Saturday, July 31, 2010

Today's Probable Pitchers 7/31/10

Durham Bulls (Virgil Vazquez 5-1, 4.44)
vs. Pawtucket Red Sox (Mark Holliman 0-2, 7.59) @ 6:05pm

New Britain Rock Cats (Mike McCardell 0-12, 5.67)
vs. Bowie Baysox (Pedro Viola 3-0, 2.45) @ 6:35pm

Portland Sea Dogs (Casey Kelly 3-4, 4.85)
vs. Harrisburg Senators (Jordan Zimmerman NR) @ 7:00pm

New Hampshire Fisher Cats (B.J. LaMura 4-3, 4.60 )
vs. Trenton Thunder (Andrew Brackman 2-5, 3.58) @ 7:05pm

Vermont Lake Monsters (Colin Bates 2-1, 3.52)
vs. Lowell Spinners (Tyler Wilson 0-3, 5.50) @ 5:05pm

Tri-City ValleyCats (Carlos Quevedo 2-2, 4.05) GAME 1
Connecticut Tigers (Rayni Guichardo 2-2, 4.71) @ 5:05pm

Tri-City Valley Cats (David Martinez 2-2, 4.05) GAME 2
vs. Connecticut Tigers (Miguel Mejia 2-0, 0.00) @ 30 Minutes After Game 1

You can listen to all games at:
MiLB Gameday Audio

Friday, July 30, 2010

Double Ells in Pawtucket

So apparently Jacoby Ellsbury will start rehabbing in Pawtucket starting Saturday when the PawSox return to McCoy Stadium to face the Durham Bulls. Ironically, it is Jacoby Ellsbury Bobblehead Giveaway night in Pawtucket. The first 4,000 fans through the gate get the bobblehead, everyone else gets a knee to the ribs courtesy of Adrian Beltre.

This is the second rehab trip this season that has taken Ellsbury through Pawtucket. He played one game with the PawSox back on May 17th and went 1-3 with 1 RBI and 2 runs. Earlier this week Ellsbury started his rehab stint and played three games for the Gulf Coast Rookie Red Sox.

The Durham Bulls come into town as the best team in the International League with a 66-40 record and they are in the midst of a 9-game winning streak. Only general admission tickets remain at this time.

Tonight's Probable Pitchers 7/30/10

Pawtucket Red Sox (Kris Johnson 4-9, 5.36)
vs. Toledo Mud Hens (Alfredo Figaro 9-6, 3.91) @ 7:00pm

Portland Sea Dogs (Jeremy Kehrt 2-8, 5.37)
vs. Harrisburg Senators (Tom Milone 7-5, 3.08) @ 7:00pm

New Britain Rock Cats (Tyler Robertson 2-9, 4.89)
vs. Bowie Baysox (Steve Johnson 5-6, 5.38) @ 7:05pm

New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Rey Gonzalez 1-2, 8.44)
vs. Trenton Thunder (Hector Noesi 6-2, 2.44) @ 7:05pm

Lowell Spinners (Madison Younginer 2-5, 7.22)
vs. Tri-City ValleyCats (Andrew Robinson 0-0, 3.74) @ 7:00pm

Connecticut Tigers (Patrick Lawson 0-0, 3.22)
vs. Staten Island Yankees (Mike Gipson 2-0, 3.38) @ 7:00pm

Hudson Valley Renegades (Miguel Sierra 2-1, 4.59)
vs. Vermont Lake Monsters (Matt Swynenberg 4-4, 4.45) @ 7:05pm

You can listen to all games at:
MiLB Gameday Audio

Game of the Day - Spinners @ Tri-City - In the seventh round of the 2009 draft the Boston Red Sox picked pitcher Madison Younginer out of Mauldin High School in South Carolina. He got his first taste of pro-ball this season with Lowell and came out firing, allowing no runs and only one hit in his first start where he picked up the "W". Since then things have been rough for the kid as he has compiled a 1-5 record over his last six starts. His ERA is over 7.00 and he hasn't shown too much of a pulse since his start back on July 4th. One thing we must remember is that the kid is only 19 years old and he has great potential. One website ( compares his stuff to that of a Kerry Wood and states that, "he has the potential to be a front line starter." That in-itself is enough to get excited each time the 6'4" youngster hits the hill with his high-90s heat and a 12-to-6 curve that has a nice, deep break to it. Younginer will get his first look at Tri-City tonight as he faces off against Andrew Robinson who is making his first ever professional start.

August Promotions

It's simply amazing that we are heading into the last full month of the season. It's kind of sad really. BUT, it doesn't have to be as our local Minor League organizations will make sure that you have every opportunity to enjoy the remainder of the season in style. "Fun" is the word as we look at some of the more appealing promotions across the region for the month of August.

Connecticut Tigers
1st - C.T. the Tiger's Birthday - Considering the Tigers haven't even existed for a year yet, it's tough to believe that C.T. is already celebrating a birthday. I think its just an excuse for him and his mascot buddies to get together, throw back a few libations and mess with some kids...either way, could be a fun way to spend a Sunday!
13th - Halloween at the Ballpark - Despite the fact that it's a Friday the 13th in August, it may be tough to talk some people into dressing up in some hot-ass costume. But I assume there will be free candy, so that could outweigh the humility of wearing that Yoda costume again.
28th - Palm Trees & Baseball - As summer winds down, it's time to get in that one last day of sun, fun and relaxation...and baseball. Dodd Stadium is the place to celebrate the greatest season of the year.

Lowell Spinners
12th - Pink Hat Giveaway - So much to many people to offend here...biting know who you are, so just go get your pink hats and stay out of the way please!
21st - Jersey Pillow Giveaway - If you've drooled too much on your current evening headrest, then the Spinners can help you out with a new one. Since Lowell has been anything but hot all season, we will assume that both sides of the pillow remain cool at all times.
31st - Mike Eruzione Bobblehead - I bet most of you wonder where Mike Eruzione goes during the the four years between every Winter Olympics. For one night at least, we have found him!

