Anything should be better than the 0-7 record from the week before, and so was the Palm Beach Cardinals' showing during this period, three wins and two losses. To underline the closeness of the contests, they outscored their opponents just 22 to 19.
With a favorable home schedule,
Day by Day
The week began on Wednesday with a
big day by Daryl Jones. The outfielder was on base five times, with four hits,
including a home run. He plated four. Third baseman Brian Cartie was also
perfect with three hits including a double and a walk. Francisco Samuel fanned
two in the ninth for his 20th save as the Cards beat
On Thursday, a seven-inning, one-run start by Mark Diapoules was washed away when Kenny Maiques, with help from Blake King, allowed three runs in the eighth inning as Brevard County edged the Cards, 4-3. Diapoules yielded just four hits and two walks while fanning seven. Centerfielder Tyler Henley doubled twice in the losing effort.
The Cardinals got back into their winning ways on Friday with a 7-3 win over the Manatees. Despite issuing five walks and three hits in five innings, starter Shaun Garceau only allowed one to cross the plate. Reliever Casey Mulligan had his worst game as a reliever, with two runs in two innings. That raised his ERA to 1.84. Cartie plated two and Matt Arburr had three hits in his quest to raise his average above the Mendoza Line.
Saturday brought a pitching duel, won by the Cards, 2-1. Brandon Dickson allowed just one run in six innings. King followed with one of his patented outings - no hits, two walks and five strikeouts in two innings. Brandon Buckman singled and doubled. Daniel Descalso's walkoff single in the bottom of the ninth broke the tie.
The first-place Cubs took the first game of their home series, 8-5, on Monday. The Cards were down 8-1 in the fifth as all eight scored against Brad Furnish, though two were unearned. The Cards answered back with four more, but couldn't fully close the gap. Donovan Solano was on base four times while Arburr homered and drove in three.
Where they stand
The Cards remain in fourth place in the Florida State League East Division at 17-18, four games behind leader Daytona (Cubs).
Shortstop Donovan Solano went 5-for-15 (.333) on the week, also drawing three walks.
Tyler Henley is hot, with seven hits in his last 17 at-bats. The .412 stretch has raised his FSL season mark to .265.
Corner man Matt Arburr has five home runs and 14 RBI in his first 80 FSL at-bats.
First baseman Brandon Buckman went 6-for-17 (.353), including a pair of doubles.
Antone DeJesus went 5-for-10 (.500) last week and should see more playing time with Jones' promotion.
In four starts since joining
Outfielder Charlie Kingrey went 3-for-22 (.136) last week.
Second baseman Daniel Descalso had four hits in 19 at-bats. After the .210 week, his season batting mark dropped to .220.
Catcher Nick Derba continued his offensive struggles, going 2-for-12 (.167), though it actually raised his season mark to .126. He did collect his ninth and tenth RBI in 151 at-bats.
Lefty Brad Furnish seems on a real downward spiral. He has allowed 25 earned runs over his last five appearances for a tidy July ERA of 9.00.
Reliever Eddie Degerman had been charged with 11 runs over his last ten innings before tossing 1.1 run-free frames on Monday.
Who's on the Move
After several relatively-quiet
Starter Tyler Norrick only went one inning on the 23rd and was then returned to the disabled list with a shoulder strain.
Perennially rehabbing Mark McCormick replaced Norrick on the active roster. His first start, on Tuesday against former MLB pitcher Rich Hill, was rained out.
Pitcher Tyler Herron was returned
With their best pitcher, Dickson, moving up, the Cards received the top dog from Quad Cities to replace him, Wayne Daman.
Reliever Kenny Maiques, plagued by control issues, was sent down to Quad Cities.
Infielder Dan Nelson was released.
Offensive leader Daryl Jones
received his much-deserved promotion to
On the Mend
Right-handed starter David Kopp continues his rehab assignment with the Gulf Coast League Cardinals on paper at least, though he has not pitched in two weeks after a pair of rehab outings.
Reliever Gary Daley, Jr. maintained his mathematically pure ERA of 27.00 in 11 GCL games after allowing one run on two walks in 1/3 inning last week.
As noted above, Norrick and Cruz joined them on the DL this past week.
With the departure of Jones, the Cardinals no longer have any players among the league top ten in most offensive categories.
Though he is on the DL, Cruz remains the exception. He is tied for eighth in RBIs (58) and 11th in doubles (22) despite having been out of the lineup since the 16th.
Solano's 53 runs scored ranks 11th in the league.
Brad Furnish is among those tied for tenth in wins with seven. In the negative department, he is ninth with 45 walks issued.
Closer Francisco Samuel is in a
tie for second in the league with 20 saves. He also picked up his fourth win
last week (against five losses).
Team stats and rankings
The hitters' batting average remained at .255, but dropping one place to sixth in the 12-team league, while their slugging mark fell to seventh at .371. They still have the third-fewest strikeouts in the FSL but fell from fourth to seventh in runs scored.
The pitchers' ERA increased slightly to 3.80, while holding at seventh. They were fourth prior to the losing streak. Their 42 saves are still tops by a considerable margin.
In the good and bad news department, the staff maintained their FSL lead in both strikeouts and walks issued. In the latter category, the Cards have given out about 30 walks more than the next-most wild staff.
The Cardinals are scheduled to play eight games in the next seven days.
First, they finish the three-game
series at Daytona with a Wednesday doubleheader. They enter their final month of
the 2008 season with three at
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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