Lakewood BlueClaws Report (6/9 – 6/15)

Near the end of the first half of the season in the SAL, the BlueClaws find themselves exactly where they want to be: in first place in the SAL North, controlling their own destiny. With a three-game series against second place Delmarva, who, at the beginning of the series was only back by four games, the current condensed series taking place may play a big part in determining the first-half champions.

Having split the first two games of said series, the BlueClaws lead in the division remains at four games, and their magic number is now five with eight games left to play.  A win Tuesday in the final game of the series against Delmarva would go a long way in helping to sew up the first half championship, potentially decreasing the magic number to three.

Tuesday, June 9

Hagerstown 4
Lakewood 3
W: P. McCoy (1-1); L: Tyler Cloyd (6-3); SV: O. Rodriguez (9)

Despite the team hitting two homeruns in one game, a rare occurence for this season’s incarnation of the BlueClaws, the team dropped a close, hard-fought game against the Hagerstown Suns.

Tyler Cloyd did not have his best stuff in the start, but he was serviceable. He lasted six innings, giving up six hits (including a homerun) and two walks resulting in four run (three earned), raising his ERA to 3.05. He struck out three in the appearance. Santo Hernandez pitched three scoreless innings in relief to keep the BlueClaws in the game to the very end.

After Cloyd had given up a three-spot to put the BlueClaws in a 3-0 hole in the top of the 2nd, Steve Susdorf helped close the gap a bit with his first homerun to lead off the inning. Later in the inning, Sebastian Valle doubled and would be driven in by a two-out Zach Collier RBI single. Down 4-2 in the 9th inning, Jim Murphy hit a solo inside-the-park homerun to put the game within reach. The next batter, Travis Mattair would double, putting the tying run in scoring position with one out. Unfortunately, the next two batters struck out, stopping the BlueClaws’ comeback attempt.

Susdorf had a standout game, hitting 2-4 with a homerun. Troy Hanzawa also had two hits, going 2-4 with two doubles.

Wednesday, June 10
Hagerstown 3
Lakewood 1
W: K. Light (2-1); L: Ryan Bergh (3-3); SV: C. Peralta (3)

In a great pitcher’s duel between Jason Knapp and Suns starter Brad Peacock, the BlueClaws lost the game in heartbreaking fashion.

Knapp had one of his strongest starts of the season, pitching seven shutout innings, allowing only four hits without issuing a walk and striking out six. He matched Peacock step for step, as both teams took a 0-0 game into the eighth inning. Justin DeFratus pitched a scoreless 8th and the BlueClaws gained a one-run lead in the bottom of the frame.

In perfect position to pick up his tenth save of the season, Ryan Bergh instead allowed the Suns to tie the game and send it into extra innings. Bergh pitched a one-two-three 10th before blowing the game with a two-run 11th.

The only BlueClaws run in the game was set up by a D’Arby Myers double. Myers would be driven in on the next play, a Harold Garcia triple.

Thursday, June 11

Lakewood 3
Hagerstown 1
W: Heitor Correa (3-2); L: P. Demny (1-5), SV: Justin DeFratus (2)

Through extremely heavy fog, the BlueClaws found a way to win the shortened game. With a 3-1 lead after the first half of the 6th inning, the game was called after a 32-minute fog delay. The fog was so bad in the top of the 6th, that OF Zach Collier was quoted as saying that it was nearly impossible to field.

Heitor Correa went 5.2 innings, giving up one run despite allowing seven hits and five walks. In his defense, several of the hits and perhaps some of the walks could potentially be attributed to the fog. Justin DeFratus came in for one out to end the 6th and was credited with the save once the game was called.

Lakewood scored its first run of the game in the 4th, off a Troy Hanzawa single. Jim Murphy put the BlueClaws ahead for good in the 5th, with a 2-RBI single, scoring Anthony Gose and Steve Susdorf.

Alan Schoenberger made his first start for Lakewood at 3B, going hitless in two plate appearances. Anthony Gose hit 2-3 on the night, with a double and a run scored. Jeremy Hamilton also had two hits in the game, hitting 2-2 with a double, run scored and a walk.

