Archive for the 'BlueClaws Post-Season' Category

Little + Little = Big

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

“Little things (hurt Lakewood). You don’t take care of little things you’ve got big things, called a loss.”
—Mark Parent

That was what BlueClaws manager Mark Parent said on Monday night after Greenville’s Game One win over Lakewood in the SAL Championship Series.

Lakewood made four outs on the bases, a line-drive double play, two caught stealings, and a pickoff at first base by the catcher, costing them opportunities on a night when Greenville’s pitchers threw the ball quite well.

Tony Graham’s blog on has a rundown with some more quotes.

SAL Championship Series, Game One

Monday, September 13th, 2010

From Fluor Field in Greenville, it’s time for game one of the 2010 South Atlantic League Championship Series.

Game Notes
Listen Live (at 6:50)

LAK: RHP Trevor May (7-3, 2.91)
GRE: LHP Drake Britton (2-3, 2.97)

Going For Two In a Row…The BlueClaws are trying to become the first team since Savannah in 1993 and 1994 to back-to-back South Atlantic League titles…Savannah was then a Cardinals affiliate.

Now THAT’S Pitching…Lakewood’s four Championship Series starters (Trevor May, Julio Rodriguez, Brody Colvin, Jonathan Pettibone) are a combined 13-5 with a 1.97 ERA (151 IP, 96 H, 33 ER, 182 Ks) since August 1st…Rodriguez has allowed three earned runs in 42 innings since re-joining the BlueClaws on July 27th from Williamsport…Pettibone is 6-1 over his last nine starts with a 1.82 ERA including the post-season.

Valle The Power…Sebastian Valle has hit four home runs in 14 career playoff games (one with the 2008 GCL Phillies, one with Lakewood last year, and two with the BlueClaws this year—games one and three against Hickory in the Division Series).


Skip Checks In Before Game One

Monday, September 13th, 2010

A couple of hours before game one of the SAL Championship Series, we sat down for a few minutes with BlueClaws manager Mark Parent for a series preview.

You’ve worked all year basically to get to this point, the Championship Series, what’s the state of the team? Our team is ready to go. We just got done with a series with Hickory, one of the best teams we’ve seen. Our pitchers certainly stepped up to the challenge, actually made pretty easy work of it. They did a quality job. other than the middle game, our hitters took care of what they had to do and we’re ready.

What stood out about Greenville? They’re speed more than anything. They’re quicker than some of the other clubs. Maybe they don’t have the power that a Greensboro or a Hickory has, but they have speed. They get two games here and they know how to play that wall, but we have Castro who’s everywhere anyway.

From the standpoint of yours as a catcher, what does that speed do to impact a game? Well you know they’re going to steal a few bases. You have to throw out the guys you’re supposed to get. If a guy steals third with two outs, who cares? We’ve given those up before, hasn’t really hurt us. But our pitchers know they are going to run and you have to make them put it in play, can’t walk them.


Previewing Game One

Monday, September 13th, 2010

blueclawsplayoffslogoGreetings from Greenville, SC, the site of tonight’s South Atlantic League Championship Series, Game One, between the BlueClaws and Greenville Drive.

Here are tonight’s game notes.

RHP Trevor May
R: 7-3, 2.91, 65 IP, 51 H, 20 BB, 92 K
*9/8 at HIC (W): 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 13 K
9/1 vs AUG (W): 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 7 K
8/25 at HIC (L): 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R/ER, 1 BB, 6 K
8/18 vs GBO (W): 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R/ER, 0 BB, 12 K

Acquired: 4th round pick, 2008 Kelso, Washington

May, who turns 21 on September 23rd, makes his 13th start for Lakewood and second in the playoffs…He threw 6.2 shutout innings in the game one Division Series win over Hickory on Wednesday…Including last year, May has thrown 17.2 shutout innings in three BlueClaws playoff starts (9 hits, 6 walks, 24 strikeouts)…He joined the BlueClaws this year on the 4th of July after opening the season with Clearwater (5-5, 5.01)…May has won four of his last five and seven of his last nine starts (12 ER in 55.2 innings pitched with 83 strikeouts)…May threw six scoreless innings at Greenville on August 2nd (win) and five shutout in game three of last year’s Championship Series (no-decision)…Was 3rd in MiLB in strikeouts (182) between CLR and LAK…He committed to the University of Washington before signing with the Phillies.

