Archive for April, 2010

Game 15: BlueClaws (8-6) vs Hagerstown (7-7)

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Welcome back to FirstEnergy Park, where tonight’s game will start in a short delay because of some weather.

LAK: RHP Jonathan Pettibone (1-0)
HAG: RHP Paul Demny (1-1)

Listen Live (at 6:20)

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Minor League Review

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

From the desk of Larry Shenk…

Players of the Week

**Pitcher: LHP Nick Hernandez, Lakewood.  1-0 for 2 starts; 15 total innings, 9 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk, 16 strikeouts; win came on Sunday, 8 innings, 3 hits, 9 strikeouts; no decision came on Tuesday, a game in which he picked off two runners at first and one at second.  21-year was selected in the 12th round a year ago out of the University of Tennessee.

**Player: OF John Mayberry, Lehigh Valley.  Hit .524 in 6 games and led the organization with 8 runs scored, 11 hits and 4 doubles; added 1 double, 1 triple and 5 RBI . . .   Carried an 8-hitting streak through Sunday . . . Hitting .359 for the season . . . Homer on Thursday was the 100th of his pro career, 96 in the minors . . . 26-year-old came to the Phillies in a trade with the Rangers, 11/20/08, for Greg Golson.

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Game 14: BlueClaws (8-5) vs Hagerstown (6-7)

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Welcome back to FirstEnergy Park for tonight’s game. The BlueClaws look for their fifth win in a row…

Listen Live (at 6:20)

LAK: RHP Brody Colvin (0-2, 8.00)
HAG: LHP Jack McGeary (1-0, 3.27)

Four in a Row…Lakewood has won four in a row having allowed just four runs, and only two of those have been earned.

Good Friends and a Strong Bullpen…BlueClaws pitchers out of the pen have allowed just one run in their last 22 innings pitched.

On Colvin…A 7th round pick last year out of Lafayette, Louisiana, he allowed three runs (all in the 3rd inning) on Friday on Opening Night. This is his 3rd start of the year and just his 4th as a Phillie.

5:37: Tarp is on the field but we should be good to go. Supposedly it’s coming off soon.

5:44: Tarp off at 6.

6:27: Nice ovation for the BlueClaws staffers who helped get the tarp off the field.

7:00: Not the best inning for Colvin, he throws 39 pitches and gives up two runs. One walk and he hit a batter as well.

7:35: Final line on Colvin: 1.1 IP, 7 R/7ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 0 K.

8:04: The BlueClaws just scored three runs on two wild pitches and a balk. Welcome to Lo-A.

8:35: Don’t look now but the BlueClaws scored three in the 4th (RBI single from Buschini, wild pitch and a James SAC fly). Suddenly it’s 9-6 as Villar gets caught stealing.

9:00: Rolling along at 2:20 through 5. Darin Ruf smokes and RBI double. 11-7 Hagerstown. Top 6.

9:25: Some fan just asked another to keep it down.

9:46: Diekman hits a batter and walks three to score a run. 12-7 bottom of 8.

10:30: And that was the final in a cool 3 hours and 31 minutes.

ClawCast: Phillies Minor League Pitching Coordinator Gorm Heimueller

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

We sat down earlier today with Phillies minor league pitching coordinator Gorm Heimueller for a ClawCast. A bunch of topics including the current starting rotation and a little more. Listen here.

  • “I come in and see Pettibone give up one run, Hernandez and Cosart throw shutouts. It’s a young but capable and talented staff.”
  • On Nick Hernandez: “He commands his fastball. We preach that from day one when they sign a contract…He’s got a good change-up and one thing he worked on in instructional league is a slider…The other day he had an umpire that had a real low zone and he took advantage.”
  • On Jarred Cosart: “I think we knew physically the arm that he’s blessed to have. The thing with Jarred was the minor injuries that prevented him from pitching. But he’s in as good a shape as he’s been in since he’s been with us.”
  • On Brody Colvin: “Just like Kyle Kendrick, Jason Knapp, Carlos Carrasco…being able to command a fastball. I sound like a broken record but that’s what it’s about. Here, where the crowds are great, it’s a lot differnet. He’ll have his ups and downs, but to me, being able to experience this when he was pitching in high school last year is important. He’s got the aptitude and desire to make it work for him.”
  • Spring Training from his perspective: “Hectic. At one point we had 87 pitchers. Basically I set up the schedule. We start with bullpens, than batting practice, then the schedule for their five games. It’s a giant crossword puzzle. But it’s fun to see everyone and try to fit them. But this is the best part. Spring training is nice the first few days when you see everyone and the last day when you leave. The rest is a necessary evil.”

There’s more in the interview. Enjoy.

Joe on Joe

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Some comments from Joe Blanton following his outing tonight, two perfect innings. He threw just 13 pitches (11 of which were strikes).

“My stuff felt great tonight. [My] arm felt really good; everything went really well.”

“My mechanics are pretty there. I’m more of, I guess, a command guy, not really a guy who goes out and throw 95-96 (miles an hour). My arm slot felt really good, everything went really well.”

“I don’t know if I expected to throw just two balls. But I pretty much counted on good command. I really didn’t take a lot of time off from throwing. It was only maybe a week or nine days of not throwing.”

“I think the whole time, we were shooting for the three weeks. That was being optimistic, they told me it was mild and I’ve never been hurt before, so that’s what we were shooting for and it looks pretty good.”

Blanton will make probably two more rehab starts (with Reading and/or Lehigh Valley most likely) before being activated in early May.

The BlueClaws, who won the game 4-3 in 11 innings, are now 14-8 when a Phillie rehabs in Lakewood.

(Dave Schofield photo)

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 MiLB.com)…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 APP.com:

“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 MiLB.com)…

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)…

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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.

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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.