won game one yesterday, it tied a season-high four-game win streak on the road this season…Last night, Lake County won the nightcap 10-1, scoring five in the first and one in the 2nd through 6th (that would be every inning).

Kannapolis’ magic number is just three to clinch the second-half title…Looks like we can go ahead and book those hotel rooms down in North Carolina. They’re six up with nine to go against West Virginia.

We’re going to dive into this coming up, but here’s an article from the APP on Ryan Ragan, Central Jersey Blood Center COO who will head to the roof for a week while we collect blood beginning next Monday.

Games 58/59: BlueClaws (72-53) at Lake County (64-62)

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

Welcome back to Classic Park…no issues getting two in today, weather is just perfect…game notesaudio here (at 5:50)

Game One
LHP Matthew Way (2-1, 2.88)
RHP Danny Salazar (5-6, 4.52)

Game Two
RHP Rob Roth (4-3, 5.79)
RHP Trey Haley (4-7, 5.43)

Strong Bullpen…The BlueClaws bullpen has allowed just six runs in their last 34.2 innings pitched, including 7.1 shutout from Freddy Ballestas and 6.1 shutout from Santo Hernandez.

DHs…That’s double-headers…the BlueClaws are 4-6, having been swept by Lake County on Monday in a double-dip…The Captains are 5-5.

4:08: Can’t beat this weather…70s, breezy, beautiful.

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ClawCast: Troy Hanzawa

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

Had a chance to sit down for a ClawCast with BlueClaws shortstop Troy Hanzawa (listen here)…A number of different topics on the schedule, some snippets follow:

  • Long season: “I feel last year end the year I was more drained than this year…I guess because we’re in a playoff race, you feel better about it.”
  • Playoffs coming up: “It’s always good…You’re playing for something, not just playing.”
  • Playing for Tony Gwynn: “Never forget what he tells you…You have to listen to what he says, the way he’s been able to hit and the success he had.”
  • On Stephen Strasburg: “He came in a little out of shape, coming out of high school. You knew he could be good, but he made a big jump from where he was his freshman year.”
  • Defense: “Pitchers’ job is to get groundballs and pop flies. When they get ground balls to me, it’s my job to get them out.”

More in there…Enjoy.

Lake County’s Sally Farewell

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

captainssal1These next two days mark the final three home games the Lake County Captains will play ever against the BlueClaws. Lake County moves to the Midwest League next year, which of course makes some sense, since Eastlake, OH, a Cleveland suburb, is neiter South nor Atlantic.

Last night, Lake County raffled off various prizes from the different teams around the South Atlantic League, including a Ryan Howard hat from Lakewood, a Clay Buchholz bobblehead doll from Greenville, and others.

Lake County has made the playoffs twice, including last year, when they took the first game at West Virginia but got knocked out by losing two straight at home.

captainssal2Best Captain of all-time? Probably Fausto Carmona, who went 17-4, 2.06 here in 2003.

Lake County vs Lakewood memory…Nick Weglarz hitting one off the fence behind the WRAT Trap in 2007.

Saturday Plan

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

Today’s game notes can be found here…He’s (—>) here today too…Doubleheader begins at 6:00, up an hour…and then 1:00 tomorrow so that will be three games in a 24 hour period for the BlueClaws before returning home on Monday.

Game One
LHP Matthew Way (2-1, 2.88)
RHP Danny Salazar (5-6, 4.52)

Game Two
RHP Rob Roth (4-3, 5.79)
RHP Trey Haley (4-7, 5.43)

6:00 first pitch…between games we’ll have interviews with former BlueClaws pitcher Jason Knapp and current BlueClaws SS Troy Hanzawa.

Looks Like Kannapolis

Saturday, August 29th, 2009

Inside of two weeks to go until the 2009 SAL post-season, and the BlueClaws, it appears, will be meeting the Kannapolis Intimidators in the first round. Spoke with Kannapolis broadcaster, and former BlueClaws broadcaster, Alex Gyr for some of his thoughts on the way the Intimidators (White Sox) have been playing, which is to say, quite well.

Entering play Saturday, the Indimidators are 40-19 in the second half, having losts last night after 12 straight wins, and they’ve won 19 of their last 23. Lake County has won 14 of 20 and lost ground. West Virginia, who had a 10-game win streak not long ago, got to within one game, has fallen back. Kannapolis’ five-game lead with 10 to play looks pretty tough to overcome.

“This is a massively different team than it was just weeks ago,” said Gyr, who noted that 1st round pick OF Jered Mitchell (.301) reached in his first 25 games and C Josh Phegley has hit nine home runs to lead the team.

“The bullpen has been dominant more often than not,” he added. Kannapolis has a 3.03 bullpen ERA, best in the league.

This is a team that lost Dexter Carter, their best pitcher, who was traded in the Jake Peavy deal. But they haven’t missed a beat.

“Joey Serafin,” said Gyr, “has really looked sharp. He’s a 37th rounder out of the now defunct University of Vermont baseball program,” who is 2-1, 3.18 over five starts.

They can throw Charlie Leesman (12 wins), Serafin, and Stephen Sauer (6-5, 3.56) at you in three games, with a great bullpen. That’s a tough team to matchup against.