LHP Drake Britton
R: 2-3, 2.97, 75.2 IP, 69 H, 23 BB, 78 K
*9/8 vs SAV (W): 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 8 K
9/2 at CHA (W): 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K
8/27 vs ASH (L): 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R/2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K

Acquired: 23rd round pick, 2007 Waco, Texas
Britton, 21, makes his 2nd playoff start after winning the postseason opener on Wednesday against Savannah (at Greenville)…Has a 2.72 ERA since July 1st (3.70 before)…Made two starts before going on DL in April and came back on May 24th…Did not get to five innings until July 25th and has not exceeded five innings this year… Pitched just 11.2 innings last year between the GCL and Lowell and debuted with Lowell in 2008…Signed in August of 2007 for $700,000 after committing to Texas A&M…Had TJ surgery in the fall of 2008.


Championship Series Rotations

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

trevormay11No huge surprises in the BlueClaws rotation for the SAL Championship Series which begins on Monday in Greenville:

Game One (Monday at Greenville)
RHP Trevor May (7-3, 2.91)
LHP Drake Britton (2-3, 2.97)

Game Two (Tuesday at Greenville)
RHP Julio Rodriguez (5-1, 1.44)
RHP Ryan Pressly (5-7, 3.72)

Game Three (Thursday at Lakewood)
RHP Brody Colvin (6-8, 3.39)
RHP Chris Balcom-Miller (7-7, 3.30)

Game Four (Friday at Lakewood)
RHP Jonathan Pettibone (8-6, 3.49)
LHP Manuel Rivera (5-9, 4.10)

Game Five (Saturday at Lakewood)
May vs TBA

More on the Lakewood starters below.

The BlueClaws turn to RHP Trevor May for game one, who threw 6.2 scoreless innings, with 13 strikeouts, to earn the win in game one of the Division Series at Hickory on Wednesday.

The 20 year-old, was drafted in the 4th round in 2008 (Kelso, Washington), has thrown 17.2 shutout innings in three post-season starts with Lakewood (including two last year). He went 7-3, 2.91 with the BlueClaws this year after going 5-5, 5.01 with Clearwater to open the season.


Three To Go

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

pettibone091110Congrats to the BlueClaws players and staff who knocked off Hickory 6-0 on Saturday night at FirstEnergy Park to advance to the SAL Championship Series beginning Monday night in Greenville.

Jonathan Pettibone pitched as well as one can pitch, throwing seven shutout innings on just one hit, one walk, two hit batsman and fanning a career high nine hitters.

“Pettibone set the tone right away. He was outstanding in every sense of the way. He probably could have gone longer but we’re going to need him again and we had enough runs where we didn’t have to throw him out there too long,” said manager Mark Parent.

Pettibone said later that he felt good from the outset and just wanted to go out there and do his thing.

That he did.

“Of course there was pressure, but the team was ready,” said Pettibone. “We were all excited, especially after the tough loss the night before. I knew the team was going to score some runs for me, especially getting shut down the night before. I just wanted to do the best I could to keep the guys in the game.”

Quick notes:

  • This was the first time the BlueClaws have ever faced elimination during a playoff game.
  • Sebastian Valle has three home runs in 10 career playoff games, including a two run home run in the first inning.
  • Jeremy Barnes’ RBI single in the first came about 5 minutes after alma mater Notre Dame lost to Michigan.
  • Trevor May / Julio Rodriguez / Brody Colvin / Jonathan Pettibone / Trevor May is your rotation for Greenville.

Lakewood hosts games three, four and five, with the last to “if necessary.” Order tickets here. We’ll have more when we get to Greenville, but needless to say it was a special day here at the park.

