Thursday, August 2, 2012

Game 39: Bluefield Blue Jays at Johnson City Cardinals

Listen live right here and check out the @BluefieldJays Twitter page for mid-game updates

BLUE JAYS (18-20)

1 Jorge Vega-Rosado DH
2 Jacob Anderson RF
3 Dwight Smith Jr. LF
4 Seth Conner 1B
Christian Lopes SS
6 Santiago Nessy C
7 Matt Dean 3B
8 Christian Frias 2B
9 D.J. Jones CF

LHP Deivy Estrada (2-3, 3.86)


1 C.J. McElroy CF
2 Ildemaro Vargas 2B
3 Adam Ehrlich C
4 Jeremy Schaffer 1B
5 Bruce Caldwell DH
6 Carson Kelly 3B
7 Cesar Valera SS
8 Ronald Castillo LF
9 Dutch Deol RF

RHP Silfredo Garcia (1-1, 3.57)


BROADCAST INFO: Listen live right here for Blue Jays pregame at 6:50. Tonight's game will also be on local radio on 1240 AM Rooster Classic Country.

WEATHER: 75 degrees with rain coming. Keep those fingers crossed. By the way, that is identical to last night's forecast. Oy.

UMPIRES: PLATE Andrew Freed  FIELD Jimmy Lott

ABOUT LAST NIGHT...: The Bluefield Blue Jays had to sweat it out before escaping with their third straight win. The Jays held off a two-run rally in the ninth and beat the Johnson City Cardinals 6-5 at Cardinal Park on Wednesday. Jacob Anderson belted the first pitch of the game for a home run to jump-start Bluefield, who won their third straight for the first time this year. Johnson City righty Thomas Lee made his first start of the season and was greeted rudely by Anderson, whose second homer of 2012 sailed deep over the 20-foot high fence in left center field. The Cards tied the game with three hits to start the bottom of the first, but Jeremy Gabryszwski limited the damage and kept the game tied. Bluefield took the lead for good in the second after they loaded the bases with no outs. Christian Frias lifted a fly ball to center field for the first out of the inning. Eric Arce was hung up in a rundown between second and third base and as he was tagged out for the second out, Dickie Joe Thon broke for home. Thon barely beat the throw to the plate to avoid the triple play and put the Jays up 2-1. Both teams scored two runs in the fifth, with Bluefield’s coming on Dwight Smith’s two-run single off Lee. The Jays added two more an inning later when D.J. Jones scored on third baseman Carson Kelly’s throwing error before Christian Lopes singled home another run to increase the lead to 6-3. Gabryszwski went five innings for Bluefield, allowing three runs on eight hits. Denny Valdez started the sixth, but was lifted after two outs and two walks. Brandon Dorsett inherited the jam with the tying run at the plate, but he induced a popup from Lance Jeffries on his first pitch to end the sixth. Dorsett worked a scoreless seventh and eighth and lowered his ERA to a paltry 0.50. He passed the game to Julio Carmona and the Cards made it interesting in the final frame. C.J. McElroy and Ildemaro Vargas doubled to make it 6-4 and Adam Ehrlich, in his first Appy League game after a call-up from the GCL, singled to cut the lead to one. Carmona buckled down to strike Jeremy Schaffer looking and Trevor Martin swinging to end it .

VS. THE CARDINALS: The two clubs played an exciting series to open the 2012 Bowen Field slate in a rematch of last year’s Appalachian League Championship Series. In the Jays home opener on June 22, the Cardinals came back from a run down in the ninth to win in ten innings 4-2. The Jays bounced back the next night to win 5-4 on Jacob Anderson’s walk-off double. Johnson City won the rubber game on June 24, almost in historic fashion. They were one strike away from a no-hitter before Seth Conner broke it up with a clean single up the middle. In last year’s playoffs The Cards were defending champions and they swept the Baby Birds two games to none. Bluefield led the opener 3-0 the whole way until the Cards rallied with two runs in the seventh and two in the ninth. to walk off with a 4-3 victory. Nicholas Gillung and Logan Billbrough combined to one-hit Bluefield in the clincher in a 4-1 win. The two clubs split six head-to-head meetings during the 2011 regular season, with the home team winning two out of three twice. Bluefield won a home series from July 5-7, the middle game won on Daniel Arcila’s walk-off two-run homer in the 11th inning. Johnson City answered with a series win from August 6-8.


ESTRADA: A native of Valencia, Venezuela, lefty Deivy Estrada is coming off of back-to-back losses in the Mercer Cup series against rival Princeton. On July 21, he allowed three runs in four innings in a twinbill finale at home. On Saturday in Princeton he allowed four runs, but only one earned, in five innings as the Rays evened the Mercer Cup set at 4-4. Estrada has been let down by his defense this season, with 17 of his 31 runs allowed charged as unearned. He posted 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 was charged with 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).

GARCIA: Estrada’s fellow Venezuelan, right-hander Silfredo Garcia, starts the middle game of the series for the Cardinals. Hailing from Puerto Cabello, Garcia made four starts in the Gulf Coast League to start the season and threw six shutout innings in three of them. His 1.54 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 23.1 innings earned him a promotion to the Appalachian League. He won his first Johnson City start in a doubleheader nightcap on July 16, shutting down Kingsport as he allowed only an unearned run in six innings with eight strikeouts. The 21-year-old last pitched on Friday in Danville, taking a no decision after allowing four runs on six hits in six and one-third innings. In 41 innings in 2010 he has a ridiculous 49-to-2 K-to-BB ratio. Garcia signed with St. Louis in 2012 and spent that summer in his native Venezuela, putting up a 4.55 ERA for the VSL Cards. He went to the Dominican Summer League last year, logging a 2.43 ERA.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!: Blue Jays manager Dennis Holmberg celebrates his birthday today and will manage his 2,500th professional game tonight. He’s closing in on his 1,300th win in professional baseball. Over 25 seasons as a minor league skipper, he has a career record of 1,297-1,202 (.519). After eight seasons as a third baseman/outfielder in the Milwaukee system he began his managerial career at age 25 in 1977 with the Newark Co-Pilots, the Brewers’ farm team in the New York-Penn League. He then joined the Blue Jays in 1978 as a minor league instructor and has been with the organization ever since. He has spent 24 seasons as a manager and eight as a coach in the Toronto system. He also spent the 1994 and 1995 seasons as the bullpen coach for the big league club. Holmberg has piloted ten playoff teams, including last year’s Appy League runner-up in Bluefield. It was Bluefield’s first postseason tirp since 2002. From 2002 to 2007 his Auburn Doubledays made six straight postseasons, including a New York-Penn League champ-ionship run in ‘07.
THREE-PEAT (© PAT RILEY): Last night, the Baby Jays won their third straight game for the first time in 2012. Bluefield beat Greeneville at home 8-3 and 5-1 before last night’’s win in Johnson City. Last year, the Jays ran up a six-game streak and four others of four games.

WALKIN THE TIGHTROPE: Righty Julio Carmona made things interesting in the ninth last night, but he still preserved Bluefield‘s 6-5 victory. He allowed two runs and put the tying run at second base, but he struck out Jeremy Schaffer and Trevor Martin to slam the door. He struck out the side in his one inning of work and with 20 K’s in 15.2 innings, his 11.49 K/9 IP ratio is fourth in the league among relievers.

Pregame Audio: The birthday boy managing his 2,500th professional game...Dennis Holmberg!

Bluefield Blue Jays Game Notes 8-2
Check out the @BluefieldJays Twitter page for mid-game updates

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