Results tagged ‘ Stephen Strasburg ’

Five Game Swing through WNY and PA

Buffalo, N.Y. – Today the Chiefs begin a five game road trip
against three different teams. First, they’ll play two against the Bisons at
Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo. Then, it’s off to All-Star, er Lehigh Valley for
two games against the Iron Pigs and a one-day stop in the Electric City:
Scranton.

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Today as we arrived in Buffalo, we stopped quickly at the
team hotel to drop off our stuff and then headed over to the ballpark. It’s
kind of like a sleepover. We come in for the day, have some fun while watching
a baseball game, spend the night, and then after the second game it’s back on
the road again. We’re hoping to avoid weather similar to our last stop. (Hint:
It included a one hour, fifty-eight minute rain delay.) Although last time we were
in town, I got to do a great International League Man vs. Food eating fried
bologna sandwiches…that was great fun.

 

Buffalo’s in a bit of a rough stretch at the moment. The
Herd has lost seven of its last ten and has dropped in the standings, as well.
When Syracuse left Buffalo on June 3rd, the Bisons were 2 games
out of first place. Today, they’re seven back of first place
Scranton-Wilkes/Barre. The Bisons lost a tough game in their series finale at
Charlotte by a 13-12 final.

 

Their starter for the series opener, Dillon Gee, lost his
last outing going just three innings and giving up seven runs. In the start
before that, the bullpen lost the game for him giving up six tenth inning runs.
 On top of that, the last time Gee started against the Chiefs, it was against
Stephen Strasburg in a game Syracuse won 7-1. 

 

The Bisons have also been thinned a bit since the last time
these two teams met. They’re without second baseman Daniel Murphy (injury),
outfielder Jesus Feliciano (with the Mets), Josh Thole (with the Mets), and
infielder Mike Hessman (DL). Buffalo was also leading the league in average
when the Chiefs last came through–now they’re third at .275.

 

So things have certainly changed in the few weeks since the
Chiefs and Bisons have met. On Tuesday we’ll see Erik Arnesen start for Syracuse
against Dillon Gee.

 

After two in Buffalo, it’s off to Allentown, PA to take on
the IronPigs for the first time since April 17th-20th. It
was very frigid weather then, and I’m looking forward to wearing short sleeves
rather than my winter coat.

Fifth place Lehigh Valley has struggled lately, as well. The
‘Pigs have won four of their last ten, but in all fairness only
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre has a winning record in that same time span looking at IL
North teams.

Lehigh Valley took a tough loss on Monday night to Durham on
a walk-off two run double. It was the eighth walk-off of the season against
Lehigh Valley. 

 

Their roster has changed quite a bit recently. On Tuesday,
Greg Dobbs had his contract purchased by Philadelphia, Brian Bocock was
recalled by the Phillies, Willy Taveras was released from the organization,
J.A. Happ was assigned to Lehigh Valley on a Major League rehab assignment, and
Neil Sellers and Ty Taubenheim were promoted from Double-A Reading to Lehigh
Valley. W-O-A-H. Do not attempt to read that sentence aloud in one breath…you
will not survive. In other words, they lost some talent, got some talent, and
also got a former Chief. Taubenheim pitched with Syracuse in 2006 and 2007.

Another former Chief, Rich Thompson (Syracuse ’01, ’03) was
with Lehigh Valley earlier in the year but is currently with Double-A Reading.

 

It’s now the start of a long, “momentous, promotion-crammed,
eight-game homestand at Coca-Cola Park”
for the
IronPigs including three games against Rochester (losers of nine of ten), two
against Syracuse, and four against Pawtucket.

Lastly, the Chiefs will play a one-game series at
Scranton/Wilkes Barre on July 3rd. The Yankees have re-taken the IL
North division lead
and as of Tuesday lead Syracuse by game.

 

The Yankees just finished a four game sweep against the Red
Wings and have won five straight after taking the series finale against
Pawtucket on June 23rd.

 

Former Chief Eric Bruntlett–released earlier this month by
Washington–has caught on with the Yankees and despite being off to a 7-43
(.163) start in 12 games, had drawn praise as of late from Yankees manager Dave
Miley

 

“Bruntlett had a good
day. Before we got him, he had quite a bit of time off. He was a little rusty
and his timing was off a little bit.”

No word yet on what the
pitching matchup will be in that series.

One last pitching note
today as well–the Nationals have recalled pitcher Craig Stammen to start on
Tuesday night
against the Atlanta Braves. They placed reliever Tyler Walker on the DL. Stammen pitched very well filling
the spot left by Stephen Strasburg in the Syracuse rotation going 2-0 with a
2.25 ERA in three starts.

