Tough one last night. That’s all I’ll say. Our bus to O’Brien Field in Peoria, IL is scheduled for 4:00 PM as a result of a college doubleheader going on there today, so I won’t be posting an interview tonight.
Check out tonight’s Game Notes: 5.20.11 kingsnotes
After all the close losses that have been accumulating for the LumberKings in this month of May, it was high time for the team to get a win in close fashion. The time was right last night as the Kings snapped a 3-3 tie in the seventh on Mickey Wiswall’s sacrifice fly scoring Tim Morris and right-hander Tyler Burgoon navigated through jams in the eighth and ninth, leaving the bases loaded in the final frame for the save and the 4-3 win.
Jake Schlander belted a two-run homer and Kevin Rivers added an RBI double to give the Kings a 3-0 lead in the second, but left-hander Edlando Seco allowed two runs over 3.1 innings in his first start and lefty Nate Reed yielded the tying run in the sixth. Right-hander Jandy Sena and Burgoon combined for 3.1 scoreless innings to finish out the game.
Tonight, I check in with Burgoon, Seattle’s 10th-round pick out of the University of Michigan a year ago. After saving a school-record 10 games with the Wolverines in 2010 and going 1-1 with a 4.40 ERA in eight outings for Everett last year, Burgoon is now settling in as the man at the back end of the Clinton pen. The Defiance, OH native is 1-1 with a pen-best 1.23 ERA and four saves in five chances. He talks about last night’s outing, his approach to two-inning saves, being the holdover amongst a new group of relievers and the confidence of the new group and more.
Listen Here: Burgoon Interview 5.19.11
Tonight’s Game Notes: 5.19.11 kingsnotes
LumberKings (11-29): Shaver Hansen/2B, Carlos Ramirez/3B, Stefen Romero/LF, Mickey Wiswall/1B, Matt Browning/DH, Jabari Blash/CF, Kalian Sams/RF, Jake Schlander/SS, Steven Baron/C, James Paxton/LHP
Burlington Bees (28-10): Royce Consigli/RF, Nino Leyja/2B, Josh Whitaker/1B, Douglas Landaeta/LF, Jose Rivero/CF, AJ Kirby-Jones/D, Wade Kirkland/SS, John Nester/C, Ryan Pineda/3B, Jacob Brown/LHP
It’s the Paxton-Brown rematch as the two face off for the first time since dueling on May 8 at Alliant Energy Field. Paxton yielded two runs, one earned over 5.0 innings in a no-decision while Brown ended up with the win, allowing two unearned runs over 6.0 innings in the Bees’ 5-2 victory. Brown has the league’s second-best ERA of 1.06, hopefully the resurgent LumberKings’ bats can tack a few runs to that tonight.
First pitch is at 6:30 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.
Despite another ninth-inning comeback attempt and home runs by both Jabari Blash and Mickey Wiswall, the LumberKings could not extend a winning streak to two games last night, falling 8-6 to the Burlington Bees in the opener of this 10-game road trip. Wiswall belted a two-run shot in the ninth off right-hander Drew Tyson that brought the Kings to within two, but Tyson then retired Stefen Romero leaving the potential tying run — Carlos Ramirez — in the on-deck circle.
Clinton is now 3-13 in the month of May, dropping their season record to a MWL-worst 10-29. Not many ways to sugar-coat it, but chew on this statistic…of the 13 May losses, the Kings have had the tying or winning runs either at the plate or in the on-deck circle in their final at-bat nine times and have scored eight runs total in the ninth inning. They’ve lost by three runs five times, two runs five times and one run four times in that 13-game span.
More encouraging factoids just like like that one in tonight’s Game Notes: 5.18.11 kingsnotes
The “no starting lineups” thing didn’t work two games in a row, so here you go…
LumberKings (10-29): Shaver Hansen/2B, Kevin Rivers/LF, Tim Morris/DH, Stefen Romero/3B, Mickey Wiswall/1B, Jabari Blash/CF, Kalian Sams/RF, Steven Baron/C, Jake Schlander/SS, Edlando Seco/LHP
Burlington Bees (28-9): Royce Consigli/RF, Nino Leyja/2B, Tony Thompson/3B, Josh Whitaker/DH, Yordy Cabrera/SS, Douglas Landaeta/LF, AJ Kirby-Jones/1B, Tyreace House/CF, John Nester/C, Tyler Vail/RHP
Notice anything different about those lineups? Kevin Rivers is starting for the first time since April 25 vs. Peoria and lefty Edlando Seco makes his first start since game one of the Northwest League Playoffs when he suited up for Everett against Oakland’s low-A affiliate (and many of the Bees hitters) in Vancouver. Seco hasn’t allowed a run over his last 8.0 innings as a reliever and steps up to fill the vacated rotation spot left by right-hander Brandon Maurer.
