The Palm Beach Cardinals Report – Week 13

Our exclusive weekly report on the 2007 edition of the Single-A Palm Beach Cardinals from our on-site beat reporter in Jupiter, Jim Rutledge. Right-handed starter Adam Ottavino is the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week.

An interesting week was headlined by the first of what is expected to be multiple starts from former Cy Young Award winner Chris Carpenter. The Palm Beach Cardinals were 3-3 this week with two of their wins coming on one day and two of their losses to division-leading Brevard County (Brewers).


Wednesday - Palm Beach hitters gave starter P.J. Walters more than enough run support in the Cardinals 8-1 rout of Sarasota. The scoring was highlighted by Allen Craig's towering home run to left and Jon Jay's first home run of the season, a rocket to right. P.J. Walters kept Reds batters off balance mixing his fastball and breaking ball to perfection, enabling him to strike out nine in eight shutout innings. Michael Cooper came in to pitch the ninth and after giving up back to back hits, Cooper settled down and retired the next three batters he faced.


Thursday - Brandon Buckman may have finally found his stroke in the Cards' 8-5 loss to the Reds. Buckman was on fire going 3-for-5 including a home run to right. Dan Nelson was equally impressive going 3-for-5 with two runs batted in. Starter Fernando Salas struggled with his control, pitching just over two innings, giving up five runs on six hits and walking two. Reliever Matt Trent looked sharp in his two innings of relief, allowing only one run in two innings pitched.


Saturday - As every Florida resident knows, rain is inevitable this time of year. After a rain out on Friday, the Cardinals finished their series against Sarasota with a double header on Saturday. The Cards must have read their scouting reports a few extra times on Friday because they ripped apart Reds starters during Saturday's game one 17-5 victory. Craig got things started early, hitting his league leading 17th home run deep to dead center field and the big third baseman stayed hot driving in a total of five runs. Isaias Garcia drove in three runs, while Nathan Southard, Rapoport and Jay drove in two each. Tyler Norrick was his usual dominant self, mixing his hard slider and strong fastball to strike out seven in 5 2/3 innings. Jon Mikrut came on in relief and gave up two runs on three hits.


In the second game, Adam Ottavino had to put the Cards' hitters on his back. Ottavino tossed six dominant innings allowing only six hits while striking out five. He was relieved by Luke Gregerson, who tossed a scoreless ninth en route to his 17th save of the season. Craig hit a line drive RBI double to left in the first for his only hit and the Cards' only run of the game.


Sunday - Palm Beach kicked off their four-game series with Brevard County with a 6-3 loss to the Manatees. With the score tied 3-3, a rare bad outing by Gregerson proved to be the Cards' undoing. Gregerson walked one and gave up three runs on three hits in the ninth and picked up just his second loss of the season. The Cards got on the board early. After a single by Craig and a double by Rapoport, Nelson stepped in the batters box and ripped the first fastball he saw - a line drive to right, driving in both runners.


Tuesday - After Monday's rainout, anticipation was in the air as Chris Carpenter made his first rehab start for the Palm Beach Cardinals. Carpenter showed flashes of his old self, mixing a strong fastball with solid breaking balls en route to striking two of the eleven batters he faced. Unfortunately, Carpenter did have trouble when the other nine batters. He gave up five runs on five hits, taking the loss as the Cards were defeated 7-3 by Brevard County. Matt Trent and Trey Hearne combined for just under six innings of solid relief, allowing only two runs on four hits. Craig, Buckman and Brandon Yarbrough each had two hits during the loss.

The second game of Tuesday night's doubleheader was suspended due to rain. Palm Beach had a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning when play was halted. The game will be resumed later at a time to be determined.


Hot - Since being called up, outfielder Jon Jay is hitting .313 with one home run, two doubles and three runs batted in. The lefty out of the University of Miami seems right at home back in South Florida.


Not - Catcher Brandon Yarbrough has only five hits in his past 29 at bats, for an average of .172. Yarbrough has struck out nine times in the past ten games, but on the positive side, he has drawn five walks and has two runs batted in.


News and Notes

-- 07/02 - Adam Ottavino named Florida State League Pitcher of the Week.

-- 07/02 - Pitcher Chris Carpenter assigned to Palm Beach on a rehab assignment.

-- 06/30 - Palm Beach - Loaded pitcher Fernando Salas to Saltillo of the Mexican League

-- 06/30 - Quad Cites - Sent pitcher Eddie Degerman to Palm Beach



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