Friday, August 3, 2012

Game 40: Bluefield Blue Jays at Johnson City Cardinals

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

UPDATE 7:20: The game has been rained out. We've had a ton of rain since about 4:30. This is the final regular season game between these two teams, so it will not be made up. 

BLUE JAYS (18-21)

1 Jorge Vega-Rosado 2B
2 Dickie Joe Thon SS
3 Dwight Smith Jr. LF
4 Seth Conner 1B
5 Eric Arce DH
6 Santiago Nessy C
7 Nico Taylor RF
8 Matt Dean 3B
9 D.J. Jones CF

RHP Tucker Jensen (2-1, 4.55)


1 C.J. McElroy CF
2 Ildemaro Vargas 2B
3 Adam Ehrlich DH
4 Jeremy Schaffer 1B
5 Bruce Caldwell SS
6 Carson Kelly 3B
7 Gerwuins Velazco C
8 Ronald Castillo LF
9 Lance Jeffries RF

RHP Zachary Petrick (3-0, 2.10)


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: 80 degrees with rain in the forecast. Keep those fingers crossed.
UMPIRES: PLATE Jimmy Lott  FIELD Andrew Freed

ABOUT LAST NIGHT...: To say Deivy Estrada has had a tough-luck season would be an understatement. The Bluefield Blue Jays made five errors behind him and had a total of six in a 7-5 loss to the Johnson City Cardinals on Thursday at Cardinal Park. Estrada has allowed 16 earned runs and 20 unearned runs this season. In Bluefield manager Dennis Holmberg’s 2,500th game as a manager in professional baseball, the Cards scored in the first inning. Second baseman Christian Frias threw away the relay on a possible inning-ending double play, sending home Ildemaro Vargas. Two more unearned tallies came in the third inning after Matt Dean made two errors at third base before Ronald Castillo’s two-run infield single made it a 3-0 game. After Johnson City starter Silfredo Garcia set down 12 of the first 13 batters, Bluefield got a run back in the fifth when Christian Lopes doubled and Santiago Nessy singled him in. The home team answered in the bottom half of the inning on a Vargas solo homer before getting another run in the sixth on back-to-back doubles by Bruce Caldwell and Carson Kelly. That knocked out Estrada, who allowed five runs, only two earned, in five-plus innings. Bluefield fought back in the seventh against Garcia with three runs. Seth Conner singled and Lopes doubled before Nessy bounced a single to left to bring them both home. Frias later drove in Nessy with a single and was at second base with the tying run. Garcia was lifted for Jeffrey Rauh after allowing four runs on seven hits in six and one-third innings, crusing through six frames before running out of gas. Rauh escaped trouble by getting a Matt Dean groundout and Jacob Anderson strikeout. It was a 5-4 game, but the defense immediately handed back two runs in the bottom of the seventh. Colby Broussard struck out Caldwell with two outs and two men on, but the pitch got away from the catcher Nessy. The throw to first sailed away, bringing home two vital insurance runs that were the difference in the game. The six miscues in the field are a new season-high for the Jays. Bluefield scored in the eighth on Nessy’s single. Johnson City called on closer Ronald Shaban, who had not pitched more than an inning in his first 13 appearances, for a five-out save. With the tying runs on base, Dean tapped back to the mound for the second out before Frias dribbled a swinging bunt down the third-base line. Kelly made a spectacular barehand grab and fired a strike to first to rob Frias of an RBI and end the inning. Shaban (S, 10) went 1-2-3 in the ninth, striking out Jorge Vega-Rosado and Anderson to close out his league-leading tenth save.

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.

RHP TUCKER JENSEN: Right-hander Tucker Jensen turns 23 today and aims to bounce back from a rocky start against Greeneville on Sunday. He struck out the first two batters of the game in a 1-2-3 first inning, but he allowed runs in each of the next three. He only went four innings, giving up five runs and seven hits, though he did strike out a season-high seven. He is two innings short of the league qualifier, but his 1.04 WHIP would rank fourth and his 28/5 K/BB ratio would be fifth in the circuit. 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. Tucker is the grandson of 1958 American League MVP Jackie Jensen.

RHP ZACHARY PETRICK: His mound opponent turns 23 today, but righty Zachary Petrick turned 23 five days ago on July 28. The Morris, Illinois native was an undrafted free agent signing out of The University of Northwestern Ohio and started his pro career with six relief appearances before shifting into the Johnson City rotation. His last outing was his best, tossing six shutout innings of two-hit ball in a win at Danville on Saturday. His 0.74 WHIP and .145 opponent batting average lead among Appy Leaguers with at least 20 innings pitched. As a senior in 2012 at Northwestern Ohio in NAIA, Petrick was a First-Team All-Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference selection. His older brother Billy, five years his senior, was the Cubs’ third-round pick in 2002. He made eight appearances for Chicago in 2007 and is currently in the independent North American League for the Abilene Prairie Dogs in Texas.

WHERE’S THE GLOVE?: Last night’s error-laden defeat set a new season-high (or low) as Bluefield made six errors. The Jays have committed 67 in 39 games to lead the league. They rank eighth in the ten-team league with a .955 fielding percentage. Despite throwing out 41.2 % of base stealers, catcher Santiago Nessy is tied for the league lead for most errors behind the plate with seven.

A BIRTHDAY AND MILESTONE SPOILED: Last night, Blue Jays manager Dennis Holmberg celebrated his birthday and managed his 2,500th professional game, but it was a disappointing loss. 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 1,297-1,203 (.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.

Bluefield Blue Jays Game Notes 8-3
Check out the @BluefieldJays Twitter page for mid-game updates

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