This Week in the Minors

A weekly snapshot of the Cardinals minor league system.

It was a busy week in our minors. Thursday saw three great pitching duels in three out of the four games played in our minors that day and the Cardinals' teams won all three duels. Stuart Pomeranz, the starter in Palm Beach's pitching duel, benefited from his performance with a promotion to Springfield. Springfield's closer, Josh Kinney, an independent league signee back in 2001, gets his first taste of Triple-A with a well-deserved promotion. Unfortunately, with most promotions comes a corresponding move. In Memphis starter Scott Sedlacek was released and reliever Evan Rust, whom the Cardinals acquired from Tampa Bay as part of the trade for Tino Martinez, was sent down to Springfield. Springfield sent lefty starter Buddy Blair to Palm Beach. Pomeranz will take his place in the rotation. This week's league standings - Memphis retained its first place spot and gained a three-game gap between them and the second-place Nashville Sounds. The Springfield Cardinals stayed in fourth (and last-place) and fell another game behind the division-leading Tulsa Drillers. Even with a very good week going 5-2, Palm Beach remained in fourth place and could not gain any ground on the division leaders. The Swing took sole possession of second place and gained two and one-half games on the Clinton LumberKings.


AAA – Memphis Redbirds
Overall Record – 24 - 18
Weekly Record – 4 - 2
Current Standing – First place, three games ahead of the Nashville Sounds (Brewers)

Current Week Team Batting - .266/.338/.441
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 2.65 ERA in 37.1 innings pitched
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 3.86 ERA in 11.2 innings pitched

Who's Hot – OF Raul Gonzalez went .524/.600/.1.048 in 6 games and 21 at bats. His .402 overall batting average is good for second in the Pacific Coast League; RHS Anthony Reyes had a complete game victory – 0.00 ERA, 1 hit, 6 strike outs and no walks
Who's Not – OF Skip Schumaker went .095/.136/.143 in 6 games and 21 at bats; RHR Toby Borland with a 21.56 ERA in 1.2 innings pitched
Transactions – 5/18/05 – RHP Evan Rust optioned to Springfield, RHP Scott Sedlacek unconditionally released; 5/22/05 – Acquired RHP Vladimir Nunez from the Texas Rangers

Summary -
Key two-out hits in the third and eighth innings comprised all of the Redbirds' runs in Monday night's game. The eighth-inning hits broke a 2-2 eighth-inning tie and led to a Redbirds win over the Tucson Sidewinders, 4-2. In the third inning Hector Luna walked and stole second. He scored on Raul Gonzalez' triple to center. Gonzalez scored on Brandon Berger's double down the left field line. Third baseman Bo Hart lined a single to left with two outs in the eighth inning. That hit was duplicated by catcher Mike Mahoney. Right fielder Pete Zoccolillo came to the plate with runners on first and second and promptly doubled to right, scoring Hart and Mahoney. Starter Adam Wainwright was his usual dominant self, tossing seven innings with only four hits and one run, earned. Wainwright struck out five and did not walk a batter. He left with a 2-1 lead but that did not last long. Toby Borland relieved Wainwright and gave up a lead-off single to pinch hitter Josh Kroeger. Kroeger quickly stole second and advanced to third on a ground out. Jimmy Journell (BS, 1)(W, 1-0, 2.45 ERA) replaced Borland and struck out the first batter he faced for the second out of the inning. However, while facing the next batter Journell threw a pitch to the backstop that allowed Kroeger to tie the game at two all. Journell recovered from back-to-back singles to open the ninth by striking out Scott Hairston and Jose Santos and getting Kelly Stinnett to pop out to second. Journell's reaction to his performance? ''I only think about the negatives, not the positives,'' Journell told the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. ''I shouldn't have even let that run score.''

Kevin Jarvis' arm and the bats of right fielder Raul Gonzalez, first baseman John Gall and third baseman Bo Hart led the Redbirds to a 5-2 victory over the Tucson Sidewinders Tuesday evening. Jarvis (W, 3-0, 1.20 ERA) pitched six strong innings, giving up two runs, both earned, on four hits and two walks. Tyler Johnson pitched a scoreless seventh and Carmen Cali picked up his first save of the year with two innings of no-hit, one-walk ball. Cali owed an assist to Bo Hart whose defensive excellence in both the eighth and ninth innings prevented hits. Gonzalez went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an rbi on a lead-off single and solo shot home run. Gall went 2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly and two runs scored. Hart went 1-for-3 with a sacrifice fly. His only hit was a clutch two-out double in the sixth that scored both Gonzalez and Gall.

Wednesday off day

The Redbirds' pitching duel Thursday saw Anthony Reyes face off against Justin Germano. Germano (L, 1-5, 4.40 ERA) only gave up a two-run homer to first baseman Chris Duncan but Reyes (W, 5-1, 2.44 ERA) dominated the Beavers in a complete-game, one-hit, no-walk shut out. He also struck out six. This was Duncan's first game since May 13th due either a groin injury, per the WHBQ announcers, or a hip injury, according the Memphis Commercial Appeal. (O.K., it's in the same general area. Maybe I'm being picky.) He made the most of it in the top of the fourth by following John Gall's lead-off single with his fourth home run of the season. With Reyes on the mound, on this night, that's all she wrote. Right fielder Raul Gonzalez was 2-for-3 with two walks and John Gall went 2-for 4 to raise his average to .264.

