Game Notes for 5/5; Brigman streaking, Stolen bases, Unfortunate themes, & Strikeouts
Today’s Preview: The Clinton LumberKings (A, Mariners) play game one of a six-game road trip opening with the first of three against the South Bend Cubs (A, Cubs). The LumberKings trail the all-time series 86–102, dating back to 1988, against South Bend and, 12–14, since the LumberKings became a Seattle Mariners affiliate in 2009. In their only matchup in 2016, the LumberKings took two of three from the Cubs in three games at Ashford University Field.
LumberKings Starter: Ljay Newsome, 20, makes his sixth start of the season for Clinton. The opening day starter has been the strongest starter of the year for the LumberKings winning his last four starts. Newsome has had just one bad inning this season, the first of the year when he allowed seven runs to score in the first inning of the season against the Kane County Cougars. His four wins are tied for most in the Midwest League, while he leads the team in innings pitched and strikeouts. A Maryland native, Newsome helped pitching his high school to a state championship before the Mariners took him in the 26th round of the 2015 draft. Newsome faced the Eugene Emeralds twice last year while with the Everett Aquasox and went 0–1 giving up four runs in his nine innings of work, including a home runto current South Bend Cub Wladimir Galindo.
Cubs Starter: Bryan Hudson, 19, makes his third start and appearance of the season for the Cubs. The young righty has been limited in his first two starts of the season, throwing a season-high 75 pitches his last time out. In his last outing, he took the loss against the Fort Wayne TinCaps for his 3 and 2/3 innings of work, giving up seven runs, on six hits, while walking four, and striking out one. Hudson, a Illinois state native, was verbally committed to Missouri before being drafted by the Cubs in the third of the 2015 draft. His fastball, which was in the upper 80’s his senior year of high school is now clocked in the low 90’s. Hudson, began his professional career with the AZL Cubs in 2015 after he signed following the 2015 draft and worked the following year, in 2016 with the Eugene Emeralds. In his two starts against the Aquasox he went 0–2 never lasting longer than 3 and 2/3 of an inning.
Last Time Out: An unfortunate theme continued for the Clinton LumberKings on Thursday night at Fifth Third Ballpark, big innings, the West Michigan Whitecaps plated eight runs in a sixth inning rally and coasted to a 9–3 win. Twelve batters came up in the inning for the Whitecaps (17–10) who rattled off six hits in the frame, marking it the third time this season the LumberKings (10–15) have allowed seven or more runs score in an inning. The LumberKings led for most of the game after scoring twice in the top of the third inning. Rayder Ascanio began the inning with a bunt single and stole second two pitches later. Luis Liberato followed with a bunt single of his own that turned into a run when Whitecaps pitcher Alfred Gutierrez threw the ball down the right field line. Ascanio scored on the error and Liberato advanced to second. The LumberKings went on to load the bases and drove home their second run of the inning on a Joe Rizzo RBI single to center. With the bases loaded and nobody out the LumberKings failed to add to their lead, Kirstian Brito and Nick Zammarelli struck out and Anthony Jimenez grounded out to strand the bases loaded. Nick Wells took the ball for the LumberKings and was sharp through his first four innings of work. He did not allow a run through five innings but ran into trouble when he went back out for the sixth.
Thievery: The LumberKings broke out for thie most successful night of stolen bases on the season Thursday night. Even though the Whitecaps ranked as one of the hardest to steal off of in the league the lumberKings swiped a season high three bags with Anthony Jimenez becoming the first LumberKing to steal two bags in the same game.
Unfortunate Themes: Unfortunate themes continued to be the narrative in Thursday night’s loss for the LumberKings. One, the LumberKings lack of success with the bases loaded. Joe Rizzo’s RBI single with the bases loaded in the third inning was just the fourth hit by a LumberKing in 21 at-bats with the bases loaded this season a .190 average. The second theme, were big innings. An eight-run bottom of the sixth inning by the Whitecaps marked the third time this season that LumberKings pitching has allowed seven run in an inning or more. The LumberKings team ERA of 4.85 drops to 3.89, nearly a full run lower, without the big innings factored in.
A Swing and a Miss: LumberKings batters whiffed 14 times in Thursday night’s loss, tied for the most this season. Kirstian Brito and Rayder Ascanio led the way with three strikeouts each. Of the three Whitecaps pitchers, none had very high strikeout totals but each had at least three. Starter Alfred Gutierrez struck out six, Lock St. John, struck out five, and Bryan Garcia struck out three.
We’re Going Streaking: Bryson Brigman has been an offensive constant this season with the LumberKings. He has reached base safely in all but four of his 24 games this season, including his current stretch of nine games. The longest on-base streak by a LumberKing this year.
This date in baseball history: On this date in 1980, for pushing his glove in the face of umpire Gerry Crawford, Bill Madlock is suspended for 15 days and fined $5,000 by National League president Chub Feeney. The fiery Pirates’ infielder became upset after being called out on strikes with the bases loaded in the fifth inning of the Bucs’ 2–1 victory over Montreal four days ago.
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.”