Posted by: paddletales | April 8, 2010

Opening Day 2010!

It has been sunny all morning, but the weatherman is trying to keep us from having too high expectations. We are really itching for some baseball. It’s great to have the Beavers for as long as we can have them., and while we do, it is our intention to enjoy them as much as possible.

Well, tonight, as always, the team will greet us fans at the gates. Each year, to me, it seems they get younger. No doubt it’s because they are! The manager and some of the coaches who were in San Antonio with The Missions last year have all moved up a rung together, and they are probably bringing several players with them. As I understand it, they are only bringing back about 5 players from last year. But that’s OK, because many of our guys are now up in the bigs. Blanks, for instance, was one and done for Portland. I doubt we’ll ever see the big guy here again. Will the Thrill is up there now, for good, and they moved him to 3B. But Peabody is back, LeBlanc is back (why? I don’t know. He should be their #5), and so is Geer.

So, they announced the rotation. It will be LeBlanc, Geer, Carillo, Inman, and Liz.
Carillo went 8-4 for San Antonio last year and was called up for 3 starts at SD and 5 starts for us. His ERA in Texas was 4.24, but it wasn’t so good for the parent club or for us, so we’ll see if he can get comfortable at this level.
Inman was 8-5 for the AA club with a 3.40 ERA, and he came up midseason for 12 starts but only got one win. He’s another young gun (very young at 23 years old) whom the club hopes to mature.
Liz might work out, or maybe not. I haven’t found a lot more about him than what is shown in the link above. He used to be a top prospect for the O’s, but now he’s a Beaver and we’ll see if he can saw off a few batters at the handle this year.

Stats for the returning Beavers pitchers:
Both played half the season for SD and should keep their git bags packed. It’s going to be another up-and-down season for both, I predict.

All new catchers this year. Laser is gone, playing for Tacoma I think, and with Adam Moore taking hard knocks behind the plate like last night in the 9th, we may see Laser Beam try to knock a few out of Safeco. So I’m going to have some things to say about catchers, but here are their names: Eric Munson (was he on a visitting team last year?), Dusty Ryan (good baseball name), and Chris Stewart. Yes, Munson was a Rivercat last year. He’s a veteran of the Tigers system, and a native of San Diego, so we can guess what his hopes are. Ryan is also from the Tigers, but a few years younger.

The infield will look familiar. Kazmar is back, and so is Stansberry. Barfield, who played for us in 2005, is back after 3 years in the Cleveland system. Zawadzki is up from San Antonio, possibly to play 3B? Craig Cooper is also up from San Antonio, and it is hoped that he will continue to hit for high average.

The outfield will look different. We still have Baxter and we got Denorfia from the Cats. Cunningham was also with the Cats. Is there a pattern here? They must have been part of the Kouzmanoff trade. (Turns out Cunningham was, but not the others.) Durango is another Mission player on his way up.

So, we’ll see what the night brings, if it doesn’t rain, and I’ll post my reactions soon.

Posted by: paddletales | August 5, 2009

August 3rd – the Drewd abides

Drew Macias got a nice walk-off base hit to end the game in the bottom of the 11th last night. It was good fun, and televised, too. We got our first look at the new pitchers from the Peavey trade, too, and it looks like things could get interesting once they settle in.

But this post is just to celebrate the Drewtastic, Drewdacious Drewd. San Diego will no doubt call him back soon, but we appreciate having him in the meantime.
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Posted by: paddletales | August 1, 2009

Cup half full – 51s dominated

I looked up in the ninth inning and was amazed that half the crowd was still there. We were down 13. Their center fielder had already tried to take out our catcher. And that was three runs ago. Our right fielder was now pitching and the DH had moved to right, and half the fans were still there. They encouraged the HBP in retaliation for the ignoble sportsmanship.

Well, we got to see a pitcher get a hit in a game with a DH.

Also of note was the Max Tracks shot over the scoreboard by their right fielder, Lane. It was significant enough to merit begrudging applause even from the Beavers fans.

Maybe tomorrow…

Posted by: paddletales | July 30, 2009

Carrillo great through 5, gives up salami

It all seemed so good. Cesar Carrillo was fanning batters, inducing ground outs, Stansberry had some good fielding plays at 2nd, and the Beavers had a 4 – 1 lead. Then the sixth inning happened, and Dopirak hit that grand slam that passed the lead over to the 51s, and the rest is neither history nor mystery. It was just one more reason to say Dam! this year.

Carrillo has had an interesting career, plagued by injuries, Tommy John surgery, and plain bad luck. His ERA in college was awesome, but his pro ball numbers don’t look anything like that. He went 3 – 5 in 14 starts with an ERA of 5.97 for Lake Elsinore last year. He was 8 – 4 in 20 starts with an ERA of 4.24 San Antonio this year before he was called up to Portland. During the first five innings last night, it was hard to understand how such an accurate pitcher with such a good breaking ball could have those numbers.

But baseball is all about hope, so let’s hope his next start is better. As a reminder, Rich Burke said that Carrillo is the likely starter next Sunday for the next televised game.

Posted by: paddletales | July 28, 2009

Are we forgetting Will Venable already?

I was shocked recently at two events in which Will Venable’s balcony shot on July 5th 2008 was ignored. First it was when the elder statesmen of baseball came to heap praises on PGE Park as a baseball venue. All the talk was about Willie Stargell’s balcony shot, and the statement was made that nobody else ever hit the balcony. Then, during the televised pre-game show to the Triple A All-Star game, which we watched the next day (it was that much fun), one of the talking heads repeated the claim, and Rich Burke did not correct him!

