The Palm Beach Cardinals Report: 05/21/08

Beat reporter Herb Uzzi's update on the 2008 season of the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League (A-Advanced). Third baseman Brian Cartie stepped in to cover for the loss of Steven Hill's big bat this past week for the first-place club.

Record:  5-2 week, 28-17 season, first place (four game lead)

Longest Streak: W3


The Palm Beach Cardinals were back to their usual selves this week after playing .500 ball the week before. 


The Redbirds started the week with a 2-1, 12-inning win over the Jupiter Hammerheads in the finale of their three-game series.  Left-hander Brad Furnish turned in one of his best starts, going five scoreless innings and allowing only two hits, and the bullpen did the rest.  Mark McCormick and Josh Dew combined for five scoreless innings, allowing a total of six base runners, and struck out 10.  The Cards took the lead in the top of the 12th when Jim Rapoport, filling in for the injured Tyler Henley, scored on a wild pitch.  Jon Mikrut closed the game for the save.


Palm Beach then welcomed in Vero Beach to Roger Dean Stadium, where they nabbed two of three from the Rays.  In the first game, a 5-4 Cards triumph, Brian Cartie stole the show.  Cartie, slotted as the DH, hit his first homer and drove in all five Palm Beach runs.  Kyle Mura struggled through five innings for the Cardinals, surrendering four earned runs, but the bullpen once again came to the rescue – Brandon Garner and Jon Mikrut dealt four scoreless innings.


The next night, the Cards once again edged Vero, winning their third one-run game in as many days.  Luke Gorsett drove in two runs, Kyle Sadlowski pitched five solid innings and Elvis Hernandez pitched two innings in relief to pick up the win. 


After failing to secure the sweep of the Rays (an 11-3 shellacking at the hands of Vero Beach), the Cards headed to Lakeland to start a four-game set with the Tigers, where they dropped the first game 4-0.  The Cards, however, took the next two and are paced to win yet another series.


Comings and Goings


First-round pick Mark McCormick was called up to Double-A Springfield, while Eddie Degerman was brought up to Palm Beach from Extended Spring Training (Batavia). Also, Brandon Buckman, the 2007 Mid-Season All-Star, was placed on the 7-day disabled list and Andrew Brown was promoted from Quad Cities to take his spot.


Who's Hot


Brian Cartie, 3B: Since joining Palm Beach, Cartie has done all he can to replace some of the production left over after Steven Hill's call-up to Springfield.  The McNeese State product is hitting .387 (12-for-31) since joining the club with one home run and nine RBI in seven games.  He also has five doubles.


Daryl Jones, OF: Jones had his best week since rejoining the Cardinals after his injury.  He went 9-for-21 (.429) this period with a double, two home runs and five RBI and has built his average back up to .320.


Cardinals Pitchers: The Cardinals pitching staff as a whole has been great all year.  They currently rank second in the Florida State League in earned runs allowed and ERA, and first in saves and hits allowed.



The Week Ahead


The Cardinals will look to continue their first-place ways during the upcoming week.  They close out their four-game set with the Lakeland Tigers on Wednesday before heading to Fort Myers for four more.  Palm Beach will then get a well-deserved off-day, before returning home to square off with Jupiter.



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