Lexington and Bowling Green both lost Tuesday, but the Louisville Bats kept the minor league streak of dramatic wins going with a four-run comeback in the bottom of the 11th. Check out that story and more in today’s hot links:
- Louisville Bats’ outfielder Drew Stubbs drove in two with a double in the bottom of the eleventh to cap a four-run comeback and give the Bats a 6-5 win.
- Tyler Moore led Hagerstown to a 6-2 victory over Lexington with two home runs.
- The Hot Rods blew a late lead and lost 5-4 for Lake County.
- The St. Louis Cardinals shifted Bellarmine alum Todd Wellemeyer to the bullpen.
- Michael Grant at the Courier-Journal profiles Bats outfielder Chris Heisey.
- Kevin Damore at the Santa Clara Valley Signal profiles Bats infielder Chris Valaika.
- Former Louisville Cardinal Chris Dominguez hit his ninth home run of his professional career for short-season Salem-Keizer.
Lexington Legends vs. Hagerstown Suns
- David Duncan looks to continue his resurgence in his fourth start for the Legends tonight. Duncan is 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA in three games with Lexington, including a seven-inning, one-run performance in his last start against Lake County. Duncan struck out seven and walked none in that start. In 18 innings with Lexington Duncan has 19 strikeouts and four walks. David began the season with Lancaster where he was 0-9 with an 8.51 ERA.
- Monday’s DH Michael Diaz tied his season high with three RBIs in the 6-5 victory over Hagerstown. Diaz also had three RBI on June 13 and July 9 and has 23 RBI on the season. Diaz drove in the winning run Monday when he was hit by a pitch in the ninth inning with the bases loaded.
- First baseman Brian Pellegrini hit his 16th home run of the season for Lexington Monday. Pellegrini has 37 home runs in his Legends’ career, the most of any Legend. He is nine home runs from Hunter Pence’s single-season record of 25 home runs set in 2005.
- Hagerstown will send its ace Marcos Frias to the mound tonight. Frias is 6-3 with a 3.02 ERA on the season and 78 strikeouts in 86.1 innings over 17 games. Frias held Bowling Green to one run in six innings in his last start.
Bowling Green vs. Lake County
- The Hot Rods send Frank De Los Santos to the mound tonight. The lefty is 4-6 with a 3.77 ERA on the season and is holding opponents to a .260 average on the season including .165 average from left-handed batters. De Los Santos allowed five runs in four and one-third innings against Hagerstown in his last start.
- Second baseman Robi Estrada turned in his third consecutive multi-hit game in driving in the winning run with a bunt-single in Monday. Over his last three games, Estrada is 7-12. Estrada also had three consecutive multi-hit efforts in a double header on March 23 and in the following game on the 24th.
With Sunday’s induction of outfielders Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice into the Baseball Hall of Fame and Monday’s announcement from hall of famer Jim Bunning that he wouldn’t seek re-election to the U. S. Senate I thought we’d profile Kentucky’s four hall of famers. Clicking on each player’s name will take you to his official Hall of Fame entry.
Jim Bunning, RHP, Detroit Tigers
- Bunning is perhaps more famous for his political career as a U. S. representative (1987-1999) and U. S. senator (1999-present) today, but before he was a nationally prominent politician he was a hall of fame pitcher. Bunning pitched from 1955-1971 for Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles. Over his career Bunning was 224-184 with a 3.27 ERA and 2855 strikeouts. Bunning was the first pitcher to record both 100 wins and 1,000 strikeouts in the American and National League and pitched a no-hitter in each league. He was a seven-time All-Star and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1996 by the Veteran’s Committee.
Pee Wee Reese, SS, Brooklyn Dodgers
- “Pee Wee” was born Harold Henry Reese in Ekron, Ky., in 1918. The defensive whiz spent his entire career with the Dodgers organization and played along side Jackie Robinson for most of his career. Reese was the captain of the Dodgers during their dominant run through the National League in the 1950s and 1960s. Pee Wee is most famous for his embrace of Robinson during pre-game warmups in Cincinnati during Robinson’s first season in baseball. As Reese, a white man, embraced his black teammate on the field the crowd that was heckling Robinson quited. The moment was immortalized in a statue in Brooklyn in 2005.
- Reese led the National league in putouts four times, double plays twice and fielding percentage and assists once each. Reese helped lead Brooklyn to seven pennants and never missed a inning of the seven World Series he participated in. Reese only batted over .300 once in his career and finished his playing days with a .269 average, 2170 hits and 1338 runs scored. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1984 by the veterans committee.
Monday was another crazy night of baseball in the Bluegrass. Lexington came from behind in the ninth to win in walk-off fashion for the second consecutive game and Bowling Green got in on the walk-off fun as well. Check out those stories and more in today’s hot links:
- Bowling Green’s walk-off victory wasn’t your typical clutch win. The Hot Rods defeated Lake County 3-2 on a walk-off bunt from Robi Estrada.
- Lexington’s second consecutive walk-off victory was even more unorthodox as Michael Diaz “drove” in the winning run with a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch in the ninth to defeat Hagerstown 6-5.
- Louisville cut an 8-0 lead to 8-5 late in the game but couldn’t finish the comeback against Syracuse.
- According to the C-J, Bats’ pitcher Justin Lehr was named the International League pitcher of the week.
- We’ll generally stay away from politics on the blog, but this note is baseball related. Ky. Sen. Jim Bunning, the Hall of Fame pitcher, announced he would not seek re-election in the U. S. Senate.
