Results tagged ‘ fort wayne tincaps ’
Filed under the “You never know what you’ll see” category of baseball games, the TinCaps picked up a win on Tuesday night, and almost didn’t have a hit to show for it. Fort Wayne manufactured a run in the first inning on a walk to Jace Peterson, a stolen base, a wild pitch and then a sacrifice fly.
The only TinCaps hit came on a Travis Whitmore leadoff single in the eighth.
Here’s what my scorebook looked like for the one-hit game:
Up in the press box we had to dig up the record book because the Fort Wayne franchise, dating back to 1993 when the team was the Wizards, has never been no-hit. The streak of 2,693 games is still intact. Phew!
Jose Valentin didn’t struggle to find his thoughts after Saturday night’s loss for Fort Wayne, it’s just that they came with a sense of apparent frustration.
The TinCaps went up 2-0 in the first inning against South Bend in the opener of a three-game series, but ended up on the losing end of a 9-3 final score. Matt Wisler started the game and threw five innings, allowing one run. He left in line for the victory, the score 2-1 at the time of his departure.
“He deserved to get a win, and we didn’t help him out,” Valentin said. “Our pitching staff has been great all year…They either keep us in the game or give us a chance to score some runs. Our offense (does not) help at all.”
The TinCaps have the league’s second-lowest average, hitting .237 as a club. Valentin has placed a particular emphasis on getting runners home once they’re on base. Saturday night the TinCaps were 0-10 with runners in scoring position. Over the last seven games, the team has gone 6-63 (.095) with runners in scoring position.
“We are the best team in (batting practice). In the cages, unbelievable,” Valentin said. “But when we get to the game, we are a different team. It’s tough.”
The TinCaps are now 28-34, with eight games remaining in the first half. Today they face one of the more talented pitchers the Midwest League has to offer, Archie Bradley. The 19-year-old was selected seventh overall last June by the Diamondbacks. He’s faced the TinCaps twice this year and in 11 innings, he’s given up six hits, four earned runs, walked six and struck out ten. While he’s got maybe the best curveball in the league, he’s proved hittable in his last two starts. Over his last 9 2/3 innings, he’s given up nine earned runs and taken the loss his last two starts. Could today be his third? You can find out by joining us at Parkview Field, listening to the radio broadcast on 1380 ESPN and ESPNFortWayne.com, or watching on TV on XFINITY Digital Cable Channel 81. First pitch is at 3:05.
Arrival at West Michigan’s Fifth Third Ballpark on Wednesday was optimistic, as the TinCaps had lost two in a row and were looking for a turnaround in the opener of a three game series against the Whitecaps. Even the first inning started well, with a single from the returning Jace Peterson, a stolen base and then an RBI single from Tyler Stubblefield.
The second inning was good, too, as Frank Garces retired the side in order for the second straight frame, and the TinCaps held a 1-0 lead into the third. However, it was that pesky bottom of the third that would unravel the Fort Wayne ballclub. Garces surrendered three runs, which would be all the Whitecaps would need as they rolled to a 6-1 victory.
The first four hits for Fort Wayne came within their first six batters, and there were then only four hits to be had for the remainder of the game: A Yeiscon Asencio leadoff single in the fourth, a Peterson leadoff double in the sixth, an Austin Hedges one-out double in the seventh, and an Asencio leadoff single in the ninth. The TinCaps finished the night 1-11 with runners in scoring position.
Fort Wayne has dropped three in a row, and part of that that production from two players who had been chipping in offensively, has temporarily waned. Lee Orr has one hit in his last 21 at bats and Donavan Tate has one hit in his last 24 at bats. Within those respective time frames, Orr has struck out 13 times and Tate has fanned 15 times.
Yeison Asencio has managed to continue hitting, though, whether he’s batting third, fifth, or sixth in the lineup. In the last four games he’s hit in all three of those spots, sometimes flip-flopping between third and fifth with Casey McElroy. Asencio has gone 15 for his last 34 (.441) with nine RBI over a 10-game span. In 17 games with the TinCaps, he’s collected five multi-hit performances. He may not walk much (4 BB in 60 AB), but he’s only struck out five times, too.
