Saturday, August 13, 2011

Good or bad?

A road trip is generally thought of as either good or bad, rarely neither.

The Lugnuts are coming off a 3-4 trip to Fort Wayne and South Bend.  Three of four games lost at Parkview Field shouldn't sit too well, especially when those game were ripe for the taking if only there was a clutch hit gained here or there.  Bad trip, right?

There was an earlier road trip this second half in which the Lugs went 7-2 in a trio of three-game series taking them from Lake County to Kane County to Clinton.  That's pretty clearly a good trip, isn't it?

Not quite.

It's all about how the final game goes that determines how you feel coming back home.

The nine-game road trip ended with a disastrous loss to the LumberKings, 11-5 on a miserably hot day, made worse by a Clinton nine-run seventh inning.  It was a 7-2 road trip that left everyone sulky and irritable on the bus ride back.

This last road trip, conversely, finished off with a satisfying 6-2 win in which players as diverse as Jake Marisnick, Jack Murphy, Garis Pena, Egan Smith, Aleson Escalante, and Shawn Griffith all had a part in finishing off the Silver Hawks.  It felt good, regardless of the overall 3-4 record on the road trip.

Oh, yes, one other thing:  the 7-2 trip required a long drive home from Iowa.  The 3-4 trip just completed needed only a little two-hour jaunt from South Bend.

Which one was better?  No contest.

Friday, August 12, 2011

With regard to the ESPN article on the Blue Jays...

I'm skeptical until shown better information than one year's worth of selective data and anonymous eyewitness guesswork.

Then again, it wouldn't surprise me if this was true.  Baseball players historically cheat as much as or more than any other other sport's athletes.  In the grand scheme of things, cheating in baseball is ranked as slightly better than trying to bunt to break up a no-hitter but much worse than hot dogging a home run.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A brief update

David Cooper is now longer batting .400 for Las Vegas.  He's now at .379, collecting two-hit games the past three days and in 11 of his last 16 games.  Home/road splits?  All right:  he's batting .379 on the road (.450 OBP) and .379 at home (.457 OBP).

That, it would seem clearly to me, is the makings of a .300+ hitter in the Majors.  The question is, with Adam Lind at first base and Mike McDade breathing down the back of his neck in Double-A, will Cooper get his shot with the Blue Jays or is he merely trade bait?

Henderson goes to the Show

Henderson Alvarez was the Lugnuts' 2009 Opening Day starter at the ripe old age of 18, turning 19 a couple of weeks later.  He spent last season with A-Advanced Dunedin, going 8-7 with a 4.33 ERA, and began this season with the D-Jays as well before getting called up to Double-ANew Hampshire in late May.

Now 21-year-old Henderson is heading to the Big Leagues, promoted directly from the Eastern League to start for Toronto against the Oakland Athletics.

When he throws his first pitch tonight at 7:00ish p.m. against, perhaps, Jemile Weeks, he'll be the sixth Lugnuts alum to make his MLB debut this season and the 78th all-time Lug to reach the Majors.