Springfield Cardinals Notebook: 2010 Week 4

After a 2-5 week, St. Louis' Double-A club has slipped 3 ½ games behind their divisional leader. Adron Chambers helped pace the offense while a FIP analysis raises some pitching questions.

Current Record: 13-12

Current Standing: Second, three and one-half games behind Northwest Arkansas (Kansas City)


Of Interest:

The club had a dismal week, going 2-5 and dropping three and one-half games out of first place.


Reliever Chuckie Fick was placed on the 7-day Disabled List on May 3rd with a right knee injury.  Francisco Samuel was brought up from Palm Beach to fill his roster slot. 


One of the stats being tracked this season is the gap between a pitcher's earned run average (ERA) and their Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP).  Nick Additon (5.26 ERA/5.03 FIP), Gary Daley Jr. (4.44/4.43), Shaun Garceau (4.00/3.72) and David Kopp (3.67/4.05) all have an ERA/FIP gap less than 0.40.  In the unlucky category with ERA's over a run higher than their FIP's are relievers Chuckie Fick (2.63 ERA/1.52 FIP) and Adam Reifer (5.59/1.65).  On the ‘Living Lucky' side are:  Thomas Eager (2.75 ERA/4.67 FIP), Scott Gorgen (1.21/3.44), Blake King (2.25/3.78), Ryan Kulik (3.93/5.27), Matt Meyer (2.70/6.35) and Eduardo Sanchez (0.68/3.35)


Andrew Brown did not start the May 2nd game although he did pinch hit.  That is the first rest day for Brown so far this season. 


Who's Hot: 

There were two really good candidates for the ‘Hot Hitter' of the week:  Adron Chambers and Pete Kozma.  Chambers hit .346/.414/.462/.875 or 9-for-26 with a double, a triple, three walks, three runs scored and a stolen base.  Kozma went .333/.400/.519/.919, 9-for-27, with two doubles, a home run, three walks, three runs scored and a team-leading eight runs batted in.


For the fourth consecutive week Scott Gorgen is the ‘Hot Pitcher' of the week.  Gorgen's two starts accounted for both of Springfield's wins for the week.  His line:  2 GS, 12.2 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 HR, 6 BB, 15 SO, 0.71 ERA, 3.28 FIP, .174 BAA.  An Honorable Mention goes to Shaun Garceau who tossed his second straight quality start although he remains winless this season.


Who's Not:  

Unfortunately, there were several candidates for the ‘Not Hitting' mention of the week.  However, catcher Steven Hill is the most noteworthy because of his position in the batting order.  Hill bats third and he did not get much done this week:  .200/.200/.350/.550, 4-for-20 with a team-leading six strikeouts. 


Gary Daley Jr.'s start on May 2nd was just plain painful.  The opposition hit .500 against him and knocked him out of the game in two and two-thirds innings.  Details are in the game summary below.


Game Summary:

Wednesday, 04/28/10 (H) - Northwest Arkansas (Kansas City) – Springfield took the third game of the four-game series, downing the Naturals 4-3.  Scott Gorgen (W, 4-0) won his fourth straight decision in four starts, allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits and a season-high four walks in five and two-thirds innings.  Gorgen struck out seven.  Eduardo Sanchez (S, 5) picked up a two-inning save and struck out three while giving up two hits.


Springfield tied it up at one all in the fourth inning when Jim Rapoport's single up the middle scored first baseman Curt Smith.  Smith got on base with a two-out double to right.  The Naturals re-took the lead in the fifth on a solo shot by outfielder Anthony Seratelli but Springfield scored three in their half of the frame to take the lead.  Antonio DeJesus' lead-off walk was cashed in after he was sacrificed to second and then scored on Colt Sedbrook's line-drive single to center.  Adron Chambers, who also walked, and Sedbrook scored the other two fifth-inning runs when the Naturals' first baseman, Ernesto Mejia, did his best Bill Buckner imitation and let Charles Cutler's single go through his legs.


Thursday, 04/29/10 (H) – Northwest Arkansas – What was a tight game turned into a ninth-inning blow-out as Northwest Arkansas took the final game 9-2.  David Kopp did not allow a run in his six innings of work, blanking the Naturals on four hits and three walks while striking out six.  He left the game with a 2-0 lead but that did not last long.  Blake King only retired one of the three batters he faced, giving up a lead-off home run and a one-out walk.  Thomas Eager relieved King and gave up a two-out single that tied the game.  The score remained tied until an absolutely heinous ninth when the Naturals blew the game open by scoring seven runs, all unearned. 


Closer Eduardo Sanchez (L, 1-1) began the inning by hitting the batter and wild pitching him to second.  A subsequent coaching visit did not help as he walked the next guy.  The third batter reached on Sanchez' throwing error which saw the go-ahead run score.  A force out at third temporarily kept the game close.  Matt Meyer then replaced Sanchez but that did not slow the scoring.  Andrew Brown's one-out throwing error allowed the next two runs to score.  A sacrifice fly scored the next run, after another single and a walk put that guy on third.  A three-run home run by Ernesto Mejia capped off the scoring    U-G-L-Y!