Going into the top of the ninth inning of Friday night's game, the Redbirds found themselves stifled on two measly hits and trailing 4-0. But their four-run rally tied the game and their three-run tenth inning won the game, 7-4 over the Portland Beavers. John Gall's one-out double scored Pete Zoccolillo for the first run of the game and sent Brandon Berger to third. Chris Duncan came up to the plate and, for the second game in a row, hurt the Beavers with a home run. But Duncan was not done for the night. He came up again in the tenth inning and, with the bases loaded, hit a one-out sacrifice fly to center that scored Raul Gonzalez and broke the tie. The Redbirds padded their lead when John Nelson singled to score Pete Zocolillo and John Gall. After starter Bill Pulsipher gave up four runs, all earned on eleven hits in five innings, the Memphis bullpen of Mark Nussbeck, Tyler Johnson, Toby Borland and Jimmy Journell combined to shut down the Beavers for the final five innings of the game. They allowed only one hit and one walk, both by Borland, in that five-inning span. Ironically, Borland (W, 1-1, 5.89 ERA) picked up the win although he had the least efficient outing. Journell (S, 1, 2.25 ERA) picked up his first save of the season by striking out the side in the bottom of the tenth.

Saturday rained out.

Saturday's rain out necessitated a Sunday double header with the Beavers and the Redbirds came out on the losing end of both games. They fell 6-5 in the first game and 4-2 in the nightcap. The Redbirds' bullpen failed in both games. The Redbirds stormed out to a 5-2 lead behind Chris Gissell in the opener. Gissell did his job as he allowed no earned runs through his five-inning stint. However, his night was cut short by a rain delay and the bullpen of Toby Borland and Jimmy Journell could not hold his lead in the seven-inning contest Back-to-back singles off Borland with one out created a first-and-third situation. A passed ball scored the Beavers' third run of the game. Borland proceeded to walk the next batter before being replaced by Journell. Journell (BS, 2) (L, 1-1, 2.84 ERA) served up a three-run homer to right to the very next batter which gave the Beavers the lead and was the difference in the game. Four of the five Redbird runs came from two 2-run home runs by Raul Gonzalez and Chris Duncan. Skip Schumaker drove in Chris Gissell for the final run.
In the nightcap, a game delayed again by rain, Adam Wainwright (L, 4-2, 2.26 ERA) left the game with one out in the sixth inning and runners on first and second due to a walk and a single. Carmen Cali entered and coughed up three consecutive singles to score Wainwright's runners. Wainwright also gave up two solo shot home runs. John Gall's two-run shot to left accounted for the Redbirds' runs.

Of Note -
John Nelson was pulled from Monday's game due to a sore lower back which may be affecting his game. Nelson hit .182/.308/.182 with six strike outs in four games and eleven at bats this week. John Gall had an excellent week at the plate, going .421/.478/.684 with seven runs scored and two walks in six games and nineteen at bats . Gall also played a tad of third base in the second game of Sunday's double header. While Chris Duncan's defense is questionable, no one can question his bat. Duncan hit three home runs this week and was vital in two of the Redbirds' wins. He hit .333/.400/.1.083 this week. Thursday's game led to the best headline I've seen in awhile. The Memphis Redbirds' press release said "Redbirds Goose Beavers, 2-0".

Upcoming Week – at third-place (Pacific North division) Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners) 23rd through 26th, vs. second-place (American South division) Oklahoma RedHawks (Rangers) 27th through 29th


AA – Springfield Cardinals
Overall Record – 19 - 24
Weekly Record – 3 - 4
Current Standing – Fourth and last place, seven games behind the Tulsa Drillers (Rockies)

Current Week Team Batting - .254/.339/.367
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 6.39 ERA in 38 innings pitched
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 2.03 ERA in 31 innings pitched

Who's Hot – C Robinson Cancel went .500/.593/.850 with 6 walks in 7 games and 20 at bats; RHS Jeremy Cook's line was 2.25 ERA, 9 hits, 3 runs, 2 earned runs and one walk in 8 innings pitched
Who's Not – OF Reid Gorecki went .167/.167/.208 with no walks in 6 games and 24 at bats; LHS Buddy Blair cemented a trip to Palm Beach with yet another poor performance – 22.50 ERA, 10 hits, 10 runs, 10 earned runs and 5 walks in 4 innings pitched
Transactions - 5/17/05 – RHR Rich Scalamandre optioned to Palm Beach; 5/18/05 – Signed INF Juan Diaz – 1996 amateur free agent signing by Dodgers; 5/19/05 – LHS Buddy Blair optioned to Palm Beach; 5/22/05 – RHR Josh Kinney promoted to Memphis, Activated OF Rick Ankiel from DL and optioned him to Quad Cities

Summary – Runs were busting out all over in the seventh inning of Monday's game when the Springfield Cardinals broke open a close 2-1 game by plating eight runs as the Cardinals defeated the Wichita Wranglers 10-1. The big hits in the inning were left fielder Reid Gorecki's one-out two-run single and right fielder Tyler Minges' two-out two-run home run to left. Minges went 2-for-4 with two rbi's and a run scored. Catcher Robinson Cancel was 2-for-2 with three walks and three runs scored. Oscar Alvarez (W, 3-2, 2.79 ERA) pitched six innings, allowing one run, earned, on five hits and one walk while striking out three. Rich Scalamandre and Josh Pearce combined for three scoreless innings.

