Springfield Cardinals Notebook: 2010 Week 11

Aaron Luna and Scott McGregor were hot for the St. Louis Cardinals' Double-A club this past week as the first half ended with a second-place finish.

Final First-Half Record:  38 - 32 

Final First-Half Standing:  Second, four games behind Northwest Arkansas (Kansas City)


Of Interest:


There was some roster activity this week, all of it related to pitching.  Matt Meyer, Springfield's sole lefty reliever, was released on Wednesday, the 16th, and Eduardo Sanchez was activated from the 7-day Disabled List.  On Father's Day reliever Casey Mulligan was DL'ed and Ryan Kulik returned to Springfield from Memphis to go back into the rotation.  Finally, on Monday Springfield lost two of their starters when David Kopp and Chuckie Fick were promoted to Memphis.  They were replaced by two starters from Palm Beach, Mark Diapoules and Scott McGregor.  Both of the newby starters won their Double-A debuts.


Further on the Springfield rotation:  with the return of Ryan Kulik and promotion of Mark Diapoules and Scott McGregor, there are six starters for five slots.  Kulik, Diapoules and McGregor are safe bets to remain in the rotation.  That leaves Nick Additon, Gary Daley, Jr. and Brian Broderick battling it out for two spots.  Broderick is new to Double-A and has done nothing to lose his place in the rotation.  Both Additon's and Daley's performances have been uneven.  Additon is a lefty while Daley is a righty but the decision will come down to each pitcher's projected future.  Of course, it is entirely possible that some injury, real or manufactured, will arise and take care of the excess.


Outfielder Aaron Luna was named the Texas League Player of Week for the week ending 06/20/10.  Not coincidentally, Luna receives the Hot nod this week although the week covered by this report ends on 06/22/10.


Speaking of honors coming Springfield's way, Eduardo Sanchez has been named to the 2010 Futures game which will be held in conjunction with the All-Star game in Anaheim. Sanchez is holding opposing batters to a .232 average and has a 3.28 FIP with a .263 BABIP.  He also has 11 saves this season.  That is good for second place in the league, behind San Antonio's Craig Italiano who has 14.  Italiano turns 24 next month while Sanchez turned 21 in February. 


Who's Hot:


Scott McGregor's Double-A debut was a beauty!  McGregor's line:  1-0, 7.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO, 0 HR, 0.00 ERA, 2.29 FIP, 0.65 WHIP, .154 BAA, .182 BABIP, 5:1 K/BB.  Check out the 6/22/10 game summary for the details.


Outfielder Aaron Luna had his best week of the season:  .385/.529/.846/1.376, 10-for-26, 3 2B, 3 HR, 9 R, 11 RBI, 6 BB, 4 SO, .316 BABIP, .462 ISO.  Honorable mention goes to catcher Tony Cruz who went .423/.516/.577/1.093, 11-for-26, 4 2B, 9 R, 3 RBI, 5 BB, 2 SO, .375 BABIP, .154 ISO.  Defensively, Cruz had four errors.  Ouch!


Who's Not:


Gary Daley Jr. has been making the ‘Not' nod fairly easy recently.  Daley gets this notice for the third consecutive week.  His line:  0-1, 5.1 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 5 BB, 2 SO, 1 HR, 11.80 ERA, 6.38 FIP, 2.62 WHIP, .360 BAA, .310 BABIP, 0.40 K/BB


Third baseman Matt Carpenter has plunged into the freezer.  He went .226/.286/.290/.576, 7-for-31, 2 2B, 4 R, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 9 SO, .182 BABIP, .065 ISO.


Game Summaries:


Wednesday, 06/16/10 (H) – versus Arkansas (LAA)  won 10-3

The Cardinals won the final game of their eight-game home stand, downing Arkansas 10-3.  Chuckie Fick, in what he likely hopes was his last Double-A start, gave up just one run, earned, on three hits and three walks in five and one-third innings.  Fick (W, 2-0) struck out seven.  Casey Mulligan and Thomas Eager combined for two and two-thirds innings of shut out ball.  Eduardo Sanchez showed some rust in his first appearance since coming off the disabled list, giving up two runs on a single, triple and sacrifice fly in the ninth inning.


Springfield came up in the bottom of the first, trailing 1-0 but scored two to take a 2-1 lead.  Tony Cruz hit a one-out double to right and came home on Steven Hill's two-out double to center.  A line drive single to left by Tyler Henley plated Hill.  Springfield scored an unearned run in the sixth when Jose Garcia reached on an error with two outs.  He scored on Antonio DeJesus' triple for a 5-1 advantage.  The Cardinals scored another three in the seventh when Matt Carpenter led off with a double, Steven Hill walked and Tyler Henley singled to score Carpenter.  Hill and Henley advanced on a wild pitch and both scored on Aaron Luna's double to center.  Springfield's final two runs came with two outs in the eighth when Tony Cruz and Matt Carpenter both singled and subsequently scored on Tyler Henley's single up the middle.  Cruz and Henley each had three hits while Carpenter and Garcia had two apiece. 



