The Johnson City Cardinals
finished the final three games of the regular season with an 0-3 record to
finish 42-24 (.636 win percentage) overall. They clinched the title and the top seed
in the playoffs in the five-team Western Division of the Appalachian League on
Sunday August 29.
They clinched a playoff spot on
Sunday Aug 22. Their first round
playoff opponent, the Burlington Royals, was decided on Monday night August
30. They swept the Royals in two
games. They won Game 1 in
I attended the last three regular
season games and three of the four playoff games in person. I listened to the internet broadcast of
Brian Boesch of the Burlington Royals on Wednesday night and charted pitch
counts based on his account of the action from
Steven Ramos was promoted from the Gulf Coast
League Cardinals on Monday. Ramos began the year with
The roster increased from 33 to 34 active players (max of 35).
Cody Stanley was promoted to the Quad Cities River
Bandits on Sunday
after the season in
RF/1B Phil Cerreto fractured his hand when he was hit by a pitch in the fifth inning on Friday August 6. His cast was removed on Tuesday August 24 and he made a quick recovery. He was a late inning defensive replacement in left field on Sunday August 29 in the eleventh inning and then had his first at bat (a single) in the last regular season game of the year. Cerreto started in the playoffs Cerreto missed 19 games.
OF Virgil Hill was hit in the right hand by a pitch in the tenth inning of the game against the Bluefield Orioles on Sunday August 29. He was removed from the game in the eleventh inning after running the bases in the tenth. He was diagnosed with a bad bruise (no break) and was rested for the final two regular season games of the year and most of the first two playoff games. Hill, pictured, made up for lost time by leading all batters in post season play with three home runs.
RF Roberto Reyes was hit in the left foot with a pitch in the last game of the regular season. He was removed immediately from the meaningless game by Manager Mike Shildt. Reyes started the next night in the playoffs.
Regular Season Statistical Review
The first place offense hit well below their season average for the last three games. After posting a line of .285/.346/.426 last week, they recorded a line of .223/.305/.311 this week. They hit 7 extra base hits in three games while striking out 33 times. They averaged 1.7 runs and 7.7 hits per game. They stole no bases this week while being caught once. They hit no home runs this week to finish fourth for the season in that category. They hit two triples this week to finish the season second in the league. The offense finished in first place in the league in ten different categories: batting average (.287), on-base percentage (.355), slugging (.438), on-base plus slugging (.793), hits, runs, doubles, RBIs, walks, and total bases. The Cardinal hitters finished with the fourth fewest strikeouts in the league.
The defense committed eleven errors in three games this week (four in one game by 3B Roberto De La Cruz) that led to nine unearned runs. The season total finished at 103 errors (91 by batters and 12 by pitchers) for an average of 1.6 errors per game. The team allowed 63 unearned runs in 66 games and finished fifth in that category.
The Cardinals pitching staff's ERA got worse the final three games after improving for four weeks in a row. A 3.41 ERA this week gave them a 3.72 season ERA (fifth in league). The pitchers allowed no home runs this week in three games. They finished in a three-way tie for 6th in the league in home runs allowed (47). The pitchers allowed 13 walks this week in 29 innings pitched. Despite an awful week, they finished with the fewest walks (129) in the league after 66 games and averaged just 2.0 walks per nine innings pitched (BB/9). Their walks plus hits per inning pitched (WHIP) was 1.59 this week. Their season WHIP of 1.23 was fourth best in the ten-team league, down one spot from last week. As a team during the regular season, the pitchers grounded out 26.6 percent of the batters they faced, struck out 22.0 percent, and walked 5.2%. They finished third in the league in strikeouts averaging 8.4 per nine innings pitched (K/9). The relievers inherited four runners this week and allowed two to score (50 percent scored for the week). The relievers finished the season allowing 34 percent of the inherited runners to score. The pitchers led the league in wins (by one), saves (by six), and holds (by thirteen).
Game 64: Sunday night was the night
Sunday night's game was another
tough loss for the Cardinals.
Bob Revesz took the loss (his second) and Hector Corpas collected his third blown save. The Cardinals had numerous opportunities to win but they combined to go 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position while leaving 14 runners on base. Romulo Ruiz and Packy Elkins combined to leave seven runners on base with two outs. Greg Garcia extended his hit streak to five games and had a tough error charged against him on a bunt in the Orioles three-run eleventh. The sacrifice bunt went between the pitcher (Bob Revesz) and first base (Romulo Ruiz) with a runner on second. Both Revesz and Ruiz broke for the ball and Garcia wheeled around behind them to cover first base. Revesz got to the ball first and fielded it cleanly. When Ruiz, who was playing out of position, saw that Revesz would field the ball, he broke backwards toward first (perhaps not knowing that Garcia was standing on the base waiting for the throw). Revesz threw the ball toward Garcia but as Ruiz was moving backwards and falling toward first base between Revesz and Garcia, he ticked the ball with his glove in an attempt to field it. The ball hit Garcia in the face and garnered him a missed catch error.
