Palm Beach Cardinals Notebook: 2010 Week 22

Though out of the playoff hunt, Palm Beach rallied to take three of its final four contests.

This report covers the period from Friday, September 3 through Thursday, September 5. 

Though eliminated from playoff competition, the Palm Beach Cardinals finished strongly, winning three of its last four games.  The team has to wonder what could have been.  With a three-game lead in the middle of August, the Cards went on to lose 14 of 18 to be knocked out of the postseason. 

The week started off with the completion of a game that was postponed on August 29.  The Cardinals topped their rival Jupiter, 8-1. Starter Scott Schneider, who had been struggling, was credited with a complete game.  The right-hander allowed only one run on five hits while ringing up eight strikeouts. 

Ryan Jackson helped lead the offense with three hits including his ninth double.  Out of the leadoff spot, C.J. Beatty had two hits including a home run, scored two and drove in three. Rich Racobaldo singled, doubled, and scored a run.

The team couldn't sweep the doubleheader, falling to the Hammerheads, 5-2.  Jarred Bogany singled twice and stole his 19th base.  Ryan Jackson singled and stole a base as well. 

Richard Castillo was tagged with his 12th loss after allowing four runs in only five innings of work.

On Saturday, the Cards set the tempo with three in the bottom of the first on its way to an 11-5 win over the Hammerheads.  Brett Zawacki battled for five innings to finish his season with seven wins for Palm Beach. 

At the plate, Niko Vasquez collected four hits, drove in two, and scored three runs.  Ryan Jackson and Rich Racobaldo each had three hits while Alex Castellanos doubled twice and drove in four runs.

In the final game of the season, the Cardinals made sure they went out on the right note thanks to a strong performance on the mound.  After a rough stretch, Arquimedes Nieto buckled down with seven strong innings of one run baseball.  Casey Mulligan pitched the final 1 1/3 innings to nail down his 12th save at Palm Beach.

Alex Castellanos singled, scored a run, and stole his 19th base.  Niko Vasquez tripled and scored the team's other run. 

Who's Hot

In the final seven games of the season, Ryan Jackson hit .414 with three extra base hits.  He finished with a respectable line of .291/.343/.392 in 148 at bats in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League.  His .291 average was the best mark of those players on the Palm Beach roster at season's end.

Over his last 10 games, Niko Vasquez posted a slash line of .342/.405/.500 with five of his 13 hits going for extra bases. 

Thanks to Casey Mulligan, Palm Beach never lost a beat after the trade of closer David Carpenter.  In his final 11 2/3 innings, Mulligan did not allow an earned run while striking out 16 batters. 

Who's Not

Colt Sedbrook just never found his stroke in 2010.  The middle infielder hit only .221 while with Palm Beach including a mark of .185/.324/.185 in his final 27 at bats. 

Around the League

The Cardinals finished the season with a second half record of 37-33, two games back of first-place Bradenton.  Overall for the year, the team was 75-65, the fifth best record in the 12-team FSL. 

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