Game Notes 6/28; New faces, Bullpen woes, & A look at the losing streak
Today’s Preview: The Clinton LumberKings (A, Mariners) meet the Kane County Cougars (A, Diamondbacks) for the second time this season. The LumberKings trail the all-time series 159–171, dating back to 1991, and trail against Kane County, 58–68, since the LumberKings became a Seattle Mariners affiliate in 2009. The LumbrKings were swept in the opening series of the season dropping two in Kane County before dropping the first two home games to the Cougars to start the season 0–4.
LumberKings Starter: Danny Garcia, 23, makes his 16 appearance and 13 start of the season for the Clinton LumberKings. The lefty made his season debut against Kane County and held the Cougars to an unearned run in a 5.1 inning outing in which he struck out five and walked three. Garcia is returning to the starting rotation for the third time this season after turning in the longest bullpen outing by a LumberKing during his last appearance, five innings. In his last start, Garcia was rocked. He failed to record an out, the shortest start by a Clinton starter this season, against Cedar Rapids and all seven of the batters that faced him to reach. The University of Miami native pitched twice in the College World Series before being selected by the Mariners in the 15th round of the 2016 MLB Draft.
Cougars Starter: Curtis Taylor, 21, makes his 9 appearance and start of the season for the Kane County Cougars. The Canadian native began the season with a four-game losing streak but has turned the corner and bring in a two game streak into today’s outing. Taylor is coming off a six inning win against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in which he allowed two runs on five hits while walking two and striking out five. He was taken by the Diamondbacks in the fourth round in the 2016 MLB Draft out of the University of British Columbia. When he arrived UBC coaches reported his fastball was in the mid 80’s but by the time he was drafted by Arizona he was consistently throwing in the mid 90’s. He described being drafted as the “happiest he had ever been.” Many project him to be late inning reliver to reach the big league level. His being placed in the Cougars starting rotation is believed to get him additional innings after pitching far fewer innings being a cold weather pitcher from Canada.
Last Time Out: A walk-off walk by Frank Christy in the bottom of the ninth inning dropped the Clinton LumberKings 3–2 on Tuesday night at Northwestern Medicine Field. The loss was the LumberKings (1–5, 32–41) fifth straight and sinks them to last place in the Western Division for the second half of the season. Clinton’s offense was held silent for the first seventh innings failing to score off Cougars (4–2, 43–3) starter Sam McWilliams. McWilliams shutout the LumberKings over seven innings, allowing just four hits while walking none and striking out three. Clinton failed to get two bases runners on in the same inning against McWilliams who was given a no decision for his time out. Nick Wells matched McWilliams through the first four innings with shutout baseball of his own. In the bottom of the fifth, the Cougars broke the scoreless tie on a Many Jefferson double, Raymel Flores single and Wells wild pitch. In the bottom of the sixth, the Cougars added to their lead chasing Wells from the game with a Marcus Wilson RBI single to left.
Not the Part of ’16 to Repeat: The 2016 season for the Clinton LumberKings was the best in several ways in franchise history. While 2017 has not gone the same way the LumberKings have now lost five games, the longest Clinton winning streak since the LumberKings lost six straight August 24–29 in 2016.
Another New Face: Billy Cooke was added to the LumberKings roster as well before yesterday’s game. The eighth round pick for the Mariners in this year’s draft takes the place of right handed pitcher Ljay Newsome was placed on the disabled list for the second time this season. Cooke was drafted out of Coastal Carolina where he was part of the 2016 College World Series team that won it all, the school’s first National Championship. He made two highlight real catchers on Tuesday night, adding to a resume that already included a Sportscenter “top play” in 2016 with a catch against Georgia Tech.
Coming to Clinton: With a thin outfield, relief is on the way. Antony Jimeenz, who was not available in Monday’s game, has been placed on the disabled list along to make room for Johnny Slater, the first 2017 Mariners Draft pick to play in Clinton this season. Slater was taken in the 28th round out of the University of Michigan. He was batting .357 (5/14) with three home runs in just three games with the Everett Aquasox. He comes to Clinton having homered in his last two games in Everett.
Bullpen Blows It: For the second straight game the Clinton LumberKings bullpen could took the loss. Kyle Wilcox on Sunday in Clinton blew his first save of the season in a 7–5 loss to Beloit. On Monday night in Kane County it was Ronald Dominguez, who blew a save when he allowed three runs in the sixth inning, was charged with his third blown save of the season. Kyle Wilcox then could not record an out in the ninth inning on Tuesday night and charged with his first loss of the season.
This date in baseball history: On this date in 1913, due to the relocation of the Covington, Kentucky (formerly Cincinnati) franchise to Kansas City, organized baseball declares war on the new independent Federal League. Kansas City is considered the territory of the American Association.
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.”