Memphis Redbirds Notebook: 2010 Week 21

The Redbirds went 6-1 on the week and sit one game back in the Pacific Coast League American North with just five games remaining. Joe Mather has a 13-game hitting streak with 12 RBI and a .434 average during that time.



This report covers the seven-day period from Thursday, August 26 through Wednesday, September 1.


Manager Chris Maloney's defending Pacific Coast League champion club is now at 79-60 overall after a 6-1 week. In the process, the Redbirds picked up a half game in the standings and are in second place, just one game behind the Iowa Cubs in the American North Division.


After having taken game one over Round Rock at home coming into the period, the Redbirds completed a first-ever feat for the franchise, a five-game sweep, with victories on Thursday through Sunday. The pitching led the way with three straight shutouts and 29 consecutive scoreless innings. New Orleans arrived at AutoZone Park on Monday and lost, as Memphis extended their winning streak to seven games.


Tuesday brought the Redbirds' first loss since August 23. With that, they closed the books on a 19-11 August that included a stellar home mark of 13-5. Memphis finished the week with a victory in game three against New Orleans on Wednesday night, but missed a chance to pull into a first-place tie as Albuquerque blew a seven-run lead at home in the bottom of the ninth to Iowa.


During the period, Redbirds wins were spread around, as reliever Matt Scherer (4-1) was first, followed by starters Evan MacLane (7-7), P.J. Walters (8-5), Brandon Dickson (11-8), Lance Lynn (13-9) and MacLane again (8-7). Closer Josh Kinney (15) logged all four save opportunities presented him. The lone loss was taken by starter Oneli Perez (2-7).


On the Move


This past week, the roster continued its season-long spin.


After a pair of rehab appearances with the Redbirds, major league reliever Jason Motte rejoined St. Louis on Monday the 30th.


Outfielder Allen Craig was returned from the Cardinals to make room for Motte. He was not activated by the Redbirds until Wednesday.


On the first day rosters expanded, on Wednesday, September 1, catcher Matt Pagnozzi and outfielder Nick Stavinoha were recalled by St. Louis. Several more players will follow them once Memphis' season concludes.


Catcher Tony Cruz was promoted from Springfield on Wednesday to backfill for Pagnozzi. Cruz homered in his Triple-A debut Wednesday.


On the Mend


Despite having taken a pitch to the jaw the week before, Adron Chambers came off the disabled list on the 26th after spending the minimum seven days there.


On the 26th, infielder Donovan Solano was placed onto the disabled list retroactive to the 24th with an undisclosed injury.


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.




Brandon Dickson was tabbed as the PCL Pitcher of the Week for the period of August 23-29. He won both of his starts during the week, punching out 17 over 15 innings and setting a new personal season-best with nine strikeouts against Round Rock.


Second baseman Daniel Descalso has been voted onto the Pacific Coast League All-Star team. Descalso is tied for the team lead with a .286 batting average, is first on the Redbirds with 31 doubles and is second on the squad with 68 RBI, despite missing nearly a month with a broken collarbone. He is the first Redbirds player to be recognized as a post-season All-Star since Nick Stavinoha in 2008 and Rick Ankiel in 2006.


Two current Redbirds, Tony Cruz and Adron Chambers, have been selected by the Cardinals organization to play in the Arizona Fall League. They will join their former Springfield teammates Brian Broderick, Blake King and Pete Kozma. The Cardinals still have three additional AFL players to announce.


Who's Hot


The team. The Redbirds' just-ended seven-game win streak tied their season-long stretch achieved from May 15-22. With one home game remaining, the Redbirds are 46-26 at AutoZone Park and have clinched the best home mark in the PCL this season. The home win total shattered the old franchise mark of 44 that the 2009 club equaled. 


The unis. The Redbirds wore purple jerseys on Monday night for Alzheimer's Awareness Night. The jerseys will be available in a silent auction at a later date.


On Monday, Lance Lynn's victory number 13 tied him for the most in a single season in Redbirds history with Larry Luebbers (1999). Lynn tied his season-best with 11 strikeouts in that game. The right-hander is 6-1 over his last seven starts.


Outfielder Joe Mather has a current and season-best 13-game hit streak. Joey Bombs has gone 23-for-53 (.434) with six doubles, three home runs, 12 RBI and eight runs scored during this time.


Before his promotion, Matt Pagnozzi had been on a tear with an eight-game hit streak, his longest since he had a hit in seven consecutive games while with Single-A Peoria in May 2004. In his final Memphis game, Pags hit his first home run since last August 29.


Daniel Descalso's nine-game hit streak (13-for-38, .342) was snapped on Monday the 30th. He started a new stretch with a hit on Wednesday.


Reliever Eduardo Sanchez hasn't allowed an earned run since his July 28 appearance. That is 13 1/3 innings of shutout baseball spanning 12 outings while striking out 15 batters. He has also seen his ERA drop from 4.22 to its current 1.88 in that same run and has nine holds.


Josh Kinney has converted his last 15 save opportunities and lowered his season ERA to 1.93.


Who's Not


Infielder Kevin Howard is 0-for-12 in his last dozen pinch-hit appearances.


Reliever Francisco Samuel tossed 2 1/3 innings over three outings on the week. He allowed three earned runs on three hits and five walks. Samuel fanned one.


Pacific Coast League leaders


Ruben Gotay has taken over the league lead in walks with 92 and is threatening Jon Nunnally's franchise record of 98 free passes set in 2003. Gotay's on-base mark of .410 is second-best in the PCL. No other Redbirds rank among the top ten in the PCL in any significant categories.


Despite his six St. Louis call-ups this season, Fernando Salas is third in the league with 19 saves. Josh Kinney is tied for fifth with his 15 saves.


Brandon Dickson's 3.24 ERA is fourth-best among qualifiers while his 161 1/3 innings on the mound is fifth-most in the PCL. His 130 strikeout total is tied for second-best and is tied for ninth in hit batters with nine.


His 4.35 ERA places Evan MacLane ninth among the league leaders.


Lance Lynn has yielded 20 long balls, tied for fifth-most in the league. His 159 innings is seventh-highest in the PCL. Lynn leads the league with 130 strikeouts and is tied for fifth in the league in walks issued at 59.  


Team stats and rankings – Season to date


It seemed a relatively balanced week in terms of stats changes since last time, with the hitters and pitchers each showing areas of strength.


Offense Last week PCL rank This week PCL rank
YTD # of 16 # of 16
BA 0.274 9th 0.274 9th
Runs 689 6th 729 8th
OPS 0.763 11th 0.768 12th
Doubles 239 10th 260 9th
HR 119 9th 130 7th


Pitching Last week PCL rank This week PCL rank
YTD # of 16 # of 16
ERA 4.50 8th 4.42 7th
Ks 923 4th 979 4th
Walks 446 5th fewest 470 5th fewest
HR allow 133 4th most 138 T5th most
Saves 40 1st 44 1st


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


Up Next


In the upcoming week, the Redbirds complete the final five games of their regular season. Their final home game is on Thursday against New Orleans. Memphis ends the schedule on the road with four at the home of the first-place Iowa Cubs.


Simply put, the post-season aspirations of the defending PCL champs will either be achieved or dashed in Des Moines this weekend.



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

Follow Brian on Twitter.


© 2010 The Cardinal Nation, and All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Cardinal Nation Top Stories