Memphis Redbirds Notebook: 2011 Week 20

The Cardinals Triple-A club went 6-1 this past week, including four consecutive road wins. Brandon Dickson is solidifying his ace status.

The big picture

This report covers the week from Thursday, August 18 through Wednesday, August 24.

Manager Chris Maloney's Memphis Redbirds opened their week with the final two of four at home against Las Vegas (Toronto), followed by the start of a nine-game road trip. The journey began with four at Albuquerque (Dodgers) starting on Saturday, followed by the first of five at Nashville (Milwaukee).

The Redbirds had a strong week, winning six and losing just one. Their August record is at the top of the Pacific Coast League at 16-7 to date.

The Redbirds' current record is 70-61 and they remain in second place in the American North Division. During the week, Memphis made up one game against first-place Omaha and sit four back in the standings with 12 games remaining. The Storm Chasers control the tie breaker, as Omaha won the regular season series with the Redbirds, taking nine of 15.

Game summaries

Thursday, August 18: Memphis 3, Las Vegas 0
Memphis collected its fourth shutout of the season behind Brandon Dickson. In seven scoreless innings, the right-hander fanned seven and scattered four hits. Every starting position player collected exactly one hit. Bryan Anderson homered and scored twice. Adron Chambers doubled, stole a base and scored.

Friday, August 19: Memphis 11, Las Vegas 6
The Redbirds pounded out 13 hits in the homestand finale. Nick Stavinoha singled, homered and plated four. Tyler Greene also singled and went deep, driving in two. Starter Adam Ottavino earned the win. In seven innings, the right-hander allowed four runs on seven hits.

Saturday, August 20: Albuquerque 6, Memphis 5
The Redbirds battled back to score four in the top of the ninth to take the lead only for Jess Todd to allow a walkoff home run in the bottom of the inning. Nick Stavinoha had a two-run home run.

Sunday, August 21: Memphis 10 at Albuquerque 5
Starter Brian Broderick allowed only one earned run on seven hits while walking one and striking out five over five innings. Tyler Greene led the Memphis comeback as his bases-clearing triple in the sixth broke the tie for the last time (at 4-4).

Monday, August 22: Memphis 16 at Albuquerque 7
The Redbirds put 12 on the board in the first three innings as Tyler Greene hit two home runs, a two-run homer in the first and a solo bomb in the second. Matt Carpenter went 4-for-6 with three runs scored and a pair of RBI. Andrew Brown, Tony Cruz and Pete Kozma all collected three RBI. Memphis matched a franchise record, turning five double plays. Nick Additon allowed five runs, four earned, on eight hits while walking three and striking out three for his third win as a Redbird.

Tuesday, August 23: Memphis 8 at Albuquerque 1
Pete Kozma picked up a pair of hits and three RBI while Bryan Anderson went 3-for-5 with two RBI to lead the Redbirds. Starter Brandon Dickson fanned eight and allowed just one run on six hits over seven innings.

Wednesday, August 24: Memphis 5 at Nashville 4
Andrew Brown had what may be his best game in several months as he hit two solo home runs and singled. Matt Carpenter added a solo shot and Shane Robinson had a double among his three hits. Starter Adam Ottavino needed 100 pitches to get through five innings as he allowed eight hits and all four runs, three earned. Pete Parise picked up the win and Victor Marte added the save.

On the Move

In a very rare occurrence, the Redbirds had no player transactions this past week.

On the Mend

Catcher Nick Derba remains on the disabled list for a second week.

Two Redbirds are done for the season - reliever Adam Reifer with a torn knee ligament and catcher Steven Hill with a broken foot.

Who's Hot

Since the all-star break, closer Victor Marte has a 1.13 ERA and nine saves. The right-hander has 15 strikeouts to just two walks in 16 innings pitched. Opposing hitters are batting .190 against him in that time.

With the losses of Lance Lynn (promotion to St. Louis) and P.J. Walters (traded), Brandon Dickson has stepped up as the ace of the staff. The right-hander is 4-0 with a 1.51 ERA in five August starts. His strikeout to walk ratio is a strong 31-to-5 in 35 1/3 innings.

Outfielder Andrew Brown is showing signs of shaking off a two-month slump. Despite a .250 average in August, he has 16 RBI in 19 games.

Infielder Tyler Greene has 11 RBI in his last 10 games and 22 in 23 August contests, to go along with eight home runs. His line this month: .348/.421/.685/1.105. Expect to see the shortstop get an extended look in St. Louis during September.

First baseman Mark Hamilton is batting .381 with 11 RBI in 20 August outings.

Outfielder Nick Stavinoha has 11 RBI in his last seven games, has 23 in 20 August games, during which time he is batting .351.

Outfielder Adron Chambers is batting .375 over his last ten games with five RBI and four steals in six attempts.

Catcher Tony Cruz is batting .400 in his eight games since being sent down from St. Louis and has seven RBI.

Who's Not

Lefty Nick Additon has been touched up for 11 earned runs in 8 1/3 August innings for an ERA of 11.88.

In his last ten games, third baseman Matt Carpenter is batting .268 with a .318 OBP. Both are considerably below his season averages.

Pacific Coast League individual leaders

Andrew Brown and Nick Stavinoha are moving up the lists while Brandon Dickson solidifies his ace status.

Offense # PCL rank
BA no one in  top 30
OBP Carpenter 0.418 5th
SLG Brown 0.508 26th
OPS Brown 0.892 19th
Steals Chambers 22 T12th
Doubles Carpenter 27 T23rd
HR Stavinoha 27 T3rd
RBI Stavinoha 100 T3rd
Walks Carpenter 75 T2nd
Pitching # PCL rank
ERA Dickson 3.73 3rd
Strikeouts Dickson 122 3rd
Ottavino 115 T6th
Saves Marte 26 1st
Wins Dickson 8 T14th
Walks Ottavino 64 5th
HR allow Dickson 21 T8th

(Red/yellow/green denotes period-to-period change of the season-to-date totals, where red is decline, yellow is steady and green is improvement since last report.)

Team stats and rankings – Season to date

It is difficult to find anything wrong with what the hitters and pitchers collectively accomplished this past week.

Offense Prev week PCL rank Season PCL rank
YTD # of 16 # of 16
BA 0.271 15th 0.275 14th
Runs 612 15th 670 14th
OPS 0.763 15th 0.777 14th
Doubles 208 15th 231 15th
HR 111 13th 124 12th
Steals 70 14th 75 14th
Pitching Prev week PCL rank Season PCL rank
YTD # of 16 # of 16
ERA 4.14 1st 4.10 1st
Ks 874 8th 925 6th
Walks 428 2nd fewest 447 Fewest
HR allow 118 T3rd fewest 126 5th fewest
Saves 28 T5th fewest 31 T5th fewest

Up Next

After the final four games of the five at Nashville (Milwaukee), the Redbirds conclude the regular season with an eight-game homestand. Their opponents will be the same clubs they visited on the last road trip, Albuquerque (Dodgers) and Nashville (Brewers).

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Look for his weekly minor league column on Thursdays at Follow Brian on Twitter.

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