Archive for April, 2010

Game 13: Lakewood (7-5) vs Hagerstown (6-6)

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Welcome to Joe Blanton day in Lakewood.

Listen here

6:36: Blanton is wearing #54 and is warming up. Matt Way will follow, and Blanton is expected to throw abou

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t 30 pitches.

6:41: 1-2-3 first for Blanton…7 pitches, 7 strikes…K, 4-3, K.

6:52: Blanton needs just 13 to get through the 2nd.

7:06: Blanton out after 2. Retires all 6, 13 pitches, 11 strikes. Lakewood up 1-0 as Darin Ruf picks up an RBI on a 6-4 FC groundout in the 2nd. Poe pitched the 3rd and Way is next for the BlueClaws.

7:47: Castro had a bloop double. 2-1 Lakewood to the 6th. But the scoreless inning streak is over. Ends at 29 w/ an unearned run off Way.

8:01: Hagerstown gets another in the 6th, could have been more but Destin Hood thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double, tagged out before the runner could score.

8:20: Bases loaded none out for the Suns in the 7th and Way gets Perez to line into a 3-3 DP. But then a wild pitch which allows the tying run to score. 3-3.

8:30: We are now 3-3 going to the 8th. Way begins his 5th inning of work.

9:01: Bonus baseball. Zeid on for the 10th. Way goes 6, 3 runs, 1 earned, 0 walks, 5 strikeouts and 6 hits.

9:29: Valle flew out to right and Barnes fanned looking w/ runners on 1st and 2nd to end the 10th. Hewitt 3-5. Onto the 11th.

10:00: That was a beautiful infield single for Jonathan Villar to score Buschini with the winning run. Lakewood wins 4-3.

25 In a Row…Now It’s Up to Joe

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

When Joe Blanton takes the mound today for the BlueClaws, he will do so trying to throw the 26th straight scoreless inning by BlueClaws pitchers. Lakewood has not allowed a run since the 2nd inning on Saturday and have pitched back-to-back shutouts.

In the recently completed series with Greensboro, Lakewood gave up four runs in 36 innings (19 hits, 11 walks, and 38 strikeouts).

Joe Blanton is the 13th Phillie to rehab with Lakewood. Last year, the BlueClaws brought in four Phillies…JC Romero, Brett Myers, Clay Condrey and Greg Dobbs, with the last two in the 2009 South Atlantic League Championship Series.

The BlueClaws are 13-8 when a Phillie rehabs in Lakewood.

Who was the first? Wayne Gomes, 2001.

Players of the Week

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

A couple of notes on Minor League Players of the Week, which will be handed out every Monday. P Nick Hernandez was the SAL Pitcher of the Week and 2009 C Travis d’Arnaud took the Player of the Week award in the Florida State League with Dunedin.

Nick Hernandez…The left-hander is 2-0, 1.29 to start the season. He threw 8 shutout innings (3 hits, 0 walks) on Sunday afternoon against Greensboro. That followed an outing Tuesday in Hagerstown where he gave up just one run over seven innings. Said his manager, Mark Parent after the game Sunday: “The bottom line was anything Nick Hernandez could have done well today he did. He mixed it up, pitched in, pitched out, changed speeds.”

Travis d’Arnaud…(from…Acquired by the Blue Jays from the Phillies in the offseason Roy Halladay blockbuster trade, former first-rounder Travis d’Arnaud appears to be in a rush to show his new organization what he’s made of. He’s begun the season with a nine-game hitting streak, and he belted a home run on Opening Day. The catcher had three or more hits in three different games between Monday and Friday, ending that run with another homer in Friday’s game. On Saturday, he was 2-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored.

Also of note, Phillies prospect John Mayberry Jr. was International League Player of the Week with Lehigh Valley.

Game 12: BlueClaws (6-5) vs Greensboro (3-8)

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Welcome back to FirstEnergy Park…Game 12 of the season and the BlueClaws look for win number three in a row and to get back to two games over .500.

LAK: RHP Jarred Cosart (2-0)
GBO: LHP Chad James (0-2)

Listen Live

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Prospect Battle…Today’s pitching match-up features some of the top prospects in the respective organizations…RHP Jarred Cosart throws for Lakewood…He is ranked 8th in the Phillies system according to Baseball America…LHP Chad James, the 3rd ranked prospect in the Florida system, throws for Greensboro.

Joe Blanton to Rehab With Lakewood on Tuesday…Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton will throw a rehab outing with the BlueClaws on Tuesday…He becomes the 13th Phillie to rehab with the BlueClaws…Last year, JC Romero, Brett Myers, Clay Condrey and Greg Dobbs rehabbed in Lakewood, with Condrey and Dobbs playing in the South Atlantic League Championship Series…Blanton has been on the disabled list since the start of the season with a strained left oblique muscle that he injured in a March 31st bullpen session…The BlueClaws are 13-8 when a Phillie rehabs.

