Sailing with the Clippers: 5/21/2012 - 5/27/2012
As the final full week in May came to an end, the Columbus Clippers were starting to get hot.
Columbus (24-25) went 3-3 this past week. The Clippers ended a 10-game home stand by losing the final two games of a four-game series against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. After losing the opener at Syracuse to begin a 12-game road trip, Columbus reeled off three-straight wins against the Chiefs to get within one game of being a .500 ballclub.
The Clippers are currently four games back of IL West Division leader Indianapolis, and are 3.5 games out of the Wild Card.
May 21, Scranton/WB, Loss, 6-9: Both teams had big innings, as Columbus and Scranton/WB each plated five or more runners in one turn at the plate, but the Yankees had a little bit more firepower and outlasted the Clippers. Scranton/WB got up 7-1 after a six run top of the second inning before Columbus rallied back with a five run bottom of the fifth inning to pull within one. Two-straight one run innings in the eighth and ninth allowed Scranton/WB to pull away. Lonnie Chisenhall and Jared Goedert led the way for Columbus in the loss, combining for five RBIs and three hits.
May 22, Scranton/WB, Loss, 2-6: Another huge inning by Scranton/WB did Columbus in, as the Yankees used a five run top of the first inning to distance themselves from the Clippers. Possibly hindered by the unusual 10:35 a.m. start time, left-hander Chris Seddon allowed six runs in seven innings of work. The Columbus offense never seemed to get comfortable at the plate against right-hander Ramon Ortiz, who went eight innings, allowing just runs, both of which came on solo homers.
May 24, @Syracuse, Loss, 4-13: Not to be extremely repetitive, but the Columbus pitching staff and big innings was a major theme at the beginning of the week. Syracuse scored 12 runs over the game’s first three innings, and the Clippers never got within reasonable striking distance. Left-hander Eric Berger only lasted two innings in the loss, allowing 10 runs on nine hits. Jason Donald, Andy LaRoche and Matt LaPorta each had two this in the loss.
May 25, @Syracuse, Win, 9-6: After being severely out-hit and out-scored in the series opener, the Columbus bats came alive in game two against the Chiefs. Cord Phelps led the way with a 4-for-5 day at the plate, as Donald, Goedert and Gregorio Petit each poured in home runs. Right-hander Chris Ray recorded his seventh save of the season in the win.
May 26, @Syracuse, Win, 9-6: Pacing the way for the Clippers into their second-straight victory was right-hander Corey Kluber, who went 6.2 innings, allowing only two-earned runs. Errors made this game closer than it should have been, as five runs came across the plate with Kluber on the mound, thanks in part to three Clippers mistakes in the field. At the plate, it was Goedert again who played a major role in the victory, as he went 2-for-5 with a three-run home run.
May 27, @Syracuse, Win, 9-1: Sparking the Clippers to their third-straight win was center fielder Ezequiel Carrera, who went 3-for-4, and Phelps, who had a three-run homer. On the mound, Seddon recorded his fifth win of the season, allowing just one run in seven innings of work. Chad Huffman had a solid day at the plate as well, going 2-for-3 with four RBIs.
Jared Goedert, .240, 4 HRs, 14 RBIs
Pay little attention to the not-so-hot batting average of .240 that Goedert had over the past six games. The recently called-up outfielder was a RBI machine this past week. Goedert homered in four-straight games from May 22 to May 26. During that time, he drove in 11 runs, and along with a three-RBI day on May 21, Goedert accounted for 36 percent of the runs driven in by Clippers this past week. After hitting five homers and driving in 17 runs with Double-A Akron, it seems as if Goedert hasn’t had any trouble adjusting to being a power hitter in Triple-A. Once Goedert can start hitting for average like he did with the Aeros (.395 in Double-A), watch out.
Cord Phelps, .476, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs
While the Columbus offense was inconsistent in the six games it played this past week, Phelps was not. Phelps reached base safely in four of the five games he played in, and had two multi-hit games. The best of which came on May 25 in a win at Syracuse, in which Phelps went 4-for-5 with two runs scored. Something about playing on the road seems to get Phelps going, as the Clippers’ second baseman is hitting .309 away from Huntington Park.
Ezequiel Carrera, .385, 2B, 2 RBIs
Playing in only three of the Clippers six games this past week, Carrera made the most of his opportunities. The Columbus center fielder recorded a hit in all three games, including a 3-for-4 day on May 27 at Syracuse. Carrera is another Clipper who hits better on the road, as he is batting a respectable .263 away from Columbus compared to a dismal .239 inside Huntington Park.
Eric Berger, 0-1, 45.00 ERA, 2 Ks, 2 BBs
In what was possibly the worst start of any Columbus pitcher this season, Berger was smacked around, big time, in a loss at Syracuse on May 24. The left-hander allowed 10 earned runs in two innings of work. The Chiefs had little trouble reaching base, as Berger gave up nine hits and walked two Syracuse batters. In all, 11 Chiefs reached base in just two frames while Berger was on the mound. Berger has been struggling for most of the season, as opposing batters are hitting .307 against the left-hander.
Beau Mills, .000, 1 K
One of the Clippers power hitters this season, Mills struggled to perform in the two games he played in this week. Mills went 0-for-4 in two-consecutive games on May 21 and May 22, and did not appear in any games after those performances. His performance this week was nothing new, however, as Mills is hitting .114 in his last 10 games, and .215 on the season.
Corey Kluber, 1-1, 10.0 ERA, 9 Ks, 5 BBs
The right-hander recorded his fifth win of the season on May 26 at Syracuse, going 6.2 innings and allowing two-earned runs, but his first start of the week is what puts Kluber in the “Who’s not” category this week. In a May 21 outing against Scranton/WB, Kluber didn’t even last two innings. In 1.2 innings of work, Kluber allowed seven-earned runs on seven hits, while walking four batters. The right-hander has been inconsistent most of the year, often following up a solid start with a poor one.
Stat of the week
Columbus offense over past three games
The Clippers offensive showing during the three-game wining streak to end the week was their best of the season. Reeling off nine runs in each of the three games, the 27 runs scored over that time is the highest of any three-game stretch this season. The next closest: 22 runs from May 18 to May 20, in which Columbus went 2-1.
RHP Kevin Slowey placed on 7-day DL
RHP Cole Cook assigned from Lake County Captains
RHP Cole Cook assigned to Lake County Captains
Lonnie Chisenhall assigned to Cleveland Indians
May 28, @Buffalo, 2:05 p.m.
May 29, @Buffalo, 7:05 p.m.
May 30, @Buffalo, 7:05 p.m.
May 31, @Buffalo, 10:35 a.m.
June 1, @Rochester, 7:05 p.m.
June 2, @Rochester, 7:05 p.m.
June 3, @Rochester, 1:05 p.m.