The Cardinals squandered a 6-2 lead going into the eighth inning and eventually fell to the Wichita Wranglers 10-6 in twelve innings. Anthony Ferrari began the key eighth inning by walking the lead-off batter. After a fly out shortstop Kevin Estrada was unable to cleanly field an infield chopper and two were aboard. Ferrari then hit a Wrangler to load the bases and led to his replacement by Cory Doyne. Doyne started off by getting a sacrifice fly but walked the next batter to load the bases for the Wranglers' designated hitter. He came through with a two-run single to make the score 6-5. That score held going into the ninth when closer Josh Kinney blew his second save opportunity of the year. Kinney served up a solo shot home run to send the game into extra innings. Josh Axelson (L, 1-1, 2.38 ERA) , who arrived at the ballpark at 11 AM after nearly twelve hours traveling from San Francisco due to a family death, took the loss in his third inning of work. Only one of the four runs Axelson gave up in the thirteenth inning was earned. Catcher Robinson Cancel went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two rbi's. Second baseman Aaron Herr had one of his better days as a Cardinal, going 3-for-5 with an rbi. Center fielder Shaun Boyd had a two-run double as well.

Coming into Wednesday evening's contest the Arkansas Travelers had lost four in a row and hit just six home runs for the entire season. Wednesday saw them smack five home runs en route to a 12-1 rout of the Springfield Cardinals. Buddy Blair (L, 1-6, 8.50 ERA) was the most generous Cardinals pitcher, coughing up four home runs that scored a total of ten runs, all earned, on ten hits and five walks in just four innings pitched. Blair pitched to four batters in the fifth inning without retiring a batter and was replaced by recently activated Josh Pearce. Pearce inherited runners on first and second and retired the first two batters he faced. He then walked Travelers' lead-off hitter before giving up a grand slam. Pearce struck out the side in his second inning of work. There is not a lot to write about offensively when the team only scores one run so this will not take long. Shortstop Kevin Estrada led off the first inning with a double. He advanced on Andy Schutzenhofer's ground out and scored another ground out by Tyler Minges. Estrada was 2-for-4 for the day, the only Cardinals player with more than one hit as they mustered only five total hits for the game.

Springfield had their rally caps on Thursday and it paid off as the Cardinals overcame an early 4-0 deficit to defeat the Arkansas Travelers 7-5. Randy Leek (W, 3-2, 3.22 ERA) picked up the win despite giving up four runs, all earned, on seven hits in six innings. All of the runs allowed by Leek happened in the second inning via the long ball, a three-run blast by Mike Napoli and a solo shot by Mike Eylward. After getting on board on Travis Hanson's seventh home run of the year, a solo shot, the Cardinals' big inning came in the fifth when Reid Gorecki lined a lead-off single to center. A fielding error by Travelers' shortstop Erick Aybar put Kevin Estrada on, with Gorecki moving to second. Andy Schutzenhofer's single to left loaded the bases for Tyler Minges. Minges' walk forced in the second Cardinals run of the evening and chased Tim Bittner (L, 1-3, 5.67 ERA) from the game. Travis Hanson greeted his replacement with a two-run scoring single to left that tied the game. Minges then scored on Robinson Cancel's fly out to right. After Hanson moved to third on a wild pitch, Papo Bolivar hit a fly ball deep enough to right to score him. Cancel's seventh-inning solo home run scored the Cardinals' final run of the day. The Travelers scored a seventh-inning run off reliever Evan Rust but Cory Doyne managed to clean up Rust's mess. However, Doyne created his own mess in the eighth when he walked the first two batters. Anthony Ferrari replaced Doyne and wild pitched the runners to second and third with no one out. Ferrari struck out the designated hitter, Gregory Porter, and closer Josh Kinney entered to get the final two outs of the inning via a line out and a strike out. Kinney duplicated Doyne's dubious eighth-inning performance by walking the first two batters in the ninth. However, center fielder Shaun Boyd bailed out Kinney when, after catching a fly ball for the first out of the inning, he threw to second to catch the trail runner in a double steal. Kinney settled down and struck out Tommy Murphy to earn his tenth save of the season.