Should be an interesting one tonight. Listen online at 1390kcln.com. First pitch is at 6:30 PM.
Tonight’s pregame interview features 12-year Seattle Mariners’ catcher Dan Wilson, who is currently in Clinton working with catchers Steven Baron and Carlton Tanabe and also aiding manager Eddie Menchaca and his staff. Wilson, the 1996 A.L. All-Star, regular backstop for the likes of Randy Johnson and Jamie Moyer and permanent Mariners’ fan-favorite joins me to talk about his post-retirement role with the Mariners, the Clinton catching corps, his insights on catching and handling a pitching staff, the current-day Mariners, memories of the ’95 season and more on this nearly eight-minute conversation.
Listen Here: Dan Wilson Interview 5.14.11
Tonight’s Game Notes: 5.14.11 kingsnotes
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (17-15): Nick Shaw/2B, Greg Hopkins/3B, Cody Hawn/1B, Chris Dennis/LF, Mike Walker/DH, Reggie Keen/CF, TJ Mittlestaedt/RF, Tony Pechek/C, Yadiel Rivera/SS, Matt Miller/RHP
LumberKings (9-27): Shaver Hansen/2B, Carlos Ramirez/SS, Tim Morris/1B, Mickey Wiswall/LF, Stefen Romero/3B, Matt Browning/DH, Kalian Sams/RF, Jabari Blash/CF, Steven Baron/C, Forrest Snow/RHP
First pitch for “75th Anniversary Night” featuring the LumberKings in old Clinton Pilots uniforms is scheduled for 6:00 PM. Listen to the game on 1390kcln.com.
Another game, another close loss last night as the LumberKings fell 4-1 in the Quad Cities. For the third-straight night, the Kings had a chance in the ninth with the tying run at the plate. Mickey Wiswall homered for the first time this season with two outs in the inning and singles by Matt Browning and Kalian Sams set the stage for Steven Baron. Baron worked the count and was able to check up on a two-strike slider in the dirt once, but the next time he attempted to check on Boone Whiting’s slider, he was rung up for strike three by home plate umpire Mike Dorantes.
Highlights from last night:
The LumberKings open a three-game home series tonight against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Back on April 29 and 30, the Kings took two-straight games over the Rattlers and won their first (and only) road series of the season, two games to one. Since then, Clinton is 2-10 while Wisconsin is 9-3.
Matt Erickson’s Rattlers have won five-straight games. In the first two games of this series, Wisconsin will start right-hander Tyler Thornburg (2-0, 1.80), one of the Midwest League’s best in the early going of 2011 and Milwaukee Brewers’ left-hander Zach Braddock who is completing a rehab stint. Given all of the positives for the Rattlers, I decided to interview their longtime radio voice, Chris Mehring. We cover their recent winning trend, the fantastic starts of Thornburg and Austin Ross, Braddock’s start tomorrow, Erickson’s first year at the helm and more.
Listen Here: Chris Mehring Interview 5.13.11
Tonight’s Game Notes: 5.13.11 kingsnotes
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (16-15): Nick Shaw/2B, Greg Hopkins/3B, Cody Hawn/1B, Mike Walker/DH, Franklin Romero/RF, Robbie Garvey/LF, Reggie Keen/CF, Tyler Roberts/C, Yadiel Rivera/SS, Tyler Thornburg/RHP
LumberKings (9-26): Robbie Anston/CF, Carlos Ramirez/2B, Tim Morris/DH, Stefen Romero/3B, Mickey Wiswall/1B, Kalian Sams/LF, Jabari Blash/RF, Steven Baron/C, Jake Schlander/SS, James Paxton/LHP
First pitch for Clinton Community College Night is scheduled for 6:30 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.
It’s a “show-and-go” day for the LumberKings here in Quad Cities, so I’m forced to keep it brief today. Jake Schlander doubled home three runs and Tim Morris homered and doubled in a two-RBI night, but the Kings couldn’t come all the way back from a 6-1 deficit as they lost 8-7 to the River Bandits in the opener last night. Read more about the game in the notes below.
Tonight’s Game Notes: 5.11.11 kingsnotes
LumberKings (9-24): Shaver Hansen/2B, Robbie Anston/CF, Tim Morris/DH, Stefen Romero/3B, Mickey Wiswall/1B, Kalian Sams/LF, Jabari Blash/RF, Jake Schlander/SS, Carlton Tanabe/C, George Mieses/RHP
Quad Cities River Bandits (15-17): Michael Swinson/RF, Nick Longmire/CF, Cody Stanley/DH, Jonathan Rodriguez/1B, Packy Elkins/3B, Starlin Rodriguez/2B, Robert Stock/C, Chris Edmondson/LF, Yunior Castillo/SS, Anthony Ferrara/LHP
First pitch is at 7:00 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.
