Results tagged ‘ Eddie Menchaca ’

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

Playoff Preview: Eddie Menchaca

T-minus 3 hours, 30 minutes until Game 1 of the West Division Quarterfinals.  Eddie Menchaca’s LumberKings begin the quest for Clinton’s first Midwest League title since 1991 as they open a best-of-three series against the rival Quad Cities River Bandits.  Left-hander Tony Butler (3-4, 3.26) gets the start tonight at Alliant Energy Field, while the Bandits will counter with right-hander Boone Whiting (5-2, 2.41).

Menchaca joins me for tonight’s interview and weighs in on the LumberKings’ second-half turnaround, the match-up against Quad Cities, the starting rotation for the series (Butler, left-hander Anthony Fernandez, right-hander Stephen Kohlscheen) and his own playoff memories as a player.

Listen Here:  Menchaca Interview 9.7.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  9.7.11 kingsnotes _quarterfinals.gameone_

Starting Lineups:  9.7.11 lineup

First pitch is at 6:00 PM, make sure to wear your green LumberKings shirts for a “green-out” at AEF tonight.  If you’re not making it down to the ballpark, tune in on AM 1390 KCLN and 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Saturday Notes (9/3)

Things have been admittedly quiet over here at the LumberBlog as the LumberKings have dropped four-straight games since clinching a playoff berth last Sunday.  The last series against Quad Cities, the team they’re likely to face in the first round of the postseason, saw the River Bandits sweep by a combined score of 34-16.

Last night, Stefen Romero beat out an infield single to score Brad Miller in the first inning, but the Bandits scored four unanswered runs — three coming against left-hander Tony Butler in an otherwise-quality outing — to take the game, 4-1.

The last regular-season series begins tonight for Eddie Menchaca’s crew as they take on the Kane County Cougars at Elfstrom Stadium.  These two teams met up at the conclusion of the first half with nothing on the line as they finished fifth and sixth in the West.  This time around, the Kings are looking to clinch the top playoff spot with a win in one of the three games.  The Cougars, also headed to the playoffs, would need to sweep the series to move ahead of Clinton in the standings.  Thus, if the Kings win tonight, they’re assured a first-round match-up with rival Quad Cities.

Tonight’s Game Notes:  9.3.11 kingsnotes

Right-hander Stephen Kohlscheen (4-3, 4.70) started the last time the LumberKings won, but took a no-decision against Beloit.  Still, he’s 4-0 with a 2.12 ERA in six starts with Clinton this season.  He’ll be opposed by Cougars’ right-hander Jason Adam (6-8, 4.22), a loser at the hands of the Kings back on June 19 when they finished the first half with a 1-0 victory on a Julio Morban home run to right field.  Morban is in the lineup batting second tonight.

First pitch is at 6:00 PM, listen to the broadcast at 1390kcln.com.  Hopefully the rain holds off tonight.

-DL

Wednesday Notes (8/31)

The LumberKings saw last night’s regular-season home finale against Beloit washed out by rain, so not much new to report in Kings Nation today.  Eddie Menchaca’s club has a magic number of four to clinch the West Division’s top playoff spot with Kane County, and they’ll try to decrease that number tonight in the opener of a four-game series at Quad Cities.

It’s a potential round one playoff preview tonight as the Kings and Bandits get together at Modern Woodmen Park.  Left-hander Roenis Elias (3-1, 3.94) will start tonight after being pushed back because of the rain, and maybe it’s better that way.  Elias is 3-0, 2.92 in his four road starts with Clinton.  Recently-activated right-hander Seth Blair (6-3, 4.74) makes the start for Quad Cities.  First pich is at 7:00 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.31.11 kingsnotes

-DL

Today’s Interview: Eddie Menchaca (Vol. 8)

Still working hard in August. Sunday road BP in Peoria.

Every game is a must-win when you’re only up 2.0 games for the Wild Card spot, and the LumberKings earned a hard-fought 3-1 victory over the Peoria Chiefs in 10 innings here at O’Brien Field last night to maintain that lead.  The Kings had just two hits over the first seven innings, but pinch-runner Julio Morban scored on a two-out double by Robbie Anston in the eighth and Carlos Ramirez snapped the 1-1 tie in the 10th, ripping a 3-2 pitch from Chiefs’ right-hander Luis Liria to the picnic tables in right for a two-run home run (listen:  Ramirez GW 2-R HR (#3) 8.13.11).  Right-hander Tyler Burgoon gave up a pair of singles to start the bottom of the 10th before slamming the door shut for his 13th save (listen:  Burgoon Strikes Out Klafczynski for 13th Save 8.13.11).  Left-hander Anthony Fernandez, behind 1-0 much of the night, earned his much-deserved fifth win with just a run on five hits over a career-high 9.0 innings.

LumberKings’ Manager Eddie Menchaca joins me for today’s pregame interview.  We discuss the clutch performance of Ramirez, Fernandez’s development into the staff ace, Burgoon’s tough save, the still-struggling offense and more.

Listen Here:  Menchaca Interview 8.14.11

Today’s Game Notes:  8.14.11 kingsnotes

Last night’s win means the Kings can secure a series victory today in Peoria.  Left-hander Roenis Elias (1-0, 3.00) makes his third start for Clinton today as he matches up against Chiefs’ right-hander Brett Wallach (0-2, 4.70 with Peoria, 3-5, 5.74 in high-A Daytona).  First pitch is at 1:00 PM, listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

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

Tonight’s Interview: Eddie Menchaca (Vol. 7)

The six-game East Division swing wraps up tonight in West Michigan, and your LumberKings are again looking to avert a sweep after a close loss.  The Whitecaps scored five runs over the first two innings against a struggling Taijuan Walker and the Kings never fully recovered, scoring four times to keep it close but ultimately falling, 6-4.  John Hicks had a breakout offensive game, going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI (listen: Hicks RBI double 7.24.11) and Kevin Rivers sealed his Midwest League Offensive Player of the Week award with a solo home run (listen:  Rivers Solo HR (#8) 7.24.11). 

For tonight’s pregame interview, I check in with LumberKings’ manager Eddie Menchaca.  We talk about the tough trip so far, Rivers’ offensive breakout, Hicks’ season-best performance, Walker’s setback outing, the promotion of Tim Morris and addition of Julio Morban off the DL, tonight’s starter Tony Butler and more.

Listen Here:  Menchaca Interview 7.25.11

Tonight’s Game Notes: 7.25.11 kingsnotes

Butler (1-1, 2.61) starts against West Michigan for the second time in his career, first time since April 22, 2007 while he was with Wisconsin.  The Whitecaps counter with right-hander Kevin Eichhorn (7-3, 3.65).  First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 PM CT, listen to the broadcast online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Eddie Menchaca (Vol. 6)

Following Monday’s no-hitter at the hands of Peoria, the LumberKings regrouped and found a way to win the series over the Chiefs with a 5-3 victory last night at O’Brien Field.  Stefen Romero ended right-hander Starling Peralta’s bid for another no-hitter with one out in the fourth, launching a solo home run to the berm in left (listen: Romero Solo HR (#7) 7.5.11).  He’d add a two-run triple (listen: Romero 2-R Triple 7.5.11) as part of a four-run sixth inning that gave the Kings a 5-0 lead.  Right-hander George Mieses pitched 7.0 scoreless innings but ran into trouble in the eighth, yielding three runs (two on Micah Gibbs’ single off Tyler Burgoon after his exit) to cut the lead to 5-3.  Burgoon retired the final four batters in a row, recording his ninth save as Mieses won back-to-back starts for the first time to improve to 3-9.

Clinton finished the trip 4-2 and are now 7-5 and in a three-way tie for second in the West Division.  Manager Eddie Menchaca is my interview guest tonight, and he weighs in on the rebound win after Austin Kirk’s no-no, the red-hot Romero (3 HR, 10 RBI on the trip), Mieses, catcher Carlton Tanabe (he calls him the team’s MVP right now) and more.

