Tuesday, May 31, 2011

June Promos

OK, so I just noticed that June is happening soon…like tomorrow! I’m way out of the loop here and a bit behind on things, but I must promote the promos around the region…unfortunately it’s just going to have to be a bit shorter than usual. This time around, since we have the three New York-Penn League teams joining the mix, I’ve simply picked the “best” promo on the board for each team and if something big comes up throughout the month, I’ll be sure to give you the heads up. Without further ado, here is the abridged version of the best promos in the region for the month of June:

Connecticut Tigers
Monday the 20th
Opening Nights/Fireworks/Magnet Schedule/Social Media Monday – Follow the Tigers on Facebook and Twitter for the social media aspect of things, which includes specials and discounts. Everything else speaks for itself really. Another season of baseball will kick off at Dodd Stadium with fireworks to follow and you get something to hold up your kid’s special painting on your fridge…and also will allow you to plan your next visit to Dodd Stadium!

Lowell Spinners
Sunday the 19th
- $1,000 Money Drop – A helicopter is going
to hover over LeLacheur Park and dump a grand in cold hard cash all over the field. Once the last bill hits the ground it’s an all out rampage to scoop up what you can and try and earn a refund on your ticket costs or maybe your beers for the day. Either way, at the end of the day, a free buck is a free buck…I just want to see the helicopter blow all the money over the outfield wall and into the Merrimack, just for fun.

New Britain Rock Cats
Saturday the 25th
Post Game Launch-A-Ball/Sammy Saturdays/Waterbottle Giveway – It’s going to get real hot around here very quickly and you need to stay hydrated, so get yourself a fancy receptacle to carry around your ice cold water in all summer long. Unfortunately, it does not come equipped with refreshing water in it when you get it, so you should take advantage of great beer specials at the Sam Adams Bar & Grill as part of Sammy Saturdays. Two great ways to quench your summer thirst…as for “Launch-a-ball,” I honestly have no idea what this is, but three things sound better than two, right!?

New Hampshire Fisher Cats
Sunday the 26th
Kyle Drabek Bobblehead Night – I was recently at a game at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium where the crowd was the seventh largest in team history at 8,107 paid attendees. It was also the largest Sunday crowd ever for the Fisher Cats. I have a feeling that if the weather is right, then that mark may just be eclipsed on this day. After Drabek’s award winning season in Manchester last year, he has become a bit of legend around NeDDS, so I assume the masses will be clamoring to get a piece of this giveaway, which commemorates Drabek’s no-hitter thrown on July 4th last season. Only 1,500 fans will be lucky enough to snag one!

Pawtucket Red SoxSaturday the 14th - Red Sox Legends Night – Former Boston Red Sox fan-faves Bill Lee and Jose Santiago will be on hand signing autographs throughout the game. Sure, Bill Lee seems to be everywhere and has almost sapped his whole “Spaceman” routine with how inundating it seems to have been over the last few years, but he’s still a treat to see and an amazing baseball mind. On the other hand, when was the last time you heard that Jose Santiago was going to be around?

Portland Sea Dogs
Thursday the 30th
Breakin’ BBoy McCoy – Listen, it was between this and a Jimmy Buffett impersonator, and after you view the video below (bottom of this post), I think you’ll agree that the right choice was made here. Now if it were a Breakin’ BBoy McCoy impersonator, then I would have passed, but this is the real thing kids, for what looks like his only regional appearance. I’ve been combing YouTube clips of this guy for about an hour now and from all the comments people have posted, there is no denying that the dude certainly entertains the crowd. I can hear the phone lines at Hadlock lighting up…I’m still enjoying the clips.

Vermont Lake Monsters
Monday the 20th
Opening Night/Magnet Schedule/Kids Run the Bases – OK, so I must admit that the Lake Monsters promos were verrrrry slim (I’m happy I only chose to go with one for each team this month, because even this one was a struggle). Sure it’s similar to the Tigers promo, but seriously, you have a second chance at the fanfare that is an Opening Night baseball game, so you might as well take advantage. Then the little ones can run the bases at one of the oldest baseball parks in the nation.

