Archive for August, 2011

Murphy, Biddle on SAL All-Star Team

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

LAKEWOOD, NJ – Two BlueClaws, left-handed pitcher Jesse Biddle and first baseman Jim Murphy, were named to the South Atlantic League All-Star team, it was announced Tuesday by league president Eric Krupa.

This marks the sixth straight year the BlueClaws have been represented after not having a representative on the post-season All-Star team for their first five years.

(Please note: stats through Monday)

Biddle, 19, is the league’s All-Star left-handed pitcher and is 7-8 with a 2.94 ERA, which ranks 4th best in the league this year. He also ranks 3rd in the league in strikeouts with 123. In the second half, Biddle is 4-2 with a 1.75 ERA, the best ERA in the league over that time period.

He was the Phillies first round pick (27th overall) last year, from Philadelphia and is the sixth Phillies first round pick to play for the BlueClaws.

Murphy, 25, was recognized as the league’s All-Star designated hitter. He played in the SAL All-Star Game in June and leads the BlueClaws with 22 home runs and 75 RBIs. His 22 home runs tie him with Juan Richardson for the most home runs in a season by a BlueClaw. In May, Murphy became the franchise all-time home run leader (passing Richardson) and has 36 home runs in a Lakewood uniform. He is also the franchise all-time RBI record holder with 143.

He was an 18th round pick of the Phillies in 2008 from Washington State University.

Among those recognized by the South Atlantic League: Hagerstown’s Bryce Harper (Most Outstanding Prospect), Augusta’s Shawn Sanford (Most Outstanding Pitcher), and Hickory’s Jurickson Profar (Most Valuable Player).

BlueClaws SAL Post-Season All-Stars
2006: RHP Carlos Carrasco, LHP Matt Maloney
2007: OF Quintin Berry
2008: SS Freddy Galvis
2009: OF Anthony Gose, Manager Dusty Wathan
2010: 1B Jonathan Singleton, C Sebastian Valle, SS Jonathan Villar, Manager Mark Parent

The BlueClaws, the Jersey Shore’s top stop for affordable family entertainment, conclude the home portion of the regular season with a double-header on Tuesday night that begins at 5:05 pm.

For ticket information, please call 732-901-7000 or log on to BlueClaws.com.

- BlueClaws -

Monday’s Double-Dip

Monday, August 29th, 2011

bonillablog21The BlueClaws, 2.5 games out of first place trailing Kannapolis, and two games behind Hickory, play the first of two-straight double-headers today against Hickory.

RHP Lisalberto Bonilla (4-4, 2.83) and LHP Ervis Manzanillo (8-6, 5.14) pitch for Lakewood today against LHP Will Lamb (1-0, 0.00), a 2nd round pick out of Clemson this year and RHP Luke Jackson (4-5, 5.48), a supplemental first round pick last year from Fort Lauderdale.

State of the Claws…Since last playing, the BlueClaws lost a half-game behind first place Kannapolis (who won at Rome on Saturday and the teams split a Sunday double-header)…The BlueClaws, bidding to make the playoffs for the 3rd straight year, are 2.5 games out of first place and have nine games remaining (including four over the next two days)…Lakewood’s largest deficit of the half was 6 games out through August 15 with 21 games remaining…They have not been within two games since an August 8th win over West Virginia.

Double-Dipping…The BlueClaws are 6-6 in double-headers and swept their last DH on August 16th against Delmarva…Hickory is 7-3, the second-best percentage in the league, trailing Rome (6-2).

One for the Record…BlueClaws 1B Jim Murphy hit his 22nd home run of the year August 8th against West Virginia and tied Juan Richardson’s single-season franchise record set in the team’s inaugural season of 2001…Murphy has 36 home runs as a BlueClaw, the most in franchise history and a record he originally broke here in Greensboro on May 11th…Murphy has now hit 47 home runs as a pro…He has gone 48 at bats since his last home run and has one HR in his last 85 at bats dating to July 29th.

Click here for today’s game notes.

