The Palm Beach Cardinals Report – Week 15

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. Catcher Brandon Yarbrough was a standout during a 3-4 week.

It was a rough period in Florida for the Palm Beach Cardinals as they were unable to find consistent pitching, resulting in a 3-4 record this week. A major bright spot was the hot hitting from catcher Brandon Yarbrough who made a difference with his bat every game he played.


Wednesday - A phenomenal game by Brandon Yarbrough was not enough as the Cards' dropped the series opener against Clearwater by a score of 5-4.


Yarbrough was hot from the start. In his first at bat, he bounced a ball up the middle for a single, scoring later on a RBI double by Isaias Garcia. Next time up, Yarbrough hit a ground ball RBI single just out of the reach of the shortstop's glove. In the sixth, Yarbrough launched a ball deep to center for a triple and finally in the eleventh Yarbrough tried to start a rally by lining a double to left center.


Reliever Jon Mikrut was solid in two innings of relief, but he gave up what turned out to be the game-winning run in the top of the eleventh.


Thursday - A two-run triple by Jim Rapoport and a four-run second inning wasn't enough to help the Cards avoid a 7-6 loss to Clearwater. Donovan Solano and Yarbrough hit RBI doubles in the fourth for Palm Beach.


Dan Nelson got the ball rolling in the second inning with a leadoff double to right field; Nathan Southard followed that up by ripping a double to left, driving in Nelson. Jose Contreras launched a ball that fell just short of a home run in right, but did bounce high enough for a ground rule double. Rapoport then tore a ball down the right field line for a bases-clearing triple.


Starter Adam Ottavino struggled, allowing four runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings pitched. Matthew Trent also had a difficult time with the Thrashers, taking the loss by surrendering three runs on four hits in two innings.


Friday - Palm Beach got a solid performance from starter P.J. Walters, as he went six innings allowing only one run and striking out six in the Cards' 3-1 victory over Clearwater.


Mikrut bounced back from his tough-luck loss on Wednesday to pitch two hitless innings and despite giving up two hits in the ninth, Gregerson was able to pick up his 19th save of the year.


Middle infielders Garcia and Solano drove in one run each, providing more than enough offense for the Cards pitchers.

Saturday - Tyler Norrick struggled as the Cardinals lost to the Tigers 6-3. Norrick pitched only four and two thirds innings, giving up five runs on six hits and striking out only two batters.


Yarbrough was the only offensive bright spot for the Cards, as he went 2-for-4 with a home run and two runs batted in. It was a strange night for Yarbrough. When he wasn't pounding the ball off and over the wall, he was striking out, both of his outs were strikeouts.


Sunday - Starter Eddie Degerman was dominating in the Cardinals' 6-0 drubbing of Lakeland. Degerman tossed seven innings, allowing only two hits and striking out seven, in what was his most impressive performance in his short career with the Cards. Donnie Smith was equally effective, overpowering batters, striking out four of the eleven batters he faced.


Again, Yarbrough was the offensive star of the game for the Cards, as he went 2-for-4 with two runs batted in. His first RBI came in the third inning. With two on and two out, he lifted a ball to left that was just deep enough to allow Danilo Sanchez to tag up from third and score. His next time up in the bottom of the fifth, Yarbrough bounced a ball between first and second, driving in Sanchez again for his second RBI of the game. A few pitches later, Yarbrough was part of the rare and always exciting double steal. After Brandon Buckman was called out on a questionable strike three, Yarbrough broke for second and Nelson took off for home. Both runners were safe.


Monday - The Cardinals bullpen struggled to close out a solid start by rehabbing Memphis starter Chris Narveson. He allowed only two runs on six hits and fanned four in five innings in the Cards' 3-2 loss to Lakeland. Reliever Luke Gregerson gave up the decisive run on two hits in the top of the ninth to pick up the loss.


Yarbrough continued his hot hitting, he went 2-for-4 with a triple, a double, an RBI, but had little help, only four other Cardinal batters reached base.


Tuesday - A tight ball game was ended in the bottom of the ninth by Garcia's game-winning double. After a leadoff line drive single to center by Southard, Garcia ripped that double in the left-center gap driving in Southard to seal the victory.


Adam Ottavino started the game for the Cardinals and pitched five solid innings giving up three runs and striking out four. Michael Cooper pitched two scoreless frames of relief and Mikrut picked up the win, allowing only two hits in two innings of work.


Hot - Brandon Yarbrough has an impressive .378 batting average with four doubles and whopping three triples in the past ten games.


Not - Brandon Buckman is hitting .175, with one double, zero home runs and he has struck out seven times in his last forty at bats.


News and Notes

7-16-07: Palm Beach - Called up P Brad Furnish from Quad Cities.

7-11-07: Palm Beach - Placed 3B Allen Craig and OF Jon Jay on the DL.



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