- Several BluGrass players were called up over the weekend. Former UK pitcher Chris Rusin was promoted from rookie AZL Cubs to short-season Boise. Former UK infielder Michael Bertram was promoted from high A Lakeland to AA Erie. The Reds promoted pitcher Josh Roenicke, pitcher Robert Manuel and infielder Drew Sutton from Louisville to replace injured Reds Jared Burton, Micah Owings and Chris Dickerson.
- I try and tweet roster moves like that as I hear about them. You can follow BluGrass Baseball on twitter here.
Louisville Bats @ Syracuse Chiefs
- Louisville sends Matt Maloney to the mound tonight against the Chiefs in what could be his last start for the Bats before a callup to Cincinnati. Reds starting pitcher Micah Owings left his start Sunday after just three innings with “shoulder stiffness” so Cincinnati might need another starter during the next turn through the rotation. Maloney (7-6, 2.51) and Just Lehr (13-3, 3.31) appear to be the two leading candidates for a callup.
- Maloney isn’t the only Bat looking toward the big league club tonight. Reds outfielder Chris Dickerson had to leave Sunday’s game with a shoulder injury after a diving catch attempt. John Fay of the Cincinatti Enquirer reported infielder Drew Sutton was with the team tonight. If Dickerson’s injury is serious, Louisville stars Chris Heisey and Drew Stubbs might be considered for a long-term promotion soon.
- Syracuse sends Shairon Martis to the mound tonight. Martis was 2008 Futures Game selection and has pitched for the Washington Nationals for most of the season where he was 5-3 with a 5.25 ERA. In his four starts since being optioned back to Syracuse Martis is 2-1 with a 6.50 ERA.
- Heisey has hits in his last four games, eight of his last nine games and 13 of his last 15. The outfielder is batting .316 with three home runs and 16 RBI in 25 games for Louisville.
The Bluegrass has a world champion baseball player in the form of UofL closer Tony Zych. Zych and his teammates on the Collegiate USA National Team won the 2009 World Baseball Challenge Sunday with a 8-1 victory over Germany. UofL head coach Dan McDonnell served as the first-base coach for Team USA.
Team USA finished the summer with a 19-5 record, winning its last five games to clinch the title. Zych didn’t appear in the championship game but had an ERA of 2.91 with 17 strikeouts in 15.2 innings during the summer. Zych, a freshman, pitched out of the pen for most of 2009 for the Cardinals before moving to the rotation in his final three appearances. He won each of his three starts including six strong innings in UofL’s NCAA Regional Championship win over Vanderbilt.
I saw Zych pitch in one of his two losses during the 2009 season. He was Louisville’s closer at the time and blew a save in the state rivalry against Kentucky at home. At the time Zych was 2-0 with a 0.47 ERA. He surrendered two runs in that game, but he obviously had as much talent as anyone on the Louisville roster. UK coach Gary Henderson was generous in his praise of the UofL reliever.
“Your kids get confidence that they did it against Louisville’s best guy,” Henderson said.
You can find full coverage of Team USA’s win at the team’s home page.
Reinaldo Pestana was the big hero in Lexington last night as his three-run home run capped a six-run ninth inning to give Lexington a walk-off victory. Check the recap of that game and more out in these Monday links:
- Lexington trailed 3-0 entering the ninth but score six to win 6-3 in dramatic fashion Sunday.
- Lake County used an offensive blitz to beat Bowling Green 8-2.
- Justin Lehr earned his 13th win of the season in Louisville’s 5-3 victory over Syracuse.
- Rick Bozich of the C-J has a column about the atmosphere in the left field seats at Louisville Slugger Field.
- Mark Maloney at the H-L writes about the Legends’ “Mr. Program.”
- Cleve Dheenshaw at the Times Columnist write about the success of the British Columbia Premier League and includes a nugget about leage alum James Paxton.
- LCA alum Robbie Ross took just the second loss of his professional career.
- UK alum Chris Rusin was promoted from the rookie AZL Cubs to short-season Boise, and surrendered two runs in his first start.
- Want some fantasy baseball advice? Brandon Funston of Yahoo Sports recommends you pick up UK alum Joe Blanton for August.
Saturday was a light news day for BluGrass Baseball, but here are some links for your Sunday morning.
- Lake County defeated Lexington 7-2 to win the four-game series at Applebee’s Park.
- Bowling Green suffered the same fate with a 6-2 loss to Hagerstown.
- The Syracuse Chiefs defeated Louisville in walk-off fashion 4-3.
- Independence, Ky., native Jake Robinson won the Freeport International Home Run Derby.
- Former Legend Hunter Pence homered in Houston’s 10-3 loss to the Mets.
- Mark Maloney at the H-L previews the Legends’ upcoming series with Hagerstown.
Friday was a busy day for baseball in the Bluegrass. Here are some morning links to start your weekend:
Friday wasn’t a good day for Kentucky major leaguers. The Colorado Rockies designated relief pitcher Ryan Speier for assignment this afternoon. Speier joins Tigers outfielder Josh Anderson as Kentucky natives designated for assignment today.
Speier was just activated from the disabled list on Tuesday. He had been on the injured list since April with a strained hamstring. The Frankfort, Ky., native did not pitch for the Rockies since being activated. He was removed from the roster to make room for newly acquired relief pitcher Rafael Betancourt and top prospect Jhoulys Chacin.
Speier is 7-2 with a 3.99 ERA in 90 career games, all out of the bullpen.