SAL Northern Division Championship Series Game Three

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

One for the money…The BlueClaws and the Hickory Crawdads meet tonight in game three of the Northern Division Championship Series tonight at FirstEnergy Park. Greenville gets the winner in a best-of-five series beginning on Monday in South Carolina.

Game Notes
Listen Live (at 6:50)

LAK: RHP Jonathan Pettibone (8-6, 3.49)
HIC: RHP Jake Brigham (5-5, 3.51)

Win Or Go Home…This is the first time in their history the BlueClaws are playing an elimination game in the post-season…They swept both Division Championship Series (2006 vs Lexington and 2009 vs Kannapolis) and both Championship Series losses (2006 vs Augusta and 2009 vs Greenville) came when the team led the best-of-five series 2-0…Hickory lost game three of the 2007 Northern Division Championship Series 9-4 to West Virginia.

Hot Hitting…Jeremy Barnes (3-6) and Keoni Ruth (5-9) are the only BlueClaws with hits in each of the first two games of this series…Barnes had a double in the 7th inning on Friday night and Keoni Ruth had a tenth inning double but was stranded at second base when the game ended (Valle 5-5-3 double play)…Jonathan Singleton, with one hit in each of the first two games, is the only other BlueClaws player with two hits in the series.

A Pitcher’s Series…Lakewood is 12-68 (.176) as a team in the series while Hickory is 11-65 (.169)…Leury Garcia and Jared Prince each have four hits for the Crawdads…The rest of the team has three combined.


Game Three Pitching Preview

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

Here is the pitching preview for tonight, Jonathan Pettibone for Lakewood and Jake Brigham for Hickory.

Lakewood: RHP Jonathan Pettibone

8-6, 3.49, 131.1 IP, 114 H, 41 BB, 84 K

9/3 vs KAN (W): 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 0 BB, 7 K
8/27 at HIC (W): 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R/ER, 4 BB, 5 K
8/21 at HAG (W): 8 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 8 K
8/16 vs DEL (L): 5.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R/2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

Acquired: Supplemental 3rd round pick, 2008 Yorba Linda, California

Pettibone, who turned 20 on July 19th, makes his 25th appearance for Lakewood and has won three starts in a row and four of his last five to end the regular season…Over his last 15 starts, since allowing six runs in 1/3 of an inning on June 6th, Pettibone is 6-4, 2.38, the third best ERA in the league over that time period…He has not allowed more than three earned runs in a start since June 6th and has only allowed three earned runs once in that period (7/18 at Kannapolis)…After his June 6th start, his ERA sat at 5.98…He is 5-1, 2.06 over his last eight starts and gave up two runs in six innings at Hickory on 8/27, his lone start against the Crawdads this year…Drafted between Vance Worley (now in big leagues) and Trevor May (current teammate) in 2008…Committed to USC before signing.

Hickory: RHP Jake Brigham

6-5, 3.36, 83 IP, 66 H, 24 BB, 67 K

9/6 at GRE (W): 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 3 BB, 5 K
9/1 at ASH (W): 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, 0 BB, 6 K
8/26 vs LAK (L): 5 IP, 8 H, 5 R/ER, 3 BB, 5 K
8/21 vs DEL (W): 7 IP, 7 H, 4 R/ER, 1 BB, 5 K

Acquired: 6th round pick, 2008 Orlando, Florida

Brigham, 22, makes his 15th appearance with Hickory after opening the season with Bakersfield (1-5, 6.93)…He gave up five runs in five innings against Lakewood on August 26th, including a home run to Anthony Hewitt…Brigham gave up 10 runs in 2.1 innings (at AUG 7/24) in one game; without that start, his ERA would be 2.34…Began the year with Bakersfield (1-5, 6.93)…Went 2-11, 5.52 with Hickory last year… On 8/10 at Greensboro, he gave up hits to the first two batters and retired the next 27 for a complete game shutout…Missed entire 2008 season.

Onto Game Three

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

While the end result was not what BlueClaws fans had in mind, they were treated to a wonderfully entertaining game on Friday night, a true playoff game with a packed house, scoring chances, and drama. It was just that the wrong team won.

Here is the story in the Asbury Park Press.

