Sunday, August 24, 2008

August 22, 2008 Salem Keizer 4 Everett 3

This Friday night game was quite popular (Everett Clinic Night - that always brings in a crowd) and we had 3,991 fans in the ballpark.

Everett had lost the previous two games to first place Salem Keizer by just one run each night (and both when our relief pitching lost a lead late in the game - a recurring theme this season). Tonight would be no different.

One item that both Bob and I noted was that the homeplate umpire, Javier Cantu, looks like an umpire. One who would know all of the best pasta joints in all of the towns in the Northwest League. We hope he makes it to the majors.

The game was unusual because we saw a pitcher from AAA Tacoma on a rehab assignment get the start. Chris Jakubauskas has a very nice curveball and seemed to have the Northwest League players totally overmatched. He struck out 7 of the 9 players he faced. One hitter (Flores) got a bloop double down the leftfield line when he stuck his bat out and the ball managed to hit it. The other out was a routine flyball to left field. I'd think more of Jakubauskas except for the fact that he's one of those Independent League finds and is 29 years old. Probably not a hot prospect.

When Jakubauskas left Walter Suriel took over and eventually 11 of the first 13 outs in the game were strikeouts!

Notable items from the game included:

Jharmidy DeJesus walked for the first time this season - 17 games and 50 at bats.

Manelik Pimentel is the only Everett player to ever have 200+ at bats for the team three years in a row. Of course this isn't really a Good Thing(tm).

Switch hitter Anthony Phillips is batting .250 right handed and .160 left handed.

Caleb Curry hit a home run in the 5th inning to break a scoreless tie. It was only his 6th extra base hit in more than 200 at bats. The other 5 had been doubles.

Doug Salinas showed a nice changeup (his fastball was around 87 mph and the change was 75mph).

Third baseman Jose Flores made a very nice diving play to get Fleming Baez (not the fastest runner in the world) at first.

Here is the boxscore:

Here is the Everett Herald story:

Saturday, August 9, 2008

August 8, 2008 Everett 6 Tri City 1

BUHNER BUZZ NIGHT - Jay Buhner's autograph is on the Aquasox page of the scorebook

What an amazing game baseball can be. You just never know what you're going to see when you go out to the ballpark. Take this Friday night game for instance. With 2 outs in the bottom of the 8th (the Aquasox last at bat) the Frogs were leading 4-1 and the Aquasox had left 12 men on base during the game. Not really that remarkable until you notice that they also only had 1 hit in the game. ONE hit and TWELVE men left on base! YOW!

Not really much to report on the game other than that peculiarity.

The game started off with Scott Robinson hitting a lead-off home run for the Dust Devils - it was to be the only run that they scored in the game and one of only 3 hits.

Anthony Phillips lead off the bottom of the first inning with a single to left and then was immediately caught trying to steal second. Bradley McAtee, the starting pitcher for Tri City, had a walk, a strikeout, and hit a batter in the first inning. Then things fell apart for him. At the start of the second he walked Nunez on 4 pitches. Then he walked Tenbrink on 4 pitches. Then he walked Dotel on 4 pitches. Then between the 4 balls he threw to Gillies to walk him, he threw 2 wild pitches to score two runs. Then he walked Phillips on 5 pitches (he got a called strike on the second pitch of the at bat) - but he also added another wild pitch to let a third run score. Mercifully, he was replaced by Murphy after throwing 21 pitches in the second inning - 20 of them balls and only 1 strike.

There was only one hit by both teams combined in the second through seventh innings. The Dust Devils didn't have a hit after a gift single in the second when Kenn Kasparek, the Aquasox starter, was slow covering first to allow Derek Kinzler to beat him to the bag.

In the end the Dust Devil pitchers walked 14 batters and hit 2 others. They did strike out 14 Aquasox hitters. The Frogs had 3 hits after getting a couple in the 8th inning to score twice.

The Aquasox pitchers struck out 11, walked 4 and gave up 3 hits.

A pretty bizarre game...

The Everett Herald story:

The Box Score:

August 4, 2008 Everett 6 Vancouver 4

A Monday night game against Vancouver on a warm clear night made for a perfect evening of baseball - even better when the Aquasox came out on the good side of a 6-4 decision.

Nolan Gallagher pitched for the Aquasox and threw 77 pitches (the Everett pitchers are on a 75 pitch limit) through 5 2/3 innings. He has a very nice overhand curveball that he can throw for strikes. He struck out 4 and walked 2 and left with the score tied 1-1.

Pedro Figueroa pitched for Vancouver and showed a good fastball in the low 90s (best I saw was 94). He looked good and struck out 5 while walking just 1 in 5 1/3 innings (he left with the bases loaded and the Aquasox scored 34 runs after his departure).