New Britain Rock Cats
5th - Beach Night at the Ballpark - Another night celebrating the season of Ra. Get yourself a free beach towel and make the most of it over the last true summer month of the year.
17th - Motorcycle Night - I assume the pre-game festivities for this one will be quite loud. Also pick yourself up the last of the four Supercuts Stadium Superstars Poster Series.
28th - Football Night with Football Giveaway - Are you ready for some football? It's only two weeks until the NFL season kicks off, so it's time to warm up the throwing arm for the tailgate and the Rock Cats are going to help you out by giving you a free football.

New Hampshire Fisher Cats
7th - Renew Your Wedding Vows Night - The couple that watches baseball together, stays together. So there is no better way to honor that sacred bond that the two of you made years ago then to combine the great game with a renewal of your wedding vows right on the Stadium field. I do...again!
17th - Kevin Youkilis Bobblehead Giveaway - Red Sox fans beware! If my calculations are correct, every single bobblehead giveaway of a Sox player this year in New England has been of someone on the disabled list. Beckett, Buchholz, Pedroia, Ellsbury...Hopefully Youk can buck the trend.
27th - Fisher Cats Frisbee Giveaway - I think we can combine some days here. Grab a Rock Cats beach towel on the 5th, get your Fisher Cats Frisbee on the 27th and check out the Connecticut Tigers Palm Trees & Baseball day on the 28th. Summer-summer-summer-time...

Pawtucket Red Sox
5th - Team Poster/On-Field Autograph Night - This is a pretty cool giveaway that is actually available for all fans entering McCoy that night. Everyone gets a team poster and from 5:00pm-6:00pm, you can have it signed by the players. Who knows, you may even get a rehabbing big leaguer to sign for you.
13th - PawSox Travel Mug Night - Score a PawSox travel mug thanks to the fine folks at Dunkin Donuts. Makes a great gift for that major leaguer who is shuttling between Portland, Pawtucket and Boston during his rehab for a pulled groin.
19th & 20th - Dora the Explorer Appearance - Dora the Explorer returns to McCoy stadium for not one, but TWO nights! There is also a chance to meet Dora in the VIP Room on the 20th...I wonder if the VIP room to meet Dora is similar to what the VIP room to meet Motley Crue was like back in the '80s. I wonder if I can get arrested just for typing that?

Portland Sea Dogs
4th - Hanley Ramirez Bobblehead Giveaway - One of the more popular Sea Dogs over the past few years gets another bobblehead night (The Marlins honored him back in '07). Ramirez played in Portland during the 2004 & 2005 seasons before he was traded to the Marlins as part of the Josh Beckett deal. Now he's simply one of the best players in all of baseball. So "hustle" to Hadlock to get one of the 1,000 Hanley heads on hand.
22nd - Shriners Day - Come watch an old guy drive a little car while wearing a fez! I feel like the Shriners are a dying breed, but they do great charity work, so they should be commended and maybe if people took a cue from their motor vehicle choices, we'd all be less dependent on oil.
30th - Lunch Cooler/Bag Giveaway - Just in time for the start of the school year. Trick your kids out of the house on a nice Monday evening and get something checked off of your school shopping list all at once.

Vermont Lake Monsters
6th - Buster Olney Appearance & Bobblehead Giveaway - One of the better baseball scribes in all the land and native of Randolph, Vermont, Buster Olney gets the bobblehead treatment in Burlington. He'll actually be on hand as well, presumably to make sure he gets his hands on one. So only 499 left by my count.
25th - "Hot Dog Heaven" 25-cent Hot Dog Night - This one is pretty self-explanatory...but definitely worth noting. Where else are you going to find a $0.25 hot dog on August 25th, 2010? Get some friends together and "Joey Chestnutt" the night away.
27th - Mystery Bobblehead Night - This is an intriguing bobblehead adventure in my eyes. It's the last home game of the year for the Lake Monsters and its my guess that they will be trying to dish all of the leftovers from seasons past. President Obama bobblehead anyone? Anyone?

Connecticut - 6th, 13th, 20th
Lowell - NONE
New Britain - 6th,
New Hampshire - 5th, 7th, 19th, 21st, 26th, 28th
Pawtucket - NONE
Portland - NONE
Vermont - 21st

Of course don't forget about the regular routines that happen consistently at all of the parks. The Kraft Singles Tuesday Night Tickets offer (buy one ticket and get one free when you bring a Kraft Singles wrapper to the box office) continues on until seasons end. The Rock Cats continue their Saturday pre-game block parties and Thursday Happy Hour specials, the Spinners give everyone a chance to win with their Scratch Card Giveaways during every Saturday and Sunday game, and much, much more. As always, there is definitely something for everyone in the family to enjoy. So go out and collect your fun before the conclusion of another baseball season.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Farming New England (7/29/10)

A Tale of Two Lowells...and those little places in between.

Boston Red Sox fans are wondering if the team is going to trade Mike Lowell before the Saturday deadline. Pawtucket Red Sox fans are wondering if they can keep him for the rest of the season. Lowell has certainly proved that AAA can't contain him. In 5 games with the PawSox he has a .500 batting average with 4 home runs, 4 doubles and 10 runs batted in. Unfortunately, Mike Lowell is only one man and is not capable of turning around the rough ride the PawSox are on this year. They dropped four games in Columbus last weekend, five if you include the conclusion of the June 20th suspended game. Their only win over the last week came when Lowell cranked out 3 dingers against Toledo on Tuesday. They have two more to play versus the Mud Hens before they head home to face Durham on Saturday. Lowell is expected to play one last game with Pawtucket Thursday night before any decision is made on him.

The New Britain Rock Cats are happy to be leaving Trenton after being swept in three games where they collected only 5 runs on 17 hits. Our favorite "down-and-outer" Mike McCardell picked up his 12th loss of the season on Monday after allowing 4 runs in the first inning. However he looked pretty damn good after that, scattering 4 hits over 5 innings and not allowing any more runs. Overall the pitching has been good enough and at times even great. Bobby Lannigan and Kyle Gibson have both shown their immense potential. Unfortunately the hits aren't coming at the right time. Even their most consistent hitter, all-world Ben Revere, has lost his gallop, dropping 21 points on his batting average in July, knocking him down to .286.