For those who need some pop after their games, here is the listing for FIREWORKS nights:
Connecticut - 20th
Lowell - NONE
New Britain – 24th (special effects pyro show)
New Hampshire – 9th, 11th, 23rd, 24th, 25th
Pawtucket – NONE
Portland – 23rd
Vermont - NONE

And don’t forget about the best season-long promo running; the KRAFT Singles Tuesday Night Tickets promo, where you can buy 1 ticket and get a free 1 when you bring a wrapper from any KRAFT singles wrapper to the box office. Click the logo for more details…

Pitching matchups; Game of the Day 5/31/11

Portland Sea Dogs (Chris Balcolm-Miller NR) GAME 1
vs. New Britain Rock Cats (Brett Jacobson 1-0, 2.93)

Portland Sea Dogs (Miguel Gonzalez 0-2, 8.22)
vs. New Britain Rock Cats (N/A)

New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Henderson Alvarez 2-0, 1.50)
vs. Harrisburg Senators (Brad Peacock 7-1, 2.13)

Norfolk Tides (Michael Ballard 2-4, 5.08)
vs. Pawtucket Red Sox (John Lackey NR)

Game of the DayTides vs. PawSox – A lot of local eyes will be on Pawtucket tonight, at least for a few innings, as John Lackey goes in his first rehab start since injuring his ability to pitch…er, straining his elbow. The plan is to have him toss 70 pitches or four innings, whichever comes first (if he even makes it that far). Boston is aiming to have him back in their starting rotation by Sunday, so this is an important step back for the struggling Lackey. Those in attendance will also get a rehabbing Darnell MacDonald in his first action since hitting the DL with a quad strain. The PawSox have dropped four of their last five and will hope to jump on Norfolk starter Michael Ballard early and often, so that maybe they will have a large enough lead late to where they won’t blow things up, as has been the case lately. Ballard’s last win came back on May 3rd versus Louisville and he has allowed 15 runs and 30 hits over his last four starts. His 1.66 WHIP is 8th worst in the International League.

Side note prediction (6-15) – I’m going for another stab at a double header! Tonight, I predict a split in the Rock Cats/Sea Dogs twin bill. I already have a bad feeling about this!

To listen to any of the above games live, click here:

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Art of the Duel

The pitcher’s duel can be a thing of beauty and yesterday at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, 8,107 fans (and a handful of stellar media members) were witness to a gem of a duel between New Britain’s Liam Hendriks and New Hampshire’s Zach Stewart. Both pitchers came into the season ranked by Baseball America as the sixth best player in their respective organizations, but both pitchers came into the game riding different waves of success as of late.

For the Rock Cats, Liam Hendriks came into the game with 6 straight starts where he allowed 3 or less runs, going 4-1 in that stretch. The righty from Perth, Australia extended that streak to 7 straight, as he used an array of pitches to stifle the potent Fisher Cats lineup.

Zach Stewart on the other hand came into the affair on a downward swing following a 4 game stretch where he allowed 20 runs and 33 hits in 20 innings of work. He had only won one game in that span. On Sunday he used a combination of power and finesse to pitch one of the best outings of his pro career.

Hendriks used some nasty breaking pitches and a quality fastball that was touching 91-93 throughout the game. He allowed only 5 hits, all of which were singles and the only run he allowed was a fluky one. With Darin Mastroianni on first base, Mike McDade singled to right field, but the speedy Mastroianni was running with the pitch and immediately bolted towards third base. As the throw was coming back into the infield, second baseman Yangervis Solarte held on to the ball and the speedy Mastroianni just kept running. By the time Solarte reacted it was too late and Mastroianni was sliding under the tag at home.
That was Hendriks only blemish on the day in the run department. Otherwise he was solid, forcing 6 groundouts and 8 fairly benign flyouts. This kept the heat on Stewart throughout the game.

“It’s one of those things where you can’t let up because the other guy is throwing so well,” said Stewart. “Hendriks was throwing a great game, so you can’t let up because it’s not like he was giving you anything to work with.”

Instead, Stewart gave his team something to work with, a scoreless 8 innings, the longest outing of his pro career. Stewart’s heat was topping out at 96 and he mixed in a dazzling array of junk and off speed stuff. The weather also helped his cause as Stewart hadn’t seen the sun in at least his last four starts, working mostly in damp conditions.

“Zach pitched very well tonight,” said Fisher Cats manager Sal Fasano. “I kidded early on the pregame show that this is the first time he’s pitched with good weather in about a month, so it was actually nice to see him get out there. “ Added Stewart, “It was nice to throw in some good, warm weather without any drizzle or rain or anything. That was definitely a plus.”

Stewart was masterful on the mound, allowing only 3 hits and 1 walk. He was zoned in from the get go, consistently painting corners and nailing the targets that catcher Travis d’Arnaud laid in front of him.

