Detroit Tigers Minor League Baseball Commentary and Analysis
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In order to be a baseball player there are two things one must come to terms with in order to stay sane and keep performing at a high level. One is, that there will be a lot of games played and you will travel a lot. The pressure never really goes away and you must keep having fun. The other thing that is absolutely essential to survive in the realm of pro-ball is that you must be able to embrace really, really bad tan lines. For me I like to embrace this as sort of a badge of honor, and wear it proudly. For others the thought having to walk around two toned is about a shameful as a “bad night out.” Thus, the introduction of the tanning bed comes into play. I’ve never been one for this phenomenon but whatever helps a player deal with his scars is up to them. Now let me explain just what exactly it is that I have to deal with on a daily basis; On my head, I have a darker face, and a bright white forehead. I also have a tan line on my arms three quarters of the way down my arm because of the undershirt I wear and then the best of all when I take off any white undershirt, it still looks like I am wearing it. Now my situation is not as bad as some of the hitters however. Some of our guys have to deal with wrist tape lines and my personal favorite, the eye black circles. If you have no problem with really bad tan lines, and are lucky enough to do something which reinforces them everyday, my hat is off to you and just maybe there is a little bit of ballplayer in you too.
The White Caps managed just five hits in a 6-1 loss to South Bend today. The lone run came on a solo shot by Casper Wells. Roger Tomas was the only hitter to reach base twice with a pair of singles.
Jonathan Kibler fell to 5-2 on the season. He gave up four runs on six hits with eight strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings.
Lauren Gagnier fell to 1-5 on the season in the White Caps 7-3 loss to South Bend. He gave up four runs (two earned) on three hits and four walks with five strikeouts in six innings.
Casper Wells doubled and belted a solo homer. Ron Bourquin singled, drew a walk and scored a run.
The majority of family and friends who follow my stat line always ask about the column labeled BK. This is the statistical sign for a balk and yes I have two this year, in the same game no less. That is neither here nor there however I get mad at myself for doing it in the first place whenever I have to explain what exactly a balk is. For those who may wonder what a balk is, it’s very hard to explain without acting it or using a diagram so just Google “balk rule” and that should save me some headache. The more I sit and talk about it, the more ridiculous the whole concept of the rule sounds. I realize that rules are rules and it’s a part of what keeps baseball such a great game, but there are certain rules which umpires in particular like to take to the limit. Our team this year has already balked more times than the last two seasons combined. Balking happens, it’s one of those little mistakes that happen over the course of a long season. This amount of balks however, lends me to question whether or not there was a rule change or if umpires are looking extra hard for one of the smallest details in pitching; coming to a stop. This also triggers bad blood between pitchers and umpires, but the umpires will always win because at the end of the day whether we like it or not they can control how we do. Baseball is a game of details and inches, and every little bit and piece is equally important no matter how hard it is to admit. None the less I will have to make my adjustment and my new pre pitch thought is, aaaaand, stop.
Emmanuel Miguelez had a tough time and he fell to 1-3 in the White Caps 8-3 loss to South Bend. He gave up five runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks with three strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.
Christopher Carlson had a pair of hits, one of which was a solo shot. Ron Bourquin drew a pair of walks and he drove in a run.
There are certain skills a ballplayer acquires while on the job. These include, but are not limited to; being able to name any scene from any movie ever made or any song played over a loud speaker before a game. We can also carry on a conversation using only quotes from television shows or movies. Some players can heave little airplanes made from gum wrappers over twenty yards. And last, we have the special breed, the category that I fall into. This is the person who has spent so much time watching TV in hotels, watching movies and listening to music on a bus that we can impersonate just about anything, karaoke included. I have a theory for why this is so and it is that we, as players, have two things to focus on; playing baseball and the things we do while not playing baseball. Then all this seemingly useless knowledge gets stored into the non-baseball area of our brains and comes out during bus rides and down time. Yes some are more gifted than others, for instance, my Harry Carry can usually get a rouse out of anyone. However none of this is really all that useful beyond popularity points, unless that is, somehow by a stroke of luck you are selected to be on a game show about useless knowledge.