Annual Reading Eagle Prospect List

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Every year the fine folks at the Reading Eagle do a Phillies farm system minor league prospect survey, taking votes from media around the organization. This is what the group come up with:

1. Trevor May, RHP Clearwater, 21
2. Sebastian Valle, C Clearwater, 21
3. Jesse Biddle, LHP Lakewood, 19
4. Freddy Galvis, SS Lehigh Valley, 21
5. Phillippe Aumont, RHP Lehigh Valley, 21
6. Brody Colvin, RHP Clearwater, 21
7. Justin DeFratus, RHP Lehigh Valley, 23
8. Julio Rodriguez, RHP Clearwater, 20
9. Michael Schwimer, RHP Philadelphia, 25
10. Jiwan James, OF Clearwater, 22
11. Jonathan Pettibone, RHP Clearwater, 21
12. Austin Hyatt, RHP Reading, 25
13. Aaron Altherr, OF Williamsport, 20
14. Joe Savery, LHP Lehigh Valley, 25
15. Harold Garcia, 2B Reading, 24
16. Dave Buchanan, RHP Clearwater, 22
17. Carlos Rivero, 3B Reading, 23
18. Cesar Hernandez, 2B Clearwater, 21
19. Lisalberto Bonilla, RHP Lakewood, 21
20. Zach Collier, OF Lakewood, 20

That’s a pretty good list (the number on the right is their age). A few notes:

  • Jesse Biddle is the only one on the list who is in his teens. When Baseball America does their poll in a few months, it won’t be that way, but people were hesitant to vote on people they haven’t seen play yet, or are unproven at the lower levels, which makes sense.
  • Everyone on the list except for Aumont, Savery and Rivero have played for the BlueClaws.
  • No surprise at all Trevor May is number one. He’s had a tremendous season with Clearwater (3.45 ERA, .215 opponents BA and a whopping 197 Ks in just 143 innings pitched, wow).
  • Sebastian Valle got off to a blazing start, hitting .357 to the all-star break, and though he’s only at .227 in the second half, a catcher that has power and is improving defensively is a major asset.
  • Vance Worley, Mike Stutes, and Domonic Brown were not eligible for obvious reasons.
  • Great run for Jonathan Pettibone this year with a 3.00 ERA to move up.
  • Good to see people taking notice of BlueClaws RHP Lisalberto Bonilla, who has been excellent (and is slated to pitch game one of the double-header tomorrow.

Nice article on Trevor May in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer:

“I believe this year as opposed to last year I made a lot of improvement mechanical-wise in being able to repeat things and also staying on a solid routine,” May said. “You have to find a work ethic that works for you. I also felt like this year I was able to make strides in dealing with adversity.

“I was really able to settle down when I got in trouble. I think you can see that by the fact that I have pitched more innings in 25 starts this year than I did in 27 last year.”

As much as he hated being demoted to Lakewood a year ago, May learned a lot from his second stint near the Jersey Shore.

“It was kind of a wake-up call,” May said. “I learned that I needed to throw more strikes and I needed to stay in the bottom half of the strike zone. You can get by with some things in the lower levels that you can’t get by with the higher you go.”

And another great one by Matt Gelb in the Inquirer on Vance Worley:

Six years ago – before Vance was Vanimal, before he wrote angry messages to himself inside his hat, before he transformed from middling non-prospect to one of the best rookie starters in Phillies history – he was an unassuming freshman with a buzz cut. He asked Chris Aquino, then a junior catcher for Long Beach State University, if he would catch a bullpen session before the school year even started.

Aquino had never before been asked to do that. When they were done Worley said, “Thank you.” But Aquino was disturbed.

That should cover it for now. Hopefully we’ll have more later.

“Every time you got into your balance point and you separated,” he said to Worley, “you gave me this big smile right before you delivered the ball.”

Greg Legg Ceremony

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

The BlueClaws presented coach Greg Legg with framed jersey on Friday night before the game, recognizing his 30 years in the Phillies organization.

legg-ceremony

From left: BlueClaws GM Geoff Brown, Anthony Hewitt, Jim Murphy, Zach Collier, and Legg.

That’s a BlueClaws patch sewn onto the right (your left) sleeve of the jersey and the plaque says

Presented to Greg Legg in honor of 30 years of loyal service to the Philadelphia Phillies and Lakewood BlueClaws, August 26th, 2011

We also put together a video with clips and comments from current and former players and coaches as well as executives from around the Phillies organization. We’ll try to get that up here at some point soon too.

State of the Claws

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

FirstEnergy Park made it through Hurricane Irene, and we certainly hope all of you are doing fine out in BlueClaws Blog World. Good luck and stay safe today please.

The BlueClaws got some bad news last night, with Kannapolis beating Rome 7-6 in 10 innings, their third extra-inning win this week. Ironically, Colby Shreve’s brother, Chasen, took the loss (on a related note, Colby has allowed just one run in 8.2 innings with 10 strikeouts down with Clearwater since being promoted on August 9th).