Thursday, 06/17/10 (A) – versus Northwest Arkansas (Kansas City)  won 12-9

Thursday saw the beginning of an eight-game road trip to Arkansas, including a crucial four-game series against first place Northwest Arkansas.  Springfield won the opener in a 12-9 slugfest.  David Kopp had his shortest outing of the season, lasting just four innings while giving up five runs, earned, on seven hits and three walks including a three-run first-inning home run.  Kopp threw 80 pitches in all, 40 for strikes.  Blake King began the fifth and was simply terrible:  walk-K swinging-hit by pitch-walk-coaching visit-walk (run)-sacrifice fly (run #2)-single (run #3)-single (run #4)-finally a pitching change.  Jason Buursma (W, 2-0) was not scored upon in his two and one-third innings of work, allowing just one hit and getting one strikeout.  Francisco Samuel gave up just a two-out single in his eighth-inning stint while Adam Reifer (S, 5) pitched a perfect ninth.

Springfield scored three runs in each of the first three innings of the game to take a 9-4 lead after three.  By the end of the fifth, however, the score was tied at nine all until the Cardinals broke the tie in the eighth and added two more in the ninth for the final tally.  Tyler Henley's three-run home run got things going for Springfield in the first while Daryl Jones duplicated that feat in the second and Aaron Luna did the same in the third.  Jose Garcia singled to right to lead off the eighth and eventually scored on a fielding error by the Naturals' shortstop, Chris McConnell.  Aaron Luna then hit his second home run of the game in the ninth with Tyler Henley aboard.  Luna went 3-for-4 with a walk, two home runs, two runs scored and five driven in.  Tyler Henley went 3-for-5 with a home run, two runs scored and three driven in.  Toney Cruz, Steven Hill and Jose Garcia each had two hits.



Friday, 06/18/10 (A) – versus Northwest Arkansas    Lost 8-7

The Cardinals' hopes for clinching a first-half berth all but ended with an 8-7 loss in 10 innings.  Springfield's pitching staff simply did not hold up their end of the game and starter Nick Additon led the way.  Additon gave up four runs, earned, on seven hits and a walk, in just five innings.  Three of the seven hits Additon allowed were solo bombs.  Yet Additon left the game with a 5-4 lead which Thomas Eager held in his sole inning of work,  Soon-to-be DL'd Casey Mulligan, however, was not so fortunate.  Mulligan (BS, 1) gave up three runs, earned, on four hits including Mike Moustakas' second solo shot of the game to allow the Naturals to tie the game.  Eduardo Sanchez pitched a perfect eighth while Blake King worked around back-to-back two-out walks to keep the game tied in the ninth.  King (L, 2-1) still did not have command of his pitches in the 10th and it cost him and the Cardinals.  King issued a two-out walk and then wild pitched the runner to second.  An intentional free pass to Moustakas set up the force play but a single to left finished the game.


Trailing 2-0, Springfield tied the game in the second on a one-out solo home run by Tyler Henley that was followed by an Aaron Luna single.  Curt Smith's sharp double to left scored Luna.  The Cardinals added two more in the fourth to take a 4-2 lead on a lead-off double by Tyler Henley that was followed by Aaron Luna's eleventh home run of the year.  Back-to-back singles by Daryl Jones and Tony Cruz paid off in the fifth when Matt Carpenter's sacrifice fly to left scored Jones for a 5-3 lead.  Springfield's final two runs of the game came in the seventh when Steven Hill's bases loaded single scored Jones and Cruz who had reached base on a single and intentional walk, respectively. 



Saturday, 06/19/10 (A) – versus Northwest Arkansas   Lost 11-8

Gary Daley Jr. was Dr. Jekyll on the mound as Springfield lost 11-8.  Daley, (L, 3-8) gave up seven runs, earned, on nine hits and five strikeouts in five and one-third innings.  It should be pointed out, however, that Daley had allowed three runs through five but could not get out of the sixth.  Jason Buursma (BS, 1) replaced Daley with two runs across two runners on, only to plate both of Daley's runners plus four of his own in one and two-thirds innings.  Those runs came on the six hits and a wild pitch allowed by Buursma.  Francisco Samuel gave up a hit in a scoreless ninth.


Scoring eight runs should be enough to win a game but not this one.  Lead-off hitter Daryl Jones went 3-for-5 with a double, two runs scored and another driven in.  Designated hitter Tyler Henley went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a run scored and a run driven in.  Right fielder Aaron Luna went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and two runs scored while Jose Garcia was 2-for-4 with a run scored and another driven in.



Sunday, 06/20/10 (A) – versus Northwest Arkansas  won 7-6

Ryan Kulik made a successful return to Double-A as Springfield downed Northwest Arkansas 7-6 to split the four-game series.  Kulik (W, 5-1) tossed seven and one-third innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on five hits and four walks.  He struck out three.  Kulik shut out the Naturals through seven but opened the eighth with a single and a walk.  Kulik then got a fly out which allowed a runner to advance to third.  The Naturals' first run then scored on Curt Smith's fielding error and Kulik exited the game with a 7-1 lead.  Thomas Eager entered with runners on second and third and one out.  He gave up two doubles which scored Kulik's runners and one of his own.  Eager exited with a 7-4 lead and a runner at second.  Adam Reifer came into the game and got a 4-3 ground out as the runner went to third.  A single then scored Eager's runner while a hit-by-pitch and another single scored a run against Reifer. Six runs had scored by the time Reifer got the final out of the inning.  Eduardo Sanchez (S, 10) allowed one hit in the ninth for his tenth save of the season.


