First, tonight’s lineups:
Ogden Raptors (7-12, 29-28) starting lineup:
Wingo (2B), Cuevas (LF), Pederson (RF), Dickson (1B), Schebler (DH), Maynard (C), Boudreaux (SS), Hunt (3B), Baldwin (CF), Martinez (RHP)
Missoula Osprey (11-8, 36-21) starting lineup:
Ellison (CF), Belza (2B), Groff (3B), Griffin (DH), Court (1B), Pena (C), Cardullo (SS), Linton (LF), Gomez (RF), Darrah (RHP)
On to the notes:
|The Skinny: The Osprey, winners of the Pioneer League North Division First-Half title, continue their three-game series with the Ogden Raptors, and will look to snap their first two-game losing streak since late June tonight. The string of not losing back-to-back games lasted over seven weeks before back-to-back losses over the last two nights.
The North is back to being a mess …: The Pioneer League North Division looks a lot like it did during the first half of the season, with three teams tied for first place entering tonight’s action. The Osprey are one of those teams, and Billings jumped into the tie for first with a win at Casper, while Great Falls was stung in a come-from-behind loss at Idaho Falls. That leaves the threesome tied at 11-8, with Helena five games off the pace at the moment. Billings also opened up a three-game lead over Great Falls, and six over Helena, for a possible wild-card, if the Osprey win the Second Half North crown.
… while the Owlz begin to take control in the South: The South Division race is starting to become, believe it or not, all Orem. The Owlz have won two in a row to pull ahead of Casper by a pair of games, and keep hard-charging Idaho Falls four games off the pace. One of those three teams will face Ogden in the Southern Division playoffs – and Orem has a nine-game lead in a possible wild-card scenario, so if the Chukars or Ghosts have playoff dreams, they will most likely have to win the South in the second half.
On the Mound Tonight: Missoula will send out right-hander Jesse Darrah to the mound as he looks to snap the Osprey out of their current funk. Darrah (4-0, 4.08) is a solid candidate to get the job done, winning all four of his decisions and posting a 3.48 ERA since July 1. In August, Darrah had allowed just one hit in eight innings of work before getting touched up a bit by Orem on Monday in a relief outing, allowing four runs on five hits and three walks. In his last start, Darrah pitched five hitless innings at Great Falls, though he did allow three walks, and struck out four batters in what turned out to be a 2-1 win on August 9. Darrah is currently in a piggyback situation with right-hander Conrad Flynn (4-1, 4.07), who is 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA as a reliever this season. Darrah is 4-0 with a 3.80 ERA as a starter in nine starts this season, and has struck out 56 batters in 51 innings pitched.
The Raptors will counter tonight with right-hander Brandon Martinez, who has been Ogden’s most consistent starter this season. Martinez (5-3, 4.39) will make his 12th start tonight, and while July had its rough spots (3-3, 5.28 for the month), he has followed that up with an August that more resembles his numbers from June, when he was 2-0 with an ERA right at 3.00. Martinez has a 3.77 ERA in three August starts, but has also not kept the ball down as well – he has allowed three home runs in August, one more than he had allowed in the first two months of the season combined.
We’re on shortly … let’s hope for a win tonight.
Here’s the starting lineups for tonight’s game …
Ogden Raptors (6-12, 28-28) starting lineup:
Wingo (2B), Bourdeaux (SS), Pederson (RF), Cuevas (LF), Schebler (DH), Kirkland (1B), Maynard (C), Aguilar (3B), Baldwin (CF), Gomez (RHP)
Missoula Osprey (11-7, 36-20) starting lineup:
Chris Ellison (LF), Tom Belza (DH), Eric Groff (2B), Jon Griffin (1B), Ryan Court (3B), Fidel Pena (C), Stephen Cardullo (SS), Jeremia Gomez (RF), Justin Bianco (CF), Robby Rowland (RHP)
Pre-game interview is Matt Sample. We’re on at 6:55 (slightly delayed start).