Notes on the scoresheet related to this game included:

Jeremy Barfield, the Vancouver right fielder, is the son of Jesse Barfield (and brother of Josh Barfield).

Wellington Dotel doesn't wear batting gloves.

There was some good and bad fielding by both teams (not unexpected at this level)...

The good includes Anthony Phillips, the Aquasox shortstop, who has a nifty glove and seems to enjoy backhanding the ball. He's a very smooth fielder. Francisco Tirado, the Vancouver third baseman made a very nice play on a bunt by Tyson Gillies to get him at first. Gillies is very fast and it was a very nice bunt - but Tirado was up to the task.

The bad includes Tyson Gillies overthrowing the cut-off man (not an unusual occurance for Tyson) on a play at third base. He has an excellent arm and likes to show it off. Vancouver first baseman Dusty Napoleon made three errors in the second inning - one on a ground ball, another on a ground ball by the next hitter and then the third when he retrieved that ball and threw wildly past the pitcher covering first base. A pretty bad inning for him... Jeremy Barfield threw to second base instead of to the cut-off man that would have had a play at the plate. And to add a base running blunder, it appears that Manilek Pimentel lost track of the 2-2 count and thought it was 3-2 with 2 outs - he took off leisurely for second and was an easy out to end the fourth inning.

The Everett Herald article:

The Box Score:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

July 28, 2008 Spokane 11 Everett 7

Not a lot to report – after the first 3 games of the series with Spokane were decided by 1 run ( Spokane winning 2 of 3) this game ended 11-7. Spokane showed some excellent hitting – plenty of doubles.

Joey Butler walked to the Spokane dugout prior to the game and I pointed out how he looked a lot like Harold Baines. Apparently he hits like Baines too (though not tonight – he was 0-5 with 2 strikeouts).

Nevarez pitched for the Spokane and hit 93 on the radar. Kasperek for Everett was around 88. Both of them had sub-3.00 ERAs, so I expected a low scoring game. It didn’t happen that way.
Dennis Raben (that's him with his bat wrapped around his helmet) hit his third home run for the Aquasox – we have been in attendance for 2 of them. This one was over the centerfield wall and a rocket line drive. Raben went 2 for 4 with a walk.

Phillips (from South Africa ) at shortstop looks like a good ballplayer. He had one tough error on a short hop that was going to be a tough out even if he handled the ball cleanly (which he didn’t). He was 0-3 at the plate with a walk

The Famous Chicken was in attendance.

July 25, 2008 Everett 4 Spokane 3

After losing 5 straight to Boise , the Aquasox come home to play a 5 game series against the only team in the league with a BETTER record than Boise ! YOW!

Tonight’s game was very enjoyable and resulted in a 4-3 win for the Aquasox when Spokane loaded the bases with one out in the 9th only to have their final two hitters (Pickett and West) strike out (Renfree was the Aquasox pitcher). Exciting.

Suriel started the game for Everett and was consistently in the low 90s with his fastball – the best radar gun reading that I saw was 94. Bleier for Spokane was (on paper) the better of the two pitchers, but didn’t show the strikeout numbers from his past starts or the control. His fastballs were in the high 80s (top I saw was 89).

Notes on the game included…

Nate Tenbrink was picked off second base but Spokane third baseman West fumbled the ball in the rundown and allowed Tenbrink to scurry back to second base. West looks pretty shaky on defense.

Gillies hit a routine grounder to Higgins at short and beat the throw to first – he’s not Ichiro-fast, but Gillies is plenty speedy. Gillies also had a couple opportunities (and took advantage of them – especially a throw to third the overthrew the cut-off men and arrived at the third baseman’s chest) to show off a very good arm from centerfield.

Nate Tenbrink stole third on a pitchout – sliding in head first to beat the tag relatively easily.

And finally, Bob noted that Nate Tenbrink leads the team in strikeouts, walks, stolen bases, home runs, hit by pitches, and errors! Quite the list!

The Boxscore is here:

The Herald story is here:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

July 15, 2008 Eugene 7 Everett 6

Not really much of note in this game between the Aquasox and the Emeralds. Walter Suriel was the starting pitcher for the Sox and he threw in the low 90s (I saw one 93mph fastball). Tyson Bagley (6'8" 250#) started for the Emeralds (he also was throwing 92 or 93mph and has an ERA of 1.83).

The Aquasox pitchers got a bunch of strikeouts (16 in the game) - Suriel struck out 11 in 5 innings, walked 2, and gave up 6 hits (5 of them for extra bases!) that resulted in 3 runs. Pretty good pitching. He gave up two home runs in the second inning when he struck out the side.

Brandon Fromm made a nice diving play on a ball to his right in the 7th inning.

