Results tagged ‘ Anthony Phillips ’

MWL Quarterfinals – Game 2 Notes

The LumberKings opened the 2011 Midwest League Playoffs at home with a 9-5 loss to the Quad Cities River Bandits last night.  Bandits’ first-baseman Jonathan Rodriguez went 2-for-3 with five RBI on the night including a three-run homer in the first inning off left-hander Tony Butler that ensured Quad Cities would never trail.  Oscar Taveras drove home two more runs as part of a three-run second inning, giving the Bandits a 6-0 lead.  Mike McGee doubled home Anthony Phillips in the third (listen:  McGee RBI double 9.7.11) and John Hicks blasted a two-run homer down the left-field line in the sixth (listen: Hicks 2-R HR (#1) 9.7.11) to cut the deficit to 6-3 and chase right-hander Boone Whiting from the game.  RBI from Hicks and Julio Morban brought the Kings to within two runs in the bottom of the seventh, but Mickey Wiswall missed out on a golden opportunity with the bases full and one out.  Bandits’ right-hander Aidan Lucas got Wiswall to bounce back to the mound, then turned a 1-2-3 double play to end the threat.  Right-hander Tyler Burgoon surrendered an RBI single to Taveras and RBI double to Rodriguez in the top of the ninth, and Clinton couldn’t touch left-hander Dean Kiekhefer in the final at-bat.

Thus, Eddie Menchaca’s LumberKings are down 1-0 in the best-of-three series as things shift to Modern Woodmen Park.  The Davenport, IA home of the Bandits wasn’t kind to the Kings this season as Quad Cities won seven of the nine meetings, but the only path to the West Division Championship Series is back-to-back road wins.  Fortunately, left-hander Anthony Fernandez has excelled in road parks this year, going 5-0 with a 1.91 ERA in 11 games, 10 starts.  He’ll earn the pivotal Game 2 start tonight, while the Bandits counter with left-hander Anthony Ferrara (13-7, 3.03).

Tonight’s Game Notes:   9.8.11 kingsnotes _quarterfinals.gametwo_

A bonus note that is encouraging for the Kings tonight…Clinton went 0-6 in the opening games of playoff series from ’07-’10, but followed up with wins in Game 2 four times in that span, winning three of the six series.  Last year, the Kings went 5-1 in elimination games in the playoffs, including back-to-back road wins at Cedar Rapids in the West Division Quarterfinals.  Meanwhile, Quad Cities held a 1-0 lead on Kane County returning home last year, but were eliminated with two-straight home losses to the Cougars.  Will history repeat itself?  Listen to the broadcast at 7:00 PM on 1390kcln.com to find out.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Mike McGee (Vol. 2)

It was a Sunday for celebration for your LumberKings as they defeated Beloit 5-2 yesterday, extending their winning streak to eight-straight games and clinching a second-half playoff spot.  Mike McGee singled home a run in the first inning (listen: McGee RBI single 8.28.11) and Stefen Romero added a sacrifice fly to put the Kings ahead 2-0, but the Snappers came back to tie the game against right-hander Stephen Kohlscheen on a solo home run by Lance Ray and RBI single by Nate Roberts.

The game stayed tied 2-2 until the seventh, when the Kings scored three runs with just one hit off the combination of Snappers’ right-handers Manuel Soliman and Adrian Salcedo.  Mickey Wiswall reached first on an error by Ray in left and took second as Kalian Sams walked.  Kevin Rivers bunted both over into scoring position, setting up the winning play.  Anthony Phillips sent a chopper to Jairo Perez at third base and Perez threw home on Wiswall, but catcher Tobias Streich put a high tag down after Wiswall’s foot had crossed the plate.  Carlos Ramirez added a safety squeeze bunt to score Sams and Julio Morban lined the only hit of the inning to score Phillips (listen:  Morban RBI single 8.28.11).

Right-hander Matt Bischoff won for the fourth time in relief with 3.0 scoreless innings after Kohlscheen’s exit.  Right-hander John Taylor finished off the game with his first Midwest League save, striking out Roberts on a 3-2 pitch (listen: Taylor First Save, Playoffs Clinched 8.28.11).