On Friday, the Springfield Cardinals gave me the opportunity to turn the spotlight on the son of one of my all-time favorite Cardinals, Tommy Herr. Aaron Herr was the star of the Cardinals' 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the Arkansas Travelers. Per the Springfield News-Leader, with the game tied a 3 all in the ninth, Herr turned to Gorecki in the Cardinals' dugout and said "If I get up, I'm going to win it for us." Mr. Herr is a man of his word. With one out and Tyler Minges on third, Herr watched the Travelers "diss" him by intentionally walk both Robinson Cancel and Papo Bolivar to get to him. Herr made them pay by singling to left which scored Minges with the game-winning run. Herr went 3-for-4 and is in the midst of a 13-game stretch in which he's hitting 17-for-50 for a .340 batting average. Papo Bolivar went 2-for-3 with an rbi, two runs scored and the aforementioned walk. Although he did not figure in the decision, Jeremy Cook had an excellent outing, pitching a season-high eight innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on nine hits and one walk. Closer Josh Kinney (W, 4-1, 1.32 ERA) pitched a one-two-three ninth.

The Springfield Cardinals fell to the Arkansas Travelers 7-5 in twelve innings after rallying from a 5-1 deficit. Starter Oscar Alvarez had gone at least six innings in his previous eight starts before Saturday's game while compiling a 2.98 ERA. That streak came to an end when he could not get out of the fourth inning. Although they did not come around to score, Alvarez walked five batters in his three and one-third innings pitched. He allowed four hits, including two two-run home runs, for four runs, all earned. The Cardinals' bullpen, led by Josh Pearce's three and two-thirds innings stint, proceeded to not allow an earned run for another seven and two-thirds innings. A crucial error by left fielder Papo Bolivar, his first of the year, led to two unearned runs scoring off of Anthony Ferrari (L, 0-1, 3.60 ERA). Robinson Cancel's pinch hit single in the eighth inning tied the game at five all. Travis Hanson went 3-for-5 with a run scored and two rbi's and both Aaron Herr and Dan Moylan added two hits in a losing cause.

Jordan Pals had retired 11 of 13 batters entering the sixth inning of Sunday's game but he never got out of the inning as the Cardinals lost 6-5 to the Arkansas Travelers. Leading 3-0 at that point, Pals started the inning by giving up a single, double and two more singles which scored two and left runners at first and second with no one out for Cory Doyne. Doyne was ineffective as he allowed a run-scoring double to the next batter and left runners at the corners. He gave way to Anthony Rawson who got out of the inning but not before a sacrifice fly scored the fourth Traveler run of the inning. All were charged to Pals. The Travelers scored two more runs off Rawson in the eighth, the first time this season Rawson had been asked to go this long, which was the difference in the game. Both Aaron Herr and newly-signed Juan Diaz were 2-for-4 with two rbi's. Robinson Cancel and Tyler Minges each went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.

Of Note -
In Friday's game, Cook put together back-to-back strong performances to break a string of good-bad-good-bad dating back to April 23rd. After playing left field for most of the week, Reid Gorecki returned to center field in Saturday's game. Now if he could just get untracked offensively. Second baseman Aaron Herr really heated up this week. Herr batted .444/.444/.593 with 6 rbi's in seven games and twenty-seven at bats. Josh Axelson is putting together a nice pitching campaign so far. He has a 2.19 ERA in twenty-four and two-thirds innings pitched with a 1.22 WHIP. Josh's K/BB ratio is 2.22:1 and he is striking out more than seven batters per nine innings pitched so far.

Upcoming Week – at first-place (West division) Midland RockHounds (Athletics) 23rd through 25th, at third-place (West division) Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers) 26th through 29th


High-A – Palm Beach Cardinals
Overall Record – 20 - 22
Weekly Record – 5 - 2
Current Standing – Fourth place, five games behind the Vero Beach Dodgers

Current Week Team Batting - .248/.322/.426
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 4.75 ERA in 36 innings pitched
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 1.38 ERA in 26 innings pitched

Who's Hot – 3B Matt Dryer went .429/.538/.905 in 6 games and 21 at bats; RHR Roberto Batista's line this week: 0.00 ERA, 3 hits, 1 unearned run and no walks in 6 innings pitched
Who's Not – 2B Cal Hayes went .143/.182/.238 in 6 games and 21 at bats;RHS Tyler Adamczyk's line this week:12.86 ERA, 11 hits, 10 earned runs and 8 walks in 7 innings pitched
Transactions - Effective 5/11/05 – RHS Charles Bechtel to DL (shoulder tendonitis); 5/16/05 – Acquired OF Jon Kaplan from the Lancaster JetHawks (Diamondbacks), Released OF Anthony Monegan, Optioned C Brandon Marcelli to extended spring training; 5/17/05 – SS Brendan Ryan placed on DL (left hamstring); 5/21/05 – RHS Stuart Pomeranz promoted to Springfield

