Detroit Tigers Minor League Baseball Commentary and Analysis
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Matt Hoffman fell to 2-4 on the season with a rough start in the Flying Tigers 2-4 loss to Sarasota. He gave up five runs on seven hits and a walk with two strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.
Christopher Carlson belted a two run home run in the loss. It was his ninth long ball of the season.
Justin Henry had a big day at the plate in another Lakeland win. He finished the game three for four with a double, four RBIs and two runs. Devin Thomas went two for five with a a home run and three RBIs while Christopher White went two for five with a home run and two RBIs.
Mauricio Robles improved to 1-1 with a solid start in the 12-5 win. He gave up four runs on six hits and a walk with ten strikeouts in six innings. In all, the three Flying Tiger pitchers combined for sixteen strikeouts.
Andrew Hess had one of his best starts of the season in Lakeland’s 9-0 blowout win over Sarasota. He gave up just six hits and two walks with four strikeouts in seven shutout innings and the win pushed his record to 3-5. Jared Gayhart made his Lakeland debut and he threw two shutout frames to close out the game.
Audy Ciriaco had a huge day at the plate. He went three for five with a double, a home run and four RBIs. Devin Thomas went two for four with a walk, an RBI and two runs.
The Flying Tigers took care of the Daytona Cubs this afternoon in a 2-1 pitchers duel and three pitchers combined for the exceptional effort. Matt Hoffman gave up a run on three hits with a strikeout in four innings while Robbie Weinhardt improved to 1-1 when he gave up just three hits with three strikeouts in four shutout innings. Brendan Wise threw a shutout ninth and he picked up his first save of the season.
Joshua Workman went two for three with a double and an RBI. Audy Ciriaco doubled and scored a run.
The Flying Tigers got two games in today, unfortunately they lost them both. Game one was an ugly 10-2 blowout. Mauricio Robles had a really tough time and he fell to 0-1. He gave up five runs on nine hits and two walks with two strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings. Christopher White was the hitting star and he went three for four with a run.
Game two was closer but a loss is a loss. Scott Green gave up two seventh inning runs that proved to be the difference in the 5-4 win. He gave up two runs on four hits in the single frame. Jordan Newton went three for four with two doubles and he drove in two runs.
Lauren Gagnier improved to 5-4 on the season with a nice start in Lakeland’s 7-2 win over Charlotte. He gave up two runs on six hits and two walks with three strikeouts in six innings.
Michael Bertram went three for five with a double, a triple, a run and an RBI. Justin Henry went two for three with a double, two walks, a run and an RBI.
Thad Weber was about as good as you could ask. He gave up just one run on five hits with no walks and six strikeouts in seven innings. Unfortunately, Lakeland’s offense didn’t put a single run on the board and he fell to 4-4 for his efforts
The Flying Tigers picked up just five hits in the 1-0 loss. Chris Carlson went two for four with a double while Santo De Leon went two for two with a walk.
The Flying Tiger had a tough time at the plate as they were held to just a run on five hits in a 5-1 loss to Charlotte. Jeramy Laster had two of those of hits and one of them was a solo shot for the lone Lakeland run.
Andrew Hess fell to 2-5 on the season. He gave up five runs (three earned) on eight hits and two walks with three strikeouts in six innings.
Lakeland lost to Sarasota 11-7 and it was Matt Hoffman who took the brunt of the Reds offensive attack. He fell to 2-3 and he gave up eight runs on five hits and three walks in 1 1/3 innings.
Michael Bertram had a nice day at the plate. He went two for five with a home run and four RBIs. Jordan Newton went one for four with a double, three RBIs and a run.
The first year player draft just concluded two days ago and some interesting events transpired during that time. For a few weeks now my family and I have been anticipating the draft of my brother Kevan into professional baseball as a pitcher out of Western Michigan. It was unexpected as to what was going to happen on the account of he was a catcher his whole career until this year. However, he’s no ordinary two way player. He developed some valuable experience throughout the season and went to several pre-draft workouts to show his stuff, which I have to say, isn’t too shabby for not pitching for very long. So as I was sitting in the hotel in Ft. Myers along with several other teammates listening to the draft online (there were 3 other brothers taken from our team alone: Justin Henry, Chris Carlson and LJ Gagnier) I was waiting for the teams I knew were interested in Kevan to announce their picks. Then in the fourteenth round, as I was brushing my teeth I heard “Yada yada yada…Detroit…Hess, Western Michigan.” And then I poked my head out still foaming with a full mouth of toothpaste, and yelled, was that my brother? Too my excitement, it was. Reunited once again on the same team since I played sixth grade basketball and Kev got play as a third grader, on account of our dad being the coach. I had been thinking for a little while what it would be like if he actually got drafted by Detroit, and it seemed so surreal that I had no idea what to think. I mean, how many people actually get the chance to do what we do, and then how many get to experience that with their brother? Imagine that stat line should it ever happen: W: A. Hess, SV: K. Hess (He’s a relief pitcher, so it fits the story for now). This is the kind of thing that families can only dream about, and we have found a way to make it happen. I know that my parents are ecstatic not only because of the circumstances but also so they don’t have to buy any other team gear (I don’t know this for a fact but if this happened to my kids I’d be pumped about that fact). The only downside is that when he reports to Lakeland I am going to be on the road in Port Charlotte, and by the time I return, he will most likely ship off to Oneonta, NY, the short season team. Our housemates got excited for a little bit at the thought of adding another roommate to lower the rent to somewhere around seventy dollars a month, but unfortunately it looks like that won’t happen. Oh well, there’s always spring training. For now I am going to enjoy watching, and helping him adjust to the pro game, not only as his co-worker, but as family.