After a rough weekend in New Britain, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats used the Harrisburg Senators as their scratching post, sweeping three at Stadium. This helped them keep pace with Trenton, whom they trail by 1 1/2 games and who they now face for four games of the utmost importance. These two teams do play one last time in August, a three game set back in Trenton, but this series should set the tone for the stretch run. Kyle Drabek and Zack Stewart threw back-to-back gems this past week, which is a vital ingredient that the Fisher Cats will require down the stretch. There has been no word on if Travis Snyder will be getting the call up from the Blue Jays anytime soon, but New Hampshire is enjoying their time with him while they can, including his walk-off home run in the 11th inning of a scoreless game on Wednesday. Eric Thames remains hot at the plate, hitting safely in 8 straight games. Thames is currently in the Eastern League top 10 for hits, triples, home runs, runs batted in, runs, slugging percentage and OPS.

After sweeping New Hampshire into second place last week, Portland was riding high. But then they dropped 3 of 4 versus Harrisburg and it was back to reality for the Sea Dogs. Kyle Weiland has been the hot hand on the hill, going 5-1 over his last ten starts with a 2.86 ERA and 59 Ks over 56 1/3 innings of work. The bats have been hot as well, scoring 40 runs over the last seven games and helping Portland take 2 of 3 against a tough Binghamton squad. Nate Spears (10) and Chih-Hsien Chien (11) are both riding double digit hit streaks. In 13 games since being called up from Single A Salem, catcher Ryan Lavarnway is hitting .353 with 4 doubles, 2 home runs, 21 RBI and he has hit safely in 12 of those 13 games. Another recent call up from Salem, first baseman Jorge Padron, has had similar success with the Dogs, hitting safely in 11 of the 12 games he has played in and batting .313 in AA.

The Connecticut Tigers almost swept first place Vermont in a three game series last week, which would have put them only 3 games back. Despite a tough 4-3 loss in the last game of the series, the Tigers won their next three and are now only 2 1/2 games out of first. The team is even on the month with a 12-12 record, but have picked up 5 of those wins over their last 7 games. The Tigers had the honor of playing at Doubleday Field in the shadows of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York last Saturday. They took advantage of the trip, taking down the Tri-City ValleyCats 6-5 on a Ryan Soares walk-off single in the bottom of the 13th inning. Connecticut has two more to play in Staten Island before heading home for a 9 game stand that includes two doubleheaders.

Let it be known that on Saturday, July 24th, in the year 2010, the Lowell Spinners beat the Vermont Lake Monsters by a score of 11-5 to end their 11-game losing streak. Let it also be known that the following day they decided to start a new losing streak, which is now at 3 games heading into Thursday night. The good news is that they have equalled their June win total of 4 games and they have 3 more to play this month. The bad news is that they only played 13 games in the month of June, so you do the math! They currently sit 15 1/2 back of first place. Kolbrin Vitek, the 2010 first round pick of the Boston Red Sox, has struggled of late, batting .195 with only 4 RBI over his last ten games. Their team ERA is an obscene 4.99. Mahoning Valley has the second worse ERA in the New York-Penn League at 4.41.

Whoa is the Vermont Lake Monsters, whose recent struggles have allowed the Connecticut Tigers to sneak back into the race in the Stadler Division of the NY-Penn League. They've dropped five of their last seven games and are 13-12 in the month of July. Last weeks "Farming" showed us that Vermont was still holding tight with a 3.06 team ERA. This week, that ERA has ballooned to 4.09 and dropped them from 2nd in the league to 10th! David Freitas had his franchise record 21-game hit streak snapped in an 8-3 loss to Tri-City on Monday. He started a new streak Wednesday night when he went 3 for 3 and raised his season average to .390, second best in the league.

Tonight's Probable Pitchers 7/29/10

Pawtucket Red Sox (Felix Doubront 3-3, 3.94)
vs. Toledo Mud Hens (L.J. Gagnier 4-4, 3.64) @ 7:00pm

Portland Sea Dogs (Kyle Weiland 5-5, 3.82)
vs. Harrisburg Senators (Andrew Kown 5-4, 3.89) @ 7:00pm

New Britain Rock Cats (Bobby Lannigan 1-0, 0.71)
vs. Bowie Baysox (Eddie Gamboa 3-4, 3.04) @ 7:05

New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Randy Boone 2-6, 3.99)
vs. Trenton Thunder (Lance Pendleton 9-4, 3.49) @ 7:05pm

Lowell Spinners (Roman Mendez 1-3, 4.50)
vs. Tri-City ValleyCats (Alex Sogard 1-1, 2.79) @ 7:00pm

Connecticut Tigers (Clemente Mendoza 2-3, 6.44)
vs. Staten Island Yankees (Nik Turley 0-2, 7.11) @ 7:05pm

Hudson Valley Renegades (Jacob Thompson 1-0, 0.00)
vs. Vermont Lake Monsters (Chad Jenkins 2-3, 2.90) @ 7:05pm

You can listen to all games at:
MiLB Gameday Audio

Game of the Day - Fisher Cats @ Trenton - Although this is the third time this week that our GotD is being played in Trenton (two versus New Britain), there is no denying how big this game is for both teams. They are currently the two best teams in the Eastern League, Trenton has a game and half lead over New Hampshire in the Eastern Divison and they are about to engage in a four game series with a little over a month left in the regular season. Both teams are fresh off of three game sweeps of their last opponents in which Fisher Cat pitching allowed only 6 runs and Trenton only allowed 5. Something's gotta give! Randy Boone will be tasked with holding down the fort for New Hampshire. Eric Thames has been red-hot at the plate for the Cats as he is in the midst of an eight game hit streak in which he has two home runs and 7 RBI. For Trenton, Lance Pendleton gets the nod after going 2-0 and not allowing a run over 11 innings in his last two outings.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hitting the Links

ManchVegas or Las Vegas? Kevin Gray of the Manchester Union Leader examines why the Toronto Blue Jays are stacking up their big name prospects at AA New Hampshire and not with the AAA Las Vegas 51s. Their loss is the gain of the good people of New England who get to watch them play! Manchester Union Leader

Mike Lowell's last appearance in a Red Sox uniform may actually be a Pawtucket one and not Boston. After slugging three home runs last night against the Toledo Mud Hens, and with Boston burying him on the bench, speculations of his return to the majors have turned towards it possibly being with another club. The MLB trade deadline is this Saturday and Terry Francona has stated that they will sit down with Lowell on Friday to discuss his options, once the big club returns from the west coast. In the meantime, Lowell should get in another game with the PawSox tonight.

Rocco Baldelli is trying to make a comeback and has been working on his game down in the Florida State League with the Charlotte Stone Crabs. Apparently he has also been working on a sick mustache. I had trouble getting into the story itself because of the accompanying photo. After Rocco's one season of life on the Red Sox disabled list, he took a position in the Tampa Bay Rays system as a coach. But alas, the mustache could not be contained as a mere hitting instructor, this mustache must shine at the plate in the field dammit! Florida State League Notebook

The MiLB's Minors Moniker Madness tournament has moved on to the second round of action. The winners this week go on to the Sweet 16 and a few local players are in the hunt. New Britain's Yangervis Solarte, seeded 3rd in the Icicle Reader bracket, takes on 6th seeded Riaan Spanjer-Furstenburg. Tough draw. In the Natty Nattress bracket, the 15th seeded Seth Schwindenhammer of the Lowell Spinners pulled out the big upset in round one and now faces Petey Paramore, the 10th seed. The always solid Bubbie Buzachero of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats is the 8th seed in the Razor Shines bracket and has to face top seeded Al Albuquerque in round two. Let's keep our favorite, local appellations in the hunt towards immortality. Vote Here!

Here is a campaign video from the VOTE FOR HAMMER camp:

Today's Probable Pitchers 7/28/10

Pawtucket Red Sox (Robert Coello 2-4, 4.46)
vs. Toledo Mud Hens (Andrew Oliver 0-0, 0.00) @ 7:00pm

New Britain Rock Cats (Kyle Gibson 5-5, 4.12)
vs. Trenton Thunder (D.J. Mitchell 8-4, 4.60) @ 12:05pm

Harrisburg Senators (Brad Peacock NR)
vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Zack Stewart 8-2, 4.01) @ 12:05pm

Portland Sea Dogs (Stephen Fife 6-3, 3.73)
vs. Binghamton Mets (Mark Cohoon 1-3, 6.37) @ 6:35pm

Connecticut Tigers (Brennan Smith 0-1. 3.38)
vs. Staten Island Yankees (N/A) @ 11:00am

Lowell Spinners (N/A)
vs. Tri-City ValleyCats (N/A) @ 7:00pm

Hudson Valley Renegades (N/A)
vs. Vermont Lake Monsters (Christopher McKenzie 1-0, 6.00) @ 7:05pm

You can listen to all games at:
MiLB Gameday Audio

Game of the Day - Rock Cats @ Trenton - Today's GotD takes us back to Trenton for the wrap up of a three game set between New Britain and the Thunder. It is usually the pitching matchups that get me going on the GotD and this one is no exception. Kyle Gibson is looking to return to form for the Rock Cats. He is 2-5 with a 5.43 ERA over his last 10 starts following his torrid start. He was looking like the Kyle Gibson of early May in his last outing versus the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, but an untimely hour and a half rain delay chased him from the game. Trenton's D.J. Mitchell has picked up 3 wins over his last 6 starts, but he has also allowed 20 earned runs. The Rock Cats lineup has been up-and-down over the last week, getting blanked three times, but also dropping 9+ runs on two occasions. Gibson is hoping that the 9+ runs lineup shows up today to help him stop New Britain from suffering a sweep in the afternoon tilt against the Thunder.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Today's Probable Pitchers 7/27/10

Pawtucket Red Sox (Ramon Ramirez 1-2, 5.55)
vs. Toledo Mud Hens (Charlie Furbush 0-0, 4.50) @ 7:05pm

New Britain Rock Cats (Deolis Guerra 2-5, 4.86)
vs. Trenton Thunder (Adam Warren 2-0, 2.25) @ 12:05pm

Portland Sea Dogs (Alex Wilson 3-2, 5.31)
vs. Binghamton Mets (Josh Stinson 8-1, 3.04) @ 6:35pm

Harrisburg Senators (John Lannan 1-3, 4.29)
vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Kyle Drabek 9-9, 3.27) @ 7:05pm

You can listen to all games at:
MiLB Gameday Audio

Game of the Day - Harrisburg @ Fisher Cats - With the season nearing the home stretch of August and September, the race for the Eastern League's Eastern Division is turning into a two team race between Trenton and New Hampshire. The Thunder currently hold a 1.5 game lead, which is why every game gets more and more important for the Fisher Cats. The bats of Eric Thames and Adeiny Hechavarria are certainly helping things lately and the lineup has been reliable all season long. Unfortunately their big-time pitching rotation has not been consistent this season. In order for the Cats to close the gap and make a run down the stretch, they are going to need their young guns to step up to the task. Tonight Kyle Drabek will look to start the trend as he takes the Harrisburg Senators, who he lost to when he faced them last back on June 22nd.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Freitas Named NY-Penn League Player of the Week

The hits just keep on coming for Vermont's David Freitas. In the midst of his franchise record 21-game hit streak he goes on to collect his first New York-Penn League Player of the Week honor. For the week of July 19-25 Freitas played in 6 games and collected 8 hits in 20 bats for a .400 batting average. He picked up 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 5 RBI and a stolen base along the way. His hit streak is obviously the big story, but his big week certainly deserves the acclaim as well. Congratulations to David Freitas on picking up this honor and here's hoping he picks up some more hits towards the streak. He will look to extended his hitting streak to 22 tonight when the Lake Monsters face off against the Tri-City ValleyCats at historic Centennial Field.

Today's Probable Pitchers 7/26/10

Pawtucket Red Sox (Mark Hollimon 0-1, 3.00)
vs. Columbus Clippers (Justin Germano 2-2, 3.02) @ 7:05pm

Portland Sea Dogs (Casey Kelly 3-4, 4.85)
vs. Binghamton Mets (Robert Carson 0-2, 6.75) @ 6:35pm

Harrisburg Senators (Aaron Thompson 4-10, 5.24)
vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats (B.J. LaMura 3-3, 5.13) @ 7:05pm

New Britain Rock Cats (Mike McCardell 0-11, 5.65)
vs. Trenton Thunder (Andrew Brackman 1-5, 5.31) @ 7:05pm

Connecticut Tigers (Josue Carreno 1-4, 6.00)
vs. Lowell Spinners (Tyler Wilson 0-2, 5.83)@ 12:05pm

Tri-City ValleyCats (Bobby Doran 0-3, 6.99)

vs. Vermont Lake Monsters (Bobby Hansen 3-1, 2.53) @ 7:05pm

You can listen to all games at:
MiLB Gameday Audio

Game of the Day - Rock Cats @ Trenton - The two times we picked a Mike McCardell start as the "Game of the Day" he came awfully close to pulling out his first victory of the season. His last time out, we thought we'd keep the pressure off by not putting him in the GotD, and he ended up losing his 11th of the season. So I think we're the good luck charm least when it comes him not picking up a loss. He faces off against big time Yankee pitching prospect Andrew Brackman, who is an imposing hurler at 6'10" with a high-90s heater. Brackman has reigned in the control problems that hampered him last year (I was at a game in Charleston last season where he threw 9 walks in 3 innings of work). Yet his numbers have not been stellar since making the jump to AA, so the time is right for McCardell to step up and capture that ever elusive "W"!

Freitas Is Going Streaking

Back on June 27th, Vermont Lake Monsters catcher David Freitas went 2-4 in a 7-3 victory over the Connecticut Tigers. Since that game he has compiled a record-setting hit streak, the likes of which haven't been seen in these parts since Jacoby Ellsbury hit in 25 straight for the PawSox back in 2007.

The Washington Nationals 15th round pick out of the University of Hawai'i, is showing his worth and has even gone above and beyond where his collegiate career ended. Freitas batted .292 with 10 home runs, 9 doubles, 43 runs and 49 RBI in helping the Rainbows win the WAC Championship and a place in the Regionals of the College World Series.

In 28 games with Vermont this season he is batting .380 with 2 home runs, 11 doubles, 17 runs and 19 RBI. He has also hit safely in 24 of those 28 games. Freitas has gone 34-80 with a .425 average amid the streak.

Even when Vermont has hit a rough patch, Freitas has continued his hot ways at the plate. During the streak, the Lake Monsters have a 17-11 record. The previous franchise hit record was 18 straight games set by Geoff Blum in 1994 and Jason Tuttle in 2003. A single in the first inning against the Lowell Spinners on July 23rd set the new high-water mark.

Freitas has the longest hit streak in the New York Penn League this season and the longest league streak since the Lowell Spinners Luis Soto had a 20-gamer during the 2005 season. The longest hitting streak in the minors this season was by Harold Garcia of the Clearwater Threshers who set a Florida State League record when he hit in 37 straight games which also tied him for 20th longest streak in Minor League Baseball history.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Today's Probable Pitchers 7/25/10

Pawtucket Red Sox (Mark Hollimon 0-1, 3.00)
vs. Columbus Clippers (Carlos Carrasco 9-4, 3.98) @ 5:05pm

Harrisburg Senators (Tom Milone 6-5, 3.24)
vs. Portland Sea Dogs (Jeremy Kehrt 2-7, 5.20) @ 1:00pm

New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Rey Gonzalez 1-2, 8.31)
vs. New Britain Rock Cats (Tyler Robertson 2-9, 5.00) @ 1:35pm

Tri-City ValleyCats (Bobby Doran 0-3, 6.99)

vs. Vermont Lake Monsters (Bobby Hansen 3-1, 2.53) @ 1:05pm

Connecticut Tigers (Rayni Guichardo 1-2, 5.32)

vs. Lowell Spinners (Madison Younginer 2-5, 7.22)@ 5:05pm

You can listen to all games at:
MiLB Gameday Audio

Game of the Day - Tigers @ Spinners - What happens when you start two pitchers with ERAs over 5.00? We're about to find out as today's "Game of the Day" takes us to Lowell. The red-hot Spinners are riding a one game win streak and Madison Younginer takes his 2 wins and 7.22 ERA to the hill. Younginer has picked up the "L" in his last three starts and has allowed 16 earned runs over 11 1/3 innings during that span. Connecticut is also riding the one game win wave after taking out Tri-City in a 13-inning affair in Cooperstown yesterday. Rayni Guichardo gets the start for the Tigers and is in search of his second win of the season and first since his very first start of the season. So maybe this one won't be a pitchers duel!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Today's Probable Pitchers 7/24/10

Pawtucket Red Sox (Felix Doubront 3-2, 2.36)
vs. Columbus Clippers (David Huff 4-0, 3.14) @ 7:05pm

New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Randy Boone 2-5, 4.08)
vs. New Britain Rock Cats (Bobby Lanigan 0-0, 1.50) @ 2:35pm

Harrisburg Senators (Andrew Kown 4-4, 4.18)
vs. Portland Sea Dogs (Kyle Weiland 5-5, 4.12) @ 6:00pm

Tri-City ValleyCats (David Martinez 2-2, 3.74)
vs. Connecticut Tigers (Patrick Cooper 2-1, 3.18) @ 1:00pm
(Game will be played in Cooperstown, NY as part of NY-Penn League Hall of Fame Game)

Lowell Spinners (Roman Mendez 1-3, 4.12)
vs. Vermont Lake Monsters (Matt Swynenberg 2-2, 4.13) @ 6:05pm

You can listen to all games at:
MiLB Gameday Audio

Game of the Day - PawSox @ Columbus - We picked us a pitchers duel as the "Game of the Day" yesterday and we had ourselves just that until the rain hit New Britain and both Zack Stewart and Kyle Gibson were forced from the game after a long delay. We're hoping the rain doesn't hit Columbus tonight as we have ourselves another pitcher's duel in the making. After receiving a false Felix Doubront reading on Thursday, it looks like he is all-systems-go for the PawSox tonight. He'll certainly have his hands full as he faces off against David Huff who has four wins in five starts for the Clippers this season. Huff's 3.14 ERA is only as high as it is because he allowed 7 earned runs during one of his starts. In his other four he allowed only 3 earned runs over 25 2/3 innings. He has to be foaming at the mouth with the prospects of the dormant PawSox lineup ahead. Hopefully Doubront is up to the task and can help keep Pawtucket in line for a much needed victory.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tonight's Probable Pitchers 7/23/10

Pawtucket Red Sox (Robert Coello 2-3, 3.37)
vs. Columbus Clippers (Jeanmar Gomez 6-8, 5.70) @ 7:05pm

