The Cardinals appear to have
virtually guaranteed a second place finish behind the Elizabethton Twins
A review of the team league
leaders shows that
The pitchers remained 3rd in the league in shutouts (4) but dropped to 3rd in walks allowed (159) after walking 22 in 6 games this week. The Cardinal pitchers lead the league in holds (20) and are 9th in hit batters (43). The team ERA (4.48) and walks plus hits per inning pitched or WHIP (1.38) both improved for the 2nd week in a row.
I was not able to attend any of
the six road games this week in person.
However, I was able to listen to internet broadcasts (and track pitch
counts) on three of the games.
Steve Wilhoit was the broadcaster in Greeneville and Sean Hostetter was
the broadcaster in
The Cardinals have four more series left this year. They are on the road for three games against the 1st place Danville Braves (41-17). They then come home for their last 9 games. They play a short one-game series against the 1st place Twins in what will be the deciding game for the season series. The rivalry stands at 5 wins and 5 losses for each team. They play a 5-game series in three days (two doubleheaders) against the 2nd place Princeton Rays (30-26) and then follow that with a 3-game series against the 4th place Pulaski Mariners (24-31).
Roster and Injury Updates
The active roster remained at 32 players (35 maximum) with two members of the roster rehabbing their injuries in Jupiter, FL. The active roster has 17 pitchers (10 tandem starters and 7 relievers) and 15 position players (3 catchers, 4 outfielders, and 8 infielders).
Pablo Ortiz (2-0, 6.75 ERA), a
starting tandem pitcher, missed his scheduled start on Monday July 20 due to
weakness in his shoulder and elbow.
Ortiz is rehabbing in Jupiter, FL.
There is no specific time frame scheduled for his return to
Outfielder C.J. Beatty (.179, 2 HR) injured his right hand/wrist on a strikeout in his first at bat on August 4. He had to come out of the game early and is now out for the season. This is a new injury to add to his bruised elbow suffered earlier in the year. Beatty had been restricted to DH prior to injuring his hand/wrist. His last game in the outfield was June 26. Beatty has begun his rehab in Jupiter, FL and recently reported that "(he is) starting to make a fist now. The hand is slowly coming back to its old self!".
First baseman Jonathan Rodriguez (.275, 2 HR, 40 AB) twisted his right ankle when he got in a rundown between first and second base to end the fourth inning of a game on August 13. Rodriguez missed four games before returning on Tuesday night as a designated hitter. Rodriguez played first base on Wednesday night.
Second baseman Luis Mateo (.319, 3 HR, 5 SB, 18 games) suffered a hamstring injury on July 12 that was re-injured during warm-ups on July 23. Mateo has missed 36 games and was on a four-game hit streak (7-for-16, .438) when he was injured. Mateo may be healthy enough to return to the lineup this week.
The Week in Review
Sunday: The Cardinals started a 3-game series in
The Cardinals jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first on doubles from DH Robert Stock (8th) and RF Edgar Lara (14th – 5th in league) and a single from CF Rainel Rosario (.284). The Cardinals gave the Astros three unearned runs back in the bottom of the first on two errors, a single, a double, a stolen base, and a walk.
Randy Santos (1-6, 4.87) took a
4-3 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning but he couldn't hold it.
Patrick Daugherty (0-1, 7.71 ERA) continued to struggle with his control by walking four of the eight batters he faced in a short one inning pitched. Even the normally reliable reliever Jose Rada (4-0, 2.22 ERA) struggled in this game. Rada gave up a double, a walk, and allowed two stolen bases while recording just one out. John Durham (1-1, 8.74 ERA) was the only reliever on the night to keep an inherited runner from scoring. The relievers combined to allow four-of-five inherited runners to score. Four of the seven Astros that walked scored.