(A little Toby Keith reference for all you country fans out there)
Call it a miracle, call it a fluke, call it hard work paid off, but however you wish to call it, I know that I am going to the Florida State League All Star Game. All joking aside, this is the first All Star team I have made since I was 12. Or for those of you keeping track at home; the first one since my dad coached me, so none of my critics out there have that against me this time around. To be honest, I am extremely excited to be a representative in the game and am looking forward to a great experience. I am not alone though, Thad Weber, a fellow right handed pitcher will be going as well and I should mention that he was the first member of our team selected to go. The All Star game has always been viewed in two different lights, especially at the major league level. There are those who take pride in being voted in and there are those who find it a hassle and would rather have the days off. Never have I thought about what it would feel like to actually be there, mainly because I always had the days off. I don’t think many guys take the field each day thinking “gosh, I hope I put together an All Star worthy performance today.” Well at least I don’t. The only thing that you can do is to go out and do what it is you are capable of and let the rest fall as it may. I was talking to my dad a while back and he mentioned something that I never really thought if but has been a staple in my life ever since I was little. I have managed to find myself in situations where I was never really the frontrunner, the top recruit, or a prospect, but the one thing I have been able to do (which I have never really tried to do, it just happened out of me doing what I know how to do) was make the most of my opportunities. As an athlete, there is something that stirs up whenever you are pushed, or your back is against the wall. Whenever the odds aren’t in your favor, that is when real competitors show up. Now I am not saying that when I pitch I am like a vicious animal because anyone who has seen me play knows I am the polar opposite of that. But something, and I cannot explain what, fuels me to get over the hump. I am looking forward to showing my stuff out there with the best of the best and also to come back after the break and keep up what got me there in the first place.
The Flying Tigers lost to the Cardinals 2-1 and it was a tepid day at the plate for Lakeland. Jeramy Laster doubled and he scored the lone run while Michael Bertram went two for four.
A solid start by Lauren Gagnier went to waste. He gave up two runs on eight hits and two walks with ten strikeouts in six innings. Brett Jacobson struck two in two shutout innings of relief.
I’ve had some good questions regarding the differences in playing in the north and the south and how our home base of Lakeland (particularly Joker Marchant Stadium) stacks up against other places I’ve played. Well to start I have thoroughly enjoyed the first part of our season thus far in Florida, mainly because of the weather. Let me rephrase that; I enjoyed the first month, because we played maybe six games last month due to rain. It is much easier to start the season in perfect eighty degree weather as opposed to last year where the first game of the season was snowed out. Growing up in Michigan, I would like to say that I am used to playing in the cold, but I would be lying if I did. I don’t think anyone gets used to playing baseball in that kind of weather. Between the difficulty in trying to get loose and for hitters trying to hit the ball without shattering their hands is no easy task. Some may think that it would be better to pitch in the north because maybe the ball doesn’t carry as well, but at our level, if a good hitter gets it, you could be in the arctic and it wouldn’t matter. However, the downside is that in about a week or so, the florida heat is going to come in with full force. After 24 years of Michigan winters, I think I would rather tolerate a florida summer.
And with the summer upon us, I would have to say that there isn’t a much better place to be than Joker Marchant Stadium to call home. Sure some of the coastal cities may be a little better to be in off the field but honestly we don’t have all that much free time to get the most out of being on a coast. We can make our own fun anyway. Tigertown really does have one of the better set ups in the Florida State League. I could sit back and complain about petty little things that could be improved, but when we go to other places, I really do realize how good it is to be home.
The only bad part about Lakeland right now is the rain. I have never seen this much rain in my whole life, it is a phenomenon I am never going to understand. Oh, and by the way, yesterday was day one of hurricane season, I can’t even imagine what that’s going to be like. Well maybe it will be an upgrade because instead of raining for weeks at a time, it will only be a couple days. My mom wonders if there are plans to dome the field anytime soon. Sorry I don’t that sounds like a worthwhile investment in Mr. Ilitch’s eyes at this moment in time. I will say though, if he is willing to sign me to a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal, I might consider funding that project. Outside of that, I think we can deal with the rain until our field begins to float.
Charles Furbush didn’t get the decision in this one, but he was impressive none the less. He gave up just one run on two hits and two walks with two strikeouts in six innings. Lester Oliveros picked up the win and he struck out four in two shutout frames while Robbie Weinhardt threw a shutout ninth for his first save of the season.
Santo De Leon went two for four with a double and a run in the 4-1 win. Justin Henry drew two walks and he scored a run.
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