Friday, June 12

Lakewood 5
Lake County 2
W: Jesus Sanchez (2-4); L: T. House (1-7); SV: B.J. Rosenberg (9)

Jesus Sanchez pitched six strong innings to give the BlueClaws a win in the first game of the series against the Lake County Captains. In one of his best starts of the season, Sanchez went six innings, striking out four and giving up one run on four hits, a walk. Santo Hernandez entered the game in the seventh, pitching two scoreless innings of relief. Robert Roth was brought into the game with a 5-1 lead and walked the first two batters he faced, turning the game into a save situation. Closer B.J. Rosenberg came in for the save, and got the job done for his ninth of the year, though he let one of his inherited baserunners score.

The BlueClaws took a quick 1-0 lead after the first frame, as Anthony Gose tripled and was subsequently brought in by a Travis D’Arnaud sacrifice fly. D’Arnaud would add to the Phillies lead in the 6th, scoring on a wild pitch. In the 7th, Harold Garcia hit an RBI-triple and scored in the inning to give the BlueClaws a 4-1 lead at the time. Travis Mattair led off the 9th with a triple and scored on a passed ball for Lakewood’s final run.

Harold Garcia had the most notable offensive game, hitting 2-5 with a triple, a run scored and an RBI. Travis Mattair’s triple came in a pinch-hitting appearance.

Saturday, June 13

Lakewood 4
Lake County 2
W: Jon Velasquez (9-2); L: C. Jones (1-1); SV: Ryan Bergh (10)

Jon Velasquez earned his SAL-leading ninth win of the season in an impressive seven-inning performance. Velasquez lasted seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits while striking out three. Justin DeFratus pitched 1.1 innings, striking out two and not allowing a baserunner and Ryan Bergh came in for his tenth save of the season.

Travis D’Arnaud got the scoring going in the 1st inning, driving in Anthony Gose with a double. D’Arby Myers added another run in the second with an RBI-single scoring Mattair. Mattair would score again in the 6th on a throwing error. Harold Garcia closed out the Lakewood scoring in the 8th, singling in Myers.

Anthony Gose hit 3-5 with a double and a run scored. Harold Garcia went 2-4 with a walk and an RBI.

Sunday, June 14

Lakewood 9
Lake County 7
W: Tyler Cloyd (7-3); L: D. Salazar (1-3); SV: B.J. Rosenberg (10)

The Lakewood BlueClaws offense bailed out a poor showing from the bullpen and ensured the sweep of the Lake County Captains. Tyler Cloyd pitched six innings, allowing six hits, two walks and two runs. He struck out five for the game. Ryan Ariail entered the game in the 7th with a 6-2 lead, and he and Ryan Bergh combined to give up five runs over the next 2+ innings. B.J. Rosenberg was brought in after Bergh fell apart in the 9th and was able to prevent further damage and closed out his tenth game of the season.

In the 4th, the BlueClaws scored the first two runs of the ballgame, on a Jeremy Hamilton double that scored Steve Susdorf and a Troy Hanzawa single scoring Travis Mattair. In the 5th, the BlueClaws added three runs on homeruns by Harold Garcia (his fifth, a solo shot) and Steve Susdorf (his second, a two-run dinger). The BlueClaws would tack on another in the sixth to go up 6-2. The three “insurance runs” the BlueClaws scored in the 8th and 9th innings (off an RBI-single from Harold Garcia and a two-run single from Brandon Akashian, respectively) would turn out to be the difference in the game.

Monday, June 15 (Game One)

Delmarva 5
Lakewood 1
W: J. Esposito (2-0); L: Jason Knapp (2-5)

Lakewood’s defense cost them the first game of Monday’s double header against the Delmarva Shorebirds. Out of the five runs surrendered by the BlueClaws’ pitching staff, exactly zero were earned. Two costly errors were the key to the game for Lakewood and allowed Delmarva to steal the game.

