The Braves plated a run in the first inning, but the frame has to be considered a missed opportunity as a whole. Harang walked Michael Bourn on four pitches to start the bottom of the inning, then Bourn came all the way around to score on a double to left from Martin Prado.
Entering the second inning, Sheets had allowed just two home runs in his previous 39 innings pitched this season. Afterward, that number sat at five home runs in 40 innings. After getting Andre Ethier to ground out, Hanley Ramirez, James Loney, and Luis Cruz homered in back-to-back-to-back fashion on four pitches to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.
It was the first time Los Angeles had done that since they did it against John Maine in June of 2007. Also, it was only Loney's second homer since May 21st.
Atlanta got a runner in scoring position in both the third and fourth innings (two out doubles by Chipper and Paul Janish), but couldn't bring in either one to score.
Sheets retired 13 straight batters after allowing the trio of homers. That streak ended with a sixth inning walk of Matt Kemp, who Sheets did strike out twice tonight.
The walk to Kemp and a subsequent walk to Ethier put runners on first and second for Ramirez, who turned on a 90-mile per hour fastball for a line drive home run to left. Ramirez's second blast of the game and his 18th of the year made it a 6-1 game in favor of Los Angeles.
Sheets left after the sixth, with a line of 6 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 4 HR, 2 BB, 3 K.
Aaron Harang exited as well with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. He threw 115 pitches, and threw exactly one more strike than ball but made it work. Harang's final line was 6.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, and 8 K.
The Braves loaded the bases in the eighth inning thanks to a trio of walks, but pinch-hitter Juan Francisco struck out on three pitches against the nasty Kenley Jansen.
Prado homered off Jansen in the ninth inning to make it a 6-2 game, but that's as close as Atlanta got.
Royals up 4-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth Royals up 5-2 after Hosmer dong
Andre Dawson 2004 Leaf Limited ‘Lumberjacks’ Certified Autograph With Inscription Sticking with the ‘lumber’ theme for one more card, this card is from the 2004 Leaf Limited set called ‘Lumberjacks’. The set features some of the best sluggers in the … Continue reading →
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Friday, Aug 17, 2012, 7:05 PM CDT
Minute Maid Park
Partly cloudy. Winds blowing out to center field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 90.
The Royals try to continue their late season resurgence and play spoiler in the playoff race as they take on the hated Sox once again. Winners of 10 of 16 in the month of August, Kansas City begins life after Getz by sending the venerable Bruce Chen to the mound.
Chen, 8-10 with a 5.56 ERA, held the White Sox to two runs over 6.2 innings just 11 days ago, but has been tagged for 39 runs in just 55 innings over his last ten starts. He'll be opposed by Jake Peavy, 9-9 with a 3.04 ERA, who has allowed just 7.5 hits per 9 innings this season.
With Chen pitching, we will likely see Brayan Pena behind the plate (I'm writing this in the early afternoon and lineups have not yet been released). As such, Ned Yost will almost certainly wait until Sunday to, for the first time all year, trot out the lineup he envision at the beginning of spring training.
This marks the beginning of what may be Johnny Giavotella's last chance. While obliterating AAA pitching for the better part of two seasons, Johnny has shown little of that pop at the major league level. If he hits well in this 40 game trial do you believe in him? If he flails at air, as Giavotella has in the past, are you done giving him chances? Perhaps even more importantly, will you wince every time a ground ball heads in Johnny's general direction?
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Saturday, Aug 18, 2012, 8:10 PM EDT
Partly cloudy. Winds blowing in from right field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 75.
The Miami Marlins captured a 6-5 win last night versus the Colorado Rockies, but tonight's matchup features two rookie pitchers trying to recover some semblance of form for their teams. Nathan Eovaldi, aka Captain EO, will get yet another chance to redeem his efforts after a better start his last time out that still featured more walks than strikeouts. Meanwhile, Tyler Chatwood will get a chance at a start after a struggle of a rookie year that has somehow led to a 4.28 ERA.Pitching Matchup
The Marlins send out Nathan Eovaldi, who had his second best start as a Marlin in his last time out. That does not say much, because aside from his debut against the San Diego Padres, he has been pretty bad, including a five-inning shutout performance with six walks and a disastrous two-plus inning start against the Atlanta Braves. Eovaldi toned down the walks in his last start, down to three in five innings, but he still has not struck out more than two batters since that first start. He will look to beat a Rockies team that has been a bit worse than league average considering their park.
Tyler Chatwood was the returning man in the trade that sent Chris Iannetta to the Los Angeles Angels. To this date, no one truly understands that trade, and it has not helped that Iannetta has hit decently (.211/.336/.413, .329 wOBA in 131 PA) while Chatwood has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 1.27. He has made three starts recently and looked good in his last one, going six innings and striking out three with no walks.
Posting lineup when it becomes available
Bold Prediction: Marlins def. Rockies 6-4
So Friday I dragged the family to Greeneville Tennessee to take in a couple Greeneville Astros games.
For the first game we were able to walk up and snag some pretty good seats. From this point of view not only did I have a good view of the on deck circle but I had a good view of the night's starting pitcher Daniel Minor.
Let's start there.