Javier Martinez, after giving up a single and a sacrifice to start off the tied up 9th inning was asked to intentionally walk the next batter (Robert Blauer) - his first pitch was wide and over a leaping Travis Howell to go all the way to the backstop, so the runner on second moved up to third on the wild pitch. That's something you don't often see...

The hotshot new arrival Dennis Raben went 0-5 with two strikeouts (one on a curveball and one on a fastball). The Aquasox have a nice bunch of hitters at the top of the lineup right now though - Kevin Reynolds (.371), Dennis Raben (.375), Travis Howell (.324), Nate Tenbrink (hitting for power if not for average - .217), and Brandon Fromm (.292).

The Aquasox defense looked better with Bennett Billingsley at second and Anthony Phillips at short. Solid, but nothing spectacular.

The Aquasox manager Jose Moreno was thrown out of the game (for the second consecutive night) when he argued a strike call that ended an Aquasox threat in the 8th inning. Seeing that 16 of the Emeralds has struck out, it didn't appear that he should be too unhappy with the umpires calls during the night - but that one hit a cord. Moreno refused to leave the dugout and more yelling between him and the umpires ensued during the 9th inning.

The Box Score is here:

The Everett Herald story is here:

Sunday, July 6, 2008

July 6, 2008 Yakima 7 Everett 6

This was a Sunday afternoon game under sunny (and hot) skies with no wind at the start of the game but then a medium breeze out to right field starting around the 6th inning. There wasn't as much of interest as in the first game of the year that we attended, but a couple notable players to report on.

The biggest name is Dennis Raben who was the Mariner's second round draft pick just a month ago. He was an outfielder for the Miami Hurricanes and played right field today. He throws left handed and bats left handed. He has an upright stance and has the bat cocked back almost directly over his helmet. Pat Dillon (the radio announcer) said his stance is reminiscent of Jim Thome.

Coming into the game Raben had 6 hits in 7 at bats along with one walk. Pretty amazing. During the game today he was two for three (two doubles to the opposite (left) field - one off the wall) and had two walks. He hit into a double play to drop his batting average to .800. His on base percentage is .846. And his slugging is 1.500. His OPS is a pretty spectacular 2.346... He has a home run, 4 doubles and 3 walks in 13 plate appearances. Wow. The Mariners move players up pretty quickly, so we'll probably not see him again (our next game is on July 15th - 9 days from now). Needless to say, if he keeps this sort of production up for very long he'll be promoted quickly through the system.

Another player to watch is Collin Cowgill of the Yakima Bears. He came into the game leading the league in home runs (11) and RBIs (27) in 18 games. He's not a typical power hitter - he was hitting second in the lineup today - he's only listed as 5'9" in the program and doesn't have a Boog Powell physique. In this game he went 1 for 3 with one RBI and two walks, and two stolen bases (Doug Salinas who came on in relief for the Aquasox has a slow curveball to the plate that was easy pickings for Cowgill).

Kevin Reynolds is on a hot streak for the Aquasox and hit lead-off today. He was 1 for 5 to drop his batting average from above .400 down to .389.

The top 4 hitters in the Aquasox lineup - Kevin Reynolds, Nate Tenbrink, Dennis Raben, and Travis Howell all appear to be quality hitters and might have a future in baseball.

Again our defense was a bit shoddy. Both Tenbrink at third base and George Soto at shortstop showed slow releases of balls after they get them in their gloves. Soto especially likes to tap his glove with the ball before throwing it - even on plays where this results in not getting the out by a close margin. It's something that they need to get out of their system. Pat Dillon, the radio announcer, called it sashaying with the ball...

Our pitchers included Steven Hensley who pitched the first 3 innings (66 pitches/36 strikes). He had control problems in the first inning, some poor defense behind him (the Aquasox made 5! errors in the game) and some bad luck with weakly hit balls falling in for hits. His fastball was in the low 90s. Doug Salinas (who was a started for the Aquasox in 2007) relieved him in the 4th inning and pitched through the 8th. His fastball was in the high 80s and he had 6 strike outs, 3 walks, and one hit batter with his 79 pitches (42 strikes). Salinas has a funny slow curve that he likes to throw on any count. He has more control of it than he did last year - but it's still an odd pitch to see with the odd motion of his arm resulting in a pitch that seems like it doesn't really want to make it all the way to the plate, but in the end does for a strike quite often. Philip Hann pitched a 1-2-3 ninth with one strike out.

Other players that are noted in my scorecard included Aquasox Kevin Reynolds who made a very good throw from center to third base (on the fly!) on a fly ball to keep a runner at second base. And Andrew Fie of Yakima who was the best infielder defensively in the game - he made three tough plays look easy in the first four innings.

Box score is here:

The Everett Herald game report is here: