Memphis Redbirds Notebook: 2010 Week 20

The Memphis Redbirds went 5-2 on the week and are now 1 1/2 games off the lead in the PCL American North. Lance Lynn has won five of his last six starts. In seven games, Mark Hamilton hit four home runs and drove in nine while Joe Mather batted .500.


This report covers the seven-day period from Thursday, August 19 through Wednesday, August 25.


Manager Chris Maloney's defending Pacific Coast League champion club is now at 73-59 overall after a 5-2 week. In the process, the Redbirds picked up one game in the standings and are tied for second place, just 1 ½ games behind the Iowa Cubs in the American North Division.


The Redbirds finished their 3-1 home series against Salt Lake with a pair of wins on Thursday and Friday. In a crucial four-game road series at Omaha, the two clubs alternated wins and losses. Before holding the Royals to two runs in the finale, Memphis pitchers yielded 28 runs over the first three games but still won one of the three. On Wednesday, Round Rock arrived at AutoZone Park for five games and the Redbirds took game one.


During the period, wins went to relievers Rich Rundles (6-1) and Nate Robertson (2-1), but Lance Lynn was tops as he earned a pair of victories. Brandon Dickson (10-8) picked up his first "W" since July 2. Josh Kinney (11) logged two saves and before he returned to St. Louis, Fernando Salas collected save number 19. Losses were taken by starters Oneli Perez (2-6) and P.J. Walters (7-5).


Who's Hot


With a 3-1 win on Wednesday to close the week, Lance Lynn picked up victory number 12 on the season. That ties him for the second-most in a single season in Redbirds history. He is 5-1 over his last six starts.


Surprisingly, first baseman Mark Hamilton moved into the team lead when hitting his 13th home run of the year on Tuesday. Hamilton had four long balls in the seven games this week to go along with nine RBI and six runs scored.


Outfielder Amaury Cazana has two home runs and four RBI in his last four games.


Shortstop Tyler Greene is 13-for-35 (.371) in eight games since being optioned out from St. Louis on August 17.


Outfielder Joe Mather is 15-for-30 (.500) with six extra-base hits, six runs scored and seven RBI in his last seven games.


Outfielder Jim Rapoport is 8-for-25 with three doubles and four RBI in his last seven games.


Catcher Matt Pagnozzi has a five-game hitting streak, during which he is hitting .333 (6-for-18).


In five games since being optioned out, outfielder Nick Stavinoha is 8-for-23 (.348) with two home runs and six RBI. He is batting .400 with 24 RBI in his 18 games with the Redbirds this season.


Closer Josh Kinney has converted 11 consecutive save opportunities.


Who's Not


Third baseman Ruben Gotay is 1-for-14 over his last four games.


After two strong starts, P.J. Walters allowed six earned runs in 2 2/3 innings on Tuesday, raising his second-half ERA to 5.72.


Since coming off the disabled list, Evan MacLane has allowed seven earned runs in nine innings over two starts.


On the Move


Major changes in the relief corps occurred this past week with eight pitchers either coming or going.


St. Louis reliever Jason Motte arrived in Memphis on Wednesday to begin a rehab assignment. He was rusty in his initial outing, allowing three baserunners and a run while getting just two outs. Motte, who appeared in a team-record 63 games in 2008, is scheduled to pitch again on Friday.


The club ended their contracts with two former Florida Marlins left-handed relievers as Renyel Pinto was released on Saturday and Nate Robertson departed two days later.


Another lefty was shipped out as Ryan Kulik was returned to Double-A Springfield last Thursday. He appeared in six games, four starts and yielded 21 runs, but just nine earned, in 20 innings for a 4.05 ERA. Control was an issue as he walked 21 while striking out only four.


Veteran righty Andrew Brown (oblique) was activated off the disabled list last Thursday and immediately released.


Despite uninspiring numbers with Springfield, lefty Tyler Norrick was added to the bullpen on Wednesday. He began the season with Memphis, posting a 9.00 ERA over the first month before suffering an injury.


Right-handed reliever Matt Scherer returned to the team on Monday. He had been on a rehab assignment with Palm Beach after going on the Redbirds DL on June 19.


Righty Fernando Salas was called up to St. Louis for the sixth time this season on Tuesday. The 25-year-old has pitched in 13 games for the Cardinals this year posting a 2.35 ERA.


First baseman Mark Hamilton returned from the birth of his child and was reactivated from the temporary inactive list on Thursday.


Outfielder Nick Stavinoha was returned from St. Louis last Friday.


On the Mend


Outfielder Adron Chambers took a pitch to the jaw and was placed on the disabled list last Thursday.


Right-handed reliever Pete Parise (shoulder surgery – out for the season) and outfielder Shane Robinson (shoulder separation - out for the season) remain on the disabled list.


Pacific Coast League leaders


Ruben Gotay is tied for the league lead in walks with 88. Jon Nunnally set the franchise mark in 2003 with 98 free passes. Gotay's on-base mark of .411 is also second-best in the PCL. No other Redbirds rank among the top ten in the PCL in any significant offensive categories.


Despite his six St. Louis "interruptions" this season, Fernando Salas is third in the league with 19 saves.


Brandon Dickson's 3.25 ERA is fifth-best among qualifiers while his 155 innings on the mound is fourth-most in the PCL. His 121 strikeout total is third-best.


Lance Lynn has yielded 19 long balls, tied for seventh-most in the league. His 153 innings is seventh-highest in the PCL. Lynn is second with 123 strikeouts, fourth in the league in walks issued at 57 and tied for ninth in hit batters with eight.


Team stats and rankings – Season to date


The colors pretty much tell the story of the week. The offense led the way while the pitching generally held their ground.


Offense Last week PCL rank This week PCL rank
YTD # of 16 # of 16
BA 0.271 11th 0.274 9th
Runs 644 9th 689 6th
OPS 0.754 12th 0.763 11th
Doubles 222 T12th 239 10th
HR 109 9th 119 9th


Pitching Last week PCL rank This week PCL rank
YTD # of 16 # of 16
ERA 4.44 8th 4.50 8th
Ks 872 4th 923 4th
Walks 418 T5th fewest 446 5th fewest
HR allow 128 4th most 133 4th most
Saves 37 1st 40 1st


(red/yellow/green denotes period-to-period change of YTD stats)


Up Next


In the upcoming week, the Redbirds complete the final four days of their five-game series against Round Rock, then entertain New Orleans for four. Memphis ends the regular season on the road with four in Des Moines against the first-place Cubs.


The Cubs visit the Royals for four games this week, so the Redbirds could get some more help as they did when Omaha beat Iowa on Wednesday.



Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog.

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