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.
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.
Saturday's game at
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
Monday brought a second straight
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.
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.
Closer Francisco Samuel collected two saves in two chances.
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.
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.
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
Then the playoffs begin
for the first-half FSL East champions!
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 email@example.com
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