Sunday, April 17, 2011

I Moved

A couple nights ago, my site was mentioned on the Modesto radio broadcast (as always, thanks to Greg Young for doing this. He does a great job calling games, and you can follow him on Twitter @gregyoungjr) and I realized I never pointed out on here where I'm writing at now! I mentioned it on Twitter, but I forgot that my last post here was saying that I may not be writing here anymore, but nothing was confirmed yet.

So if you want Cal League coverage this year, follow me @5runrally or check out My coverage is a little different this year, and I write about some other things too. However, you can still definitely get the latest Cal League news there or on Twitter. It's a great site with a great staff, and I think you'll enjoy reading what you see there.

Again, thanks to Greg Young for the publicity, and if you found your way here after listening to the Modesto game, please check out

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Goodbye, for now?

I was hoping to not have to write this entry, but I think I have to.

Last season, I really had nothing going on in my life. I wasn't able to get a job, I haven't graduated college yet, but I wasn't taking classes either. That sounds pretty boring to most, and really it was, but it gave me time to do a lot of things. As I'm sure everyone in the real world knows with a job and responsibilities, some things have to get cut out. There just isn't enough time for everything. During this year, I did have time for those things that a lot of people wouldn't.

One of those things is running this blog. There were at least two entries per day, and even though it wasn't a lot of intense writing, there was work involved. Every day, I would wake up, read the team websites and newspapers for game recaps and other news to see if there was anything to update readers on or give me a new perspective on the games from the previous night. When the games were being played, I would start working on the game previews for the next day, preparing the pitching probables and notes. After the games, I would look at the box scores and post the recap notes. Sure, sometimes it got tedious. The season is very long. However, it was fun.

I've tried writing blogs before, but I never really stuck with it. I love writing, but I would always get bored and eventually stop updating. This blog was the first time I was able to stick with it, and I felt like I accomplished something by covering the whole season. I felt like I offered something to the online community that was a little different from what was already out there. I don't think day to day updates and information about the Cal League is out there in many places.

Tomorrow, I'll be starting a temporary 40 hour per week position that will evaporate much of my free time. I'm sure most really don't care what I'll be doing, but the reality is I don't think I'll be able to keep up the workload I had last year. The primary difficulty is the time zone difference. Living on the east coast, these games start sometimes as late as 10:30 PM for me, and I'd be working until 2 AM. That wasn't a big deal to me because I enjoyed it, but if I have to get up early in the morning every day, I need more sleep than that, and I can't stay up listening to these games and providing the same updates I did last year.

So something will have to change. Without the daily updates, I have to offer something else that I didn't last year. I'm going to try to continue to follow the league and know what's going on because it's fun to me, so we'll see what happens. I have to decrease my workload, but I want to continue writing.

Thanks to my readers and followers who added to the enjoyment of this season. When I started out in March, I didn't know what would happen. I wasn't sure if anyone would ever notice what was going on here, but that was obviously not the case. I hope I was able to write some informative and helpful things, and I hope you enjoyed reading as much as I enjoyed writing. I plan to remain on Twitter, and I look forward to continue to interact with the Twitter community, and I thank everyone that stopped by here during the 2010 season.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

AFL Championship Recap

Scottsdale 3, Javelinas 2

Barnes 0/3 1 K
Tenbrink 0/1

Greenwalt 3 IP 4 H 2 ER 3 K

Field 0/0
Culberson 0/4 2 K
Belt 0/2 1 BB 1 K
Krauss 1/3 1 R 1 BB 1 K
Pacheco 0/2 1 K

Paterson 1 IP 2 BB 3 K

Thursday, November 18, 2010

AFL Recap 11/18

Another day where all of the games only go seven innings. Tomorrow is the last day of the regular season, and on Saturday, the Championship will be played at noon PT on MLB Network. Fans of Giants, Diamondbacks, Rockies, Mariners and Astros will be able to see their prospects compete.

CORRECTION: Today was the last day of the regular season.

Phoenix 3, Surprise 3

Parker 0/2 1 BB
Green 1/3 1 R

Stoneburner 0/4 1 K
Bolden 0/3 1 K

Javelinas 1, Scottsdale 0

Belt 0/3 1 K
Pacheco 0/3
Krauss 0/2 1 BB 1 K

Reynolds 3 IP 2 H 1 R (0 ER) 1 BB 3 K (L 1-5)

Tenbrink 1/2 1 R 1 2B
Barnes 0/2

Saguaros 3, Mesa 1

Figueroa 1/2 1 RBI

Davis 1 IP 2 H 0 R 4 BB 3 K (L 1-3)
Hynes .2 IP 1 R (o ER) 1 BB
Brach 1.1 IP 2 H (S 1)

Smit 1 IP 1 K

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

AFL Recap 11/17

Phoenix 10, Javelinas 4

Barnes 1/5 2 K
Tenbrink 1/3 1 R 1 2B 1 BB 2 K

Cleto 2.1 IP 8 H 6 ER 1 K (L 2-1)

Parker 3/5 2 R 1 2B 2 RBI
Wallach 2/2 1 2B 1 RBI 2 BB

Surprise 13, Saguaros 3

Bolden 1/5 1 R 1 RBI 3 K

Flores 1 IP 1 H

Scottsdale 6, Mesa 0

Geltz 1 IP 1 BB 2 K

Culberson 0/3 1 RBI 1 K
Belt 1/4 2 K
Field 1/3 1 2B 1 RBI 1 BB

Collmenter 4 IP 1 H 0 R 9 K (W 4-0)
Brothers 1 IP 1 H 3 K
Jorgenson 1 IP 1 BB

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

AFL Recap 11/16

Javelinas 15, Saguaros 2 (7)

Barnes 1/3 1 R 1 HR 4 RBI 1 K

Urckfitz 1 IP

Phoenix 2, Scottsdale 1

Krauss 1/2 1 R 1 HR 1 RBI 1 BB 1 K

Verdugo 3 IP 1 H 1 ER 1 BB 1 K
Paterson 1 IP 1 BB 1 K

Parker 1/3 1 2B 1 K
Green 0/2

Surprise 7, Mesa 2

Fish 1 IP 2 K

Felix 2/3 1 R
Stoneburner 0/2 2 R 1 BB

Young 1 IP 2 H 2 ER

Monday, November 15, 2010

AFL Recap 11/15

Phoenix 5, Mesa 5

Parker 1/4 1 BB
Green 2/4 1 R

McKiernan 1 IP 1 H 1 R (0 ER) 1 K

Surprise 2, Javelinas 1

Tenbrink 0/2 1 BB 1 K

Felix 0/2

Scottsdale 9, Saguaros 4

Belt 3/4 2 R 1 2B 1 3B 1 RBI 1 BB 1 K
Krauss 1/5 1 R 1 RBI 2 K
Culberson 1/5 1 R 1 RBI 3 K
Field 0/4 1 K

Hynes 1 IP 6 H 5 ER 1 BB (L 1-1) (BS 2)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

AFL Recap 11/13

Javelinas 8, Mesa 7

Smit 1 IP 1 BB
Geltz 1.1 IP 3 K

Tenbrink 1/4 2 R 1 2B 2 RBI 1 K
Barnes 0/3 1 RBI 1 BB

Carpenter 1 IP 3 H 2 K

Surprise 4, Scottsdale 3

Pacheco 0/4 2 K
Field 0/3 1 K

Reynolds 4 IP 8 H 3 R (1 ER) 3 K (L 1-4)
Stoffel 1 IP 2 H 1 ER

Stoneburner 0/3

Castillo 1 IP 1 K

Phoenix 8, Saguaros 1 (8)

