Outfielder Jim Rapoport has been leading a quiet Springfield offense as they fight to remain in first place in the Texas League North.
Current Record: 11-7
Current Standing: Tied for first with Northwest
Arkansas (Kansas City), three games ahead of Arkansas
Of Interest: If you follow the Springfield Cardinals
and you are not reading Kary Booher's excellent coverage of them at The Springfield News-Leader, then the
question arises: ‘Why not?' Last Wednesday, the 22nd, he
had an excellent article on the Springfield bullpen which is well worth the
read (and includes some dandy action shots): link
Jim Rapoport's BABIP for the past
two weeks is .500 which is no surprise when you look at his offensive numbers
for that time. (See ‘Who's
Many of the Cardinals ‘qualified'
for the ‘Not' mention this week as the offensive numbers over the past two weeks
are fairly offensive. Eight of the
twelve position players hit .250 or lower.
Springfield's pitching staff is among the
league leaders with a 2.92 ERA.
Three of the five starters have an earned run average under 3.50 with the
other two starters being over 4.00.
Their FIP is a different story.
Listed below is each starter followed by their ERA and then their
Nick Additon (3.32 - 4.31),
Gary Daley Jr. (2.91 -
Shaun Garceau (4.50 -
Scott Gorgen (1.59 - 3.55)
David Kopp (4.20 - 3.87)
Who's Hot: Jim Rapoport is hitting
.394/.459/.576/1.035 in 33 at bats over the past two weeks. During that timeframe, Rapoport has been
hitting primarily in the lead-off or five spot in the order. Unfortunately, most of his teammates are
ice cold so Rapoport has scored only six runs and driven in three. It is hard to either score runs or drive
them in when few others are hitting and getting on base.
Scott Gorgen continues to get the
results, going 2-0 with 12 strikeouts in 12 innings over two starts. He had a 1.08 WHIP and held the
opposition to a .196 average. The
gap between his FIP (3.55) and his ERA (1.96), however, indicates that he is
getting some help from his fielders.
Who's Not: Daryl Jones hit a measly
.182/.308/.242/.550 in 33 at bats in the last two weeks. Jones hits mainly in the seven slot and
has a .222 BABIP for that period.
Shaun Garceau's two starts over
the past two weeks were like night and day. The first was pretty bad while the
second was his best of the season to date.
The combination of those starts led to the following numbers: 0-1, 6.10 ERA, 4.17 FIP, 10.1 IP, 12 H,
7 R, 7 ER, 1 HR, 5 BB, 9 SO, 1.65 WHIP.
(A) – Tulsa (Colorado) – One of the signs of a team that is
‘clicking on all cylinders' is when they get production from unexpected
places. Well, in Thursday's
contest, unexpected production came from the Cardinals' starter, Gary Daley
Jr. Daley (W, 2-0) not only tossed
six and two-thirds quality innings for the 5-4 win but his first professional
hit was a two-run home run in the top of the second inning. Daley had more strikeouts (six) than
hits (five) and his home run came against lefty Brandon Durden (L, 0-2),
fourth-round pick from the 2005 draft.
Matt Meyer came on in the seventh inning with runners on the corners and
two outs to induce a ground out to second by fellow lefty Jeff Kindel. Eduardo Sanchez (S, 4) cleaned up Adam Reifer's eighth-inning jam by inducing a 6-4-3 double-play ball with two on and
two runs in. He pitched a perfect
Pete Kozma hit a one-out double
and subsequently scored on Steven Hill's single to initiate the scoring in the
first inning. Kozma went 2-for-4
with the aforementioned run scored and a walk from the two hole. Right fielder Aaron Luna did his best
Gary Daley Jr. impression when he smashed a two-run home run in the top of the
third that scored Andrew Brown.
Luna went 2-for-3 and was hit once.
Kozma and Luna were the only Cardinals with multi-hit
(A) – Tulsa – Springfield edged
Tulsa 4-3 as
starter Scott Gorgen continues to impress.
Gorgen (W, 3-0) allowed just four hits and two walks over seven innings
while striking out eight. Tulsa's only run off
Gorgen came in the bottom of the fourth when Drillers' catcher Willen Rosario
hit a two-out solo shot over the left field wall. The Cardinals got to Bruce Billings (L,
1-1) in the first inning when Adron Chambers singled to lead off the game and
subsequently scored on Steven Hill's one-out ground out.
Springfield broke the tie game in the sixth
when Steven Hill drew a one-out walk.
