Sailing with the Clippers: 5/2/13 - 5/8/13
The Columbus Clippers finished their fifth week of the season capturing four wins in the six games played. The Clippers are 17-16 on the year.
The Clippers finished their series with the Rochester Red Wings over the weekend—splitting the series with the Red Wings, 2-2. The Clippers then welcomed in the Rochester Knights for back-to-back four-game home series. In the midst of the series, the Knights have taken two-of-three against the Clippers with their last game on Thursday at 11:35 am.
Coming into the series, both the Red Wings and Knights bullpens’ led the International league in hits with 260 and 252, respectively. The Clippers through seven games (and one more game in the series with the Knights) are batting 64-for-225 (.284).
The Clippers will head to Rochester for a four-game series beginning on Friday and then take on the Syracuse Chiefs for a four-game series beginning on May 14.
Game-by-game Analysis / Headline
5/2 vs. Rochester Red Wings, 6-7 L: On a night highlighted by the return and play of Clippers’ first baseman Matt LaPorta, the club did not find the win as they lost 7-6 to the Red Wings. LaPorta came off the disabled list on May 2 and went 3-for-4 with a homerun, two singles, and two RBIs. The difference in the game came down to pitching. Red Wings right-hander P.J. Walters (3-2, 3.60 ERA) pitched 6.1 innings allowing three runs on eight hits while adding six strikeouts. On the Clippers’ mound, it would be a night left-hander T.J. House (0-1, 7.20 ERA) would like to forget. In House’s second start with the club he allowed seven runs on nine hits over four innings and did not record a strikeout. Both teams had 12 hits a piece throughout the game.
5/3 vs. Rochester Red Wings, 5-1 W: Clippers’ righty Joe Martinez led the way in the Clippers’ second game of the series against the Red Wings. Martinez had his longest outing of the season pitching 7.2 innings. Martinez’s performance included giving up six hits and striking out two batters—but 102 pitches of shutout baseball. First baseman Matt LaPorta went 3-for-4 and hit two-run shot to left field for his second consecutive night with a homer. Third baseman Ryan Rohlinger and right fielder Matt Carson both went 3-for-4 on the night. The Clippers went 13-for-36 as a team in their 5-1 victory.
5/4 vs. Rochester Red Wings, 2-8 L: The third game of the series was a batting showcase by the Red Wings as they hit five homeruns in their 8-2 victory over the Clippers. It was an all-around dreary night for the Clippers from the plate and in the bullpen. Designated hitter Tim Fedroff, center fielder Matt Carson, and shortstop Juan Diaz all combined to go 0-for-12 from the plate. Right fielder Jeremy Hermida drove in two runs for the only two runs of the game for the Clippers. The Clippers’ bullpen could not pick up the slack; all three pitchers the Clippers’ sent out on the mound gave up at least one home run throughout their frames pitched. Clippers’ righty Toru Murata picked up his second loss of the season giving up seven hits and four earned runs.
5/5 vs. Rochester Red Wings, 3-2 W: The Clippers held on to split the series 2-2 with the Red Wings after their 3-2 victory on May 5. Clippers’ right-hander Carlos Carrasco earned his first win of the season pitching six innings allowing only four hits and one run—Carrasco also struck out seven batters. The Clippers’ had a decent performance from the plate going 11-for-32 as a team. Third baseman Ryan Rohlinger continued to execute in his new role as the second hitter in the batting order. Rohlinger has been batting .391 since being put into the second position on April 29.
5/7 vs. Charlotte Knights (doubleheader), 2-4 L, 2-1 W: The Clippers and Knights played a doubleheader to make up the postponed game the night before. The Clippers’ were the first to draw blood after first baseman Matt LaPorta hit his third homer of the year. LaPorta has hit three homers through his first five games played this season. The Clippers’ would add to their score in the same inning after second baseman Cord Phelps walked and left fielder Tim Fedroff sent him home on a sacrifice fly. Despite only going 2-for-22 at the plate—Charlotte made its only two hits count. In the top of the seventh, after Clippers’ righty Trevor Bauer hit and walked a batter, he was replaced by closer Preston Guilmet. Guilmet would give up two runs to Knights shortstop Carlos Sanchez who singled to center. The Knights very next batter, third baseman Brent Morel, homered to right scoring him and Sanchez to hang on for the 4-2 win. Guilmet picked up his second loss of the season (0-2).