The White Caps couldn’t push a single runner across the plate as they were held to five hits in a 5-0 loss to Dayton. Joseph Bowen was the only White Cap to reach base twice with a single and a walk.
Alfredo Firgaro lost just his second decision of the season. He gave up four runs (three earned) on nine hits with four strikeouts.
One of my other passions outside of baseball is golf. I like to consider myself an avid golfer when the opportunities arise, and for the most part baseball and golf end up going hand in hand. There is plenty of down time around the game we play, so to stay busy most of us like to grab the sticks and hit the links. Through my endeavors with golf I have learned that there are plenty of lessons which can be carried over into baseball. Here are a few I have come up with:
-Get out of trouble as fast as you get into it (this rule applies on and off the field).
-Use the catcher like a caddy, he knows the lineup pretty well so when he tells you what to do, you grab the pitch and throw it.
-If you are serious about playing, stay away from the beer cart at all costs.
-Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.
-Have a “go to” pitch/ shot (like Tin Cup’s 7 iron, or Rick Vaughn’s “eliminator”).
-The perfect game/ round usually never happens so don’t try to go for it, let it happen.
-Play your game, either go for it or know when to lay up.
-Warm-ups usually don’t indicate how you’ll do.
-Lost balls are never a good thing, they usually indicate you will be going home soon.
Roger Tomas singled home Casper Wells in the bottom of the ninth as the White Caps topped the Dragons 3-2. Tomas finished the game three for three while Christopher Carlson belted a solo homer.
Lauren Gagnier had a solid start in the win. He gave up two unearned runs on six hits and three walks with seven strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. Mauricio Robles threw 2 2/3 perfect innings and he picked up the win.
Roger Tomas singled home Kyle Peter in the top of the ninth inning and that turned out to be the game winner in the White Caps 5-4 win over South Bend. Ron Bourquin had a nice day at the plate and he doubled, drew two walks and drove in a run while Tomas finished with two runs and two RBIs.
Wilton Garcia picked up the win and he improved to 2-1 despite the tying run scoring on him. Noah Krol pitched a perfect ninth and he picked up his fifth save of the season.
Alfredo Figaro continued his impressive season and he improved to 6-1 with another really nice start in the White Caps 4-1 win over South Bend. He gave up just two hits with five walks and five strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings.
Roger Tomas went two for four with an RBI. Audy Ciriaco singled twice and scored a run.
For those of you readers wondering what occurs during a teams’ warm-up session/batting practice I am going to give you an inside look at we players do to prepare for a game. In the morning to mentally prepare before even going to the park I will get plenty of sleep, usually 10-12 hours worth, but the last two are just laying in bed trying my hardest to fall back asleep and thus justifying that it will help me be more awake for the game that night. Then to get in the sporting mood, watch Sportscenter until I can almost repeat every witty little side comment the anchors say. Once I have completed my mental preparation, I then make sure I get proper nutrition to perform at a high level. Refer to my previous post on eating on the road to learn more about this topic. After a brief bus ride and a slight feeling of disappointment because I forgot to charge my iPod and have nothing to keep me occupied for the three-minute ride to the park. So I get ready, put on my uniform, and then play 30 minutes of card games. After complaining about our stretching routine, which by the way happens every day, my fellow pitchers and I get our arms loose for batting practice to see who can do the most amazing thing involving throwing the ball into the bucket. Also included in our warm up cantor is some form of bargaining with the coaches to let us take batting practice. But, the most amazing thing usually comes from the pitchers who hit ground balls to the infielders. These are players (myself included) who still think that by some twist of fate one of the coaches will see us and say, “Man he swings a good fungo, maybe he should try to hit.” Then once the session is over you hope one of the fielders will compliment you on your mediocre, ground ball hitting skills so that you feel a small sense of minor accomplishment during BP. After all is said and done I head back into the clubhouse, have an overpriced burger from the concession stand and put on my game face.
The White Caps dismanted South Bend 10-4 last night with a lot of solid individual performances. Ron Bourquin doubled, drove in three and scored a run while Cory Middleton went two for four with a double, three RBIs and a run.
