Results tagged ‘ Travis Whitmore ’

One-Hit Mania, Cajun Surprise, Clown Question

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!

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New Series, TinCaps TV Show, Viva VHS

It was just one of those days for the TinCaps on Tuesday, as they lost 8-2 to Bowling Green. Four TinCaps were ejected from the game, and that included Pitching Coach Willie Blair, pitcher Matt Stites, infielder Travis Whitmore and Manager Jose Valentin.

“I’m not going to go out there and get thrown out of the game because I want to,” Valentin told The Journal Gazette. “I went out there because I thought I had a case to the argument. I could see clear, from where I was in the dugout, as soon as that ball made contact with the bat, that ball never was fair. It wasn’t even close. The bottom line is we got beat again. We didn’t hit at all, we didn’t pitch at all today and they beat us.”

Lee Orr did hit another home run, giving him seven for the season. He’s hit longballs at an incredible pace, having registered 50 at bats in 15 games in a TinCaps uniform.

Now Great Lakes comes into town, and the Dodgers affiliate has played up and down baseball having split the last ten games. Over the last seven games, the Loons have gone win, loss, win loss, win, loss, win. That stretch followed a two-game losing streak, which was preceded by a two-game winning streak. Confused yet? Yeah, me too. The last time these two clubs met was back in April, from the 12th-15th, and both teams look much different than they did more than a month ago.

In today’s TinCaps report, Matt Stites talks about his ejection in from the game after surrendering a home run to Bowling Green’s Matt Rice:

TINCAPS TV SHOW

If you haven’t heard, the TinCaps are now one of just a few teams in Minor League Baseball to have an entire weekly television show dedicated to them. It’s called “Sound Off with the TinCaps” and it airs every Monday here in Fort Wayne on 21 Alive from 12:20-12:50 and it re-airs at 7:30.

There have been two episodes, and this past week’s show featured a live interview with Jose Valentin from the ballpark, and a behind the scenes segment with the Bad Apple Dancers.

For all of the segments, check out the link below:

http://www.indianasnewscenter.com/sports/sound-off-tincaps

VIVA VHS

Just when you thought you’d never hear about a videocassette ever again…they’re back! Well…kind of. The New York Times has the details:

“In this age of online streaming and Blu-ray Discs, there is still a place where the bulky VHS cassette endures: the immigrant communities of New York City.

The survival of the format may speak to a frugal strain among some immigrants, particularly those who are older, who seem more reluctant to embrace the throwaway, ever-modernizing consumer culture of America. Why upgrade to today’s technology? Those old cassettes do just fine.

“The immigrant very much values what they did not have,” said Orlando Tobón, a leader in the Colombian community of Jackson Heights, Queens, who runs a travel agency and tax-preparation office. “And if it still works, they still use it.”

In Harlem, a Senegalese-owned store stocks cassettes with movies from the expanding African film industry, and at least two shops in Queens, one owned by a Pakistani and the other by a Bangladeshi, supply Bollywood films on videocassette to the borough’s large South Asian population. Latinos with a lingering preference for the format shop at a Peruvian-owned store in Jackson Heights.

In interviews, the stores’ owners said videocassette sales and rentals, though now only a small and shrinking slice of their business, were sustained in part by older immigrants who seemed less inclined than the young to adopt new gadgetry.”

I remember watching This Week in Baseball on VHS as I was growing up, and then putting it in the VHS rewinder and watching it again. Remember these?

If these seem outdated now, what will we think of DVD players in five years?

MUSICAL GUEST

Neil Young…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.

Wednesday Win, Port Gets Pub, Don’t Tell Johnny

It’s game two of a seven-day homestand for the TinCaps, and Joe Ross takes the hill today against lefty John Pedrotty for South Bend. Also, it’s just one day away from Video Game Night tomorrow at Parkview Field. As someone who spent far too much time as an elementary school student playing Game Boy rather than learning long division, this is a very exciting time.

The 18-year-old Ross is coming off of his best outing of the season. Last time out he threw six innings against West Michigan, striking out seven, walking one and allowing two earned runs. He didn’t get the win as the game went to 12 innings, but did get help from fellow Californian Austin Hedges, whose 12th inning sac fly lifted the team to victory.

Padres Farm Director Randy Smith is in town this week to have a look at some of the system’s top prospects, so keep an eye on the blog, or become an e-mail subscriber and have your daily dispatch delivered to your inbox each day, for Smith’s thoughts on players like Ross and Hedges.