Yes, the LumberKings went 0-3 on the homestand against the West’s first-place team, the Burlington Bees (including a 4-2 loss last night), but there’s no doubt the Clinton pitching staff is coming around. As you’ll read in tonight’s Game Notes (posted below), the rotation is 3-4 with a 2.67 ERA over the last 11 games and the bullpen is 1-2 with a 1.64 ERA over the last four games.
Right-hander Forrest Snow fell to 1-4 despite allowing four runs (one earned) over 6.0 innings last night. Right-hander Brandon Maurer has an ERA of 0.69 over his last two starts. Left-hander James Paxton made strides in his second start two games ago. Right-hander Jandy Sena (no runs in two games, 4.0 IP) and left-hander Edlando Seco (no runs in two games, 6.0 IP) are helping the bullpen turn it around. There’s signs of life amongst the Clinton arms.
Thus, it’s time to talk to pitching coach Rich Dorman again. In the full-cut interview (a shorter version will air on the broadcast), Dorman talks about Snow, Maurer, George Mieses, Paxton, tonight’s starter Taijuan Walker, Sena, Seco and others. Definitelya worthy listen as Dorman elaborates with great detail over nearly nine minutes.
Listen Here: Dorman Interview 5.10.11
Tonight’s Game Notes: 5.10.11 kingsnotes
LumberKings (9-23): Shaver Hansen/2B, Julio Morban/CF, Stefen Romero/3B, Mickey Wiswall/1B, Matt Browning/DH, Jake Schlander/SS, Jabari Blash/RF, Steven Baron/C, Robbie Anston/LF, Taijuan Walker/RHP
Quad Cities River Bandits (14-17): Greg Garcia/SS, Starlin Rodriguez/2B, Oscar Taveras/RF, Cody Stanley/C, Jonathan Rodriguez/1B, Packy Elkins/3B, Chris Edmondson/LF, Romulo Ruiz/DH, Frederick Parejo/CF, Seth Blair/RHP
How will Walker and the rest of the staff fare in this three-game road series against 14-17 Quad Cities? Hopefully it’s the continuation of the trend we’ve seen for the last 11 days. First pitch is at 7:00 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.
First off, happy Mothers Day to you all! Looks like we’ll have a fantastic day for baseball here at AEF.
A reminder for all of you dedicated LumberKings fans, Mariners’ prospect followers and supporters of breast cancer awareness (that should be everyone, of course). The LumberKings will be wearing special pink caps on the field today as they take on the Burlington Bees at 2:00 PM. Those caps will be autographed and auctioned off both here at the game today and online through the Kings’ ebay site.
Expect hats from guys like Taijuan Walker, Stefen Romero, Forrest Snow, Jabari Blash and others to hit the web within the next few days. It’s a one-of-a-kind item for a great cause…all proceeds from the cap auction are going to the Susan G. Komen fund. So get your hands on a cap and help the cause also.
Getting to last night…the LumberKings battled all night with the West Division-leading Bees thanks to the efforts of right-hander Brandon Maurer. The 23rd round pick in 2008 struck out a career-high 11 batters over 6.0 innings, exiting in a 1-1 game. Right-hander Jonathan Arias pitched as well as we’ve seen all season with two scoreless innings but yielded the game-winning RBI double to Yordy Cabrera in the top of the ninth as the Kings fell 2-1. Stefen Romero doubled twice and finished 3-for-4 and Tim Morris went 3-for-4 with an RBI, but it wasn’t enough to keep Clinton from falling to 1-5 against Burlington this season.
Listen to Maurer’s 11th punch-out: Maurer Career-High 11th Strikeout 5.7.11
Left-hander James Paxton missed his last start after a minor BP injury, but he’s back today for his second career outing. The Mariners’ 4th-round pick is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA following his debut outing against Peoria back on April 27. The Bees answer with left-hander Jacob Brown, Oakland’s 26th round pick in 2010. Brown is 3-0 with a sparkling 1.48 ERA on the season.
Today’s Game Notes: 5.8.11 kingsnotes
Burlington Bees (21-7): Tyreace House/CF, Royce Consigli/RF, Nino Leyja/2B, Jose Rivero/DH, Yordy Cabrera/SS, Josh Whitaker/1B, Douglas Landaeta/LF, Wade Kirkland/3B, Daniel Petitti/C, Jacob Brown/LHP
LumberKings (9-21): Julio Morban/LF, Shaver Hansen/2B, Stefen Romero/DH, Mickey Wiswall/1B, Matt Cerione/CF, Ramon Morla/3B, Jabari Blash/RF, Marcus Littlewood/SS, Steven Baron/C, James Paxton/LHP.