The Palm Beach Cardinals won a wild one Monday evening at Bright House Networks Field as they outslugged the Clearwater Threshers 11-10. Clearwater jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first then saw the game tied by the Cardinals in the top of the second when the Cardinals scored four runs on Tyler Parker's three-run home run and Cal Hayes' triple and subsequent score on a Thresher throwing error. The Threshers responded by scoring another four off of Cardinals starter Tyler Adamczyk in the bottom of the second to lead 8-4. They built upon that lead, adding another run in the bottom of the third and chasing Adamczyk from the game. Adamczyk pitched to two batters in the top of the third before being replaced and both reached base. The lead-off walk subsequently came around to score. Behind 9-4, the Cardinals bullpen, led by Roberto Batista (W, 1-0, 2.70 ERA), did not allow another run until the ninth inning. Batista pitched four innings for the win and Andy Cavazos earned his first hold as a Palm Beach Cardinal with a scoreless seventh and eighth innings. Mark Worrell gave up a home run to start the ninth inning then finished off with a ground out, single to left, force out, reach on error and pop out to earn his fourth save. In the meantime the Cardinals' bats chipped away. They plated a runner in the fourth on catcher Jason Motte's solo shot, his first of the year. Two more runs scored in the fifth on Matt Dryer's two-run home run and another run came in the sixth when Jason Motte's double-play grounder scored Cal Hayes who had singled and advanced to third on Terry Evans' single. The seventh inning saw two more runs come across the plate when Matt Demarco drove in Mike McCoy and Tyler Parker doubled in Demarco. In what proved to be the difference in the game, an eleventh run scored in the top of the ninth inning as Cody Haerther hit a ground-rule double then advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a passed ball. Former JetHawks (Diamondbacks) outfielder Jon Kaplan, recently acquired by the Cardinals, made his Palm Beach debut in center field but went hitless in five at bats.

A steady scoring attack by the Cardinals led to a 7-4 victory over the Clearwater Threshers Tuesday evening. The Cardinals, led by center fielder Jonny Kaplan, designated hitter Matt Dryer and first baseman John Santor, scored in five of the nine innings. Kaplan, leading off, went 2-for-5 with two runs scored while clean-up hitter Matt Dryer went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and an rbi on a fourth-inning solo shot home run. John Santor, batting in the seven hole, went 2-for-4 with two rbi's. Right fielder Tyler Parker has two rbi's with a run scored on 1-for-4 hitting. Chris Lambert (W, 6-1, 3.46 ERA) had an off night as he allowed four runs, all earned, on nine hits, include two home runs, and one walk in five innings pitched. Lambert also struck out five. Wayne Lundgren and Scott Schweitzer combined to shut down the Threshers for three innings and Mark Worrell picked up his fifth save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning.

Palm Beach allowed a 4-3 fifth-inning lead turn into a 10-4 defeat Wednesday evening as they fell to the Clearwater Threshers. Jose Garcia (L, 2-1, 4.54 ERA) lasted five innings, allowing seven runs, three earned, on nine hits. A bright note is that Garcia struck out six and did not walk a batter. He was undermined by two fifth-inning throwing errors, by third baseman Matt Demarco and center fielder Jonny Kaplan which led to four unearned runs and a 7-4 deficit. Jeff Randazzo allowed three additional runs, all earned, on four hits in his two innings of work. Palm Beach scored all of their runs in the top of the second when catcher Matt Pagnozzi doubled in left fielder Tony McQuade. After Jonny Kaplan was hit by a pitch, shortstop Rayner Laya unloaded his first home run of the season to left field. Right fielder Terry Evans continues his hot streak by going 2-for-4 but did not figure in the scoring.

Thursday evening saw another pitching duel involving a St. Louis Cardinals minor league team as the Palm Beach Cardinals' Stuart Pomeranz (W, 2-5, 3.35 ERA) outdueled highly-touted Justin Verlander (L, 5-2, 1.38 ERA) in a 1-0 triumph. Pomeranz, the tough luck pitcher of the Palm Beach club, shut out the Tigers on six innings of three-hit ball, two-walk ball. Verlander, the second overall pick of the 2004 draft and Florida State League ERA leader, took the complete game loss. The sole run scored when John Santor doubled to left to start the second inning. With one out, Ty Parker singled to left to score Santor. That was enough for Pomeranz, Andy Cavazos and closer Mark Worrell (S, 6).

The Palm Beach Cardinals used a four-run seventh inning to erase a 2-1 deficit as they defeated the Lakeland Tigers 5-2 Friday evening. The Cardinals have won four out of their last five games. Mark Michael (W, 2-3, 4.39 ERA) bounced back from a sub-par performance last time out to hurl seven strong innings of four-hit ball. Michael allowed only two runs, both earned, struck out four and walked only one. Andy Cavazos pitched a scoreless eighth then closer Mark Worrell (S, 7, 2.70 ERA) did the same in the ninth. The seventh started with Ty Parker lined a single to right. He advanced to second when Tony McQuade was hit by a pitch. That drove lefty reliever Kevin McDowell (L, 0-2, 4.87 ERA) from the game and brought in righty Brian Rogers (BS, 1, 2.18 ERA). Rogers struck out John Santor but walked Cal Hayes to load the bases. Matt Demarco pinch hit for back-up catcher Jason Motte and a run scored when Demarco was hit by a pitch. After Jonny Kaplan popped out to short, Rayner Laya walked to put the Cardinals in the lead. Cody Haerther's line drive single to right plated both Hayes and Demarco and gave the Cardinals a 5-2 lead, a lead they never relinquished.