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Early Game, Difference Makers, Podcast

Monday morning ‘s 11:05 first pitch against Peoria gives the TinCaps a chance to erase a Sunday game that got away from them early. A Taylor Davis grand slam off of Matt Wisler in the third inning made a 1-0 Chiefs lead a 5-0 advantage, and they didn’t look back from there, winning 5-2.

Fort Wayne got two runs on a Travis Whitmore single in the eighth, but that was the full extent of the scoring for the home nine on Sunday afternoon. Although Wisler went just 2 2/3, the bullpen came in and finished the game without allowing a run over the final 6 1/3 innings.

In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, take a listen back to the highlights from Sunday’s game, in addition to what Manager Jose Valentin says his team needs to do to stay competitive in ballgames:

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Lip Sweaters, Life Begins at 40, WinCaps

The first two games between the Bees and the TinCaps have been extremely enjoyable to watch. The games have featured strong pitching, timely offense and well-played defense. In Thursday night’s game, it was the offense that broke out early with both teams scoring two runs in their respective halves of the first inning. For Fort Wayne, it was Travis Whitmore hitting a two-run shot over the wall in right, which as he said after the game, carried up into the “jetstream”. The wind was blowing out to right, but he got enough on it that it would’ve been gone either way.

Fort Wayne’s Frank Garces pitched five innings and struck out seven, vaulting himself into the lead for strikeouts within the Padres player development system. The bullpen was as good as it’s been all year as Johnny Barbato, newcomer Daniel Cropper and Matt Stites worked four innings without giving up a hit or a walk. Cropper pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning for his first win.

In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, hear the highlights from last night’s game, including post-game reaction from Whitmore, Donavan Tate and Manager Jose Valentin:

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Shipers’ Long Road, True Connections, Chronicling Life

Game one in Clinton was not as friendly to the TinCaps as they would have hoped. Despite taking a 3-0 lead in the third inning, Fort Wayne didn’t score again for the rest of the afternoon. The LumberKings scored once in the fourth, and then two more runs each in the fifth, sixth and seventh for a 7-3 victory. The loss fell on the TinCaps bullpen, which is the sixth time in their 11 losses that that has happened.

Of note in this series for Fort Wayne, is that two players return back to their home state. Travis Whitmore (Burlington) and Colin Rea (Cascade) are both from Iowa. I ran into Travis’ mother yesterday while I was fetching my pregame meal, and she was very happy to be seeing her son playing back in Iowa. Travis told me that he had about nine or 10 family members at the game on Sunday.

Additionally, TinCaps infielder Zach Kometani’s older brother, Paul, was once a LumberKing. Paul, a pitcher, played in Clinton during the 2005 season.

Paul Kometani in 2005

He made 13 appearances, 9 starts, and went 3-2, with a 2.40 ERA.

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Today Fort Wayne’s Joe Ross takes the hill, and he’ll be opposed by Jordan Shipers. The lefty from Bethany, MO, population 3,087, didn’t play high school baseball because his school didn’t have a team. Here are some details from a story written last summer about Shipers:

“The local high school, South Harrison, had just 400 students and did not have a baseball program. There weren’t any summer team opportunities beyond Little League.

So when Shipers was 12 his mother, Debbie, decided to take the dramatic step of driving her son to Kansas City to play baseball, about 100 miles away.

This became Shipers’ routine through high school. The two would drive to Kansas City three times a week for practices, then again on the weekends for games. The round trip lasted three hours. Because Shipers is a pitchers, sometimes those three hours of travel ended up being for as little as 45 minutes worth of practice. When Shipers had multiple games on a Saturday with time in between, he’d head to a nearby skate park to pass the time — much to his coach’s chagrin.”

The only other player who I can think of in Minor League Baseball like Shipers is Brandon Nimmo, the Mets’ first round pick last year. Nimmo grew up in Wyoming, one of three states without high school baseball (Montana and South Dakota are the other two), and had to play American Legion baseball to get noticed. If you know of any other players like this, please let me know. The email is Couzens@TinCaps.com

In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, hear my Sunday Conversation with TinCaps Manager Jose Valentin, where we’ll talk about what helped the team to a back-to-back wins over the weekend, the return of Casey McElroy, and the squad’s starting pitching:

SPOT-ON COMMENTARY

Do you ever have one of those moments where you read something and find your self nodding your head in a moment of complete agreement? That’s what happened to me after yesterday’s game when I got back to the team hotel. I read this piece from The New York Times entitled “The Flight From Conversation”. It laments the loss of real, everyday, meaningful conversation with one another, which has been replaced with online blips of interaction:

“We are tempted to think that our little “sips” of online connection add up to a big gulp of real conversation. But they don’t. E-mail, Twitter, Facebook, all of these have their places — in politics, commerce, romance and friendship. But no matter how valuable, they do not substitute for conversation.”

