Results tagged ‘ Tony Butler ’

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

Off the Diamond: Tyler Hildreth

For one final time in this 2011 season, I’m venturing away from the game between the lines for an “Off the Diamond” interview segment.  My guest tonight is Tyler Hildreth, LumberKings’ clubhouse manager since 2007.

Tyler will be leaving the LumberKings after five seasons for a new position within the University of Iowa’s athletic department.  He’ll be in an equipment manager role for several of the Hawkeyes sports teams, including Men’s and Women’s Basketball and Volleyball.  It’s a dream come true for Hildreth, a die-hard fan of Iowa sports.

Tyler looks back at five years with the LumberKings, talks about heading to Iowa and shares some advice for the next clubhouse manager on today’s interview.

Listen Here:  Tyler Hildreth OTD Interview 9.2.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  9.2.11 kingsnotes

The LumberKings wrap up a three-game road series in the Quad Cities tonight, looking to snap a three-game losing streak.  Left-hander Tony Butler (3-3, 3.16) gets the start for Clinton, while the River Bandits counter with left-hander Anthony Ferrara (12-7, 3.11).  First pitch from Modern Woodmen Park is scheduled for 7:00 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Today’s Interview: John Taylor

The win streak is seven and the magic number is one after the LumberKings’ 6-2 win over the Beloit Snappers last night.  Mike McGee had a huge performance in the three hole, going 3-for-4 with a game-winning solo home run in the fifth inning off left-hander Ryan O’Rourke (listenMcGee Solo HR (#4) 8.27.11).  John Hicks extended his hitting streak to nine-straight games with a 2-for-4 game including a two-run triple off lefty Nelvin Fuentes that broke the game open (listen: Hicks 2-R triple 8.27.11).  Left-hander Tony Butler allowed two runs over 5.2 innings and pulled off a nifty double play to help his cause (listen:  Butler Double Play 8.27.11).  Left-hander Ryan Kiel tossed 2.1 scoreless innings and right-hander Tyler Burgoon worked a scoreless non-save ninth to give Butler his third win of the year.  O’Rourke fell to 5-4 with the loss.

The math today is simple, beat Beloit and a playoff spot is secured.  The Kings also have a 3.0 game lead on Kane County for the top playoff spot in the West and are tied with Quad Cities for first place in the division, just their second day with a share of first all season (the other being June 24, the second day of this half).

Read more in today’s Game Notes:  8.28.11 kingsnotes

Today’s Lineups:  8.28.11 lineup

Usually I don’t do an interview on Sundays, but I caught up with Kings’ right-hander John Taylor (pictured) yesterday.  Taylor, Seattle’s 22nd round pick out of the University of South Carolina in 2011, worked his third hold in the finale of the series at Cedar Rapids.  He talks about his unique submarine-style delivery and when he picked it up, the pitches he throws from the drop-down angle, his experience with the two-time College World Series Champion USC Gamecocks, the playoff push with Clinton and more.

Listen Here:  Taylor Interview 8.27.11

Taylor and the LumberKings go for the playoff berth today, first pitch at 2:00 PM.  Right-hander Stephen Kohlscheen, 4-0 with a 1.86 ERA in five starts, gets the call for Clinton today.  Beloit has right-hander Manuel Soliman (7-10, 4.08 ERA) slated to start.  Listen to the broadcast online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

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

Tuesday Notes (8/23)

The LumberKings stand a game out of first place after defeating Kane County in a rout, 12-1 last night.  Showing no hesitance against Midwest League ERA leader Greg Billo, the Kings scored six runs in the first inning to take quick command of the game.  John Hicks enjoyed a career-best 3-for-4 game including two doubles and four RBI (listen: Hicks 2-R double 8.22.11 ) and Stefen Romero went 3-for-4 with his 21st double and two RBI to lead the way (listen:  Romero RBI double (#21) 8.22.11).  Brad Miller, playing in just his third game as a pro, chipped in with a 3-for-3 game including his first-career extra-base hit (listen: Miller Double (First Extra-Base Hit) 8.22.11) and first-career RBI (listen:  Miller Sac Fly (First RBI) 8.22.11).

Left-hander Tony Butler won for the first time since July 8 as he allowed a run on four hits over 6.1 innings and struck out eight.  Right-hander Ben Versnik lowered his ERA from 10.80 down to 6.00 with 2.2 scoreless innings of relief.

