Friday, September 16, 2011

Playoff Pitching Matchup, Game Preview 9/16/11

Eastern League Finals
New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Yohan Pino)
vs. Richmond Flying Squirrels (Jason Stevenson) 7:05pm

GAME 3 - Fisher Cats vs. Flying Squirrels - The Fisher Cats knotted things up in their last home game of the season on Wednesday night. Now the Finals have turned into a best-of-three series to be played out at The Diamond in Richmond starting tonight. New Hampshire starter Yohan Pino gets his second start of the postseason. Pino pitched 6 inning in game 4 of the Reading series and allowed only 1 run, but did not factor in the decision. Jason Stevenson gets the nod for Richmond following his triumphant return to the game after walking away back in 2005 to deal with personal matters. Now 30-years-old, Stevenson rejuvenated himself in Indy ball and found his way back to affiliated baseball thanks to Giants who signed him to Triple-A Fresno where he made two starts before being sent to Richmond. Stevenson struck out 8 batters over 7 innings in game 2 of the semifinals versus Harrisburg, but did not earn a decision.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Playoff Pitching Matchup, Game Preview 9/14/11

Eastern League Playoffs (Finals)
Richmond Flying Squirrels (Daryl Maday)
vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Nestor Molina) 7:05pm

GAME 2 - Flying Squirrels vs. Fisher Cats – After last night’s sloppy 10-9 slugfest the Fisher Cats look to even things up in the best-of-five finals and they are hoping that their normally stellar pitching returns via the arm of Nestor Molina….Daryl Maday gets the start for Richmond after posting a 4-10 record with a 4.47 ERA in 25 appearances (19 starts) with the Squirrels. He had only five starts from July 11th to the end of the regular season, going 2-3 with a 4.20 ERA. Maday was solid in game 1 of the Squirrels first round series against Harrisburg as he picked up the win after going 7 innings in which he allowed no runs. Nestor Molina will be tasked with trying to stop the Fisher Cats from heading to Richmond down 0-2. He was amazing in the regular season, spreading a 12-3 record and 2.21 ERA over time spent with Class-A Dunedin and New Hampshire. Molina did pick up the only loss in the Cats first round series versus Reading after he allowed 6 runs (2 earned), in three innings of game 2.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Playoff Pitching Matchups; Game Preview 9/12/11

Eastern League Playoffs (Finals)
Richmond Flying Squirrels (Chuck Lofgren)
vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Chad Jenkins) 7:05pm

GAME 1 - Flying Squirrels vs. Fisher Cats – New Hampshire looks to bring home a title to New England as they get set to face off against the Richmond Flying Squirrels in the best-of-five Eastern League Finals…Chuck Lofgren had 9 regular season starts for the Squirrels and gets the game 1 nod after spending time in Class-A San Jose and Triple-A Fresno this season. He did pitch once against New Hampshire back on August 3rd when he allowed just 1 run over 7 1/3 innings, but did not pick up a decision. Lofgren did not see action in the Squirrels first round series. Chad Jenkins gets his second start of the postseason for New Hampshire after a dazzling start in game 1 of the semifinals when he allowed no earned runs and struck out nine in a 2-0 victory over Reading. The Blue Jays first-rounder from 2009 had a start against Richmond back on August 4th and picked up a win after allowing only 1 run and 3 hits over 6 innings…New Hampshire won the season series against Richmond 4-2, but dropped two of three to the Squirrels at home…The last time the Fisher Cats made the E.L. Finals was in 2004 when they swept the Altoona Curve for the title…Richmond was last in the E.L. Finals back in 2009 when they were still the Connecticut Defenders. They lost that series to the Akron Aeros 3-1…Games 1 & 2 (7:05pm) will be played tonight and tomorrow at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium with an off day on Thursday before moving to Richmond for game 3 on Friday (7:05pm) and games 4 & 5 (both 6:05pm) on Saturday and Sunday if necessary.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Playoff Pitching Matchup; Game Preview 9/11/11

Eastern League Playoffs (First round)
New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Yohan Pino)
vs. Reading Phillies (Tyson Brummett) 6:05pm