Hynes 1 IP 1 K
Brach 1 IP 3 H 4 R (2 ER) 1 BB

Parker 2/3 1 R 1 2B 1 HR 3 RBI
Wallach 1/2 1 R 1 2B 1 RBI 1 BB 1 K
Green 0/2

Friday, November 12, 2010

AFL Recap 11/12

Javelinas 10, Surprise 3

Felix 1/4

Flores 1.2 IP 3 H 1 ER 3 BB 3 K

Tenbrink 1/3 1 R 1 RBI 2 BB
Perez 2/4 1 R 1 2B 2 RBI 1 BB 1 K

Urckfitz 1 IP 3 H 2 ER 1 K

Scottsdale 6, Saguaros 4

Davis 4 IP 3 H 1 ER 3 BB 2 K

Culberson 2/4 1 R 1 2B 1 RBI
Belt 2/4 1 R 1 3B 1 RBI 1 K
Krauss 2/3 1 R 1 HR 2 RBI 1 BB

Collmenter 4 IP 6 H 2 ER 1 BB 5 K
Jorgenson 1 IP 1 H

Mesa 2, Phoenix 2

Parker 2/3 1 R 1 BB

Thursday, November 11, 2010

AFL Recap 11/11

Javelinas 9, Saguaros 4

Barnes 1/4 1 R 1 2B 1 BB 1 K

Cleto 3.2 IP 7 H 3 R (2 ER) 3 BB 1 K (W 2-0)

Scottsdale 5, Phoenix 1

Parker 1/4 1 2B
Wallach 1/4 2 K
Green 1/4 1 K

Sewell 2 IP 5 H 3 ER

Belt 0/4 2 K
Pacheco 0/2 1 R 1 BB 1 K
Krauss 4/4 2 R

Verdugo 4 IP 2 H 0 R 3 BB 9 K (W 4-1)
Brothers 2 IP 1 H 1 ER 1 BB

Surprise 6, Mesa 5

Fish 1.2 IP 3 H 2 ER 1 BB 1 K (L 0-2) (BS 1)

Young 2 IP 2 H 1 BB 2 K

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

AFL Recap 11/10

Javelinas 8, Surprise 5

Barnes 0/5 1 K

Carpenter 1 IP 2 H 1 ER 3 K

Stoneburner 1/4 1 K

Scottsdale 11, Saguaros 1

Culberson 0/5 1 R 1 BB 1 K
Belt 3/4 2 R 1 2B 1 3B 2 RBI 2 BB
Krauss 1/4 1 2B 1 BB
Field 2/3 1 RBI 1 BB 1 K

Brach 1 IP

Phoenix 9, Mesa 6

Parker 2/4 1 R 1 BB 1 K
Wallach 1/4 1 R 1 HR 1 RBI 1 BB 2 K

McKiernan 1.1 IP 1 BB
Smit 1.1 IP 5 H 3 ER 1 K (L 3-2)
Geltz 1 IP 1 H 2 BB 1 K

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

AFL Recap 11/9

Mesa 7, Surprise 5

Stoneburner 0/4 1 R 1 BB
Felix 2/3

Flores 1 IP 1 H 1 ER 1 BB 1 K
Castillo 0 IP 2 H 2 ER

Phoenix 7, Scottsdale 4

Pacheco 0/3 1 BB 1 K
Field 1/3 1 2B

Stoffel 2.1 IP 1 H 2 K

Parker 2/4 1 R 1 RBI 1 K

Saguaros 6, Javelinas 4

Hynes 2 IP 2 H 1 ER 1 K

Tenbrink 1/4 2 K
Perez 0/4 3 K

Greenwalt 2 IP 1 H 1 K
Urckfitz 1.2 IP 3 H 1 ER 2 BB 2 K

Monday, November 8, 2010

AFL Recap 11/8

Javelinas 16, Phoenix 8

Parker 2/3 2 R 2 2B

Tenbrink 3/4 4 R 2 2B 1 HR 3 RBI 1 BB
Barnes 1/4 2 R 1 HR 3 RBi 1 BB 1 K

Surprise 6, Saguaros 5

Scottsdale 8, Mesa 3

Belt 2/5 1 R 1 2B 2 RBI 1 K
Pacheco 3/3 1 R 2 2B 1 3B 3 RBI 1 BB
Krauss 1/5 1 R 1 RBI 1 K
Culberson 1/4 1 BB 3 K

Reynolds 5 IP 4 H 0 R 3 BB 4 K (W 1-3)
Jorgenson 1 IP 1 H 1 K

Fish 1 IP 1 K

Saturday, November 6, 2010

AFL Recap 11/6

AFL West 3, AFL East 2

Culberson 1/3 1 K
Belt 0/2 1 R 3 BB 1 K
Krauss 1/2 1 2B

Brothers 1 IP 1 BB

Brach 1 IP 2 K
Castillo 1 IP 1 H
Urckfitz .2 IP 1 K
Hynes .1 IP 1 H 1 BB

I posted some thoughts on the game on Twitter, so check out @5runrally if you want to see or just look at the box on the right.

Friday, November 5, 2010

AFL Recap 11/5

Mesa 13, Surprise 5

McKiernan 1 IP
Geltz .2 IP 1 H 1 ER 1 BB 1 K
Fish .1 IP 1 K

Feliz 1/4 1 RBI 1 K

Young 1 IP

Javelinas 13, Saguaros 5

Davis 2 IP 10 H 7 ER 1 K

Barnes 2/5 2 RBI 1 K

Carpenter 2 IP 2 H 1 ER 2 K

Scottsdale 10, Phoenix 0

Culberson 2/6 1 R 1 RBI 2 K
Belt 1/3 1 3B 1 RBI 2 BB 2 K
Krauss 1/4 1 RBI 1 BB 2 K

Collmenter 5 IP 2 H 8 K
Paterson 1 IP 2 K

Parker 0/3 2 K

Thursday, November 4, 2010

AFL Recap 11/4

Mesa 7, Javelinas 4

Tenbrink 1/4

Cleto 4 IP 5 H 4 ER 3 BB 3 K
Urckfitz 1 IP

Smit 1 IP 3 H 1 ER (W 3-1) (BS 1)

Saguaros 14, Phoenix 5

Parker 1/3 1 BB 1 K

Figueroa 2/4 1 R 1 BB

Hynes 1 IP 1 BB

Scottsdale 9, Surprise 5

Stoneburner 3/5 2 R 1 2B 1 RBI 1 K

Castillo 1 IP 1 K

Culberson 3/4 2 R 2 2B 3 RBI
Pacheco 1/4 1 R 1 2B 1 RBI 1 K
Field 2/4 2 R 1 HR 2 RBI 2 K

Verdugo 3 IP 6 H 2 ER 5 BB (W 3-1)
Stoffel 2 IP 2 BB 1 K
Brothers 1 IP 1 H 1 K

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

AFL Recap 11/3

Javelinas 11, Mesa 2

Tenbrink 2/3 1 R 3 RBI 2 BB
Barnes 0/5 3 K

Saguaros 8, Phoenix 0

Brach 1 IP

Parker 0/3 1 BB 1 K

Scottsdale 9, Surprise 3

Krauss 3/5 1 R 1 2B
Field 0/3 1 BB

Jorgenson 1 IP 1 H 1 BB

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

AFL Recap 11/2

Saguaros 13, Mesa 8

Fish .1 IP 5 H 6 ER 1 BB
McKiernan .2 IP 5 H 5 R (3 ER) (BS 1) (L 0-1)
Geltz 1 IP 2 H 2 K

Hynes 1 IP 1 H

Surprise 2, Phoenix 2 (11)

Felix 1/4

Young 1.1 IP 1 H 1 BB 1 K

Parker 2/4 1 2B 1 BB

Javelinas 7, Scottsdale 4

Barnes 2/4 2 R 1 3B 1 K

Greenwalt 3.1 IP 4 H 2 R (1 ER) 2 BB 2 K (W 3-0)

Culberson 0/4 1 K
Belt 2/3 3 R 1 HR 1 RBI 1 BB
Pacheco 1/4 1 K

Stoffel .2 IP

AFL Rising Stars Rosters Announced

For the last few years, the Arizona Fall League has played the Rising Stars Game which features some of the best prospects participating in the league. Last season, over 50% of the participants in the game went on to get some major league time in 2010, including players such as Buster Posey. The game will be shown on MLB Network starting at 5 PM PT on Saturday, and there are a number of 2010 Cal Leaguers that could see some action. All stats are prior to the 11/2 games.

