In a week full of games, trades, and excitement, the Johnson City Cardinals faced adversity and logged victories alike this week in Appalachian League play, but finished the 5-3 week by holding second place in the standings with an overall record of 18-19.
Here’s how it all went down!
July 26th: Princeton Rays 4, Johnson City Cardinals 9
In the first game of the week and the rubber match in the series against the Princeton Rays, the Cardinals continued their momentum from their win their evening before against the Rays to win the game and the League series against Princeton.
Though the game started slowly, Princeton got all four of their runs in the bottom of the fourth. Accurate and strong hitting played a crucial role in the top of the 6th as the Cardinals scoring was spurred by singles from Edmundo Sosa, Magneuris Sierra, and Chris Chinea, and four quick runs were on the board. Allen Staton and Sierra added home runs in the 8th and 9th innings, respectively, and Hawkins was granted the win, while Kuebel earned the save.
July 27th: Elizabethton Twins 0, Johnson City Cardinals 4 (game one)
In game one against Elizabethton at Joe O’Brien Field, the Cardinals made a very strong showing, and left the Twins scoreless through the entire contest. Luke Doyle and Chris Rivera had big home runs, and Steven Farinaro got the win, while Sasha Kuebel picked up his fourth save of the year. This was only the Cardinals’ third shutout win of the season.
July 27th: Elizabethton Twins 4, Johnson City Cardinals 1 (game two)
The second game of the day was originally postponed due to rain on July 13th. Staton started the game off very strongly when he homered on the second at-bat of the game. His third homer of the season gave the Cardinals their first and only run. The Cardinals allowed four runs to the Twins, with Harley Holt given the loss.
July 28th: Elizabethton 4, Johnson City Cardinals 8
The third game against the Twins seemed a little more competitive, as both teams had streaks of steady scoring runs and impressive hitting performances. Although the Cardinals were off the board until Edmundo Sosa scored in the top of the fourth inning, the Cardinals kept the scoring steady, earning two runs in the 6th, 7th, and 8th innings, and adding another single run in the 9th.
Rivera and Staton homered, the 4th of the season for both the catcher and infielder. Steven De La Cruz earned the win for the game, and Juan Caballero got the save.
July 29th: Elizabethton Twins 4, Johnson City Cardinals 1
On the same day that Johnson City added pitcher Ismael Brito to the roster, the Cards gave up the fourth game against Elizabethton at Joe O’Brien Field.
The Cardinals had a very tough time getting any runs on the board, and were only able to do so in the top of the 7th inning when Chris Chinea homered on a fly ball to left field, giving the catcher his third home run of the season. The Cardinals seem to be flourishing offensively at Joe O’Brien Field this season, hitting six home runs in the five games played there.
The Cardinals pitching staff gave up their first home run of this series. The Twins, who went into the contest four games back of West leader Greeneville, defeated the Cardinals by a score of 4-1. Ramon Santos took the loss.
July 30th: Elizabethton 13, Johnson City 4
In the final game of the Appalachian League series against the Elizabethton Twins, the Cardinals let inconsistent hitting and pitching performances stop them from defeating the Twins and but they still took the series, 3-2.
Elizabethton get started scoring early, with two runs in the first inning and five runs in the second, and the Cardinals did not get a run on the board until the top of the 8th. The Twins earned their tenth run by the fourth inning, making it almost impossible for Johnson City to mount a comeback. Wirsu took the loss.
July 31st: Johnson City Cardinals 2, Bluefield Blue Jays 1
On Friday, the Cardinals took on the Bluefield Blue Jays in a home Appalachian League series. It was a slow and low scoring game for both teams, with no home runs for the night.
Starting pitcher Brennan Leitao made his debut for the Cardinals after a stint with State College and did not allow a hit during his time on the mound. New addition Anderson Gerdel also made his debut with the Cardinals.
The Birds got their first run in the bottom of the fifth inning, when Chris Rivera scored on a Luke Doyle double. The Cards only other run came in the bottom of the 8th when Alvarez scored off of a Ryan McCarvel single to center field.
Johnson City only allowed Bluefield one run in the contest. Kuebel was granted the win as the Cardinals moved into third place in the West Division.
August 1st: Johnson City 15, Bluefield Blue Jays 1
In the second game of the Cardinals first home series in seven days, Johnson City had little problem scoring on the Blue Jays. The Cardinals put runs on the board every inning except for the 7th, although a home run was never hit, and they ended the game with 15 runs on 16 hits.
Multiple Cardinals recorded multi-hit performances, as Ryan McCarvel led the way for the Cards with three hits and Hunter Newman recorded his first three RBI performance of the year.
Bluefield’s only run came in the top of the second inning. Steven Farinaro closed the game with three scoreless innings, and with the help of his nasty fastball, only allowed one hit and five strikeouts. Jonathan Escudero got the win. In his little over one inning pitched, Escudero recorded three strikeouts.
The Cardinals pitching staff is looking extremely strong on the mound at this point in the season. Sasha Kuebel is one pitcher who is continually seeing successes on the mound. At this point in the season the lefty is demonstrating a 2.86 ERA in 22 innings pitched and only taken one loss. Kuebel has earned three wins, was granted two saves at the beginning of the week against Princeton and Elizabethton, and also got a win against Bluefield on the 31st.
Ronnie Williams is another pitcher on the Cardinals roster who is doing some impressive things on the mound. With an ERA of 3.86 in 28 innings pitched, and two wins on the season, his future and potential is looking extremely bright within the Cardinals organization.
Cardinals’ hitters Magneuris Sierra and Edmundo Sosa are having great seasons, both demonstrating batting averages well over .300, and they have three and two homeruns on the season, respectively.
Outfielder Ricardo Bautista has not been looking too hot at the plate. This week, his batting average was .169 on an overall average of .138, with only one home run on the season and five RBI.
Leftfielder Anthony Ray’s hitting performances also are not quite up to par this season. He has a batting average of .186 and no home runs on the year with only five RBI.
One player whose status is questionable is right handed pitcher Bryan Dobzanski. Dobzanski has been out of the rotation, but is said to be added back into the mix this month. Cardinals officials have stated that reasons behind his absence from the line up cannot be divulged. Before his departure, Dobzanski had an ERA of 4.20 with one win and one loss on the season.
RHP Brennan Leitao assigned to Johnson City Cardinals from State College Spikes.
LHP Ismael Brito assigned to Johnson City Cardinals from GCL Cardinals.
Johnson City Cardinals placed RHP Ben Yokley on the military leave list.
RHP Steven Farinaro assigned to Johnson City Cardinals from GCL Cardinals.
After a hectic week of play, the Johnson City Cardinals (18-19) are back in second place in the Appalachian League West. The Greeneville Astros are still in first place with a record of 21-17, with the Bristol Pirates rounding out the division in last place at 16-20.
The Cardinals continue their home series at Howard Johnson Field against Bluefield on Sunday at 6 pm. On Tuesday, the Cards will begin another series against Elizabethton, this time at Cardinal Park. The Birds will round up the week with the start of a series on the road against Kingsport on Friday and Saturday.
© 2015 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.