Tonight’s starting lineups:
Orem Owlz (10-6, 32-22) starting lineup: Trevor Lindsey (2B), Jerod Yakubik (LF), Ryan Jones (RF), Frazier Hall (1B), Abel Baker (C), Kaleb Cowart (3B), Gary Mitchell (DH), Brandon Brewer (SS), Drew Martinez (CF), Nick Maronde (LHP)
Missoula Osprey (10-6, 35-19) starting lineup: Chris Ellison (CF),Fidel Pena (2B), Eric Groff (3B), Jon Griffin (1B), Ryan Court (DH), Tom Belza (SS), Roidany Aguila (C), Ty Linton (LF), Jeremia Gomez (RF), Dexter Price (RHP)
Leading off tonight – starting lineups for tonight’s game:
Orem Owlz (10-5, 32-21) starting lineup: Lindsey (2B), Hairgrove (SS), Jones (RF), Hall (1B), Cowart (3B), Giovinazzo (CF), Pacione (DH), Ray (LF), Mahoney (C), Crowley (LHP)
Missoula Osprey (9-6, 34-19) starting lineup: Ellison (RF), Pena (2B), Groff (DH), Griffin (1B), Court (3B), Belza (SS), Aguila (C), Linton (LF), Bianco (CF), Siemens (LHP)
Pre-Game guest will be Chris Ellison, as he is now back in the lineup.
Now, to bring you up to speed ….
|Another Streak In a Season of them: The 2011 season has become a historic one for the Osprey, and while it does not look like they will close in on the 52-win team in 2001, they have managed to achieve something that they, nor any other team in Osprey history, has been able to do. The last time the Osprey lost back-to-back games was June 27-28, when they fell to 3-6 on the season. Since then, they have compiled a 31-13 record, and they have not lost back-to-back games in seven weeks.
Leaderboard: Current Osprey at the top or in the top 5/10 of the stats in the Pioneer League:
On the Mound Tonight: Missoula will send out left-hander Taylor Siemens to the mound as he will look to continue his impressive start to his professional baseball career. Siemens (2-1, 1.55) had the rarest of starts in his last outing at Helena last week – he lost the game and had his ERA go down, as he allowed five runs, none of which were earned. Siemens has been better on the road, but still has a 2.60 home ERA. Siemens would lead the league in ERA if he had enough innings.
The Owlz will counter tonight with left-hander Ryan Crowley, who will make his 7th start and 8th appearance of the season. Crowley (0-0, 5.87) has not pitched out of the fourth inning in any of his starts this season, and has only gone beyond three full innings once. His lone start against the North – coming in Great Falls – went just an inning and did not allow a run or hit, coming off of an eblow ailment. Crowley has been touched up a bit on the road, allowing eight earned runs in eight innings away from Brent Brown Ballpark, with the host teams hitting .429 against him. Crowley was a 19th round pick in the 2011 MLB Draft.
Thursday, August 18
Friday, August 19
Saturday, August 20
By The Numbers:
D-backs Minor League Report/Osprey Alumni Update:
It’s signing day … the last day MLB clubs can sign plyers from the 2011 MLB Draft. A number of D-backs’ picks remain unsigned, but that could change as the day rolls along. The deadline is 10:01 p.m. MT.
Here’s tonight’s starting lineups for the opener with the Orem Owlz:
Orem Owlz (10-4, 32-20) starting lineup: Taylor Lindsey (2B) Jerod Yakubik (LF) Ryan Jones (RF) Frazier Hall (1B) Abel Baker (C) Kaleb Cowart (3B) Gary Mitchell (DH) Brandon Brewer (SS) Drew Martinez (CF) Daniel Vargas-Vila (P) Missoula Osprey (8-6, 33-19) starting lineup: Fidel Pena (2B) Tom Belza (RF) Eric Groff (3B) Jon Griffin (DH) Ryan Court (1B) Stephen Cardullo (SS) Roidany Aguila (C) Ty Linton (LF) Justin Bianco (CF) Conrad Flynn (P)
News and Notes:
– Enrique Burgos will miss his next turn in the starting rotation due to inflammation in his right elbow. It’s not seen as serious with Burgos, and he could make his next start as soon as next Monday in Orem. We’ll know more by the weekend.
– Burgos getting a break has re-set the Osprey rotation – left-hander Taylor Siemens will pitch on Tuesday, right-hander Dexter Price goes on Wednesday, righty Raymond Hernandez gets the nod on Thursday, and right-hander Robby Rowland will open the series against the Ogden Raptors on Friday. Jesse Darrah will pitch on Saturday, and Siemens will close out the homestand on Sunday.