So, Lakewood now trails Kannapolis by 2.5 games (they play Rome in a double-header today that begins at 2 pm). The BlueClaws, after Friday’s loss to Hickory, trail the ‘Dads by 2 games and have to pass both.

The BlueClaws and Crawdads will play a double-header tomorrow at 5:05 and again on Tuesday, also at 5:05, to close out the regular season home schedule. Five in Hagerstown beginning Thursday close out the regular season schedule.

Going For the Sweep; Wednesday Preview

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

wrightfullAustin Wright (1-1, 1.64) starts for Lakewood tonight as the BlueClaws, who have pulled to within three games of first place Kannapolis, go for their fifth straight win tonight at Perdue Stadium.

Click here to read today’s game notes.

On Austin Wright…Wright, 21, makes his 5th start with the BlueClaws after he went 2-1, 3.38 over eight starts with Williamsport…Wright, a 2011 8th round pick, made his debut on August 2nd at Perdue Stadium against Delmarva, allowing one run on six hits over six innings…He has not allowed more than two earned runs in any outing with Lakewood and his last five starts overall (includes last start with WPT)…Wright has fanned 17 over his last 11 innings including a career high nine in his start Friday against Greensboro…Wright, from Schaumberg, Illinois, spent two years at Chipola Junior College (FL) and then 2011 at Ole Miss…At Chipola, he was a teammate of David Buchanan, whose rotation spot he took when he joined the BlueClaws on August 1st.

Going Up…The BlueClaws are now six games over .500 in the second half for the first time and are at four games over .500 overall for the first time since they were 28-24 on June 1st…Going for a Sweep…The BlueClaws are trying to sweep their third series tonight with a win over Delmarva…Lakewood’s last series sweep was from June 12-15 at FirstEnergy Park over Hagerstown…Five of Diamonds…With a win, Lakewood would win their fifth straight game…It would be their 4th five game win streak of the year, first since June 11-15.

On Base Machine…BlueClaws 2B Carlos Alonso has reached base 38 times in the last 19 games (24-61 with 14 walks) and has driven in 12 runs…A 35th round pick last year from Delaware, Alonso joined the BlueClaws on July 9th and after starting 2-15, is 37-103…He hit his first home run of the year (4th of his career) on 8/13 at Greensboro and another at Delmarva on 8/24.

In August…The BlueClaws have the league’s best team ERA in August at 2.87 and have thrown two August shutouts, both against Delmarva…They have allowed three runs or less in 12 of their 22 games in August (12-10) and have not allowed more than four runs since August 11th (12 straight games)…Austin Wright has allowed 4 ER in 22 IP…Hector Neris has allowed one run in 12 innings…Tyler Knigge has given up two runs in 14.2 innings and Ryan Duke has not allowed a run in 6.2 innings.

Biddle on MiLB.com

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

BlueClaws LHP Jesse Biddle was featured in a story that appeared on MiLB.com after the game last night. He threw five shutout innings in the game, on just one hit, and lowered his ERA to 2.94. His ERA is below three for the first time since he gave up one earned run over 4.1 innings in his debut on April 10th.

In the second half, Biddle’s ERA is now 1.75, the best ERA in the South Atlantic League over that time period.

Here is the link to the story.

“I felt good, I felt like I was pretty much in control, especially in the beginning,” Biddle said. “I didn’t feel like I was completely on. One of the biggest things tonight was my defense. We played well and made plays when I needed them.”

A good example: Biddle plunked Jeremy Nowak to start the fourth but got out of it when Michael Ohlman lined to first baseman Jim Murphy, who completed an unassisted double play.

“It was huge,” Biddle said. “I got ahead of the guy, 0-2, tried to throw him a really nasty curveball, but I hit him in the foot. I thought it was a pretty good pitch. The next guy got the bat head out early and our first baseman made a great play. That’s a huge momentum swing. You can win games like that.”

Lakewood has done just that, especially against the Orioles affiliate. The BlueClaws have beaten Delmarva 17 times in 24 meetings this season.

For Biddle, the night was a little frustrating in terms of the occasional walks and early exit. He said he was surprised when he got pulled after throwing 70 pitches.

“Right now, it’s all about maintaining arm strength,” he said. “I was frustrated when they told me I was coming out. I was a little shocked. Normally, they’d give me a little more room to work with, but I realized how late it is in the season.”