Eighteen Lakewood hitters went down on strikes in the game.

“Yeah, that’s frustrating but it’s (Class) A ball, “Parent said. “It’s a big game, some of these guys first big game in front of a big crowd.

“Some of these guys put a little too much pressure on themselves.”

Lakewood had 2nd and 3rd with nobody out in the 7th, their best chance, but three of those 18 strikeouts (against Miguel de los Santos) ended the threat.

Lakewood went 0-8 with runners in scoring position and wasted some great pitching by Brody Colvin and Julio Rodriguez, who combined to give up just three hits and one run over eight innings.

This will be the first elimination game in BlueClaws history.

Game Two Pitching Preview

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Here is a pitching preview for tonight’s game two, with Lakewood leading one game to none:

Lakewood: RHP Brody Colvin
6-8, 3.39, 138 IP, 138 H, 42 BB, 120 K
9/5 vs KAN (ND): 5 IP, 7 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 5 K
8/31 vs AUG (L): 4 IP, 6 H, 3 R/ER, 1 BB, 4 K
8/24 at HAG (ND): 5 IP, 10 H, 3 R/ER, 1 BB, 1 K
8/17 vs GBO (ND): 2 IP, 6 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Acquired: 7th round pick, 2009 Lafayette, Louisiana

Colvin, who turned 20 on August 14th, makes his 28th start of the year, the only member of Lakewood’s opening rotation who did not miss a turn all season…Since a May 12th start in Greenville when he allowed seven runs in 1.2 innings, Colvin is 4-3, 2.00…In his last four stats, Colvin has allowed 29 hits and nine earned runs in 16 innings pitched…One win since July 4th but on year has 10 starts this year in which he has given up zero or one earned run and not gotten the win…Won the first half clincher (6/20 vs Kannapolis in Lakewood)…Finished 8th in the league in ERA…Making his first start against Hickory, as Erlin is against Lakewood…Was on campus at LSU when he decided to sign with the Phillies at the deadline last August.
Hickory: LHP Robert Erlin
6-3, 2.12, 114.2 IP, 89 H, 17 BB, 125 K
9/5 at GRE (ND): 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K
8/31 at ASH (ND): 5.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R/0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
8/24 vs DEL (ND): 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R/2 ER, 0 BB, 9 K
8/15 vs CHA (ND): 4.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R/3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K

Acquired: 3rd round pick, 2009 Santa Cruz, California

Erlin, who turns 20 on October 8th, makes his 29th appearance and 18th start…He opened the season in the bullpen by allowing one run in 30 innings before moving to the starting rotation on May 18th…Led the South Atlantic League in ERA (2.12), WHIP (0.92), and was second in opponents batting average (.213)…Left- handed batters are hitting .309 against Erlin while right-handed batters are hitting just .179 against him…Committed to Cal Poly out of Scotts Valley High School in Santa Cruz.

Three Links

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Finishing up what will turn out to be about an 11 hour bus-ride back to Lakewood from Hickory, here are some links from last night’s game. on the BlueClaws Game one win, with comments from Trevor May.

“Having the experience of pitching in the playoffs last year helped,” said May, who was third in all of minor league ball this year with 182 strikeouts. “I came out hyped up last year and had to settle down. I went into this game settled down thinking I had to throw one pitch at a time, one batter at a time, one inning at a time and it worked out.”

May also talked to about his start.

“It was a combination of things,” said May, who allowed four hits and a walk over 6 2/3 innings. “I got three strikeouts with fastballs on the letters, and those were all because they were set up with curveballs. [The Hickory hitters] were reading the break and there was no break. I could do that mostly because I was getting ahead early.”

Tony Graham recaps the night in the Asbury Park Press.

Recapping Game One

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Quite the night for the BlueClaws in game one (game story, box score). Trevor May threw 6.2 shutout innings with 13 strikeouts (a BlueClaws playoff franchise record).

“You play the entire year, you get to the postseason and when you get there, the games mean a lot more,” May said. “It’s like being back in Little League or playing for a state championship. Those are the best times of your life.”