Weighing in on yesterday’s clincher is McGee, a pivotal contributor to the most-recent two wins.  The Kings’ center-fielder talks about his home run to beat the Snappers on Saturday, the importance of scoring runs early during this tremendous two-week run, the team’s focus for the final eight regular-season games, the new-found confidence of the offense and more.

Listen Here:  McGee Interview 8.29.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.29.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:  8.29.11 lineup

As McGee indicated, there’s still work to be done in these final eight games.  The LumberKings lead Kane County by 4.0 games for the West Division’s top playoff spot and have a magic number of five to edge the Cougars.  Left-hander Anthony Fernandez (7-3, 2.86) gets the start in game three of this four-game set against Beloit tonight, while the Snappers counter with right-hander A.J. Achter (4-7, 4.63).    First pitch on “Ashford University and Clinton Community College Back to College Night” is scheduled for 6:30 PM.  Listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Friday Notes (8/26)

It’s another “show-and-go” night as the LumberKings finish off a three-game series at Cedar Rapids tonight.  Thus, no pregame interview for you.

The Kings look for the sweep of the Kernels tonight after a 5-2 victory at Perfect Game Field last night.  Clinton manufactured their way to the game’s first run in the third inning as Tim Morris walked, stole second, took third on a sacrifice bunt by Anthony Phillips and scored on a groundout by Robbie Anston.  They never trailed after that.  Left-hander Roenis Elias gave up two runs over 6.0 innings to win for the third time on the road this year, and Morris added an RBI on a sacrifice fly in the fifth, Mike McGee doubled home another run in the sixth, Phillips added a double to drive in a run in the seventh and John Hicks capped a 3-for-4 game with his second home run of the year (listen:  Hicks Solo HR (#2) 8.25.11).  Right-handers Matt Bischoff and Tyler Burgoon combined on 3.0 scoreless innings in relief of Elias.

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.26.11 kingsnotes

The LumberKings are eight games up on Beloit for a playoff spot with 11 games remaining.  Right-hander Carter Capps (1-0, 3.72) makes his third start tonight looking to get Clinton a step closer to clinching.  The Kernels counter with right-hander Brian Diemer (9-10, 4.11).  First pitch is at 6:35 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Brad Miller

Your LumberKings own the top playoff spot in the West Division after last night’s 4-2 win over the Kane County Cougars.  The victory capped a 3-games-to-1 series victory over the Cougars and finished off a successful 5-2 homestand (including 2-1 against Quad Cities).  Both the Kings and the Cougars own identical 32-25 records and are tied for second in the standings, but Clinton owns the head-to-head tiebreaker (8 wins vs. 5 losses).

John Hicks finished the series 8-for-10, including 3-for-3 last night with two more doubles and two runs scored.  After the Kings fell behind 1-0 in the first inning, Hicks doubled down the right-field line to lead off the third and scored on a double by Anthony Phillips to tie the game (listen: Phillips RBI double 8.23.11).  Brad Miller, expecting to get his first day off since joining the Kings, came on to replace Carlos Ramirez and lifted a go-ahead double scoring Hicks in the fifth inning (listen: Miller RBI double 8.23.11).  Stefen Romero added an RBI triple scoring Mike McGee for insurance, extending his hitting streak to nine games (listen: Romero RBI triple 8.23.11).  Pitching-wise, it was another two-man show last night as right-hander Stephen Kohlscheen allowed a run over 6.0 innings for his fourth win and right-hander Jonathan Arias struck out five over the final 3.0 innings for his ninth save.

For tonight’s interview, I thought it appropriate to talk with Miller, Seattle’s second-round pick in 2011 out of Clemson Unversity and the newest cog to the LumberKings’ red-hot lineup.  The 2011 ACC Player of the Year talks about his wild first 48 hours as a Mariner, his thoughts on both the ACC award and the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year award, his ties to Iowa (Miller’s dad played baseball at Northern Iowa), his unique left-handed batting stance, joining a LumberKings’ club pushing for the playoffs and more.