Starter Andy Moss (1-1, 1.54 ERA) watched a shaky Cardinal defensive effort give the Astros a 3-0 lead through five innings. A Robert Stock passed ball (5th) contributed to an unearned run in the first inning. Throwing errors by 3B Kleininger Teran (5th) and SS Yunier Castillo (15th) added two more unearned runs in the fifth inning.
Moss pitched very well despite the lack of offense and defense to support him. Moss improved his 1.73 ERA (2nd in league) to a league leading 1.54 ERA by allowing just four hits and no earned runs over five innings pitched. Moss walked two and struck out six on 75 pitches (48 strikes, 13-for-22 first-pitch strikes).
Teran and Castillo rebounded from the fifth-inning errors in the top of the sixth inning. Castillo (.272) led-off with a single, 2B Ted Obregon (.301) followed with a double off the left fielder's glove, and Teran (.270) drove home Castillo with a one-out RBI groundout.
The Cardinals chipped away further on the 3-1 deficit with one out in the seventh inning. DH Audry Perez (.248) hit his 7th home run on the first pitch he saw. The opposite field shot gave Perez his 17th RBI. CF Ross Smith (.185) followed the home run with a double (his 9th) against the left field wall on a 2-1 pitch. Castillo then tied the game 3-3 with an RBI single. The single gave Castillo, a switch hitter, both right-handed and left-handed hits in back-to-back innings. Obregon, the very next hitter, accomplished the exact same feat with a bunt single.
Second piggy-back starter Reynier Gonzalez (2-4, 6.21 ERA) continued his struggles in a reliever role by allowing two runs and three hits (two triples and a home run) over two and one third innings. Gonzalez really challenged the Astros with his 27 pitches by throwing 22 strikes (9-for-10 first-pitch strikes) and recording four strike outs. Unfortunately for Gonzalez, at least three strikes were not located very well. Gonzalez as a starter is 2-1 with a 3.28 ERA and a .228 batting average allowed. Gonzalez as a reliever is 0-3 with a 14.54 ERA and a .417 batting average allowed.
Aaron Terry (6-0, 2.35 ERA) came into the game in relief of Gonzalez with the Cardinals down 5-3 in the eighth inning. There was one out and there was a runner on third base. With the infield in, Terry was able to induce a first-pitch groundout to second to keep the lead to two runs. Terry then retired the next batter on a fly ball to right field to send it to the ninth.
CF Ross Smith (.185) led-off the ninth with a towering home run to left center field to cut the lead to one run. Smith's 5th home run of the year came on 1-1 pitch and forced the Astros to bring in reliever David Martinez, who had not allowed a home run in more than thirty innings pitched this year.
1B Romulo Ruiz (.125), who last homered on June 26 when he was hitting .333, came into the game hitting just .114. Ruiz, with virtually all the odds against him, proceeded to hit his 4th home run to tie the game 5-5. The blast, pulled to left field on a 1-0 pitch, was a "no doubter" according to Astros broadcaster Steve Wilhoit.
The near-miracle come back was completed one out later by Obregon, who hit his 4th home run and who ended the game 3-for-5. The third solo home run of the inning gave the Cardinals their first lead of the game (6-5). Obregon's homer was pulled down the right field line and was fair by "just a couple of feet" according to Wilhoit's play-by-play.
Terry proceeded to collect his sixth win of the year (against no losses) by retiring the Astros in 1-2-3 fashion in the bottom of the ninth. Terry recorded two strikeouts in the ninth and retired all five batters he faced on 16 pitches (12 strikes, 3-for-5 first-pitch strikes). The win gave the Cardinals an amazing 13-3 record in one-run games this year.
Tuesday: The Astros jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st inning and never trailed in route to a "Military Appreciation Night" victory of 8-3. The victory gave the Astros a 2-1 series victory in Greeneville. The season series was won by the Cardinals (6-3).