First pitch is at 2:00 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.
It was a character-building win for the LumberKings yesterday in Peoria as they overcame 3-1 and 4-3 deficits over the eighth and ninth innings to beat the Chiefs, 5-4 in 14 innings. Shaver Hansen (pictured left) went a career-best 4-for-6 with a two-run homer that tied the game in the eighth, and Ramon Morla doubled to score Mickey Wiswall to tie the game again in the ninth.
Finally in the top of the 14th, two walks and Wiswall’s infield single loaded the bases against Chiefs’ right-hander Bryce Shafer. With two outs, Steven Baron worked the count to 3-2 and took a pitch high from Shafer for a go-ahead bases-loaded walk. The relief work of right-handers Jandy Sena (3.0 scoreless innings for the win) and Willy Kesler (scoreless bottom of the 14th for the save) helped make Baron’s team-leading 12th RBI stand up.
Tonight, I catch up with Hansen, Seattle’s sixth-round pick out of Baylor University in 2009 and a third-year member of the LumberKings. We talk about yesterday’s monster effort, his thoughts on stint #3 in the black and green, shaking off an 0-for-14 start at the plate, his growth as a player in the last three seasons and more.
Listen Here: Hansen Interview 5.7.11
Tonight’s Game Notes: 5.7.11 kingsnotes
Burlington Bees (20-7): Tyreace House/CF, Royce Consigli/RF, Nino Leyja/2B, Jose River/DH, Yordy Cabrera/SS, Josh Whitaker/1B, Douglas Landaeta/LF, Ryan Pineda/3B, John Nester/C, Tyler Vail/RHP
LumberKings (9-20): Julio Morban/CF, Shaver Hansen/2B, Tim Morris/1B, Stefen Romero/LF, Mickey Wiswall/DH, Ramon Morla/3B, Jabari Blash/RF, Steven Baron/C, Carlos Ramirez/SS, Brandon Maurer/RHP
First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.
After an 8:00 alarm, a couple of blueberry muffins from the continental breakfast and an 8:45 bus ride to O’Brien Field I’m about set for day baseball here in Peoria. The LumberKings and Chiefs close up a three-game series starting at 11:00 AM.
In case you missed it, Mariners’ 2010 first-round pick, right-hander Taijuan Walker made his first professional start in his LumberKings’ debut last night. He looked rocky at the onset, giving up four runs on six hits over the first two innings, but found command of his fastball and curveball over his final two innings to finish with a respectable line. Walker went 4.0 frames, allowed the four runs on seven hits, walked two and struck out five. He also turned a fantastic 1-6-3 double play to get himself out of what could have been an even nastier first inning.
Left-hander Edlando Seco also pitched well, striking out five of the nine he faced over 3.0 scoreless innings (I took to calling the evening “Seco De Mayo” during the effort). Right-hander Tyler Burgoon turned ina scoreless eighth.
You’ll notice no offensive highlights from last night. The Kings did score once against left-hander Eric Jokisch as Stefen Romero doubled and scored on a single by Mickey Wiswall, but way too many offensive chances slipped through their grasp again as Clinton went 1-for-7 as a club with RISP. The Chiefs aren’t exactly lighting it up offensively in this series either (with a combined 7 runs in 2 games), but they are now outscoring the LumberKings 38-7 over five meetings and are not surprisingly 5-0 as a result.
Today’s Game Notes: 5.6.11 kingsnotes
There’s not one element to single out right now about this 8-20 club, but if they’re going to avoid the sweep today, they’ll need a second-straight solid outing out of right-hander George Mieses and they’ll need to score him some runs. Mieses went 5.0 innings and won up in Wisconsin his last time out, but even then received just two runs of support. Should the Kings get to left-hander Austin Kirk early, I like their chances today.
Today’s Starting Lineups:
LumberKings (8-20): Julio Morban/CF, Shaver Hansen/2B, Tim Morris/1B, Stefen Romero/LF, Mickey Wiswall/DH, Ramon Morla/3B, Jabari Blash/RF, Marcus Littlewood/SS, Steven Baron/C, George Mieses/RHP
Peoria Chiefs (14-13): Matt Szczur/RF, Elliot Soto/2B, Rubi Silva/CF, Richard Jones/1B, Smaily Borges/DH, Sergio Burruel/C, Arismendy Alcantara/SS, D.J. Fitzgerald/LF, Anthony Giansanti/3B, Austin Kirk/LHP
First pitch is at 11:00 AM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.