Jason Knapp  pitched 5.1 innings to start the game and gave up four runs (none earned) due to wildness and poor defense. In the top of the 2nd inning, a throwing error by Travis Mattair set up a two-run inning to put the Shorebirds up for good. In the top of the 6th, the score 2-1, after getting the leadoff hitter to record the first out of the inning, Knapp (5.1 IP, 2H, 4 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 7 K) walked two batters in a row and was pulled from the game in favor of Justin DeFratus. With Knapp on the hook for the two baserunners, 1B Jeremy Hamilton’s throwing error led to a three-run 6th.

In an odd twist of fate, the lone Lakewood run was also unearned. Anthony Gose led off the inning and reached on a fielding error by Delmarva 1B Joseph Mahoney. Gose would then collect his fortieth steal of the season, setting up an RBI-double off the bat of Travis D’Arnaud.

Monday, June 15 (Game Two)

Lakewood 6
Delmarva 4
W: Santo Hernandez (4-2); L: S. Matthews (0-1)

Despite the final stat line, Trevor May’s Lakewood debut actually was not that bad. After three innings, with the BlueClaws leading 1-0, the first rain delay of the game was called, a 40-minute delay. May was still sent out to the mound after the rain delay, and proceeded to walk the first two batters. He then struck out the next two he faced, setting up a two-out-two-on scenario for Shorebirds SS Garabez Rosa, who hit a three-run homerun. While May had not exactly been accurate before the inning, giving up three walks in the first three innings, I think it is safe to say that the rain delay affected him in some capacity. Overall, he finished with 3.2 innings pitched, two hits, five walks, three runs and eight strikeouts.

Santo Hernandez finished off the final out of the fourth inning and pitched the fifth, allowing a run in relief before the game was called.

With the BlueClaws behind 1-3 in the 4th inning, after a Jeremy Hamilton walk, Travis Mattair made it a one-run game with an RBI double. The very next batter, Zach Collier lined a triple to right field, tying the game at three apiece. With two outs, Harold Garcia stung a double to centerfield to give the ‘Claws a 4-3 lead. Anthony Gose then hit a single, scoring Garcia, but was caught in a rundown to end the inning.

With a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the 5th, Travis D’Arnaud tripled and subsequently scored on a Steve Susdorf single to give the BlueClaws their final run before the game was called due to rain.

League Leaders


Travis d’Arnaud: 37 RBI (T-6th)
Zach Collier: 4 triples (T-9th)
Anthony Gose: 41 runs (T- 2nd), 41 SB (1st by 20), 5 triples (T-5th), 16 doubles (T-9th)
Harold Garcia: 19 SB (4th), 5 triples (T-5th)
Travis Mattair: 35 walks (2nd)
Jim Murphy: 27 walks (10th), .414 OBP (2nd), .889 OPS (7th)


Jon Velasquez: 9 wins (1st)
Tyler Cloyd: 7 wins (T-2nd), 82.2 IP (1st), 73 Ks (5th)
BJ Rosenberg: 10 saves (T-4th)
Ryan Bergh: 10 saves (T-4th)
Jason Knapp: 69.2 IP (8th), 86 Ks (2nd), 1.13 WHIP (T-8th)
Justin De Fratus: 7 Holds (T-1st)
Santo Hernandez: 4 Holds (T-9th)

33 thoughts on “Lakewood BlueClaws Report (6/9 – 6/15)

  1. What the hell were they thinking bringing May back after such a delay. A real lose-lose situation. Glad to see Mattair pick it up in June. Is Gose making better contact?

  2. In his last 10 games, Gose is batting .316, but has six strikeouts to one walk. On the season he has 58 strikeouts vs 11 walks in 61 games.

    Obviously, as he goes through the system, contact and patience are going to be keys for him, but for an 18-year-old, he is outperforming expectations

  3. Can you give me a scouting report on May 8 strike outs in 3.2 is really impressive?

  4. I’m assuming May was brought in to start that 2nd game of the doubleheader. 8Ks in 3 2/3 innings is very nice indeed. Is he going to play at Williamsport or in the GCL? That 1st game must have been tough to watch. Between the 2 teams, 13 BBs, only 9 hits and no earned runs plus, as an added bonus, 4 wild pitches. I was surprised that there were no HBPs.

