Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Game 43: Bluefield Blue Jays at Princeton Rays

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

BLUE JAYS (19-23)

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

RHP Jeremy Gabryszwski (2-0, 2.38)

RAYS (25-21)

1 Brandon Martin SS
2 Reid Redman 2B
3 Andrew Toles CF
4 Willie Argo RF
5 Omar Narvaez DH
6 Oscar Hernandez C
7 John Alexander 1B
8 Ariel Soriano LF
9 Darryl George 3B

LHP Bruedlin Suero (3-3, 4.91)


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: High 70s with rain in the forecast. Of course.

Travis Godec  FIELD Chase Eade

ABOUT LAST NIGHT...: On a long day for the Bluefield Blue Jays, they were swept in a home doubleheader by the Bristol White Sox on Monday at Bowen Field. The visitors took game one 6-2 behind Todd Kibby’s complete game, then won the finale 9-1 to finish their second twinbill sweep of the Jays this season. Bristol took advantage of Blue Jay errors in the opener as four of their six runs were unearned. Juan Ramirez, who entered in the second inning after Courtney Hawkins was hit by a pitch on the arm, drove in the first two runs of the game with a triple off of Bluefield starter Kevin Comer. Comer took the tough-luck loss after allowing three runs, one earned, on two hits in four and two-thirds innings. Lefty Shane Davis pitched well in relief the rest of the way, but also allowed one earned run and two unearned tallies. Kibby was brilliant in going the distance for Bristol. He took a no-hitter into the sixth as he set down 14 in a row after a first-inning walk to Dickie Joe Thon. Jorge Vega-Rosado singled to break up Kibby’s bid for history with five outs to go. Bluefield got on the board when Thon hit an RBI infield single and Dwight Smith Jr. sent in a run with a groundout. Santiago Nessy came to the plate as the tying run, but Kibby struck him out swinging to wriggle out of trouble. Kibby allowed two runs on only four hits with three walks and six strikeouts on the day. Game two was a pitcher’s duel between starters Justin James of Bluefield and Bristol’s David Haselden. Alex Williams hit a solo homer in the second inning for the only mark against James, who held the Sox to three hits in four innings with five strikeouts and no walks. Haselden, recently signed out of the independent Frontier League, retired nine of 11 to get through three innings and hand the game to the bullpen. The White Sox piled on against Colby Broussard in the fifth as the first seven batters reached and five runs scored. They tacked on three more in the sixth against Joe Spano, though only two runs were earned. Bristol takes the six-game season series 4-2.

VS. THE RAYS: The rival Blue Jays and Rays have split the first eight games of the Mercer Cup series, making this week a best-of-three for the title. The Rays and Jays split two one-run games in Bluefield before the third game was rained out. Jeremy Gabryszwski and Griffin Murphy combined for a shutout in Princeton, then the two clubs split a doubleheader at Bowen Field on July 21. In seven games each against the Rays, Jacob Anderson is 7-for-21 with four RBIs and Matt Dean is 9-for-23 (.391) with two homers, seven RBIs and five runs. Willie Argo has hurt the Jays, hitting .385 (10-26) with five RBIs and six runs in eight games. The Blue Jays beat Princeton in seven of 11 games last year to win the Mercer Cup. That series was also 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 JEREMY GABRYSZWSKI: The 19-year-old righty Jeremy Gabryszwski faces the Rays for the third time in 2012. On July 20, he teamed with lefty reliever Griffin Murphy on a five-hit shutout and he should have gotten another win in Princeton on July 27. He outpitched Appy League ERA leader Blake Snell, allowing three runs in the first inning then holding the Rays scoreless after that. Snell was tagged for six runs and “Gabby” was in line for the win after five innings, but the bullpen blew the lead in the sixth and the Rays picked up a key Mercer Cup win. His 2.38 ERA and 1.03 WHIP both rank fourth in the league despite having a K/9 of 4.24 that is the third-lowest in the circuit, thanks in part to his 0.79 BB/9 (2nd in the league). The Crosby, Texas native was taken in the second round of last year’s draft, splitting time between the Gulf Coast League and Bluefield. After four and one-third scoreless innings in three GCL games, Gabryszwski moved up to the Appy League on August 29, turning in a shutout inning of relief at Danville. He relieved twice in the postseason for the Jays, allowing two runs in four and two-thirds innings. A graduate of Crosby High School, he had committed to play college ball at Lamar before signing with Toronto.

LHP BRUEDLIN SUERO: Dominican Southpaw Bruedlin Suero has already beaten the Blue Jays twice this season. The lefty limited Bluefield to an unearned run and two hits in five innings as he recorded the victory on July 21. A week later in Princeton, he outdueled Deivy Estrada again, dealing six innings of two-run five-hit ball. He pitched to an 8.66 ERA through his first five games, but has a 1.42 mark over his last four outings. He last pitched on Thursday in Pulaski, allowing two unearned runs in three innings of a game that took two days and 23 innings to complete. 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.

DOUBLE TROUBLE: Last night marked the second time this season that the Jays were swept in a doubleheader by the worst-team in the Appy League. Bluefield lost 8-6 and 5-0 at Bristol on June 21 before falling 6-2 and 9-1 yesterday. The White Sox, 8-26 with a 5.79 ERA against the rest of the league, posted a 4.34 ERA in six games against the Jays and held them to two or fewer runs three times.

MURPHY LAYS DOWN THE LAW: Lefty reliever Griffin Murphy has been dominant for Bluefield in 2012. With a scoreless seventh inning on Saturday, he lowered his ERA to 1.54, the fourth-lowest in the Appy League among pitchers with at least 20 IP. The 2010 second-round pick is working on an 11 1/3 inning scoreless streak, including three outings of three shutout frames. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in 14 innings (six appearances), dating back to July 5. He will likely pitch out of the bullpen tonight behind Gabryszwski.

1,298 DOWN, TWO TO GO: Blue Jays manager Dennis Holmberg can record his 1,300th career victory and clinch the Mercer Cup by taking two of the next three games. Over 25 seasons as a minor league skipper, he has a career record of 1,298-1,205 (.519). He managed his 2,500th professional game on Thursday. After eight seasons as a 3B/OF 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 trip since 2002. From 2002 to 2007 his Auburn Doubledays made six straight postseasons, including a New York-Penn League championship run in ‘07.

Bluefield Blue Jays Game Notes 8-7
Check out the @BluefieldJays Twitter page for mid-game updates

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