May 2009

MWL Awards

Sanchez Wins MWL Player of the Week

Kris Sanchez takes home offensive award, hits with 3 HR, 6 RBI

 

Clinton, IA – Clinton LumberKings’ first-baseman Kris Sanchez has been named the Midwest League’s Offensive Player of the Week for the week ending May 9.  The award was announced today by the league office in Beloit, WI.

 

Sanchez, called up to the club from extended Spring Training last Tuesday, hit .563 (9-for-16) during the week, including three home runs within his first three games and six RBI.  He has hit in all five games since joining the LumberKings.

 

The LumberKings (18-11) return to action on Tuesday, May 12th against the Beloit Snappers (11-18).  The first pitch at Alliant Energy Field is scheduled for 6:00 PM.  Listen to the game on AM 1390 KCLN in Clinton or live on the web at www.kcln.com.

 

 

EDIT:  In honor of Sanchez taking home the award, I’ve decided to post his pregame interview from last week.  It only clocks in at about three minutes, but, here it is…

 


Kris Sanchez Interview 5.7.09.mp3

 

-DL

Long Night, Good Ending

In case you missed it, the LumberKings finished up the series in Dayton with an epic, 14-inning, four-hour extravaganza at Fifth Third Field last night.  With an impending 5 1/2 hour bus ride to West Michigan, the Kings finally broke through around 11:00 PM on Ogui Diaz’s grounder up the box, scoring Luis Nunez.


100_0784.JPGHave you ever seen Fifth Third Field this empty?  I have.  In the 14th inning. 

I got some great highlights last night that I thought I would share:

Denny Almonte’s solo home run to the street in left was his fourth in the last three games and his Midwest League leading seventh.  Is there any hotter hitter in the league right now?  Not a chance.  Listen: 
Almonte solo HR 5.7 at Dayton.mp3

Kris Sanchez has homered twice in his first two games in black and green.  He went yard with another no-doubter to right-center last night.  Listen: 
Sanchez HR 5.7 at Dayton.mp3

Jake Shaffer completed the homer tri-fecta with his first of the year…in his first at-bat….with family on hand.  Listen: 
Shaffer solo HR (debut game) 5.7 at Dayton.mp3

It wasn’t all about longball.  Maximo Mendez made about four game-saving plays in center, including this catch in extras.  Listen: 
Mendez catch on the run 5.7 at Dayton.mp3
 

Of course, it was all just prelude to Diaz’s game-winner in the top of the 14th.  He becomes the latest King to deliver the last at-bat win.  Listen: 
Diaz GW Single in 14th inning 5.7 at Dayton.mp3
 

After packing up and leaving Dayton around 1:00 AM, we cruised into the hotel at West Michigan as they were beginning to serve continental breakfast at 6:00 AM. 

See you at the yard at 5:35 PM central time as the West’s second-place LumberKings take on the East’s second-place Whitecaps.  As always, tune in on www.kcln.com.

-DL 

On the Road: Dayton

Fifth Third Field, Dayton, Ohio…say what you will about the newer parks of the Midwest League, but this place has big league atmosphere at every turn.

My view:

100_0773.JPG

A view of me looking at my view (courtesy of Jim Misudek of the Cincinnati Reds.  His interview is posted below):

Dayton_Lezotte.JPG

Another come-from-behind win for the guys in black and green last night (and not the Dragons, of course, who also wear black and green). Read about it in today’s FULL edition of the LumberKings Game Notes:
5.6.09 kingsnotes.pdf

Here’s some audio, as promised:

Scott Savastano’s Game-Winning Triple in the 9th: 
Savastano GW Triple 5.5 at Dayton.mp3

Interview with Jim Misudek of the Reds: 
Jim Misudek Interview 5.5.09.mp3

-DL

Sunday Morning

 


sunday5.3.jpg


sunday5.3 (1).jpgArms Go Wild Against Bandits:
  Four LumberKings’ pitchers issued six walks and hit five batters in a 10-4 loss to the Quad Cities River Bandits last night…the loss was Clinton’s first by more than four runs.  Starter Walter Suriel struggled, allowing runs in the second, third and fourth innings before serving up three in the fifth…Niko Vasquez doubled, Paul Cruz walked and Osvaldo Morales reached after being hit in the hand, loading the bases.  Suriel (L, 0-2) was lifted in favor of right-hander Blake Nation…he then hit Chris Swauger to force a run home and then allowed back-to-back sacrifice flies to Roberto Espinoza and Jon Edwards.  Trailing 6-0, the Kings were also dealing with right-hander Kevin Thomas (W, 2-0), who was perfect through the first five innings.  The offense finally broke through against piggyback lefty Hector Cardenas as the perfect game bid ended on Kalian Sams’ line shot to the left-field berm…his first home run of the year made it 6-1.  Quad Cities piled on four more runs against Nation in the seventh, including a two-run single by Brett Lilley.  Clinton again scored on a Mario Martinez RBI double, a Denny Almonte RBI triple and a Scott Savastano groundout, but Cardenas (S, 1) shut the door in the ninth…he worked the final 4.0 innings, allowing four runs (three earned).

