Saturday, July 21, 2012

Games 29 and 30: Princeton Rays at Bluefield Blue Jays


Sadly there is no broadcast tonight...check out the @BluefieldJays Twitter page for mid-game updates

RAYS (15-15) Game One

1 Brandon Martin SS
2 Oscar Hernandez C
3 Andrew Toles CF
4 Willie Argo RF
5 Reid Redman 2B
6 John Alexander 1B
7 Darryl George 3B
8 Chad Nacapoy DH
9 Ismel Antunez LF

Game One: LHP Blake Snell (3-1, 0.99)
Game Two: LHP Bruedlin Suero (1-3, 7.15)

* The game notes have Suero/Snell as the twinbill starters

BLUE JAYS (12-16) Game One

1 Jorge Vega-Rosado 2B
2 Christian Lopes SS
3 Dwight Smith Jr. CF
4 Santiago Nessy C
5 Art Charles 1B
6 Matt Dean 3B
7 Seth Conner DH
8 Nico Taylor LF
9 Jacob Anderson RF

Game One: RHP Tucker Jensen (1-1, 4.58)
Game Two: LHP Deivy Estrada (2-1, 3.80)


BROADCAST INFO: Sorry folks, no broadcasts on this homestand

WEATHER: 79 and overcast 

UMPIRES: PLATE Troy Hodack  FIELD Nick Garvey

ABOUT LAST NIGHT...: Jeremy Gabryszwski and Griffin Murphy dominated on the hill and Mother Nature finished the job. The Bluefield Blue Jays shut down the Princeton Rays 2-0 at Hunnicutt Field in Princeton to take a 2-1 lead in the Mercer Cup. Gabryszwski’s five shutout innings were followed by Murphy’s three zeroes before rain ended the game in the bottom of the ninth. The Rays could not even muster a threat against Bluefield pitching. Gabryszwski (W, 1-0) allowed a leadoff double in the first inning and a two-out double in the fourth, but those were the only times Princeton had a runner in scoring position against the righty. He allowed four hits and struck out two without walking a batter in recording his first win of the season, lowering his ERA to 1.50. Murphy (S, 1) picked up right where Gabryszwski left off and set down nine of the ten men he faced to get through the eighth. He struck out three and was credited with the save. Bluefield worked their way onto the scoreboard quickly in the top of the first against starter Jacob Faria. Alex Azor led off the game with an infield single and Dwight Smith singled two batters later. Art Charles walked to fill the bases before Faria uncorked a wild pitch to plate Azor. Faria (L, 1-2) lasted only one inning before being replaced by Kevin Brandt. Brandt struck out nine in four shutout innings and William Gabay and Daniel Bream kept it a 1-0 game until the ninth. The Jays notched an insurance run against Joan Guerrero in the final inning. Jacob Anderson doubled to start the frame for his third hit of the game. Azor bunted him over to third and then, when catcher Oscar Hernandez’s pickoff throw to third was errant, Anderson scored. In between the top and bottom of the ninth, the skies opened up and a torrential downpour came down on the Princeton field. After a delay, the field was so drenched that the game was called.

VS. THE RAYS: The Blue Jays defeated Princeton in seven of 11 games last year to win the Mercer Cup. They took three of four in Princeton from June 30 to July 3 before dropping a July 4 meeting at home, 5-4. Princeton won two of three at Bowen Field at the end of July in a set that included a doubleheader split. So the Mercer Cup was tied 4-4 with three games to play in Bluefield on August 9-11. The Jays won 6-2, then Deivy Estrada pitched five shutout innings the next night to win the clincher and keep the Rays from retiring the Cup.


RHP TUCKER JENSEN: Right-hander Tucker Jensen looks to rebound from a rough second inning in Elizabethton on Monday. He pitched a perfect first, third and fourth inning, but in that second frame, he allowed seven runs, including a Max Kepler grand slam, in an 8-0 loss. The Ormond Beach, FL native has a 1.72 ERA and 0.96 WHIP, both are ninth among Appy League pitchers with at least 15 IP. Last year, he allowed 14 earned runs in 11.1 innings in four starts for Bluefield. He excelled in eight Gulf Coast League starts to begin his career, pitching to a 1.77 ERA with an 8.9 K/9 rate to earn a one-game call-up to low-A Lansing. Between three levels he struck out 56 batters in 57 innings of work. A decorated hurler at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL, Tucker was named Sun Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2011, also earning NAIA Second-Team All-America honors. The 22-year-old is the grandson of 1958 American League MVP Jackie Jensen.

LHP BRUEDLIN SUERO: Dominican Southpaw Bruedlin Suero is coming off his best outing of 2012. He held the Royals to one one on five hits in a five-inning victory on Sunday. He pitched to an 8.66 ERA through his first five games. The 22-year-old from Santo Domingo was signed by the Rays in 2008 and spent last year in the GCL, registering a 2.63 ERA. In two-plus seasons in the DSL from 2009-11, he put up a 3.13 ERA.

LHP DEIVY ESTRADA: Valencia, Venezuela native Deivy Estrada has lowered his ERA in each of his five outings since his 2012 debut. He allowed five runs, only one earned, in three and two-thirds innings in Monday’s twinbill finale in Elizabethton. The southpaw has held opponents to one earned run or none in his last four starts. Estrada potsed a 2.25 ERA in the GCL in 2011, but he had an ERA of 6.94 in Bluefield upon his promotion. He did contribute the clinching victory in the Mercer Cup last year, turning in five shutout innings on August 10. He allowed only four hits, striking out six without walking a man. He took a tough loss in the final game of the Appy League Championship Series when he gave up one earned run in five innings, but he took the defeat. He spent the 2010 season in the GCL and was in the DSL in 2009 when he K’d more than one batter per inning (48 in 44 IP).

LHP BLAKE SNELL: 19-year-old left-hander Blake Snell has been perhaps the Appalachian League’s best pitcher in 2012. He leads the circuit with a miniscule 0.99 ERA and his 0.91 WHIP ranks fourth. As opponents have only hit .154 against him, he is the hardest pitcher to get a hit off of in the loop. In 27.1 innings he has struck out 30 batters, six off the league lead. With eight and two-thirds shutout innings of one-hit ball and 13 strikeouts over his first two games in 2012, he earned Appy League Pitcher of the Week honors. He was home-schooled until his senior year at Shorewood High School in Washington, when he posted a 1.00 ERA and 118 K’s in 56 innings. That made him Tampa Bay’s supplemental first-round pick in 2011, 52nd overall and one ahead of Bluefield CF Dwight Smith Jr. He went 1-2 with a 3.08 ERA in 26.1 innings in the Gulf Coast League last year.

BOOM AND POUND ONCE I SHUT ‘EM DOWN: The duo of Jeremy Gabryszwski and Griffin Murphy kept the Rays’ bats at bay in Friday’s win, combining for a five-hit eight-inning shutout. Gabryszwski tossed five scoreless frames of four-hit ball for the second straight start. He lowered his ERA to 1.50 (3rd-lowest in the league) and his WHIP to 0.88 (second-lowest in the circuit). Murphy hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last three games (8 IP).

YOU SHALL NOT PASS: The Blue Jays have been the best team in the Appy League at throwing out potential base stealers. The trio of Santiago Nessy, Seth Conner and Hector Alvarez has gunned down 15 out of 33 runners (45.5 %) to lead the circuit.

Bluefield Blue Jays Game Notes 7-21

Check out the @BluefieldJays Twitter page for mid-game updates

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