Palm Beach Cardinals Notebook: 2012 Week 7

The Florida State League Cardinals lost three rotation members, but Anthony Ferrara is pitching well.

The Palm Beach Cardinals began the week red hot, even after the promotions of two more quality starters. However, things got bit sour, as the Tampa Yankees took 3 of 4 from the Beach Birds.

With Seth Maness, Richard Castillo and Chris Corrigan now at Double-A Springfield, the Cardinals will have to rely on new arms to get the Cardinals over the .500 mark, as they currently sit with a 23-24 record.

May 18th: Daytona Cubs 8 at Palm Beach Cardinals 4
The Cardinals came out swinging early, scoring four runs in the first inning, but could not do anything after that. Starter Drew Benes had his roughest outing of the season, surrendering five runs on seven hits. He was chased in the fifth inning after giving up a walk and three consecutive hits. The defense was also a no-show, committing three errors on the night.

May 19th: Palm Beach Cardinals 5, Daytona Cubs 3
Starter Kevin Siegrist spotted the Cubs an early three run lead, but the offense had its back in the fifth inning as they scored five runs on five hits. Innocently enough, the frames started with a lead off walk to Nick Longmire. Four consecutive hits followed. Vance Albitz tied with a two-run single. The inning appeared to be lost after Chris Edmondson grounded into a 1-2-3 double play, but Rainel Rosario bailed him out with two-run double to put the Beach Birds ahead for good. Reliever Chase Reid converted a two-inning save, recording his second stop of the season.

May 20th: Palm Beach Cardinals 8, Daytona Cubs 4
For the second night in a row, the Cardinals used a five-run inning to beat Daytona. This time, the offensive explosion came in the bottom of the third, as the Beach Birds connected for seven hits in a row to score five runs. Mike O'Neill started things off with a single and Nick Longmire's RBI single ended the hit parade, but the Cardinals had already put five on the board to coast to an easy 8-4 victory. Starter Ryan Sherriff was un-hittable through six, keeping the Cubs offense at bay, but he gave up four runs (three earned) in the seventh. He still picked up his first win of the season for the effort, while Longmire went a perfect 4-for-4 and fell a home run shy of the cycle.

May 21st: Tampa Yankees 5 at Palm Beach Cardinals 2
After a great start first start, Todd McInnis was greeted rudely by the Tampa Yankees, as they connected for five straight hits to open the game. Rod Segedin and Kyle Higoshioka each hit home runs to put the Yankees up 5-0 before an out was recorded. McInnis settled down from there, tossing five shutout innings to give the Cardinals a chance for a comeback. However, it was not to be as Zach Nuding had everything working; the right-hander went seven innings, allowing two runs before giving way to the bullpen.

Ferrara

May 22nd: Tampa Yankees 3 at Palm Beach Cardinals 2 (10 innings)
The Cardinals rotation took a big hit in the past few days, losing three starters to promotion and Carlos Martinez to injury, so it fell upon Anthony Ferrara Jr. to anchor the staff. The left-hander welcomed the challenge, tossing seven shutout innings, striking out a season high seven, while not giving up a walk. However, the bullpen could not hold it for him, as Logan Billbrough and Chase Reid blew two leads late in the game.

The Cardinals had a golden opportunity to win the game in the bottom of the ninth. With runners on first and second, Nick Longmire singled to right, but Vance Albitz was thrown out trying to score. In an effort to steal a win, Longmire got caught in a run down to try to score Mike O'Neill from third, but O'Neill was also gunned down in the unusual 2-3-6-2 putout. Reid gave up the game-winner in the tenth, as the Cards dropped their second straight to the Yankees.

May 22rd: Palm Beach Cardinals 5, Tampa Yankees 4
Drew Benes gave the Cardinals a solid start, tossing 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs and striking out eight. After Benes was chased in the sixth, the bullpen shut it down to preserve the victory. Dean Kiekhefer picked up his team-leading fourth save, while Iden Nazario collected his fourth hold of the campaign. Starlin Rodriguez led the offense with two runs and two RBI.

May 24th: Tampa Yankees 5 at Palm Beach Cardinals 2
The Cardinals let another one slip away in the ninth inning. After leading the whole way through, Palm Beach made costly mistakes that gave the Yankees the game. In the top of the ninth with nobody out and a runner on first, Ronny Gil elected not to get the lead runner on a broken bat grounder. Instead he threw to first, which allowed the tying run to reach second. After an error, the run came around to score on a weak sacrifice fly.

While the defensive miscues allowed the game to continue, lack of offensive execution doomed the Cardinals in the bottom of the ninth. After Chris Edmondson and Jonathan Rodriguez walked to lead the inning off, Geoff Klein could not lay down a sacrifice bunt, which eventually left both runners stranded. The Yankees took advantage, scoring four runs and running away with it in the top of the tenth.

Fleet Footed Beach Birds
The Cardinals finally stole a bag Thursday night... After week of inactivity on the base paths, the Cardinals finally started moving... On the season the Cardinals are 33-for-54, while Ronny Gil leads the team with six stolen bases...

Goodbye April, Hello May
After a sluggish start in April, The Cardinals have reeled off 12 wins in the month of May... they have surpassed their mark from a month and have moved into second place...

Strike One, Strike Two, 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 43 games he has struck out eight times... His plate appearance- to strikeout rate is the best in the FSL (23.50)...

Home is Where the Bat Hits
Vance Albitz collected one hit on Wednesday night against the Yankees... In 15 games at the ‘Dean,' Albitz is hitting .388 with 19 hits and 9 RBI...

Hands Up, Sherriff In Town
Ryan Sherriff from Culver City, CA, made his season debut on Sunday... The left-hander had spent the last few weeks in Extended Spring Training, but looked sharp... In the first six in- nings, he allowed three hits, two broken bat singles and a bunt singles, while striking out one... In the seventh, the left-hander was hit around for four runs on four hits, but still made a great first impression...

North Loving
The Palm Beach Cardinals have enjoyed the visit from Northern Division teams… They are 7-5 against them at home, while 9-7 overall...

Slump No More for Longmire
After a slow start, Nick Longmire has been on a tear of late... In the last ten games, he is hitting .444 with eight hits in 18 at bats... He has raised his batting average over the .200 mark, while the outfielder is second on the team in RBI...

Jonathan, Jonathan, Jonathan
The right-handed batter is in a terrible slump… He has collected three hits in his last 11 games… His power numbers from a year ago are lacking, while his strikeout rate is alarming (46 in 155 at-bats).

Transactions
5/19 P Carlos Martinez placed on the DL
5/19 P Ryan Sherriff from Extended Spring Training
5/19 OF Alan Ahmady placed on the DL
5/19 OF Jeremy Patton from Extended Spring Training
5/20 P Chris Corrigan to Double-A Springfield
5/20 OF Mike Swinson activated from the DL
5/21 P Seth Maness to Double-A Springfield
5/21 P Scott Schneider from Double-A Springfield

Sherriff has taken over one of the starting five spots in the rotation, while Schneider will be used out of the pen. Patton and Swinson will see time in back up roles as they shore up the bench.

On the Horizon
The Cardinals head out to Fort Myers for a three-game set against the Miracle before returning to the "Dean' for a three game set against the first-place St. Lucie Mets.



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