May has now thrown 17.2 shutout innings in three BlueClaws playoff starts (two last year and the one tonight).

“There’s always a little extra in the playoffs,” he added. “You want to make sure you end the season with the gas tank at E.”

Hickory did not have two baserunners in an inning against May until the 7th, in which he came out with the bases loaded and two outs. Eric Pettis got through the jam needing just one pitch.

The BlueClaws got home runs from Jonathan Singleton, Sebastian Valle, and a mammoth three-run shot from the unlikely source of Alan Schoenberger. Schoenberger’s, a three run blast in the 5th inning, cleared 32 feet of signage (only 8 needed for a HR) and was his 6th of the season after hitting just one in his first three years in the system.

The BlueClaws are now 11-2 in the playoffs, having allowed 25 runs in 13 games, and 11 runs in the 11 wins.

Keoni Ruth was 3-4 and Jeremy Barnes 2-3 for the BlueClaws.

Brody Colvin (6-8, 3.39) and Robbie Erlin (6-3, 2.12) on Friday, 7:05 first pitch. Order tickets here.

Barnes Checks In Before Game One

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Before Wednesdsay’s playoff game one at Hickory, we sat down with BlueClaws 3B Jeremy Barnes for a quick pre-game interview…

You clinched on June 20th and have been waiting since then…Ready to go? Yep we’re excited. Ready to get rolling. We’ve been waiting for a long time now. Hopefully we can get out to a good start. We’re real excited and anxious to get going.


It’s Here: The 2010 Postseason

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

postseasonfullThe BlueClaws started the 2010 regular season in Asheville on April 8th with eight runs in the first inning. That was 154 days ago. Tonight, they start the 2010 postseason, the third in team history.

Click here to download the 2010 BlueClaws Postseason Media Guide.

How They Got Here…The BlueClaws clinched their playoff spot on June 20th by virtue of winning the first-half title…They were 4.5 games in back of Hickory with 21 games remaining, but the BlueClaws finished the first half 16-5 to come out on top…Hickory earned their spot by having the next-best overall record among Northern Division clubs (needed since Lakewood won both halves)…Hickory secured this on August 31st and ended up 9.5 games in front of Greensboro.

Winning Both Halves…The BlueClaws became the first team since 2004 to win both halves of the South Atlantic League season…The league switched to the current two-half/two-division format in 2000…Prior to this year, three teams (2000 Piedmont, 2003 Lake County, 2004 Capital City) had won both halves, but none of the three won the South Atlantic League title.

Pitching Wins Championships…The BlueClaws finished the 2010 season with a team ERA of just 3.04, the lowest in franchise history and the lowest among the 120 full season Minor League Baseball clubs (Port Charlotte at 3.06 was second)…The BlueClaws had a team ERA of 4.26 in Arpil and 2.81 since May 1st.

Extra Pleasure…The BlueClaws played more extra-inning games this year than any team in Minor League Baseball (23), one more than Brevard County (A+, Brewers)…The BlueClaws went 13-10 in extra-innings and were one of just nine teams to win 10 extra-inning games.

We’re Back…Five BlueClaws (Brian Gump, Kyle Lafrenz, Sebastian Valle, Trevor May, Luke Wertz) were with the BlueClaws when they won the 2009 SAL title last year in Greenville.

Going for Three…Trevor May and Sebastian Valle, who played with the GCL Phillies in 2008 and Lakewood in 2009, have a chance to win a third championship in as many years…Brian Gump, who won a title with Lakewood last year, has a chance to win his third title, as he also won one last week while rehabbing with the GCL Phillies (he was 3-5 with 4 RBIs in the clincher).

The Staff…Manager Mark Parent led the Chico Outlaws to the Golden League title in 2007, his third year with the club…He led Lancaster to the California League Championship Series in 2000, though they lost to San Bernardino…Pitching coach Steve Schrenk was a coach for the 2006 BlueClaws and 2007 Clearwater Threshers championship clubs…Hitting coach Greg Legg won his first title in 27 years in the minors (player/coach) with last year’s BlueClaws.

There’s more in there.