Thursday, June 9, 2011

6/9/11 Louisville Bats 3, Syracuse Chiefs 4

Alliance Bank Stadium, Syracuse, NY
Game 3 of 4

2007 1st round draft pick LHP Ross Detwiler has seen his ERA and WHIP improve in his MLB appearances in 39 games from 2009-2011, yet spent more time in AAA Syracuse in 2011 than he had in previous years. I don’t follow the Washington Nationals very well, so I don’t know the circumstances; in 2001 his ERA in 16 games (all starts) at Syracuse was 4.53, his WHIP 1.489 (by comparison, in his 15 games in Washington in 2011 his ERA was 3.00, WHIP was 1.25). If you are keeping track, his ERA and WHIP during his stay in Washington were both lower than that of John Lannan, Livan Hernandez, Jordan Zimmermann, Jason Marquis, and Chien-Ming Wang. Think what you want of that, but today he was cold-cunning effective against the Bats, one of the best offense lineups in the IL.

Chad Reineke (from DEFIANCE, Ohio…I just love that), on the other hand, has one of his worst (and shortest) road starts of the season. Former Padre Matt Antonelli tags Reineke for a solo HR in the very first inning; then Michael Aubrey follows with a lead-off HR in the 4th. Detwiler’s first hit of the season to lead off the 5th is followed by a single by former Royal Gregor Blanco; Aubrey drives in Detwiler on a SAC fly, Chris Marrero drives in Blanco on a bloop single past Chris Valaika with 2 outs, and Reineke leaves the game.

The Bats tried to rebound with a Yonder Alonso solo HR in the 5th and a Zack Cozart RBI single in the 6th (scoring Reineke) yet are handcuffed by the Chiefs bullpen of Collin Balester and Josh Wilkie…until Brent Clevlen shows up in the 9th, with 1 on and 1 out.

Clevlen is certainly an International League journeyman, having spent time in Toledo and Gwinnett from 2007-2010 (and having played in 55 games for Detroit and 4 games for Atlanta during that time). He started off 2011 with the Reds organization on the Bats roster. I didn’t see much of Clevlen during his 26 games in Louisville, but what I did see wasn’t that bad…and he certainly looks like a bad-ass at the plate. Clevlen was 0-for-2 with a BB when he approached the plate, all bad-ass, of course. He works Josh Wilkie for a full count and delivers an RBI triple into left-center field…suddenly, he is the tying run (in scoring position!) with 1 out.

Unfortunately for the Bats, this opportunity is squandered sharply as Danny Dorn and Michael Griffin both fly out to left to end the game.

I also witnessed Tug Hulett in the lineup for the Chiefs…his dad was Tim Hulett, and Tug was a Royal!

Clevlen was released by the Reds on the very next day. He immediately signed with the Independent League Wichita Wingnuts (played 46 games) and then on to the Eastern League AA Reading Phillies in early August, where he spent the remainder of the season, playing in 26 games and ending up with a formidable 1.042 OPS. He was granted free agency in November, and signed with the Phillies again in January. Which means it could be very likely that his IL journey will continue as a Lehigh Valley IronPig in 2012.

I watched this game on MLB Network, via the TWC Sports broadcast. The game was called by Jason Benetti (excellent broadcast voice and play-by-play, but please don't show us your face!) and Steve Grilli.

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