Listen Here:  Miller Interview 8.24.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.24.11 kingsnotes

Ace lefty Anthony Fernandez gets the game-one start in a three-game series at Cedar Rapids tonight.  Fernandez is 5-1 with a 2.06 ERA and nine quality starts in his last 12 outings and is 6th in the Midwest League with a 2.88 ERA.  He’ll go for win #7 tonight as he takes on the Kernels.  They’ll counter with right-hander Seth Fowler (2-3, 6.80 ERA).  First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Rich Dorman (Vol. 4)

The LumberKings won the series and kept a 4.0-game Wild Card lead on Beloit in-tact with a 5-2 victory over the Quad Cities River Bandits last night.  Kalian Sams went 2-for-4 with a double (listen:  Sams RBI double 8.19.11) and a solo home run (listen:  Sams Solo HR (#15) 8.19.11), but it was Anthony Phillips’ two-out infield single scoring Mickey Wiswall in the fourth inning that stood as the winning run (listen: Phillips RBI infield single 8.19.11).  Left-hander Anthony Fernandez had a short 5.0-inning outing by his usual standards, but struck out a career-high 10 batters in that time and allowed just two runs to the Bandits (listen:  Fernandez Career-High 10th K, 8.19.11).  Relievers Jessie Nava, Ryan Kiel and Jonathan Arias combined on 4.0 scoreless innings in relief of Fernandez, with Arias picking up his eighth save.

With another great outing by Fernandez, more lock-down relief from Kiel and Arias and a host of new arms to talk about, it’s time to catch up with LumberKings’ pitching coach Rich Dorman for tonight’s interview.  He gives plenty of insight on Fernandez, right-hander Stephen Kohlscheen, Mariners’ third-round right-hander Carter Capps, tonight’s starter Roenis Elias, Arias and his dominant second half and more.

Listen to the 11-minute-long full interview here:  Dorman Interview 8.20.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.20.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:  8.20.11 lineup

Mariners’ second-round pick, Brad Miller makes his professional debut tonight at shortstop, batting seventh.  Elias (2-0, 2.89) makes his fourth start for the Kings as he goes up against Kane County right-hander Leondy Perez (6-11, 3.35).  The game begins at 6:00 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Tim Morris (Vol. 2)

The Kings made it back-to-back wins in Peoria on a sunny Sunday afternoon yesterday, scoring eight runs (their most in one game since an 8-4 win vs. Wisconsin on July 28) to defeat the Chiefs, 8-2.  Tim Morris went 2-for-5 with a season-high four RBI on the day, driving in the game’s first run with an RBI smash scored an error on first-baseman Richard Jones and adding a “nail in the coffin” three-run homer inside the right-field foul pole (listen: Morris 3-R HR (#5) 8.14.11).  Anthony Phillips, Julio Morban and Stefen Romero all added an RBI each, supporting 6.2 innings of two-run ball from left-hander Roenis Elias in his second win of the year.  Right-hander Jonathan Arias picked up save #6 with three strikeouts over 2.1 innings.

Coupled with Beloit’s 3-0 loss to Burlington yesterday, the LumberKings are back to 3.0 games ahead of the Snappers for the West Division Wild Card spot.  A glance back in the history books to a year ago and Clinton is in relatively the same spot as the 2010 club through 119 games.  John Tamargo’s team was 27-22, tied for third (along with Kane County for the top playoff spot) and holding a 2.0 game lead on Beloit for the Wild Card.

Given yesterday’s breakout performance and his presence on both the 2010 and 2011 teams, it’s a good time to catch up with Tim Morris.  Seattle’s 11th round pick out of St. John’s University in 2009 is hitting .257 with five HR, 40 RBI and 18 steals in his sophomore year with Clinton.  He talks about yesterday’s game and the home run, his week-long stint with high-A High Desert, coming back into a different role with the LumberKings, this year’s pursuit of a playoff spot and more.

Listen Here:  Morris Interview 8.15.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.15.11 kingsnotes

In a season that has already seen shortstop Marcus Littlewood, INF/OF Stefen Romero, left-hander James Paxton, right-hander Keli’i Zablan and catcher John Hicks make their affiliated professional debuts with Clinton, we’ll see another highly-anticipated debut tonight.  Right-hander Carter Capps, the supplemental third-round pick (121st overall) by Seattle this year, makes his first start in the black-and-green tonight.  Capps went 14-1, 1.75 in 20 games at Mount Olive College (NC) this year, then dominated in the Cape Cod League to the tune of 4-1, 0.60 in 16 games with Harwich.  He’ll be opposed by notorious LumberKings-Killer, Chiefs’ left-hander Austin Kirk.  Kirk is a pretty average 5-8, 3.43 on the season, but 3-0, 1.11 against the Kings including that nine-inning no-no on July 4. 