Starter Cale Johnson (1-1, 4.20
ERA) suffered from a "tight strike zone" from home plate umpire Guss Curtis and
from two errors from SS Yunier Castillo (16th and 17th). Johnson threw 47 pitches (28 strikes,
7-for-15 first-pitch strikes) while recording only six outs. Johnson took his first loss at
All of the Cardinal runs came via the long ball in the fourth inning. 1B Romulo Ruiz (.125) took a 1-0 pitch over the left field wall for a two-run home run (his 5th). Two pitches later, Castillo (.272) got one of his three unearned runs back by hitting a solo shot (his 2nd) to right field. That would be the end of the scoring for the Cardinals on the night.
Reliever Jason Novak (0-1, 5.50 ERA) had his best Cardinal outing (2 IP, 4 K) before Angel De Jesus (0-1, 12.27 ERA) continued with his bad luck. The tall (6 foot, 6 inch) right hander allowed only one hard hit (double over CF Ross Smith's head) and really challenged the Astro hitters with his 35 pitches (26 strikes). De Jesus gave up two runs and three hits (including bunt and infield singles) over two innings pitched while striking out two.
Reliever David Kington (2-1, 3.30 ERA) had a rare bad outing (0.1 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 29 pitches) only to be bailed out of a bases-loaded situation by reliever Kyle Heim (0.2 IP, 2 K, 10 pitches). Smith (his 7th) and 2B Ted Obregon (his 10th) each had stolen bases.
Wednesday: This was the last of three scheduled off-days for the Appy League.
The Cardinals looked to have a
very tough opposing battery as they faced their last two third-round picks in
the First-Year Player Draft.
Through the first five innings, the Myers-Sample battery was the story of the game. Sample (two hits, three walks, one strikeout) held the Cardinals off the scoreboard while Myers hit his 1st professional home run off of starter Zach Russell (0-0, 2.19 ERA - pictured). Russell made only one mistake (solo home run) during his best outing of the year. Russell went five innings while allowing just one run on two hits (including a bloop single) while walking none and striking out five. Russell only needed 59 pitches (41 strikes) to record 15 outs.
The Royals took a 1-0 lead into the sixth inning when LF Rainel Rosario (.284) led off against Sample with a liner "up the middle past a diving shortstop" for a single. 3B Kleininger Teran (.270) followed that with a perfectly executed hit and run. The bases were loaded with nobody out after a six-pitch walk to DH Jonathan Rodriguez (.234). Unfortunately, a fielding error on a RF Edgar Lara (.246) groundball to first was all the damage the Cardinals could inflict on the Royals. Johnson City ended the inning with the bases loaded and the score tied 1-1 after a bases loaded strikeout (his 2nd of the game) from CF Ross Smith (.185), a shallow fly out from 1B Romulo Ruiz (.125), and a strikeout from C Travis Tartamella (.197).
After a good opening inning from Chris Notti (3-1, 4.72 ERA) and with Sample out of the game in the 7th inning, the Cardinals wasted no time jumping ahead by a score of 4-1. The big blow was a bases-loaded two-RBI double from Smith. It was the third time in the game that Smith came to the plate with the bases loaded. After two previous swinging strikeouts, Smith came through with a liner that was "just fair" down the left field line.
Notti came out of the game in the eighth inning after the Cardinal's third defensive error in three innings made the score 4-2. Notti recorded his third win and seven outs (five by groundball) on 32 pitches (22 strikes, 7-for-11 first-pitch strikes).
Reliever Aaron Terry (6-0, 2.35
ERA), came into the 4-2 game with a runner on third and one out in the bottom of
the eighth inning. Terry retired
both the batters he faced via swinging strikeouts on 11 total pitches. Terry opened the ninth with a 4-pitch
walk but proceeded to follow that with a 6-4-3 groundball double play and
another swinging strikeout to record his fourth save of the year.
DH Robert Stock (.323) started the scoring in the 1st inning with a solo home run (his 6th). However, starter Anthony Ferrara (2-1, 3.64 ERA) couldn't hold it long as he gave up two runs on two singles, a walk, two errors, a stolen base, and a wild pitch. The one-run Royals lead also didn't last long as the Cardinals tied it 2-2 in the 2nd inning on a C Audry Perez (.248) double (his 7th) and a two-out RBI single by SS Yunier Castillo (.272).