“A lot of it today was Travis,” said Stewart of his trusty backstop. “He called a great game and he seemed to be locked in with what pitches to throw and what counts. He did a great job back there.”

Stewart induced 10 ground ball outs and 4 fly ball outs, only one of which had any pop to it and that was in his last inning of work when Deibinson Romero flied out to Anthony Gose in deep center field. Otherwise Stew scattered 3 hits and 1 walk before departing after 8 full innings of stellar work.

“It was just one of those days where everything went well, I felt locked in and everything was working,” assessed Stewart of his performance. “I had command of everything. Sometimes it happens and you feel locked in and it was just one of those days.”

Both bullpens would eventually come in and blow things up a bit as the Rock Cats tied things at 1 in the top half of the 9th, followed by a walk-off rally by the Fisher Cats in the bottom of the 9th. But today was about the starters, who dazzled and dueled like two top-notch competitors should.

Hendriks - 7IP, 5H, 2BB, 1ER, 6K
Stewart – 8IP, 3H, 1BB, 0ER, 6K

NOTES and NUMBERS – Let’s talk numbers for a second here. First off, NeDDS had some great stats yesterday, starting with a perfect 79 degree day with the sun popping from start to finish…The paid attendance for yesterday’s game was 8,107, which was the largest home crowd of the season, the 7th largest home crowd ever for the Fisher Cats and the largest ever on a Sunday…The busiest players on field were second basemen Yangervis Solarte and John Tolisano who were involved in a combined 12 plays in the game…The Fisher Cats are now 12-3 when wearing their red jerseys…

Here are some additional sights from yesterday’s 2-1 Fisher Cats victory over the Rock Cats at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium (click the image for a larger view):

Pitching matchups; Game of the Day 5/30/11

Trenton Thunder (Dellin Betances 3-1, 1.30)
vs. Portland Sea Dogs (Alex Wilson 4-3, 2.85)

New Britain Rock Cats (Bobby Lanigan 4-3, 3.51)
vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Rey Gonzalez 6-1, 1.72)

Indianapolis Indians (Rick VandenHurk 2-7, 5.29)
vs. Pawtucket Red Sox (Felix Doubront 0-0, 1.98)

Game of the DayALL GAMES – Happy Memorial Day to everyone out there, and a hearty thank you to every single service man and woman who has ever sacrificed their time and efforts to ensure that the citizens of this great country could enjoy our freedom. One of these great freedoms that we get to enjoy is baseball. So today, in honor of the great men and women of our armed services, every game is the Game of the Day. No matter where you are, no matter who is playing, if you have the option of getting out to the ballpark, be thankful, and of course, enjoy!

Side note prediction (6-14) – I won’t gloat about yesterday’s masterpiece by Zach Stewart (I will have a piece up about that later today), but I will let it roll on another pitcher today. With the return of Felix Doubront to the PawSox rotation, the prediction today is a PawSox victory on Memorial Day.

To listen to any of the above games live, click here:

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Live from NeDDS; Rock Cats vs. Fisher Cats

The weather couldn't be much better here in Manchester, and across the region, and there is no place I'd rather be than at the ballpark. A few moves of note have been made by both teams over the last couple days:

P Frank Gailey was called up to New Hampshire from Single-A Dunedin
P Alan Farina was placed on the DL retroactive to 5/26

P Cole DeVries gets the much deserved call up to Triple-A Rochester
P Bruce Pugh was called up to New Britain from Single-A Ft. Myers

Be sure to follow along on Twitter @BeyondFenway and I'll probably include some updates throughout the day here as well, and hopefully some pics...speaking of, here are some shots of the Rock Cats going through batting and fielding practice:

Pitching matchups; Game of the Day 5/29/11

Trenton Thunder (Shaeffer Hall 3-3, 3.57)
vs. Portland Sea Dogs (Michael Lee 1-4, 4.89)

New Britain Rock Cats (Liam Hendriks 4-2, 3.40)
vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Zach Stewart 3-3, 5.15)

Indianapolis Indians (Brad Lincoln 4-4, 4.13)
vs. Pawtucket Red Sox (Andrew Miller 1-2, 2.90)

Game of the DayRock Cats vs. Fisher Cats -
Liam Hendriks gets the start for New Britain today, on a near perfect day in Manchester, New Hampshire. Hendriks has allowed 3 or fewer runs in each of his last six starts, including a two-run effort against the Fisher Cats back on April 25th when he earned his first win of the season. Zach Stewart has been slipping as of late, allowing 20 runs over his last four starts, good enough for a 1-2 record in that stretch. He is coming off of his worst start of the season when he went only 4 innings against Portland on Monday, allowing 7 runs on 8 hits and 4 walks. Thankfully the rest of the staff has been lights out while their "ace" has stumbled, but it's high time he turns things around, and if that happens, then it could be lights out for the rest of the Eastern League. The Rock Cats, who fell to third place with yesterday's loss, will be looking to climb back up the standings and halt their two game skid.