West Division

Brad Brach, Lake Elsinore/San Diego
1-1, 2.16 ERA 8.1 IP 3 H 2 BB 4 K

Brach hadn't been scored upon until his last outing on 10/30 when he allowed two runs in an inning. His strikeouts are a bit low, but he's certainly holding his own against some good hitters.

Fabio Castillo, Bakersfield/Texas
0-0 2 SV 1.17 ERA 7.2 IP 5 H 3 BB 4 K

Texas prospects are leaving the Cal League, but for now I'll continue to cover them. Like Brach, the strikeouts haven't been there, but Castillo has improved his walk rate in a small number of innings so far.

Colt Hynes, Lake Elsinore/San Diego
0-0 4.50 ERA 8 IP 6 H 2 BB 2 K

Hynes has been a bit unlucky so far since his peripheral stats look pretty good compared to the ERA. He's been effective against lefties which will help him reach the majors in the future.

Patrick Urckfitz, Lancaster/Houston
1-0 2.57 ERA 7 IP 4 H 2 BB 5 K

Urckfitz is one of the best stories in the AFL, going from an undrafted free agent to a pitcher that has ML potential. He's back in the bullpen for the Javelinas and continuing the momentum he gained with Lancaster in 2010.

East Division

Rex Brothers, Modesto/Colorado
1-0 5.14 ERA 7 IP 11 H 2 BB 12 K

Brothers struggled with his control at times during the regular season, but that hasn't been an issue in the AFL. The problem has been a BAA that's over twice as high as it was between Modesto and Tulsa combined.

Eddie McKiernan, Rancho Cucamonga/Anaheim
0-0 1 SV 4.26 ERA 6.1 IP 5 H 5 BB 8 K

McKiernan's control wasn't a problem with the Quakes in 2010, but he's walking a lot of guys so far in the AFL. He hasn't been consistent at all, allowing runs in half of his appearances.

Brandon Belt, San Jose/San Francisco
.346 BA .382 OBP .481 SLG 7 R 0 HR 8 RBI 1/3 SB

The buzz is that Belt could be major league ready as soon as Opening Day 2011. It'll be interesting to see if the Giants re-sign Aubrey Huff as they go for a repeat next season.

Charlie Culberson, San Jose/San Francisco
.431 BA .459 OBP .741 SLG 15 R 2 HR 9 RBI 1/3 SB

Culberson may have gone 0/5 yesterday, but prior to that it seemed impossible to get him out in the AFL. The reports on him have been very good, and 2010 has been a huge breakout year for the former 1st rounder.

Marc Krauss, Visalia/Arizona
.220 BA .350 OBP .440 SLG 13 R 2 HR 17 RBI

The batting average is low, but Krauss is showing improved patience at the plate. His power has also been there, and if the hits start dropping in, the overall line will start looking better.

Monday, November 1, 2010

AFL Recap 11/1

Surprise 3, Phoenix 2

Parker 0/4

Stoneburner 1/3 1 R 1 RBI 2 K

Castillo 1 IP 2 H 1 BB 1 K (S 2)

Javelinas 7, Scottsdale 4

Culberson 0/5 1 K
Belt 3/5 1 2B 1 RBI 1 K
Pacheco 1/3 1 R 1 2B 1 RBI 1 BB
Krauss 0/4 1 R 1 BB 2 K

Reynolds 2 IP 5 H 5 ER 1 BB 2 K (L 0-3)
Brothers 1 IP 2 H 1 ER 2 K

Barnes 1/5 1 R 1 HR 1 RBI 3 K
Tenbrink 0/4 2 K

Mesa 15, Saguaros 1

Saturday, October 30, 2010

AFL Recap 10/30

Phoenix 12, Mesa 6

Parker 1/5 2 R 1 BB 3 K

Geltz .2 IP 3 H 4 ER 1 BB
Smit 1.2 IP 1 H 1 BB 1 K

Surprise 8, Javelinas 7

Tenbrink 0/3 1 RBI 1 BB 2 K
Austin 1/5 1 RBI 1 K

Scottsdale 13, Saguaros 9

Figueroa 1/4 1 R 1 BB

Davis 3 IP 5 H 3 ER 1 BB 2 K
Hynes 1 IP 2 H 3 R (2 ER) 1 BB (BS 1)
Brach 1 IP 2 H 2 ER 3 K (L 1-1)

Culberson 2/4 4 R 1 2B 1 3B 3 RBI 1 BB
Belt 3/5 3 R 1 2B 1 3B 2 RBI
Pacheco 3/5 1 R 1 2B 2 RBI 1 K
Krauss 1/5 1 3B 2 RBI 1 K

Collmenter 3.2 IP 8 H 6 R (5 ER) 2 BB 2 K
Woodall 1.1 IP 3 H 1 ER 1 K
Stoffel 2 IP 3 H 1 ER 2 K

Friday, October 29, 2010

AFL Recap 10/29

Javelinas 11, Phoenix 4

Barnes 3/5 2 R 1 3B 1 HR 6 RBI
Tenbrink 1/4 1 BB 2 K
Perez 0/5 2 K

Urckfitz 1 IP 1 BB

Parker 2/4 1 R 1 2B 2 K

Surprise 12, Saguaros 5

Felix 1/4 2 R 1 BB 1 K
Stoneburner 2/5 1 R 1 HR 4 RBI
Beltre 3/4 1 R 1 RBI 1 BB

Castillo 1 IP 2 H 1 ER 1 BB 1 K

Scottsdale 9, Mesa 1

McKiernan 1 IP 1 H 1 ER 1 K

Belt 2/5 1 R 1 RBI
Krauss 1/3 2 R 1 HR 1 RBI 2 BB 2 K
Culberson 2/5 1 R 1 2B 2 K

Verdugo 4 IP 2 H 1 BB 5 K
Paterson 1 IP 2 K
Jorgenson 1 IP 1 BB 1 K

Thursday, October 28, 2010

AFL Recap 10/28

Saguaros 15, Phoenix 1 (7.5- Ended due to forfeit)

Parker 1/4 1 R 1 2B
Wallach 0/1

Scottsdale 9, San Jose 5

Beltre 0/5 2 K

Flores .2 IP

Krauss 1/4 1 2B 1 K
Pacheco 2/3 2 R 1 BB

Brothers 1 IP 2 BB 1 K

Javelinas 6, Mesa 4

Tenbrink 1/5 1 RBI 1 SB
Austin 1/4 1 K

Fish 1 IP 2 K

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

AFL Recap 10/27

Javelinas 5, Phoenix 4

Parker 2/4 1 K
Wallach 1/3 1 R 1 BB 1 K

Barnes 1/5 1 K
Austin 1/3 1 RBI 1 BB 1 K 1 SB

Greenwalt 4 IP 3 H 0 R 3 K (W 1-0)
Carpenter 1 IP 2 H 1 ER 2 BB 1 K

Surprise 7, Saguaros 0

Brach 1 IP 1 BB

Mesa 7, Scottsdale 6

Belt 0/4
Culberson 2/4 1 R 1 3B 1 K

Woodall 1 IP 1 H 1 K
Stoffel 1 IP 5 H 4 ER 2 K

Smit 1 IP

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

AFL Recap 10/26

Mesa 18, Saguaros 9

McKiernan 1.1 IP 1 H 1 K
Geltz 1 IP 2 H

Figueroa 1/2 1 R 1 K

Surprise 5, Phoenix 3 (10)

