Our exclusive weekly report on the 2007 edition of the Double-A Springfield Cardinals of the Texas League. Adam Daniels picked up two solid wins in a 4-2 week for the club.
I owe a big "Thank You" to the
baseball gods, the world wide web, and Mike Lindskog, the voice of the
Springfield Cardinals, because thanks to them (and logging on to www.springfieldcardinals.com and
clicking on the JOCK 98.7 FM live link) I can be on vacation anywhere on the
planet and still keep up with the team. Mike, along with Rob Evans, does some of
the best play-by-play in the business and listening to him is almost as much of
a treat as being at the ballgame. And of course when the Cardinals are on the
road, he makes not being able to be at the game bearable - almost enjoyable. So,
most of this column will be made possible by my good fortune of being able
to listen to the fine play-by-play of Mike Lindskog - The Best in the
Business - anywhere I happen to be.
This week, the
Springfield pitching has been nothing short
of sensational. To start the week off, Adam Daniels earned the first of three
straight team wins as he gave the Cardinals seven scoreless innings. The
Redbirds blanked the Midland RockHounds Friday night, June 30, winning by a
score of 4-0 at Citibank Ballpark in Midland. The Cards' victory gave them a
three-game sweep over the Hounds and 11 consecutive wins on the road.
Daniels (2-1) won his second straight start in just his third Double-A
appearance since being called up from Palm
Beach. The left-hander allowed just
three hits and two walks with three strikeouts, using three double plays in the
first three innings to keep the Hounds off the scoreboard. Daniels was removed
after seven innings, as Kyle McClellan worked the final two frames. Midland
catcher Anthony Recker opened the eighth with a double, but McClellan retired
the next six hitters to keep Springfield's fourth shutout of the year
intact. The Cards improved to 6-3 in the second half and a season-best eight
games over .500 overall at 42-34
On Saturday night, Mitchell Boggs was
just as impressive as Daniels was the night before. Working into the seventh
inning, he allowed just two runs, but needed some help from his bullpen and
defense to hold the lead. Boggs (7-3) secured his team-leading seventh win,
allowing two runs on ten hits over 6 1/3 innings, also becoming the fourth
straight Cards starter to work into the seventh inning through the first four
games of the current road trip. Jason Motte took over in the eighth but got into
trouble, walking two hitters before being replaced with two outs by closer Chris Perez, who then issued a walk to load the bases. Perez came right back with a
three pitch strikeout to end the bases–loaded threat. Perez followed by working
a scoreless ninth, earning his 21st save of the year in the process.
Springfield took the lead in the third,
scoring three times against Frisco starter Doug Mathis (7-5). Juan Richardson
put the Cards on the board with an RBI single, scoring Jose Martinez for a 1-0
lead. Mark Hamilton capped the inning with his second hit of the game, a two-run
single to make it 3-0. Springfield made it 4-1, when Bryan Anderson
plated Jarrett Hoffpauir in the fifth with a two-out RBI single. Leading 4-2,
Springfield capped the scoring with a
ninth-inning run, when Casey Rowlett opened the inning with a triple and scored
on a Sean Danielson RBI double with two outs, making it 5-2.
Springfield improved to 7-3 in the second
half, one game up on Tulsa in the second-half North Division
The Cards looked to make it six straight wins overall on
Sunday night, sending Jaime Garcia to the mound against Frisco's Luis Mendoza
(8-0), but Sunday was not a good day for the first place Cards.
Springfield saw their 12-game road winning
streak and five-game overall winning streak come to an end, as the Frisco
RoughRiders up-ended the Redbirds by a score of 8-2 in Frisco. Frisco starter
Luis Mendoza (9-0) went the distance, earning the complete-game win, allowing
two runs on six hits with four strikeouts. Mendoza retired 14 straight hitters at
one point, in earning his third complete game of the year. Garcia was removed
with two outs in the fifth, after walking his fourth batter of the game. Garcia
(3-8) allowed six earned runs on seven hits over 4 2/3 innings.
Mendoza's streak of 14 straight retired
hitters came to an end with one out in the ninth, as Jarrett Hoffpauir extended
his hitting streak to 12 games with a single to right field. With two outs, Juan
Richardson capped the scoring with an RBI double to center field, giving him a
league-best 50 RBIs, scoring Hoffpauir to make it 8-2.
Mendoza got the last out of the game by
getting Hamilton to ground out, giving
Mendoza his league-best ninth win of the
year. Springfield fell to 7-4 with the loss and 43-35 overall as they looked to
get back on track on Monday night in the rubber game of the three-game set.
But, things didn't get any better in Texas Monday night as Springfield's
Cory Rauschenberger (6-5) got hit around over just 2 2/3 innings, allowing six
runs on nine hits and the Cards dropped their second consecutive game, wrapping
up a 4-2 road trip with an 8-3 loss in Frisco. The bullpen did a decent job of
keeping the Cards in the ballgame, but Springfield couldn't manage a hit after Mike Ferris opened the fifth inning with a single. Frisco starter Edinson Volquez
(7-0) earned the win, allowing three runs on five hits in five innings. Riders'
reliever Jesse Ingram picked up his 17th save with two scoreless innings out of
After Frisco scored a run in
each of the first two innings, Springfield rallied to take the lead in the
third. Ferris opened the inning with a single, his first of two hits on the
night. Mark Shorey then delivered an RBI double to right-center field, making it
2-1. Two batters later, Jarrett Hoffpauir followed with his seventh homer of the
year, giving Springfield a 3-2 lead. For Hoffpauir, the home run ties a
career-high established last year and also gave him a hit in 13 straight games,
a 2007 team-high.