He will have two more starts this regular season, with the next scheduled for Monday at FirstEnergy Park against Hickory.

Biddle, Claws, Go for Fourth Straight

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

biddleblog4Jesse Biddle, who leads the SAL league in ERA during the second half (1.91) takes the mound for Lakewood tonight in Delmarva as Lakewood goes for their fourth straight win.

As we noted earlier, however, the BlueClaws have not gotten any help from Augusta, who has lost to division-leading Kannpolis in extra-innings each of the last two nights, meaning the BlueClaws are still four games out with 12 to go. Lakewood’s elimination number is nine.

Here are tonight’s game notes.

On Biddle (6-8, 3.06)…Biddle, who turns 20 on October 22nd, makes his 24th appearance for Lakewood and comes off his sixth win, allowing two runs, one earned, on Thursday against Greensboro…Biddle has made four starts against Delmarva this year and is 2-1, having allowed two ER in 24 innings pitched…He last faced the Shorebirds on August 1st, allowing two runs over five inning at Perdue Stadium and taking the loss…He has a 1.91 ERA in the second half, best in the South Atlantic League…He had a 4.06 ERA in the first half and a 7.16 ERA in May…Since May 1st, Biddle is 6-5, 2.43, and has the second best ERA in the league over that time period (to Hickory’s Cody Buckel)…Biddle is the sixth former first round pick to play for the BlueClaws (Hamels, Floyd, Golson, Drabek, Hewitt)…He grew up a Phillies fan in Philadelphia and went to Germantown Friends School.

In August…The BlueClaws have the league’s best team ERA in August at 2.97 and have thrown two August shutouts, both against Delmarva…They have allowed three runs or less in 11 of their 21 games in August (11-10) and have not allowed more than four runs since August 11th (11 straight games)…Austin Wright has allowed 4 ER in 22 IP…Hector Neris has allowed one run in nine innings…Tyler Knigge has given up two runs in 14.2 innings and Ryan Duke has not allowed a run in 6.2 innings.

Good Friends and a Strong Bullpen…Since July 30th, the BlueClaws bullpen has allowed just 21 earned runs in 87.2 innings pitched, covering 22 games (2.17 ERA).

The Newest BlueClaw…RHP Rye Davis, who was 1-1 with 4 saves and a 1.87 ERA with the GCL Phillies, has joined the BlueClaws, taking the place of Ryan Duke, who was placed on the disabled list with back spasms…Davis went undrafted this year out of Western Kentucky but signed with Philadelphia shortly after the draft…He was a 36th round pick of the Indians in 2010.

GreenJackets Missing Putts

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

See what we did there?

The BlueClaws are still four games out of first place, now with 12 games remaining in the season, and still with three teams to pass. Lakewood still has five games with Hickory (2nd place, one game up on Lakewood) and five with Hagerstown (tied with Lakewood for third place).

Despite back to back wins the last two nights at Delmarva, the BlueClaws remain four games out of first place, trailing Kannapolis, who has picked up back to back wins over Augusta.

On Monday, Brett Bochy (son of Bruce) blew a save in the 9th. Augusta had the bases loaded in the 10th but failed to score and Trayce Thompson hit a home run in the 12th.

On Tuesday, Augusta came from 4-0 down and tied the game with a run in the 8th. In the ninth, they couldn’t get the winning run in from second base with one out, and lost in the 11th.

So the BlueClaws remain four games out. Note: Kanny still has to play a double-header against Rome on August 28th so they and the BlueClaws will not play the same amount of games. This is good for Lakewood, who can’t break a tie with the Intimidators after going 4-6 against them this year.

Tuesday Preview: Looking for Seven of Eight

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

alonsoblog1The BlueClaws have won six of their last seven games and go for seven out of eight tonight at Delmarva. Pitching matchup:

LHP Ervis Manzanillo (7-6, 5.40) vs LHP Matt Bywater (0-2, 3.94)

State of the Claws…With Kannapolis’ 3-2, 12-inning win over Augusta on Monday, the BlueClaws remain four games back, now with 13 to play, despite their win over Delmarva…The BlueClaws are now tied with Hagerstown for third place and trail second place Hickory by two games…Lakewood’s largest deficit of the half was 6 games out through August 15 with 21 games remaining.