Hill advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored the tie-breaker when
Andrew Brown singled to left. The
next batter was right fielder Jim Rapoport and his two-run home run chased
Tulsa closed the gap in the eighth off
Chuckie Fick who allowed two runs on a lead-off walk, triple and ground
out. Fick settled down to strike
out the remaining two batters he faced. Adam Reifer collected his second
save of the year by striking out the side in the ninth. Springfield's big hitters were Brown, 3-for-4
with a run scored and an RBI, and Rapoport who went 2-for-3 with the
aforementioned home run.
(A) – Tulsa – The Cardinals took
the third- of the four-game series 11-4, a game that saw a combined 21 hits and
four errors. David Kopp (W, 2-0)
gave up all four runs scored by the Drillers, three of them earned, on five
hits, three walks and a hit batsman in six innings. The hit-by-pitch came with one out in
the bottom of the first and the runner advanced to second on a ground out. A passed ball by Steven Hill resulted in
the runner at third and he then scored on a single to tie the game at one. Kopp threw 86 pitches in all, 55 of them
for strikes. Blake King and Thomas Eager combined on three hits and two walks over the final three frames and King
struck out three.
Pete Kozma had a big day at the
plate, going 3-for-6 with two runs scored.
Two of his three hits were for extra bases; a double and a three-run home
run. Both extra base hits were off
starter. Steven Hill went 3-for-5
with a walk, a run scored and four runs batted in. Left-handed hitting Jim Rapoport led off
and went 2-for-5 with a walk and two runs scored but was only 1-for-4 against
(A) – Tulsa – Tulsa avoided the four-game sweep by nipping
the Cardinals 4-3 in 11 innings.
Shaun Garceau had his best outing of the season, by far, holding
through six on five hits and one walk against five strikeouts. Garceau left the game with a 2-0 lead
but the Springfield bullpen could not hold the
lead. Chuckie Fick started the
eighth inning, after Ryan Kulik tossed a scoreless seventh, and this is what
transpired: catcher's interference,
single, single (score), sac bunt (score), fly out, pop out. The damage was done. But the Cardinals' bullpen was given
another chance to deliver a win when the Cardinals re-took the lead in the top
of the ninth but, alas, it was not to be.
Springfield closer Eduardo Sanchez
suffered his first blown save of the year when he gave up a lead-off home run to
a light-hitting shortstop that is currently hitting below the Mendoza line. Matt Meyer (L, 0-1) eventually gave up
the winning run in the 11th inning when he retired only one of the
five batters he faced.
Springfield's first run of the game came in
the third when switch-hitting Shaun Garceau turned around to the right and drew
a lead-off walk. He eventually
scored on a Charles Cutler ground out.
Andrew Brown's only hit was a solo shot in the sixth that temporarily put
2-0. He also walked twice. Adron
Chambers went 2-for-4 with a double and a key walk. That walk led to Springfield's final run of
the game when Aaron Luna singled home Chambers to put the Cardinals back
ahead. Regular clean-up hitter
Steven Hill was given his first game off of the season.
(H) – Northwest
Arkansas (Kansas City) – Springfield came home to take on the Naturals in a
four-game series that was billed as a contest between the pitching staff with
the league's best earned run average in Springfield (2.72) and the league's best
team offense in Northwest Arkansas (.280).
Well, bats beat arms in this contest as the Cardinals fell 6-2. Nick Additon (L, 1-1) went six innings
but fell prey to the big inning when he allowed the Naturals to score three runs
in the third inning. Additon lacked
control as well, walking four and hitting the Naturals' big bag, Mike
Moustakas. Thomas Eager effectively
put the game out of reach by giving up three additional runs on three hits and a
walk in his two innings of work.
Springfield's offense only mustered three
hits the entire game, one of them being Aaron Luna's third inning home run with
no one aboard. Springfield's other run
came in the eighth when Luna got a lead-off walk and advanced to third on Curt Smith's double. Luna subsequently
scored on a groundout by Colt Sedbrook.
(H) – Northwest
Arkansas – Springfield lost its third consecutive game,
falling to the Naturals 6-2. Gary
Daley Jr. (L, 2-1) went just four innings, allowing five runs, three earned, on
six hits and two walks. His final
inning was particularly brutal due to two errors, both by second baseman Colt
Sedbrook, that led to two unearned runs.
Another unearned scored off Chuckie Fick in the eighth inning due to a
passed ball by Steven Hill. Edgar Osuna, the Naturals' starter pitched too well for Springfield to be able to make errors and still
win the game. Solo shots by Hill
and Andrew Brown were the first earned runs scored off Osuna in 23 innings
pitched. Jim Rapoport was the only
Cardinal with more than one hit. He
went 2-for-4 with a double in the lead-off spot but lack of timely hitting led
to zero results.
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