Side note prediction (5-14) – Zach Stewart is overdue for a quality start and the Fisher Cats have been dominating the Rock Cats (8-3 in season series), so the prediction today is a New Hampshire win.

To listen to any of the above games live, click here:

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pitching matchups; Game of the Day 5/28/11

Trenton Thunder (Kei Igawa 2-1, 2.79) GAME 1
vs. Portland Sea Dogs (Stephen Fife 5-2, 2.41)

Trenton Thunder (Cory Arbiso 3-1, 4.03)
vs. Portland Sea Dogs (Jeremy Kehrt 0-0, 4.03)

Indianapolis Indians (Justin Wilson 5-3, 2.67)
vs. Pawtucket Red Sox (Kyle Weiland 4-4, 3.45)

New Britain Rock Cats (Steve Hirschfeld 3-1, 2.08)
vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Joel Carreno 3-3, 3.94)

Game of the DayRock Cats vs. Fisher Cats – The Fisher Cats bats remainded red-hot last night, pummeling New Britain for 17 hits and 15 runs for their fourth straight victory. The Rock Cats slipped out of second place after the loss and thanks in large part to a surging Trenton Thunder who have won eight straight. But New Britain is still within striking distance of the first place Fisher Cats, only 3 games out with 3 more to play in Manchester. Steve Hirschfeld will be tasked with leading the climb back towards the top. He faced the Fisher Cats in his last outing on May 22nd, when he tossed 6 strong innings against the potent N.H. lineup. Hirschfeld allowed only 3 hits and 2 earned runs, and struck out 6, but picked up his only loss of the season. Fisher Cats’ starter Joel Carreno has been firing on all cylinders as of late, picking up Eastern League Pitcher of the Week honors and notching three straight wins. His last win came against the Rock Cats in that same game last Sunday the 22nd, when he was nearly untouchable for 6 innings, allowing only one hit while striking out 7. He has had some control issues as of late, walking 18 batters over his last four starts, but the strikeouts have bailed him out as he has K’d 30 in the same span. Despite the hot Fisher Cats bat, look for a repeat of last Sunday’s pitcher’s duel...the fireworks come after the game.

Side note prediction (5-13) – I predict a Trenton sweep in the double header at Hadlock today. Always ride the streak, which the Thunder now have at 8 straight games…can they make it to 10, or have I now jinxed them?

To listen to any of the above games live, click here:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Pitching Matchup; Game of the Day 5/27/11

Trenton Thunder (Manny Banuelos 1-0, 1.96)
vs. Portland Sea Dogs (Stolmy Pimentel 0-6, 7.56)

New Britain Rock Cats (Deolis Guerra 3-4, 8.91)
vs. New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Chad Beck 4-0, 3.07)

Indianapolis Indians (Brian Burres 2-6, 4.65)
vs. Pawtucket Red Sox (Matt Fox 4-2, 3.09)

Game of the Day Thunder vs. Sea Dogs – We’ve made it back to one of my favorite MiLB pitchers as ManBan (I've ignored him a few times around) and the Trenton Thunder invade Hadlock Field for five games. Despite only having 1 win in 8 starts this season, Thunder starter Manny Banuelos has been solid as the Yankees ease him into a full season of work. Tonight will be his fourth start of the season against Portland. In his prior three outings against the SeaDogs Banuelos went 12 1/3 innings, allowing 14 hits and 3 earned runs while striking out 10. He pitched 4 scoreless innings against Portland in his last start on Sunday in Trenton when he only allowed 2 hits, but also walked 4 batters. He will be opposed by Stolmy Pimentel who is still in search of his first win of the season. Pimentel faced off against Banuelos this past Sunday and had his worst start of the season, lasting only 1 1/3, allowing 7 hits and 6 earned runs. Trenton also tuned him up back on May 4th for 8 hits (2 home runs) and 4 earned runs. After allowing 15 hits and 11 runs over his last 5 2/3 innings of work, this is a crucial start for Pimentel, who has only had one quality start in 8 outings and possesses an ERA (7.56) and WHIP (1.71) that would be in the top 3 worst in the Eastern League if had pitched enough innings to even qualify. Trenton comes into tonight’s game as the hottest team in the EL, winners of their last seven straight. Portland on the other hand, comes into the game with the worst record in the Eastern League and after dropping 3 of 4 to New Hampshire at home, they now sit sub .500 at Hadlock with a 10-11 mark.

