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7-24-09 Minor League Report

7-24-09 Minor League Report

BREAKING NEWS:  KUO pitches yet another perfect inning striking out 2 of the 3 batters he faced.  Bring him up Joe!  Without his monster left arm throwing gas and curves in the proverbial dixie cup our pen will continue to blowTOM O’SHEA’S MINOR LEAGUE REPORT            7-24-09

THE OGDEN RAPTORS       ROOKIEminorleaguerept-logo

The Raptors beat Casper 5-3.

When it was all said and done yesterday, our Raptors ripped the Friendly Ghost 5-3.  CONTRERAS (W, 3-0, 2.73),  went 5 innings and gave up 1 earned run on 4 hits, 4 walks and 2 Ks.  THOMPSON (9.00), was totally ineffective and got his ass handed to him, giving up 2 earned runs on 3 hits while getting just 2 men out before our manager drop kicked him into the showers.  SOLANO (3.38) and AMES (1.42) saved our bacon and the game by pitching 3.1 shutout innings between them to earn a Hold and Save respectively.  AMES was particularly effective going 2 innings and allowing 1 hit, 1 walk and striking out 4.  SOLANO gave up 2 hits over his 1.1 inning.

YOUNT (.293), and ERICKSON (.329), whacked doubles.  Both men also had 2 hit games.


The ‘Topes won 16-8 over the Iowa Cubs.

HU (.270) was 2-6 with a HR and ABREU (.327) got a pinch hit and RBI.  5 Isotopes has 3 or more hits.

SCOTT ELBERT gave up 8 hits and 3 ER in 3 innings.  JOSH LINDBLOM pitched a scoreless inning and CHOI got the win with 1.2 scoreless innings where he K’ed 3.  Choi is now 4-1 and has a 2.10 ERA with 47 K’s in 34 innings.


The Out Looking’s game was not summarized with a box score on their website.  They apparently lost to Mobile in 11 innings.  The following recap should provide the hardcore Chattanooga fan with sufficient information to carry on until tomorrow. (The web site does not credit the author of this summary):

Chattanooga and Mobile played cat-and-mouse throughout Friday night’s match-up at AT&T Field, but it would be the BayBears who would find themselves with a 7-4 victory after a three-run eleventh inning.

Chattanooga got off to an early 1-0 lead in the first on a Josh BELL RBI single, which was prefaced by a James TOMLIN double.

Mobile quickly countered in the second with three runs. Cyle Hankerd doubled to lead off the inning and scored on a subsequent Yunesky Sanchez RBI single. After a Matt Tupman fly out, Mark Hallberg singled to push Sanchez to third. An Evan Frey double cleared the bases and gave the BayBears a 3-1 edge.

The BayBears tacked on another run in the seventh, but the Lookouts added a run of their own in the bottom portion of the inning. Russ MITCHELL singled to lead off and advanced to second on a Tommy GILES walk. Justin SELLERS successfully executed a sacrifice bunt to advance both runners into scoring position. Eddy PEREZ then followed with a single to drive home Mitchell to put the score at 4-2.

Despite being down two runs, the relentless Lookouts came roaring back in the ninth. Lucas MAY led off with a solo shot off of the AT&T Field scoreboard to put the Lookouts within one run. Walks to MITCHELL and Gabriel GUTIERREZ put ducks on the pond for the Lookouts. Justin SELLERS then laid down a perfect bunt down the third base line, and pitcher Jordan Norberto threw to third for the force out, but a sliding MITCHELL arrived at the base in just the nick of time. After pinch hitter Gaby MARTINEZ grounded out into a force out at home, James TOMLIN came to the plate with one out and the bases still loaded. The speedy contact hitter then hit the ball sharply to center, dropping in for a hit. GUTIERREZ scored from third with ease, and Justin SELLERS rounded third and looked primed to cross home with the winning run, but a laser throw from center fielder Evan Frey and a great tag applied by catcher Matt Tupman resulted in a sliding SELLERS being called out on a very close play at home. With two outs and runners on second and third, Ramon NIVAR failed to drive home the winning run by hitting a ground out to shortstop Mark Hallberg.

Mobile ended the stalemate in the eleventh inning. With runners on first and second, Pedro Ciriaco broke the tie on a slow dribbler towards second baseman Ramon NIVAR, who made an errant throw to first in his haste. Bryan Byrne followed with a single off of Matt SARTOR (1-4) that ended up scoring two runs after Nivar bobbled the throw-in on the cutoff. The BayBears now held a 7-4 lead, which the Lookouts would not be able to surmount in the bottom portion of the eleventh off of Leyson Septimo, who picked up his first save of the season in the process.

Scott Maine (3-3) was credited with the win for throwing two innings of shutout ball in relief.

THE INLAND EMPIRE 66ERS    A        ADVANCED          

The 66ers beat Rancho Cucamonga 4-3.

TIMOTHY SEXTON (W, 6-9, 3.29), pitched a quality start going 6 innings and giving up 2 earned runs on 5 hits and 0 walks.  He fanned 3.  KUO (H, 2, 0.00), followed with a perfect inning  striking out 2 of the 3 batters he faced in his 1 inning of work. KUO has been pitching a scoreless inning in almost every game the 66ers played over  the last week.  Call him up and put him in Torre!  Me thinks he’s ready to play!  (And Heaven knows we need another sound left handed arm in the pen!)  MCCARTER (H, 3, 3.69), put up identical numbers with 2 Ks in a perfect inning worked after KUO finished his inning.   SCHREIBER (S,2,3.18), finished up giving up 1 run (earned)  on 1 hit in his 1 inning of work.

SCOTT VAN SLYKE (.303), and MIER (.224), homered for the 66ers.  ROBINSON (.307), and MATTINGLY (.254) hit doubles.  VAN SLYKE and GARCIA (.231) had 3 hit games.  HERRERA (.312) went 2-5.


The Loonies beat Burlington 11-3.

The Loons stomped the life out of Burlington last night.  WALTER got the win (6-3, 3.33), going 5 innings and giving up 2 earned runs on 3 hits, 3 walks and fanned 6.  SMITH (2.90) got his first Hold going 3 innings and giving up 0 runs, 0 walks, and 1 hit while striking out 3.  BOOTHE went the last inning and shut out Burlington on 2 hits, 0 walks and 1 K.  It was a pretty good night for Loonie pitchers. 

But the offense was literally lights out.

KYLE RUSSELL (.273), hit 22nd home run; DELMONICO and HATCH also went  yard as the Loons logged 3 hoe runs for the night.  RUSSELL also hit his 5th triple.  SILVERIO (.275), DELMONICO (.279), and SONGCO (.167), all hit 2 baggers.  SONGCO was just called up a couple odf days ago from the Raptors.

SILVERIO went 3-5.  HATCH (.280), RUSSELL, and DELMONICO all had 2 hit nights.



3 Responses to “7-24-09 Minor League Report”

  1. Ken says:

    They were the most dominating 1-2 pitching punch in Los Angeles history, combining during a five-year period from 1962-66 for 209 regular-season victories, 53 shutouts and four Cy Young Awards. And they only pitched for the Dodgers and manager Walter Alston, two of many parallels to the respective careers of Hall of Famers Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale.
    Yet mere statistics can’t begin to quantify the impact made by Koufax and Drysdale on a franchise establishing its new roots on the West Coast, having moved from Brooklyn following the 1957 season.

    Although Koufax and Drysdale were members of the 1959 Dodgers championship team, they hit their stride after the team moved from the cavernous Los Angeles Coliseum to Dodger Stadium, the sport’s first privately financed ballpark since Yankee Stadium was built in 1923.