Minor is a pitcher I've noticed but haven't paid much attention to, after Friday I think I may start paying attention a little more. There was no public gun so I couldn't tell how fast he was throwing, but as the night went on I began to like his fastball more. There isn't a lot of movement, but it's hard and makes the catchers mitt pop. He located the fastball well and had good command on the night, as evidence by his zero walks.
What he lacked in movement on his fastball he made up for on his breaking pitch. His breaking stuff has some very good movement and he made several Burlington hitters look silly trying to hit it. He also didn't have much of an issue throwing his breaking stuff for strikes.
One of the more interesting match-ups of the evening was 2011 1st round, fifth overall, selection Bubba Starling who this season is hitting .293/.381/.530 in 189 plate appearances at the ripe age of 19.
In their first meeting Starling hit a single to centerfield.
In their second meeting Minor started Starling off with two breaking pitches for a strike, then began to work outside the zone in hopes that Starling would chase. Minor over threw one into the dirt, followed by a breaking pitch that was up. Starling foul tipped the next pitch, then took a ball, before ground out to Carlos Correa at short. I liked the approach but thought he could be better working around the zone, can't complain with the end result.
In their third and final meeting Minor got Starling to strikeout, to end the top of the sixth inning. A three year old was crawling around in my lap for this meeting so I apologize for not having the pitch sequence. The thing I did notice right before the strikeout, though, is that after a Carlos Correa error that allowed a runner to reach, Minor picked off that base runner to bail Correa out.
I don't know that it's an outstanding pick-off move but it's solid and it got the guy at first by a mile. There is reason to believe that a "balk" played a role, because the runner was out so far off the bag and the other teams manager came out to argue, but that's neither here nor there. Getting a pick-off is impressive enough, but then to get a strikeout of one of the best hitters in the league to end his night is outstanding. I came away impressed with a pitcher that was initially pegged a reliever/starter.
As for position players, Carlos Correa looks like a legit prospect, he also towered over everyone on the field. He had two hits on the evening and almost beat out a broken bat slow roller to short. He looked safe, but the play probably could have gone either way without much complaint.
He had no such need for a close call in the bottom of eighth inning when he belted his first homerun for the Greeneville Astros to left field. It is 331 feet down the lines at Pioneer Park and 400 dead center. Correa's ball went directly over the left fielder maybe about 350-360 feet.
I didn't really care for the plunking of Michael Martinez after the homerun, but the Astros would get their revenge when he came around to score on a Terrell Joyce double to left.
Correa's defense looked pretty good for a player who recently turned 18 years old. He had range and he looked smooth playing the position. The error he collected, I wondered how many shortstops at this level actually get to the ball, he was almost directly up the middle maybe even slightly on the right side of the bag and made the error on the transfer to throw the ball. Some more experience and he makes that play. I have very little doubt that the Astros will have to move him over to third because of his defense.*
*When the play was made it ruled error after reviewing the box score it appears that error was changed to a hit, which again highlights how far Correa had to go to even get the ball.
Rio Ruiz is solidly built and looks to be a legit hitter he had two clean hits on the evening, one up the middle and the other a line drive through the whole at short. I didn't get to see his defense because he was the designated hitter for the evening. Hoping to see him play third tonight. I was told by Appy Astros that he should stick at third and that Angel Ibanez has been heating up. So we can surmise that along with Ibanez playing well and Ruiz coming off an injury that Ruiz will be DHing a bit this season.
The other two hitters that stuck out to me where Michael Martinez who had a line drive single to rightfield and Jose Monzon who had two hits on the night. Martinez is already at firstbase so I wonder how much upside he has and I was told by Appy Astros that Jose Monzon, who played rightfield, is a defensive specialist. Still both players had good nights at the plate and both handled their positions well.
Ariel Ovando was not in the lineup Friday evening, and I'm not entirely sure why but it could possibly be attitude related. The fans sitting next to us were talking about Ovando and not in a good way. This line of thinking was confirmed when I talked to Appy Astros and his son about Ovando's play which simply put has been both impressive and lackadaisical. On the positive side I'm being told about him gunning down a runner at the plate, on the other I'm hearing he's letting balls go over his head for triples. So at this point we can consider Ovando the Dr Jeykl and Mr. Hyde prospect of the Astros farm system. Or maybe even the box of chocolates prospect: "You never know what you're gonna get."
Defensively, D'Andre Toney made a nice sliding catch in center that he had to go a long way to get. Which was nice to see considering he didn't have a very good day at the plate, leading off for the Astros.
The last player I want to mention is catcher Ricky Gingras who was 0-4 at the plate, but looked good receiving the ball and has a canon for an arm. This was noted in warm ups when he gunned a throw to second base and after a strikeout that needed to be completed via a throw to first. The throw to first was particularly interesting because Martinez jerked his head back as he received the ball.
Overall it was a fun interesting game to watch, and I was very encouraged by the players I saw on the field. I asked Appy Astros at lunch how long it's been since he's seen good players come through Greeneville and that year popped up, 2007. It's been a long time since Greeneville Tenseness saw some good baseball, and it's on its way to Houston.
Reggie Jackson 2005 Donruss Leather & Lumber – “Naturals” I love bringing new Reggie Jackson baseball cards into my collection. He is one of the very few players that I like to collect where I am not too concerned about … Continue reading →
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