    I don’t want to jinx it but D’Arnaud has hit in 6 straight. He’s batting .348 over that stretch. Let’s hope he’s turned a corner. As NoWheels pointed out, Mattair is showing signs of life too. He’s hit in 8 straight (9 – 22 / .409) and has 8 BBs in his last 10 games. Everyone just forget I said it because I am the biggest jinx.

  5. Just from boxscores I see they have somewhat backed off on the playing time of Valle the last few games. Instead of D’Arnaud catching with Valle as DH, they have been using Hamilton at 1B and Murphy at DH. And Susdorf , rather than being an occasional DH and OF sub has sort of become a regular in LF. Anybody know if there is some sort of injury , or if some people are going to relocate to Williamsport , shortly , or whatnot?

  6. I will bet Lopes is having Gose bumps waiting for him to get to the majors. Maybe they should invite Gose to spring training just to work with Davey.

  7. Hopefully he gets it like Michael Bourn has now, The toolsy guys who do get it are special to me because of the speed factor, I miss bourn late in games to replace a felix or ruiz running in tie games.

  8. 8 strikeouts in 3.2 innings? Sounds like May’s got some stuff!

    Is he going to stay in the rotation? Be fun to watch he and Knapp for the rest of the year…assuming Knapp stays in Lakewood.

    Maybe Pettibone, and Cosart will be next.

  9. D. Romano, thanks for the long and detailed write-up! I agree 100% on Gose and am very encouraged by his line in June. Obviously it’s only 55 at-bats, but he’s hitting 327/373/491 in June.

    Same with Mattair, he’s a completely different player so far in June than he was in May, hitting 333/469/462. Let’s hope he keeps this up.

  10. Thanks D. Romano, does anyone know what May’s velocity was last night. I was just wondering with so many stikeouts.

  11. Hey guys, I’ll answer a few of your questions….

    On May…
    A big righty 6-foot-5 from Kelso, Washington, and a fourth round pick, he is your typical good arm with a high velocity fastball that the team took a chance on to develop his other pitches.

    May came out throwing mostly fastballs, consistently hitting 94, sitting in the low 90s though. His motion is sweeping and kindof from left to right (looking at the pitcher) and worked both sides of the plate pretty well.

    He didn’t throw too many off-speed pitches, control there was spotty and ran into trouble missing usually down and away with the fastball, trying not to leave it over the heart of the plate.

    He will start on Saturday in the doubleheader and it will be interesting to see what he can do in the week leading up to his second start.

    Overall, nice arm, plus fastball, can be a nice pitcher if he develops pitches that can cause a big change in speed. Probably will land in Williamsport for the duration of 2009.

    Travis d’Arnaud has been hitting much better of late, it was a matter of time until he flattened out his swing. I expect to see d’Arnaud hit much better in the coming weeks as he figures out how to stop popping up. I think his numbers will rise throughout the near future.

    Gose and Mattair are refining their swing, both are going through changes throughout the year and have looked like they have settled down. Gose needs to be a little bit more smart on the basepaths, and steal bases as opposed to trying to take extra bags on singles. He has robbed himself of a few more opportunities trying to take the extra bag when he could just steal the base during the next at-bat.

    Finally, Velasquez is a nice pitcher out of a free agent camp in Florida. Played at Northwoods University. His win total is inflated from his run support, but he is a decent arm but is likely not a top prospect…Anything more? Make sure to come out the next few games, going to be cool to see the BlueClaws clinch.

  12. Thanks do you have a opinion on collier and what has happen to him, it seems he just stop hitting

  13. Collier looks like hes over-swinging a bit…Big, strong kid, who, once he matures, will have some pop in his swing.

    However, for now, I think that expectation to hit for power is hurting Collier’s swing. He is a streaky hitter who is on the down-side of things right now. He is only 18 and working on his game, but as for now, maybe over-swinging a bit.

  14. Gose has been impressive. His hitting needs to catch up to his plus plus arm and plus plus speed but if it ever does he is going to be legit.

  15. Thanks for the updates! Outstanding job once again.


    Was the plate moving back n forth yesterday or was the strike zone the size of a pea? Looking at the boxscore I counted 15 walks by 4 differents pitchers. Mainly Knapp w/ 5 & De Fratus w/ 2.