Now to tonight’s Game Notes:
|The Skinny: The Osprey, winners of the Pioneer League North Division First-Half title, begin a 14-game swing against South Division foes Orem and Ogden with a four-game series at home against the South Division-leading Owlz. It matches the two best teams in the Pioneer League against each other.
Another Streak In a Season of them: The 2011 season has become a historic one for the Osprey, and while it does not look like they will close in on the 52-win team in 2001, they have managed to achieve something that they, nor any other team in Osprey history, has been able to do. The last time the Osprey lost back-to-back games was June 27-28, when they fell to 3-6 on the season. Since then, they have compiled a 30-13 record, and they have not lost back-to-back games in close to seven weeks.
These Owlz can hit: Entering this series, the Orem Owlz offense is dominating the Pioneer League. Orem leads the Pioneer League with a .314 batting average – 20 points better than second-place Ogden, and 31 points better than the Osprey. They have scored more runs (364) than anyone else, are the lone PBL team with over 900 total bases, and lead the league in team slugging percentage (.492). In addition, the Owlz also have three of the top four individuals in batting – Jerod Yakubik (.395/1 HR/22 RBI) leads teammate Frazier Hall (.391/6/36), while Taylor Lindsey (.362/8/28) is currently fourth in the league. Ryan Jones (.341/9/44) is currently seventh in hitting. It will be a matchup of the “irresistible force” meeting the “immovable object”, as the Osprey are tops in the PBL in ERA (4.35) as well as tops in the league in least runs allowed (256).
On the Mound Tonight: Missoula will send out right-hander Conrad Flynn to the mound as he will look to improve on his outings as a starter. Flynn (3-1, 4.62) has allowed three or more runs in each of his three prior starts, including eight in 4 1/3 innings at Idaho Falls on July 19. However, Flynn is 3-0 with a 2.79 ERA in five home appearances (two starts). The free-agent signee has been stellar in relief, posting all three of his wins and a 1.85 ERA in eight appearances out of the bullpen.
The Owlz will counter tonight with right-hander Daniel Vargas-Vila, who will make his 10th straight start after making his initial appearance of the season out of the bullpen. Vargas-Vila (1-2, 3.53) has gone over a month without allowing more than two earned runs in a start (or three runs – which he did against Billings on July 24, but only one was earned). He has also pitched at least five innings in five of his last six starts – the lone start in which he didn’t make it through five innings was his last loss – July 30 at Casper. All five of his decisions have come in road starts (3.80 ERA).
The Legend Grows: Former Osprey first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (2009) went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, a run scored and a RBI to help the D-backs beat the NY Mets at Chase field on Sunday, 5-3.
By The Numbers:
First, the breaking news. Lyle Overbay has a new job – backing up Paul Goldschmidt. The two most popular first baseman in Osprey history are now on the same team, after Overbay (1999) signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks today. Overbay will back up Goldchmidt (2009) at first, after Xavier Nady broke his hand last night and was lost for the season. More on this coming soon …
Now, for tonight’s starting lineups:
Helena (4-9, 22-29) starting lineup: John Dishon (CF) Yadiel Rivera (SS) Parker Berberet (1B) Ben McMahan (LF) Max Walla (RF) Kyle Dhanani (3B) Tyler Roberts (C) Kenny Allison (DH) Gant Elmore (2B) Tommy Toledo (RHP) Missoula (7-6, 32-19) starting lineup: Fidel Pena (2B) Tom Belza (1B) Eric Groff (3B) Jon Griffin (DH) Stephen Cardullo (SS) Jeremia Gomez (RF) Roidany Aguila (C) Ty Linton (LF) Justin Bianco (CF) Keith Hessler (LHP)
The Osprey, winners of the Pioneer League North Division First-Half title, look to bounce back and split the first series of their longest homestand of the season when they take on the Helena Brewers tonight. The Osprey hold a slim 7-6 edge in the season series.