The Kings owe Kirk some payback, and it begins with the first pitch at 7:00 PM here from O’Brien Field.  Listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Follow me on Twitter at @davelezotte and the LumberKings at @LumberKings.

Tonight’s Interview: Ryan Kiel

For the fourth time this season, LumberKings’ right-hander Taijuan Walker started a game that would end in a shutout victory.  For the third time amongst those four starts, he faced the Cedar Rapids Kernels.  Walker improved to 3-0, 0.00 (0 ER in 16.o IP) against Clinton’s rivals to the West with 5.0 scoreless, f0ur-hit innings last night to lead the Kings to a 2-0 win.  Three of those four hits occurred in the first inning, but Walker picked Travis Witherspoon off of first base and induced an inning-ending double play from Jeremy Cruz.  A two-out RBI single by Mickey Wiswall in the third inning and solo home run by Anthony Phillips in the fourth inning (listen: Phillips Solo HR (#4) 8.10.11) provided the offense.  Left-hander Ryan Kiel retired all nine batters he faced over 3.0 scoreless innings and right-hander Tyler Burgoon picked up save #12 with a perfect ninth inning.

August is usually time for me to get through the bullpen in regards to interviews, and tonight’s outing for Kiel provides perfect timing to catch up with him.  Seattle’s 37th round pick in 2010 out of Marshall University, Kiel has lowered his ERA from 4.63 to 3.24 over his last two outings totaling 5.0 scoreless innings.  The Los Gatos, CA native talks about his role as the bullpen’s lone lefty, his fastball/slider/change arsenal, his time with the Thundering Herd, his 2010 debut in Pulaski and more on tonight’s pregame interview.

Listen Here:  Kiel Interview 8.11.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.11.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineup:  8.11.11 lineup

Game two with the Kernels is tonight at 7:00 PM.  Left-hander Tony Butler (1-2, 3.26) gets the start tonight looking to right the ship after his last outing (loss at Burlington, 5 ER in 5.0 IP).  He’ll be opposed by right-hander A.J. Schugel of the Kernels (3-3, 2.77).  Listen to the broadcast online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Follow me on Twitter at @davelezotte and the LumberKings at @LumberKings.

Sunday Notes (7/24)

The LumberKings and Whitecaps dueled to a 1-1 tie over the first eight and a half innings at Fifth Third Ballpark last night, and it was the home team that earned the victory in the bottom of the ninth as Hernan Perez led off with a walk against left-hander Ryan Kiel (L, 0-1), took second on a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Hamme and scored on a walk-off single to right by James Robbins.  The last-inning loss marrred what had been a tremendous pitching performance by the Kings, specifically left-hander Anthony Fernandez.  Fernandez limited the ‘Caps to a run on three hits over 7.2 innings and struck out six, but received only one run of support on a game-tying solo home run by Anthony Phillips (listen:  Phillips Solo HR (#3) 7.23.11).

Both clubs get set for game two action today at 12:00 PM CT as right-hander Taijuan Walker (4-4, 2.84) takes the mound for the Kings against Whitecaps’ right-hander Victor Larez (0-1, 13.50).  Walker is 2-0 with a 2.42 ERA, 30 strikeouts and an astounding .151 opponent average in his four July starts.  Clinton will be without first-baseman Tim Morris, who was promoted today to high-A High Desert.  Outfielder Julio Morban has returned from the disabled list to fill the open roster spot.

Today’s Game Notes:  7.24.11 kingsnotes

As always, tune in to the broadcast on 1390KCLN.com, beginning with the pregame show at 11:45 AM.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Jesse Goldberg-Strassler

A triple by Jetsy Extrano and RBI double by Anthony Phillips was all the offense could muster last night against Great Lakes’ right-hander Zach Lee as the LumberKings fell 6-1 to the Loons, dropping just their second series of the second half.  After a six-run third inning gave the Kings a 6-2 win in game one, the bats scored just two total runs over the final two games of the series.