Michael Thompson (1-3, 7.63 ERA) got his first professional win by recording swinging strikeouts on five of the seven batters he faced over two innings. Relievers Jose Rada (4-0, 2.22 ERA) and David Kington (2-1, 3.31 ERA) each recorded scoreless and hitless innings to close out the 6-2 victory.
Saturday: Once again, there was no audio for this
game. The Cardinals lost this game
by a score of 5-3 despite out hitting the Royals 7-4. The big blow in the game was a
bases-loaded two-out triple by Royals' catcher Wil Myers against starter Randy
Santos (1-6, 4.87 ERA). Despite the
The Cardinals trailed 1-0 in the
first inning on a lead-off single, a stolen base, and a C Robert Stock (.323)
throwing error (his 4th) on the stolen base attempt. The lead ballooned to 4-0 in the third
The Cardinals scored one run during a brief ninth inning rally that came up two runs short (5-3 final score). Hector Alvarez (.267), who had two throwing errors in the game (his 11th and 12th), led off with a double (his 4th) and then scored on a 2B Ted Obregon (.301) RBI single.
Tandem Starting Pitchers
Listed below are the pairings for
RHP Reynier Gonzalez and RHP Andy Moss
RHP Cale Johnson (replaced Ortiz) and RHP Angel De Jesus (replaced Simpson)
RHP Chris Notti and RHP Zach Russell (replaced Smith)
LHP Anthony Ferrara and RHP Michael Thompson
Who's Hot (Hitters)
It is an all Latin American
edition of "Who's Hot (Hitters)" this week. The prospects from
C/DH Audry Perez (.248) was 6-for-13 (.462) this week with four runs, a double, a home run, one RBI, and five walks in 4 games. Perez had just three walks in his first 92 at bats this year. Perez has a .294/.294/.735/1.029 line against left-handed pitching and his hitting .351 in his last ten games (including ten runs and six extra base hits). Perez is now 7th in the league in home runs (7).
LF/CF Rainel Rosario (.284) was
9-for-25 (.360) with three runs, two doubles, a home run, and three RBIs in 6
games this week.
SS Yunier Castillo (.272) was 5-for-15 (.333) with two runs, a home run, and three RBIs in 4 games this week. Castillo is hitting .362 in August and .344 in his last ten games.
2B Ted Obregon (.301) was 9-for-28 (.321) with two runs, a double, a home run, two RBIs, and four stolen bases in 6 games this week. Obregon has a six-game hit streak and is hitting .400 with runners in scoring position.
3B Kleininger Teran (.270) was 8-for-26 (.308) with three runs, a double, and two RBIs in 6 games this week. Teran also has a six-game hit streak and is hitting .324 with runners on base.
Other performances of note:
· Edgar Lara (.246) had five walks in six games. Lara is 3rd in the league in games played (53) and home runs (8). Lara is 8th in doubles (14).
· Romulo Ruiz (.125) hit two home runs this week.
· Jonathan Rodriguez (.234) walked four times in three games.
· Ross Smith (.185) had two doubles and a home run this week.
Who's Not Hot (Hitters)
Edgar Lara (.246), Romulo Ruiz (.125), and Hector Alvarez (.267) all hit .200 or less this week.
Who's Hot (Starting Pitchers)
Zach Russell (0-0, 2.19 ERA) had a
very good appearance this week.
Russell allowed a 0.40 WHIP and recorded a 9.00 strikeout per
nine-innings pitched ratio over five innings. Russell, a 49th round pick in the 2007
First-Year Player Draft, is from
Chris Notti (3-1, 4.72 ERA) continues to turn into a groundball machine. Notti allowed no earned runs and just one hit over two and one third innings this week. His strikeout rate is lower but his overall numbers for August look great: 2-0, 0.55 ERA, 2.67 GO/AO, .209 average allowed.
