Archive for August, 2009

Game 58: BlueClaws (30-27) at Lake County (64-62)

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Welcome to Classic Park for the final series, ever, between the BlueClaws and Lake County Captains…LCO to the Midwest League in 2010…game notesaudio here (at 6:50)

LWD: LHP Matthew Way (2-1, 2.88)
LCO: RHP Danny Salazar (5-6, 4.52)

The Left Way…Way has a 76-10 K-BB ratio as a pro between Williamsport and Lakewood, 33-2 with the BlueClaws.

Good Friends and a Strong Bullpen…Bob Lemon’s two most important things in life…Lakewood’s pen has allowed just six earned runs in their last 34.2 innings.

5:17: It’s raining, tarp on the field. At best iffy.

5:49: If we do play, Jason Knapp on the pre-game.

6:46: We’re starting in a delay.

7:10: Doesn’t look good.

7:25: Rained out…two tomorrow…6:00 pm

BJ Rosenberg to Play for USA Baseball in September’s World Cup

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Congratulations to former BlueClaws closer BJ Rosenberg, selected to represent his country in next month’s baseball World Cup.

The World Cup opens September 9th in Germany and runs through September 27th.

Rosenberg, 23, went 7-2, 0.89, with 19 saves with the BlueClaws this season and was promoted to Double-A Reading on August 6th. He did not allow an earned run in his last 28.2 innings with Lakewood and his first 5.1 innings with Reading, for a total of 34 straight innings without allowing an earned run. BJ is 0-1 with three saves and a 2.35 ERA with Reading.

Other Phillies selected: IF Terry Tiffee and LHP Cedric Bowers, both of whom play for Lehigh Valley.

You can see the full roster here.

Thirsty Friday, Two Weeks From Today

Friday, August 28th, 2009

thirstyplayoffsThirsty Thursday meets a Friday playoff game, two weeks from today. Friday, September 11th, at the BlueClaws first home playoff game, we’ll still go with the same $1 beer, $1 soda, and 50-cent wings that we’ve had all long at our Thirsty Thursdays, but we’re molding it into the 2009 BlueClaws post-season, presented by Central Jersey Blood Center.

Tickets here. Some Thirsty Thursday photos from earlier this year, here.

Just How Strange Was Thursday’s Game in Hagerstown?

Friday, August 28th, 2009

We said during the broadcast last night that we felt Thursday’s 7-2 BlueClaws win at Hagerstown was the strangest game of the season. How strange was it? Let’s count the ways:

  • Lakewood scored four runs in the first inning after Harold Garcia was ejected, eliminating Troy Hanzawa’s day off. They’ll “try again” later today to give him a break.
  • There was a 22-minute delay because various light bulbs across the ballpark went out. The game was legitimately in jeopardy, but they turned all the lights out and put them back on, no issues from there.
  • Brian Gump hit into the ol’ 8-4 fielders choice.
  • Hagerstown catcher Derek Norris had three passed balls to take over the league lead.
  • BlueClaws pitchers walked 10(!) Suns hitters and only gave up two runs.
  • Jordan Ellis faced 11 hitters in two innings. He struck out five, walked three, hit two, only one hit the ball in play, and Ellis threw five wild pitches, giving up a run in the process.
  • And my personal favorite, Vladimir de los Santos walked up to the plate to hit with a broken bat.

Nothing new here, really.

Game 57: BlueClaws (71-53) at Hagerstown (18-37)

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Welcome back to Municipal Stadium…final game of the three game series between Lakewood and Hagerstown…the BlueClaws have won the first two…game notes hereViagra soft online>…audio here (at 6:50)

LWD: RHP Trevor May (2-1, 3.03)
HAG: RHP AJ Morris (0-2, 3.75)

M&Ms…May is 2-0, 2.43 after the break…Last time out, also against HAG, he put the first four hitters on but got out of bases loaded none out one in in the first and got through five only allowing the one run…Morris went 14-1, 2.09 with Kansas State this year and was a 4th round pick.

Sweep This…With a win, the BlueClaws will sweep a series for the first time since June 12-14 at Lake County (tonight’s destination).

6:02: Weather this week has been just perfect, once again today.

7:18: That’s a start…Lakewood scores 4 in the first…RBIs for d’Arnaud and Mattiar on RBI singles and a 2-run base hit for de los Santos…on a side note…Harold Garcia was ejected for taking his helmet off an slamming it into his bat after getting called out on strikes.