Side note prediction (5-12) – My seven-month old son has a stuffed animal that you can program to say his name, but when it does it says it as if it’s a question. For instance, the thing says, “I love you. Kyle?” This is how I feel with today’s prediction when I say, “You’re going to get your first win today. Stolmy?” I don't know why I keep making outrageous predictions that almost have no shot at happening, but if this one does, I will program my son's stuffed animal to say Stolmy!

To listen to any of the above games live, click here:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Gose gets going

Anthony Gose is well aware of his speed. His opponents are well aware of his speed. And anyone who has seen him on the basepaths or tracking down balls in centerfield is well aware of his speed.

The 20-year old New Hampshire Fisher Cats speedster is turning heads (and hurting necks in the process) with his jaw-dropping skills. Through 45 games played, Gose has stolen 20 bases on 24 attempts, good enough to put him atop the Eastern League’s leader board.

“I feel great,” said Gose. “I’ve made some adjustments out there regarding the size of my lead, worked on getting better jumps, a better first step, and that’s been a big credit to how good I’m doing so far.”

That number also puts him on pace to chase down the Fisher Cats single-season stolen base mark of 46, set only one season ago by current teammate Darin Mastroianni.

In 45 games played last season, Mastroianni had 20 stolen bases and had only been cut down on 2 occasions to that point.

Gose is well aware the importance of having a goal.

“I’ve thrown it out there a few times, that I’m going to break the record,” joked Gose, but Mastroianni, recently sent down from Triple-A Las Vegas, has yet to get in on the act.

“We haven’t talked about that yet,” said Gose. “I don’t think he’s been around.”

Gose started the 2010 campaign with High-A Clearwater in the Florida State League and played 103 games with the Threshers before being part of the trade that send Houston Astros’ pitcher Roy Oswalt to Philadelphia. The Blue Jays had coveted the speedy prospect, who had led all of Minor League Baseball with 76 steals in 2009, and they quickly struck a deal with Houston to get Gose for Brett Wallace.

Gose didn’t have to go far as he ended up with the Dunedin Blue Jays, also in the Florida State League. He ended the season with a total of 45 stolen bases, but was caught stealing 32 times for a 58% success rate.

“Last year was just a rough year and this year I’ve turned the corner and made some adjustments offensively and defensively, and on the base paths.”

Gose is well aware that he can’t get caught 30+ times again if he wants to break the record.

“If it happens, it happens, but as long as I have a good percentage of stolen bases, that’s all that matters.”

Such a feat requires longevity, health and the green light and Gose will need to pick up approximately one stolen base every 3.5 games for the remainder of the season.

“Generally, knock on wood, I feel pretty healthy and play every day, so that’s hopefully not going to be a problem.”

Heading into the season, Gose was ranked by MLB.com as the fifth best Blue Jays prospect and Baseball America ranked him as the Blue Jays fourth best prospect.

He stumbled a bit out of the gate, hitting only .238 for the month of April in his first taste of Double-A ball, but has since turned things around and has raised his average to .277 thanks to a breakout May where he has hit .314, with his first two home runs of the season, 21 runs scored, 14 RBI and a .423 on-base percentage.

“Slowly but surely things are starting to come together and I still have some work to do,” explained Gose. “I have to get better on the pitch selection and stay within my approach and stay within myself and just try to put the barrel on the ball.”

Getting on base will obviously be a key to his pursuit of the record. Continuing to improve his overall game will be key to him moving up the ladder.

“I still got some work to do, there’s room for improvement there," added Gose. "Hopefully, it keeps on improving.”