On Monday afternoon, the
Appalachian League Pitcher of the Week (Aug 23-29) was announced and Angel De Jesus was the
winner! De Jesus, pictured below warming up
Game 65: With the Division title in hand,
1st batter: Five pitch walk to a lefty. Balls 1, 3, and 4 were 91, 90, and 91 MPH. Was just settling into a spot to see a radar gun display and missed the locations of the pitches.
2nd batter: Two pitch 4-6-3 double play. Ball one was 91 MPH (up and in to a righty with a lot of arm side run). The double play ball was 90 MPH and was a two-hopper up the middle.
3rd batter: Lefty. Ball - outside, swinging strike (90 MPH), swinging strike (91), ball – low (76), swinging strikeout (84).
2nd Inning (all right-handed batters)
1st batter: Two pitch fly out to center field. High and easy. Ball (89) then F8 (90).
2nd batter: Very hard hit first-pitch single pulled past the third baseman through the hole to left field (91).
3rd batter: Throw to first then pretty hard hit first-pitch (89) liner to center field (F8) that was about three steps back for the outfielder and was easily caught.
4th batter: Called strike (90), ball (91), throw to first, and then a two-hop sharply hit grounder between the first baseman and the bag down the right field line for a double (runner on first advances to third).
5th batter: Ball (91), ball (89), ball (91), called strike (91), and ball (89). Bases loaded with two outs.
6th batter: Mound visit by Pitching Coach Doug White. Called strike (91) and weak pop-up off the end of the bat to the second baseman (F4) on a 91 MPH fastball.
Jenkins threw 13 balls and 13
strikes and was 4-for-9 first-pitch-strikes. He walked two, struck out one, and gave
up two groundball base hits. Both
of his strikeouts this year have been recorded on his changeup. This was likely Jenkins' last appearance
of the year for
It was time to rest some starters
Monday night as C Cody Stanley, LF Oscar Taveras, 2B Greg Garcia, and 3B Packy
Elkins all rested in place of newcomers C Anthony Garcia, LF Steven Ramos, 2B Starlin Rodriguez,
and 3B Roberto De La Cruz. The game
was about as ugly a game that I have seen all year long from the Cardinals. They were fortunate to lose by a score
of just 6-1 as they gave up 16 hits and committed seven errors (four by De La
Cruz). Five of the runs were
unearned. The Cardinals were held
hitless until the fifth inning despite a hit batter and three walks in the first
Game 66: The last game of the regular season on
Tuesday night in
Playoffs, Round 1, Game
Playoffs, Round 1, Game
2: Thursday night brought the Burlington
The offense wasn't over yet
The Cardinals ended the scoring in the eighth inning with a couple of home runs. Virgil Hill made his first post-season action memorable with a deep opposite field solo shot. Hill had missed three games in a row and most of the fourth with a bruised right hand from a hit by pitch near the end of the regular season. Romulo Ruiz added a two run blast to left center field that just missed the tall Dr. Enuf sign and that completed the Cardinal slugfest. Francisco Guzman and Bob Revesz did their part the last three innings by throwing strikes (combined 11-for-15 first pitch strikes).
Playoffs, Championship, Game
1: The Championship Series began a day
earlier than scheduled (Friday night) since both West Division representatives
swept the East in the first round.
Johnson City made the short 20 minute drive for Game 1 to face the nine
time (since 1975) Appy League Champion Elizabethton Twins. In fact, the Twins have been the best
team in the Appy over the last decade having won five of the last ten
championships. As expected,
attendance at the game was small due to home high school football games in both
With the score 2-1 going to the
bottom of the third inning, the two starting pitchers (RHP Boone Whiting and LHP
Pat Dean) settled down to retire 15 of the next 17 batters (Whiting allowed two
singles) on no walks and seven strikeouts.
The momentum had swung back to the
Twins in the bottom of the sixth after that play and they capitalized on it with
a leadoff first pitch double down the left field line by leadoff hitter Jamaal
Hawkins. This is when Boone Whiting
really had to focus on pitches 76-90.
