Results tagged ‘ Jonathan Arias ’

Tonight’s Interview: John Hicks (Vol. 2)

Three, it’s the magic number.  Literally.

And yet it was almost still four as the LumberKings watched a 4-1 lead suddenly turn into a 4-4 tie heading into the 10th last night in Cedar Rapids.  A pair of two-out hits from Julio Morban and another from Kevin Rivers helped the Kings establish the early lead behind right-hander Carter Capps, who gave up just one run over 5.0 innings and struck out seven.  Right-handers John Taylor and Ben Versnik combined on 3.0 scoreless innings, but right-hander Jonathan Arias allowed a two-run single to Brian Hernandez in the ninth and issued a wild pitch on what was supposed to be the final strike of the game on Jean Almanzar.

Instead of Almanzar going down swinging and Arias locking down his 10th save, the ball kicked to the left of catcher John Hicks for a wild pitch, scoring Ricky Alvarez to tie the game.  Arias recovered to strand runners at second and third, and in the 10th, Hicks lifted a sacrifice fly scoring Morban to put the Kings back ahead (listen:  Hicks GW sac fly 8.26.11).  Right-hander Jessie Nava then worked the Kernels 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 10th to secure Clinton’s sixth-straight win (listen: Nava Strikes out Cruz for 3rd Save 8.26.11).

Hicks saw a string of three-straight three-hit games come to an end as he went a mere 1-f0r-4 last night, but he still extended his hitting streak to eight games and notched the game-winning RBI in the latest “must-win game” for the LumberKings.  Now, he joins me for the pregame interview for the second time this season.  We talk about the wild pitch that scored the tying run in the ninth, his game-winning sacrifice fly in the 10th, his recent offensive hot-streak (which he credits to work with hitting coordinator Jose Castro and Terry Pollreisz), catching Capps last night and more.

Listen Here:  Hicks Interview 8.27.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.27.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:  8.27.11 lineup

It’s an action-packed opening night of the final homestand of the year as the LumberKings take on the Beloit Snappers.  Once the nearest challenger to the Kings for the Wild Card spot, the Snappers are now fighting to catch up to Kane County as they trail the Cougars by 6.0 games for the West’s final playoff spot.  Clinton can secure their trip to the postseason with two wins against the Snappers in this four-game set. 

Left-hander Tony Butler (2-3, 3.16), 1-0 with a 0.57 ERA against the Snappers back in 2007, gets the game-one nod tonight.  He’ll take on Beloit left-hander Ryan O’Rourke (5-3, 3.05).  First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.  And, if you’re coming to the game, we’ve got post-game fireworks sponsored by WQAD-TV and post-game karaoke by Fat Dawgs Productions.  Should be a good time on this final regular-season Saturday.

-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

Friday Notes (8/19)

After a difficult loss on Wednesday, the LumberKings rebounded for a 7-5 win over the Quad Cities River Bandits last night at Alliant Energy Field.  Kevin Rivers erased a 4-3 fifth-inning deficit with his 10th home run of the year, a three-run shot to right-center off Bandits’ right-hander Zach Russell (listen:  Rivers 3-R HR (#10) 8.18.11).  Right-hander Stephen Kohlscheen wasn’t untouchable, but exited with a 6-4 lead and the bullpen combination of Ben Versnik, Ryan Kiel and Jonathan Arias managed to hold a slim lead.  Kiel left with two on in the ninth and Arias walked two to force in a run, but stranded the bases loaded to end the game as he struck out Nick Longmire, induced Oscar Taveras into a pop-up and fanned Jonathan Rodriguez (listen:  Arias Strikes Out Rodriguez for 7th Save 8.19.11).

The Wild Card lead is back to 4.0 games as Beloit lost 2-0 at Kane County last night.  The Kings’ offense received an added boost today as Mariners’ second-round pick, shortstop Brad Miller (pictured) was added to the roster.  Miller (wearing #9) took a brief BP today, but likely won’t be in action tonight after flying in from his Seattle meet-and-greet.  We’ll probably see his pro debut in the next few days.

