Game Notes 5/12; Lack of two-out magic, Brigman on-base streak, Ashford University field
Today’s Preview: The Clinton LumberKings (A, Mariners) play game five of a six-game home stand with the firs of game of a three-game series against the Great Lakes Loons (A, Dodgers). The LumberKings trail the all-time series 19–23, dating back to 2007, against Great Lakes and, 10–18, since the LumberKings became a Seattle Mariners affiliate in 2009. The Loons took the regular season series in 2016 taking 2 of three the LumberKings and then beat Clinton in four games of a best-of-five game series in the Midwest League Championship Series.
LumberKings Starter: Danny Garica, 23, makes his seventh start of the season for Clinton. Garcia threw his most pitches of the season, 94, working six innings, his longest start of the year. He allowed three runs, all earned, on seven hits, while walking none, and striking out seven. The start was the first, and so far only, LumberKings quality start that resulted in a loss. His six inning outing against the South Bend Cubs saved the bullpen which was just coming off a 19 inning loss that took two days to play. A Miami native, Garcia pitched at the University of Miami before being selected by the Seattle Mariners in the 15th round in the 2016 draft. At school, he pitched in two College World Series, lastly facing the UC Santa Barbra Gauchos. His pregame ritual is to take a nap.
Loons Starter: A.J. Alexy, 19, makes his seventh start and appearance of the season for the Loons. After failing to get through the first inning two starts ago against the Burlington Bees. Alexy went 2/3 of an inning giving up two runs, walking three and throwing 37 pitches but rebounded in his last start. In his last outing, he went five innings against Peoria, on one hit, no runs, walking three, one strikeout. He garnered national attention after being selected by the Dodgers in the 11th round of the 2016 draft, when his High School sent him out for nine innings, and 164 pitches. Keith Law, a well-respected MLB scout, tweeted that scouts in attention were appalled. His fastball ranges between 88–92 MPH.
Last Time Out: The Clinton LumberKings dropped their third straight game, falling 7–3 to the Great Lakes Loons on Thursday night at Ashford University Field. Defensive superlatives marked the night for both teams, the Loons (16–18) were led defensively by left fielder Gage Green while the LumberKings (11–20) received two great catches by centerfielder Anthony Jimenez. Ljay Newsome started for the LumberKings but did not have his best stuff. The righty took the loss snapping a streak of four straight wins. In the top of the third inning, the Loons pushed the first run of the game across by loading the bases on two walks and a single and then having Carlos Rincon ground out to short to bring home the game’s first run. Newsome (4–2) set a professional career-high for walks with three, the last of which factored into Great Lakes two-run bottom of the fourth inning. The inning was Newsome’s last, four consecutive hits from Loons batters led-off the top of the fourth inning. Gavin Lux capped the rally with an RBI single that drove home Keibert Ruiz for a 3–0 Loons lead. Lux led the way at the plate for Great Lakes going 4-for-5 with an RBI.
Two Out Magic: …Or lack their off. The Clinton LumberKings have struggled with getting hits with men on but the problem is worse with men out in the inning. What sabramatricians would cringe in hearing, but “clutch” hitting with runners in scoring positon and two men out is at a low .181 (21/116).
Whose on First? Probably Birgman: Bryson Brigman has been the most consistent batter in the LumberKings lineup this season. His first double of the year Thursday night extended his team best on-bast streak to 13 games.
Coooooold: The LumberKings are ice cold currently. Thursday night’s loss was the Clinton’s seven loss in the last eight games. The worst stretch fort the LumberKings to this point in the season.
A Long Time Coming: Yojhan Quevedo slugged his first home run of the season on Thursday night. It was Quevedo’s first home run in two seasons. Before the solo shot in the eighth inning last night his last home run was on June 23, 2015 off Ashton Perritt of the Spokane Indians in Everett.
Happy Birthday: This past Tuesday marked an important date in Clinton baseball history. Ashford University field celebrated its 80th birthday which will be honored by the LumberKings on Saturday night. The stadium was built during the height of the Great Depression by the Works Progress Administration, a part of the New Deal. Through floods, and renovations the park still holds some of the same appeal and feel from when the Clinton Owls first took the field in 1937.
This date in baseball history: On this date in 1910, issuing just one walk, which spoils his bid for a perfect game, A’s right-hander Chief Bender, who is part Chippewa, throws a 4–0 no-hitter at Shibe Park against the Cleveland Naps (Indians). The home plate umpire is Bill Dinneen, who tossed a no-hit game against the White Sox playing with the Pilgrims (Red Sox) in 1905, making him the only person in big league history to both throw a no-hitter and call one as an umpire.
Broadcast Information: All games will be broadcast live on 100.3 FM WCCI and online at LumberKings.com via the TuneIn Radio App with the Erik Oas, in his first season as the “Voice of the LumberKings.”