 

You Gotta Have Power:  Kalian Sams became the sixth-different LumberKing to homer on this current 10-game homestand, taking left-hander Hector Cardenas deep to the left-field berm in the sixth.  It was not only the first longball of the year for the South Holland, Netherlands native, but it also broke up a perfect game bid.  The Kings have slugged seven of their 12 home runs on this homestand…the 12 HR are third-most in the MWL.

 

Streaking Again:  Having already recorded hitting streaks of five games and eight games this year, Denny Almonte is back at it again…he went 1-for-4 with an RBI triple last night to reach another five-game hitting streak.  The second-round pick by the Mariners in 2007, Almonte is hitting .350 (7-for-20) during the streak, including a double, two triples, two home runs (back-to-back nights, 4/30 and 5/1 vs. Fort Wayne), four runs scored and five RBI.  He has driven in at least one RBI in three-straight games and leads the club with 12.

 

Triple Trouble:  Almonte and Daniel Carroll both tripled in last night’s action, giving the LumberKings a league-high 14 triples as a team.  Great Lakes and West Michigan are both second with 11 team triples.  Carroll, who just a night prior had snapped an 0-for-22 skid with a 2-for-4 night, delivered the triple off the right-center wall in the sixth…it was the first extra-base hit this year for the 2007 third-round pick. 

 

Texas Toasted:  After being shelled for nine earned runs over his first two starts (6.1 IP), right-hander Kenn Kasparek posted just the second 10-strikeout game for the Kings this year on Friday night…right-hander Brett Lorin fanned 10 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in a win on 4/17.   The former Texas Longhorn Kasparek has allowed just two runs (one earned) over his last two starts (11.0 IP), walking two while striking out 12.

 

Remember Me?:  Thursday night’s win for 25-year-old right-hander Adam Harben was his first in the Midwest League since 8/29/04 in game two of a double-header against Peoria.  He was a member of the Swing of the Quad Cities at the time…Harben gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits, walked five and struck out three over 5.0 innings.  The 15th round pick by Minnesota way back in 2002, Harben is 1-0 with a 1.02 ERA (2 ER / 17.0 IP) so far in his third stint in the league.  He was acquired by Seattle in February.

 

Rotation Domination:  Clinton boasts the league’s best team ERA at 2.51 thanks to stellar starting pitching.  Even with Hensley moving up, the Kings still have the #2 and #3 pitchers in ERA.  Right-hander Brett Lorin is second with a 0.75 ERA over 24.0 innings and is 2-0 on the season…his 24 strikeouts are tied for fourth-most in the league.  Right-hander Aaron Pribanic dropped out of the top three after allowing four earned runs on 4/29, but right-hander Adam Harben has taken over his #3 spot…his 1.06 ERA is third-best.

 

Great in the Eight:  Although eight-hole hitter Terry Serrano failed to extend his hitting streak to five games Friday night (0-for-2, walk, run scored), he is still hitting a scorching .400 (6-for-15) over his last five games.  On this homestand, Serrano has been the hero twice…he fisted a two-run homer over the wood wall in left-center for his first blast of the year as part of Tuesday’s 10-2 win over Burlington and added a walk-off RBI double the next night in a 1-0 win.  His eight RBI are tied for third-most on the club (Mendez/Savastano).

 

Happy Sunday to you.

-DL

10-0 Win, Hensley Promoted

A big win for the Kings last night, 10-0 over the East Division-leading Fort Wayne TinCaps.  While the news for the offense and right-hander Adam Harben were good, the Clinton rotation received some bittersweet news after the game.  Right-hander Steven Hensley, the league’s ERA (0.00) and wins (4-0) leader is rightfully being promoted to double-A West Tennessee.  With the way he dominated this league, I’m not surprised.  We wish him luck with the Diamond Jaxx.

