Palm Beach Cardinals Notebook: 2012 Week 6

The Florida State League Cardinals hang around the .500 mark but have a large deficit to make up in the first-half standings.

Despite five of seven games played at Roger Dean Stadium, the Palm Beach Cardinals logged a 3-4 week. Home cooking hasn't been a big difference-maker in the early going as the team's 20-20 record is nearly symmetric in terms of home-road wins at 11-9. In the first half standings, the Cards are in second place in the six-team Florida State League South, 12 games behind the St. Lucie Mets, who are playing amazing .800 ball at 32-8.

Thursday May 10th: Lakeland Flying Tigers 4, Palm Beach Cardinals 1
The Cardinals got off to a bad start on the road, giving up three runs in the first frame. Starter Anthony Ferrara did not help his cause as he airmailed a sacrifice bunt attempt to put an extra base runner on base. The league's–leading hitter Nick Castellanos made him pay, doubling to score two runners. After the rough first inning, Ferrara tossed four shutout frames, finishing the day with five innings, scattering seven hits and allowing three runs (one earned). However, it was not enough, as the offense sputtered, scoring one run and dropping their second game against the Flying Tigers 4-1.

Friday May 11th: Palm Beach Cardinals 7 at Lakeland Flying Tigers 2
The Cardinals avoided losing two games in the row, jumping out to an early 4-0 lead in the second inning against the Flying Tigers. Jonathan Rodriguez and Niko Vasquez each singled in runs, while Geoff Klein and Mike O'Neill contributed with RBI groundouts in the second inning. However, Drew Benes did not need all the offensive fire power, as the right hander tossed seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits and striking out a career-high 12 batters. The strikeout total was the largest output by any Palm Beach Cardinals hurler this season.

Saturday May 12th: Palm Beach Cardinals 3, Jupiter Hammerheads 0
After being roughed up in his first outing of the season, Kevin Siegrist was absolutely dominant in his second start. The left-hander tossed six innings of no-hit baseball before giving up a single to Danny Black in the top of the seventh inning. After a walk, the southpaw exited the game, having tossed six innings, allowing one hit and striking out five batters. Siegrist gave way to Iden Nazario and Dean Kiekhefer, who completed the one hit shutout. Alan Ahmady paced the Cardinals offensively, as he went 3-for-4 and drove in the first run of the game. Entering his last at bat, Ahmady had six consecutive plate appearances with a hit, but it was snapped in the bottom of the eighth on a strikeout.

Monday May 14th: Jupiter Hammerheads 7, Palm Beach Cardinals 0
Palm Beach received a league-wide day off for Mother's Day, and was rudely welcomed back by Matt Neil, who tossed seven shutout innings en route to his sixth win of the season. The Cardinals had chances as they left the bases loaded in the third and the fifth, but could not punch one in. Starter Carlos Martinez was roughed up for five runs on a season-high eight hits. In both his outings against the Jupiter Hammerheads, Martinez has not gone more than four innings, while in his other starts he has gone at least five.

Wednesday May 16th: Jupiter Hammerheads 2, Palm Beach Cardinals 1 (8); Jupiter Hammerheads 4, Palm Beach Cardinals 2
After the rain washed away the game the night before, the Cardinals returned to action on Wednesday night for a seven-inning twin bill. Seth Maness took the ball in the first game and was outstanding, surrendering one run, a home run to Christian Yelich, in six innings of work. The right-hander walked his first batter of the season, after going 42+ innings without a walk. The Cardinals and Hammerheads could not get game one settled after seven, so they went extras. In the bottom of the eighth, Marcell Ozuna ended it with a walk-off home run off Dean Kiekhefer.

The Cardinals tried to answer in the second game, as they scored two runs on two hits in the first inning. However, that would be all they would get as they were held hitless by Chad James, Raudel Lazo and Michael Brady the rest of the way. Newly-added Todd McInnis made a solid start, tossing five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits. It would not be enough, as the Cardinals fell victim to the late-inning rally again. Iden Nazario gave up the go-ahead two runs in the bottom of the sixth and the Hammerheads did not look back in taking their third in a row.

Thursday May 17th: Palm Beach Cardinals 8, Daytona Cubs 2
On rainy, dingy night, the Cardinals utilized the rain and some luck to get ahead of the Cubs in the bottom of the third. After a lead off single by Luis De La Cruz and sacrifice bunt by Mike O'Neill, rain began to fall in the Jupiter area. Determined to finish the inning, the umpires held off calling for the tarp, but the rain continued. It was too late as Cubs starter Zach Cates hurled two wild pitches to allow De La Cruz to score, making it 2-1. The Daytona crew was upset, but it would not matter. After the 46 minute rain delay, the Cardinals tacked on six more to run away with it, 8-2. Geoff Klein delivered the big blow, launching his first home run of the season.

The Streak Ends
Seth Maness finally walked a batter... After going 42+ innings, the right-hander from Pinehurst, NC, surrendered his first walk of the season... Despite the walk, Maness turned in six solid innings against the Jupiter Hammerheads on May 16th and still has the best strikeout-to-walk ratio in the FSL...

Fleet Footed Beach Birds
The Cardinals continued their damage on the base paths… On the season the Cardinals are 31-for-51, while Ronny Gil leads the team with five stolen bases...

Injury Bugs
The Cardinals have fallen victim to the injury bug, as Mike Swinson, Packy Elkins and Ricky Martinez are all on the DL... All injuries do not appear to be serious...

Alan Ahmady leads the Florida State League in doubles... He has 14 two-base hits... On the season, Ahmady is hitting .283 with 16 RBI...

Score Second, Finish Second
The Cardinals troubles continued Wednesday night, as they dropped another game after falling behind early.... In 18 games in which the other team scores first, the Cardinals have posted a 4-14 record...

Goodbye April, Hello May
After a sluggish start in April, The Cardinals have reeled off nine wins in the month of May... They are three wins shy of tying their mark in April...

Congratulations Castillo
Richard Castillo was recently promoted to Double-A Springfield... In seven starts with the Cardinals, the right-hander posted a 2-3 record with 1.86 ERA... In his first 2012 start with the Springfield Cardinals, Castillo tossed seven innings of two-run ball, but was not a part of the decision...

Strike 1, Strike 2, Can't Punch Me Out
Mike O'Neill continues to be an anchor at the top of the order... His ability to put solid contact has been his key to success... In 38 games, he has struck out only seven times... His plate appearance-to strikeout rate is the best in the FSL (23.43)...

Long Season Longmire
Nick Longmire continues his woeful play at the plate… He is hitting a team-low .169, while second on the team in strikeouts (36)… He was removed from Monday afternoon's game after a weak fly out to right field and has not played since then…

5/15 P Richard Castillo moved to Double-A Springfield
5/15 P Todd McInnis added from Single-A Quad Cities
5/15 IF Niko Vasquez released, removed from roster
5/15 C Travis Tartamella activated from DL

McInnis will plug right-in for Castillo, as one of the six starters that Manager Johnny Rodriguez features. Tartamella will be used exclusively as back-up to both Luis De La Cruz and Geoff Klein.

Injury Report
Packy Elkins continues to nurse a sore left quad, while Ricky Martinez has been around the back fields working in the pens. They may be back on the field soon.

On the Horizon
The Beach Birds finish their series with the Daytona Cubs on Sunday May 20th, before opening a four-game set with the Tampa Yankees at the ‘Dean.'

© 2012 The Cardinal Nation, and All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories