The Palm Beach Cardinals Report: 08/20/08

The St. Louis Cardinals' Florida State League entry went 2-3 with one rainout on the week, remaining in fourth place in the FSL East second-half race.

Recap

 

This report covers the period from Wednesday, August 13 through Tuesday, August 19.

 

After a 5-2 week previously, the Palm Beach Cardinals won just two of five games, with one game rained out.  

 

In the second half, the Cards remain in fourth place in the Florida State League East Division at 28-27, four games behind co-leaders Daytona (Cubs) and Jupiter (Marlins).

 

Day by Day

 

The week began right with a tight 4-3, 11-inning win over the visiting Brevard County Manatees. After driving in a run earlier in the game, Luke Gorsett stroked a solo home run to end it. The bullpen went 5.2 scoreless behind Wayne Daman, Casey Mulligan, Fernando Samuel and winner Pete Parise, who pitched two frames.

 

On Thursday, the two went extra innings again as Brevard County escaped with a 6-4 victory in 12 after the Cardinals pushed one across in the bottom of the ninth to tie. Daniel Descalso's RBI single took the game into extras. Tyler Henley went 4-for-7, including two doubles. In his Palm Beach debut, Nick Addition allowed just one run over five innings, but this time out, the pen had a bad night. Eddie Degerman and Mulligan were tagged with blown saves and Samuel took the loss, his sixth of the season.

 

A 10-1 defeat to Brevard County started the weekend on the wrong foot for the Cardinals. Blake King pitched well, allowing three runs, one earned in six innings. The roof caved in on Eddie Degerman, as he yielded seven runs over the next two frames.

 

The Vero Beach Rays arrived in Jupiter on Saturday and took an 8-4 defeat. Mark Diapoules got the win after going 5.1 innings. Two of his four runs allowed were unearned. Put in the leadoff spot, Antone DeJesus had two hits, a walk, a stolen base and scored twice. Returnee Steven Hill doubled and drove in four.

 

Game two of the series on Sunday was a pitching duel, as the Rays won 2-1. Shaun Garceau was masterful through six, allowing just four baserunners. The game remained scoreless until the eighth when Vero touched Pete Parise for a pair of runs. Steven Hill went deep in the ninth to halve the gap, but that was it.

 

Monday's home game against Vero Beach was postponed due to an impending hurricane and Tuesday brought the Cardinals their final scheduled day off of the regular season.

 

Who's Hot

 

After missing a week of action, outfielder Charlie Kingrey returned on Thursday and proceeded to go 6-for-18 (.333), all singles.

 

Leadoff man Tyler Henley went 8-for-25 (.320), including two doubles, but scored just once.

 

Though Steven Hill is just 2-for-9 (.222) with three strikeouts in his two games back, he has been very productive, with a home run and five RBI.

 

In 4.2 innings over three games, reliever Wayne Daman allowed two hits, no walks, no runs and struck out four.

 

Over four August outings, Shaun Garceau has just one win despite a stellar ERA of 1.54. He has fanned 20 in 23.1 innings.

 

Who's Not

 

Shortstop Pete Kozma wore the weekly collar, going 0-for-17, dropping his FSL average to .136 in 12 games.

 

Luke Gorsett went 2-for-12 (.167) on the week, but one of the hits was a two-run home run.

 

Aaron Luna is hitting .105 in his first nine games in the FSL and has not played since last Friday the 15th.

 

Matt Arburr went 5-for-22, with a whopping 13 strikeouts. The .227 average actually helped raise his season mark to .209.

 

Same idea for Nick Derba, whose 3-for-12 (.250) week brought his full-year mark up to .154.

 

Reliever Eddie Degerman yielded eight earned runs in 2.1 innings over two outings. His season ERA crept over six.

 

On the Move

 

Steven Hill was activated off his rehab stint, returning to Palm Beach instead of Springfield, where he had been assigned prior to his June hand injury.

 

On the Mend

 

Right-handed starter David Kopp is out for the remainder of the season.

 

Reliever Gary Daley, Jr. made two Gulf Coast League appearances, totaling 1.2 innings. He walked four, allowed three hits, but only one run. His GCL ERA is 20.00.

 

Tyler Norrick (shoulder), Elvis Hernandez and Tony Cruz (hand) remain on the disabled list.

 

Florida State League leaders

 

With all the injuries and roster churn, none of the current offensive players rank in the top ten in the league in any major statistical category. Daryl Jones' .326 average still is second-best, though he has been in Springfield for almost a month.

 

Francisco Samuel is the lone pitching leader, second in the league with 26 saves despite getting shut out all week.  Now in Springfield, Brandon Dickson's 3.51 ERA is still tenth in the FSL.

 

Team stats and rankings

 

The offensive struggles are clear on the stat sheet. The Cardinals hitters' batting average dropped to .254, with the club falling from sixth to eighth in the 12-team league, while their slugging mark dropped from seventh to ninth, at .367. They moved from having the third-fewest strikeouts in the FSL to fifth and fell from fifth to sixth in runs scored.

 

The pitchers' ERA remained at 3.81, dropping one place to seventh in the FSL. Their 48 saves are still tops in the league. The staff maintained their lead in both strikeouts and walks issued.

 

Up Next

 

Eight games are on the schedule for the upcoming week and 15 in the final 12 days and rainouts and suspended games are made up.

 

On Wednesday, the Cardinals head to Port St. Lucie for four games in three nights, then move on to Brevard County for three with the Manatees from Saturday through Monday.

 

The 2008 regular season concludes with three home games with St. Lucie and five contests in three days at Vero Beach, covering the 26th through the 31st.

 

Then, the playoffs begin for the first-half FSL East champions!

 

 

Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net

 

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