A Hewitt Resurgence…
After hitting .214 over his first two seasons and being moved to the outfield, Anthony Hewitt is off to a .359 start (14-39) in 2010…He has played in 10 of the 11 BlueClaws games this year, hitting safely in nine with five multi-hit games and five multi-RBI games.

Slump Buster…Jiwan James drove in four runs on Sunday, including two on a 7th inning single. He entered that at bat in a 1-24 slump after beginning the season 10-23. James is the only BlueClaws player who has been in the lineup every day.

6:20: Getting set for what should be a nice game featuring two of each organization’s top pitching prospects.

6:47: Walk then three strikeouts for Jarred Cosasrt in the first.

7:29: Castro a 2-run triple to make it 3-0…Cosart has fanned six through three innings.

7:50: That’s nine strikeouts for Cosart through 5. He’s at 75 pitches.

8:08: Cosart through six scoreless now at 92 pitches (10 strikeouts). That looks like it. Also, BlueClaws pitchers are on a 22 straight inning scoreless streak.

8:16: Luke Wertz starts the 7th for Cosart…6 IP, 3 H, 1 BB (the first hitter) and 10 Ks. Team record is 14 in one game (by Jason Knapp in 2009 and Robinson Tejeda in 2001).

9:20: Ellis and Diekman finish off a 5-0 win. 2 RBIs each for James and Castro and 17 Ks for BlueClaws pitchers…Also, Lakewood has not allowed a run in 25 innings.

Hernandez on Hernandez

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Some comments from BlueClaws pitcher Nick Hernandez, who threw eight shutout innings yesterday in a win over Greensboro.

The lefty from the University of Tennessee allowed just three hits, no walks and fanned nine in the win, his second of the season. From

“I was trying to get the game moving a little bit. It’s never fun playing those three- and four-hour games…That’s just the way I pitch. I get the ball and get back on the mound. You really don’t give the hitter time to think about what you’re throwing or what could be coming next.

“Usually throughout the course of 30 starts you’re going to have five really good ones, five really bad ones. It counts on what you do with those other 20. Today was probably one of those real good ones.”

And on his no-hit bid, which ended with two outs in the fifth inning (from…

Slowly but surely, I saw people moving away from me. Once you give up that first hit, the pressure is off. The offense got me 10 runs, so I didn’t have to nail-bite in the dugout. You just enjoy the offense and keep trying to make your pitches.

(Dave Schofield photo)

Prospect Battle Tonight

Monday, April 19th, 2010

Tonight should be a fun game at FirstEnergy Park. Two top prospects on the hill for each side: Jarred Cosart (8th, Phillies) and Chad James (3rd, Marlins)…


Joe Blanton Rehabs in Lakewood Tuesday

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

LAKEWOOD, NJ – Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton will rehab with the BlueClaws on Tuesday at the team’s 6:35 game at FirstEnergy Park.

He becomes the 13th Phillie to rehab with the BlueClaws since the team’s 2001 inception. Last year, Lakewood hosted pitchers JC Romero and Brett Myers in the regular season and pitcher Clay Condrey and infielder Greg Dobbs during the South Atlantic League Championship Series.

The BlueClaws are 13-8 all-time when Phillies players rehab in Lakewood.

Blanton strained his left oblique muscle during a March 31st bullpen session in Clearwater. He went 4- 0 for the World Champion Phillies in 2008 and 12-8 in 2009.


Game 11: BlueClaws (5-5) vs Greensboro (3-7)

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

Good afternoon and welcome back to FirstEnergy Park. It is an absolutely perfect day today and as I type, I’m watching the end of the BlueClaws 5K race. Lakewood won yesterday 7-1 behind six solid innings from Jonathan Pettibone.

You can listen to today’s game here.

LAK: LHP Nick Hernandez (1-0)
GBO: RHP Matt Montgomery (0-1)

Tale of Two Starts…Nick Hernandez had an 8-0 lead before he even threw a pitch on Opening Day (April 8th) as the BlueClaws scored eight runs in the top of the first inning…In his second start, Hernandez gave up just one run over seven innings and left down 1-0…He picked off three runners 4/13 at HAG.

Going Deep…Last year, the BlueClaws hit just six home runs in April and 56 on the year (14th of 16 in the South Atlantic League)…This year, they have already hit seven home runs, one each by Jeremy Barnes, Jiwan James, Darin Ruf, Sebastian Valle and Domingo Santana and two by Anthony Hewitt.

