The Palm Beach Cardinals Report – Week 14

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. Along with the weather, outfielder Jon Jay is hot with the bat.

The Palm Beach Cardinals lost more games to the rain than they did to any opponent this week, as three consecutive games were rained out. The Cards' July 4th match-up against Fort Myers was called due to a massive rain storm, so they tried to follow the advice of, excuse the blasphemy, Mr. Cub Ernie Banks and play two on July 5th. Well, Mother Nature had different plans and gave the Cards a three-day Fourth of July vacation. When the Cards finally did get to play ball, they were impressive, winning three of their five games this week.


Thursday - Game 1 - In the 11th inning, consecutive doubles by Jon Jay, Dan Nelson and Jim Rapoport gave Cards reliever Jon Mikrut more than enough runs to seal the 5-0 victory over Fort Myers. Mikrut, Chris Narveson and starter Robert Ransom combined to allow no runs on just five hits. On the offensive side of the ball, Jay was spectacular; he went 4-for-6 with two doubles and one run batted in.


Game 2 - One name, one man, one dominating performance by Palm Beach Cardinals starter Adam Ottavino. The young right-hander tossed his first complete game of his career, striking out four Fort Myers batters in the Cards 5-1 win. Jay and Brian Buckman gave the Cards an early lead with solo shots in the first and Nathan Southard led off the top of the seventh with another home run for the Cards.


Saturday - Another game, another dominating performance by Cards ace Tyler Norrick. Palm Beach needed every out the lefty provided in their 2-0 win over Brevard County. Norrick went six strong innings, allowing only two hits and striking out six, improving his season record to 8-5. Closer Luke Gregerson stuck out two and pitched a dominant ninth inning to pick up his 18th save of the season. Rapoport provided all of the Cards' offense. First, he drove in Southard in the top of the second to give the Cards a 1-0 lead, and later he added insurance by driving in Southard again to give Palm Beach a 2-0 lead.


Sunday - Palm Beach lost to 5-4 to Brevard County, but the story of the game was Chris Carpenter. The former Cy Young Award winner made his second rehab start for the Cards and was impressive; Carpenter stuck out two Manatee batters in three scoreless innings. The only highlight for the Cards came in the top of the ninth when Isaias Garcia belted his first home run of the season.


Monday - After getting let down by their bullpen on Sunday, Monday it was the starting pitching that failed the Cards' in their 5-3 loss to Brevard County. Trey Hearne started the game for Palm Beach and gave up a whopping ten hits and four runs in just 4 2/3 innings pitched. Relievers Matt Trent and Mikrut shut down Manatee hitters, combining to strike out six and allowing only one in a 3 1/3 innings of relief. Rapoport was again outstanding for the Cards. He went 3-for-4, raising his average to a season-high .274.


Hot -

Since June 30, Jon Jay has been hitting .341, with seven runs, five doubles, five runs batted in, two steals and one home run. Jay is really excelling at the low class-A level. In 15 games, Jay has two home runs and 32 total bases, bring his combined numbers to four home runs and 71 total bases.


Jon Mikrut has been an unsung hero of the Cards bullpen all season. This week, the hard-throwing right-hander pitched four scoreless innings, stuck out three and picked up his third win of the season.


Finally, Adam Ottavino started the season with a 3-5 record, but in his last four starts, he is 4-0 with a 0.67 earned run average. Now Ottavino is 7-5 with 89 strikeouts in 88 innings pitched.


Not -

I'm glad to say that no Palm Beach Cardinal really stood out to me as struggling this week, so I'm giving the not "hot" tag to the rainy weather. Let's hope we can play all our games this week.


News and Notes-

7-10-07: Palm Beach - Called up SS/3B Donovan Solano from Quad Cities.

7-06-07: Memphis - Activated P Chris Narveson and sent him to Palm Beach on a rehab assignment.



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