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.23.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:  8.23.11 lineup

The Kings close the four-game series with the Cougars tonight with right-hander Stephen Kohlscheen on the mound (3-3, 5.14)…he’s 3-0, 1.96 over his four starts with Clinton.  Kane County counters with right-hander Yordano Ventura (3-4, 4.54).  First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM, listen online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Carter Capps

After dropping the opener 7-1 to Kane County on Saturday night, the LumberKings completely flipped the script on the Cougars yesterday, winning 7-1.  Carlos Ramirez ensured the Kings would not trail from the game’s first at-bat onward as he slugged a leadoff home run (listen: Ramirez Leadoff HR (#5) 8.21.11), Clinton’s second of the series.  Kevin Rivers added a two-out RBI single to center in the second to open a 3-0 lead (listen:  Rivers RBI single 8.21.11), and after right-hander Carter Capps allowed his only run of the day in the third, Kalian Sams homered for his team-lead-tying 16th time and Stefen Romero doubled home a pair (listen:  Romero 2-R double (#20) 8.21.11) to break open a six-run advantage.  Right-handers John Taylor and Tyler Burgoon combined for 4.0 scoreless innings to help Capps secure his first professional victory.

Capps, Seattle’s supplemental third-round pick, has seemingly always been ahead of the curve.  After starting out his college career as a catcher, Capps made a conversion to the mound as a red-shirt freshman at Mount Olive College (NC), learned a slider and went 10-0 in his first season.  This past year, he went 14-1 with a 1.75 ERA for the #2 ranked Trojans, taking home the NCAA Division II Pitcher of the Year award while leading his team to the National Semifinals.  While waiting to sign with the Mariners, he prepared for the pros with a 4-1, 0.60 stint for Harwich of the Cape Cod League.  Now, just two games into his pro career, he’s 1-0 with a 3.72 ERA for the playoff-hungry LumberKings.

Capps talks about his first professional win, the catcher-to-pitcher conversion, early work with pitching coach Rich Dorman, stepping in to Taijuan Walker’s rotation spot, his fantastic 2011 season at Mount Olive College, pitching in the Cape and more on tonight’s interview.

Listen Here:  Capps Interview 8.22.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.22.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineups:  8.22.11 lineup

The four-game series with the Cougars continues with the pivotal game three tonight.  Left-hander Tony Butler (1-3, 3.38) faces Kane County for the first time since May 24, 2007 when they were still an Oakland affiliate.  He’s countered by Midwest League ERA leader, Cougars’ right-hander Greg Billo (9-3, 1.56).  First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 PM, listen to the game online at 1390kcln.com.

-DL

Tonight’s Interview: Mickey Wiswall (Vol. 2)

Prior to yesterday’s off-day, the LumberKings completed a three-game sweep of the Peoria Chiefs at O’Brien Field, posting a three-run eighth and winning 9-5.  Mickey Wiswall led the way with a 2-for-4 game including a two-run homer (listen:  Wiswall 2-R HR (#10) 8.15.11) and game-winning RBI double (listen:  Wiswall go-ahead RBI double, 50th RBI 8.15.11), driving in three.  Carlos Ramirez fell a triple shy of the cycle in a 3-for-5 game that included his second home run as well.  Right-hander Carter Capps worked four scoreless innings to start his pro debut but then was touched for three runs over his final 0.2 innings in a no-decision.  Right-hander Jessie Nava twice gave up tying runs, but also left the bases loaded with a huge strikeout of Arismendy Alcantara (listen: Nava Leaves them Loaded 8.15.11 ).  Nava improved to 2-4 with the win in relief and lefty Ryan Kiel locked down his first save with two scoreless innings.

Wiswall joins me for the first time since early June for tonight’s pregame interview.  We talk about his game-winning performance on Monday, his growth as both a hitter and a first-baseman in his first full year in the Mariners’ system, the offense beginning to turn a corner, being part of playoff runs both last year and this year, his goals for the remainder of the season and more.

Listen Here:  Wiswall Interview 8.17.11

Tonight’s Game Notes:  8.17.11 kingsnotes

Starting Lineup:  8.17.11 lineup

With the regular-season’s final off-day behind us, the LumberKings begin a challenging seven-game homestand against Quad Cities and Kane County, the top two teams in the West Division.  The Kings trail Kane County by 3.0 games for the top playoff spot, yet still lead Beloit by 4.0 games for the Wild Card.  Left-hander Tony Butler (1-3, 3.43) faces Quad Cities for the first time since June 5, 2007 when they were still known as the Swing.  Meanwhile, the offense will attempt to stay hot against River Bandits’ right-hander Trevor Rosenthal (6-7, 3.61).  Game time is 6:30 PM, listen online at 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.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.