May 2010

May 11 Game Notes

My apologies for the briefness of this posting, but we have doubleheader baseball today starting at 11:00 AM in Peoria.  I’m scrambling to get ready.

Enjoy the notes: 
5.11.10 kingsnotes.pdf


Crossing Enemy Lines: Tommy Thrall

100_1754.JPGHappy Mother’s Day from Modern Woodmen Park in the Quad Cities.  The LumberKings close out a three-game series against the Quad Cities River Bandits this afternoon.  The Kings dropped last night’s game, 7-1 to fall to 1-1 on the current series.  Read more about the game as well as today’s action in the Game Notes: 
5.9.10 kingsnotes.pdf

Today, it’s another edition of “Crossing Enemy Lines” as I’m joined by the Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations for the Bandits, Tommy Thrall.  He talks about his path to the QC, his relationship with manager Johnny Rodriguez, his thoughts on the prospect-heavy roster including Shelby Miller and more.

Listen Here: 
Tommy Thrall (QC Media) CEL Interview 5.9.10.mp3

As you can tell, I’m keeping things short today with the 1:00 start fast approaching.  Left-hander Jimmy Gillheeney (1-3, 2.87) makes his seventh start as the Kings hope to take the series against the rival River Bandits.  Listen to the broadcast starting at 12:45 PM on


On the Bright Side (May 5 Edition)

brightside.jpgI didn’t want to do this again so quickly, but it’s time for my second edition of “On the Bright Side”, the segment all about feeling good after a tough loss.

In case you missed it, the LumberKings fell 2-0 to the Beloit Snappers at Alliant Energy Field last night, failing to put anything together against the combination of Tom Stuifbergen and three Snapper relievers.  While the Kings haven’t scored against Beloit pitching over the last three meetings (30.0 innings)…

  • At least Jimmy Gillheeney bounced back from his rocky outing at Cedar Rapids.  Gillheeney gave up a run on four hits over 6.0 innings, lowering his ERA from 3.20 to 2.78.  Still, he’s 1-3 on the season and has been given just 10 runs of support over six starts.  Listen to Gilly strike out Aaron Hicks
    Gillheeney strikes out Hicks 5.4.10.mp3
  • At least the bullpen is still outstanding.  Right-hander John Housey worked 3.0 scoreless innings last night and has allowed just two earned runs over his last five outings (9.2 IP).  The pen as a whole has an ERA of 2.41.
  • At least there’s no rain expected for the second start for Erasmo Ramirez (0-1, 3.07) tonight.  Ramirez had his last one shortened to 4.0 innings by rain in Peoria.  At least that was considered a complete game by the MLBAM folks (I disagree).
  • At least the new Deftones album is pretty good.  “Diamond Eyes” came out yesterday.  This has nothing to do with baseball, I know.  Check it out on iTunes.
  • At least you still get LumberKings Game Notes: 
    5.5.10 kingsnotes.pdf

No more of this tomorrow!  Game time against Beloit is 6:30 tonight.  Listen online at


Off the Diamond: Dusty Krogman

100_1753.JPGIt’s time for my second installment of the “Off the Diamond” segment, highlighting the staff and people behind-the-scenes of Clinton LumberKings baseball.  “Off the Diamond” is a bit of a misnomer today as we’ll actually be talking with the man who keeps it up, Head Groundskeeper Dusty Krogman.

Dusty assisted former Head Groundskeeper Mitch Langstaff in 2008 and now takes over the reigns of Alliant Energy Field himself after graduating from Kirkwood College.  We talk about how he got the position, his full schedule when the team is out of town, dealing with a dry Spring and more.

Listen Here: 
Dusty Krogman OTD Interview 5.4.10.mp3

The LumberKings open a three-game home series against the Beloit Snappers tonight.  Left-hander Jimmy Gillheeney (1-2, 3.20) takes the hill in game one, first pitch scheduled at 6:30 PM.  Listen to all the action on

Oh yeah, tonight’s Game Notes can be found here: 
5.4.10 kingsnotes.pdf


Crossing Enemy Lines: Nathan Baliva

With back-to-back tough losses to the Peoria Chiefs the last two days, I figured it was time to revisit our “Crossing Enemy Lines” feature.  Today, I catch up with the broadcaster for the Chiefs, Nathan Baliva

The longtime voice of Chiefs baseball talks about a few painful, yet relevant topics (Nick Struck’s no-hitter, last night’s 3-2 Peoria win), Peoria’s 11-game home winning streak, the bunt-and-run “Peoria Kernels”, international prospects like Hak-Ju Lee and Su-Min Jung and gives us a scouting report on today’s starter Trey McNutt

Listen Here: 
Nathan Baliva (PEO Broadcaster) Interview 5.2.10.mp3

That was fun.  Now, let’s end with three positive things for the LumberKings…

  1. Mario Martinez hit his first home run of the season last night.  He’s batting .313 (5-for-16) over his last five games after hitting just .164 over the first 16 games.  Listen to the HR here: 
    Martinez solo HR (1) 5.1.10.mp3
  2. Daniel Carroll went 3-for-4 atop the order to raise his average to .258.  Carroll has four multi-hit games in his last six starts.  One of his hits was a game-tying single in the eighth…listen here: 
    Carroll game-tying 8th inning single 5.1.10.mp3
  3. Left-hander Anthony Vasquez, despite getting a no-decision, lowered his ERA from 1.25 to 0.94 and is now third in the Midwest League in ERA.  Read more about Vasquez in today’s Game Notes: 
    5.2.10 kingsnotes.pdf

Right-hander Tyler Blandford (0-2, 4.11) makes his fifth start of the year today in Peoria.  Game time is scheduled for 1:00 PM.  You can listen on line at  Now, let’s end this three-game losing streak!


On the Bright Side (May 1 Edition)

The pregame interview is taking a hiatus tonight following last night’s 4-0 rain-shortened, no-hit loss to the Peoria Chiefs.  I hope to be back with something that’s enlightening, stimulating and positive prior to our 1:00 PM game at O’Brien Field tomorrow.

Instead, I’d like to introduce the first volume of “On the Bright Side”, the newest entrant to the LumberBlog’s jam-packed lineup.  “On the Bright Side” is my way of presenting something positive instead of dwelling on a tough loss.  I hope this is the only volume, but we’ve still got 117 games to go.

Here we go…

While the LumberKings lost, 4-0 and were no-hit by the combination of Peoria’s Nick Struck, his middle reliever Rain Storm and his closer W.F. Conditions…

  1. At least we weren’t the Kane County Cougars last night.  They were no-hit over the traditional nine innings by three Cedar Rapids pitchers at Perfect Game Field.
  2. At least we aren’t Tiger Woods.  He missed the cut for just the sixth time in his career yesterday at the Quail Hollow Championship.
  3. At least we’re staying at a cool hotel in Peoria.  I was running short on time this afternoon and I was able to buy two burritos from the front desk store area.  That’s right, my lunch consisted of hotel burritos.  Maybe that’s not a bright side.
  4. At least the O’Brien Field infield is now drier than Churchill Downs.
  5. At least you still get LumberKings Game Notes: 
    5.1.10 kingsnotes.pdf
  6. At least we’ve got Anthony Vasquez (0-2, 1.25) on the mound tonight.
  7. At least today’s another day in professional baseball, where even your bad days consist of watching the greatest game in the world.

Feeling better?  Me too.  This was very constructive.  Let’s not do it again tomorrow.

Game time is at 6:30 PM.  Tune in to the pregame show at 6:15 on