On to tonight’s notes:

Almonte, Mendez Power 10-0 Win:  The LumberKings handed the East Division-leading Fort Wayne TinCaps their most lopsided loss this season thanks to three-RBI performances by Denny Almonte and Maximo Mendez, winning 10-0 at Alliant Energy Field last night.  The Kings scored four times against TinCaps’ starter Stiven Osuna in the fourth inning…Nate Tenbrink doubled home Scott Savastano with a ball to the left-center gap and Travis Howell followed with another double, scoring Tenbrink.  Almonte got his night started with a triple to right-center, plating Howell…Ogui Diaz capped the frame with an RBI single to center.  Clinton struck again with six runs in the fifth, chasing Osuna (L, 1-2) from the game.  Howell put down a squeeze bunt to score Savastano, and Almonte followed with a towering drive to right-center for his second home run of the season.  Five batters later, Mendez tripled into the left-field corner, scoring Terry Serrano, Diaz and Daniel Carroll for a 10-0 lead.  Starter Adam Harben (W, 1-0) limited Fort Wayne to two hits and two walks while striking out four over 5.0 innings.  Left-handers Bobby LaFromboise and Jose Jimenez continued the shutout for the final 4.0 innings.  Tenbrink, Howell, Almonte and Diaz all had two-hit nights for the LumberKings.

 

Feast or Famine:  Last night’s 10 runs tied a season-high for the Clinton offense, set just three days prior in a 10-2 win over Burlington on 4/26.  In the two games between double-digit totals, the Kings scored just four runs, winning 1-0 against Burlington on 4/27 and losing to Fort Wayne, 6-3 on 4/28.  For the season, Clinton‘s .246 team average is sixth-best in the Midwest League…their nine home runs are tied for fourth-most.

 

Bat Men:  Four Kings are hitting over .300 over the team’s last 10 games, lead by Nate Tenbrink (.389, 14-for-36)…his 2-for-5 performance last night was his third multi-hit game on this homestand, included along with 3-for-3 and 3-for-4 games on 4/26 and 4/27 against Burlington.  His .313 average is tied for 16th best in the Midwest League.  Terry Serrano is hitting .318 (7-for-22) over his last seven games (see more on Serrano in “Great in the Eight”).  Denny Almonte’s 2-for-4, three RBI night gives him a .308 average (12-for-39) over his last 10…he’s homered twice and driven in six during that span, giving him a team-high 10 RBI.  Travis Howell is hitting .304 (7-for-23) with a homer and four RBI over the last 10 games…his three home runs are tied with 12 others for second in the MWL.  Tenbrink, Serrano and Howell are hitting over .400 in their last five games.

 

Been a While:  Last night’s win for 25-year-old right-hander Adam Harben was his first in the Midwest League since 8/29/04 in game two of a double-header against Peoria.  He was a member of the Swing of the Quad Cities at the time…Harben gave up four runs (three earned) on five hits, walked five and struck out three over 5.0 innings.  The 15th round pick by Minnesota way back in 2002, Harben is 1-0 with a 1.02 ERA (2 ER / 17.0 IP) so far in his third stint in the league.  He was acquired by the Mariners in February of 2009.

 

Hensley Heads to West Tenn:  The LumberKings have officially lost a member of the “big three”.  Right-hander Steven Hensley, currently the Midwest League leader in ERA (0.00) and wins (4-0) has been promoted to double-A West Tennessee.  The fourth-round pick by the Mariners in 2008, Hensley did not walk a single batter while striking out 16 over 19.2 innings, four outings (three starts) with the Kings.  Right-hander Chris Kirkland takes his place on the roster…Kirkland was the 36th round pick by the Mariners in 2008 and went 1-1 with a 2.47 ERA in 15 outings (18.2 innings) between Peoria (AZL), High Desert and Everett last year.

 

Rotation Domination:  The LumberKings boast the league’s best team ERA at 2.40 thanks to stellar starting pitching.  Even with Hensley moving up, the Kings still have the #2 and #3 pitchers in ERA.  Right-hander Brett Lorin is second with a 0.75 ERA over 24.0 innings and is 2-0 on the season…his 24 strikeouts are tied for fourth-most in the league.  Right-hander Aaron Pribanic dropped out of the top three after allowing four earned runs on 4/29, but right-hander Adam Harben has taken over his #3 spot…his 1.06 ERA is third-best.

 

Great in the Eight:  Eight hole hitter Terry Serrano was at it again last night, extending his hitting streak to four games with a 1-for-3 game.  He’s hitting .461 (6-for-13) with a triple, home run, four runs scored and three RBI on the streak.  Serrano has also been clutch during the span…he fisted a two-run homer over the wood wall in left-center for his first homer of the year as part of Tuesday’s 10-2 win, and added a walk-off RBI double the next night in a 1-0 win.  Serrano’s eight RBI are tied for third-most on the club.

 

Triple Trouble:  Triples by Denny Almonte and Maximo Mendez last night give the LumberKings 12 total as a team, the most in the Midwest League.  The next closest club is Great Lakes with 10 triples.  Mendez leads the way with three triples, tied for the league lead with three others.

 

Right-hander Kenn Kasparek (0-2, 7.71) throws tonight, he’s still looking for his first win after coming off a solid 5.1-inning no-decision his last time out.  Listen in on www.kcln.com.

-DL

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