The statistics speak volumes and the results continue to get better, Gose is aware of this.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pitching Matchups; Game of the Day 5/24/11

Pawtucket Red Sox (Andrew Miller 1-2, 2.80)
vs. Toledo Mud Hens (Andrew Oliver 4-3, 3.26)

New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Rey Gonzalez 5-1, 1.42)
vs. Portland Sea Dogs (Michael Lee 1-3, 4.32)

Binghamton Mets (Mark Cohoon 1-3, 3.69)
vs. New Britain Rock Cats (Liam Hendriks 3-2, 3.32)

Game of the DayFisher Cats vs. Sea Dogs -
I so wanted to pick the PawSox again just based on the "Andrews" pitching battle, but I opted out due to the 10:30am game time. I was at a 10:30am game last week and they may not be the best games to be picking here; things can get ugly. This Cats/Dogs matchup pits first versus last in the Eastern Division, but that didn't matter last night as the Sea Dogs took out the Fisher Cats 7-3 at Hadlock. Fisher Cats starter Rey Gonzalez will be looking for his third straight victory. Gonzalez has allowed only 3 runs over his last 26 2/3 innings and has yet to allow a home run this year. The Eastern League leader in ERA (1.42) looks to become the second pitcher in the league to get to six wins on the season. He will be opposed by Michael Lee who is still looking for his second win after getting his first one way back on April 26th against the BMets. Lee's last loss came against New Hampshire on May 11th, in a start where 2's were wild, with Lee allowing 2 hits, 2 earned runs, 2 walks while striking out 2 in 6 innings of work. The Sea Dogs are still in the basement of the divison by a 1/2 game, but they've gone 10-8 at Hadlock Field, so they are hoping to take advantage of their current 8 game homestand.

Side note prediction (5-12) – I will never give up the ship here, despite the consistent losing I have endured. Instead, I will switch direction again and for one full week I will solely try to pick the winning team in a game. Today I choose the Fisher Cats to beat the Sea Dogs.

To listen to any of the above games live, click here:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Carreno named Eastern League Pitcher of the Week

New Hampshire Fisher Cats starting pitching Joel Carreno was named Pitcher of the Week of the Eastern League for the period of May 16th through May 22nd following two ridiculous starts in which the 24-year old picked up wins over Binghamton and New Britain. His line is a thing of beauty:

2 W, 12 1/3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 15 Ks

After starting out 0-3 over his first six starts, Carreno has been a force over his last three starts, allowing only one run in 19 1/3 innings. He now has 53 strikeouts on the season over 48 innings of work and after allowing 8 home runs in his first five starts, he has not allowed any over his last four. To say he has finallt settled in to Double-A ball would be an understatement.

Carreno is the first Fisher Cat to earn the honors this season and the second regional player to get it, following Yangeris Solarte of New Britain who earned Player of the Week honors for the period of April 25th - May 1st.

Congrats Joel for this well deserved honor!

Pitching Matchups; Game of the Day 5/23/11

New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Zach Stewart 3-2, 4.24)
vs. Portland Sea Dogs (Stephen Fife 4-2, 2.57)

Binghamton Mets (Brandon Moore 3-2, 5.05)
vs. New Britain Rock Cats (Spencer Steedley 2-1, 4.05)

Pawtucket Red Sox (Kyle Weiland 3-4, 3.83)
vs. Toledo Mud Hens (Duane Below 4-1, 3.10)

Game of the DayPawSox vs. Mud Hens – Pawtucket will look to get the upper hand in their four-game set with Toledo by following up yesterday’s 2-1 win with more of the same. Kyle Weiland gets the call tonight, looking to even up his 3-4 record. Weiland won his last outing against Columbus on Wednesday, halting a personal three game slide, which included a loss to Toledo at McCoy on April 30th. In that outing Weiland only allowed 2 Mud Hen runners to cross the plate in 5 innings, but it wasn’t enough as Toledo won 4-3. Mud Hens starter Duane Below is 4-0 over his last six starts, allowing only 10 runs and striking out 37 batters. Below picked up one of those wins against the PawSox back on May 3rd, when he dominated for 7 innings, allowing only 1 run and 5 hits. That was also the only game of Below’s last six starts where he did not allow a home run.

Side note prediction (5-11) – Moving on from missing out on yet another double header sweep (maybe I should start predicting the split), today’s prediction is a Lars Anderson home run. Why? I have no idea really, but with only two on the year, you have to assume he has plenty stored up in those bats. Plus those two have come in his last six games (granted they came on the same day in back-to-back games, exactly five days ago, but who’s counting?). Lars is still batting .286 on the season, so the season hasn’t been a disaster by any means, it’s just been a bit less powerful…also, ignore the fact that Mud Hens starter Duane Below didn’t let up a homer against Pawtucket when he faced them earlier in May…please?