Beltre 0/5
Stoneburner 0/4 1 K
Felix 2/4 1 R 1 2B

Young 1 IP 1 H

Javelinas 7, Scottsdale 4

Tenbrink 1/4 1 R 1 HR 2 RBI 1 K
Barnes 2/4 2 R 1 2B 1 SB

Cleto 3 IP 1 H 4 BB 4 K (W 1-0)

Culberson 1/5 1 K
Belt 1/5 3 K
Pacheco 0/2 2 BB
Krauss 0/3 1 R 2 BB 1 K
Field 1/4 2 K

Reynolds 3 IP 5 H 3 ER 1 BB 5 K (L 0-2)
Jorgenson .1 IP 2 H 2 ER 2 BB
Paterson 1 IP 1 BB 1 K

Monday, October 25, 2010

AFL Recap 10/25

I missed the Saturday update, so hopefully you were able to check the scores on

Phoenix 8, Mesa 6

Fish 1 IP 4 H 1 ER 1 K

Parker 0/3 1 BB 1 K

Saguaros 5, Scottsdale 4

Pacheco 1/4 1 R 1 3B 1 K
Culberson 1/4 1 R 1 2B
Field 1/4 1 R 2 K

Collmenter 4 IP 5 H 1 ER 3 K

Brach 1.1 IP (W 1-0)

Javelinas 9, Surprise 9

Barnes 0/2 1 K
Tenbrink 1/5 1 R 1 BB
Austin 1/4 1 R 2 BB 1 K

Urckfitz 2 IP 2 K

Beltre 4/6 2 R 1 2B 1 HR 3 RBI 1 K 2 SB

Flores 1.1 IP 2 H 2 BB 1 K
Castillo 1.1 IP 1 BB

Friday, October 22, 2010

AFL Recap 10/22

Saguaros 6, Mesa 2

McKiernan 1 IP 1 H 2 BB 2 K

Hynes 2 IP 2 H

Surprise 7, Phoenix 6

Stoneburner 0/5 1 R 2 K
Felix 1/5

Young .1 IP 2 H

Wallach 0/0

Scottsdale 12, Javelinas 4

Tenbrink 2/4 1 R 1 RBI 1 K (two outfield assists)
Barnes 1/4 1 R 1 RBI 1 K
Austin 0/3

Belt 0/1 1 K
Pacheco 2/4 3 R 1 RBI 1 K
Krauss 2/5 2 R 1 2B 1 HR 7 RBI
Culberson 3/5 1 R 2 RBI

Woodall 1.1 IP 1 K (W 1-0)
Paterson 1 IP 1 K
Jorgenson 1 IP 1 H

Thursday, October 21, 2010

AFL Recap 10/21

Mesa 4, Scottsdale 2

Field 0/4 2 K
Belt 1/4 1 K
Culberson 4/4 1 R 2 2B

Fish 1 IP 2 H 1 ER 1 BB 1 K

Phoenix 4, Javelinas 3

Parker 0/4
Green 0/4 3 K
Wallach 0/3 1 K

Tenbrink 1/3 1 R
Barnes 2/2 1 BB

Greenwalt 4 IP 3 H 1 ER 3 K
Urckfitz 1 IP

Surprise 11, Saguaros 4

Figueroa 1/4 1 RBI 1 K

Beltre 0/5 1 K
Stoneburner 1/2 1 3B 1 RBI 1 K

Flores 2 IP 3 H 1 ER

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

AFL Recap 10/20

Javelinas 9, Phoenix 5

Austin 1/5 1 RBI 2 K

Cleto 3.2 IP 6 H 4 ER 2 BB 4 K
Carpenter 1 IP 1 H 1 ER 1 BB

Green 1/4 1 K

Surprise 9, Saguaros 2

Castillo 1 IP 1 K

Figueroa 1/4 1 2B 1 K

Hynes 1 IP

Scottsdale 6, Mesa 3

Smit 1.1 IP 2 H 2 ER 4 BB (L 1-1)

Pacheco 2/4 1 R 1 RBI
Krauss 1/3 1 R 1 RBI 1 BB 1 K
Culberson 1/3 1 2B 1 BB

Reynolds 4 IP 5 H 1 ER 1 K
Stoffel 1.2 IP 1 H 1 ER 1 BB 2 K (W 1-0)
Brothers 1 IP 2 H 2 K

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

AFL Recap 10/19

Mesa 6, Javelinas 5

McKiernan 1 IP 1 H 1 ER 1 BB 2 K (S 1)

Tenbrink 2/4 1 RBI
Austin 0/3 2 RBI 1 BB

Phoenix 7, Saguaros 3

Figueroa 2/2

Davis 3 IP 4 H 4 R (0 ER) 1 BB 2 K (L 0-2)

Parker 1/3 1 R 1 2B 1 BB
Wallach 0/4
Green 1/3 1 R 1 BB 1 K

Scottsdale 5, Surprise 4

Beltre 1/4 1 R 1 BB
Stoneburner 1/2 1 R 1 2B 2 RBI 1 BB
Felix 1/4

Young 1 IP

Belt 1/4 1 R 2 K
Krauss 0/4 1 RBI 1 K

Collmenter 3 IP 2 H 1 ER 3 BB 2 K (W 2-0)

Monday, October 18, 2010

AFL Recap 10/18

Javelinas 4, Mesa 2 (10)

Tenbrink 3/4 1 R 1 2B 1 BB

Geltz 1 IP 1 H 1 R (0 ER) 1 K (BS 1)
Fish 1 IP 2 H 2 ER 2 BB (L 0-1)

Saguaros 6, Phoenix 3

Parker 1/4 1 R 1 3B 1 RBI 2 K

Brach 1 IP 1 H 1 BB
Hynes 1 IP 2 H 2 ER 1 BB 1 K

Surprise 6, Scottsdale 4

Belt 0/2 2 BB 2 K
Pacheco 0/2 1 R 2 BB 1 K
Culberson 3/4 1 R 1 HR 1 RBI

Verdugo 2 IP 2 H 3 R (1 ER) 4 BB 1 K
Woodall 1 IP 4 H 2 ER
Jorgenson 1 IP 1 H

Beltre 1/3 1 R 1 BB

Saturday, October 16, 2010

AFL Recap 10/16

Surprise 10, Phoenix 4

Parker 3/3 1 RBI 2 BB
Wallach 0/3 1 RBI 1 BB

Beltre 1/3 1 R 2 RBI 1 BB 1 K
Stoneburner 3/4 3 R 1 3B 1 K

Young 1 IP
Flores .2 IP 1 H 1 ER 3 BB

Scottsdale 6, Javelinas 4

Belt 1/4 1 R 1 RBI 1 BB 2 K
Krauss 2/5 1 R 1 RBI 1 K
Pacheco 1/4 2 RBI 2 K

Brothers 1 IP 3 H 2 ER 2 K
Paterson 1 IP 1 K

Barnes 1/4 1 R
Austin 1/4 1 K
Tenbrink 1/4 1 R 1 2B

Carpenter 1 IP 1 BB 2 K

Mesa 10, Saguaros 1

Figueroa 0/0 1 BB

Smit 2 IP 1 H 1 K (W 1-0)
McKiernan 1 IP 1 BB 1 K

Friday, October 15, 2010

AFL Recap 10/15

Mesa 8, Surprise 7 (11)

Beltre 2/6 1 R 1 2B 1 3B 1 RBI 1 K
Stoneburner 0/0

Gutierrez 1 IP 1 H 1 BB 1 K
Castillo 2.1 IP 1 H 1 K

Fish 1 IP
Geltz 2 IP 1 H 3 K

Javelinas 13, Saguaros 5

Austin 1/2 1 R 2 BB CS

Greenwalt 2 IP 4 H 2 ER 1 BB 1 K
Urckfitz 2 IP 4 H 2 ER 1 BB 2 K (W 1-0)

Scottsdale 11, Phoenix 4

Culberson 1/5 2 R 1 RBI 1 BB 2 K
Belt 3/5 1 R 2 2B 3 RBI 1 K
Krauss 1/4 1 R 2 RBI 1 BB 2 K

Jorgenson 1 IP 2 H

Green 0/4 1 RBI 2 K

Thursday, October 14, 2010

AFL Recap 10/14

Mesa 11, Surprise 6

McKiernan 1 IP 1 H 1 ER 1 BB 1 K

Felix 0/4

Javelinas 4, Saguaros 4

Tenbrink 1/4 1 2B 1 K
Austin 0/4 1 K

Cleto 2.2 IP 4 H 1 ER 1 BB 1 K

Figueroa 0/1 2 BB

Hynes 2 IP 1 K
Brach 2 IP

Phoenix 5, Scottsdale 1

Parker 2/5
Green 2/4 1 R 1 3B 1 RBI 1 K

Belt 2/4 1 2B

Reynolds 3 IP 4 H 1 ER 1 BB 1 K (L 0-1)
Brothers 1 IP 3 H 1 ER 1 K
Woodall 2 IP 1 H 2 R (1 ER) 1 BB 1 K

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

AFL Recap 10/13

Peoria Javelinas 7, Surprise 4

Tenbrink 0/3
Austin 1/3 1 R 2 RBI 1 BB 1/2 SB

Beltre 0/4 1 BB 1/1 SB
Stoneburner 0/4 3 K

Flores 1.1 IP 1 H 1 BB 1 K

Scottsdale 9, Peoria Saguaros 1

Culberson 2/6 2 R 1 2B 1 HR 1 RBI 2 K
Krauss 0/4 2 R 1 BB 1 K

Collmenter 3 IP 2 H 1 BB 1 K (W 1-0)
Paterson 2 IP 2 H 4 K
Stoffel 2 IP 2 H 1 ER 1 BB

Figueroa 0/1 1 K

Phoenix 6, Mesa 3

Green 0/4 1 RBI 1 BB
Wallach 1/4 1 K

Smit 2 IP 1 BB 3 K

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

AFL Recap 10/12

Welcome back everybody. The AFL started today, so I'll do a daily statistical recap of 2010 Cal Leaguers every day. If I miss someone, please let me know because it's certainly possible. If the format needs to be changed, make a recommendation. I'm not locked into doing it like this every day.

Surprise 8, Peoria Javelinas 6

Beltre 1/5 2 R
Stoneburner 1 R
Felix 2/4 1 2B 1 RBI 1 K

Castillo 1 IP (S 1)

Tenbrink 0/4

Urckfitz 1 IP 1 K

Mesa 8, Phoenix 3

Fish 1 IP 1 H 1 K
Geltz 1 IP

Green 0/2 1 K
Parker 0/4 1 K

Scottsdale 4, Peoria Saguaros 3

Figueroa 0/1

Belt 1/4 1 K
Krauss 1/2 1 R 2 BB
Field 0/3 1 BB
Culberson 3/4 1 R 1 2B 1 RBI 1 K

Verdugo 3 IP 3 H 2 ER 4 K
Jorgenson 1 IP 1 H 2 K (S 1)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Reds Sign Bakersfield to Two-Year PDC

There was one Major League team left in need of a High A affiliate, and one High A team left in need of a parent club. Today, it became official as the Cincinnati Reds and Bakersfield agreed to a player development contract through 2012. The Reds were previously partnered with Lynchburg in the Carolina League for one season.

Bakersfield had been partnered with Texas for the last six years. That may not seem very long, but it's the longest they've been affiliated with one team since they were a Dodgers affiliate from 1984-94. In the six years Bakersfield and Texas were partnered, the Blaze went just 387-453 with one playoff appearance, coming in the 2009 season. They were below .500 in every year except 2009, and it would be hard to call this six year run anything but unsuccessful in terms of on field results.

In those six years, 27 Blaze players have gone on to make appearances in the majors. That includes a number of players on the Rangers' 2010 AL West championship team including Mitch Moreland, Michael Kirkman, Julio Borbon, Derek Holland, Tommy Hunter, Elvis Andrus and C.J. Wilson. Armando Galarraga, author of the (near) perfect game also pitched for Bakersfield as a Rangers prospect. Prospect and Rangers fans likely remember the DVD combo of Thomas Diamond, Edinson Volquez and John Danks. With Diamond debuting with the Cubs in 2010, the entire trio has finally pitched in the majors. All three are now in different organizations.

Those are the guys that Texas did assign to Bakersfield at one point, but another part of the story is the guys they didn't send. I couldn't check everyone in the Rangers organization, but I did come across a handful of players that skipped Bakersfield: Neftali Feliz, Ian Kinsler, Justin Smoak, Tanner Scheppers and Martin Perez. Those were all very highly touted prospects, and I'm sure the Rangers had their reasons for having them skip a level, and I'm also sure some of it had to do with Bakersfield.

“We are very excited to enter into an agreement with the Reds”, said Blaze owner D.G Elmore.
“We are confident they will be a productive partner on and off the field and we look forward to
this new chapter of Bakersfield Blaze baseball.”

“The Reds look forward to returning to the Cal League and beginning a relationship with
Bakersfield”, said Terry Reynolds, Senior Director of Player Development and Global Scouting.
“Player Development is a key component for the Reds and we will do our best to give the fans
of Bakersfield a team to be proud of."

The quote above indicates the Reds are fine with Bakersfield, but I bet their private reactions to when they found out their High A affiliate was headed to the California League wasn't quite as positive. By now, everyone knows that Bakersfield is less than desirable destination for prospects. Sam Lynn Ballpark is extremely old and not the greatest facility around. The franchise is in desperate need of a new stadium, but that could be difficult to come by. The Blaze don't receive great fan support, and it's fair to say the mood towards this team is indifferent or apathetic at best. The future of the Blaze is very much in doubt.

The Blaze hope to gain something from an affiliation with a new parent club. Maybe a new organization will re-energize the fanbase and get some new fans out to the stadium. It remains to be seen, but perhaps the Reds will see Bakersfield as an integral part of their development process, even for their most talented prospects. Where they assign top pick Yasmani Grandal in 2011 could be an indication. Cincinnati's Low A team is Dayton in the Midwest League, so that's where a majority of their players will come from.

To me, a number of dominoes fell that resulted in Cincinnati ending up in Bakersfield. In late 2007, Sarasota, Florida voters rejected a referendum that would've helped fund renovations to Ed Smith Stadium, the home of Reds spring training since 1998. Without a guarantee that the facilities would be improved, Cincinnati began looking for a new spring training home. They stayed in Sarasota through 2009, and they now train at Goodyear Park with the Cleveland Indians in Arizona.

In addition to Reds' spring training, their High A affiliate, the Sarasota Reds, occupied Ed Smith Stadium. Like a lot of Florida State League teams, Sarasota was owned by their parent club which makes a lot of sense. Most FSL teams play at their parent club's spring training stadium and use their facilities, so that's a great situation for both the major league team and the prospects. When the Major League Reds left Sarasota, they sold the Sarasota Reds franchise to the Pirates. They moved the team to Bradenton where the Pirates train, and the Reds took over the previous High A affiliate of Pittsburgh, the Lynchburg Hillcats in the Carolina League. This happened in the middle of a two year PDC set to go through 2010, but the Reds and Lynchburg never reached an extension.