Saturday evening the Palm Beach Cardinals committed three errors, had two passed balls, hit three Lakeland Tigers batters and still only lost 4-3. U-G-L-Y. Start Tyler Adamczyk went five innings, allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits and two walks. He also is the Cardinals pitcher that hit three Tigers. Well, at least Tyler is not afraid to throw inside. A spectator reports that Adamczyk's breaking pitches have nice action. Roberto Batista (L, 1-1, 2.49 ERA) took the loss when he gave up an unearned run in the seventh inning. Ty Parker's second-inning double scored Matt Demarco for the first run of the game. Mike McCoy then singles home Parker. In the third inning, Matt Dryer's single scored Jonny Kaplan who had walked to lead-off the inning.

Palm Beach closed out a strong week that saw them go 5-2 by defeating the first-place Lakeland Tigers 5-2 and take three games out of the four-game series. Chris Lambert (W, 7-1, 3.02 ERA) got back on the winning track by tossing six shut out innings on six hits and three walks. He also struck out six Tigers. Rich Scalamandre and Andy Cavazos combined to allow no earned runs as the two runs scored by the Tigers in the top of the ninth were unearned. Matt Dryer went 3-for-4 with three rbi's and Cody Haerther and Mike McCoy each went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Haerther also had an rbi on his league-leading seventh triple of the season.

Of Note -
After spending most of the season as the Cardinals' designated hitter, Cody Haerther returned to play left field in Thursday's game. He also played left in Friday and Saturday's games but DH'd on Sunday. Chris Lambert's seventh win on Sunday puts him into a three-way tie for wins in the FSL with Ty Taubenheim (7-0, 2.23 ERA) of the Brevard County Manatees (Brewers) and Zach Jackson (7-1, 3.33 ERA) of the Dunedin Blue Jays.

Upcoming Week – at fourth-place-tie (West division) Sarasota Reds 23rd through 26th, vs. fourth place-tie (West division) Tampa Yankees 27th through 29th (include standings)


Low-A – Quad Cities Swing
Overall Record – 25 - 17
Weekly Record – 6 - 1
Current Standing – Second place, one and one-half games behind the Clinton LumberKings (Rangers)

Current Week Team Batting - .253/.327/.412
Current Week Pitching Stats – Rotation - 3.96 ERA in 36.1 innings pitched
Current Week Pitching Stats – Bullpen - 2.12 ERA in 29.2 innings pitched

Who's Hot – 3B Jake Mullinax went .375/.400/.417 in 6 games and 24 at bats; Closer Mike Sillman keeps getting the job done. This week's line: 0.00 ERA, 2 hits, 3 walks and 3 saves in 6 innings pitched
Who's Not – OF Joe Mather went .138/.219/.345 in 7 games and 29 at bats; RHS Mike Parisi had a 6.00 ERA in 6 innings pitched by allowing 8 hits and 2 walks for 4 earned runs
Transactions – 5/22/05 – RHR Justin Knoff optioned to extended spring training

The Swing continued their hot streak on Monday by winning for the ninth time in their last eleven games, this time 7-2 over the Beloit Snappers. They struck early when shortstop Matt Shepherd, right fielder Joe Mather and second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauier hit back-to-back-to-back singles in the first inning for a 1-0 lead. Two more runs were added in the fifth inning when, with two outs, Matt Lemanczyk tripled home Wes Swackhamer who had walked. Lemanczyk then scored on a wild pitch. The game was broken open in the seventh inning when the Swing scored four more times. The big blow was first baseman Mike Ferris' two-run homer to left. Dennis Dove (W, 4-2, 3.09 ERA) got the win by shutting out the Snappers over the first five and two-thirds innings, allowing four hits and no walks with three strike outs. Dove left the game in the sixth when he took a line drive off his shin.

Tenacity, thy name is the Swing of the Quad Cities. Tuesday evening they overcame a 3-2 deficit to defeat the Beloit Snappers 5-3 in thirteen innings on a walk-off home run by right fielder Joe Mather. The win gave the Swing their first four-game sweep since May 2002. Dennis Medina (W, 1-0, 0.60 ERA) allowed only one base runner in the last three innings to shut down the Snappers. The game may have turned in the top of the ninth when, with closer Mike Sillman on the mound and the game tied at three, shortstop Juan Lucena's bad throw on the Snappers' first batter sailed widely past first and into a tarp that was alongside the field. As the runner headed for second, catcher Brady Toops dug the ball out of the tarp and threw to second for an apparent out. However, the ball was ruled dead when it lodged in the tarp and the runner was awarded second base with no one out. The argument that ensued lasted about ten minutes. The very next play involved a poor bunt by the Snappers' batter which was fielded by Matt Shepherd, playing third, who threw to Lucena covering third. Lucena applied the tag on a close play for the first out of the inning. Another argument erupted in which the Snappers' manager was ejected from the game. Through it all, Sillman managed to keep enough of his composure and focus to prevent the Snappers from scoring. The key to the victory was Matt Shepherd's two-out grounder to deep short in the thirteenth inning. A hustling Shepherd beat the throw to first and set up Mather's home run to left. Second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauir went 3-for-6 with a rbi and center fielder and lead-off hitter Matt Lemanczyk went 1-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored.