BlueClaws Transaction…3B Maikel Franco, who was hitting .123 (8-65) has been transferred back to Williamsport, where he was hitting .274 before joining the BlueClaws on August 3rd…The BlueClaws have received OF Luis Unda, a 21 year old from Venezuela…Unda was hitting .207 with Williamsport, with no home runs and 6 RBIs in 58 at bats…He hit .245 last year as a member of the GCL Phillies.

On Base Machine…BlueClaws 2B Carlos Alonso has reached base 35 times in the last 17 games (22-53 with 13 walks) and has driven in 10 runs…A 35th round pick last year from Delaware, Alonso joined the BlueClaws on July 9th and after starting 2-15, is 35-94…He hit his first home run of the year (4th of his career) on August 13 at Greensboro.

Manzanillo, who turns 20 on Thursday, makes his 24th appearance for Lakewood and fifth against Delmarva (2-0, 19.1 IP, 12 ER)…He gave up four runs on a career high seven walks in 2.1 innings…Prior to that start, he gave up a run over five innings at Greensboro on August 11th…His shortest outing of the year came on August 5th against West Virginia, when he was knocked out in the first inning, having allowed five earned runs in .2 innings…Manzanillo has a 6.37 ERA in the second half having walked 31 hitters in 41 innings pitched (opponents batting .323 against him compared to .226 in the first half)…Has held lefties to a .210 batting average compared to righties who are hitting .285 against him…Split last year between the GCL Phillies and Williamsport.

From Delmarva, Monday Night Preview

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

bonillablog3The BlueClaws, four games out of first place with 14 games left, open a four game series tonight at Perdue Stadium in Salisbury, MD against the Delmarva Shorebirds. Lakewood, who was rained out yesterday against Greensboro, went 5-2 on their recent homestand including 3-1 against Delmarva, against whom they are 14-7 this year.

Here is the series rotation:

Monday: Lisalberto Bonilla (3-4, 2.92) vs Jake Cowan (0-0, 2.55)

Tuesday: Ervis Manzanillo (7-6, 5.40) vs Matt Bywater (0-2, 3.94)

Wednesday: Jesse Biddle (6-8, 3.06) vs David Baker (3-3, 2.76)

Thursday: Austin Wright (1-1, 1.64) vs Jarret Martin (5-10, 4.99)

Here are today’s game notes.

Against Delmarva…The BlueClaws are 14-7 against Delmarva this year and 10-5 in the second half…They took three of four from the Shorebirds last week in Lakewood including sweeping a double-header on Tuesday…Jim Murphy is hitting .353 against Delmarva this year but has not homered against them…Cameron Rupp is batting .311 against Delmarva…The BlueClaws have a team ERA of 2.24 against Delmarva…Garett Claypool has allowed 1 ER in 32 innings while Jesse Biddle has allowed just two in 24.

On Base Machine…BlueClaws 2B Carlos Alonso has reached base 33 times in the last 16 games (20-48 with 13 walks) and has driven in nine runs…A 35th round pick last year from Delaware, Alonso joined the BlueClaws on July 9th and after starting 2-15, is 33-89…He hit his first home run of the year (4th of his career) on August 13 at Greensboro.

Lineup: Rice 7, Hillman DH, Alonso 4, Murphy 3, Collier 8, Hewitt 9, Rupp 2, Franco 5, Duran, Bonilla RHP.

Meet Drew Hillman

Friday, August 19th, 2011

hillmanfull1He got to the park 90 minutes before his BlueClaws debut, had two hits, three RBIs and a home run. Meet Drew Hillman, an 18th round pick in the 2011 draft out of UC-Irvine who joined the BlueClaws on Thursday before the series opener with Greensboro.

Click here to listen to the full interview.

Take us through your Thursday: I woke up around 6:30 and went to the field down with the Gulf Coast League. As soon as I changed, they told me I was going to Lakewood. That was exciting. I hopped on a shuttle to the airport around 9:30 and got on a flight at 12. After we landed, it took about 90 minutes to get my luggage. Nobody knew where the luggage was. Everyone was running around. It was a circus atmosphere. I got to the park around 5:30 and was told I was DH’ing, took a few hacks, went to the field and played.

Did you think you’d be in the lineup? No, I didn’t think I’d be in the lineup. Figured I’d get here, suit up, and kind of see how it is the first day. Wasn’t thinking I’d be in the lineup.

You had a few hits and a home run, what was your game plan up there: The whole day I was trying to have some fun. I wasn’t ready as normal because I got here late. I was just looking for some fastballs to do something with and have a few good swings.