It’s just not acceptable to forget history.

On 7/5/08 Will Venable hit the balcony. I was not there. I was told this first by the couple who has the season tickets next to ours last year, and I checked it with E., the notorious statistician who sits at the wall for every game. Furthermore, that was a televised game.

And finally, most convincingly, note this, from the Beavers own website, dated July 5th, 2008:

Will Venable, who has hit safely in 25 of his last 29 games, launched a two-run homer into the balcony of the adjacent Multnomah Athletic Club in the ninth and was 3-for-4 with two doubles, a walk and three runs scored.

(A picture of Will Venable from his college days, where history is not ignored.)

I just want to add one side note. If they start saying a high schooler hit the balcony during the Home Run Derby, don’t believe them. There was a banner hanging off the balcony, and this banner hung below the balcony by several feet. The high school batter, using an aluminum bat, got the ball to touch the bottom of the banner, below the actual balcony. This was sufficient to satisfy the burger joint who was hoping for a balcony shot during the Derby, and the free Slider burger chits were handed to each of us as we left the park. But it was not, technically, a balcony shot. I was there and these eyes may be old, but they are better than most PCL umpires!

Posted by: paddletales | July 16, 2009

Go Chad!

Chad Huffman had a great All-Star break. He went 1-2 in the game, with a base hit and a run scored. And he won the home run derby. Here’s the picture from the official site:

No longer is he Royce’s little brother.

I should break down the year so far in the Royce vs. Chad competition.

Posted by: paddletales | July 11, 2009

パスクチ バレンティーノ (aka Valentino Pascucci)

If you visit Pascucci’s stats page at japanese baseball, here:
you can see how to spell his name in Japanese. His stats in the Pacific League aren’t any cause for enthusiasm.
Year Games AB Runs Hits HR RBIs SB CS BB K
2005 33 102 21 29 8 20 1 1 18 38
2006 69 203 26 45 13 32 0 1 31 77
Totals 102 305 47 74 21 52 1 2 49 115

But look at his PCL/IL numbers, where he is a 5-year veteran, here:
Year Games AB Runs Hits HR RBIs SB CS BB K
2003 138 459 80 129 15 85 3 2 101 132
2004 109 392 83 117 25 92 9 2 78 95
2007 132 447 93 127 34 98 9 1 67 123
2008 114 396 72 115 27 81 4 1 77 109

His batting average is .275 for the minor leagues, .227 in Japanese ball, and during his in his extended roster September 2004 with the Expos he batted .177. He had 2 HR during that one and only visit to the bigs.

We’ve known about Pascucci for years. Those PCL teams were often in town, and he was often in the early part of the lineup. With his colorful name, he was easy to remember. First he arrived as a Trapper. That’s the old Edmonton team that was the triple A affiliate of the Expos. The trappers used him in right field in 2003 and converted him to a corner infielder in 2004. After his stint in Japan, where he also was primarilt an outfielder with an occasional start at first, he returned to visit us as part of the Isotopes team in 2007, where he was almost exclusively the starting first baseman. Last year he was a Zephyr, and that was a year when they visit us (as opposed to this year when we visit them).

So Pascucci should be fairly familiar with our configuration. And it turns out, maybe he is. He’s batting .307 after 13 games with 2 HR, and he even came through in the clutch when it was sorely needed just a few days ago. It’s a good thing for him, too, as he was not doing so well for the Isotopes earlier this year, flirting with the Mendoza line.

Here are some great online pics of Pascucci, called just Val, but we have heard “Scooch” once or twice…

Posted by: paddletales | June 10, 2009

Game 36 OKC completes the sweep

Game 36 was played on May 15th at Bricktown Park in Oklahoma City. The Beavs had the bases loaded with only one out, and down by one run, in the top of the eighth, but Brett Dowdy grounded into the rare 1-2-3 double play. It was the second 1-2-3 DP of the season, and this time it went against us. (I’m not sure when the other happened, but I remember it because it was at PGE and I was in my own seat. Maybe I can dig that up later.)

And so, the Redhawks got their sweep. There is no game recap at the Beavers’ site. Silva pitched, but so far his trip to American baseball is not working out.

Posted by: paddletales | June 10, 2009

Games 35 Josh Banks takes a minor pounding

(time to play catch up)

Game 35 was played on May 14th at Bricktown Park in Oklahoma City, and once again the Beavers lost, but this time all th runners in scoring position, or even those left on base somehow getting t score, would not have helped. They were simply put, shut down. Their pitcher Neftali Feliz only allowed one run in his 5.0 innings and struck out 7. And their third baseman, German, went 4-for-4. Josh Banks took a bit of a pounding, and the Beavs lost 7 to 2.
German, Feliz lead RedHawks past Beavers, 7-2

Posted by: paddletales | May 26, 2009

My sabbatical is over

I have been out-of-town for quite some time. I had hoped to keep up the blog, but in fact I was rarely in range of free WiFi. I did manage to get the scores every few days and it was great to see that the Beavers went on a small winning streak, and that now they are over .500.

The point of this block is simply to record each game and my feelings about them, and to add some descriptions of the parks where they play even though I can’t get to those places. It will take a little time to catch up, but fear not, gentle readers (if there are any). I will be caught up by the end of this week.

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