Tuesday Notes (5/24)
The 10-game road trip shifts to Cedar Rapids for the always-fun commuter series against the Kernels. It’s good to have a change of scenery as the LumberKings were just swept in Peoria and are 1-6 at O’Brien Field this season.
That record includes another loss last night, 9-4 at the hands of the Chiefs. The Kings showed plenty of mid-game moxy in recovering from a 3-0 deficit to take a 4-3 lead. Kalian Sams belted a two-run homer completely over the batter’s eye (listen: Sams 2-R HR (#2) 5.23.11), easily the deepest home run I’ve seen hit this season and ever at O’Brien Field. My own unofficial estimate, given a 400-foot wall and batter’s eye of roughly a 30-foot height means Sams’ blast traveled at least 450 feet. Kevin Rivers lifted a solo shot of his own to right-center to give the Kings a temporary 4-3 lead.
But that bullpen again, the one that has seen so many struggles on this trip, gave up six unanswered runs and the Chiefs won by a margin that didn’t really speak to the closeness of the game. At this point, though, losses are losses.
This trip is still salvageable. The LumberKings take on a Kernels’ club that is just 2-12 over their last 14 games, had an eight-game losing streak that included a no-hitter at the hands of Kane County and is hitting just .195 as a club over the last 10 games. Clinton will roll out left-hander James Paxton (0-1, 2.42), right-handers Forrest Snow (1-6, 4.62) and Taijuan Walker (1-2, 5.19) on the series, all three due for some wins.
It does look like rain will play a role in the series. The Perfect Game Field tarp crew is assembling as we speak, and the forecast looks awful for tomorrow should this one get rained out tonight. Keep your fingers crossed.
Tonight’s Game Notes: 5.24.11 kingsnotes
Your LumberKings Roster Move of the day: left-hander Jon Hesketh was officially placed on the DL yesterday after getting hit in the left hand by a Kyung-Min Na liner the previous game. He’s now replaced by right-hander Jessie Nava, up from the Everett roster. Shortstop Jake Schlander has switched spots with infielder Anthony Phillips, meaning Phillips is again a LumberKing while Schlander is back with High Desert.
First pitch is at 6:35 PM (maybe), listen online at 1390kcln.com.