  16. anticipating a move for a starter well obviously lose some high quality prospects. i would move brown before taylor. therefore i think cloyd and knapp should be moved to clearwater, it appears their ready. josh you watch them iyo are they ready?

  17. This team’s results amaze me. They have little hitting and must be the youngest team in the league but there they are in 1st place trying to clinch the first half. Who is the manager of that team? He must be doing a terrific job. The unsung hero of this team to me is DeFratus. He seems to pitch almost every day and rarely gives up anything. Its very early in their development but this team could have close to 10 guys that will play or pitch regularly in the majors at some point and that would be very good.

  18. Nice write-up, as usual.

    At this point, I really don’t know what to make of Travis Mattair. He’s shown no power whatsoever, but has some nice plate discipline, yet he was brutal in May. Considering that he is repeating at Lakewood, I was expecting more from him this year. He’s still in my top 30 – although I would say he has slipped a few notches – but it’s tough to say if he is still the “third baseman of the future.”

    – Jeff

  19. Murray,

    I absolutely agree with your DeFratus statement. His K to BB ratio is beyond amazing. At one point it was at 33 to 1, I believe he now has 4 BBs on the season.

    He also hasn’t tapped into the velocity he showed out of JUCO. He has the potential to pop 95-96 in the future.

  20. May is heading to Williamsport, another name that’s going to be there is Colby Shreve, who is a very intriguing name.

  21. I don’t think Jason Knapp is ready to go anywhere. He’s had some good starts and has shown dominating stuff at times, but he obviously struggles with control and command. He’s 18 so, to me, he should, at the very least, stay where he is until the year is over or until he consistently dominates the competition. Look, if he moves up only one league per year, he is going to be 21 in AAA – let’s give this kid a break and let him move at his own pace.

  22. Dusty Wathan is the manager and has done an amazing job. He was the Mgr. in Williamsport last year so he has seen a lot of these kids before, but has done a tremendous job this season making this team believe in themselves and scratching out wins.

    De Fratus has been very very good this season, a converted starter last season in Williamsport where he led the league in innings, hes really taken to the role because he can throw 100% for short term and use a 94mph fastball along with his plus off-speed stuff as opposed to sitting around 90, budgeting his arm for 7 innings.

    The BlueClaws have relied heavily on a core of four in the ‘Pen. Twenty-five year-old reliever Santo Hernandez, who has been very reliable and will probably warrant a call-up, BJ Rosenberg, the closer for Williamsport last season, Ryan Bergh, the closer with the GCL champion Phillies last season and De Fratus. They have had a lot to do with the success of the team so far… For some extra stats, check out today’s game notes.

    Click to access game_notes_0616.pdf

    To answer another question…No Gose rarely bunts….
    For guys to go to Clearwater at the break…look at the older guys…pitchers over the age of 22 who are performing, that should be a good hint….Getting ready for the game today..Go BlueClaws.

  23. Josh Says:
    To answer another question…No Gose rarely bunts….

    Thanks I guess he can master skill later. For now hitting is probably best.

  24. Josh Says:
    To answer another question…No Gose rarely bunts….

    good. bunting doesn’t work very often, unless you’re trying to sacrifice

  25. Lakewood\’s a well rounded team. It has a little bit of everything and lot of some things. Starting Pitching is pretty good. Correa doesn\’t get mentioned much but he was high on my top 30 two seasons ago. Relief pitching has been very good. DeFratus has always been a favorite of mine because he rarely walks anyone. I really liked him as a starter but he\’s an even better reliever. The team has speed, speed and more speed at the top of the lineup and sprinkled throughout. They have some guys with pop although they don\’t have a Brown or Taylor. They can play defense. I\’m struggling to find a real weakness. If D\’Arnaud gets back to his hitting ability, this could be an exceptional team. Of course, mid-season call ups are coming so this team could look very different in the 2nd half. Then again, I\’m not sure if there a lot of guys they want to replace at Clearwater or Reading.

  26. Where did those slashes come from? They weren\’t in there when I clicked submit.

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