After three innings in Clearwater, the monsoon that had encircled Bright House Field closed in and opened up on players and patrons. Fans ran for cover and the grounds crew ran to the tarp. While we had viewed lightning in the vicinity, mostly over the bay, the intensity of the downpour was Homeric. I have seen this field take on a lot of water and drain well enough to continue play. Not tonight. We have had a lot of rain in recent days, and the “ponding” formed in places that would make continuation of tonight’s game unlikely.
That’s a shame. Both starters were pitching well. Our David Whitehead was compiling one of his finer efforts of the season. He caught a bit of a break in the first inning when Yankees’ speedster, Jorge Mateo, was doubled off second on a line drive to Aaron Brown. But, David pitched well on his own account. He threw 36 pitches in three innings, 28 for strikes. He allowed two singles, walked none, and struck out two. He sawed off two Yankees’ bats in consecutive plate appearances, and generated a lot of soft contact. In fact, the two base hits weren’t struck particularly hard, just enough to lift them over the infielders.
Clearwater (67-52) called after three innings, tied 0-0 with the Tampa Yankees. David Whitehead threw three strong innings. His line – 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 36 pitches, 28 strikes, FB 91-92, T93. Aaron Brown had lined a single to right. Chace Numata and Jessie Valentin had worked walks.
The game was eventually cancelled. These two teams don’t face each other again this season. However, they share open dates on August 26th and September 2nd. I wonder if the league will change its mind if the game has playoff implications.
When the game was halted,
- Malquin Canelo (.238) had gone 0-2.
- Carlos Tocci (.272) had gone 0-2.
- Andrew Pullin (.256) had gone 0-2.
- Rhys Hoskins (.302) had gone 0-1.
- Dylan Cozens (.275) had gone 0-1.
- Aaron Brown (.244) had gone 1-1.
- League leading hitter, Willians Astudillo (.327) was not in the line up.
Lehigh Valley (54-68) split a pair with the Pawtucket Red Sox, losing 5-2 in the aftrnoon and winning 6-5 in the evening.
Game One. Jerad Eickhoff had a nice line through seven innings. However, he left in the eighth with two outs, a run in and two men on base. Colton Murray came in and let both inherited runners score. Murray struck out the side in the ninth. Big whoop. Eickhoff’s line was 7.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 1 HR. The offense didn’t show up until a Jordan Danks two-run, HR (4) in the ninth. Kelly Dugan (.245) went 2-3 (singles) with a walk.
Game Two. Seve Gonzalez contributed a solid five innings. The offense scored six early runs that held up in spite of a ninth inning implosion by Justin Berken and Dustin McGowan. Seve’s line was 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K. Berken gave up one run in his first three innings, striking out four. He faced three batters in the ninth without recording an out. McGowan came in and allowed two inherited runners to score and one of his own and somehow was awarded a save. He got the final out after loading the bases. Yeah, good save. Brian Bosusevic (.291) went 1-3 with 2 RBI. Aaron Altherr (.285) went 2-4 with a double. Dugan went 0-2, Joseph had 2 RBI, Pastornicky drew 3 walks.
Reading (68-51) beat the Trenton Thunder 4-2. Jake Thompson (3-0, 1.80) gave up 2 runs on 2 hits and five walks. He struck out five. Reinier Roibal gave up one hit in two innings. Stephen Shackleford picked up his 27th save. Each reliever had to pitch around a batter who reached due to throwing errors by Crawford (15) and Martinez (7).
- Nick Williams (.388) went 2-4 with a walk and 2 RBI.
- J.P. Crawford (.249) went 0-5 with 3 K. (Shouldn’t he talk to the same hitting coach who is helping TheKnappyBoy?)
- Cam Perkins (.260) went 0-5 with 2 K. (Ditto.)
- Brock Stassi (.305) went 0-3 with a walk.
- Andrew Knapp (.405) went 1-4.
- Destin Hood (.285) went 0-4.
- Angelo Mora (.328) went 2-2 with a 2 runs scored, a triple, 2 walks, and an RBI. He was lifted for a defensive replacement at third (H-Mart) who committed the throwing error in the ninth.
- Harold Martinez (.304) defensive replacement.
- Brodie Greene (.261) went 0-2 with an RBI, sac, and SF.
Lakewood (61-55) beat the Delmarva Shorebirds 8-1. Will Morris (5-0, 1.74) shutout the ‘Birds on seven hits and a walk with two strike outs. Scott Harris (4.76) gave up the lone run in his two innings.
The BlueClaws collected 12 hits and four walks. They jumped out to a two run lead in the second on Deivi Grullon’s RBI ground out and Chase Harris’ RBI single. They picked up two more in the third on Cord Sandberg’s two-run double. They tacked on another run in the fourth on Drew Stankiewicz’ RBI double. They broke the game open in the seventh on Kyle Martin’s RBI single and Sandberg’s second two-run double.
- Herlis Rodriguez (.304) went 1-4 with a run scored and a walk.
- Drew Stankiewicz went 3-5 with 2 runs scored, a double, and an RBI.
- Scott Kingery (.259) DNP.
- Kyle Martin (.293) went 1-5 with a run scored and an RBI.
- Cord Sandberg (.260) went 2-4 with a run scored, 2 doubles, a walk, and 4 RBI.
- Chase Harris (.254) went 2-4 with a walk and RBI.
Williamsport (35-20) lost to the Mahoning Valley Scrappers 3-0. Alejandro Arteaga pitched well over his six innings, but he gave up just enough to lose pn a night when the Cutters bats were held in check. His line was 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K. He fell to 4-1 with an ERA of 2.75.
Four Scrappers pitchers held the Cutters to three hits and a walk. They struck out ten.