Today Adys Portillo looks to snap the Fort Wayne losing streak as he takes the mound against West Michigan. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10, and I hope you can tune into the broadcast on 1380 ESPN and ESPNFortWayne.com.
In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, hear my chat with TinCaps Pitching Coach Willie Blair. We’ll talk about Frank Garces and Adys Portillo, the two TinCaps All-Star pitchers, the decision to pitch to MLB rehabber Carlos Santana on Monday night and the addition of Dennis O’Grady to the bullpen:
A LOVING RELATIONSHIP
In an absolutely fantastic read by Dave Sheinin, the national baseball writer for The Washington Post, we learn about Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey’s relationship with his knuckleball:
“It is Tuesday afternoon, and Dickey, 37, is headed to a therapy session — relationship therapy. Dickey and his knuckleball, they are making great progress these days, their understanding of each other growing deeper and richer. But the work must never stop, lest they drift apart again. Later that afternoon, in the bullpen at Nationals Park, they will take their places and pick up where they left off last time.
“It’s definitely a relationship,” Dickey, who carries the best record in the National League (8-1) into Thursday’s start against the Nationals, says before throwing his standard, between-starts bullpen session. “Sometimes we fight. There will be times where I’m yelling at the baseball — like, ‘Do I really know you?’
“That’s what keeps me invested. [The knuckleball] can grow. It’s not just an inanimate thing. It’s very much a living thing. It’s very organic.”
“He’s got the rising one, the sinking one, the sideways one — it’s tough to hit,” says Nationals slugger Michael Morse. “You see it, and by the time you swing it’s in another spot. Squaring up his knuckleball is tough. You basically have to go up there and take all your mechanics and everything you’ve learned, and throw it out the window, and just kind of go Little League — just swing as hard as you can and hope you make contact.”’
Let’s remember that this is a professional baseball player saying that. He’s paid millions of dollars to hit a baseball, and yet the knucleball reduces him to a “little league” swing. That’s incredible. It just goes to show you that hitting a baseball is one of the hardest things to do in sports. That, and learning the rules to cricket.
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS BREAKFAST CLUB
If you’ve never stayed at a Holiday Inn Express (the preferred lodging for visiting teams here in Walker, Michigan), you’re missing out on one of the great continental breakfasts that the Midwest League has to offer. Bagels, Yogurt, Eggs, Milk–delicious. There are also free copies of USA Today, in which you can read about food while you eat food.
Today I came across: “Food as fashion: We eat what we are”. Bruce Horovitz, take it away:
“What Americans eat and drink has become such an emotional roller coaster for so many of us that it’s utterly changing the way the nation’s biggest restaurant chains, foodmakers and grocery chains do business. Food used to feed our bodies. Now it also needs to feed our brains. Our egos. Our nostalgic memories. And maybe even our social-media appetites.”
“I’ll have an order of Instagram, with some MySpace on the sid…” Oh, that’s not what he meant by social-media appetite. Got it.
“Talking about food has become so fashionable that we may be doing more of it than ever. Social-media chatter about food — which is where we do much of it — is up more than 13% over the past year, says Nielsen Media Incite, which tracks buzz across social networks, blogs, forums and consumer review sites. That’s millions of additional social morsels just on food. “
Here’s the best part of the story:
“Then, there’s British Airways. It recently realized that its first-class passengers don’t want fancy-dancy desserts. Last fall, it started serving what passengers told them they wanted most: comfort food. Its Crumb Crumble cobbler was such a smash, when caterers tried to replace it on the menu with a different dessert, passengers went ballistic, says Lynn McClelland, head of catering. It’s all about emotions — even the most primitive, childhood emotions, she says. When stuck high above the ground for hours in a plane, she says, “Passengers tell us what they want most is what their moms used to feed them when they were 12.”‘
Soon, though, eating what you had when you were 12 won’t be cool enough any more. I can see this devolving into someone trying to make it cool to eat Gerber baby food. It’s the botox injection of “fancy-dancy” food.
Pearl Jam…take it away!
The TinCaps wrap up their three-game series with the Captains today in Eastlake, Ohio.
