Game Notes 7/9; Professional firsts, Quevedo’s streak, & roster moves
Today’s Preview: The Clinton LumberKings (A, Mariners) meet the Quad Cities River Bandits (A, Astros) for the third time this season. The LumberKings trail the all-time series 410–448, dating back to 1963, and are tied against Quad Cities, 68–68, since the LumberKings became a Seattle Mariners affiliate in 2009. The LumberKings split a four-game series with the River Bandits April 20–23 by taking the final two-game of the series. In a scheduled four-game series in Clinton April 27–30 the team’s traded blow outs. The LumberKings won game one of the series 10–5 and then were handed their worst loss to Quad Cities in franchise history 19–2 allowing 10 runs in the third inning. The final game two games of the series were rained out.
LumberKings Starter: Lane Ratliff, 22, makes his ninth appearance and fifth start of the season for the Clinton LumberKings. The Mississippi native began the season with the Tacoma Rainers the Triple-A affiliate of the Mariners and made two appearances out of the bullpen allowing three runs, all on a home run, in three innings of work. The first two seasons of Ratliff’s professional career were marked by injuries. Twice he landed on the disabled list for extended periods with a left elbow strain and did not pt together his first healthy season until 2016. Drafted in the sixth round of the 2014 MLB Draft by the Seattle Mariners, Ratliff tells the story of finding out he was drafted as one where he was taken by surprise by finding out at work. He then raced home, leaving work early, only to find his dad who celebrated with and waited for his mom to return home from a haircut. In his last start, Ratliff worked a season high six innings on July 4th against the Burlington Bees. He was given a no decision for the outing, allowing two runs on seven hits, while walking three, and striking out two.
River Bandits Starter: Gabriel Valdez, 21, makes his 11th appearance and eighth start of the season for the Quad Cites River Bandits. The Panama native is coming off a start on July 3rd where he took a no decision for a 4.2 inning outing against the Burlington Bees. He allowed five runs, three earned, on seven hits, while walking two, and striking out two. This will be Valdez first start of the season against the LumberKings, as he was nit assigned to the River Bandits until May 10. He began the season with Buies Creek Astros who play in the Class-High A Carolina League. He signed his first professional contract with the Astros when he was 18 and spent the first two seasons of his professional career pitching in the Dominican Summer League. Valdez did make his US pitching debut until2016 when he spent the entire season with the Gul Coast League Astros.
Last Time Out: Billy Cooke collected his first professional career home run and the Clinton LumberKings outlasted the Quad Cites River Bandits 7–5 on Saturday night at Modern Woodmen Park. The LumberKings (6–11, 37–47) survived a four-run River Bandits (12–5, 49–39) eighth inning to take game two of the series. The first six and half innings were dominated by the LumberKings. Quad Cities starter Cesar Rosado struggled with control and issued a season-high six walks. In the top of the first inning, one walk and two singles combined to give Clinton an early 2–0 lead. In the top of the second inning, Rosado (1–1) allowed a Nick Zamamrelli leadoff double and three straight walks to force in the third run of the game. Bryson Brigman then capped the rally with a sacrifice fly to center to give the LumberKings an early 4–0 lead. The lead continued to grow for Clinton even after Rosado was taken out of the game in the fourth inning. Cooke added another two runs for the LumberKings in the top of the sixth inning with his first professional career home run.
A Couple of Firsts: A couple of 2017 Seattle Mariners had night’s that will not soon be forgotten by them. First, in the top of the sixth inning outfielder Billy Cooke homered to left field for his first professional home run of his carrer. The runs were needed as the River Bandits late charge forced another 2017 Mariners draft pick into the game, Seth Elledge. Elledge threw 1.1 perfect innings of relief to record his first professional career save in his LumberKings debut.
Quevedo Streaking: Yojhan Quevedo has been collecting some of the most exciting hits of the season for the LumberKings with two walk-offs hits during the seven-game home stand that just concluded. The hits continued for Quevedo on Saturday night with a 1-for-4 night that extended his hitting streak to 10 games. The streak is tied for his longest of the season. He was the first LumberKing to hit in 10 straight games this year when he put together a 10-game hitting streak April 23-May 18.
Roster Moves: Before Friday’s game the LumberKings made three roter moves. Placing LHP Nick Wells in the disabled list with back stiffness, activating Ljay Nesome and placing him in the starting rotation. The other move was catcher Ryan Scott rejoining the LumberKings after a week plus stint in Double-A with the Arkansas Travlers. The roster continued to change today with RHP Fabian Roman being sent down to the Short-Season Everett AquaSox and RHP Seth Eldredge being promoted to the LumberKings.
This date in baseball history: On this date in 1956, the BBWAA, by a narrow margin of 14–12, votes to establish the Cy Young Award to honor the major leagues’ most outstanding pitcher. Commissioner Ford Frick initiated the idea because he felt hurlers were not recognized in the MVP voting, but ironically the first recipient of the Cy Young Award, Dodger Don Newcombe, also won the Most Valuable Player Award.
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.”