I think I’m one of the first people to be guilty of this kind of thing. I was on the phone with a friend last night, and he relayed a funny bit of conversation he’d had with someone saying, “If you want to get in touch with me, you can do office intranet chat, GMail chat, work email, personal email, Facebook message, Facebook chat, phone call, text message, Twitter @ reply, Twitter direct message. Ok, I think I’ve named them all.” Look at that list! Didn’t it just used to be either face-t0-face or a phone call?

“I am a partisan for conversation. To make room for it, I see some first, deliberate steps. At home, we can create sacred spaces: the kitchen, the dining room. We can make our cars “device-free zones.”

This is what I do when I go to the gym. I lock my phone away in the locker room and take some time to enjoy solitude (relatively speaking, considering I’m surrounded by people, music and televisions) and freedom from being around my phone. I use my cellphone for email ,Twitter, Facebook, etc., so to not think or worry about that for an hour or so a day is a nice feeling. I have no interest in texting while I’m on the elliptical, anyway.

“Most of all, we need to remember — in between texts and e-mails and Facebook posts — to listen to one another, even to the boring bits, because it is often in unedited moments, moments in which we hesitate and stutter and go silent, that we reveal ourselves to one another.”

It’s just so true. So last night, I called a couple of my friends–one from college and another from home. I learned that one friend has a new girlfriend, and is enjoying life in New York City. I learned that another is going to be starting a new job in  Connecticut this summer. I laughed. I learned. I was human.

Even though I’m in Iowa and was talking to people thousands of miles away, I had an experience that no Twitter or Facebook conversation could replicate.

SMART THINKING

I’ve very few memories before I was, say, in kindergarten. Some people can think back to when they were really young and remember what life was like, but I don’t think that strong memory gene runs in the Couzens bloodline. A certain father out there, knowing that his own child might want to know what she looked and acted like when she was young, decided to take a video of his daughter from when she was born until she turned 12. It’s fun to watch, and reminds me of this video, where a guy took a picture of himself every day for six years.

Since I can’t embed the 0-12 years old video, here’s a link: http://www.buzzfeed.com/thefalafel/amazing-12-year-time-lapse-video-of-a-girl-named-l-4x8q.

MUSICAL GUEST

Brantley Gilbert…take it away!

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

LOL (But Seriously), ¡Jambalaya!, Podcast

Fort Wayne’s offense exploded for a season-high 12 runs and 16 hits as the TinCaps obliterated the Kane County Cougars on Friday night.

Travis Whitmore went 4-5 and Justin Miller finished with a three-hit performance. Whitmore and Kyle Gaedele plated three runs, and  Duanel Jones, along with Matt Colantonio, had two runs batted in.  A 7-for-11 mark with runners in scoring position was also a season best. Cody Hebner pitched five innings, allowing just one run, for the win. The bullpen was brilliant, too, working four innings and giving up just a hit.

A win would give the TinCaps their first back-to-back wins of the year and it would be the team’s first series victory in five tries.

In today’s TinCaps Report Podcast, hear the highlights from Friday’s win, and we stop in with the roster’s newest addition, catcher Jeremy Rodriguez:

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‘Port’ Authority, Offensive Outburst, Crazy Commas

Lovely game at Dow Diamond last night as the TinCaps and Loons opened their four-game set. Adys Portillo went six and two thirds, tying his career high for innings pitched. He was just one batter shy of making it through seven full, before issuing a walk with two out. Quite the outing for the 20 year old from Venezuela. Padres Farm Director Randy Smith was following the game closely:

That’s a great turn of phrase right there, hope it’s not copyrighted!

Lots of credit is due to the staff for helping Portillo get off to a great start this season. Last year in 23 appearances, only five times did Portillo pitch more than four innings. Jose Valentin told me before the game that during spring training, the staff had Portillo focus on throwing the ball over the plate, even in two-strike counts. The way to corral a wild arm, it seems, was to overcorrect back to the middle and have him throw more strikes than necessary. It has certainly paid off, as Portillo began the year without allowing a hit in his first six innings of work, and has allowed just two in 10 2/3 innings.

Oh, right…there was the big offensive outburst last night, too! In the first inning, Jace Peterson and Travis Whitmore both went deep off of Loons starter Brandon Martinez. You can hear those highlights in today’s TinCaps Report Podcast. Also in today’s edition, part of my conversation with TinCaps hitting coach Jacque Jones. He gives his thoughts about the team’s start at the plate this year, talks about new third baseman Duanel Jones, and explains why he missed work earlier this week (for a very good reason):

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