Lost in all the offense was a fantastic start by Paul Nardozzi. The righthander gave up just two hits with two strikeouts in five shutout innings.
The White Caps managed just four singles as they were shut down in a 4-1 loss to South Bend. Christopher Carlson was the the only White Cap to reach base twice with a single and a walk.
Brandon Hamilton took the loss and he fell to 0-1. He gave up three runs on five hits and three walks without strikeout in four innings. Andrew Hess had his longest outing of the season and he gave up a run on three hits and a walk with two strikeouts in four innings.
Jonathan Kibler improved to 4-1 with a very impressive start in the White Caps 4-2 win over the Lugnuts. He gave up just two runs (one earned) on two hits and a walk with eight strikeouts and he went the distance.
Jordan Newton had the only extra base hit of the game with teiple but he drove in two and scored a run in the White Caps bit four run fourth inning. Justin Henry singled, scored and stole two bases.
Nutrition is very important for any athlete at a high level to achieve maximum performance. This is why we always look for the best options on the road to grab a bite. Places include, Taco Bell, Subway, gas stations, and any local corner bar (if you didn’t catch the sarcasm there, pay attention). With a budget of twenty dollars and transportation that consists of your own two feet, the choices are fairly limited to where you can get a good meal. Basically if we ever were to watch the movie, “Fast Food Nation” on the bus I think everyone might starve for an entire week. Then again that could also have no effect because of the fearless personalities we have. Anyone trying to watch their weight on the road might as well give up and just try to eat whatever makes them happy, because it just won’t happen. That is unless your host family is gracious enough to do the elementary school thing and pack you five days worth of lunches (we just hope it doesn’t include egg salad). But, anything is possible including being healthy on the road, it just usually involves more work than I personally care to dive into.
The Tigers supplemental first round pick in 2007, Brandon Hamilton, made his minor league debut with the White Caps and he definitely showed some promise. While he walked four, he didn’t give up a single hit and he struck out six in four innings. Santo Mieses gave up three runs in two innings and he fell to 1-3 on the season.
Audy Ciriaco was the hitting star in the loss. He went three for four with a homerun and two RBIs. Cory Middleton belted a solo homer, drew a walk and scored twice.
As I was pulling into the parking lot this past monday to leave for our four game road trip to Fort Wayne, my phone rang. It was one of the other pitchers, Rudy Darrow, calling to ask where I was. I thought it was a little odd that he was calling me when I was a half hour early, but he said that the bus was leaving. At this moment I kind of start to panic because I don’t want to have to drive all the way there. Once I gathered myself I then thought wait, I am positive I am still early because it was just before 9 am and we were scheduled to leave at 9:30 which made me think it was just a joke. Well apparently the bus time changed the night before, after I had left the locker room and never received the notice. Now I am really starting to panic because as I am driving slightly over the speed limit through the parking lot I see the bus start to move so I start honking and put my hand out the window. To my relief the bus stopped and I was able to load everything and hop on. After I calmed down from almost missing the bus I started to get mad at the fact the time changed and no one let me know. That feeling left me too once I was just grateful to just be on the bus. Our strength coach Jake Tabor was not as lucky however, he was forced to make the drive of shame. Sorry Jake, on this trip game time was not on time.
The White Caps piled on the runs in a 11-3 beatdown over the Fort Wayne Wizards. There were plent of hitting stars but Casper Wells was a notch above the rest. He went three for five with a pair of homers and five RBIs. In all, the White Caps picked up nineteen hits and seven of those were for extra bases.
Jonathan Kibler picked up the win and he improved to 3-1. He gave up one unearned run on three hits and two walks with six strikeouts.
The White Caps had a tough time at the plate and they were held to just six hits in a 2-1 loss to the Wizards. The lone run of the game came on a solo homer in the fifth inning by Adrian Casanova. Kyle Peter was the only White Cap with two hits.
Lauren Gagnier had a nice start go to waste. He fell to 1-4 and he gave up two runs on six hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings.
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