Not Going Deep…In the first ten games of the season, only Nick Hernandez (twice) and Jonathan Pettibone (once) lasted a full six innings (six and seven for Hernandez, six for Pettibone)…Jarred Cosart has twice thrown 5.2 innings…Three times (once each for Matt Way, Brody Colvin, and Jonathan Pettibone) have the starters failed to last five innings.

12:47: Beautiful day but a little windy. Lakewood in their new alternate navy blue jersey, light blue hat.

1:18: 1-2-3 first for Hernandez w/ 9 strikes on 11 pitches. Onto the 2nd after Castro is left at first after an infield single.

1:44: That would be 12 up and 12 down for Hernandez.

2:22: Lakewood got two in the 5th. Batts tripled, Schoenberger and RBI single and Alan scored on a Jiwan James groundout…one hit and no walks for Hernandez through six. 2-0.

2:45: Now 5-0. James has a 2r single in the 7th, breaking out of a 1-24 slump.

2:59: Hernandez through 8. Three hits, no walks and eight strikeouts. 93 piches, likely done for the day. 5-0.

3:26: Hewitt adds a 2-run double (12 RBIs in 10 games) in a five-run 8th. Lakewood wins it 10-0.

Home Opener Post-Mortem

Friday, April 16th, 2010

After a tough 3-2 loss to Greensboro last night, the BlueClaws are now under .500 (4-5) for the first time this season. A 1-13 night with runners in scoring position was the main culprit, as the BlueClaws had the tying run in scoring position in the fourth, seventh, eighth and ninth only to fail to come up with the big hit.

That, by the way, is 3-22 over the last two nights, both losses, 4-2 and 3-2.

Brody Colvin pitched pretty well, giving up just three hits over five innings. All three runs scored in the third, which, not coincidentally, was the inning in which he walked his three hitters.

Jonathan Villar goes 0-3 and his seven-game hitting streak is over. Jiwan James went 1-5 and is now 1-19. After his 1-15 start, Sebastian Valle is 8-17 after going 2-4 tonight.

And, the BlueClaws have now lost nine straight home openers. They are 1-9, wining the first game in GPU Energy Park history. They haven’t won a home opener since.

Today in the APP

Friday, April 16th, 2010

Two good articles today from Tony Graham on the BlueClaws getting ready for tonight’s opener, but from two different perspectives.

First, this article looks at the opener from the front office perspective, reflecting back on the first nine years in team history.

“The first day we put season tickets on sale at 9 or 10 on a Saturday morning, the first guy got there at noon on Friday,” BlueClaws General Manager Geoff Brown said.

“By the time we opened up, the line had to be two, three hundred, four hundred people deep.

“The line was all day long. That office at Airport Road was off the beaten path. I don’t think 10 years ago anyone had a GPS in their car. They were all pulling out maps to find out where this office was.

And this article talks about BlueClaws hitting coach Greg Legg, now in his fourth season with the BlueClaws, first as the original manager and his third straight as hitting coach.

Legg said each season presents a different set of challenges. “We try to keep them (hitters) on a good plan,” he said.

“Most of the time we have the young hitters on a two-strike approach. The breaking ball is one of the things you have to address a lot.

“You don’t see too many 3-2 sliders in high school.”

From Lakewood

Friday, April 16th, 2010

The BlueClaws have arrived back in Lakewood. For all but trainer Mickey Kozack, it’s the first time here in 2010. The team went from Florida to Asheville to Hagerstown. So when they say home opener, they mean it.

Gates at 6. Festivities at 6:30. First pitch at 7:05.

“I’m Probably the Only Player Who Wanted a Chance to Lower His Career Batting Average”

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Dusty Wathan was featured in an article in the Buffalo News that ran today (read here). Wathan was a very popular player in Buffalo, where he played for three seasons, including a three home run game in 2005.

That promoted then Toldeo manager Larry Parrish to say: “When he hits three, you’ve got to start buying lottery tickets.”

But the best line belonged to Wathan, who went 3-5 in the big leagues back in 2002 with Kansas City.

“I’m probably the only baseball player you’ll ever talk to who would have wanted a chance to lower his career batting average.”

Wathan is now managing Clearwater.

Game 8: Lakewood (4-3) at Hagerstown (2-5)

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

The finale of this eight-game trip means one thing, tomorrow night is the home opener! But first things first, the series finale. Win means a 5-3 trip, loss means 4-4.

Listen Live (at 6:20)
Game Notes

LAK: LHP Matt Way (0-1, 18.00)
HAG: RHP Trevor Holder (0-1, 4.15)

All Or Nothing…The BlueClaws have scored at least seven runs (43 total) in five games so far this season (4-1) and have only scored one run each in the other two games (0-2)…In their five 7+ run games, the team his hitting .343 (59-172)…In the other two games, they are hitting .235 (16-68)…Overall, Lakewood is hitting .313, second in the league to their first opponent, Asheville (.324).

