Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Series Report: Edmonton @ Reno (June 17-19, 2008)

June 18: The Sox evened this series at a game a piece with a 13-9 inning; and if you take out Shawn Ravenscraft's two innings of work, the score would have been 13-3.

Tonight was another vision of how good the Silver Sox can be if they get good pitching. Jesse Hall and Jeremy Flanagan gave then just that as Hall scattered three runs given up across 6 innings and Flanagan came in for a scoreless inning of relief. The former is now 2-1 with a 5.70 ERA which is not bad at all and a welcome sight with the loss of Marc Kaiser earlier this week. Fulcher still has a little way to go to drop his ERA below 10 (it is currently 10.80) but a couple more outings like this and he can erase his slow start with the team. As for Ravenscraft...well, I like to talk about the play on the field and not get personal but sometimes those things mix every now and then. Shawn Ravenscraft has just not been effective this year and I think he is about to go the way of Mike Reeves if he doesn't step up his game, unfortunately. Reeves, as you'll recall, was a former starter who ended up going 0-2 with a 19.29 ERA in five games. Ravenscraft, also a former starter, is currently 0-0 with a 12.60 ERA in 5 games. He has 9 walks to 8 strike outs and has allowed 30 hits in 15 innings of work. The Sox entered the 9th with a 13-3 lead. After Ravenscraft's outing, they won 13-9. A little too close if you ask me.

The offense continues to amaze with home runs from Steven Alexander, Gary Harris, and D.J. Dixon. Dixon had the most amazing line of the night going 4 for 4 with 2 runs and 7 RBIs. Not sure the last time I saw someone with 7 RBIs at any level of baseball above little league so it is quite an accomplishment. Carlos Madrid and Ryan Crespi also had two hits a piece. Madrid chipped in with his third swipe on the a season as well.

So overall, a good game and a timely win for the Sox. Jeffrey Leonard seems to be losing confidence in his bullpen as he pulls guys quicker and made a lot of pitching transactions over the weekend. Here is one Sox fan hoping it all pays off!

June 17: This will be the week when the two newest GBL teams come to town. Unfortunately for the Sox, the story would remain the same, however, as the bullpen sunk any chances they had of winning the first of a three game set with the Edmonton Cracker cats.

First, some injury news. Carlos Madrid made his return to the actve roster for the first time since being sidelined with a hamstring injury at the end of May. And he didn't miss a beat going 1 for 3 with two batted in.

Marc Kaiser, however, will replace him on the inactive list as he is out indefinitely with some elbow trouble. Not a good sign for one of the few bright spots on our pitching roster. The other, Steve Russell, may also have been injured as he left the game after going just three innings in his fifth start of the year. Hopefully he is OK.

As for the game, well, you have heard this before...Sox are down 4-3 through four, bullpen implodes, and Sox lose 16-5. Edmonton is now 8-9 on the season while Reno falls to 6-13.

Mario Guilen looked to be off to a good start as he had a scoreless 4th inning of work but then gave up three in the 5th before settling down for a scoreless 6th.

At that point, the team brought in a pitcher named "Alvarez". I'd give you his first name but it isn't listed on the box score or on the team roster. And it is probably good for his self esteem to have it that way because this young man's first Sox outing netted 7 runs on 9 hits (3 of those homeruns) in just one inning of work.

Brian Fulcher came in and gave up his requisite two runs in one inning of work and then, seeing nothing to lose, Jeffrey Leonard brought in Steven Alexander to pitch the ninth. He actually pitched a scoreless inning. At the risk of badmouthing my favorite team, it is more than a little discouraging when the best pitchers in your bullpen are a bench coach (Reggie Leslie) and your first baseman (Steven Alexander).

The offense, for its part, still continues to improve. John Hattig pushed his average over the .300 mark with a 2-4 performance last night and Ryan Crespi continued his hot streak with a 3-4 outing that increased his average to .405. In fact, of the nine starters, seven are batting over .300 with an eighth (Juan Senrieso) right behind them hitting .280. Team slugging is at .485 which is pretty good and on-base percentage is also good at .389.

Defense is also doing better as the team averages under two a game which is tied for 5th in the GBL. Though that may not sound like a good place to be in a league of 8 teams, those errors have only resulted in 12 unearned runs in 19 games so we could live with that if our pitching was better.

So really, the Sox are doing very well in two categories...however, as the old saying go, pitching wins championships. And the Sox, far from contending for a first half title, are finding that pitching wins individual games. The Sox will be mid-way through the first half when they wake up on Saturday and when they do so, they will be under .500--the question is, how far under .500?

The Sox will send Jesse Hall to the mound for game two. I hope you can make it out to support your home team, Reno.


Anonymous said...

SS Fan,

I noticed the Sox acquired another OF Ross McCoy, then released newly acquired SP Fulcher. I think the OF is solid with Crespi,Harris, and Seneriso.
We need pitching to complete with Calgary & Edm. Who know the Sox may have signed another pitcher but it generally hits the website transaction link days later...

S Sox

Anonymous said...

Shawn Ravenscraft is the best baseball player goin, and because of you he quit baseball. Way to go jackass.

Anonymous said...

Shawn Ravenscraft is the best baseball player goin, and because of you he quit baseball. Way to go jackass.