Retro Interview: Blake Beavan
The six-game road trip switches cities tonight as your LumberKings head to Peoria to take on the Chiefs. Clinton went just 1-9 against the Chiefs in the first half, but are 5-4 and alone in third place so far this half while Peoria is 3-6 and stuck in a tie for last place.
The Kings nearly pulled off a three-game sweep in the Quad Cities last night as Stefen Romero singlehandedly erased a 3-0 deficit with a 3-for-4 game including a two-run homer to right-center (listen: Romero 2-R HR (#6) 7.2.11) in the fourth inning and a game-tying two-out single scoring Robbie Anston in the sixth. Right-hander Taijuan Walker settled in after a rough second inning that included back-to-back home runs by Jonathan Rodriguez and Nick Longmire, yielding three runs (two earned) over 6.0 innings and striking out eight. Unfortunately, right-hander Jessie Nava loaded the bases in the eighth and issued four-straight pitches outside of the zone to walk Packy Elkins, giving the Bandits a 4-3 lead. Romero doubled to start the ninth (falling a triple shy of the cycle), but Kalian Sams struck out with Romero at third and Kevin Rivers flied to right, ending the game and the chances for the sweep.
While we get ready to see left-hander Tony Butler, Seattle’s third-round pick in 2006, take another step in his comeback as he debuts for the LumberKings tonight, the spotlight shines bright on a former King making a much higher-profile debut. As you’ve already likely seen, 2008 right-hander Blake Beavan is making his Major League debut today for the Mariners as they host San Diego.
Ok, so, maybe this was already featured in “The Interview Vault” this offseason, but I thought it’d be a prime opportunity to post my May 1, 2008 interview with Beavan following his first professional start, a win over the Great Lakes Loons. With the recent “great WordPress migration” of the MLBlogs, my old interview links no longer work, so here’s a re-post of Blake’s first Minor League interview…the topics covered ranged from the start in front of his parents and then-Rangers-pitching coordinator Rick Adair, his fastball/slider/change arsenal, getting drafted in the first round by his hometown team (the Rangers) and more.
The man Blake is starting in place of today, Mariners’ lefty Erik Bedard, is also the player acquired by Seattle in the deal that sent Butler to Baltimore (along with Adam Jones and others). Butler, the top player ever drafted out of Oak Creek High School (my alma-mater) is making his first Midwest League start since, ironically, defeating the LumberKings at Alliant Energy Field on August 31, 2007. Hopefully his comeback path goes as successfully as Tom Wilhelmsen’s did in Clinton last year.
More on Butler, Romero and others in tonight’s Game Notes: 7.3.11 kingsnotes
The game begins at 6:30 PM, listen to the broadcast online at 1390kcln.com.