Left-hander Nate Reed yielded five runs but only two earned over 4.0 innings and relievers Ryan Kiel, Tyler Blandford and Jonathan Arias combined for a run over the final 5.0 innings.  Still, one run usually isn’t going to cut it.  The Kings, fortunately still in second place and a game out of first, now take on the Lansing Lugnuts.  The ‘Nuts have the East Division’s best record of 51-37, captured the first-half East Division Wild Card in a race with Great Lakes that went to the final day, and are now 13-8 and in second in the division in a meaningless half.  First-year manager Mike Redmond’s club just swept Kane County, the first place team in the West.  Yes, runs are going to be needed to compete with Lansing, who leads the MWL in runs scored (469).

Tonight’s Game Notes:  7.16.11 kingsnotes

To get a bit of a scouting report on yet another mysterious team from the East, I’ve caught up with Lugnuts’ third-year broadcaster Jesse Goldberg-Strassler

Listen Here:   Goldberg-Strassler Interview 7.16.11

Starting Lineups:  7.16.11 lineup

Right-hander George Mieses (3-10, 5.42) gets the game one start against Lansing tonight, first pitch scheduled for 6:00 PM on “Stay Late Saturday”.  Mieses has been good when given run support to work with (2-0 in two starts prior to his last time out, 12 runs of support), but fell for the 10th time his last time out in a 5-0 loss at Beloit.  He’ll go up against lefty Egan Smith (4-3, 3.48) of the Lugnuts.  Listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Follow me on Twitter at @davelezotte.

2011 First Half Highlight Reel

James Paxton's All-Star-worthy performance (3-3, 2.70 ERA, 73 K in 50.0 IP) was one of the bright spots for Clinton in the first half.

Sometimes, first halves go by in the blink of an eye.  Sometimes, they drag on.  The 2011 first half falls somewhere in the in-between for me.  I’ve seen some impressive things so far out of these LumberKings (a red-hot week by Kalian Sams, the dominant outings of James Paxton and Taijuan Walker, the resurgence of Mickey Wiswall in June, the impressive range at short for Anthony Phillips, the emergence of Keli’i Zablan and Jonathan Arias out of the pen, etc.), yet also a lot of struggles as evidenced by a current 23-46 record.

But, as hitting coach Terry Pollreisz reminded me on our way into Elfstrom Stadium today, anything can happen in the second half.  Polls cited his 2002 San Antonio club that finished 25-45 and 17 games out of first place in the Texas League West Division in the first half.  That club (including for just six games a 21-year-old Eddie Menchaca) rebounded to win the division with a 43-27 second-half record and went on to win the Texas League title in seven games over Tulsa.  Something to keep in mind as we head to the second half of 2011 on Friday.

While looking forward here on the half’s last day, it’s also time to look back at some of the high points of the season so far (unfortunately last night’s game-winning homer by Matt Browning just missed the cut).  With that, I present the third-annual “First Half Highlight Reel”.

Listen Here:  2011 First Half Highlight Reel

Today’s Game Notes:  6.19.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:

LumberKings (23-46):  Julio Morban/CF, Mickey Wiswall/DH, Matt Browning/1B, Kevin Rivers/LF, Kalian Sams/RF, Shaver Hansen/2B, Carlos Ramirez/3B, Anthony Phillips/SS, Carlton Tanabe/C, Anthony Fernandez/LHP.

Kane County Cougars (28-40):  Angel Franco/2B, Geulin Beltre/CF, Cheslor Cuthbert/3B, Brian Fletcher/LF, Brett Eibner/DH, Jake Kuebler/1B, Orlando Calixte/SS, Travis Jones/C, Julio Aparicio/RF, Jason Adam/RHP.

Happy Father’s Day as well to you regular readers.  After today’s 1 PM game at Kane County, I’ll be heading home to Oak Creek, Wisconsin to spend my All-Star Break with family.  I won’t be covering James Paxton’s All-Star appearance in the Quad Cities on Tuesday, but you can follow along at with the MiLB Gameday Feature on MiLB.com.

I’ll be back on Friday to start with a clean slate.  Can’t wait.

-DL

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