The Cardinals scored a run in the second, two in the third and three in the fourth with the final run coming in the fifth.  Pete Kozma went 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and two runs scored out of the lead-off spot.  Tony Cruz' sole hit of the game was a big two-run double in the fifth while Matt Carpenter, Curt Smith, Adron Chambers and Antonio DeJesus each drove in a run. 


Monday, 06/21/10 (A) – versus Arkansas (LAA)   won 11-4

Springfield took the opening game of the four-game series 11-4.  Mark Diapoules (W, 1-0) pitched well enough to win his Double-A debut.  He allowed three runs, two earned, on two hits and four walks to go with six strikeouts.  All three runners that scored against Diapoules got on base without a hit.  Diapoules hit two batters to lead off the second.  One of the hit batsmen came around to score Arkansas' first run of the game.  Two of his four walks allowed came back-to-back to lead off the third inning, one of which subsequently scored on a double.  The second of the free passes failed to score when he was thrown out at the plate by left fielder Adron Chambers.  A fourth-inning lead-off walk scored Arkansas' third run of the game.  Blake King allowed a solo bomb in the second of his two innings of work.  Thomas Eager struck out three and gave up a single in the eighth while Francisco Samuel worked around two walks, a wild pitch and a hit batsman to pitch a scoreless ninth.


Springfield drew first blood in the top of the first when Aaron Luna's two-out single to center scored Tony Cruz who had singled to center as well.  They broke the game open with a five-run third inning.  Aaron Luna's work with the sacks full forced in the inning's first run and Adron Chambers cleared the bases with a right-field triple for three more runs.  Pete Kozma drove in Chambers with a single up the middle but was caught stealing.  The Cardinals added another run in the fourth on doubles to left by Tony Cruz and Curt Smith.  Mike Folli's lead-off walk in the fifth led to another run when he went to second on a walk to Antonio DeJesus and scored on Daryl Jones' ground out and the subsequent throwing error by Arkansas' first baseman.  Two more runs came across in the sixth when Luna walked to open the inning, advanced to second on a single by Chambers and came home on a single to left by Kozma.  Chambers then scored on back-to-back wild pitches.   Springfield scored their final run of the non-contest a walk to Daryl Jones forced in Kozma who had walked himself.


Aaron Luna went 1-for-3 with three walks and two runs scored, Adron Chambers went 3-for-6 with a triple, two runs scored and three driven in, Pete Kozma went 2-for-5 with a run scored, a walk and two runs driven in, Matt Carpenter went 3-for-6 with a run scored.  Tony Cruz, Curt Smith and Mike Folli had two hits apiece.


Tuesday, 06/22/10 (A) – versus Arkansas

The Cardinals defeated the Travelers 5-2 behind Scott McGregor's Double-A debut performance.  McGregor (W, 1-0) did not allow an earned run in seven and two-thirds innings and just two unearned runs overall.  Arkansas mustered just four hits and a walk while striking out five times.  McGregor threw 82 pitches, 56 for strikes.  The Travelers did not score their first run until the seventh inning when Jeremy Moore led off the inning with a single.  The key play, however, was a one-out fielding error by second baseman Jose Garcia that allowed Moore to advance to third.  He then scored on a sacrifice fly.  The second unearned run scored in the eighth when McGregor issued his only free pass of the evening.  It came with two outs and led to a pitching change.  Adam Reifer entered and gave up a single to right.  But the runner was able to score on that play due to a throwing error by right fielder Tyler Henley.  Reifer then struck out Moore looking to end the inning.  Eduardo Sanchez (S, 11) worked around two singles to record his 11th save of the season.


The game was deadlocked at zero until the top of the fifth when Springfield was able to capitalize on Travelers' starter Jeremy Thorne's control problems.  Thorne (L, 2-4) had walked three batters in four innings but had dodged damage.  In the fifth he issued three consecutive passes to Daryl Jones, Pete Kozma and Matt Carpenter that forced in Jose Garcia to break the deadlock.  Garcia had the inning's only hit, a one-out double to left.  The Cardinals chased Thorne from the game in the sixth inning when Aaron Luna opened the inning with yet another walk, advanced to second on a single by Adron Chambers and then to third on Curt Smith's fly out to center.  Jose Garcia's single to right scored Luna and ended Thorne's night.  A two-out single to left by Kozma scored Chambers and Garcia.  Kozma scored the game's final run when he led off the ninth with a walk.  He stole second, advanced to third on one wild pitch with Steven Hill batting and scored on another wild pitch while Tyler Henley was at the plate.     



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