It’s a chance for Fort Wayne to take the series, which would be crucial after yesterday’s game escaped their grasp in the final moments. Five Lake County runs scored in the eighth inning and the Captains escaped with a 7-2 victory.
The pitching matchup tonight looks like it’ll be a good one: Cody Hebner (5-2, 4.06) vs. Joe Colon (5-5, 2.66).
After winning three starts in a row from April 30th to May 12th (3-0, 2.70 in that stretch), Hebner has since gone winless (0-1, 7.54) in his last three starts. From looking at the numbers, here’s one stat that jumps off the page with the TinCaps righty:
Average against with the bases empty: .194 (21-108)
Average against with runners on base: .329 (28-85)
As for Colon, he’s had an interesting season in that he’s registered a decision in all but one of his 11 starts. He features a sinker, and from what I’ve heard from the Lake County radio booth, it’s an effective pitch that induces a lot of ground balls.
In his last three starts, Colon has alternated win-loss-win, but was overall very successful in May going 4-2 with a 1.31 ERA. The native of Puerto Rico allowed just six earned runs in 41 1/3 innings last month.
I hope you can join me tonight for the radio broadcast. I’ll be on the air at 6:45 from Classic Park with our pregame coverage. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00, and you can listen on 1380 ESPN or at ESPNFortWayne.com.
In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, hear my Saturday chat with Captains Manager David Wallace. He’ll tell you how few times top prospect Francisco Lindor has struggled this year, and fill you in on who his managerial influences are:
Rain struck Parkview Field for the first time this season, and postponed Thursday’s game between the TinCaps and Loons.
Fortunately, it wasn’t the last day of the series and the two teams will be able to make up the missed action as part of a doubleheader tonight. First pitch is scheduled for 5:35. Doubleheaders are scheduled for two seven-inning games. Adys Portillo is set to start in game one and Colin Rea in game two. If you were planning on coming out for Star Wars Night, fear not, you must. Scheduled for game two the festivities are.
After a 10-15 April, the TinCaps finished the month of May with a record of 14-14. Fort Wayne is 14.5 games out of first place, but just 4.5 games out of second place. The first and second place finishers in each half qualify for the postseason. It doesn’t look like any team will be able to catch Lansing, but the battle for second place is fierce. Bowling Green and Great Lakes are tied for second place (10.5 games back), South Bend is in fourth (12 games back), Lake County is in fifth (13.5 games back), West Michigan is in sixth (14.0 games back) and the TinCaps are in seventh. Dayton, 18.5 games out of first, is in a distant eighth place.
Looking ahead, the TinCaps have a three-game series at Lake County in Eastlake, Ohio this weekend. Upon Googling “Eastlake ohio” (No, I didn’t use a comma or capitalize for Google…painful, I know), I found that the mayor of this city is Ted Andrzejewski. Since the Scripps National Spelling Bee was held yesterday, I challenge you to make your own today in your workplace. You’ll only need one word, since nobody will actually be able to spell Andrzejewski. The problem is, you’ll have to figure out how to pronounce it first. I wish you luck.
Back to baseball–the Captains have lost five in a row, so that’s good news for the TinCaps, who have dropped three straight. The name to watch for with the Captains is Francisco Lindor, the top prospect in the Indians farm system. He was hitting as high as .327 on May 17, and is still hitting a pretty solid .286. What folks say has really been impressive is his glove. The TinCaps and Captains played three games against one another to open the year, and no team is the same on Opening Day as it is on June 1st, so I’m eager to see how Lindor has progressed.
The Plain Dealer, Cleveland’s big paper, recently put together a profile on the shortstop:
Wednesday night’s game was a played under crisp, cool conditions at Parkview Field. You could tell that it was going to be different than the past four days had been. The Bowling Green series brought hot weather and high run totals to Fort Wayne, but Wednesday’s game was a low scoring affair.
Great Lakes scored in the first inning against Frank Garces, who worked five innings and struck out eight. The run he gave up was unearned because of an error in left field by Mike Gallic. Headed into that start, Garces had surrendered 12 hits in his prior two outings. It took him five starts as he opened the year to give up 12 hits. This was definitely the bounce-back outing that the lefty needed.
