The Dominican Summer League Cardinals had their longest week all year, having nine games on the schedule. The team took four of their first seven games to force a make up contest with the first-place Mariners. The Cards won the first but lost the second, ending their 2009 season. The Redbirds finished with a 46-27 record and one game out of first place, a great improvement over their 2008 mark of 27-39. They were 24-12 at home and 22-15 on the road.
To open the period, the Cardinals hosted the Mariners. The Redbirds used three pitched who dominated the M's hitters holding them scoreless the entire game. The Cardinals almost followed suit but managed to get two runners across in the fifth for a 2-0 victory.
The Cardinals had a doubleheader set up for against the Athletics in the next match up. The A's hosted the first game but the Redbirds starter came through with a complete game (seven-inning) performance. The Cardinals scored in the first and second and added on four more runs between the fourth and sixth innings. The Redbirds went on to win 6-2.
In the second game, the Cardinals jumped out in front first and that was all that was needed. The A's were held scoreless and could only connect for three hits as the Redbirds used two pitchers to shut down their opponents. The Cardinals shortstop came through with a 5-for-5 performance and even added a home run and the team capitalized on a pair of errors to beat the A's 8-0.
Holding onto a five-game winning streak, the Cardinals hosted the Phillies the day after the doubleheader. The Redbirds starting pitcher struggled, giving up four runs before his exit and the hitters had trouble knocking in runs. The Phils had a 6-3 lead heading into the ninth and ran up the score with three more runs to win 9-3.
The Cardinals then went on the road to visit the Mariners and hoped to take another game from them. The Redbirds took an early lead with a three-run shot by their left fielder and held the M's scoreless for the first five innings. Then the bullpen came in and gradually gave away the lead and later couldn't hold it together. Heading into extras, the Mariners scored one in the tenth and won the game 4-3.
The Cardinals hosted the Athletics in another doubleheader match up, this time with both games played on the Cards home field. The A's were all over the Redbirds from the start, pounding out seven runs in the first three frames and knocking their first two pitchers right out of the game. The Cardinals could not get anything going and the A's kept coming, driving in another five runs in the final two innings and winning 12-2 on ten hits.
Looking to extend their hot streak into the next game, the A's were stopped right away by the Cardinals. The Redbirds starter came through for the second time in four days to pitch another complete game (seven innings). The Cardinals hitting didn't go silent like last game either and collected ten hits and plated five runs while holding the A's to just four hits and no runs. With this win, the Cardinals forced another make up game against the division-leading Mariners.
The Cardinals went on the road to take on the Mariners in what would be a deciding game for whether there would be a play-in contest for the playoffs. The Cardinals scored first and the team's starter was impressive also, only giving up one run in the first four innings. The Redbirds called on their most productive arm during the season to finish off the game but he gave up the lead in the sixth. The Cardinals never gave up and scored another four runs to tie and in the end won 5-2 to force the play-in game.
Since the Cardinals took the season series from the Mariners, winning 13 of 25 games between the two, the game was played on the Redbirds home field. Unfortunately the M's came game-ready and knocked around the Cardinals staff in the second inning. The Mariners scored five runs in the second, capitalizing on errors, and their pitching shut down the Redbirds hitters completely. The Cardinals did score one run in the bottom of the ninth but the damage was already done as the M's went on to win 8-1.
Congratulations to the DSL Cardinals on a great 2009 campaign!
Who Ended Hot
Grabiel Hernandez was the only hitter to come through with ten plus hits in the final nine games. The 17-year old switch-hitter went 14-for- 35 (.400) with one double, one home run, one RBI, six runs, two walks, one hit by pitch, six stolen bases, two strikeouts, and one caught stealing/pickoff. He played all nine games at shortstop helping turn five double plays and committed four errors. The rookie DSL player lead the team in batting average, hits, runs, triples, total bases, stolen bases, OBP, SLG, OPS, and even errors.
Wader Perez ended the season getting on base in his final four games. The 19-year old switch-hitter went 10-for-36 (.278) with one double, three RBIs, five runs, five walks, and five strikeouts. He played all nine games at third base without committing an error. The second-year DSL player ends the season with a .275 batting average, eight doubles, two triples, 19 RBIs, 62 total bases, 33 runs, 30 walks, and 24 strikeouts in 51 games.
Roberto Reyes was the only Cardinals to club two home runs during this period and also lead the team in strikeouts. The 20-year old left-handed hitter went 5-for-20 (.200) with two home runs, five RBIs, six runs, five walks, one hit by pitch, two stolen bases, one sac fly, one sacrifice, and ten strikeouts. He played four games at first base (one double play and one fielding error), three in center field, and two in right. He finished second on the team in runs scored, third in hits, third in triples, tied for first in home runs, second in RBIs, third in total bases, first in walks, first in strikeouts, second in stolen bases, third in SLG, and third in OBP.