For the fourteenth time this season the Swing rallied to win, Wednesday night 5-4 over the Cedar Rapids Kernels. The Swing, down 4-0 going into the bottom of the fifth, chipped away with runs scored in the fifth, sixth eighth and ninth. Reliever Kevin Ool (W, 8-0, 1.59 ERA) picked up his league-leading eighth win of the season by pitching a perfect ninth inning in support of starter Mike Parisi. Parisi gave up four runs, all earned, in six innings on eight hits and two walks. The game-winning hit came with the bases loaded and two outs when center fielder Matt Lemanczyk hit the first pitch off the top of the left field wall to score designated hitter Derry Hammond. Lemanczyk went 2-for-4 as did Jarrett Hoffpauir. Hoffpauir's .352 batting average is good for fourth in the Midwest League, just .016 points behind the leader. Hoffpauir is the youngest , by more than a year, of the top four batting average leaders.

The spectators at Community Field in Burlington, Iowa were treated to an old-fashioned pitching duel on Thursday as the Swing's Eric Haberer took on the Bee's Luis Cota. Haberer and Cota represent the best of each team's rotation and both rank in the top ten for ERA in the Midwest League. Based on personal performance Cota won the contest as he shut down the Swing for seven innings, allowing only a fifth-inning single to third baseman Jake Mullinax and walking three while striking out five. His counterpart, Haberer, pitched six quality innings, giving up one run, earned, on three singles and one walk. Haberer's seven strike outs matched a career high. However, the win that counted went to the Swing as they notched a 2-1 victory over the Bees' bullpen.
The eighth inning was the game-turner and began as Jake Mullinax ripped a double off lefty reliever Adam Rowe (BS, 1) (L, 3-1, 3.86 ERA) over the first base bag. He took third when an attempted pick-off throw sailed into center field and came home on first baseman Mike Ferris' fly out to center. Left fielder Wes Swackhamer, ya gotta love this guy's name, singled into center but was forced at second when Matt Lemanczyk grounded into a fielder's choice. Yovany Damico relieved Rowe and proceeded to balk Lemanczyk to second. That brought Matt Shepherd to the plate and he came through with a bloop single into shallow right that scored Lemanczyk in what proved to be the winning run. Michael Gross (W, 1-3, 5.40 ERA) pitched one and one-third scoreless innings. Gross retired the lead-off batter in the bottom of the eighth but walked the next batter. In came Swing closer Mike Sillman and he immediately benefited when catcher Brady Toops foiled the attempted steal. Sillman pitched a scoreless one and two-thirds inning for his tenth save of the season. Sillman struck out the heart of the Bees' batting order in the ninth.

All good things must come to an end, at least in baseball they do, and the Swing's seven-game win streak ended Friday night, 3-2 to the Burlington Bees. Righty Matt Scherer (L, 1-2, 4.26 ERA) gave up three runs, two earned, on four hits and three free passes. Scherer also struck out six in his loss to the Bees and their starter, Patrick Green (W, 2-2, 3.74 ERA). Green held the Swing to only two runs, both earned, in six and two-thirds innings pitched. Green gave up six hits but did not walk a batter. Both Swing runs scored in the seventh inning when Jake Mullinax hit a two-out single up the middle. Mike Ferris then smashed his fourth home run of the week over the right field wall. Mullinax was the only Swing batter with more than one hit, going 2-for-3 .

The Swing broke out two a 6-1 lead on Saturday then held on to win 9-6 over the Burlington Bees. Justin Knoff (W, 2-0, 3.54 ERA) picked up the win in relief of Dennis Dove who gave up five runs on seven hits in four and one-third innings pitched. Dove did not walk a batter. Knoff came on with one out in the fifth inning and sandwiched a walk around a strike out and a pop out. He gave up a lead-off single in the sixth inning before getting a pop out to complete his one inning of work. Closer Mike Sillman (S, 11, 0.40 ERA) pitched a one-two-three ninth for the three-run save. Chris Patrick, as the designated hitter, went 2-for-5 including a two-run fourth-inning home run that gave the Swing the lead. Patrick had four rbi's for the day. Jarrett Hoffpauir was 3-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored to go with his two rbi's. One of Hoffpauir's hits was a ninth-inning solo shot home run. Simon Williams went 1-for-2 with two walks and two runs scored.

The Swing used a big six-run eighth inning to propel them to yet another come-from-behind victory, 8-6, over the Bees. The victory allowed them to remain one and one-half games behind the first-place Clinton LumberKings. Behind 3-2 going into the eighth, right fielder Joe Mather broke an 0-for-14 series streak with a bases-loaded triple that scored Wes Swackhamer, Jarrett Hoffpauir and pinch runner Matt Lemanczyk (for Derry Hammond). Mike Ferris followed that up with a two-run home run to right. Reliever Kevin Ool (W, 9-0, 2.66 ERA) picked up his league-leading ninth win although he did allow three runs, all earned, in one inning pitched. Closer Mike Sillman pitched the final one and one-third innings of the game for his twelfth save. That's good for a tie with Matthew Varner of the Fort Wayne Wizards for the Midwest League lead. However, Mr. Varner's era is 5.79 while Sillman's is a tidy 0.38.