To listen to any of the above games live, click here:

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Regional Stats Leaders - Pitching

Through games played on 5/22/11

Rey Gonzalez NH – 5 (T2 – EL)
Chad Beck NH – 4 (T3 – EL)
Bobby Lanigan NB – 4 (T3 – EL)
Alex Wilson POR – 4 (T3 – EL)
Brandon Duckworth PAW – 4 (T4 – IL)
Matt Fox PAW – 4 (T4 – IL)

Cole DeVries NB – 9 (T2 – EL)
Alan Farina NH – 5 (T5 - EL)
Tyler Robertson NB – 5 (T5 – EL)
Michael Bowden PAW – 4 (T6 - IL)
Blake Maxwell POR – 3 (T7 – EL)

Rey Gonzalez NH – 1.42 (1 – EL)
Steve Hirschfeld NB – 2.08 (6- EL)
Andrew Miller PAW – 2.80 (10 - IL)
Stephen Fife POR – 2.57 (11 – EL)
Matt Fox PAW – 3.02 (14 – IL)

Steve Hirschfeld NB – 0.84 (1- EL)
Chad Beck NH – 1.02 (3 – EL)
Alex Wilson POR - 1.09 (10 – EL)
Liam Hendricks NB – 1.11 (T11 – EL)
Stephen Fife POR – 1.11 (T11 – EL)

Joel Carreno NH – 53 (T3 – EL)
Kyle Weiland PAW – 45 (T5 – IL)
Alex Wilson POR – 38 (T8 – EL)
Liam Hendricks NH – 36 (T10 – EL)
Brandon Duckworth PAW – 35 (T15 – IL)

Regional Stats Leaders - Batting

Through games played on 5/22/11
(min 2.7 plate appearances per game)

Batting Average
Yangervis Solarte NB - .361 (2 - EL)
Alex Hassan POR - .356 (3 - EL)
Mike McDade NH - .323 (8 – EL)
Chris Parmelee NB - .316 (9 - EL)
Drew Sutton PAW - .307 (10 – IL)

Josh Reddick PAW - 12 (3 - IL)
Ryan Lavarnway POR – 7 (T4 - EL)
Moises Sierra NH – 7 (T4 – EL)
Will Middlebrooks POR – 5 (T6 – EL)
Drew Sutton PAW – 5 (T9 - IL)
Tony Thomas PAW – 5 (T9 – IL)

Runs Batted In
Moises Sierra NH – 31 (2 – EL)
Josh Reddick PAW – 27 (9 - IL)
Drew Sutton PAW – 26 (T10 – IL)
Alex Hassan POR – 25 (T5 – EL)
Chris Parmelee NB – 24 (T6 - EL)

Mike McDade NH – 32 (1 – EL)
Josh Reddick PAW – 31 (T4 – EL)
Chris Parmelee NB – 28 (T4 – EL)
Anthony Gose NH – 26 (T6 – EL)
Moises Sierra NH – 26 (T6 - EL)
Joe Benson NB – 25 (7 – EL)

Stolen Bases
Anthony Gose NH – 18 (T1 – EL)
Che-Hsuan Lin POR – 12 (T5 – EL)
Adeiny Hechavarria NH – 9 (8 – EL)
Marc Dolenc NB – 6 (T10 - EL)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Pitching Matchups; Game of the Day 5/22/11

Portland Sea Dogs (Stolmy Pimentel 0-5, 6.19)
vs. Trenton Thunder (Manny Banuelos 1-0, 2.25)

New Hampshire Fisher Cats
(Chad Beck 4-0, 2.56) GAME 1
vs. New Britain Rock Cats (Deolis Guerra 3-4, 9.85)

New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Joel Carreno 2-3, 4.50) GAME 2
vs. New Britain Rock Cats (Steve Hirschfeld 3-0, 1.94)

Pawtucket Red Sox (Tony Pena Jr. 1-2, 4.91)
vs. Toledo Mud Hens (Ramon Garcia 0-1, 11.25)