Who was your favorite player to watch growing up: I like Derek Jeter a lot, even though I’m from California and like the Dodgers. He’s a fun guy to watch especailly witht eh 3,000 hits and whatnot.

The draft process: I talked to a handful of teams, they were one of them. I wasn’t really sure, but they drafted me and I was pretty excited that they did.

Adjusting from the GCL: It was nice to wake up around 10 this morning. Waking up at 6:30 every day and being done at 3, it’s too hot to play down there anyway so it’s nice to have some time to sleep in.

Hillman, who’s Anteater team lost in the Super Regionals this year to the University of Virginia, is the 3rd 2011 draftee to join the BlueClaws, following Ryan Duke (25th round) and tonight’s pitcher, Austin Wright (8th round).

Looking Back at Thursday

Friday, August 19th, 2011

ruppblog1Just a few quick things from last night.

Tony Graham blogged about a unique 7-2-4 double-play the BlueClaws turned last night in which Bill Rice threw out a runner trying to score from second on a single and then Cameron Rupp threw down to second base to get the hitter and complete the double-play.

“”That was the best play I have ever seen a catcher make,” said Biddle.  “”That was unbelievable.”

Biddle was referring to what happened during  the third inning of the game with Greensboro (NC).
Geensboro’s Joseph Bonadonna was thrown out at home by  leftfielder Bill Rice as he tried to score on a hit by Daniel Black. But that was just the routine half of it.

Lakewood catcher Cameron Rupp was  bowled  over by Bonadonna but bounced to his feet,  recovered,  and rifled a throw to second baseman Carlos Alonso nailing Black trying  to advance to second on the throw home. That completed your not so basic the 7-2-4 twin-killing.

The play ended the inning and Biddle was able to pitch through five innings earn the win in Lakewood’s 6-2 victory.
“”There aren’t really words I can use to describe it,” Biddle said. “That picked us up so big as a team. Right when he made that play I knew  we were going to win the game.

In the game, Biddle gave up just one earned run over five innings to lower his second half ERA to 1.91, which is the best in the Sally League over that period. Since May 1st (after he went 0-3, 7.16 in April), Biddle is 6-5, 2.42, the second best ERA in the league over that time period.

The attendance that night was 9,503, the fifth largest crowd in team history and the largest ever Thursday night crowd. With a 9,000 crowd tonight, the BlueClaws will hit 9 on back to back nights for just the second time in franchise history (August 11-12 of 2006).

Rupp had a busy night. He was also the hitter when Greensboro threw their 75th pitch. If Rupp had homered on that pitch, a fan would have won $10,000. However, he took it for a called third strike.

After the game, Rupp became the high bid in our BlueClaws Charities player bachelor auction, raising $3,000. Busy night for the Lakewood catcher.

Going For Five; Friday Preview

Friday, August 19th, 2011

hillmanfullThe BlueClaws go for their fifth straight win on Friday night against Greensboro, sending lefty Austin Wright to the mound to face the Grasshoppers. Lakewood sits 3.5 games out of first place with 17 remaining in the season.

Click here for today’s game notes.

Welcome to Lakewood, Mr. Hillman…Drew Hillman, an 18th round pick this year from UC-Irvine, joined the BlueClaws Thursday and promptly hit his first professional home run…Hillman hit .253 with six RBIs as a member of the GCL Phillies before coming to Lakewood…He hit .352 and .336 in two years with the Anteaters, who lost in an NCAA Super Regional this year to the University of Virginia.

Good Friends and a Strong Bullpen…Since July 30th, the BlueClaws bullpen has allowed just 18 earned runs in 70 innings pitched, covering 19 games.

One for the Record…BlueClaws 1B Jim Murphy hit his 22nd home run of the year last Monday against West Virginia and tied Juan Richardson’s single-season franchise record set in the team’s inaugural season of 2001…Murphy has 36 home runs as a BlueClaw, the most in franchise history and a record he originally broke here in Greensboro on May 11th…Murphy has now hit 47 home runs as a pro…He has gone 30 at bats since his last home run and has one HR in his last 67 at bats dating to July 29th.

Here’s Tony Graham’s story from last night.

Hillman, a third baseman who was the DH Thursday, said he arrived at the ballpark at 5:30 p.m. after taking a 9:45 am flight out of Florida where he had been playing with the Gulf Cost Phillies.

“My luggage was all mixed up and then I hit some traffic,” he said. “I got here, hit a couple of balls, got my uniform, and went to the field.

“It was kind of a circus I guess.”