Last Time Out: For the second time in three games, the usually-stout Missoula Osprey defense hit a bump in the road, as they committed three errors in a 6-4 loss to the Helena Brewers on Friday here at Ogren Park Allegiance Field in front of 2,103 fans. Those three errors turned into four unearned runs allowed by Seth Simmons (1-2), who struck out four batters in two innings, but could not totally escape from trouble in the top of the sixth, when the Brewers struck for three runs to take the lead for good in the game. The Osprey – who committed four errors in a 9-4 loss to Helena on Wednesday – took a 3-1 lead after a three-run outburst in the bottom of the second inning – two runs scoring on a Ty Linton triple, and Linton would touch the dish on a RBI single by Bryan Henry. However, Chad Pierce (2-4) would quiet the Missoula bats enough in his five innings of work to pick up the win. After that three-run rally put Helena in front, 5-3, Jon Griffin would get the Osprey closer in the home half of the sixth, hitting a solo home run, his 12th of the season, over the left-center field wall to lead off the inning. Brewers reliever Seth Harvey then retired the next nine batters he faced to get to closer Sean Albury, who pitched around a two-out single to convert his fifth save in five tries. Missoula starter Robby Rowland pitched a tough five innings, allowing just two runs on four hits and a walk, while striking out seven batters. Osprey pitching finished with 13 strikeouts on the night. Linton led the Osprey at the plate with two hits and two RBIs. Eric Groff, Roidany Aguila and Stephen Cardullo added base hits for Missoula, who had just seven hits in the contest.
Another Streak On the Line Tonight: The 2011 season has become a historic one for the Osprey, and while it does not look like they will close in on the 52-win team in 2001, they have managed to achieve something that they, nor any other team in Osprey history, has been able to do. The last time the Osprey lost back-to-back games was June 27-28, when they fell to 3-6 on the season. Since then, they have compiled a 29-13 record, and they also have not lost back-to-back games in over six weeks. Only two teams come close to this – the 1999 squad went a month (June 18-19 to July 18-19) without losing back-to-back games, while the 2001 squad – that team that posted a 52-24 mark – had three two-week stretches where they did not lose back-to-back games. Oddly enough, when the 2001 squad went on a club-record 13-game win streak, it ended with a two-game losing streak – with the most recent back-to-back losses occurring 22 days prior.
On the Mound Today: Missoula will send out left-hander Keith Hessler to the mound as he will make a spot start for the Osprey tonight. Hessler (3-0, 2.39) is taking the place of right-hander Enrique Burgos, who will not be able to make his usual start tonight. Hessler, who did some starting in college, has not pitched more than three innings in any outing for the Osprey this season, so it’s likely that the bullpen will be used tonight. The Brewers will counter tonight with right-hander Tommy Toledo, who will be making his first start against the Osprey this season. Toledo (0-2, 3.14) has fanned 21 batters in 14 1/3 innings pitched for the Brewers.
Tuesday, August 16
Wednesday, August 17
Thursday, August 18
The Legend Grows:
Former Osprey first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (2009) came in off the bench on Friday night for the Arizona Diamondbacks, going 1-for-2 in the 4-3 win over the NY Mets at Chase Field in Phoenix.
By The Numbers:
Osprey Alumni Update/Minor League Report:
The rookie DSL D-backs (22-40) lost to the DSL White Sox on Friday, 6-2. Alan Santiago (2009) went 0-for-2 with a pair of walks at the plate in the setback, and is now hitting .252 on the season. Next: vs. DSL Orioles, DH.
Short-Season A Yakima (7-10, 20-35) won its third straight game on Friday, beating Vancouver, 5-4. Former Osprey reliever Justin Albert (2010) picked up the win in relief. Albert went 2 1/3 innings, allowing just a hit while striking out five batters. Westey Moss (2011) picked up a pair of hits, while Henry Zabala (2009) and Jae Yun Kim (2009-10) each added a base hit to the Bears’ 12-hit attack. Next: vs. Vancouver.
Class A South Bend (21-26, 55-61) lost to Lansing on Friday, 6-2. David Narodowski (2009)was 2-for-4 with a run scored at the plate, improving his batting average to .385 with the Silver Hawks, while Ender Inciarte (2009) added a base hit and a run scored, while both Raywilly Gomez (2009) and Matt Helm (2009-10) each added a base hit and a RBI. Kable Hogben (2009), Keith Cantwell (2009) and Randy Hamrick (2010) combined for 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Next: at Bowling Green, with Bradin Hagens (2009) getting the start for the Silver Hawks.
Class A Advanced Visalia (23-24, 54-63) won its sixth straight game, this time in walk-off fashion, with a 4-3 win over Inland Empire on Friday in 12 innings. Rossmel Perez (2008) went 2-for-4, with a three-run home run, for the Rawhide, while Mike Belfiore (2009) struck out the side in the top of the 12th to pick up the win in relief. By the way, it was Alfredo Marte who hit the first pitch of the bottom of the 12th out for a home run to end the game. Next: vs. Inland Empire, with Derek Eitel (2010) expected to get the start for the Rawhide.
