Memphis Redbirds (3-2 This Week, 69-74 Overall)
The Memphis Redbirds finished their season with a losing record for the seventh time in the franchise's 16 years, but were only a game away from a playoff berth. It was a good year for the organization, as there was a lot of upward movement, and the Memphis franchise set a record for most transactions with 147. 20 Redbirds (not including any rehab starters) played for St. Louis and several look to help the Major League team in their run at the playoffs.
August 29 at New Orleans, Win 2-1
Carlos Martinez threw a quality seven-inning start with nine punch-outs, but Lee Stoppelman earned the win in his Redbirds debut. The Zephyrs jumped out to an early lead with a solo home run in the second inning. Memphis responded in the next half-inning, and Martinez helped himself out by advancing Audry Perez to second on a sacrifice bunt. With two outs, Ryan Jackson's single sent the catcher home.
Neither team would score again until the ninth frame. Stoppelman pitched a scoreless eighth inning with one strikeout, putting the Redbirds in position to win the game. Jamie Romak doubled with one out to start the rally and was replaced by pinch-runner Adron Chambers. Greg Garcia drew a walk and then a wild pitch allowed both runners to advance. Outfielder Justin Christian was intentionally walked to load the bases and Jermaine Curtis hit a sacrifice fly deep enough to score Chambers.
August 30 at Oklahoma City, Win 4-0
Richard Castillo pitched five shutout frames and Tyler Lyons, Jose Almarante and Keith Butler each pitched in the combination shutout, Memphis' 15thof the year. Despite seven hits across the nine innings, Oklahoma City failed to score. The home team was 0-15 with runners in scoring position, including a one-out triple in the first frame. Lyons struck out two in a two-inning relief appearance, Almarante made his PCL debut and Butler struck out the two batters he faced.
Memphis added one run in the first frame on three singles to plate Chambers from third. A three-run seventh inning put the game away. Travis Tartamella's two-out double plated a runner from third then reliever Reymin Guduan walked two straight batters, allowed a RBI single by Brock Peterson and walked another runner home.
August 31 at Oklahoma City, Win 7-3
Memphis jumped on the RedHawks early, with a huge six-run first inning and every Redbird stepped up to the plate. Back-to-back singles followed by Peterson's double added one run. Romak's single sent home two more runs and then Garcia's third home run of the year pushed the lead to five. Two walks and a single later, the score was 6-0 Redbirds. Oklahoma City responded when Jimmy Paredes' scored on a sacrifice fly after his triple.
The RedHawks added two more in the third with a solo home run and a sacrifice fly, but that was all the club could score. Scott McGregor pitched six frames with three runs and seven hits allowed. That marks the third time in six starts this month that McGregor has allowed seven hits with at least three runs (team is 2-1).
September 1 at Oklahoma City, Loss 4-5 (11 innings)
Oklahoma City won the game on a bases-loaded walk-off single by second baseman Jose Martinez, who carried the home team with a four-RBI output. Martinez, a former Cardinals farmhand, also hit the three-run shot off Butler in the ninth inning that sent the game into extra innings.
Memphis held a four-run advantage going into the ninth, splitting the runs between the third and ninth frame. In the third, Romak's two-out double plated two runners. For the ninth inning, Tartamella's single added one run and Peterson's single added another.
Boone Whiting threw six scoreless and Stoppelman got the Redbirds into the eighth without allowing a run. Jorge Rondon pitched a scoreless eighth but was pulled with two outs in the ninth and runners at the corners. Butler blew the save, but Nick Greenwood allowed the game-winning base hit to earn the loss.
September 2 at Oklahoma City, Loss 1-2
The Redbirds lost the season finale and also dropped out of the playoffs with the loss. Eric Fornataro started the game and had a good outing with only one run allowed in 6 1/3 frames of service. Deryk Hooker pitched a scoreless 1 2/3 and Stoppelman lost the game by allowing a single and a double in the ninth for the RedHawks' second walk-off winner in a row.
Memphis outhit Oklahoma City nine to seven but came up short with runners in scoring position including a fourth frame with runners on second and third with nobody out. Only one of the two runners scored as Romak, Garcia and Chad Huffman grounded out.
Greg Garcia - In his last 40 games, the University of Hawaii alumni has compiled a .364 average with 43 hits in 118 at-bats. His hot August earned him The Cardinal Nation's Player of the Month Award, when he hit .371 in 87 at-bats with hits (32) than May and June together (30 hits in 104 total at-bats). The former seventh round pick had a .471 on-base percentage in August.
Finishing Strong – The Redbirds came within a game of making the playoffs. With 16 games left on the schedule, the team was five games behind Omaha. A six-game losing streak derailed the team, but after that bad stretch, the club won nine of the last 15 to make it a close finish.
Jamie Romak – The Canadian finished the year on a seven-game hitting streak with 13 hits in 30 at-bats (.433). Across those seven games, he has three extra-base hits, 10 RBI and only one strikeout. Despite having a lack-luster August, the eight-year pro finished out the year well.
Starting Pitching - This week, the starters compiled a 2-0 record with three no-decisions. Four of the five appearances were at least six frames, with Castillo going for five frames. It was a combined 30 1/3 innings with only five runs allowed (1.48 ERA). There was 22 strikeouts total, helped by Martinez' nine strikeouts.
Ryan Jackson - The right-hander finished the last 26 games of the season posting a .224 average with 20 hits across 89 at-bats. The 2009 fifth-round pick only had one extra-base hit in those 89 plate appearances and 16 strikeouts, nearly one every six at-bats.
On the Field - Memphis had 77 errors by position players on the year, 20 in the month of August and September combined (30 games).
Greg Garcia - Named the Cardinals organization and The Cardinal Nation's Player of the Month for August.
Lee Stoppelman - Named the Cardinals organization Player of the Month for August for his work in Springfield.
August 29: Outfielder Adron Chambers activated from the disabled list
August 29: Infielder Vance Albitz sent to Springfield from Memphis
August 29: Pitcher Jose Almarante promoted to Memphis from Springfield
August 29: Pitcher Lee Stoppelman promoted to Memphis from Springfield
August 29: Pitcher Sam Freeman promoted to St. Louis from Memphis
August 29: Pitcher Michael Blazek optioned from St. Louis to Memphis
August 30: Pitcher Carlos Martinez sent to Springfield from Memphis
August 30: Pitcher Richard Castillo promoted to Memphis from Springfield
August 31: Pitcher Tyler Lyons sent to Springfield from Memphis
August 31: Outfielder James Ramsey promoted to Memphis from Springfield
September 1: Outfielder Adron Chambers promoted to St. Louis from Memphis
September 1: Pitcher Michael Blazek traded to Milwaukee
September 2: Infielder Vance Albitz promoted to Memphis from Springfield
Pitchers Ramon Delgado, Nick Additon and Victor Marte finish the season on the disabled list. Outfielders Oscar Taveras and Tommy Pham end the year on the disabled list, as well as catcher Geoff Klein.
Next season, the PCL will undergo a division re-alignment, placing Memphis in the American Southern Division with New Orleans, Nashville and Round Rock. Many Redbirds will look to make an impact for the Major League team following the PCL season.
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