The TinCaps tied the game in the second with an RBI single from Yeison Asencio, and got a lead off double from Kyle Gaedele in the third. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t get another hit for the remainder of the game. Fort Wayne scored in the seventh with the help of a Loons error, but two TinCaps errors in the top of the 10th cost them the game. Duanel Jones made a throwing error with two outs, and Yeison Asencio failed to catch a fly ball in right field, allowing the two go-ahead runs to score. The errors came at a crucial point in the game, and cost the TinCaps in their third straight loss.
“As soon as we went down, we pretty much gave up on it,” Manager Jose Valentin said after the game. “I didn’t see any fire in the guys to try to go back there and forget about the two mistakes we made in the 10th.”
Fort Wayne needs a win tonight to make it above. 500 for the month of May. Right now the team is 14-14, and that’s following a 10-15 mark in April.
Fortunately, reigning Midwest League Pitcher of the Week Adys Portillo starts in the middle game of this series. Last time out he allowed just one hit in six innings against South Bend.
In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, hear Manager Jose Valentin give insight into what he thought was an overall good game, until the latter frames:
MAYER GOES PUBLIC (RADIO)
If you haven’t heard the new John Mayer album “Born and Raised”, I suggest you check it out. It’s a little bit of a different sound that what you might’ve been used to with his prior work, but I’ve found it really enjoyable. On the bus rides to and from South Bend last week, I probably made it through the entire track list about four or five times. I’ve found that it takes several listens to an album for me to really appreciate it.
A friend of mine sent me this link in which Mayer sits down with NPR for a 30-minute interview about his creative process, and the struggles that he endured in trying to re-find his voice after he felt a little burned out following his last album. He shows a very human side–meaning he explicitly talks about his nervousness, fears and insecurities–that you wouldn’t get when you listen to an interview with someone like Lady Gaga…if you can make it past her outfit to even hear what she’s saying.
Having that more “human” connection with an artist makes me like their music a bit more, since I feel invested in them as an individual. This may be far too deep an analysis of a public radio interview, but I feel like it’s worth the time for good music. Just like with sports, music is a method to take your mind off track from every day life, so I find the nitpicking to be enjoyable.
If you’ve got any music suggestions for the blog, or for my iPod for upcoming road trips (this weekend to Lake County) please feel free to share. I’m open to anything.
Here’s a tweet from INC’s Chief Meteorologist (and TinCaps pre-game weather forecaster) Curtis Smith:
Curtis Smith (@CurtisSmithINC) May 31, 2012
The TinCaps broadcast booth (which doubles as an amateur meteorology department) will be locked on the weather today, as it does appear to be a bit threatening.
Jefferson Starship…take it away!
For the second time in three days, the TinCaps surrendered a season high in runs. On Saturday, that number was 11. After yesterday’s game, the number is 14. The Hot Rods took a 2-1 series lead with a 14-7 shellacking of the TinCaps.
The game started off well. Ruben Mejia made his first start since September of last year and lasted four innings. Mejia is the newest addition to the TinCaps starting rotation, which now features six pitchers in an effort to cut back on innings for the starters. Director of Player Development Randy Smith said earlier this year that most TinCaps starters were on track to throw between 120-130 innings. As of today, here’s how many each starter (not counting those on the disabled list) has thrown:
Frank Garces: 51.0 in 10 starts
Adys Portillo: 54 2/3 in 10 starts
Colin Rea: 35 2/3 in 4 starts, 12 relief appearances
Matt Wisler: 45 2/3 in 9 starts, 1 relief appearance
Cody Hebner: 46 2/3 in 9 starts
Let’s use Frank Garces as a case study. He’s next scheduled to pitch on Thursday against Great Lakes, and then would theoretically start two more times in the first half. If, and I’m just guessing here, he goes five innings in each of his next three starts, he’ll be at 66 innings for the first half. Extrapolating for another 13 starts in the second half at a theoretical five innings each, and Garces would be at 132 innings—over his limit. These numbers are all theoretical on my end, but it goes to show why the Padres have change to a six-man rotation with Fort Wayne.