- Zachary Coppola (.301) went 1-4.
- Mark Laird (.281) went 0-4.
- Josh Tobias (.316) went 1-4.
- Jose Pujols (.242) went 0-3 with a walk and 2 K.
- Venn Biter (.280) went 1-3 with a double.
- Jan Hernandez (.211) went 0-4.
- Jesus Posso (.273) went 0-4 with 3 K.
- Austin Bossart (.360) went 0-2.
GCL Phillies (28-17) lost to the GCL Tigers 5-3. The Phillies were ahead 3-1 in the fourth when the Tigers’ lead off batter topped a ball to softly short and beat the throw. The next batter squared to bunt and appeared to make contact with the bunted ball before he or the ball left the batter’s box. The fielders and base runner hesitated before continuing the play. The batter reached without a throw. Then all heck loosened up. Manager Roly de Armas came out to question the call, he thought (correctly) that the ball should have been ruled dead due to contact in the box. The home plate umpire deferred to the infield umpire who might have had a better view (but not as good as Roly’s apparently). When the second umpire “choked” on the call, all hell broke loose. Let’s just say that I heard one of George Carlin’s “Words You Can’t Say on Television” repeated often and emphatically. While the scene was comical to those of us in attendance, the unfortunate after effect was that starting pitcher Adonis Medina was standing idle on the mound. When play resumed, the first pich was driven deep into center field. The fielder covered ground to make an almost catch. He dropped the ball for a three-base error and the batter would score on a sac fly on a ball crushed to left by the next batter. The Tigers scored an insurance run later in the game off “Gandy” Stubblefield. But it didn’t matter as the Phillies’ bats went silent and they only managed two hits over the last five innings.
The loss dropped the Phillies further out of first place. There is no wild card, only the four division winners qualify for the playoffs.
- GCL Blue Jays 29 15 .659 — —
- GCL Phillies 28 17 .622 1.5 15
- GCL Pirates 26 19 .578 3.5 13
- GCL Yankees1 14 26 .366 12.5 6
The Phillies play 3 double headers in the last two weeks of the season. They play 5 games this week against the Astros and Braves (teams with sub-.500 records). Their final 10 games are within their division, 4 against the first place Blue Jays, and 4 against the cellar dwelling Yankees.
The Phillies scored two runs in the first inning. Arky Gamboa singled to start the inning and took second on an errant throw by the cutoff man. “C” Randolph drove a routine fly ball to left that the fielder just dropped. Due to the unusual happenstance, the Phillies ended up with runners on the corners. Randolph promptly stole second. Later in the inning, Luke Williams stroked a two-run single through the hole into left field.
Between innings, Randolph went into the locker room. He did not return in time for his next at bat and was replaced. He returned shortly after Juan Luis had been announced as a pinch hitter. Two pitches into the at bat, Jose Antequera was picked off first. After Coach de Armas was ejected, Randolph was utilized as the first base coach. (I hung around to ask Randolph what happened, but decided that the two most likely answers were he was “indisposed” or just plain tardy. And I didn’t want to have to report either. It’s also possible that he had an equipment malfunction or one of the execs in town stopped him for a quick chat. In any event, I prefer to remain ignorant and believe that he had a good reason.)
After the Tigers closed within 2-1, Randolph’s replacement grounded a single through the right side. He stole second and scored on Williams’ line drive double down the left field line. The Philles would get only four more base runners over the final six innings – a lead off single in the 4th by Bryan Martelo followed by a one-out Gamboa walk, a lead off double in the fifth by Luis Encarnacion, and a lead off single by Yunior Reyes in the eighth.
- Arquimedes Gamboa (.214) went 1-4 with a run scored and a walk.
- Jonathan Arauz (.266) DNP.
- DH “C” Randolph (.288) went 0-1 with a run scored.
- Luis Encarnacion (.296) went 1-3 with a double, walk, and 2 K.
- Luke Williams (.300) went 2-4 with a double and 3 RBI.
- Greg Pickett went 0-3 with a walk.
- Jose Antequera (.292) went 1-5.
DSL Phillies (36-30) lost to the DSL Rays 7-4. The Phillies had a 4-2 lead as late as the sixth inning and couldn’t hold on to it.
- Daniel Brito (.277) went 1-5 with an RBI.
- Emmanuel Garcia (.267) went 0-3 with 2 walks.
- Henry Santana (.258) went 2-5 with an RBI.
- Luis Liriano (.220) went 3-4 with a run scored.
- Brito stole home.
The Phillies have six games remaining. They have been eliminated from the Wild Card. They are in a two-way tie for third, 3.5 games behind the first place team.
VSL Phillies (30-40) Season completed. Finished tied for third with the VSL Cubs in a four team league.
- Their leading hitter was Enger Jimenez – .307, 36 R, 33 RBI, 15 SB.
- He was second on the team with three HR.
- Lenin Rodriguez led the team with four.
- Sergio Velis (4-2, 1.33) was probably their best pitcher – 74.2 IP, 50 H, 14 BB, 59 K, 0.86 WHIP.
Here’s the affiliated scoreboard from MiLB.
Extra Innings –
- KC Serna assigned to Reading Fightin Phils from Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
- Chris Leroux assigned to Reading Fightin Phils from Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
- Lehigh Valley IronPigs activated RHP Severino Gonzalez from the 7-day disabled list.
- Reading Fightin Phils released 2B Devin Lohman.
- Clearwater Threshers released LHP Ethan Stewart. This caught me by surprise. I expected it to happen. But even when you expect an outcome, it can still catch you off guard.
- Clearwater Threshers activated LHP Cody Forsythe from the temporarily inactive list.