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Clippers’ sent out righty Brett Brach who was just assigned from the Akron Aeros a day before. Brach had an impressive outing for his first start with the club. The newly assigned pitcher went five innings giving up four hits and one earned run—Brach also winded eight batters. The Knights took the lead in the fourth inning with the same duo just hours before, Carlos Sanchez and Brent Morel, combining for a single and double to take the 1-0 lead. In the sixth, after two fielding errors by the Knights defense, Cedric Hunter would score and Juan Diaz would reach second. Clippers’ second baseman Matt Lawson singled to score Diaz to give the Clippers the 2-1 victory. Despite the performance by Brach, Clippers’ pitcher Fernando Nieve walked away with his second win of the season (2-1) pitching two innings and giving up no runs while striking out five batters.
5/8 vs. Charlotte Knights, 8-3 W: The Knights captured the third game and scored in five-of-nine innings played. The inconsistency of the Clippers’ batting and bullpen caught up with the club Wednesday. Clippers’ pitcher T.J. House made his third start of the year having an almost parallel performance to his second start—which was not a pretty one. House went through six innings of work giving up eight hits and five earned runs. House only tallied three strikeouts through his outing. Clippers’ beginning batting lineup of center fielder Michael Bourn, left fielder Ezequiel Carrera and second baseman Cord Phelps combined to go 0-for-12 on the night. The Knights performance from the plate and the mound gave them the 8-3 victory. Clippers’ first baseman Matt LaPorta sent a long ball to center for his fourth of the season.
1B Matt LaPorta, 8-for-21 (.380), 7 RBIs, 4 HRs
It’s safe to say the Clipper faithful may not know where the club would be without the recent return of first baseman Matt LaPorta. LaPorta was reactivated from the disabled list after off-season hip surgery and has been a menace from the plate. Through his six games played, LaPorta is batting .380 and has knocked in seven runs and has four home runs. Clippers’ right fielder Jeremy Hermida still leads the team with six home runs on the year—but has played in 30 games compared to LaPorta’s six.
LHP T.J. House, 7.88 ERA, 14 H, 14 ER, 3 HRs
Clippers’ lefty T.J. House was reassigned from the Akron Aeros on April 26 against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. House had a decent performance pitching six innings and only gave up five hits and two earned runs while adding seven strikeouts. Since then, it has been a nightmare for House. House’s first home start on May 2 ended after four innings of play—the lefty gave up nine hits, seven earned runs and walked four batters. House’s third start of the season on May 8 was almost a repeat. House pitched six innings giving up eight hits and five earned runs and walked eight batters. House is 0-2 on the year with the Clippers.
Stat of the Week
3B Ryan Rohlinger added to the second spot in the batting order
Clippers’ third baseman Ryan Rohlinger was added to the second spot in the batting order on April 29 by Clippers’ manager Chris Tremie. Since his movement up in the order, Rohlinger is 7-for-19 (.368) from the plate. Rohlinger has only struck out once through his six games at this position in the order. If Rohlinger keeps up his current streak the Clippers’ might find more runs with LaPorta batting in the fourth spot.
RHP Kyle Landis retunred to Akron
INF Matt LaPorta from the disabled list
INF Michael McDade designated for assignment
RHP Trevor Bauer optioned from Cleveland
LHP Scott Barnes recalled to Cleveland
RHP Brent Brach from Akron
OF Michael Bourn on a ML injury rehab assignment
LHP Nick Hagadone recalled by Cleveland
OF Ezequiel Carrera on outright assigment from Cleveland
5/9 vs. Charlotte Knights (11:35 am)
5/10 @ Rochester Red Wings (7:05 pm)
5/11 @ Rochester Red Wings (7:05 pm)
5/12 @ Rochester Red Wings (1:05 pm)
5/13 @ Rochester Red Wings (7:05 pm)
5/14 @ Syracuse Chiefs (7:00 pm)
5/15 @ Syracuse Chiefs (7:00 pm)