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Sailing with the Clippers: 7/09/2012 - 7/15/2012

Sailing with the Clippers: 7/09/2012 - 7/15/2012
July 16, 2012
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After ending the first half of the season on a high note by taking two of three games from Indianapolis, Columbus started off its second half with a five-game set against the first-place Indians.

The Clippers (47-48) started off the series strongly, winning the opener and two of the first three games. They ended the series poorly, losing the final two games and thereby dropping their first series since the All-Star break.

Columbus now trails Indianapolis by 12 games, and is five games out of the Wild Card spot.

Game-by-game analysis

July 12, @Indianapolis, Win, 4-1: Right-hander Corey Kluber had one of his best outings of the season, allowing just one run on three hits over six innings of work. The Clippers had eight hits, and were paced at the plate by second baseman Cord Phelps. Dropped in the order, Phelps went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI batting in the six-hole.

July 12, @Indianapolis, Loss, 1-2: Playing the second game of a double header, it took Indianapolis more than the scheduled seven innings to get past the Clippers. Offense was lacking on both sides for most of the game. After Columbus took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth on a hit by center fielder Ezequiel Carrera, Indianapolis answered in the bottom of the frame. Both teams went scoreless the rest of the way until the Indians scored on an RBI single to right field in the bottom of the eighth frame.

July 13, @Indianapolis, Win, 2-0: For the second time in three games, a strong outing by a Columbus right-hander paved the way for a Clippers’ victory. Jeanmar Gomez pitched a complete-game shutout, allowing just two hits and four base runners in nine innings of work. Right fielder Vinny Rottino homered, and left fielder Tim Fedroff went 1-for-3 with a triple.

July 14, @Indianapolis, Loss, 9-12: After offense was lacking on both sides through the series’ first three games, both teams broke out their bats in game four. Columbus and Indianapolis combined for 21 runs on 26 hits. Both teams had a five-run inning, but Indianapolis was a little bit better. The Clippers got up, 9-6, behind homers from Rottino and Russ Canzler, before the Indians rallied to score six runs over their final three at-bats.

July 15, @Indianapolis, Loss, 3-4: Columbus out-hit the Indians in the final game of the series, but Indianapolis was a little bit better in the clutch. The Indians went 4-for-9 with runners in scoring position compared to a 2-for-9 mark for the Clippers. Rottino went 2-for-3 with two doubles, and Canzler added his second homer in as many games. Left-hander T.J McFarland had his second-straight subpar outing, allowing four runs in five innings after failing to get past the second inning in his previous start.

Who’s hot?

Vinny Rottino, .353, 2 HRs, 6 RBIs

For the majority of the Clippers’ 2012 season, Matt LaPorta was the club’s premier power hitter. As of late, though, that role has switched from LaPorta to recently acquired Rottino. After being claimed off waivers by Cleveland on June 27, Rottino has torn it up with Columbus. Over the past five games, Rottino has gone 6-for-17 with four extra-base hits. As good as Rottino has been since the All-Star break, he was even hotter prior to it, racking up seven hits in the five games before the break. Over his last 10 games, Rottino has a .361/.489/.694 slash line.

Cord Phelps, .357, 2 2Bs, RBI

After going hitless in the All-Star game, Phelps has come out of the slump that he was in heading into Triple-A’s summer classic. Columbus manager Mike Sarbaugh moved Phelps down in the order, and it seemed to pay off. The Clippers’ second baseman was struggling prior to this week, going 2-for-20 in six games heading into this week. In four starts this week, Phelps recorded a hit in three, with two of them being multi-hit games.

Who’s not?

Matt LaPorta, .105, 2B, RBI

The Clippers’ most consistent hitter throughout the 2012 season went through a bit of a slump this week. LaPorta went 2-for-19 in five starts, recording just one RBI and one extra-base hit. He struggled to make contact, striking out five times and in four of his five starts. LaPorta had been struggling coming into the All-Star break as well, going 0-for-5 with three strikeouts in his last game of the first half.

T.J McFarland, 0-1, 7.20 ERA

McFarland’s first start of the second half of the season wasn’t what the hard-throwing right-hander had probably hoped it would be after ending the first half of the season on a major low. McFarland allowed four runs on nine hits and lasted only five innings. His previous start was much worse. The right-hander allowed eight runs on 10 hits in a July 7 outing against Indianapolis. After recording two-straight wins against Lehigh Valley and Toledo to improve to 3-1 on the season, McFarland has lost his last two starts.

Stat of the Week

Jeanmar Gomez’s ERA

The right-hander has made only three starts with Columbus, but if he keeps up on the pace he is on, Gomez will end the season as one of the top pitchers in the International League. Through three outings, Gomez has posted a 1.64 ERA. Only five IL starters have ERA’s under 3.00, and the league leader is at 2.01. Gomez has not made enough starts to qualify to be considered, but if he had, his current stats would put him among the league’s best.

Transactions

July 12

RHP Tyler Sturdevant assigned from Akron Aeros

July 14

IF Ryan Rohlinger assigned to Akron Aeros
RHP Bryan Price assigned from Akron Aeros

Up next

July 16, Louisville, 7:05 p.m.
July 17, Louisville, 7:05 p.m.
July 18, Louisville, 7:05 p.m.
July 19, Louisville, 12:05 p.m.
July 20, @Lehigh Valley, 7:05 p.m.
July 21, @Lehigh Valley, 6:35 p.m.
July 22, @Lehigh Valley, 5:35 p.m.

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