Listen Here:  Menchaca Interview 7.6.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  7.6.11 kingsnotes

Tonight’s Starting Lineup:  7.6.11 lineup

The LumberKings take on the Cedar Rapids Kernels for the first time since taking two of three on the road at the end of May.  Left-hander Anthony Fernandez (2-2, 3.81) makes the start for Clinton tonight looking for his third quality start in four outings since coming back from High Desert.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM, listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Eddie Menchaca (Vol. 5)

After a four-day hiatus for the Midwest League All-Star Break, your LumberKings are back at it tonight as they open the second half at home against the Burlington Bees.  With the second half beginning, it’s back to a 0-0 record and an eight-way tie for first in the West Division, although the Kings no longer have to worry about both Burlington and Wild Card winner Quad Cities as far as the standings are concerned.

Eddie Menchaca’s LumberKings might get treated like the underdogs as the second half begins, but a 9-8 record so far in the month of June indicates a club ready to turn things around with the fresh start.  My first interview of the second half is with the Clinton skipper, and we’ll talk about the team’s refocused attitude, the strong starting rotation including tonight’s starter Jandy Sena and Futures Game representative James Paxton, an offense now featuring a healthy Julio Morban and a new second-baseman in Jetsy Extrano, setting the tone against the first-half champion Bees and more.

Listen Here:  Menchaca Interview 6.24.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  6.24.11 kingsnotes

Roster Moves:  Yesterday, the LumberKings swapped second-basemen as Shaver Hansen was promoted to high-A High Desert and Jetsy Extrano was received from short-A Everett.  Today, catcher Billy Marcoe was sent to the AZL to make room for Steven Baron, who has been reinstated from the disabled list.  Extrano and Baron are both in tonight’s lineup.

Starting Lineups:

Burlington Bees (0-0, 45-25):  Royce Consigli/RF, Nino Leyja/2B, Tony Thompson/3B, A.J. Kirby-Jones/1B, Josh Whitaker/DH, Douglas Landaeta/LF, Yordy Cabrera/SS, John Nester/C, Tyreace House/CF, Sean Murphy/RHP

LumberKings (0-0, 24-46):  Stefen Romero/DH, Julio Morban/CF, Matt Browning/3B, Mickey Wiswall/LF, Tim Morris/1B, Steven Baron/C, Kalian Sams/RF, Jetsy Extrano/2B, Anthony Phillips/SS, Jandy Sena/RHP

The quest for the 10th playoff spot in the last 14 seasons starts tonight at 7:00 PM.  Listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

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

Tonight’s Interview: Eddie Menchaca (Vol. 4)

After finishing up a 5-1 East Division trip with a 6-1 win at Lake County Sunday, driving nine hours home and enjoying their first off-day since May 16, the LumberKings are back at home to start a nine-game, 10-day homestand tonight.  They’ll take on the Dayton Dragons and Bowling Green Hot Rods of the East Division and then finish off the stand with a three-game set against Quad Cities.

Yesterday wasn’t an entirely quiet off-day around Alliant Energy Field as Kalian Sams was named the Midwest League’s Offensive Player of the Week.    And, of course, the process of drafting future LumberKings began for the Seattle Mariners.

My interview guest this evening is LumberKings’ manager Eddie Menchaca.  Chaca weighs in on the Sams award, the successful road trip, left-hander James Paxton’s Midwest League All-Star Game selection, the upcoming homestand and more.

Listen Here:  Menchaca Interview 6.7.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  6.7.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:

Dayton Dragons (28-29):  Billy Hamilton/SS, Devin Lohman/2B, Dominic D’Anna/1B, David Vidal/3B, Tucker Barnhart/C, Yorman Rodriguez/RF, Juan Duran/DH, Jefry Sierra/CF, Theo Bowe/LF, Daniel Renken/RHP

LumberKings (19-39):  Jorge Agudelo/2B, Mickey Wiswall/DH, Tim Morris/1B, Kalian Sams/RF, Kevin Rivers/LF, Steven Baron/C, Jabari Blash/CF, Carlos Ramirez/3B, Anthony Phillips/SS, Taijuan Walker/RHP

Join me for the broadcast at 7 PM on 1390kcln.com.

-DL

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