Jim Rapoport was 2-for-3 with a run batted in while Aaron Luna drove in the other run.  Pete Kozma, 1-for-3 with a double, and Brown, 1-for-4; each scored a run.


Friday, 04/30/10 (H)Tulsa (Colorado) – The Cardinals dropped the first game of four-game set, falling 7-5.  Shaun Garceau (L, 0-4) pitched well enough to win but did not.  Garceau gave up only two earned runs, four runs in all, in seven innings pitched.  He allowed six hits but dif not walk a batter while striking out five.  Ryan Kulik gave up a three-run home run in the eighth to account for the rest of the Drillers' scoring.


The bats did not muster much early, scoring two runs through eight innings, and scored too little, too late as they scored three runs in the ninth to fall short.  All of the ninth-inning runs came with two outs.  Daryl Jones went 1-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored out of the lead-off spot.  Steven Hill drove in two runs on two hits while Andrew Brown had a solo bomb in the second inning for his seventh home run of the season.


Saturday, 05/01/10 (H)Tulsa - Springfield dropped its third straight game, losing 7-2.  Nick Additon (L, 1-2) just did not have it as he allowed seven runs, all earned, on seven hits and two walks in just four innings.  Additon was the ‘victim' of the long ball, giving up a three-run home run in the third and two-run shot in the fourth. 

Springfield's only offense came in the sixth when Jim Rapoport led off the inning by reaching second on a throwing error and a subsequent passed ball.  After Antonio DeJesus walked, Charles Cutler's right-field single scored Rapoport and sent DeJesus  to third.  The next batter, Colt Sedbrook, also singled to right, scoring DeJesus.  But that was it for Springfield.


Sunday, 05/02/10 (H)TulsaTulsa took the third game in the series, 8-4.  Gary Daley Jr. (L, 2-2) did not make it into the fifth inning for the second consecutive time.  In fact, Daley did not make it out of the third inning this time.  He gave up five runs, all earned, on seven hits and three walks in two and two-thirds innings.  None of the seven hits allowed were of the home run variety.  Ryan Kulik finished the third but allowed a solo shot in the fourth.  Thomas Eager pitched two scoreless innings and was just shy of perfection by a walk.  Adam Reifer gave up two runs, both earned, on four hits in his two innings and Eduardo Sanchez pitched a scoreless ninth just to get some work in.


Adron Chambers did what lead-off guys are supposed to do: get on base.  He went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.  More impressive was that the lefty-hitting Chambers was 2-for-3 with a walk against Tulsa's lefty starter.  Unfortunately, the two and three hitters, Colt Sedbrook and Steven Hill, were both 0-fer so the offensive damage came from clean-up hitter Curt Smith.  Smith came up in the first with Chambers on and two outs and hit a home run to center.  He liked it so much that he did the identical thing again in the fifth inning.  Aaron Luna and Pete Kozma both went 2-for-4 but their hits did not lead to a run. 


Monday, 05/03/10 (H)TulsaSpringfield's pitching and hitting finally coordinated and they won the final game of the series, 7-0.  Scott Gorgen (W, 5-0), continued to be the staff ace, dominating an offense that had scored 22 runs in the previous 27 innings.  Gorgen shut out the Drillers on just three hits over seven innings.  He walked two and struck out eight.  Blake King and Matt Meyer each tossed a scoreless frame to finish out the game.


It was a scoreless game going into the bottom of the third when Springfield plated five runs to blow the game open.  All of Springfield's third-inning runs came with two outs.  Daryl Jones doubled to right and Jim Rapoport walked.  That brought up Andrew Brown and he drove one over the centerfield wall.  Curt Smith walked and Charles Cutler doubled him to third.  Pete Kozma's line-drive single to center scored both runners.  Springfield's other two runs were complements of Pete Kozma as well.  Kozma came up in the eighth with Charles Cutler aboard and hit a two-run bomb to left. 


Tuesday, 05/04/10 (A) – Northwest Arkansas – Springfield mirrored the parent club by falling in extra innings, 7-6 in 11.  David Kopp went six innings, allowing four runs, all earned, on ten hits and three walks.  Ryan Kulik gave up a solo home run in his only inning of work while Francisco Samuel made his Double-A debut for the season in the eighth.  Samuel did not allow a hit but did give up an unearned run due to a fielding error by shortstop Pete Kozma.  Thomas Eager (L, 0-1) took the loss in his third inning of work.  The 11th began with Eager inducing a ground out only to walk the next batter.  Matt Meyer relieved Eager and walked the bases full, one of the walks being intentional due to runners advancing on a passed ball.  A single then ended the contest.


Springfield's big bat of the night was Pete Kozma who went 4-for-5 out of the seven hole with a double, a run scored and four more runs driven in.  Third baseman Andrew Brown was 2-for-4 with a walk and three runs scored in the clean-up spot while Steven Hill went 2-for-6 with a solo home run and two runs scored.




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