Oscar Taveras ended his season with a three-game on-base streak and led the team in RBIs during the week. The 17-year old left-handed hitter went 8-for-31 (.258) with two doubles, one triple, one home run, eight RBIs, three runs, three walks, one hit by pitch, one stolen base, and three strikeouts. He played six games in left field and three in center. The rookie DSL hitter was second on the team in hits, first in doubles, third in triples, first in RBIs, and second in total bases.
Victor Encanacion just barely finished the week under .300 and has his seven-game on-base streak ended on the final day of the season. The 19-year old right-handed hitter went 7-for-24 (.292) with two doubles, one RBI, four runs, five walks, two stolen bases, nine strikeouts, and one caught stealing/pickoff. He played four games in right field, three in center, and one game between the two where he had two outfield assists and assisted in one double play. The rookie DSL hitter ended the season with a .217 mark, was third on the team in doubles and tied for third in stolen bases.
Charllan Jimenez came through twice for the team as a starter and reliever during the week. The 19-year old right-hander made a start on August 20, only pitching three and two-thirds and allowing two hits, no runs, three walks, and striking out four. Then in the final game of the season he was called on to pitch the final five innings. The second-year DSL pitcher held his opponents to three hits, one earned run (solo home run), one walk, two hit batters, and struck out six. Jimenez finished the season with a 6-0 record, 2.14 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and one save.
Keury Herrera ended his season on a great note. The 18-year old left-hander pitched the final two and a third on August 18. He gave up only one hit, no runs, one walk, uncorked one wild pitch, and struck out three while holding all three inherited runners on base, and picking up his second winning decision of the season. The second-year DSL pitcher allowed eight hits, one earned run (solo home run), three walks, and struck out 12 over 9.1 innings for one win and one save in the month of August.
Alejandro Pinard was the only pitcher to hurl a complete game (seven innings) for the team and added on two more during this period. The 20-year old right-hander made his first start on August 18, pitching seven innings and giving up two hits, two unearned runs, one walk, hit one batter, struck out six and even assisted in one double play. His next seven inning complete game came on August 21 as he held his opponents scoreless only giving up four hits, striking out five, and picking off one runner for his sixth winning decision of the season. The third-year DSL pitcher finished the season with a 6-3 record, 3.65 ERA, three complete games (one shutout), one save, 45 strikeouts, and only nine walks over 56.2 innings.
Pedro Pena was successful in his final start of the season, which led to a play-in game for the Cardinals. The 18-year old left-hander tossed four innings and gave up three hits, one unearned run, two walks, and struck out five in the first game on August 22. The second-year DSL pitcher made 12 appearances (seven starts) posting a 1-2 record, 2.11 ERA, striking out 43, and walking 24 over 38.1 innings.
Eduard Estalis turned things around in the final week of the season. The 20-year old right-hander earned his ninth save of the season pitching the final two innings of the August 17th game in which he gave up one hit, no runs, and struck out three. The on August 19, he was called on to hold the bases loaded and pitch and extended outing. Estalis tossed 3.2 innings allowing seven hits, no runs, one walk, struck out two, picked off one runner, and held all three runners on. During the month of August, the second-year DSL pitcher made four relief appearances earning two saves and carrying an 0-1 record and 1.17 ERA.
Rosalin Rudecindo made two relief appearances but only one was for more than one batter. The 18-year old right-hander first pitched on August 19 walking in one run as he faced only one batter. Then in August 22's second game, he tossed four and a third scoreless giving up one hit, one walk, and striking out three. The rookie-DSL pitcher finished the season with an 0-1 record and 3.20 ERA in 11 games (two starts).
Christian Concepcion and Junior Astacio did not participate all season.
Victor Ferriera hadn't played since July 14 and Michael Avila since August 1.
Luis Pimentel only played in one game (August 15) since August 4.
Juan Cabrera joined Jose Pasen in Jupiter,
Word from Baseball Prospectus' Kiley McDaniel is that international free agent rumors are starting to get churning again. Keep an eye out since the Cardinals seem to sign a few or so players during the fall.
Dominican Summer League Stats
The Cardinals stayed even with a .250 batting average to end the season, just shy of the top ten. The team finished tied for first in doubles, tied for second in stolen bases, third in triples, fifth in total bases and SLG, seventh in runs scored, hits, and OPS, and ninth in walks.
The Cardinals pitching improved from 3.56 to 3.55 and their WHIP from 1.41 to 1.39. They finished tied for first in shutouts, tied for second in complete games, tied for fourth in saves, tied for fifth in home runs allowed, tied for sixth in wins, and sixth in strikeouts.
Grabiel Hernandez is in fifth in runs scored, tied for third in triples, and tied for eighth in total bases.
Oscar Taveras is tied for eighth in triples.
Roberto Reyes is eighth in strikeouts.
Alejandro Pinard is first in complete games and tied for second in shutouts.
Eduard Estalis is ninth in saves.
Cardinals Record vs. Opponents
Dominican Instructional League coming in the fall/winter...hopefully. Florida Fall Instructional league was canceled.
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