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ClawCast: Phillies Minor League Pitching Coordinator Gorm Heimueller

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

Sat down with Phillies minor league pitching coordinator Gorm Heimueller (listen here) on Monday at FirstEnergy Park, and we got into a few different topics which we’ll bring here soon, but first, some of Gorm’s comments on pitchers around the system:

  • On Justin De Fratus: “With the guys we had coming up from the draft last year, we felt he would be a better fit in the bullpen, and he did a fantastic job, his velocity went up in the pen. But we felt that in order for him to really improve his secondary pitches, we felt he would benefit from the extra innings as well as the side work.”
  • On Jesus Sanchez: “He’s not only a hard worker but he’s very smart. He picks up stuff.  A lot of it has been fastball change-up, he needs to improve on his breaking ball, he knows that. From a year ago, his improvement has been great to see.”
  • On Matthew Way: “He’s a little more polished than a high school guy would be. He’s a lefty that relies on a changeup. But for me at times it’s a screwball. It’s effective against righties and lefties. He gets a lot of swings and misses on balls in the dirt.”
  • On Trevor May: “Size 17 shoe for one. He’s still growing into his body…He missed a few weeks with a back injury in spring training. He’s got a heavy fastball, 91-93.”

There’s more in there. Enjoy.

The Running Brothers and Other Notes

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

BlueClaws leadoff hitters Anthony Gose and Harold Garcia, after last night, have combined to steal 111 bases (72 and 39 respectively). Gose leads all of Minor League Baseball and Garcia is 4th in the South Atlantic League.

Between the two of them, they have more stolen bases than five South Atlantic League teams. Gose by himself has stolen ten more bases than the entire Savannah Sand Gnats club.

Here are tonight’s game notes.

RHP Jason Knapp, a former BlueClaw, pitched for Lake County last night, and gave up three runs in two innings…He has allowed seven earned runs in 11.2 innings with the Captains.

Freddy Galvis, Lakewood’s 2008 shortstop, is 5-12 with Reading, and hit his first home run yesterday.

(Tom Priddy photo)

Never to Early to Get Ready for Next Year

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

A few dates to hold onto for 2010, and some quick nuggets about the 2010 schedule for you. Click here to see the 2010 BlueClaws schedule in full. And now save some dates:

April 8- Opening Day at Asheville
April 16- Home Opener vs Greensboro
May 3-10- Eight game homestand vs Charleston (Yankees) and Savannah (Mets)
May 9- Mother’s Day (home game vs Savannah)
June 20- Father’s Day (home game vs Kannapolis)
July 1-3- Thu-Sat of 4th of July weekend (‘Claws are home vs Hagerstown here, at Greensboro for the 4th of July itself, a Sunday)
July 20-23- Charleston (Yankees) returns for another four-game series
August 12-20- Nine-game homestand features two Thirsty Thursdays and two Fireworks Fridays
September 6- Regular season ends at home vs Kannapolis

The Breakdown
Fireworks Fridays (12, four in July)
Thirsty Thursdays (12, four in July)
Senior Day Tuesdays (9)
Kids Character Sundays (8)

Game 56: BlueClaws (28-27) at Hagerstown (49-72)

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Welcome back to Municipal Stadium here in Hagerstown. The BlueClaws took the series opener last

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night 8-0 behind Jesus Sanchez…game notes hereaudio here (at 6:50)

LWD: RHP Justin De Fratus (5-6, 3.36)
HAG: RHP Marcos Frias (8-4, 3.04)

Two All-Stars…Both pitchers today were mid-season SAL All-Stars…Frias beat De Fratus 2-0 on Thursday in Lakewood.

Good Friends and a Strong Bullpen…Lakewood’s bullpen has allowed just five earned runs in their last 30.2 innings pitched.

6:13: Mattair gets a night off…Mintken at 3rd…80s, mostly clear, beautiful day.

7:13: Good start…d’Arnaud a double and Murphy an RBI single…1-0 as De Fratus takes the hill.

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Former ‘Claws to Arizona Fall League

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Eight Phillies farmhands will represent the organization in the upcoming Arizona Fall League, and seven are current or former BlueClaws.

Pitchers
RHP Michael Cisco: 0-3, 6.33 w/ Reading after 7-3, 3.31 w/ Clearwater…South Carolina product pitched in eight games with the 2008 BlueClaws.
RHP Scott Mathieson: After missing 2008 with Tommy John Surgery, Mathieson has allowed just two earned runs in 22 innings between the GCL, Clearwater, and Reading this year. He was with Lakewood in 2004.
RHP Michael Schwimer: The only one here who is not a former BlueClaw, Schwimer was drafted last year out of Virginia, skipped Lakewood out of the spring, and has 17 saves for Clearwater.
LHP Mike Zagurski: A reliever on the 2006 SAL Champion BlueClaws, Zagurski, recovering from Tommy John Surgery, is 3-4, 4.36 this season with Reading.