Harrisburg Senators (Jason Marquis NR)
vs. Portland Sea Dogs (Stephen Fife 6-2, 3.58) @ 7:00pm

New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Zach Stewart 8-2, 4.13)

vs. New Britain Rock Cats (Kyle Gibson 5-5, 4.31) @ 7:05pm

Lowell Spinners (Hunter Cervenka 0-2, 3.46)
vs. Vermont Lake Monsters (Chad Jenkins 2-3, 2.42) @ 7:05pm

Tri-City ValleyCats (David Martinez 2-2, 3.74)
vs. Connecticut Tigers (Patrick Cooper 2-1, 3.18) @ 7:05pm

MiLB Gameday Audio

Game of the Day - Fisher Cats @ Rock Cats - "The Cat Fight" is our Game of the Day for two reasons. The first being the premiere pitching matchup we have between top prospects Zack Stewart and Kyle Gibson. Both of these guys have been rated as the top pitching prospect in their respective organizations at one point or another, and both hit the mound with something to prove each time out. The second reason being last night's 11-10 extra innings battle which shows us that when these two teams play, anything can happen. Despite the Fisher Cats 11-6 edge over the Rock Cats in the season series, there is no denying that both teams will do what it takes to scratch and claw their way to a win.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Farming New England (7/22/10)

This week we will see a growing trend in the field of losing streaks, unless you're the Portland Sea Dogs. So goes the dog days of Summer. Let's take a look around at the farm teams of New England.

The PawSox have seemingly been a revolving door of rehabilitation over the past week or two, so it's tough to watch them drop five straight. Gone are Buchholz, Beckett and Lowrie, with Hermida packing his bags to head to Boston. Back is Felix Doubront, with a side of rehab in Mike Lowell. Also look for the Daniel Nava Expeience to return to Pawtucket in the coming days. Currently the PawSox have four players in the top 10 lowest batting averages in the International League (Tug Hullett .188; Josh Reddick .218; Aaron Bates .222; Jorge Jimenez .223). Once Toledo clears out of Pawtucket, the Sox hit the road for eight games.

The next contestant on the "How Long is Your Losing Streak" game is the New Britain Rock Cats who match the PawSox at five. Much like the PawSox, the Rock Cats lineup has been stagnant, putting up only eight runs over the losing streak, including back-to-back 2-0 losses to Harrisburg. Of course our lovable loser Mike McCardell picked up a loss during this stretch, putting him at 0-11 on the season. Yet over his last three starts, he's had opportunities for wins, and sometimes isn't that good enough? No? Well, we still got his back...then again, it's kind of fun to watch an 0fer go down like this, in a train wreck kinda way. It also isn't helping things that Ben Revere is 6 for 38 over his last ten games, since the lineup usually goes as he does. New Britain welcomes New Hampshire to town for four games starting Thursday.

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats are another slumping team who just got swept in a three game series at home versus the Portland Sea Dogs and have compiled a 2-5 record since they entered the All-Star break in first place. The good news is that they are only a half game behind first place Trenton and they head to New Britain to face the Rock Cats who they are 10-6 against this year. Jo-Jo Reyes made a big splash in his first game with the club last Friday, but his second time out on Wednesday night was a different story, allowing 4 earned runs, 6 hits and 2 walks over six innings. Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria is batting .310 over his last ten games and has hit safely in six straight.

The Portland Sea Dogs are the only team with some momentum around here lately. Their three game sweep of the Fisher Cats and their five game win streak has allowed them a one game buffer zone to a .500 record. Starting pitcher Casey Kelly has looked sharp in his last three outings, collecting two wins, tossing 17 2/3 innings, allowing only 5 earned runs and striking out 15. Catcher Ryan Lavarnway has been a beast since his call up from Single-A Salem. In six games he is batting .409 with 11 RBI and he has hit safely in all six games. The Sea Dogs head home for four games against the Harrisburg Senators starting Thursday night.

The Connecticut Tigers continue to maintain in the New York Penn League. I think the last time we looked in they were a game over .500, which is where we find them this week. They are one of these teams that you feel alternates a win with a loss every other game. They are also a team that gets rained out a lot, with two PPDs over their last three games. The one game they did get in, just so happened to be a hard fought 2-1 win over first place Vermont. If they can take advantage of their Thursday doubleheader against the Lake Monsters, they have a chance to pull within three games of first place. Tri-City hits Dodd Stadium up for two games Friday and Saturday, then the Tigers head to Lowell for a couple.

And the WINNER of the "Losing Streak" contest is the Lowell Spinners...more like the Whoa-ell Spinners, huh, huh! As bad as that line is, they've been much worse. For nine straight games they have found a way to lose. Blowouts, blown leads, lack of hitting, lack of name it, they've done it. This team is 3-17 in the month of July. Let me repeat...3-17 in the month of July! They are already 15 games behind first place and they are only 31 games into the season. They own the worst team batting average (.231) and the worst team ERA (5.16) in the New York Penn League, which pretty much sums it all up.

Even the Vermont Lake Monsters have been riding the losing wave lately. Granted it's only been a two game losing streak, but they've dropped three of their last four and are 5-5 over their last ten games. Yet they've lost no ground in the North Division and still maintain the second best ERA (3.06) and WHIP (1.23 ) in the New York Penn League. The hitting is heating up as well for Vermont, led by DH David Freitas who is in the midst of a 16 game hitting streak. First basemen Ronnie Labrie has also swung a hot stick lately, throwing up a .379 average over his last ten game and reaching base safely in seven straight. Vermont welcomes the Lowell Spinners (with open arms) to Centennial Field for a two game series on Friday, followed by Tri-City for two starting Sunday.