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.19.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineup:  8.19.11 lineup

Ace lefty Anthony Fernandez (5-3, 2.84) gets the rubber match call tonight, and he’ll look to continue a hot trend.  He’s 4-1 with a 1.96 ERA and nine quality starts in his last 11 outings.  Fernandez faces off against the ace of the Bandits, right-hander Boone Whiting (3-1, 2.02).  First pitch is at 6:30 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: Anthony Phillips (Vol. 2)

The LumberKings secured their first series split of the season last night in Wisconsin, scoring six runs over the first four innings and getting another impressive outing from right-hander Taijuan Walker in a 6-1 win over the Timber Rattlers.  John Hicks connected on his first-career home run in the second inning (listen: Hicks 2-R HR (First of Career) 8.5.11), Stefen Romero added his 14th blast in the fourth and Anthony Phillips provided a spark with a 3-for-4, tw0-run, three-steal game including a heist of home plate (listen:  Phillips Steals Home (3rd Steal of Inning) 8.5.11).  Walker allowed a run over 5.0 innings and struck out six for his fifth win, ending his night with an athletic play off the mound on an attempted squeeze bunt by T.J. Mittelstaedt (listen:  Walker Defends Squeeze Bunt 8.5.11).  Right-handers John Taylor and Jonathan Arias combined on eight strikeouts over the final 4.0 innings with Arias picking up his fifth save.

Tonight, I catch up with Phillips for the second time to talk about his career-high-tying three hits, three-steal second inning including the daring sprint to the dish, his defense behind Walker and more.

Listen Here:  Phillips Interview 8.6.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.6.11 kingsnotes

The eight-game road trip continues with the second leg beginning tonight as your LumberKings take on the Burlington Bees at Community Field.  Left-hander Tony Butler (1-1, 2.41), pushed back from the Wisconsin series, starts tonight.  Last time Butler pitched here on August 26, 2007, he shut down then-Kansas City-affiliated Burlington to four hits in his first (and only) career complete-game shutout.  Butler is 1-1 with a 2.93 ERA in three outings against Oakland affiliates.  The Bees throw right-hander Jonathan Joseph (2-4, 6.52) tonight, he’s a career 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in one start against Clinton.

Listen to the broadcast on 1390kcln.com beginning with the pregame show at 6:15 PM, first pitch at 6:30.

-DL

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

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.

Tonight’s Interview: Tony Butler

Happy Independence Day!  The LumberKings freed themselves from a 2-2 tie in the top of the 10th last night in Peoria as Mike McGee ripped a one-out double into the left-field corner, moved to third on a single by Carlos Ramirez and scored on a sacrifice fly by Mickey Wiswall.  Right-hander Jonathan Arias struck out six over the last 3.0 innings including two in the bottom of the 10th, securing his third win and giving the Kings a hard-fought 3-2 victory over the Chiefs.

The “Cardiac Kings” have won five of their six games this second half in the last at-bat, with Wiswall now providing the game-winning RBI in the last two of them.  Wiswall also drove in Kevin Rivers for the deciding run in Clinton’s 5-3 win at Quad Cities on Friday night.

In addition to the big nights for McGee (2-for-5, five-game hitting streak), Wiswall (1-for-4, 7-game hitting streak) and Arias (3-0, 2.16 ERA since May), the LumberKings also received a solid start from a familiar name to Mariners’ fans.  Left-hander Tony Butler, making his first Midwest League start since August 31, 2007, turned in 5.1 innings of two-run, four-hit baseball in a no-decision.  Despite walking five, Butler fanned three (listen:  Butler Strikes Out Rohan 7.3.11) and did not allow an extra-base hit.

Seattle’s third-round pick in 2006 out of Oak Creek High School (WI), Butler has taken quite a journey already through six seasons in Minor League Baseball.  As you’ve likely already read, he went from a top prospect in the Mariners’ system (#4 rated by Baseball America back in 2007) to injury-plagued in Baltimore following the Erik Bedard trade, then was released by the O’s, signed by Milwaukee and released again.  This past Super Bowl Sunday, Butler made the decision to stick with his dream of playing professional baseball, moved to Arizona, worked out to get back into baseball shape and secured a tryout with the Mariners.  Now at age 23, he’s using the lessons learned from the ups and downs to make his way back.