Game of the Day - Fisher Cats vs. Rock Cats x 2 - Last night's game in New Britain brought yet another postponement on this short season, so today's double header looms large. A sweep would be a huge benefit for both teams, as it would put the Fisher Cats up four games on the Rock Cats, but New Britain can pull back into a first place tie should they capture both games. The pitching matchup in Game 1 is the same as it would have been last night, so please scroll down a bit to check the analysis for that matchup. In Game 2, Joel Carreno gets the ball for New Hampshire and after a rough start to the season, he has been rolling along quite nicely as of late, picking up wins in his last two starts over Portland and Binghamton, allowing only 1 earned run over 13 1/3 innings. Carreno is currently fourth in the EL with 46 strikeouts on the season, but he is also second for most home runs allowed with 8 (first is New Britain's Game 1 starter Deolis Guerra with 9), yet he has not allowed a long ball over his last three outings. The Rock Cats have Steve Hirschfeld on the bump in Game 2. Hirschfeld has been New Britain's best starter so far this year, tossing 41 2/3 innings and accumulating a 1.94 ERA (fourth best in the EL) and a 0.84 WHIP (second in the EL). This will be Hirschfeld's first look at the Fisher Cats hot lineup, but he has held his last four opponents to only 5 runs over 26 2/3 innings and the Rock Cats are hopeful that this will carry over to the second half of the double bill.

Side note prediction (5-10) - My prediction was rained out for the first time this season, but I'm sticking with my "new path" of staying with the same team so long as I am winning with them. I'm looking for the Fisher Cats to sweep the double header in today's prediction. I've tried this on two separate occasions so far and have come up empty, and if I come up empty again today on the DH prediction, then I know there will be plenty more in the future with all the damn rain outs we've had so far. But if I win this one, I'm stopping the DH predictions all-together, they are just plain stupid!

To listen to any of the above games live, click here:

Pitching Matchups 5/21/11

New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Chad Beck 4-0, 2.56)
vs. New Britain Rock Cats (Deolis Guerra 3-4, 9.85)

Pawtucket Red Sox (Matt Fox 4-2, 3.65)
vs. Toledo Mud Hens (Thad Weber 1-4, 6.45)

Portland Sea Dogs (Brock Huntzinger 2-4, 9.00)
vs. Trenton Thunder (Craig Heyer 3-2, 3.03)

Game of the DayFisher Cats vs. Rock Cats – New Hampshire kicked off a four game set in New Britain with a 6-2 win last night, their fourth straight victory, knocking the Rock Cats down to two games back in the Eastern Division of the EL. The Fisher Cats would love nothing more than to continue putting distance between themselves and New Britain (and everyone else for that matter). Chad Beck looks for his fifth victory of the season in his seventh start for the Fisher Cats. Beck faced the Rock Cats back on April 28th, going 5 innings, allowing 4 hits and 4 earned runs while walking 3 and not earning a decision. Beck is currently tied for 2nd in the EL in wins (4), 10th in ERA (2.56) and 4th in WHIP (0.93). On the opposite end of the spectrum is New Britain starter Deolis Guerra…yet somehow he has managed to shoehorn himself into many Games of the Day. I just can’t divert my eyes from the wreckage! But Guerra did have one of his best outings of the season his last time out, 2-hitting the Portland Sea Dogs over five innings and earning his third win of the season. He also dropped his ERA to a league worst 9.85 (although he still has not pitched enough innings to qualify). This will be Guerra’s third start against the Fisher Cats this season and in the prior two games he only lasted a total of 6 2/3 innings. The Fisher Cats have lit up Guerra for 18 hits and 15 earned runs and the way their lineup has been hitting lately, there could be a lot more of the same in this one. If the Rock Cats can pull out a win tonight, then tomorrow’s double header gets a lot more interesting.

Side note prediction (5-10) – After taking a personal day from the site yesterday (aka my child won’t let me anywhere near a computer all day long), I’m back hoping to turn a one win streak into two. Thursday I picked the Fisher Cats scoring 5 or more runs and thanks in large part to BMets pitcher Brad Holt walking 8, I pulled that one out with ease. Because of this I am going to try a new path, sticking with the team that got me here. So today’s prediction is once again the Fisher Cats scoring five or more runs, something they’ve done in 5 of their last 6 games.

To listen to any of the above games live, click here:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pics from NeDDS

Here are some pictures I took of today's action from the New Hampshire Fisher Cats 7-2 win over the Binghamton Mets...click the image for a larger view.

The view from left field

Some of best seats in the house

Rey Gonzalez kicks and deals

Darrin Mastroianni ready to pounce on a fly ball

Dr. Walkenstein, Brad Holt delivers

Adeiny Hechavarria at the plate

Mastroianni leading off of first base

Cats on the top step

BMets first baseman Allan Dykstra