Today's Probable Pitchers 7/22/10

Toledo Mud Hens (Scot Drucker 2-4, 5.80)
vs. Pawtucket Red Sox (Felix Doubront 3-2, 2.36) @ 7:05pm

Harrisburg Senators (John Lannan 1-2, 4.11)
vs. Portland Sea Dogs (Alex Wilson 2-2, 5.89)@ 7:00pm

New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Kyle Drabek 9-9, 3.23)
vs. New Britain Rock Cats (Deolis Guerra 2-5, 4.18) @ 7:05pm


Lowell Spinners (Miguel Celestino 0-0, 1.80)
vs. Brooklyn Cyclones (A.J. Pinera 1-2, 1.33)
@ 12:00pm

Vermont Lake Monsters (Christopher McKenzie 1-0, 6.23) GAME 1
vs. Connecticut Tigers (Clemente Mendoza 2-3, 5.91) @ 6:05pm

Vermont Lake Monsters (Taylor Jordan 1-1, 4.08) GAME 2
vs. Connecticut Tigers (Patrick Lawson 0-0, 3.86) @ approx. 30 minutes after the completion Game 1

MiLB Gameday Audio

Game of the Day - Toledo @ PawSox - The PawSox have dropped the first three games of their series versus the Mud Hens, despite the help of big-league talent in Jeremy Hermida and Jed Lowrie. They have been outscored by a whopping 22-4 margin and are now in the midst of the five-game skid. Yet there is hope for them today as Felix Doubront returns after his stint with the big club. It'll be his first game with Pawtucket since June 30th when he picked up a victory against the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees. In six starts for the PawSox, Doubront is 3-2 and has allowed only seven earned runs in 26 2/3 innings of work. Another major league bat will be in the lineup as Mike Lowell starts his rehab stint. Here's hoping these two can help turn things around at McCoy.

Standings Through 7/21/10

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hitting the Links

Dice-K, Ellsbury, Cameron, Buchholz, Beckett....Mike Lowell lends his name to this illustrious list of Red Sox players who rehab in Pawtucket this season. Obviously Boston has been decimated by injuries this year, but Pawtucket has been there to help shake the rust off as the players work their way back to the big club. Mike Lowell has been on the DL since June 23rd with a strained hip, but is now set to start his rehab stint this Thursday at McCoy Stadium.

The New Haven Register caught up with Portland Sea Dogs pitcher Casey Kelly and discussed the tough decision he had to make in choosing a baseball career over football. Kelly was a big-time QB prospect and had a free ride to Tennessee on a football scholarship. Following the Kelly piece is a story about New Britain Rock Cats pitcher Kyle Gibson and how he is seemingly a natural when dealing with the media. New Haven Register

If you are the type of person that will fill out a bracket for any type of competition, then has something for you. This week they launched their "Minors Moniker Madness" campaign where they pit 64 of the best names in Minor League Baseball against each other in a March Madness-esque tournament. The winners are actually chosen by fans who can fill out and submit a bracket online for free. Past winners are Dusty Napolean ('09), Will Startup ('08) and Houston Summers ('07). Local entries include T.J. Large (PawSox), Seth Schwindenhammer (Spinners) and Yangervis Solarte (Rock Cats). Minors Moniker Madness

If the Lowell Spinners can't win on the field, then they'll win in the stands dammit! For the second time in team history, the Lowell Spinners organization and it's fans have set a World Record. Back in 2004 they entered the Guinness Book of World Records for participating in the largest game of "Duck, Duck, Goose". This past Friday they honored 50 years of Bubble Wrap by having the most people simultaneously pop the wonderfully noisy packing material. Bubble Wrap Recap

Today's Probable Pitchers 7/21/10

Toledo Mud Hens (Scot Drucker 2-4, 5.80)
vs. Pawtucket Red Sox (Fabio Castro 4-6, 6.05) @ 12:05pm

New Britain Rock Cats (Mike McCardell 0-10, 5.79)

vs. Harrisburg Senators (Ross Detwiler 1-2, 3.16) @ 12:00pm

Portland Sea Dogs (Casey Kelly 2-4, 5.11)
vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Jo-Jo Reyes 1-0, 0.00) @ 7:05pm


Lowell Spinners (Tyler Wilson 0-2, 5.98)
vs. Brooklyn Cyclones (Angel Cuan 3-0, 2.00)
@ 7:00pm

Vermont Lake Monsters (Christopher McKenzie 1-0, 6.23)
vs. Connecticut Tigers (Clemente Mendoza 2-3, 5.91) @ 7:05pm

MiLB Gameday Audio

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tonight's Probable Pitchers 7/20/10

Toledo Mud Hens (Gilbert De La Vara 0-1, 6.14)
vs. Pawtucket Red Sox (Kris Johnson 4-7, 5.04) @ 7:05pm

New Britain Rock Cats (Tyler Robertson 2-9, 5.34)

vs. Harrisburg Senators (Aaron Thompson 4-10, 5.61) @ 7:00pm

Portland Sea Dogs (Jeremy Kehrt 1-7, 5.29)
vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Reidier Gonzalez 1-1, 5.40) @ 7:05pm


Lowell Spinners (Madison Younginer 2-4, 7.61)
vs. Brooklyn Cyclones (Chris Hilliard 4-0, 4.32) @ 7:00pm

Vermont Lake Monsters (Bobby Hansen 3-1, 3.12)
vs. Connecticut Tigers (Brennan Smith 0-1, 3.86) @ 7:05pm

MiLB Gameday Audio

Game of the Night - Lowell @ Brooklyn - The Spinners are in the midst of a seven game slide and have lost 9 of their last 10. They suffered another heart breaker last night after possessing the lead heading into the top of the 9th, now back to the road to face a tough Brooklyn squad. Madison Younginer has allowed 13 earned runs in 6 1/3 innings or work over his last two games, after a fairly promising start to the season. Hopefully, tonight the Spinners "come out to playyyyy-eee-ayyyy" while at Coney Island...because they desperately need it!

Reyes Named Eastern League Player of the Week

(photo by Kevin Littlefield)

Jo-Jo Reyes certainly took away the sting of the Fisher Cats losing an important piece of their pitching staff in Tim Collins. In his first start for New Hampshire, after coming over in a 5-player trade between Toronto and Atlanta, Reyes was damn near perfect! He took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Binghamton Mets last Friday night at Stadium before Jonathan Malo got to him for a double. That was the only time the B-Mets could figure Reyes out. He wound up tossing 8 full innings, allowing no runs and only 2 walks while striking out 6 batters. That effort earned Reyes Eastern League Player of the Week honors.