Meanwhile in Texas, an ownership change was taking place. A group led by Chuck Greenberg and former Rangers great Nolan Ryan bought the Rangers in early August, and that's significant because Greenberg also owns a number of minor league teams. One of those is the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, another Carolina League team. Their PDC was also set to expire after 2010, and it quickly became apparent that the Braves would not be signing an extension.

Once minor league teams were able to negotiate with new parent clubs, sort of a franchise free agency, the Rangers and Pelicans became affiliated as expected. At this point, there weren't many options left. Lynchburg and Kinston were the two Carolina League teams free, and three 2010 Carolina League parent clubs were looking for teams: Cincinnati, Cleveland and now Atlanta. Kinston and Cleveland re-signed with each other, and the Braves were able to get a deal with Lynchburg.

That left Cincinnati with no choice but to move west. Three teams were available in the Cal League, Bakersfield, Inland Empire and Rancho Cucamonga. As was widely speculated for awhile, the Angels and Dodgers swapped Rancho Cucamonga and Inland Empire, and that left Cincinnati and Bakersfield. It's not an ideal situation for them, and it's possible that they look for a new High A affiliate after the 2012 season. For now, they're part of a somewhat different looking Cal League, and fans will have the opportunity to see a new organization for a couple years.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Angels Sign Inland Empire to Two-Year PDC

In possibly the least surprising news of the year, earlier it was announced that Anaheim signed Inland Empire to a player development contract through 2012. The Angels were previously partnered with Rancho Cucamonga from 2001-2010.

Inland Empire had been affiliated with Los Angeles for the last four years. It was the second time these two have paired up, a six year stint from 1995-2000. In the more recent four year relationship, the 66ers went 249-311 with two playoff appearances. It wasn't quite as memorable as their first partnership that was bookended by championships plus another finals appearance in the middle. In 2009 and 2010, the on-field product did not produce a great record, and the total of 109 wins is the fewest of any two year stretch since the franchise moved to San Bernardino.

Over the past four years, 13 66ers have eventually reached the majors. Some of the bigger names, such as Blake DeWitt, Carlos Santana and Josh Bell now play in other organizations, but the Dodgers have developed some bullpen arms that are still around, particularly 2010 66er Kenley Jansen. That number will surely rise in a few years when more guys have an opportunity to rise through the system and reach the majors, but what the 66ers have become notable for lately are their major league rehab appearances. Manny Ramirez has appeared with Inland Empire in both 2009 and 2010, and the oft-injured Jason Schmidt has also made quite a few starts.

"We are very proud to be a part of such an outstanding organization with well known management and an excellent record. We know our fans will appreciate this great opportunity," said David Elmore, Owner of the Inland Empire 66ers.

"The Angel organization is excited to begin our relationship with the Inland Empire 66ers,' said Angels Director of Player Development Abe Flores. "They have a first rate ballpark and front office as well as passionate fans that continually support the club. It is our hope to cultivate a relationship with the City of San Bernardino and embrace fans throughout the Inland Empire."

I don't think either team wanted this situation, but it is what it is, and it's probably still favorable for both. The stadium is slightly farther away, but it's not like Angels' staff has to fly across the country to see their players play. It's still easy access for the team, and the training complex and AAA team are in the region in case transactions are necessary. It's a slightly less desirable location, but the 66ers have good fan support.

As an outside observer, my assumption is that the Dodgers brand might be more attractive to people. As I mentioned in the previous entry though, where the prospects come from probably doesn't affect the casual fan's desire to see a team. Ultimately, I think switching from the Dodgers to the Angels will be a wash for the 66ers, especially since the teams are so close to each other. Both franchises are in the vicinity of their parent clubs, and the local support is always helpful.

That leaves Cincinnati and Bakersfield. I'll write about it when it becomes official, but neither team has a choice at this point. We now know how the Cal League will look for the next two seasons.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dodgers Sign Rancho Cucamonga To Two-Year PDC

Earlier today it was announced that Los Angeles signed Rancho Cucamonga to a player development contract through 2012. The Dodgers were previously partnered with Inland Empire from 2007-2010.

Rancho Cucamonga had been affiliated with Anaheim for the last 10 years. It was great stability for the franchise that has been affiliated with 14 different teams since 1946. The 10 years with the Angels were the longest the franchise has ever been with a parent club even though the partnership almost ended after the first two seasons. The Quakes went 658-742 in those 10 years with four playoff appearances. They made the postseason in their last two years with the Angels, including a thrilling championship series loss to San Jose in 2010. They did not win a championship as an Anaheim affiliate.

A number of Angels have made the majors after passing through Rancho Cucamonga. About 48 players have made appearances with the Quakes before beginning their major league careers including Mike Napoli, Jeff Mathis, Bobby Jenks, Casey Kotchman, Ervin Santana, Joe Saunders, Erick Aybar, Howie Kendrick, Kendry Morales and Jered Weaver. That includes a lot of players that only got a cup of coffee in the big leagues, but that's still an impressive number. The Angels have leaned on their farm system throughout the years, and it's led to consistent success over the past decade. The Quakes have also hosted some rehab appearances over the years including Torii Hunter, Scott Kazmir, Vlad Guerrero and Garret Anderson.

"The Dodgers are one of the most prestigious teams in all of sports and we are excited to begin our partnership with them in Rancho Cucamonga," said Quakes Managing Partner Bobby Brett.

"We feel like the move to Rancho Cucamonga not only brings our High-A partner closer to Dodger Stadium, but is a strong fit for our organizational goals," said Dodger Assistant General Manager De Jon Watson. "We're excited to partner with Brett Sports and look forward to a long-lasting relationship."

There's been buzz that this would happen lately, and today it became official. As De Jon Watson said, the Dodgers have something to gain from this change. The Epicenter is a little closer to Dodger Stadium, so it's pretty easy for the Dodgers' staff to travel and monitor players. It'll keep major leaguers in the area to rehab like they have with Inland Empire recently, and it's a very convenient situation for Los Angeles. Although Inland Empire's Arrowhead Credit Union Park was built later than Rancho Cucamonga's Epicenter, the Epicenter is generally considered to be a more desirable location.

The Quakes hope to benefit from the parent club switch too. As I talked about in an earlier post, attendance for Rancho Cucamonga has been down lately. According to Future Angels, the new ownership group changed how attendance is counted which has led to the decreased numbers. However, they still decided they needed a spark, and they hope the Dodgers affiliation will help. The effect this will have is debatable and remains to be seen, but they hope that local fans will be interested in seeing Los Angeles prospects.

This leaves two parent clubs needing High A affiliates and two Cal League teams with openings: Bakersfield and Inland Empire. It seems likely that Anaheim will sign on with the 66ers to complete an affiliate swap with Los Angeles. That means Cincinnati and Bakersfield will end up being paired together. This should all wrap up in the next few days, and we'll have a clear picture of what the Cal League will look like in 2011 and 2012.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thank You Readers

It's been a great (and long) season, but now that it's over, it's time to take a bit of a break. I probably won't do anything for the site for a couple weeks except cover PDC news when it comes, which should be very soon. Besides that, I want to have a little time off after spending nearly six months writing previews, reviews, listening to games and generally trying to be productive.

When I feel like updating more regularly again, it probably still won't be as frequent as during the season, but I still have a few plans. I think I'll write a 2010 review of every team and update the prospect tracker one last time early on this fall. I want to cover the winter leagues, especially the AFL since it's easier to find information on that. If I ever have time and just feel like writing, I'll start up the "Cal League Class of..." series again that I neglected the final 80% of the season. Hopefully that can sustain this site until the end of March 2011 when it's time to start thinking about the upcoming season.