Of Note -
First baseman Mike Ferris is starting to heat back up after a very cold slump that lasted weeks. He hit a modest .261/ .280/.696 this week but that's eighty points higher that his cumulative average through May 15th. Better yet, his power appears to be returning. He hit three home runs this week for a total of eight and just one back of the Midwest League's leader in that category. Here are second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauir's year-to-date stats: .336/.401/.482. He is fourth in the league in batting average and, at 21 (DOB 6/18/83) more than a year younger than the three players above him on the batting average list. He leads the league in doubles at 15, is eighth in OBP and eleventh in slugging. With the season-long struggles at second base for the Palm Beach club, I'm not sure how much longer Hoffpauir can be kept at Quad Cities. Shortstop Matt Shepherd saw his 11-game hit streak end on Sunday. His streak is a Swing season best. Matt is currently hitting .275/.388/.362 as the Swing's primary lead-off hitter. Torres allowed a solo shot HR with two outs in the 7th inning. This was the first run he has allowed in nine appearances, dating back to 4/28/05. Dennis Medina has not walked a batter in sixteen innings pitched while striking out twenty. Reliever Justin Knoff has not allowed any of the fourteen baserunners he has inherited this season to score but that didn't prevent him from being optioned to the extended spring training facility in Jupiter on Sunday. This move was done to open up a roster spot for Rick Ankiel.

Upcoming Week – vs. third-place (Eastern division) Lansing Lugnuts (Blue Jays) 23rd through 26th, vs. third-place Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Mariners) 27th through 29th


The Stat Sheet
This week we are back to look at some pitching stats. The top starter and reliever, per category, will be given at each level. All stats given are year-to-date.

Earned Run Average
RHS Adam Wainwright – 2.26 ERA in 59.2 IP Second in the Pacific Coast League. The pitcher in first place has tossed fourteen fewer innings than has Wainwright. Wainwright leads the PCL in innings pitched at 59.2 RHR Jimmy Journell – 2.84 ERA in 12.2 IP

RHS Jeremy Cook – 3.08 ERA in 49.2 IP
RHR Cory Doyne – 0.00 ERA in 11.2 IP Caution: Doyne's WHIP is a poor 1.71 so the 0.00 ERA is more a reflection on those pitchers that are bailing him out of trouble than his performance to this point.

Palm Beach
RHS Chris Lambert – 3.02 ERA in 47.2 IP
RHR Andy Cavazos – 0.90 ERA in 10 IP

Quad Cities
LHS Eric Haberer – 2.42 ERA in 48.2 IP
Tenth in the Midwest League RHR Mike Sillman – 0.38 ERA in 23.2 IP

WHIP Leaders
RHS Anthony Reyes – 0.80 WHIP in 55.1 IP
RHR Jimmy Journell – 1.18 WHIP in 12.2 IP

LHS Randy Leek – 1.04 WHIP in 58.2 IP
RHR Josh Pearce – 0.62 WHIP in 9.2 IP

Palm Beach
RHS Chris Lambert – 1.34 WHIP in 47.2 IP
RHR Roberto Batista – 0.87 WHIP in 25.2 IP

Quad Cities
RHS Dennis Dove – 1.19 WHIP in 48 IP
LHR Kevin Ool – 0.89 WHIP in 23.2 IP

K/BB Leaders
RHS Adam Wainwright – 7:1(49 SO, 2 BB) in 59.2 IP
RHR Jimmy Journell – 3.4:1 (17 SO, 5 BB) in 12.2 IP

LHS Randy Leek – 5:1 (30 SO, 6 BB) in 58.2 IP
RHR Josh Pearce – 8:1 (8 SO, 1 BB) in 9.2 IP

Palm Beach
RHS Chris Lambert – 3.8:1 (42 SO, 15 BB) in 47.2 IP
RHR Andy Cavazos – 5.5:1 (11 SO, 2 BB) in 10 IP

Quad Cities
RHS Dennis Dove – 2.82:1 (31 SO, 11 BB) in 48 IP
LHR Kevin Ool – 5.67:1 (17 SO, 3 BB) in 23.2 IP

Pacific Coast League Strike Out Leaders #1 – tie: Chris Gissell - Memphis Redbirds – 52 strike outs
#1 – tie: Matt Cain – Fresno Grizzlies (Giants) – 52 strike outs
#3: Adam Wainwright - Memphis Redbirds – 49 strike outs
#4 - tie: Anthony Reyes – Memphis Redbirds – 48 strike outs
#4 – tie: Wandy Rodriguez – Round Rock Express (Astros) – 48 strike outs Rodriguez was called up and will make his MLB debut tonight, replacing Andy Pettitte

Don't forget to check out Jason Scott's great weekly report on our minor league prospects. The latest one should arrive at any time.

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