Reyes is the sixth Fisher Cat to earn PotW honors in the EL this season. The other players were Luis Perez (April 18th), Darin Mastroianni (May 9th), Adam Calderone (May 16th), Shawn Bowman (June 7th) and most recently Kyle Drabek (July 4th) following his no-hitter week. It's easy to see why New Hampshire has been at the top of the Eastern Division for most of the season. With Reyes, Drabek and Zack Stewart in the rotation, there may be no doubt that they will stay there too. Here's hoping they keep this potent staff together.

So welcome to Manchester Jo-Jo, and congrats on a much deserved honor!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tonight's Probable Pitchers 7/19/10

Toledo Mud Hens (Alfredo Figaro 7-6, 4.39)
vs. Pawtucket Red Sox (Adam Mills 2-7, 4.47) @ 7:05pm

New Britain Rock Cats (David Bromberg 5-5, 3.62)

vs. Harrisburg Senators (Tom Milone 6-5, 3.18) @ 7:00pm

Portland Sea Dogs (Kyle Weiland 4-5, 4.30)
vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Randy Boone 2-4, 3.80) @ 7:05pm


Staten Island Yankees (N/A)
Vermont Lake Monsters (Colin Bates 2-0, 1.62) @ 7:05pm

Aberdeen IronBirds (Justin Anderson 2-1, 3.04)
vs. Lowell Spinners (Keith Couch 0-2, 2.01) @ 7:05pm

Connecticut Tigers (Brennan Smith 0-1, 3.86)
vs. Hudson Valley Renegades (Devin Fuller 0-2, 6.11) @ 7:05pm

MiLB Gameday Audio

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Today's Probable Pitchers 7/18/10

Pawtucket Red Sox (Robert Coello 2-2, 3.29)
vs. Syracuse Chiefs (Matt Chico 4-4, 3.94) @ 2:00pm

Portland Sea Dogs (Stephen Fife 5-2, 3.83)
vs. New Britain Rock Cats (Kyle Gibson 5-4, 4.15) @ 1:35pm

Binghamton Mets (Mark Cohoon 1-1, 6.38)
vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Zack Stewart 7-2, 4.20) @ 1:35pm


Staten Island Yankees (N/A)
Vermont Lake Monsters (Chad Jenkins 1-3, 3.00) @ 1:05pm

Aberdeen IronBirds (N/A)
vs. Lowell Spinners (Seth Garrison 0-0, 0.00) @ 1:35pm

Connecticut Tigers (Josue Carreno 1-3, 5.06)
vs. Hudson Valley Renegades (Miguel Sierra 2-1, 4.97) @ 5:05pm

MiLB Gameday Audio

Game of the Night - Pawtucket @ Syracuse - Chiefs starter Matt Chico has four wins on the season...and two of them have come against the PawSox. Quite frankly, he has owned them this season. In outings on June 25th and July 10th, Chico stiffled the Pawtucket lineup, allowing only 8 hits and 1 earned run over a span of 12 2/3 innings. On the opposite side of things, PawSox hurler Robert Coello did not fare well in his one start against Syracuse back on June 28th. Coello picked up the loss after only 3 2/3 innings of work where he gave up 5 hits, 3 walks and 3 earned runs. The good news for Coello is that he has alternated wins and losses over his last four games, and his last time out he picked up a loss. So today we're watching trends. Will Coello keep alternating Ws and Ls? Or will Chico continue his mastery of all things PawSox?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Tonight's Probable Pitchers 7/17/10

Pawtucket Red Sox (Josh Beckett 0-0, 2.25)
vs. Syracuse Chiefs (Shairon Martis 6-5, 3.75) @ 7:00pm

Portland Sea Dogs (Alex Wilson 1-2, 6.53)
vs. New Britain Rock Cats (Deolis Guerra 2-4, 3.44) @ 7:05pm

Binghamton Mets (Josh Stinson 6-1, 3.31)
vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Kyle Drabek 9-8, 3.03) @ 7:05pm


Aberdeen IronBirds (Tim Adleman 0-1, 3.10)
vs. Lowell Spinners (Miguel Celestino NR) @ 5:05pm

Staten Island Yankees (N/A)
Vermont Lake Monsters (Chad Jenkins 1-3, 3.00) @ 6:05pm

Connecticut Tigers (Rayni Guichardo 1-1, 4.57)
vs. Hudson Valley Renegades (Jake Thompson 0-0, 0.00) @ 7:05pm

MiLB Gameday Audio

Game of the Night - Binghamton @ New Hampshire - Kyle Drabek gets the nod for the Fisher Cats tonight. Fresh off his start in the Eastern League All-Star Game, he will be opposed by the BMets Josh Stinson, who has picked up wins in 4 of his last six starts, and his only loss came back in May! Not too shabby Mr. Stinson...but do you have a no-hitter? I didn't think so! Two good pitchers. Two good lineups. As usual with these two teams, this one can go either way, but should be a fun one to watch regardless.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tonight's Probable Pitchers 7/16/10

Pawtucket Red Sox (Clay Buchholz NR)
vs. Syracuse Chiefs (Jason Jones 1-3, 4.07) @ 7:00pm

Portland Sea Dogs (Casey Kelly 2-4, 5.28)
vs. New Britain Rock Cats (Mike McCardell 0-10, 5.87) @ 7:05pm

Binghamton Mets (Robert Carson NR)
vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Jo-Jo Reyes NR) @ 7:05pm


Aberdeen IronBirds (Tyler Sexton 0-2, 10.06)
Vermont Lake Monsters (Taylor Jordan 1-0, 2.63) @ 7:05pm

Lowell Spinners (Tyler Wilson 0-2, 4.84)
vs. Batavia Muckdogs (N/A)@ 7:05pm

State College Tigers (Quinton Miller 0-0, 5.40)
Connecticut Tigers (Patrick Cooper 1-1, 4.09) @ 7:05pm

MiLB Gameday Audio

Game of the Night - Sea Dogs @ Rock Cats - My apologies, but I gotta stick with Mike McCardell here until he pulls one off. Last week against the Sea Dogs it looked as if he was about to notch his first victory of the season, but unfortunately he and his team blew a 5 run lead. However New Britain still came up victorious. Is tonight the night? This time out McCardell opposes phenom Casey Kelly who is fresh off a victory over Kyle Gibson in his last outing. The stakes keep getting higher and the games keep getting tougher for McCardell.