Palm Beach Cardinals Notebook: 2012 Week 3

The Florida State League Cardinals went just 2-5 during the third week of the 2012 season.

Thursday April 19th: St. Lucie Mets 1, Palm Beach 0 (7 innings)
The Palm Beach Cardinals and St. Lucie Mets game was called in the top of the seventh inning because of inclement weather. For the Cardinals it was an especially tough pill to shallow as they had Alan Ahmady on second base with nobody out as the rain came down. Starter Richard Castillo looked sharp, as he went a season-high six innings, allowing one unearned run and striking out two. On any other night he would have been the best pitcher in the park, but Chase Hutchingson out dueled the right-hander, as he went five shutout innings to collect his third victory of the year.

Saturday April 21st game one: St. Lucie Mets 9, Palm Beach Cardinals 7
Game two: St Lucie Mets 6, Palm Beach Cardinals 1 (7 innings)

On Friday night, the Cardinals jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but the rain came down and washed the game away. When they restarted on Saturday night, there were a few changes to the roster. Michael Swinson returned from the DL and Allen Craig made his first rehab start. It did not take long for Craig to get his first hit, as blasted a ball over the left field fence to put the Cardinals up 3-0. That lead would not last as the Mets scored four runs in the next four innings to move ahead, 4-3. After battling back to tie it at 4-4 in the top of the seventh, the bullpen imploded, giving up five runs in final two frames.

In the nightcap, the Cardinals tried to avoid the sweep by jumping ahead 1-0 on a single by Mike O'Neill. However, that was all they would get as left-hander Angel Cuan and right-hander Adrian Rosario shut down the Palm Beach bats. The Mets would not be stopped as they scored three in the second and fifth to sweep away the Cardinals.

Rodriguez
Sunday April 22nd: Palm Beach Cardinals 11, Charlotte Stone Crabs 1
The Cardinals were happy to return home after losing five of six on the road. They were so happy that they took it on the Charlotte Stone Crabs for the tune of 11 runs on a season-high 16 hits. Starlin Rodriguez was a double away from hitting for the cycle, as he went 3-for-5 with a single, triple, home run and five RBI. He was matched by the bottom of the order, as the 5-through-9 hitters went a combined 10-for-22 with five runs and five RBI. On the mound, Anthony Ferrara took advantage of the cool breeze, as he made batters miss all night. He went seven shutout innings, allowing three hits, while striking out two to record his first win of the season.

Monday April 23rd: Charlotte Stone Crabs 8 at Palm Beach Cardinals 6
On a cold, chilly night, the Cardinals staged a late rally but could not hold on as the Stone Crabs took the lead right back in the top of the ninth. After falling behind 6-3 in the sixth inning, the Cardinals used home runs by Packy Elkins and Ronny Gil to come back to tie the game at 6-6 in the bottom of the eighth. For both Elkins and Gil, those were the first home runs on the season. Last year in Quad Cities, they hit a combined two in over 800 at bats. Despite the heavy wind blowing out to right, both home runs were no doubters. In the end it would not be enough as Charlotte pushed across two runs in the ninth against Chase Reid.

Tuesday April 24th: Charlotte Stone Crabs 6 at Palm Beach Cardinals 4
No lead is safe at the ‘Dean', was the sentiment expressed throughout the night as the Cardinals came from two down to take a 4-3 lead in the seventh. However, it would not stand as the Stone Crabs rallied to put three on the board in the eighth to make it 6-4. For the second night in a row, the Cardinals bullpen let the team down, as they gave up five runs in three innings. Ricky Martinez was shelled for three runs in the last frame.

Wednesday April 25th: Palm Beach Cardinals 6 at Fort Myers Miracle 2
In need of good start on their six-game road trip, the Cardinals sent ace Seth Maness to the mound, and he delivered, throwing seven innings, allowing one unearned run and striking out a season-high seven. His start dropped his 2012 ERA to 0.67, and was his third victory of the year. He was backed by a six-run third inning, which saw ten men come to the plate. Jonathan Rodriguez delivered the big blow as his RBI single plated two, while six other starters collected at least one hit on the night.

In Safe Hands with Maness
Despite only making seven starts in 2011, Seth Maness has taken Palm Beach by storm. In four starts, the right-hander has given up a total of two runs in 27 innings. His speedy delivery has stifled hitters for the tune of 21 hits, while collecting 21 strikeouts.

Castillo Crushed
Right-hander Richard Castillo surrendered two runs (one earned) in three starts; however his record stands at 1-2... The Cardinals have scored a total of three runs in his three outings and have been shut out twice.

Fleet Footed Beach Birds
The Cardinals continued their damage on the base paths, as they stole two more bases... On the season the Cardinals are 21-29, while Nick Longmire and Packy Elkins lead the squad with three swipes in three tries. Last season, the Cardinals tallied 93 bags in 138 games.

We got a Vance on it
Vance Albitz has quietly been handed a bigger role in the Cardinals offense... After starting the season as the primary backup in the infield, Albitz contributions at the plate have made him a viable candidate for more playing time... Albitz leads the team with a .455 batting average and .571 on base percentage...

Offensive Woes No More
On April 18th, the Cardinals were shut out for the fourth time on the season... Since being then, the Cardinals have started to make some noise at the plate... In the last six games, they are averaging 5.8 runs a game...

Another one Bites the Dust
In the last six games, the bullpen has imploded for a tune of 22 runs in 23 1/3 innings... Ricky Martinez has had a tough week... In four innings he has given up eight runs and has recorded two losses…

Oh Oh Ronny Gil
Shortstop Ronny Gil continues his streaky play, as he committed his 11th error on Wednesday night… His 11 errors are more than the rest of the team combined (20), while his .833 fielding percentage is worst in the league.

Transactions
4/21 OF Kyle Conley moved to Double-A Springfield
4/21 OF Michael Swinson activated from the DL
4/21 OF Allen Craig MLB rehab assignment

Swinson was activated from the DL and will serve as one of the starting outfielders, while Allen Craig made three rehab starts for the Beach Birds over the week. He did not travel with the club to Fort Myers, instead moving to Memphis.

Injury Report
RHP Seth Blair will be out for awhile longer as he continues to rehab his hurt middle finger. The right-hander may resume throwing activities in the next couple weeks.

C Travis Tartamella continues to make his way back on to the roster, as he works out with the team and hits in the backfields.

On the Horizon
The Cardinals will finish their series with the Fort Myers Miracle on Friday night before traveling to Charlotte to face the Stone Crabs, April 28-30th. After they finish up with Charlotte, they will come home and meet the Miracle to start a seven-game homestand.



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