Tonight’s Interview: Eddie Menchaca (Vol. 3)

My apologies for not posting yesterday, it’s a rarity.  Myself and the rest of the LumberKings had a short night after waiting for an hour before starting up on Tuesday night, beating the Cedar Rapids Kernels 7-1 to halt a five-game losing streak, driving two hours back to Clinton, getting up the next morning and boarding the bus at 8:30 AM, making the two-hour drive back, playing baseball at roughly noon and losing the middle game, 2-1 to the Kernels.

There’s been plenty to talk about.  As you’ve likely already seen, left-hander James Paxton struck out a career-high 12 batters on Tuesday night to win for the first time in affiliated pro baseball.  Steven Baron homered and Stefen Romero doubled to give him a 2-1 lead, and the Kings scored five times in the ninth to put the game out of reach.  Yesterday, right-hander Forrest Snow turned in his team-leading fifth quality start but still fell to 1-7 on the season as Kernels’ right-hander Heath Nichols outdueled him for the win.  Kalian Sams homered for the third time in four games in the ninth to end the shutout, but neither pinch-hitter Jabari Blash nor Anthony Phillips could continue the comeback against closer Dakota Robinson.

Thus, today is the rubber match between the Kings and Kernels.  Manager Eddie Menchaca is my pregame guest today as we talk about the trip so far (Clinton is 2-7 but has been close in all seven losses), the chance for a rare series win today behind 18-year-old right-hander Taijuan Walker (who is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in his last two starts), the success of Sams in the lineup (he’s hit in 10-straight games), the club’s realistic goals for the remainder of this first half and more.

Listen Here:  Menchaca interview 5.26.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  5.26.11 kingsnotes

Your Daily Roster Move:  Right-hander Jandy Sena has been promoted to double-A Jackson, effective today.  No counter-move was made, leaving the LumberKings’ roster at 24 players out of a possible 25. 

Today’s Lineups:

LumberKings (12-35):  Julio Morban/CF, Mickey Wiswall/1B, Stefen Romero/3B, Matt Browning/DH, Kalian Sams/RF, Steven Baron/C, Jabari Blash/LF, Shaver Hansen/2B, Anthony Phillips/SS, Taijuan Walker/RHP

Cedar Rapids Kernels (23-23):  Travis Witherspoon/CF, Wes Hatton/2B, David Harris/RF, Brandon Decker/1B, Jeremy Cruz/3B, Ricky Alvarez/DH, Marcus Nidiffer/C, Jerod Yakubik/LF, Jesus Campos/SS, Suammy Baez/RHP

First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 PM, hopefully the Kings can get some runs off slippy-slappy-swimmy-Suammy-Swanson-oh-yeah-Samsonite and take the series this evening.  Listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

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