GAME 4 Fisher Cats vs. RPhils – The Fisher Cats look to wrap things up and advance to the Eastern League finals for the first time since they won it all back in 2004, their inaugural season in Manchester. Yohan Pino toes the rubber for New Hampshire tonight after compiling a 4-8 record in 36 appearances for the Cats. Pino was 2-2 with a 4.00 ERA over his last five starts and faced Reading in a relief appearance back on July 31st when he only allowed 2 hits over 2 1/3 innings. Tyson Brummett starts for Reading after compiling a 5-12 record with a 4.87 ERA between Triple-A Lehigh Valley and Reading. In his last three starts of the regular season Brummett went 1-1 and allowed 10 runs and 22 hits in 18 innings. New Haven (who would eventually become the Fisher Cats) beat Reading in the 1995 and 2000 Eastern League finals.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Playoff Pitching Matchups 9/10/11

International League Playoffs (First round)
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Brian Bass)
vs. Pawtucket Red Sox
(Tony Pena Jr.)

Eastern League Playoffs (First round)
New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Drew Hutchison)
vs. Reading Phillies (Austin Hyatt) 7:05pm

Friday, September 9, 2011

Playoff Pitching Matchups; Game Previews 9/9/11

International League Playoffs (First round)
Pawtucket Red Sox (Tony Pena Jr.)
vs. Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Ryan Edell) 7:05pm

GAME 2PawSox vs. IronPigs – Pawtucket does not want to come home having to win all three games, so a win tonight will be tantamount to their aspirations of moving on. The IronPigs three solo home runs were enough to hold off the PawSox last night in game 1. Tonight, Tony Pena Jr. looks to keep the Sox from an 0-2 hole. Pena had two straight starts against Lehigh Valley back in July, earning no decisions while posting a 4.50 ERA over 14 innings. Randy Edell gets the game 2 start for the IronPigs. Edell picked up 10 wins on the season between Double-A Reading and Lehigh Valley, including one against the PawSox back on July 29th in a relief appearance…The PawSox got six hits from six different batters last night and struck out 10 times…In the other International League playoff series, the Columbus Clippers took a 2-0 lead over the Durham Bulls with a 3-0 win in game 2 last night.

Eastern League Playoffs (First round)
Reading Phillies (J.C. Ramirez)
vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Nestor Molina) 7:05pm

GAME 2RPhils vs. Fisher Cats – Chad Jenkins pitched brilliantly for the Fisher Cats last night as they won their first ever playoff game at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. They hope for more of the same tonight from Nestor Molina as they look to take a 2-0 lead before heading off to Reading. J.C. Ramirez gets the start for the RPhils after rattling off wins in his last three starts of the regular season. Ramirez has five starts against the Cats this season and compiled a 3-2 record, including two wins at NeDDS. Molina had five starts with New Hampshire after his call up from Class-A Dunedin, but none against the Phillies. Molina has not lost a game since May 31st (with Dunedin) and in his five starts with the Cats he has 33 strikeouts in 22 innings…Catcher Travis d’Arnaud went 2-4 with a double and and RBI last night to lead the New Hampshire offense…The Harrisburg Senators and Richmond Flying Squirrels have yet to play a game in the other Eastern League series, with two games being washed out by rain.

New York-Penn League Playoffs (First round)
Vermont Lake Monsters (Seth Frankoff)
vs. Auburn Doubledays (Brian Dupra) 7:05pm

GAME 3Lake Monsters vs. Doubledays – It all comes down to this for the Lake Monsters, who in their prior two playoff appearances, have advanced out of the first round. Now with their first round series tied at one, it’s win-or-go-home for Vermont who start Seth Frankoff tonight. He started 14 regular season games this year and was stellar over his last three, allowing no runs in 19 1/3 innings. Frankoff did not face the Auburn this season. Brian Dupra gets the start for the Doubledays after posting a 4-4 record in the regular season. Dupra has nine starts on the season, none against the Lake Monsters…Dusty Robinson picked up two of the five Vermont hits last night as the Auburn pitchers whiffed 13 Lake Monsters…The Staten Island Yankees took game 1 of their first round series against the Brooklyn Cyclones last night with a 2-0 victory.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Playoff Pitching Matchups; Game Previews 9/8/11

International League Playoffs (First round)
Pawtucket Red Sox (Matt Fox)
vs. Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Dave Bush) 7:05pm