Butler talks about his return to the organization that drafted him, last night’s start against the Chiefs, pitching in short-A Everett for the first time since ’06, comparisons to right-hander Tom Wilhelmsen’s 2010 comeback  and plenty more.  It’s an all-OCHS interview that will likely make my old TV teacher Mr. Stock smile.

Listen Here:  Butler Interview 7.4.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  7.4.11 kingsnotes

An excerpt from tonight’s notes to keep in mind on this Independence Day:

The LumberKings are 4-0 on July 4th dating back to 2007, including 3-0 on the road.  Clinton erased a 3-1 deficit with a four-run ninth inning last year at O’Brien Field in Peoria as Mario Martinez laced a bases-loaded two-run double off Chiefs’ reliever Frank Batista and Brandon Bantz (sac fly) and Daniel Carroll (RBI single) added runs against Yohan Gonzalez…right-hander Daniel Cooper (W, 3-2) got the win and closer Brandon Josselyn (S, 10) the save.  In 2009, the Kings hosted Kane County at Alliant Energy Field and won 5-0 behind 6.0 scoreless, three-hit innings from right-hander Aaron Pribanic (W, 7-4)…Blake Ochoa had a three-run double, finishing 1-for-4.  Clinton won in 2008 at Beloit behind 7.0 scoreless, three-hit innings from right-hander Blake Beavan (W, 5-5) and RBI from Mitch Moreland (2-for-3, RBI #49) and Miguel Alfonzo (solo HR, his third of the season).  The 2007 season started the trend as right-hander Kasey Kiker (W, 3-2) handcuffed the Swing of the Quad Cities with 6.0 scoreless, three-hit innings and seven strikeouts.  Craig Gentry powered the road win, going 2-for-4 with a solo HR (his third of the season).  Chad Tracy, Marcus Lemon and Mauro Gomez each had an RBI.

Can right-hander Jandy Sena (4-4, 4.75) bounce back from his 10-run (6 ER) outing against Beloit and secure a fifth-straight July 4th victory for the Kings?  We’ll find out tonight starting with the first pitch at 6:00 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

Tuesday Notes (4/26)

Hidden deep within last night’s 14-3 loss to Peoria were a few bright spots.  Shortstop Marcus Littlewood hit his first professional home run in the second inning, taking Chicago Cubs’ first-round pick Hayden Simpson deep to the Lumber Lounge in right for a solo shot.  Right-hander Willy Kesler lowered his ERA to 1.38 with 4.0 scoreless innings of relief including two strikeouts.  Matt Cerione went 3-for-4 with his first RBI of the season and is now 5-for-8 over his last two games.   Tim Morris recorded his third multi-hit game in the last four games, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Listen to the not-so-little blast: Littlewood solo HR (first of career) 4.25.11

Aside from that, last night was tough to watch.  The Chiefs batted around and then some on right-handers George Mieses and Jonathan Arias during an eight-run second inning, the second eight-run frame Clinton pitchers have allowed in the last three games.  The offense went just 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and have scored Mieses just three runs of support in four starts.

But, there’s more new blood on the roster today with the addition of outfielder Jabari Blash.  He and fellow new arrival Shaver Hansen are both in the lineup tonight for the middle game of this three-game set against Peoria.  Right-hander Brandon Maurer (1-1, 3.00) has lost his “tandem” tag and is now a full-time starter…he lost his last time out against Cedar Rapids on 4/20 despite giving up just three runs over 5.0 innings.  Maurer will be on the hill tonight for start #3.

Read more in tonight’s Game Notes:  4.26.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:

Peoria (9-8):  Matt Szczur/CF, Rubi Silva/RF, Greg Rohan/3B, Richard Jones/1B, Micah Gibbs/C, Elliot Soto/2B, DJ Fitzgerald/LF, Anthony Giansanti/DH, Arismendy Alcantara/SS, Austin Kirk/LHP

LumberKings (5-13):  Matt Cerione/CF, Shaver Hansen/2B, Julio Morban/LF, Mickey Wiswall/DH, Ramon Morla/3B, Tim Morris/1B, Jabari Blash/RF, Marcus Littlewood/SS, Steven Baron/C, Brandon Maurer/RHP

First pitch is once again at 6:30 PM, tune in online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

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