Other starters with noteworthy statistics this week:
· Michael Thompson (1-3, 7.63 ERA) struck out five of the seven batters he faced. Thompson leads the league in holds (4).
· Reynier Gonzalez (2-4, 6.21 ERA) averaged 15.4 strikeouts per nine-innings pitched and recorded a 1.29 WHIP.
· Andy Moss (1-1, 1.54 ERA) averaged 10.8 strikeouts per nine-innings pitched and recorded a 1.20 WHIP and 0.00 ERA. Moss is leading the league in ERA, is 3rd in WHIP (0.99), and is 7th in holds (2).
Who's Hot (Relievers)
Reliever Aaron Terry (6-0, 2.35 ERA) continues to pitch like a closer. He is being brought into games in late-inning critical situations and continues to perform well. Terry recorded one win and one save in two games this week. Terry recorded a 0.30 WHIP while striking out five over three and one third innings pitched (13.5 strikeouts per nine-innings-pitched). Terry is 2nd in the league in wins (6), is 3rd in games (18), and is 8th in saves (4). Right-handed hitters are hitting just .074 against him. Most of their outs are groundballs (5.25 GO/AO for right-handed hitters). For the year, Terry has allowed a .169 average and 1.00 WHIP.
Reliever Jason Novak (0-1, 5.50 ERA) had his best week of the year. Novak pitched three scoreless and walk-free innings in two appearances while allowing just one hit (0.33 WHIP). Novak struck out five (15 strikeouts per nine-innings-pitched). Novak is 8th in the league in games (17).
Other relievers with noteworthy statistics this week:
· John Durham (1-1. 8.74 ERA) recorded a 0.60 WHIP.
· David Kington (2-1, 3.31 ERA) is leading the league in saves (8) by two saves and is 1st in both games finished (17) and games (19). Kington has not allowed a home run in 16.1 IP.
· Travis Lawler (1-1, 3.12 ERA) averaged 10.8 strikeouts per nine-innings pitched and recorded a 1.20 WHIP. Lawler is 3rd in the league in holds (3).
· Kyle Heim (0-1, 8.47 ERA) struck out both of the batters he faced.
· Jose Rada (4-0, 2.22 ERA) is 3rd in games (18) and 7th in holds (2).
Who's Not Hot (Pitchers)
Starters Patrick Daugherty (0-1, 7.71 ERA) and Cale Johnson (1-1, 4.20 ERA) recorded WHIPs of 2.33 or greater this week.
Reliever David Kington (2-1, 3.31 ERA) recorded a WHIP of 2.3 this week.
Final Twelve Games Schedule
Game 59 (Sun): Reynier Gonzalez followed by Andy Moss @ Danville Braves
Game 60 (Mon): Angel De Jesus followed by Cale Johnson @ Danville Braves
Game 61 (Tue): Zach Russell followed by Chris Notti @ Danville Braves
Game 62 (Wed): Michael Thompson followed by Anthony Ferrara vs. Elizabethton Twins
Game 32 (Thu, Game 1, Suspended
2-2 in the 5th): Randy Santos vs.
Game 63 (Thu, Game 2): Patrick Daugherty vs.
Game 33 (Fri, Game 1): Andy Moss vs.
Game 64 (Fri, Game 2): Reynier Gonzalez vs.
Game 65 (Sat): Cale Johnson followed by Angel De Jesus vs. Princeton Rays
Game 66 (Sun): Chris Notti followed by Zach Russell vs. Pulaski Mariners
Game 67 (Mon): Anthony Ferrara followed by Michael Thompson vs. Pulaski Mariners
Game 68 (Tue): Patrick Daugherty followed by Randy Santos vs. Pulaski Mariners
NOTE: Next week's weekly report will follow the last game on Tuesday September 1st.
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