To fill Stammen’s spot on
the roster, the Chiefs have activated relief pitcher Jesse English off the
disabled list. His last outing was on May 23rd against Toledo and he
was officially placed on the DL May 25th. It’s good to see him back to
help bolster an already very strong Syracuse bullpen.

That’s all for now as we
get ready to start the series here in Buffalo. Be sure to check out our YouTube
page
as we’ll be starting a new series called, “What’s in Your Scorebook?”,
where we detail the intricacies of how broadcasters score the game. We’ll also
be doing a brand new edition of IL Man vs. Food from Lehigh Valley where I’ll
be trying out their pork nachos. Be afraid, be very afraid (for me, not for
yourself of course).

We owe a big thank you to everyone from the Chiefs front office who helped us with our first outdoor broadcast of the season on Sunday. Mike Voutsinas and Josh Jones for helping us to set up, Wendy and Ariel Shoen for providing us with great interviews and umbrellas, and all of the fans who stopped by. We also got to meet Russ Haynes, the dad of Chiefs bullpen catcher Chris Haynes, who is an avid fan and listener. We plan on broadcasting outside for the remaining Sunday home games this season.

A special thanks to Jim McGregor who took this photo of me and Jason in the stands:

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And as always, you can
follow us on Twitter where we’ll give updates as we travel along with the game
calls from each night.



Thanks for reading,
listening, and being a fan.

Please get in touch if
you have any thoughts, comments, questions or concerns. My email address is mikecouzens@syracusechiefs.com.

–Mike

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stories From Above–Say Cheese Edition

Good morning from Pawtucket, Rhode Island, home of Hasbro….

I left the broadcast booth around 6:45 last night while our chat with Seth Bynum was playing in order to grab something to drink from the pantry at McCoy Stadium.  A gentleman in a navy coat was standing over the chocolate pie that had been placed on the counter.  I said hello to the man and he asked me how my night was.  We talked briefly about the weather and then got to the Nationals and their success this season.  The man seemed generally knowledgeable about the game (he knew the Nationals became good recently–how much more do you need?).  I said to the man, “Yeah, and they don’t even have Strasburg yet.”  His response baffled me, especially considering the 37-shaped bubble I’ve been in recently.  He said “Who?”  I repeated the name again.  With all the qualities of a man re-varnishing a deck while answering his wife, the gentleman said “Oh yeah, he’s good.”
I wanted to say, “Good!  Good?  He gave up one hit in 12 innings during our last homestand!  He made minor league hitters look like they didn’t even have bats!”
Instead, I realized–yet again–that our corner of the universe is just that, a corner.
————————–
The Chiefs staff this season has never coached together previously.  Trent Jewett, Syracuse’s skipper, spent the entirety of his career prior to last season in the Pirates organization.  Greg Booker, the pitching coach, made his mark in the Majors as a player and coach with the Padres.  Jerry Browne was predominantly an American League player, suiting up for Texas, Oakland and Cleveland before finishing his career with the nascent Marlins.
They all have had success and longevity in the game.  With longevity comes……
The Baseball Card of Doom.
Each season, as you traders well know, players pose for the camera so their likenesses can be placed on the front of baseball cards.  A player’s career statistics can be traced through the line of cards.  Sadly, the player’s tastes in hair, facial expression and personality also are exhibited by these cards.
For each player, it seems, there is one year’s card which exemplifies sheer regret in those categories.  There is one card which says to the person on the front, “Yeah, you thought this was cool.  There’s no turning back.  Deal with it.”   It is the passing of generations in glossy 2.5 X 3.5 form.
This card is the Baseball Card of Doom.
McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket is the perfect location to find such remembrances.  Because the stands are raised above the field, autograph seekers lower their memorabilia on strings to field level. Batting practice at McCoy is like watching 50 simultaneous mine rescue missions.  Some people lower bats to the ground, others choose gloves.  More daring folks drop binders full of well-organized baseball cards near the dugout.  
Inside one of the binders at yesterday’s game was this:
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For Greg Booker, this is the Baseball Card of Doom.
Note the stylish break in the moustache.  It says “I don’t go all the way across–because I’m too sleek for that.”  A telltale sign of a BCoD–prominent facial hair which has long since departed.  
The issue here for Book, to be fair, is not his own doing.  The Padres uniform at the time was rather unfashionable.  If there is ever a market for taxi drivers who also serve hot dogs to their customers, the 1980s Padres duds would be a superb model for dress for the cabbie-doggers.  Considering Ray Kroc’s seminal achievement in American history (see also golden arches), this is not surprising. 
There are endless baseball card pictures on the web right now.  I encourage each and every one of you to search for the Baseball Card of Doom for current and former Chiefs.  Send them our way at jasonbenetti@syracusechiefs.com.  We’ll post them either here on the blog or on twitter @ChiefsRadio.
Game two tonight at McCoy starting at 6:05.  We’ll be on the air at 5:30 with the On Deck show at 620 AM locally or sportsradio620.com on the web.
Yours in timeless photography,
JB

