The Palm Beach Cardinals Report: 08/27/08

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

Recap

 

This report covers the period from Wednesday, August 20 through Tuesday, August 26.

 

After a 2-3 week previously, the Palm Beach Cardinals treaded water, going 3-3 with three games rained out.  

 

In the second half, the Cards remain in fourth place in the Florida State League East Division at 31-30, five games behind co-leaders Daytona (Cubs) and Jupiter (Marlins) with eight to go.

 

Day by Day

 

The week began with the tropical storm remnants washing out a Wednesday doubleheader at Port St. Lucie against the Mets.

 

On Thursday, the two clubs split a pair. In game one, Tyler Herron tossed four shutout innings but yielded three runs in the fifth. The Cards ended up losing, 6-2. Palm Beach had just two hits, one a Steven Hill home run.

 

Game two went much better as Nick Additon spun a seven-inning, complete-game shutout. He allowed just three hits, one walk and fanned six. Third baseman Brian Cartie was on base three times, including a two-run home run as the Cards won, 6-0.

 

Palm Beach finished the shortened series on Friday with an 8-5 win over St. Lucie. The Cards had eight on the board after three innings as Daniel Descalso, Tyler Henley and Antone DeJesus each drove in two. Blake King took a shutout into the sixth inning, but he and relievers Wayne Daman and Davis Bilardello yielded all five Mets runs during that frame.  

 

Saturday's game at Brevard County was claimed by more rain.

 

Game two of the series on Sunday was an ugly 9-3 loss as the Manatees piled on Mark Diapolules, who yielded eight runs in 3.2 innings. Coming into the game with only 16 RBI on the season, Nick Derba had a huge day for him, driving in all three Palm Beach runs.

 

Monday brought a second straight loss at Brevard County. The Manatees got off to a 5-1 lead in the third inning against Shaun Garceau and ended up on top, 7-3. Tyler Henley had a pair of hits, including a home run and two RBI. Leadoff man Antone DeJesus went 4-for-4.

 

Retuning home, this week ended better for the Cardinals. Tyler Herron spun seven two-hit shutout innings against St. Lucie Tuesday night, but got a no decision. Palm Beach broke the scoreless tie with three in the eighth. Oddly, the first two scored on wild pitches during the same Matt Arburr at-bat. His single then plated the third. Steven Hill had three hits and a run scored in the 3-0 victory.

 

Who's Hot

 

Additon was named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week for the period ending August 24. In his first 12 FSL innings, he has an 0.75 ERA and opponents are hitting just .186 against the lefty. Over two levels this season, the 20-year-old is a combined 10-5 with a 2.34 ERA.

 

With Tyler Henley dropped down to the run-producing four and five holes, Antone DeJesus has been leading off. The outfielder is hot, six for his last 14, and is batting .353 over his last ten games.

 

Henley, hitting .350 in his last ten games, has quietly raised his team-best average up to .283.

 

Closer Francisco Samuel collected two saves in two chances.

 

Who's Not

 

Shortstop Pete Kozma continues to struggle at the dish, with 14 strikeouts to just two hits in his last ten FSL games (.059).

 

C/3B Steven Hill went 4-for-24 (.167) during the period, but three of his hits were on Tuesday as the week came to a close.

 

First baseman Matt Arburr went 2-for-13 (.154) during the period, and has just one extra-base hit, a double, over the last two weeks. Arburr fanned eight times in his five games played.

 

Aaron Luna isn't playing much, going 0-for-5 on the week, dropping his FSL batting mark to .083 in 12 games.  

 

On the Move

 

Infielder Daniel Descalso was promoted to Double-A Springfield to fill the roster spot of Jose Martinez who was placed on their disabled list.

 

Oliver Marmol was returned from Quad Cities to take Descalso's place.

 

On the Mend

 

Reliever Gary Daley, Jr. made two Gulf Coast League appearances, totaling one-plus innings. He walked seven, allowed two hits and six earned runs. His GCL ERA is 24.16.

 

Tyler Norrick (shoulder), Elvis Hernandez and Tony Cruz (hand) remain on the disabled list. Right-handed starter David Kopp is out for the remainder of the season.

 

Florida State League leaders

 

There is not much to say here. With all the injuries and roster churn, none of the offensive players rank in the top ten in the league in any major statistical category.

 

Francisco Samuel is the lone pitching leader, tied for the league lead with 28 saves.

 

Team stats and rankings

 

The Cardinals hitters' batting average dropped slightly to .253, with the club remaining eighth in the 12-team league, while their slugging mark stayed ninth, at .365. They still have the fifth-fewest strikeouts in the FSL and are sixth in runs scored.

 

The pitchers' ERA fell to 3.86, dropping one place to eighth in the FSL. Their 50 saves are still tops in the league. The staff dropped to third in strikeouts but still have a huge lead in a dubious category, walks issued.

 

Up Next

 

Eight games are on the schedule over the upcoming five days, the final contests of the 2008 regular season.  Three home games remain with St. Lucie, including a Wednesday doubleheader, then five contests are packed in three weekend days at Vero Beach, with the final game on Sunday.

Then the playoffs begin for the first-half FSL East champions! Palm Beach's opening round home game against an opponent to be determined will be on Wednesday, September 3.

The Cardinals will be making their third appearance in the last four years in the Florida State League playoffs, including the 2005 league championship season.

 

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

 

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