He ran the count to 3-2 before getting an unassisted groundout to 1B
Teran down the line that advanced the runner to third with one out. With the infield in, Whiting brushed
Appy League Player of the Year Oswaldo Arcia's ribs with an inside 0-1 fastball
that put runners on the corner with one out. The Twin fans were loud and the Cardinal
fans apprehensive. Whiting made
some real quality pitches with his last seven offerings. He struck out clean up hitter Brian
Burke swinging on five pitches and then induced a high infield pop-up to SS
Cesar Valera with his 90th and last pitch.
This quieted the home crowd, pushed a small but boisterous group of
Cardinal fans into a frenzy, and swung the momentum clearly back in
The Cardinals used that momentum
to jump on left handed Twins' reliever Ryan O'Rourke for three runs in the
seventh inning. Virgil Hill got
things started with one out. After
fouling the first pitch off toward first base on a bunt attempt, Hill decided to
muscle up on the second pitch. Hill
hit a deep home run off the very top of the 30 foot tall scoreboard in right
centerfield for a 3-1 lead that had the Cardinal bench pumped. 3B Packy Elkins, SS Cesar Valera, and 2B
Greg Garcia each singled in consecutive at bats. A throwing error by left fielder Nate
Roberts on Garcia's single plated
Drew Benes allowed one run in the seventh after allowing a two out double and single on back-to-back pitches. The run scored after DH Jhonatan Arias ran through a stop sign put up by Twins Manager and third base coach Ray Smith. Oscar Taveras decided to concede the run after Smith put up the sign by throwing to second base but would have thrown out Arias easily had he thrown home.
Relievers Trevor Rosenthal (Rosie) and Hector Corpas sat down the Twins 1-2-3 in the eighth and ninth innings respectively to secure the 7-2 win. They combined for two innings pitched, three strikeouts, 16 pitches, 14 strikes, 6-for-6 first pitch strikes.
CF Oscar Taveras was 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs. 2B Greg Garcia was 3-for-5 with two runs and one RBI. SS Cesar Valera was 2-for-4 with three runs. Boone Whiting got the win over six innings pitched. Whiting struck out seven, walked none, and allowed one earned run on five hits.
Playoffs, Championship, Game
2: The Championship Series moved to
As they have done throughout the playoffs and the regular season, the Cardinals responded immediately in the bottom of the first inning by scoring three runs on four singles and retaking the lead 3-1. With the swing shown, Phil Cerreto tied the game 1-1 with an RBI single. It was a 3-1 pitch that was hit high and deep to right field that one hopped the wall on top of the berm. The runners had to hold up to be sure the fly ball wasn't caught or Cerreto would have had a standup double.
The big blow in the inning was a first pitch, two out, two RBI, line drive, on one hop to centerfield by C Travis Tartamella. "Tart", pictured being interviewed after the game by local TV, also added his first sacrifice bunt of the year later in the game.
Pitching took center stage for the next four and half innings behind Siegrist and the Twins LHP Logan Darnell. From the top of the second through the top of the sixth, the two lefties combined for nine innings, no runs, one hit, one hit batter, no walks, and nine strikeouts.
This part of the game was very quick and helped hold the total game time below two hours. The hit batter was Greg Garcia, pictured left as he took one off of his forearm for his third HBP in four playoff games.
Hill hit an 0-1 pitch with the swing shown for a double to right field. The drive hit the top part of the berm on the fly and brought home Phil Cerreto with his league leading sixth run scored of the playoffs.
Siegrist took a 4-1 lead to the seventh but got into trouble with two outs after brushing the jersey of one batter and allowing an infield single through the box to SS Cesar Valera. Trevor Rosenthal extinguished the fire on his second pitch by inducing and easy groundout and stranding two of Siegrist's base runners.
The Cardinals threatened in the
seventh with a leadoff single from
The Twins made it interesting
against Trevor Rosenthal in the eighth inning after Rosie struck out the first
batter swinging on three pitches.
Elizabethton put runners on first and second with one out after
back-to-back line drive singles to right field. Rosie, pictured, induced a potential 3-6-1 double play
groundout but a late slide into second disrupted Cesar Valera's relay to
first. The throw went high into the
Twins dugout, the lead was cut to 4-2, and Manager Mike Shildt argued
Shildt then brought in Appy League Reliever of the Year Hector Corpas for a potential four out save. The only problem was that the tying run, in the form of Appy League Player of the Year Oswaldo Arcia, was coming to the plate with first base open. The Cardinals decided to pitch to Arcia and Corpas struck out the lefty on three consecutive swinging strikes. The crowd went crazy as the Cardinals came to the plate for the bottom of the eighth inning.