Dukes, Strasburg and Storen – stories of the week

The Washington Nationals released outfielder Elijah Dukes earlier this week after speing three years in the organization.  The Nationals decided that Dukes who struggled this spring would not be in their plans for the future and gave him his unconditional release.

That opens up the rightfield spot for a number of players who are still in camp:  Speedy slap hitters Roger Bernadina and Willy Taveras add more speed and defense, while prospect Justin Maxwell can provide excellent defense, speed and has more power.

Veterans Kevin Mench and Chris Duncan also have played well and former Chief Mike Morse has impressed Nats brass with his bat as well this spring.

Stephen Strasburg and Drew Storen both were optioned to AA-Harrisburg on Saturday and will begin the 2010 season with the Senators.  Both pitchers were impressive in spring training after being drafted number #1 and number #10 in last season June draft.  Strasburg out of San Diego State and Storen from Stanford.

Nationals also optioned lefthanded pitchers Matt Chico and Doug Slaten and catcher Jamie Burke to Syracuse today in another round of cuts.  The Nationals currently have 39 players in camp.

 

 

Spring Training Bracketology – Pitching

With two weeks gone in spring training 2010 the Washington Nationals roster is beginning to take shape.  In the spirit of the NCAA field of 65 announcement today we thought we would look at where the Nationals might be with their major league and minor league pitching staffs at this point.

Major League starting rotation:  John Lannan and Jason Marquis are locks, while Scott Olsen should be penciled in as the third starter.  Craig Stammen coming off late season surgery is good enough for the fourth spot with veterans Livian Hernandez and Miguel Batista are fighting for the 5th spot – that won’t be needed until April 19th due to off days.

Major League bullpen:  Matt Capps and Brian Bruney are the back end, while Tyler Clippard and lefty Sean Burnett will pitch early.  That leaves Jason Bergmann, who is out of options, and Tyler Walker, who has been hit hard to date to fill out the staff.    Batista could be used as well early of if he doesn’t make the rotation.  Lefty Ron Villone, a non-roster player and now 41 years old would give them a second lefty out of the pen but right now is the 13 pitcher on a 12 or 11 man staff. 

AAA-Syracuse Staff:  A good deal of this staff depends on the health and decisions made with Olsen, Batista and Hernandez, but the Chiefs appear loaded no matter what happens.

J.D. Martin, Garrett Mock, Shairon Martis, veteran lefties Matt Chico, Chuck James, Andrew Kown, Collin Balester, Luis Atilano and Aaron Thompson give the team a wealth of depth to choose from.  In addtion, where does Stephen Strasburg begin his baseball career?

Bullpen includes:  Six lefthanded pitchers are competing for two maybe three spots and include Doug Slaten, Victor Garate, Jesse English – all picked up in the off season, while Nationals prospects Attie Severino, Yunior Novoa and Jack Spradlin return.

From the righthanded side of the bullpen the guy drafted after Stephen Strasburg – Drew Storen has been fantastic in spring training and could begin the season in Washington, but most likley will start in Syracuse with veterans Logan Kensing, Ryan Speier, Joel Peralta, Rafael Martin and Nationals prospect Josh Wilkie giving the Chiefs quality to choose from.  The Nats could even move Collin Balester or Luis Atilano to the bullpen – similar to the last seasons experiment with Tyler Clippard that payed off nicely.

That’s 22 names for 12 roster spots – pitching in 2010 looks very strong.

And we haven’t even talked about these guys……

Jeff Mandel 12-6   3.38 ERA – AA/A last season

Eric Arnesen 12-7   3.52 ERA AA/A last season

Brad Meyers  11-3  1.72 ERA AA/A last season

Marcos Frias  9-5  2.91 ERA Single A last season

AJ Morris  0-4  3.38  ERA in Single A last season

Tom Millone  12-5  2.91 ERA in Single A last season

Willie Atwood  8-8  4.61 ERA in Single A last season

These pitchers will likely play in AA this season and earn AAA promotions at some point during the 2010 season.