Thanks to the readers who came here and found the site informative and interesting. There probably aren't many out there, but I know there are some, so thanks. In addition, thanks to Greg Young, Donny Baarns, Alex Freedman, Mike Lindskog for supplying me with info during the season and helping me be as informative and factual as possible. The rest of the league's PBP guys also do a good job, and I'm glad they make the games accessible to fans thousands of miles away and help make this site possible.

I don't want this to become similar to an awards speech, but thanks to the players and coaches for a great season and ultimately being the ones responsible for entertaining baseball. I'm sure some players and coaches will be back in this league for 2011, but a lot will be moving on.

I know there are parents, friends, family and even former coaches that use this blog for updates to keep tabs on their sons, friends, relatives and former players, and I hope I was helpful this season. Good luck to everyone in 2011, hopefully in AA and on their way to the majors.

So it's going to be a bit inactive here for a little bit, but there will be occasional updates in the offseason. I'll always be on Twitter, but I doubt I'll have much to say without games being played. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to ask on there.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

San Jose Giants Win 2010 Championship

For the past decade or so, the San Jose Giants have made it look easy in the Cal League. From 1998 to 2009, the team won five championships, made the playoffs nine times and only finished below .500 three times. They won over 82 games five times in that span, culminating in a 93 win season in 2009. For the first half of 2010, it looked effortless for the Giants again. Of course the roster for a minor league team changes year to year, and the coaching staff isn't always the same either. However, the San Francisco organization always seems to have talent at this level, and the fans respond by coming to games year after year.

This time it wasn't easy though; Rancho Cucamonga fought hard in the five game series and almost won it themselves. It took until the 10th inning of game five for a champion to be decided, and it was the Giants winning their second straight championship for the first time in team history. Jason Stoffel earned the win, pitching his longest and perhaps most effective outing of the season. With one out in the 8th inning, Rancho Cucamonga just tied the game with two runs and had the bases loaded again. Stoffel got Luis Jimenez to strike out and Gabe Jacobo to pop up to get out of the jam.

Both teams had opportunities in the 9th, but neither could come through. The Giants had two runners in scoring position with one out after an Ehire Adrianza sac bunt, but Eddie McKiernan made a tough play on a roller down the first base line to record an out at home and then struck out James Simmons to end the inning. In the bottom half of the inning, Matt Long stole second base, his second steal of the game. However, with two outs and Jon Townsend at the plate, Long was caught stealing 3rd to end the inning. Who knows if Townsend would've delivered the winning hit, but the Quakes didn't get a chance to find out.

In the 10th, Juan Perez hit a check swing triple down the first base line with one out. It wasn't his best swing of the game, but baseball is a funny game. On this day, the Giants were the beneficiaries. Charlie Culberson hit a sac fly to bring the run in, and Jason Stoffel recorded three more outs to win the championship but not without a little drama. With two outs, Stoffel hit Mike Trout, and he stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error. However, Darwin Perez struck out to end the season.

That was how the game ended, but the first seven and a half innings were a battle as well. The game was started by a couple guys no one would've expected to be starting a game five a year ago. Neither starter was great, but they both gave their team a chance to win considering the circumstances. Justin Fitzgerald, who prior to April 2010 hadn't started a game since high school, started on short rest. He finished with 164.2 IP this season counting the playoffs, which is more than twice as many as the rest of his pro career. He was opposed by Kyle Hurst, another pitcher who was used to pitching out of the bullpen. He was moved to the rotation at the end of the season, and despite not pitching in 17 days, gave the Quakes four solid innings.

Rancho Cucamonga took a quick lead in the first on a Gabe Jacobo sac fly. Fitzgerald wasn't sharp early, and the Quakes took advantage of a pitcher that could've been a bit tired at this point in the season. In the top of the second, fans got a taste of how back and forth this game would be when San Jose took a 2-1 lead on Brandon Crawford's second home run of the series. Of course the game would soon be tied again after Luis Jimenez hit an RBI triple in the 3rd. This was the nature of the game; Giants scored two in the 5th, the Quakes responded with one in the bottom half. The same thing happened in the 7th inning, and then Rancho Cucamonga's final comeback in 2010 began in the 8th.

No one ever wants this to be the case, but umpires were a part of the story Tuesday night. A number of controversial calls took place during the game, but one good thing is they huddled up and discussed the calls to try and get them right. This one didn't come back to hurt the Giants because they scored on a walk anyway, but a pitch thrown inside by Chris Scholl went to the backstop. Johnny Monell scored from third, but it was ruled the pitch was a dead ball. However, they did not award the batter Brandon Crawford first, and Monell had to return to 3rd.

First base umpire Tom Woodring might've had the worst night. Two of his calls were reversed after some discussion, but ultimately the correct calls were made. In the 5th, Darwin Perez hit a ground ball to first base with a runner on third. The runner scored and would have no matter what, but it was initially ruled that Drew Biery didn't tag Perez running to first. They changed the call, and it potentially changed the complexion of the inning as Rancho Cucamonga had two more runners reach. In the next inning, a Brandon Crawford throw pulled Biery off the bag, but Woodring ruled he held onto the base for the out. That was also reversed, and no damage was done.

Johnny Monell was named series MVP. Partway through the series, it appeared Francisco Peguero could win his second straight championship MVP, but his performance tailed off in the last couple games. Monell was solid through the series and deserved the award. He had at least one hit in every game in the series, including three home runs in the first two games. He scored six runs, drove in four more and posted a 1.202 OPS. His defense behind the plate wasn't always sharp, but his big hits contributed a lot to the championship and picked up for some teammates that were struggling.

Game five was certainly memorable, but the entire series was one to remember. The Giants won running away in game one behind another great playoff start by Justin Fitzgerald. He pitched seven scoreless innings and struck out nine while walking none. The game was close for six and a half innings, but the Giants got to the Quakes' bullpen, scoring five in the 7th and three in the 8th. The Giants had a balanced attack, getting hits from everyone in the starting lineup. Ehire Adrianza had two hits and scored three times, and four different San Jose players had two RBI games.

Rancho Cucamonga turned the tables in game two and got their own great pitching performance. Garrett Richards pitched seven strong innings, allowing just one run and striking out eight. A night after scoring eight runs in their final two at bats, San Jose was limited to just two runs and three hits. Both runs came on Johnny Monell solo home runs, so the Giants certainly didn't get the balance they did from their lineup in game one. Kelvin Marte made a solid start for San Jose, but it wasn't enough with the lack of offensive support. Jon Townsend had three hits, including a solo home run, and two RBI.

Game three may have finished with a five run margin, but prior to game five, it was probably one of, if not the most wild game of the season. Rancho Cucamonga took an early lead, but San Jose eventually tied it up. After the Quakes' bullpen let the game get out of hand to waste a good start by Ryan Chaffee, Rancho Cucamonga fought back in the bottom of the 9th again. Jon Townsend led off the inning by reaching on a wild pitch for strike three (sound familiar?) and it was downhill from there for San Jose. Jason Stoffel struck out Matt Long, but then a walk, two hits and sloppy play eventually led to the Quakes tying the game on a sac bunt. San Jose recovered to win in 11 with a five run inning, highlighted by Brandon Crawford's grand slam.

Momentum swung back in Rancho Cucamonga's favor in a must win game four. Manny Flores was making his third playoff start, and he stepped up when it matters most. San Jose was shut out, and it was thanks to Flores' eight scoreless innings. Baserunners were scarce for both teams, but Flores did a great job and didn't allow a hit w/ RISP. Oliver Odle was solid despite having two and a half weeks of rest, and Flores was just better. Mike Trout and Luis Jimenez each had two hits to lead the Quakes offense to force game five.

