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: http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=milb&t=g_box&gid=2008_07_25_spoasx_eveasx_1

The Herald story is here: http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20080726/SPORTS/246810246/1006/SPORTS03#Frogs.snap.five-game.losing.skid

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: http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?gid=2008_07_15_eugasx_eveasx_1&cid=403&t=g_box

The Everett Herald story is here: http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20080716/SPORTS/238247135/1006/SPORTS03#AquaSox.bullpen.melts.down.in.7-6.loss

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: http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?t=g_box&gid=2008_07_06_yakasx_eveasx_1&did=t419&sid=t419

The Everett Herald game report is here: http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20080707/SPORTS/719236116/1006/SPORTS03#AquaSoxs.comeback.comes.up.just.short