It looked like the Cardinals would go quietly in what could be their last at bats of the 2010 season when leadoff hitter Teran hit an easy grounder to the first baseman but the 3-1 try was little high to the pitcher, who briefly took his eye off the throw as he searched for first base. Tart sacrificed Teran to second with a picture-perfect bunt that brought Virgil Hill to the plate. Hill took an 0-1 pitch about ten feet over the right field fence for a two-run home run. The blast was Hill's league leading third home run of the playoffs, it extended the lead to 6-2, and it gave the Cardinals and closer Hector Corpas some much needed breathing room. Hill's "home"coming after the home run is shown.
Corpas mowed down the Twins 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth. The crowd stood and clapped for the last out, something that never happens, as Corpas struck out Daniel Ortiz swinging with the last pitch in the 2010 Appy League season.
Elizabethton 9 @
Elizabethton 2 @
Tandem Starting Pitchers
Listed below were the pairings at the end of the regular season.
Tandem Starting Pitchers (11):
LHP Ryan Copeland and LHP Hector Hernandez
RHP Angel De Jesus and LHP Pat Daugherty
RHP Trevor Rosenthal and RHP Cale Johnson
LHP Kevin Siegrist and RHP Charllan Jimenez
RHP Boone Whiting/RHP Tyrell Jenkins and LHP Jeff Nadeau
In the playoffs, the Cardinals
chose to abandon the tandem system.
They started Appy League Pitcher of the Year (LHP Ryan Copeland) on the
road and then their biggest innings work horse this year (RHP Cale Johnson) at
home for the two games against
In the Championship Series, Boone Whiting, the Cardinal Nation August Pitcher of the Month, got the start on the road against Elizabethton on just two days rest. Of course, Whiting threw just nineteen pitches two days earlier as the Cardinals had the luxury of setting up their playoff starters with an early playoff clinch.
Kevin Siegrist, pictured warming
up in the bullpen Saturday night, started game two in
8/29: Cale Johnson: 34 pitches, 24 strikes, and 8-for-11 first pitch strikes.
8/29: Jeff Nadeau: 29 pitches, 18 strikes, and 6-for-8 first pitch strikes.
8/29: Trevor Rosenthal: 15 pitches, 10 strikes, and 3-for-3 first pitch strikes.
8/30: Tyrell Jenkins: 26 pitches, 13 strikes, and 4-for-9 first pitch strikes.
8/30: Kevin Siegrist: 43 pitches, 29 strikes, and 5-for-13 first pitch strikes.
8/30: Charllan Jimenez: 61 pitches, 41 strikes, and 12-for-17 first pitch strikes.
8/31: Boone Whiting: 19 pitches, 14 strikes, and 5-for-6 first pitch strikes.
8/31: Pat Daugherty: 89 pitches, 52 strikes, and 10-for-21 first pitch strikes.
8/31: Hector Hernandez: 36 pitches, 22 strikes, and 6-for-10 first pitch strikes.
1st Round, Game 1
9/1: Ryan Copeland: 72 pitches, 56 strikes, and 23-for-26 first pitch strikes.
9/1: Drew Benes: 20 pitches, 11 strikes, and 2-for-5 first pitch strikes.
9/1: Aidan Lucas: 33 pitches, 22 strikes, and 4-for-9 first pitch strikes.
1st Round, Game 2
9/2: Cale Johnson: 92 pitches, 58 strikes, and 15-for-25 first pitch strikes.
9/2: Francisco Guzman: 33 pitches, 25 strikes, and 7-for-9 first pitch strikes.
9/2: Bob Revesz: 15 pitches, 11 strikes, and 4-for-5 first pitch strikes.
Championship, Game 1
9/3: Boone Whiting: 90 pitches, 66 strikes, and 18-for-23 first pitch strikes.
9/3: Drew Benes: 16 pitches, 11 strikes, and 4-for-5 first pitch strikes.
9/3: Trevor Rosenthal: 10 pitches, 8 strikes, and 3-for-3 first pitch strikes.
9/3: Hector Corpas: 6 pitches, 6 strikes, and 3-for-3 first pitch strikes.
Championship, Game 2
9/4: Kevin Siegrist: 78 pitches, 53 strikes, and 14-for-24 first pitch strikes.
9/4: Trevor Rosenthal: 11 pitches, 9 strikes, and 3-for-5 first pitch strikes.
9/4: Hector Corpas: 17 pitches, 12 strikes, and 3-for-4 first pitch strikes.
End of Regular Season Hitters
The Cardinals were 0-3 over the last three "meaningless" games of the year and the offensive output seemed to coincide with the lack of significance of the games. Kleininger Teran (3-for-6, .500, double, triple) and Starlin Rodriguez (2-for-5, .400) were the only Cardinals that hit .300 or better over five or more at bats.
Eight hitters hit at or below the
Regular Season League Leading Hitters
LF/CF Oscar Taveras (.322) was a league leader in eight different offensive categories: batting average (.322, 3rd), RBIs (43, tied 4th), slugging (.526, 5th), total bases (111, tied 5th), OPS (.889, 6th), hits (68, 6th), home runs (8, tied 7th), and runs (39, tied 9th).
C Cody Stanley (.321) was also a league leader in eight different offensive categories: batting average (.321, 4th), OBP (.380, 5th), hits (67, tied 7th), triples (5, tied 7th), OPS (.878, 7th), RBIs (39, tied 7th), total bases (104, 8th), and slugging (.498, 9th).
2B/SS Greg Garcia (.290) was second in the league in runs (49) and tenth in OBP (.363).
DH/3B/1B Romulo Ruiz (.256) led the league in walks (34) and was fourth in doubles (19).
1B/DH/3B Kleininger Teran (.303) was tenth in the league in batting average.
OF/1B/DH Phil Cerreto (.425) missed 19 games in a row (29 percent of the season) with a fractured hand but still finished tenth in the league in RBIs (38).
CF Reggie Williams (.269) was sixth in the league in triples (6) and hit ZERO doubles in 134 at bats.
End of Regular Season Pitchers
Only two pitchers allowed no earned runs over the 0-3 end of regular season with walks plus hits per innings pitched (WHIPs) of less than 1 over more than two innings pitched.
Cale Johnson (5-4, 3.61 ERA, pictured) allowed one hit and one walk during the last three games (0.67 WHIP) over three scoreless innings pitched.
Iden Nazario (1-0, 4.09 ERA) allowed no hits or walks (0.00 WHIP) during the last three games while striking out five over two and two thirds innings pitched.
Regular Season League Leading Pitchers
Hector Corpas (0-1, 2.13 ERA) led the league in saves (17), games finished (21), and games (24).
Aidan Lucas (2-1, 3.32 ERA) led the league in holds (7) and games (24).
Ryan Copeland (7-0, 1.86 ERA) was tied for second in the league in wins (7). Copeland missed qualifying for the league leaders in both WHIP (0.86, would have been 1st) and ERA (1.86, would have been 1st) by just one and one third innings pitched.
Chris Patterson (4, tied for second), Drew Benes (3, tied for sixth), and Charllan Jimenez (3, tied for sixth) were among the league leaders in holds.
Boone Whiting (5-3, 3.50 ERA, pictured) was tied for fifth in the league in strikeouts (68). Whiting missed qualifying for the league leaders in WHIP (1.09, would have been 9th) by just two thirds of an inning pitched.
Top Playoff Performers
If only one hitting statistic had
to be chosen to explain why
As a team, the Cardinal batters were 50-for-146 (.342). Oscar Taveras (.500) was second in the league in batting average and Greg Garcia (.467) was third.
As a team, the Cardinal batters posted a .402 on base percentage. Greg Garcia (.526) was second in the league and Oscar Taveras (.500) was tied for third.
Phil Cerreto was first in runs scored (six) while Cody Stanley and Greg Garcia tied for second with five each.
Kleininger Teran was tied for second in hits with Greg Garcia (seven each) while Oscar Taveras was first (eight).
Packy Elkins and Kleininger Teran each tied for second in doubles with two each.
Virgil Hill was first in home runs (three) and Cody Stanley was second with two.
Oscar Taveras, Virgil Hill, Travis Tartamella, and Roberto Reyes all tied for the lead in RBIs with five each. This statistic alone probably best exemplifies the true team effort put forth by this year's team.
Virgil Hill was first in total bases (14).
Cody Stanley was first in walks with four while Phil Cerreto and Romulo Ruiz tied for second with three each.
The pitching was almost equally as impressive. The staff combined for a 2.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 1.0 BB/9, and 9.3 K/9. They led the league with three holds and one save.
Kevin Siegrist was second in WHIP (0.45) and third in ERA (1.35).
Boone Whiting was tied for third in BB/9 (0.00).
Follow Shawn on Twitter.
© 2010 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.