Hit Parade…The BlueClaws have recorded at least 10 hits in six of the first seven games this year…Jonathan Villar has hit safely in all six games that he has recorded a plate appearance…Anthony Hewitt has a six game on-base streak, and Jeremy Barnes has reached base in all seven games so far.

Ole Valle…Sebastian Valle is 6-12 with a double and home run after starting the season 1-16 (he began 2009 1-12)…Valle is the 7th ranked prospect in the system according to Baseball America…He played half of last year with Lakewood before going to Williamsport…He returned for the post-season.

Go Deep…Last year, the BlueClaws hit just six home runs in April and 56 on the year (14th of 16 in the South Atlantic League)…This year, they have already hit seven home runs, one each by Jeremy Barnes, Jiwan James, Darin Ruf, Sebastian Valle and Domingo Santana and two by Anthony Hewitt.

Matt Way…Way, 23, makes his second start of the season after taking the loss on Saturday in Asheville…Way made eight starts with the BlueClaws last year, including game one of both the SAL Division Series (win) against Kannapolis and Championship Series against Greenville (no decision, team win)…Entering this year, his career K/BB ratio was 85 to 12…Way played at WSU with his 2009 BlueClaws teammate Jim Murphy…Way is originally from Sitka, Alaska…He was drafted in the 38th round by the Giants in 2008, but decided to return to school for his senior year…Way is ranked 28th in the system by Baseball America.

5:38: Weather is perfect once again.

6:46: Another hit for Hewitt but Lakewood held scoreless in the first.

7:03: Four hits but one run. RBI single for Lafrenz to score Ruf, but Lafrenz was thrown out on a Villar single making too big a turn around third. That’s the 17th out on the bases for Lakewood in eight games. 1 run, 6 hits, 4 left. Bottom 2.

7:26: Way three shutout. Looks like the pitcher from last year, getting ahead and mixing in change-ups.

7:35: Alan Schoenberger, 5-9 about 155 pounds, just hit a double off the CF wall. 2-0 Lakewood.

7:54: Way gives up four, two earned. Two errors (Bushini, Ruf). Bad inning. 4-2 Hagerstown.

8:17: Lakewood had a chance in the 5th, a hit and three walks, but Castro was gunned out stealing and Batts lined out to right with the bases loaded. Way still in the game, bottom of 5.

8:43: Way goes 5, 4 R, 2 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 7 K. Poe a 1-2-3 inning in the 6th. Still down 4-2. Lakewood has already left 8 on base.

8:50: First and 2nd for Bushini. New pitcher in. 2B Soriano just dropped the laziest pop-up hit by Castro. Very very sloppy play tonight for both sides.

8:55: Bushini grounds into a FC and Ruf pops up to short. Inning over. That’s 10 left for the BlueClaws who are (unofficially) 2-9 with runners in scoring position.

9:15: Last licks, top of the order coming up for Lakewood…Villar, James, Hewitt, Castro down by 2.

9:25: Lakewood had a chance. With Villar at first, James (0-14 slump) is robbed of a base hit by a diving SS Sean Nicol. 6-4-3. Hewitt struck out to end the game. We will see you tomorrow in Lakewood.

Two New ClawCasts Posted

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

We’ve put up a couple of new ClawCasts, one with OF Anthony Hewitt and another with RHP Brody Colvin. Hewitt is off to a hot start, 9-22 with two home runs and eight RBIs (in his six games). Colvin will make his second start as a BlueClaw on Friday, the home opener.

Some selected comments…

Brody Colvin

  • I have to work in to get them off the plate, and stay focused throughout the game.
  • I was very very close [to being an LSU Tiger], considering I was at orientation, getting my books, and saw my name on the LSU locker.
  • Coming into pro ball, I threw a split-change, but they changed it to a circle-change. We’ll get it sooner or later.
  • Definitely excited to get the opener, hopefully it’s a good one.

Anthony Hewitt

  • I feel great, real relaxed and confident. Just in my own zone.
  • I did [expect a hot start]. I felt real good and I’m seeing the ball real well. I’ve been loose and relaxed.
  • I just hit every day, worked on my bat path to the ball, and that’s all I focused on this off-season. I want my bat to stay in the zone longer. Last year I was in and out of the zone very quick.
  • Doesn’t matter to me where I’m hitting. I’ll go out there and try to hit the ball hard. Being in the spot I’m in now doesn’t phase me. It doesn’t matter.
  • I’ve had a few family members have said they’ll come down [from Brooklyn]. I’m looking forward to that.