Pitching is strong in this organization and it’s all coming very fast through Central New York this summer.

Even Van Gundy was on hand

The first appearance by Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg was greeted by over 5000 Florida visitors, Mark Lerner, the team’s principal owner, MASN Television crew that included Bob Carpenter and Rob Dibble and former Knicks and Houston Rockets basketball coach Jeff Van Gundy who sat behind home plate with an Orlando Magic hat on.

Strasburg was worth the price of admission, even if it was only two innings and 27 pitches.  He will pitch in the major leagues some day, just what day got closer than a lot of people thought going in.
Nats lost again, and righthanded pitcher Tyler Walker has pitched his way to AAA-Syracuse roster with his second 6-run appearance.  Aaron Thompson tossed two shutout innings of relief and has looked very good in his first two appearances.
Nats hitting came to life in the 8th inning when they scored four runs and had the tying run on deck before Josh Whitesell popped up to centerfield to end the rally.  Nats lost their 7th straight, 9-4.
–Chiefs COO/Vice President Tex Simone was seen talking to Tigers manager Jim Leyland, 3rd base coach Gene Lamont before the game.  Leyland and Lamont were teammates in 1965 with the Tigers when Tex was the team’s trainer.  
–Tex had a busy day when he also ran into another former Tigers and Chiefs catcher John Sullivan who was visiting from western New York where he still resides.
–And the day ended when Tex hit the trifecta when he was seen talking to Braves manager and longtime friend Bobby Cox in the Braves dugout before the Phillies vs Braves game in Orlando.
–Former Chiefs outfielder Jayson Werth hit an opposite field bomb vs the Braves in the 2nd inning.  Werth is sporting an unusual long beard and hair style.
–Two local “graphers” reported that today they were able to secure signatures from Ivan Rodriquez, Drew Storen, Ryan Howard and Braves super prospect Jason Heyward. In the “graphing world”  that’s pretty good.
Last stop on the tour will be at the Braves minor league camp to catch up with former Chief Rocket Wheeler.

Stories from above–precocious edition

Ever wonder what it was like to watch Mozart play the piano at age six?

Stephen Strasburg tossed some pretty memorable pitches today (just ask the radar gun ).  He threw two scoreless innings and struck a couple of batters out–Miguel Cabrera on a fastball at 98 and Brent Dlugach on a lethal curveball.

Strasburg did allow two hits, the first of which came from an ’09 Toledo Mud Hen, Don Kelly.  The young man from Tony Gwynn’s San Diego State program, though, was generally confounding to both Tigers and electronics.

Clubhouse highlight of the day:  A reporter from the Far East asked Strasburg after his start, “What do you think of your new teammate, Chien-Ming Wang?”  Collectively lacking a nose for symmetry, the horde of reporters neglected to rush to Wang to ask his opinion of his young comrade from America.

On a personal note, I have eaten dinner at two separate locations so far–with many still yet unexplored.  I’m heartened that this city stands by its motto.

Persona non grata of the day:  This guy.  Remember who came after The Beatles on Ed Sullivan?  Me neither.

Check out Inside Pitch for a conversation with Tim Foli and postgame comments from Stephen Strasburg and our YouTube page for video coverage .

Sat with Justin Maxwell’s better half during the ninth inning.  They’re expecting another child (a girl) in April.  Congrats to them.

Will Dogen come back to life tonight?  Is Kate dead?  Do any of you embrace Lost like I do?

J. Benetti

Thank God it’s early!!!!

Spent the afternoon at Space Coast Stadium on Monday as the Nationals lost again 11-2 to the Florida Marlins.  Nats pitching has been giving up runs at an unbelievable pace – 64 runs in their first 50 innings of work.

Today, Scott Olsen made his first start of the spring and gave up three runs in the first inning and was hit hard and often giving up 7-hits in two innings of work.  Collin Balester pitched into the 5th inning but he too was torched for 4-runs and 7-hits before he gave way to lefty Jesse English.
The Nats tallied only six hits, and had solo home runs by Josh Willingham in the 2nd and Ryan Zimmerman in the 6th for their only runs.  Pete Orr played second base and made a fine defensive play in the first to save a run.
Tomorrow, the Nationals take on the Detroit Tigers at Space Coast Stadium as “The Franchise” Stephen Strasburg makes his spring debut,  The game will be televised on MLB Network – Channel 100 for you Time Warner Cable fans.
Chiefs radio voice Jason Benetti arrived in Viera today and is ready to provide interviews, and his take on spring training 2010.
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