The Palm Beach Cardinals Report: 08/06/08

The St. Louis Cardinals' Florida State League entry went 4-4 on the week, remaining in fourth place in the FSL East. Tyler Herron and Daniel Descalso starred.



This report covers the period from Wednesday, July 30 through Tuesday, August 5.


After a 3-2 week previously, the Palm Beach Cardinals split in eight games last week. In the second half, the Cards remain in fourth place in the Florida State League East Division at 21-22, five games behind leader Daytona (Cubs).


Day by Day


The week began with a Wednesday doubleheader to make up a rained out game the night before. The Cardinals took the first seven-inning contest at Daytona, 6-4. They came back after rehabbing Mark McCormick put them in a 4-0 hole after the first inning, as four relievers held the Cubs hitters to two hits and no runs. Since-promoted Donovan Solano had three hits and scored twice.


In game two, the Cardinals lost by a 6-3 score as Blake King was given a rare start. He yielded five runs, four earned in 3.1 innings. Daniel Descalso singled, homered and scored twice. Solano walked three times.


On Thursday, the Cardinals visited Brevard County and lost 5-4. The Manatees broke open a 1-1 game with three runs against just-promoted Wayne Daman in the eighth. Descalso was on base all four times with a pair of singles, a double and a walk.


The Cardinals got back into their winning ways on Friday with a 6-4 win in ten innings over the Manatees. Descalso continued his hot hitting, going 4-for-5. Leadoff man Tyler Henley went 3-for-6 with a stolen base. Both doubled.


Saturday brought a pitching duel, won by the Cards, 2-0 as they took the rubber match of the series. Tyler Herron dominated the Manatees, going eight innings on three hits, one walk and five strikeouts. Francisco Samuel collected his 23rd save and third of the week. Charlie Kingrey had three hits, including a solo home run and scored the only two tallies of the game.


A day after two runs were scored, twenty crossed the plate on Sunday as the Cards lost 12-8 to Jupiter. Brad Furnish yielded six runs in the first four innings, putting Palm Beach in a hole. Brandon Buckman went 4-for-5 with a double and scored twice.


On Monday, the Hammerheads hammered the Cardinals for the second consecutive game, winning by a 7-2 score. After four scoreless innings, starter Blake King cracked in the fifth, yielding a pair of runs. The three relievers that followed gave up a total of five more, including one by loser Elvis Hernandez. Brian Cartie singled, doubled and scored.


The Cards dodged being swept at home, defeating Jupiter by an 8-4 score on Tuesday evening at Roger Dean Stadium. Matt Arburr went 3-for-4, including a double, driving in one and scoring twice. Starter Mark Diapoules allowed three runs in six innings on eight hits and three walks, but received his first FSL win. 


Who's Hot


Recently-returned from Springfield, Tyler Herron was named the FSL Pitcher of the Week for the period of July 29 through August 3 on the strength of his performance Saturday.


Tyler Henley continued his hot hitting, with hits in seven of the eight games. He went 11-for-32 (.344) on the week.


Second baseman Daniel Descalso had five multi-hit games, including three doubles and two home runs. He went 16-for-30 (.533) on the week, raising his season average 27 points to .247.


Outfielder Charlie Kingrey went 8-for-25 (.320) with six RBI.


Who's Not


Infielder Mike Folli went 2-for-14 (.143) and is hitting just .138 since joining Palm Beach from Quad Cities.


In limited action, outfielder Luke Gorsett went 2-for-12 (.167).


Third baseman Brian Cartie went 5-for-24 (.208).


New arrival Paul Vazquez is just two for his first 18 at-bats (.111) in the FSL.


Wayne Daman has two holds since joining Palm Beach but his ERA is 7.71 (six ER in seven IP). He has walked six and fanned four.


Elvis "The Mosquito" Hernandez has a blown save, a win and a loss in his last two outings, with his season ERA now above five.


Blake King allowed six earned runs in eight innings across two starts last week.


Brad Furnish continued his alarming string of bad starts. The lefty has allowed four or more runs in each of his last six outings and hasn't made it out of the fifth inning in any of his last four appearances.


Who's on the Move


Shortstop Donovan Solano was promoted to Springfield as 2007 first-rounder Pete Kozma moved up from Quad Cites to replace him.


First baseman Brandon Buckman was also bumped up to Double-A. His replacement had not yet been announced as this was published.


On the Mend


Right-handed starter David Kopp had arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder and is done for the season.


Reliever Gary Daley, Jr., struggling in his rehab stint in the Gulf Coast League, did not appear in any games last week.


Starter Tyler Norrick remains on the disabled list with a shoulder strain.


Catcher/third baseman Tony Cruz, currently on the DL with a ligament sprain in his left hand, may be sidelined for the remainder of the 2008 season.


Florida State League leaders


Though he is on the DL, Cruz is tied for tenth in RBIs (58) despite having been out of the lineup since July 16.


Brad Furnish is eighth in the FSL with 49 walks issued.


With three saves on the week, closer Francisco Samuel is in a three-way tie for the league lead with 23.


Team stats and rankings


The hitters' batting average ticked up to .257, moving up one place to fifth in the 12-team league, while their slugging mark remained in seventh at .371. They still have the third-fewest strikeouts in the FSL and moved back up to fifth in runs scored.


The pitchers' ERA increased dramatically from 3.80 to 3.91, dropping from seventh to ninth. They were as high as fourth three weeks ago. Their 45 saves are still tops by a considerable margin.


The staff maintained their FSL lead in both strikeouts and walks issued.


Up Next


For the second week in a row, the Cardinals have eight games scheduled in seven days.


They finish the three-game series with visiting Daytona with games on Wednesday and Thursday nights. The Cards hit the "road", playing their Jupiter cohabitants in a Friday doubleheader and a single game Saturday night. Next up will be a real road trip to St. Lucie to face the Mets on Sunday afternoon and Monday and Tuesday evenings.



Brian Walton can be reached via email at


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