Frisco wasted little time in re-taking the lead
though, scoring four runs to grab the lead for good in the home-half of the
inning. Steve Murphy's RBI double plated Casey Benjamin, tying the game at 3-3.
Brandon Boggs then followed with an RBI double to put Frisco up 4-3. Mayberry
stepped up and blasted his second homer in as many games, a two-run blast to
make it 6-3. Frisco capped the scoring with a two-out blast from German Duran
off Matt Scherer to make it 8-3. Springfield fell to 7-5 in the second half
and 43-36 overall.
After having a well deserved Tuesday off, the
Cardinals returned to Hammons Field to face the Midland RockHounds in the
opening game of a six-game homestand. As luck would have it, Springfield tallied
seven runs in the second inning, helping to snap a two-game skid with a 7-2 win
before a crowd of 8,719 excited fans who witnessed the Redbirds knocking off the
RockHounds for the fourth straight game, giving them six wins in their last
Springfield sent 11 men to the plate in the
second inning, tying a season-high by scoring seven times. Juan Richardson
opened with his 11th home run of the year, a solo shot down the left-field line,
making it 1-0. Juan Lucena's RBI single plated Bryan Anderson and Jose Martinez
delivered a two-run double, making it a four-run advantage. Mark Shorey capped
the inning, as he crushed a three-run home run to right-center field against
Midland starter Luis Ramirez (4-6).
Shorey's blast was his fifth since being called up from the Midwest League.
Cards' starter Eric Haberer was on
cruise control until the sixth. With two outs, Haberer allowed three straight
singles, the last of which was an RBI hit to center for Richie Robnett, plating
Cliff Pennington to make it 7-1. A Cardinals' error led to
Midland's other run, as Juan Richardson
couldn't handle a hard ground ball by Casey Myers, cutting
Springfield's lead to 7-2. Zack Zuercher was
called upon to face Midland's Brant Colamarino and with the
bases loaded, Zuercher got Colamarino on three pitches for the final out.
Zuercher struck out all four men he faced in 1 1/3 innings. Haberer (6-4) earned
his second straight win over Midland, allowing two runs, one earned,
on five hits over 5 2/3 innings.
Mark Shorey put the finishing touches
on a career-night, blasting his second three-run home run of the night to right
field in the bottom of the eighth against Midland's Mike Flannery, giving
Springfield a 10-2 lead. The home run is his second two-homer game of his
professional career and his sixth long-ball of the year. Shorey's six-RBI game
is a career-high. Jason Motte and Chris Perez followed Zuercher out of the pen,
as both tossed a scoreless inning of relief to preserve the win.
Springfield also matched a season-high by
turning four double plays. The Redbirds improved their record to 8-5 in the
second half and 44-36 overall.
Hammons Field saw more fireworks on
Thursday as Adam Daniels turned in his second straight gem against the
RockHounds, allowing just one run on six hits over seven innings, as
Springfield knocked off
Midland 4-1. Daniels (3-1), who blanked
the RockHounds over seven innings earlier in the week in
Midland, turned in another sharp
performance, taking a no-hitter into the fifth. Daniels allowed a lead-off home
run to Javier Herrera to open the sixth, cutting
Springfield's lead to three at 4-1. The Cards
left-hander got into additional trouble in the sixth, allowing the Hounds to
load the bases with only one out. Eddie Cornejo hit into an inning-ending 4-3
double play though, as Midland couldn't get any closer.
The Cards' bullpen combo of Nick Webber and Chris Perez combined to work
the final two innings of scoreless relief. For Perez, the 1-2-3 ninth inning earned him his 22nd
save of the year. Springfield got on the board in the second,
as Juan Richardson opened the inning with a double, then moved to third on a
ground ball by Bryan Anderson. Richardson scored from third on Mark
Hamilton's RBI groundout, making it 1-0. The Redbirds got three in the third
against Midland starter Ben Fritz, making it 4-0.
Jose Martinez doubled home Mike Ferris, giving Springfield a 2-0 lead. After Sean Danielson
singled Martinez to third, Fritz balked, bringing
home Martinez to make it 3-0. Danielson later
scored from third on a sac fly off the bat of Colby Rasmus, capping the scoring
The win for Springfield was their second straight
overall, but their fifth straight head-to-head win over
Midland. The Redbirds go to 9-5 in the
second half and are now 45-36 overall. They remain in first place in the Texas
League Northern Divison, 2 1/2 games ahead of the Wichita Wranglers, three games
ahead of the Tulsa Drillers, and five games in front of the Arkansas Travelers.
The Southern Division is also in a tight race with the Frisco Rough Riders
claiming first place, two games ahead of the San Antonio Missions,
two-and-a-half games in front of the Corpus Christi Hooks and five games ahead
of the Midland RockHounds.
Mitchell Boggs (7-3) looks to give
Springfield their second three-game sweep
over Midland in the last week, as he takes the
ball for Springfield on Friday night. Midland
left-hander Mario Ramos (1-1) will throw for the Hounds. The game can be heard
live at JOCK 98.7 FM or www.springfieldcardinals.com.
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