At the All Star break, it wouldn't be a surprise that the Giants would win another championship. Lake Elsinore had the better half, but San Jose wasn't far behind. Their offense was one of the best in the league despite not hitting many home runs. They put the ball in play and stole a lot of bases, and their lineup was pretty deep. Brandon Belt dominated this league's pitching from the start, and Juan Perez joined him in the All Star game. Jose Flores was making a somewhat surprising contribution, and Charlie Culberson was starting to realize his potential.

Their pitching also set the standard in the league for the first half. They were led by a trio of All Stars, Craig Westcott, Eric Surkamp and Justin Fitzgerald. Westcott got the All Star game start after posting a tremendous ERA. Surkamp and Fitzgerald both posted great halves, and the rest of the six man rotation was delivering too. It was another great first half for the Giants, who have made a habit out of clinching a playoff spot at the 70 game mark. It was their 6th straight first half championship.

The second half didn't go quite as well. After winning 45 games in the first 70 games, the Giants finished last in the division with only 31 wins. They still hung on to finish with the best overall record in the division, but they probably expected to finish with more than 76 wins after the great first half. Brandon Belt was promoted, and obviously it's very difficult to replace a player like that. A number of key players such as Juan Perez, Jose Flores and Charlie Culberson saw their numbers drop in the second half, and that contributed to the team's struggles.

Their pitching wasn't quite the same either. Like Belt, Craig Westcott was quickly promoted to AA Richmond after the break, and it wasn't the first loss the rotation would suffer. About a month later, Eric Surkamp had to be removed from a start with a hip injury and didn't return. Fellow prospect Kyle Nicholson also went down with an injury, and San Jose's projected starters at the beginning of the season continued to dwindle. Justin Fitzgerald was able to be the anchor and stay in the rotation the entire season.

At the end of the second half, the Giants seemed to start playing better and build some momentum. They had almost a full week off between the end of the regular season and their playoff schedule thanks to their first half championship, but sometimes this can hurt teams. San Jose shrugged it off and remained hot against Modesto. At the time, the Nuts seemed unbeatable, riding an eight game winning streak into the playoffs and past Stockton. That momentum suddenly stopped against the Giants who averaged seven runs per game to sweep Modesto and advance to another championship.

The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes deserve credit too. They didn't win a championship which is surely disappointing for the team and fans, but it was still one of the best seasons in franchise history. They survived a lot of promotions and roster turnover and played some of the most consistent baseball in the league, and they were very close to coming out on top. They were right with San Jose the entire series, and they proved to be a great competitor.

That's the story of the 2010 San Jose Giants. It's not well organized, but I tried to cover as much as I could. Before the playoffs, I wasn't sure about their chances because of their second half struggles, but they quickly proved that they could still get hot and win. Congratulations to the Giants players, coaches, front office, fans and anyone involved in the win. It was another great season for San Jose baseball, and it doesn't seem like anybody can stop them. It'll mostly be a new roster next year, but the player development staff does a great job at this level and always has players prepared to compete. Repeats in the minors don't happen often, and the Giants deserve credit for having top talent year after year.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Cal League Condensed: Championship Game Five Review

Giants repeat in back and forth extra innings game
San Jose 7, Rancho Cucamonga 6 (10)
Recap | Box
W: Jason Stoffel (2-0)
L: Eddie McKiernan (0-1)
BS: Ryan Verdugo (1)
HR: Brandon Crawford (2)
Player of the game: Jason Stoffel
Notes: San Jose wins their 6th championship and second straight... No team has won back to back championships since San Bernardino, now Inland Empire, in 1999-2000... Johnny Monell won championship MVP... Charlie Culberson's 10th inning sac fly to score Juan Perez proved to be the winning run... Rancho Cucamonga scored two runs on an Alberto Rosario single in the 8th to the the game at six... Jason Stoffel recorded two outs with the bases loaded in the 8th and finished the game to earn the win... Charlie Culberson and Brandon Crawford each had two hits and two RBI... Crawford also scored twice... Justin Fitzgerald allowed three runs in 4.2 IP... Jose Casilla allowed three runs in one inning... Kyle Hurst struck out five and allowed two runs in four innings... Rancho Cucamonga pitchers walked nine batters... Matt Long had three hits... Mike Trout had two hits and scored twice... Both Long and Trout had two steals... Long was caught stealing third for the third out in the bottom of the 9th as the winning run... Attendance was 2,099...

Cal League Condensed: Championship Game Five

Fitzgerald goes on short rest in deciding game
San Jose Giants v. Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 7:05 PM PT
Game Five (Series tied 2-2)
Justin Fitzgerald v. Kyle Hurst
Radio Broadcast: 1510 AM (Rancho Cucamonga),, and
TV Broadcast: CHN (San Jose)

Fitzgerald v. Rancho Cucamonga:











Hurst v. San Jose:







Notes: The Championship series last went five games in 2007 when San Jose defeated Lake Elsinore... This is the first playoff series in 2010 to play the maximum amount of games... Justin Fitzgerald has a .64 ERA and .79 WHIP in 14 innings over two previous playoff starts, including the first game of this series... Fitzgerald will be the only starter this postseason to pitch twice in one series... Johnny Monell had a 1.303 OPS in 17 Championship series at bats... Juan Perez has just five hits in 31 playoff at bats... Kyle Hurst's start against San Jose earlier this year was by far his worst appearance of the season... Hurst hasn't pitched in the postseason and hasn't appeared in a game since 9/3... Gabe Jacobo and Dillon Baird have combined to go 5/29 against San Jose and neither had a hit in game four... Mike Trout is 7/18 in the championship with a 1.199 OPS...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cal League Condensed: 9/19 Review

Flores dominates as Quakes blank Giants
Rancho Cucamonga 4, San Jose 0
Recap | Box
W: Manny Flores (1-0)
L: Oliver Odle (0-1)
Player of the game: Manny Flores
Notes: Manny Flores allowed five hits and struck out four in eight scoreless innings... Nick Pugliese pitched the last inning to complete the shutout... Rancho Cucamonga scored two runs in both the 6th and 7th innings... Each team had six hits... Mike Trout and Luis Jimenez each had two hit games... All four of Rancho Cucamonga's runs were scored by different players... Oliver Odle allowed two runs in 5.2 IP... Ben Wilshire had to leave the game without recording an out due to injury... Charlie Culberson and Ehire Adrianza had two hits each... Juan Perez was picked off by Manny Flores twice... Francisco Peguero's hitting streak ended with an 0/4 night... Attendance was 1,328...

Cal League Condensed: 9/19 Preview

Flores gets third playoff start in must win game
San Jose Giants v. Rancho Cucamonga Quakes 5:05 PM PT
Game Four (SJ leads 2-1)
Oliver Odle v. Manny Flores
Radio Broadcast: 1510 AM (Rancho Cucamonga),, and
TV Broadcast: CHN (San Jose)

Odle v. Rancho Cucamonga:







Flores v. San Jose:







Notes: Oliver Odle hasn't pitched since 9/2, a quality start against Inland Empire... Odle had a 6.07 ERA in 96.1 IP as a starter and allowed 131 hits... Closer Jason Stoffel had a 3.56 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 30.1 road IP... Juan Perez hasn't had a multi hit game since 9/4, the third to last game of the regular season... Manny Flores has a 6.75 ERA over 9.1 IP in two playoff starts... Flores will be the only starter to appear three times in the playoffs this year... Rancho Cucamonga has had two three-run innings this postseason started by a wild pitch on strike three... Dillon Baird is batting .182 in the series against San Jose...