Results tagged ‘ Lee Orr ’

Wednesday in Review, A Loving Relationship, Breakfast Club

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.

MUSICAL GUEST

Pearl Jam…take it away!

If you’d like to get in touch, you can reach me at Couzens@TinCaps.com or on Twitter @MikeCouzens.

Troublesome Takeoff & Dancing with the TinCaps

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:

MUSICAL GUEST

I think those guys might have watched this video a few times before taking the field with Myron:

James Brown…take it away!

If you’d like to get in touch, you can reach me at Couzens@TinCaps.com or on Twitter @MikeCouzens.

Big Finish, Anniversaries, Podcast

WALK-OFF WIN

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.

Travis Whitmore is being mobbed somewhere in that pile.

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.

MUSICAL GUEST

John Mayer and Keith Urban…take it away!

If you’d like to have “It’s All Relative” delivered to your inbox each day, you can click the “Follow” button on the right side of the blog and whenever I post each day, it’ll be delivered at your convenience.

If you’d like to get in touch, you can reach me at Couzens@TinCaps.com or on Twitter @MikeCouzens.

Three Hits, Photos from the Road, What’s a Facebook?

Just three hits for the TinCaps in Thursday’s 5-1 loss for Fort Wayne. Six innings in, there were no hits on the scoreboard for the TinCaps and it was looking a little dicey. Noah Syndergaard, who apparently wolfs down Chiptole before each start, worked four innings and didn’t give up a run or a hit. Only two men reached against him during his outing. Here’s how he prepares for each game:

” I start my day off with Chipotle, it’s like a pregame ritual with [reliever Anthony] DeSclafani. Then I get to the stadium around 5 p.m. and get my leg stretches and arm stretches in, then I’m ready to go.”

“Tonight, I went down to the bullpen after I came out and worked on my curveball. It depends on my pitch count. Then I did some shoulder maintenance and rotator cuff stuff.”

The TinCaps didn’t fare much better against DeSclafani, as the righty struck out the side in both the fifth and sixth innings,  and ended up with a career-high eight strikeouts.

Donavan Tate notched the first hit of the night for Fort Wayne in the seventh, and later came around to score on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Duanel Jones. The TinCaps loaded the bases in the ninth and brought the tying run to the plate against reliever Brandon Berl, but Lee Orr grounded out to end the game. The three-game winning streak came to and end for the TinCaps.

While Cody Hebner pitched well through five innings, it was the first time all year that fewer than three runs were scored when he was on the mound. Entering Thursday’s game the team had averaged 8.1 runs per game during his starts. Frank Garces starts in the rubber match.

Pregame coverage starts at 6:45 on 1380 ESPN and ESPNFortWayne.com with first pitch at 7:05, and I hope you can join me on your Friday night.

FROM THE PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY ARCHIVES

I want to share a few photos with you from the road trip. Here is an establishment right down the street from the Lugnuts ballpark. This place is a little geographically confused…

Featuring DJ TinCat on the 1’s and 2’s every Friday night!

Looking down at the lobby of the Lexington Lansing Hotel from inside the elevator. Swanky.

In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, hear from Lee Orr, whose three-run homer lifted the TinCaps to a win on Wednesday night in Lansing. He’ll also talk about his friendship with his college, and current, teammate Jace Peterson and about the time he got covered in mud while helping Jace out of a jam…

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