Position Players
C Tuffy Gosewisch: A 2007 BlueClaw, the catcher was recently promoted from Reading to Lehigh Valley
SS Troy Hanzawa*: Lakewood’s current shortstop, Hanzawa is one of the best defensive players this year in the SAL…Can only be active Wednesdays and Saturdays.
OF Dominic Brown: A (if not the) Phillies top prospect, Brown is hitting .308-14-58 this year between Clearwater and Reading. He’ll turn 22 on September 3rd.
OF Steve Susdorf: Hit .333 with Lakewood from Memorial Day to the All-Star Break, than .371 with Clearwater over 151 at bats before a deserved promotion to Reading, where he is 12-49.
* – taxi squad

Current BlueClaws pitching coach Bob Milacki will be the pitching coach for Scottsdale, which also has players from the Arizona, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and Colorado organizations.

Here are full rosters. We’ll have a lot more on the AFL leading into the games and during the league itself.

Two Weeks From Today: Game One of the Playoffs!

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

The regular season winds down for most teams in Minor League Baseball, with Labor Day rapidly approaching. But for the Lakewood BlueClaws, the fun is about to begin.

Two weeks from today, Lakewood will take the field for their second post-season in team history, likely down at the Cannon against Kannapolis. The BlueClaws, 28-27 in the second half, are a different team than the one that won the first-half title at 42-26, but anything can happen in a two out of three series, as is round one of the post-season.

Kannapolis has won 17 of their last 20 games, including 10 in a row, and they currently have a five game lead on second-place West Virginia…13 to play.

“The last week we’ll sit down with Gorm Heimueller, Chuck LaMar, and Bob (Milacki), and talk about the pitching,” said BlueClaws manager Dusty Wathan. ”We’ll look at the situation, say this guy will start game one, etc…The last week, we’ll give guys some rest, maybe play them five innings, so they’re fresh and ready to play. It is kind of a double-edged sword. You want to give them some rest, but not throw off their timing.”

He added: “The playoffs are a fun time. It took me a long time to get into the playoffs as a player, and these guys are lucky enough to get there in their first couple of seasons.”

Two Lakewood Issues
1. A Bat…Solution: OF Brian Gump, added yesterday to a team that had scored just 62 runs in their previous 20 games…Gump went 1-2 with two walks and a HBP last night, an 8-0 Lakewood win.

2. Bullpen Arm…Solution: RHP Santo Hernandez, added back to the BlueClaws from Clearwater two weeks ago, Santo has thrown 5.1 shutout innings with two saves and a win. He’s given up just four earnred runs in his last 39.1 innings with Lakewood.

ClawCast: Phillies Assistant GM Benny Looper

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

We have a pair of ClawCasts for you today. We’ll start with Phillies Assistant GM Benny Looper (click here to listen), in his first y

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ear in the organization after spending 23 years with the Mariners:

  • Relationship with BlueClaws and Phillies: “Looking at the facility, I don’t think you can ask for a better facility and fan support…Overall, what we’re looking for is a good place for our guys to develop and you can’t beat Lakewood.”
  • Overview of talent level: “Some good looking young players. We did trade away four young men that are prospects, but Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco have both been good additions to the ballclub.”
  • Trading away prospects: “It’s a big win for the organization. But on the personal side, it’s a thrill to watch a guy sign with the Phillies, come up through the system, and step on the field Citizens Bank Park.”

Game 55: BlueClaws (27-27) at Hagerstown (18-35)

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

First of a six-game road trip for Lakewood today at Hagerstown…Lakewood dropped a double-header to Lake County yesterday to fall back to .500 in the second half…game notes hereaudio here (at 6:50)

LWD: RHP Jesus Sanchez (9-6, 3.75)
HAG: RHP Juan Jaime (2-0, 2.00)

He’s Gump…Welcome to the BlueClaws Brian Gump…Gump was drafted this year in the 26th round out of UC-Santa Barbara…He was hitting .317-4-19 with the GCL Phillies before his promotion…Brendan Akashian to the DL.

Sanchez Dealing…Sanchez beat Hagerstown last out, and is 8-2, 2.88 since June 1st. He started his pitching career 1-4, 5.20, but has been one of the best in the league since then.

5:37: High 80s, clear…beautiful night.

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Welcome to Hagerstown

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Game notes for tonight can be found here.

Lakewood went 0-15 yesterday w/ runners in scoring position and is hitting .182 in those situations in their last 26 games.

On a brighter note, this is first game back at Municipal Stadium for the BlueClaws since wrapping up the first-half title here on June 18th. Jesus Sanchez, tonight’s pitcher, was the starter that night for Lakewood.