Sailing with the Clippers: 4/30/2012 - 5/6/2012
Another week of the 2012 Columbus Clippers season is complete.
Over the past seven days, the Clippers (16-13) went 3-3, losing the finale of their four-game series with the Pawtucket Red Sox before taking two of three from Gwinnett and splitting a two-game series with Toledo.
Columbus remains in second place in the IL West Division, trailing Toledo by two games.
April 30, Pawtucket, Loss, 4-6: The Clippers had a chance to sweep the four-game series against the Red Sox, but were unable to after Pawtucket had a two-run top of the ninth inning with the score tied, 4-4. Matt LaPorta continued his smashing of opposing pitchers at Huntington Park this season in the game, going 2-for-4 with two home runs. Left-hander Chris Seddon had a no decision, going seven innings while giving up four runs.
May 2, Gwinnett, Loss, 4-7: Rain caused this game, which began May 1, to be completed the following day. None of the four pitchers that made appearances for the Clippers were able to take control of the game, each giving up at least one run. Right-hander Jeremy Accardo took the loss, allowing two runs in one inning of work. LaPorta had another solid showing at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs. Andy Laroche also went deep in the loss.
May 2, Gwinnett, Win, 3-2: In a shortened seven-inning contest, the Clippers’ pitching staff outdueled Gwinnet’s, with Zach McAllister leading the way. The right-hander went five innings, allowing one run on four hits while striking out six. Ezequiel Carrera went 2-for-2 with a walk. Only the Clippers’ top four hitters in the batting order—Carrera, second baseman Cord Phelps, right fielder Ryan Spilborghs, and LaPorta—had hits.
May 3, Gwinnett, Win, 12-8: A six-run sixth inning allowed the Clippers to take control of this game. Columbus had 11 hits in the game, including a 8-for-13 line with runners in scoring position. Right-hander Kevin Slowey did just enough to keep the Clippers in the lead, giving up six runs in 5.2 innings of work. Gregorio Petit went 3-for-4 with two doubles.
May 5, @Toledo, Loss, 2-1: The two runs given up in the bottom of the first inning by right-hander Corey Kluber proved to be enough for the Mud Hens to take the first game of the series. Toledo’s pitching staff stifled the Clippers throughout the game, as Columbus only managed two hits. Those two hits came from Chad Huffman and Beau Mills, with the lone run coming on a double by Mills in the top of the seventh inning.
May 6, @Toledo, Win, 8-1: A day after managing little-to-nothing at the plate, the Clippers’ bats came alive on Sunday on way to a win. Newly assigned Jose Lopez, sent down from Cleveland following the Johnny Damon acquisition, went 4-for-5 in the win with three doubles and three RBIs. LaPorta and Mills both had two hits. Seddon got the win, going six innings, striking out four and allowing one run on three hits.
Jose Lopez, .800, 3 RBIs, 3 2Bs
There is always some disappointment from players when they are sent to the minor leagues, but Lopez didn’t show it in his debut with the Clippers Sunday. After clearing waivers following the Indians’ acquisition of Johnny Damon, Lopez started at third base and hit in the No.3 hole against the Mud Hens. He proved why he is an MLB veteran—has played in more than 900 big-league contests—going 4-for-5 with three doubles and three RBIs in a win over Toledo. Expect Lopez to continue to be a middle-of-the-order hitter for the rest of his time with Columbus this season.
Matt LaPorta, .333, 3 HRs, 5 RBIs
It wasn’t as good as the previous week, but LaPorta’s slash over the past six games is still very worthy to be put in the “Who’s Hot” category. The three shots he hit this week give LaPorta nine homers on the season. In 26 games with Columbus this season, LaPorta is hitting .361, adding 20 RBIs and a .438 on-base percentage. If he keeps smashing Triple-A pitching, it will be hard for Cleveland not to call him up. However, with the contract given to Casey Kotchman, it is unlikely that LaPorta will be with the Indians before mid-June.
Chris Seddon, 1-0, 3.46 ERA, 13 IP
The only Columbus pitcher to make two starts this week, Seddon had a solid start on April 30 against Pawtucket before a gem of an outing on May 6 at Toledo. Over thirteen innings of work, the left-hander struck out nine batters and allowed eight hits. His May 6 start was perhaps his best of the young season, going six innings while allowing one run on three hits. The seven-inning start on April 30 was his longest of the season, and the six innings he went on May 6 is tied for his second longest of the year.
Matt Pagnozzi, .000, 2 BBs, 2 Ks
The Clippers’ catcher only played in three games this week, splitting time with Luke Carlin. It’s fair to say he didn’t take advantage of the playing time he was given, going 0-for-7. Two of the three games he played in this week were losses. In the lone win, Pagnozzi went 0-for-3.
Cord Phelps, .086, 2 BBs, 6 Ks
Continuing to struggle, Phelps had another poor week at the plate, going 2-for-23 in six games. Phelps started out the year so hot that is average is still a respectable .256, but it is dropping. Fast. When he did get on base this week, he made the most of it, scoring six times.
Frank Hermann, 0-1, 8.18 ERA, 2.2 IP
The right-hander took his first loss of the season in relief on April 30 against Pawtucket, going 1.1 innings while giving up two runs on six hits. His second appearance of the week was much better, throwing a scoreless, no-hit 1.1 innings in a win on May 6 against Toledo.
Stat of the Week
LaPorta’s dominance at the plate at Huntington Park
LaPorta added to his ridiculous home-run total in Huntington Park this week, with three deep shots. He has now hit 19 home runs in his last 39 games at the Clippers’ ball park, and is the record holder for the most home runs hit in Columbus with 25 homers.
Runner up: Huffman’s on-base streak
Huffman increased his on-base streak this week, and has now reached base in every game he has played in (17).
IF Lonnie Chisenall placed on 7-day DL retroactive to April 29 (Strained Left Calf)
RHP Jose De La Torre assigned to Akron Aeros
IF Jose Lopez outrighted from Cleveland Indians
OF Ryan Spilborghs traded to Texas Rangers for cash
OF Ben Copeland assigned from Akron Aeros
RHP Cole Cook assigned from Lake County Captains
May 7 @Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
May 8 @Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
May 9 @Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
May 10 @Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
May 11 @Pawtucket
May 12 @Pawtucket
May 13 @Pawtucket