Double-A Mobile (32-15, 70-47) picked up an 8-1 win over Mississippi on Friday. Ollie Linton (2008) had two hits and three RBIs, Jake Elmore (2008) added two hits and a run scored, while Taylor Harbin (2007) chipped in with a base hit, run scored and two RBIs. Next: vs. Mississippi, with Bryan Henry (2007) getting the start for the BayBears.
Triple-A Reno (66-53) has lost five in a row, after falling at New Orleans on Friday, 5-3. Next: at New Orleans.
First, tonight’s starting lineups … if we get going. Right now, the clouds want to tease us a bit, after it rained here pretty good for about 20 minutes or so. So we shall see …
MISSOULA (5-4, 30-17) starting lineup: Breland Brown (DH) Fidel Pena (2B) Ryan Court (3B) Jon Griffin (1B) Stephen Cardullo (SS) Roidany Aguila (C) Ty Linton (LF) Jeremia Gomez (RF) Justin Bianco (CF) Jesse Darrah (RHP) GREAT FALLS (7-2, 24-23) starting lineup: Qualon Millender (CF) Kyle Eveland (3B) Joe De Pinto (2B) Mark Haddow (RF) Jimmy Jacquot (1B) Kevan Smith (C) David Herbek (SS) Michael Earley (DH) Randall Thorpe (LF) Pete Gehle (LHP)
Tonight’s pre-game interview is Taylor Siemens, from a conversation during a rain delay (of all things). We’re still scheduled to start on time, which means we’re on at 6:40, with the first pitch at 7:05, or thereabouts, MT.
– Lyle Overbay is now a free agent. The former Osprey first baseman (1999) was designated for assignment by the Pittburgh Pirates on August 1, and cleared waivers. He’s also helping out in his hometown.
– In a related move, the Pirates also moved infielder Pedro Ciriaco (2005) back to Triple-A Indianapolis to make room for a roster spot.
– Greg Smith (2005) is trying to stick again, this time in Yankee pinstripes. The former major-leaguer, who started the season with Grand Prairie of the American Association, is currently 3-3 with a 5.16 ERA for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Since signing in June, Smith has even flirted with a no-hitter.
Before anything else … it’s harder on the body to forget a routine than to establish one.
First, tonight’s lineups from Great Falls …
MIS starting lineup: 1. Fidel Pena (DH) 2. Tom Belza (RF) 3. Eric Groff (2B) 4. Jon Griffin (1B) 5. Ryan Court (3B) 6. Stephen Cardullo (SS) 7. Roidany Aguila (C) 8. Ty Linton (LF) 9. Breland Brown (CF) Enrique Burgos (RHP) GF starting lineup: 1. Randall Thorpe (CF) 2. Kyle Eveland (3B) 3. Joe De Pinto (2B) 4. Mark Haddow (RF) 5. Jimmy Jacquot (1B) 6. Kevan Smith (C) 7. David Herbek (SS) 8. Michael Earley (LF) 9. Andrew Douglas (DH) Blair Walters (LHP)
Now, some news and notes …
– Chris Jarrett (2010) has opted to retire. The former Osprey outfielder was hitting .198 in 83 games with the South Bend Silver Hawks this season.
– Over a two-day span, right-handed pitcher Blake Cooper (2010) was promoted to Class A Advanced Visalia and right-hander Randy Hamrick (2010) was promoted to South Bend.
– C Raywilly Gomez (2009) was also removed from the 7-day DL and reactivated on the South Bend roster.
– OF Jeremia Gomez was activated off of the 7-day DL by the D-backs on Sunday. He is resuming normal activity at a quick pace it seems, so we shall see when he gets back into the lineup.
– OF Chris Ellison is being worked back in to normal activity, and may be available to play during the upcoming homestand.
Also, one more thing … guess who has a 13-game hit streak? Fidel Pena, who extended his streak with a three-hit game on Sunday. He and Eric Groff (24 games) have the two longest current streaks in the Pioneer League.
The link will be posted later today, but read now about the Osprey Playoff Ticket information by clicking here. The general public will have their first chance to buy playoff tickets on Tuesday, August 16, and there will be an Osprey first associated with it. Read the story for all of the details.