GAME 1 Paw Sox vs. IronPigs – Pawtucket pulled into first place in the I.L.’s North Division back on August 7th and never relinquish that spot, despite some shaky stretches. They punched their first post-season ticket in three years and took their first North Division title since 2003. Matt Fox went 10-4 in the regular season and earns the start for Pawtucket in game 1. He finished the season with four straight victories and was 6-2 over his last 10 starts, which included a complete game, 2-hit gem against Gwinnett on August 14th. Fox went 6 innings, allowed 1 earned run, 2 hits and picked up a win against Lehigh Valley back on July 28th. The IronPigs counter with Dave Bush, who has had a whirlwind season in which he has played for three different organizations. Now with the Phillies, Bush has spent all of his time with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, making 4 starts and compiling a 1-2 record and 3.91 ERA. Bush started the season playing with the Texas Rangers and was released after posting a 5.71 ERA in mostly relief spots. After playing with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs, Bush opted out of his contract and signed with the Phillies. Bush has logged 82 1/3 innings across the board this season…The PawSox won the regular season series against the IronPigs 10-6, taking 6 of the 8 games played at McCoy Stadium…Games 1 & 2 of the series will be played at Lehigh Valley on Wednesday and Thursday with both games starting at 7:05pm. The PawSox will return home to host games 3 (7:05pm), 4 (6:05pm, if needed) & 5 (1:05pm, if needed) Friday through Sunday at McCoy Stadium.

Eastern League Playoffs (First round)
Reading Phillies (Tyler Cloyd)
vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Chad Jenkins) 7:05pm

GAME 1RPhils vs. Fisher Cats – New Hampshire is in the Eastern League playoffs for the second consecutive season, this year as the Eastern Division winner. The good news for the Fisher Cats this time around is that they won’t have to face the likes of Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances and Andy Pettitte, as they were forced to do when Trenton swept them out of the 2010 post-season. Tyler Cloyd will be the Reading starter in game 1 after compiling a 6-3 record with a 2.78 ERA in 18 appearances (17 starts) after being called up to Double-A in June. He has not picked up a loss since July 20th and over his last seven starts of the regular season he went 3-0 with a 1.77 ERA. Cloyd did face the Fisher Cats twice this season, including that July 20th loss, and only allowed 3 earned runs in 11 innings. Chad Jenkins will get the ball first for the Fisher Cats after 27 regular season starts, 16 of which came with the Fisher Cats. He was 0-3 with a 5.19 ERA in his last four regular season starts of the season. Jenkins had two starts against the RPhils, both back in July, and compiled a 1-1 record with a 5.73 ERA in 11 innings…The season series between these teams was tied 9-9 with Reading take 7 of 10 at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium…As the Eastern Division champs, the Fisher Cats will host the first two games of the best-of-five playoff series, Wednesday and Thursday nights at 7:05pm. The series shifts to Reading for games 3 & 4 (if needed) on Friday and Saturday at 7:05pm and the teams will return to NeDDs on Sunday for a 5:05pm start if a game 5 is necessary.

New York-Penn League Playoffs (First round)
Vermont Lake Monsters (Brent Powers)
vs. Auburn Doubledays (Taylor Hill) 7:05pm

GAME 2Lake Monsters vs. Doubledays – Last night Chad Lewis sparked a five-run, first-inning with a two-out, 3-RBI triple and the Vermont Lake Monsters would not look back as they took down the Auburn Doubledays 7-1 in the first game of their best-of-three series. The win was the first playoff victory for Vermont since September 11th, 1996 when they defeated St. Catherine’s 4-3 to win their only NYPL title. Four Vermont pitchers combined to hold Auburn to only 3 hits on the night while striking out 16. Lewis finished the night with a single, triple, home run and four runs batted in. Tonight the action shifts to Auburn where Vermont starter Brent Powers will take to the hill looking to advance the Lake Monsters to the NYPL finals. He has made 12 starts this season, compiling a 4-2 record, with all 4 wins coming over his last 7 starts of the season. Taylor Hill will hit the mound looking to help Auburn even things up in this series. He started the season coming out of the pen and was then transferred to the starting rotation where he made 5 starts and went 0-1 with a 2.38 ERA…This is the third time in team history that Vermont has reached the playoffs (1994, 1996, 2011). Vermont’s 14 years between playoff appearances was a league-high drought, which is now owned by Abderdeen who have not made the postseason in ten years.