I can now say that after Thursday’s game in South Bend, I’ve called a game (well at least a half inning) in a manner I’ve never experienced: with a piece of tissue in my left nostril.
Let’s set the scene…It’s about 7:03 PM in the visiting radio booth at Coveleski Stadium and I’ve just tossed to the final commercial break before the national anthem begins and the game can get underway. So I say something along the lines of “First pitch comes your way next. It’s the TinCaps and the Silver Hawks on 1380 ESPN.” So far, so good.
Then, I stand up. You know that feeling when you think your nose is running, but it happens a little too quickly and you get worried. Yeah…that. It was 85 degrees outside, so it’s not like I had the sniffles or anything. I had to stay standing, though, because the anthem was being performed.
So I took a tissue out of my pocket to try and dab away whatever was coming my way, thinking “No big deal” and bam…nosebleed. Uh oh. I’ve only got about two minutes at this point, depending on the anthem singer’s speed, to get this to stop. Well, it didn’t stop by the time we heard, “The following is a presentation of 1380 ESPN and The Fort Wayne TinCaps…”, and that means I’ve got about 30 seconds to go.
I begin to have every nightmare situation run through my head. I think back to the year 2004, when my oldest sister graduated from Providence College. It’s my entire family out at a really nice restaurant and we’re celebrating with a fancy dinner. Leave it to me to have a nosebleed that lasts the entire dinner. The entire night my middle sister was running back and forth to the bathroom to get me more tissues. Lesson learned: never take me to a nice restaurant.
Back in the booth, quick thinking was needed…
What do I do?
Well, I just ripped off a giant hunk of tissue and hoped that it would act as the Kleenex Hoover Dam to my Colorado Blood River. Luckily it did, and by the time the top of the first was over, I was back in working order.
What makes this all the more entertaining for me is that the TinCaps scored five runs in the first inning, including an Austin Hedges grand slam. And that was only Thursday. Who knows what Friday will bring!
Oddities aside, the TinCaps have now won four games in a row, which ties their season-long winning streak. Donavan Tate has hit in eight consecutive games, tying Matt Colantonio for the longest hit streak of the season. Lee Orr has homered four times in 10 games, and Hedges now leads the team with five homers and 24 knocked in.
Tonight’s pitching matchup should be pretty good, too. The scheduled starters are Adys Portillo for Fort Wayne (league best ERA) and Archie Bradley for South Bend (6 wins, league-low .132 BAA).
In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, hear from shortstop who made his return to the lineup on Wednesday, going 3-5 and knocking in two runs. He shares what he remembers of the injury that put him on the disabled list and his jubilation about returning to action:
DANCING WITH THE TINCAPS
It’s commonly known that pitchers tend to have a lot of time on their hands. If you’re a starter, the mound is yours once every five days. So during the other four days, you’re watching the game. If you’re a closer, you’re generally not needed in innings 1-8, and sometimes 9.
Thus, I present to you one starter and one closer: Cody Hebner and Matt Stites, as they showcase their dancing talents with Myron Noodleman:
I think those guys might have watched this video a few times before taking the field with Myron:
James Brown…take it away!
The TinCaps delivered in a big way on Sunday afternoon, scoring a 2-1 walk-off win over the Bowling Green Hot Rods. Down 1-0 headed into the ninth, and without a base hit since the fourth, Fort Wayne got on the board with a Lee Orr home run. It marks his second home run since Wednesday, when he delivered the go-ahead blast that helped the TinCaps defeat the Lansing Lugnuts 5-3.
Following Orr’s Sunday shot, Whitmore, who entered the game in the sixth as a replacement for Kyle Gaedele, lifted a single to right field, scoring Yeison Asencio and setting up the TinCaps for a Monday rubber match against Bowling Green.
Tonight it’s Matt Wisler on the hill for Fort Wayne. The 19-year-old has surrendered just three earned runs in his last 20 2/3 innings.
Here are a few more notes for today’s game:
One Ends, Another Continues: Mike Gallic’s seven-game hitting streak came to an end in Sunday’s win, but Donavan Tate extended his hitting streak to five games. Tate, a the third overall pick in the 2009 draft, has collected at least one hit in each of his five games since returning from the disabled list on May 15th against West Michigan. This five-game streak for Tate matches the longest of his career. His one other five-game streak came last year with the Eugene Emeralds in late June. The longest hit streak this year is eight, held by Matt Colantonio.
