The Memphis Redbirds Report: 08/26/08

The St. Louis Cardinals' Triple-A club went 2-4 on the week, ending their playoff hopes, but they still stopped their run of losing seasons at three.

Recap

 

This report covers the seven-day period from Tuesday, August 19 through Monday, August 25.

 

With time running out on their playoff hopes, Memphis stubbed their collective toes, going 2-4 with one rainout and falling to a 71-64 record on the season. They disappointingly lost another game in the American North Division standings as first-place Iowa clinched. The Redbirds are nine games out of first with seven to go.

 

The offense didn't blow anyone away, but the relief corps was the weak link as they coughed up leads three times, all spearheading losses last week.

 

Tuesday meant the close of the Albuquerque series and the end of the homestand. Memphis absorbed a tough 4-3 defeat after giving up a 3-1 lead.  Kelvin Jimenez took a blown save and the loss after yielding two runs in the eighth. Starter Jess Todd pitched well, allowing just two runs in six innings. David Freese plated all three Redbirds runs.

 

The Redbirds invaded Omaha for a five-game series starting Wednesday. Memphis gave up leads of 4-2 and 6-3 as the Royals scored in six of their eight innings and prevailed by a 7-6 score. Matt Scherer was charged with a blown save and Randy Flores took the loss.

 

In game two of the series on Thursday, the Redbirds shut out the Royals, 5-0. Mitchell Boggs allowed nine baserunners in 5.2 innings but none of them crossed the plate. Centerfielder Shane Robinson plated two.

 

On Friday, Clayton Mortensen yielded four runs in five innings and the offense was held to just two, solo home runs by Josh Phelps (#31) and Bryan Anderson (#2) as Memphis fell, 4-2.

 

Memphis got out ahead of Omaha early on Saturday, scoring nine runs in the first three innings en route to a 9-4 victory. Blake Hawksworth won again, allowing three runs, two earned in five innings. Freese and Tyler Greene each contributed three hits.

 

The Redbirds were up four runs in the third inning on Sunday behind a three run home run by Freese but wasted a second straight two-run six-inning outing by Jess Todd. The Royals tied the game in the seventh and pushed the winner across in the tenth against Scherer.  

On Monday, the Redbirds and Iowa Cubs were rained out at AutoZone Park. The game will not be made up.

 

Who's Hot

 

Outfielder Nick Stavinoha went 8-for-22 (.364) on the week.

 

First baseman Josh Phelps hit every day and has delivered in nine of his last ten. Last week, he went 8-for-21 (.381) with a pair of home runs and four batted in.

 

Third baseman David Freese is on fire, going 6 for his last 13 (.462). The number five hitter drove in eight over the six games last week and has 14 RBI in his most recent nine games.

 

Jess Todd yielded just two runs in his 12 innings on the mound (3.00 ERA) but was denied a win both times out.

 

Reliever Mark Worrell hasn't allowed a run in his last eight outings, including three last week. His season ERA fell to 2.26.

 

Who's Not

 

Sent down from St. Louis due to troubles at the plate, infielder Brendan Ryan continues in his offensive funk with Memphis. He is hitting .226 in 53 Triple-A at-bats.

 

Catcher Bryan Anderson has a modest four-game hit streak going, but is hitting just .214 over his last ten contests.

 

Centerfielder Shane Robinson went just 3-for-21 (.143) last week.

 

Reliever Matt Scherer allowed runs in three of his four outings this past week and seven of his ten appearances this month. His August ERA is 4.80.

 

Who's on the Move

 

Colby Rasmus continues his Florida rehab via two games with the Gulf Coast League Cardinals starting last Saturday.

 

John Jay remains out of action with a sore shoulder. His last game was August 14.

 

Mike Parisi went under the knife for Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery.

 

Brian Barden should be back very soon after helping Team USA take the bronze in the Beijing Olympics.

 

PCL

 

Nick Stavinoha was named a PCL Post-Season All-Star, the only one from the Redbirds squad, same as at mid-season. Jess Todd received the same recognition from the Double-A Texas League.

 

Their team batting average remained at .273, tied for eighth in the 16-team league. The offense is still ninth in home runs, tied for tenth in strikeouts but dropped to 12th in runs scored.

 

The mound staff improved to second in the PCL in ERA at 4.34 and still lead the circuit in strikeouts. They fell to seventh in walks issued.

 

Individually, Josh Phelps is third in the PCL with 31 home runs, while David Freese is tied for tenth with 25. Phelps' 97 RBIs is tied for fifth-most and his .568 SLG mark is eighth. Nick Stavinoha's .337 average ranks fourth.

 

Mitchell Boggs' 3.41 ERA ranks second among league qualifiers. With 112 strikeouts, P.J. Walters is in tenth place. John Wasdin has nine wins, tied with a group for ninth-most in the PCL. With 12 saves, Kelvin Jimenez is in eighth place and though he seems set in St. Louis now, Chris Perez' 11 saves places him among a group in ninth.

 

Up Next

 

Weather permitting, the Iowa Cubs will play the Redbirds at AutoZone Park for the three remaining games of the series. The regular season then concludes as Oklahoma comes into Memphis for a four-game set.

 

 

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

 

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