Orr Delivers: In just seven games with Fort Wayne, Lee Orr has helped deliver the TinCaps to victory twice. On Wednesday at Lansing with two outs and two strikes against him in the ninth, Orr connected on a three-run home run to put Fort Wayne in front 5-3 for good. His home run on Sunday to tie the game at 1 marked the 10th longball of his professional career in 233 at bats.
In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, hear from Whitmore after his game-winning hit as he talks about what he was looking for at the plate, and the resiliency of the club to come back and pick up the win:
WANNA FEEL OLD?
Well, stop reading if you don’t. However if you don’t mind a little trip down memory lane, you’ll enjoy hearing that MTV’s “The Real World” debuted 20 years ago today. So when you get angry/excited/indifferent about having the Kardashians on every channel and having reality shows about the type of lint people get out of their dryers, you can trace it all back to this “The Real World”.
Today also would have been the 40th birthday of rapper Notorious B.I.G. His real name was Christopher Wallace, and his mother talked to The Source about his legacy:
“When he passed away, I never knew he was so famous. I never knew he was so well liked, maybe because I never listened to the music. But I guess over the years, I love it more and appreciate the art more,” she said.
“For someone to think of my son, his music, his legacy, and can smile about it, I’m happy for them. If it makes you happy, then I’m happy.”
Whether you know it or not, you’ve probably heard the music of arguably the world’s most famous rapper at one point or another in your life.
John Mayer and Keith Urban…take it away!
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Fort Wayne lost 9-3 last night in the first game against Bowling Green this year. Adys Portillo went 4 1/3, walking four batters, and the TinCaps struggled with men in scoring position, going 2-10.
From today’s game notes:
Bullpen Woes: The TinCaps bullpen has now allowed at least one run in each of the last five games, and has allowed 14 runs over the last three games, all of which Fort Wayne has lost. Since May 10, when the bullpen ERA was 3.29, Fort Wayne relievers have worked 42 innings and surrendered 22 earned runs, for an era of 4.71 in that 10 game span. The TinCaps have posted a 4-6 record in that time frame.
High K’s: In the last three games, the TinCaps have struck out at least ten times each night. On Thursday against Lansing, Fort Wayne K’d 12 times. In Friday’s 9-3 loss to the Lugnuts, the TinCaps struck out 10 times, and they fanned 11 times on Saturday in the series opener against Bowling Green. On the year, only South Bend (443) and Great Lakes (337) have racked up more than Fort Wayne’s 336 team strikeouts.
Streak: Mike Gallic, with a home run on Saturday night, extended his hitting streak to seven games. In that span, he has gone 15-26 with five runs batted in.
In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, hear from Manager Jose Valentin as he talks about Adys Portillo’s struggle with his curveball, Ruben Mejia’s tough night, and Mike Gallic’s hot bat:
SCOUT MOVIE NIGHT AT PARKVIEW FIELD
After the game on Saturday, lots of Boy Scouts and their parents spent the night at Parkview Field. It was the 13th annual overnight event, and it was a great success as everyone got to enjoy “Toy Story” and some late night snacks down on the field.
Guy Who's In Charge of Making Sure The Headphones are Turned Up Before Rappers Start Recording... you suck at your job.—
Luke Burbank (@lukeburbank) May 20, 2012
BACK IN TIME
The website Uni-Watch.com, which tracks all things uniform related in just about every sport across the globe, has a great reader submission feature in which folks try to put color into events that happened before color photography.
Most baseball fans are likely familiar with “The Catch” made by Willie Mays during the 1954 World Series at the Polo Grounds in New York City. Some estimates say he went nearly 420 feet to catch the ball in the spacious outfield at the park, hauling it in over his shoulder.
Here’s what the photo looks like as we’ve always known it:
And here’s what it looks like, with a digital color touch-up:
I don’t know how long that kind of stuff takes to do, but it looks pretty cool, doesn’t it?
The Allman Brothers Band…take it away!
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