    As they sparkled on their new stage, the Hollywood crowd quickly embraced the star pitchers and their teammates who captured championships in 1963 and 1965, along with a final World Series appearance together in 1966. Movie stars frequently visited the ballpark and the Dodger players made cameo appearances on television shows ranging from “Mister Ed” and “The Rifleman” to the Bob Hope and Milton Berle holiday specials.

    Within a few years, both careers were over due to physical ailments. At age 30, Koufax bowed out after a 27-win season in 1966. He had pitched no-hitters in consecutive seasons from 1962 to 1965, the final one his perfect game against the Chicago Cubs on Sept. 9, 1965. Drysdale retired in 1969 at age 33, just 14 months after his record streak of 58 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings.

    “It was like sitting there in a good movie, having a front-row seat and watching them carve those hitters up,” said former Dodger shortstop Maury Wills, who won National League MVP honors in 1962 after stealing a then-record 104 bases.

    The Dodgers signed the Brooklyn-born Koufax as a free agent for $14,000 in the winter of 1954. A new bonus system was in place, requiring any player signed to a bonus of more than $4,000 to be kept on a team’s Major League roster for two years. The Dodgers made room for Koufax by trading pitcher Preacher Roe and infielder Billy Cox to the Baltimore Orioles.

    Late in Spring Training of 1955, Koufax suffered a sprained ankle. An undiagnosed hairline fracture of the area was discovered in May, which kept Koufax on the disabled list. With minimal pitching experience, Koufax was about to join a veteran club that opened the season with 10 consecutive victories and a 22-2 record. On June 9, the Dodgers sent left-hander Tommy Lasorda to Triple-A Montreal to make room for Koufax on the roster. Koufax made his debut on June 24 and, for the remainder of the season, received on-the-job training, as his teammates were in quest of Brooklyn’s first World Series championship. In 12 games, Koufax went 2-2 with a 3.02 ERA in 41 2/3 innings.

    Drysdale had an easier transition to the professional ranks. After his graduation from Van Nuys High School in 1954, he was courted by Pirates team president Branch Rickey, who held a similar position with the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1942-50.

    Rickey offered a $6,000 bonus and a contract with Pittsburgh’s Triple-A Hollywood Stars affiliate. Neither Drysdale nor his father thought the youngster was ready to start his career at the Triple-A level. Scott Drysdale said if his son was a bonus baby like the recently signed infielder Billy Consolo from Dorsey High in Los Angeles, then it was worth going to the Majors and taking his chances.

    Instead, Drysdale signed with the Dodgers for $4,000 because he wanted an organization that stood the best chance of teaching the art of pitching. He pitched that summer at the Dodgers’ California League affiliate in Bakersfield and 1955 at Triple-A Montreal.

    The Dodgers’ World Series victory over the New York Yankees in 1955 helped Drysdale the following spring. The atmosphere was somewhat relaxed, as the veterans had finally erased the “jinx” of the Yankees. The starting rotation wasn’t set in stone for several reasons. World Series hero Johnny Podres would miss the 1956 season because he was drafted into the Navy, and left-hander Karl Spooner reported arm troubles.

    Drysdale joined the Dodgers at age 19 in 1956 and he posted a 5-5 record and 2.64 ERA. He also made an appearance in the 1956 World Series against the Yankees in Game 4, one day before New York’s Don Larsen pitched his perfect game. Drysdale won 17 games during his first full season as a starter in 1957.

    The Dodgers moved to the West Coast prior to the 1958 season and Drysdale was expected to be the ace in front of his Southern California fans. Instead, he started the 1958 campaign with a 1-7 record and 7.29 ERA as the Dodgers stumbled to an 11-21 start and were in last place in the National League by May 18.

    “He’s a California boy and he may be trying to show the California fans what a great pitcher he’s become since he left,” Dodger shortstop Pee Wee Reese said of Drysdale in June 1958. “He may be trying a bit too hard. When you go out and try to do a little extra, you tighten up and sometimes you don’t play as well as when you relax and try to play the best that you can.”

    Drysdale recovered in 1958 to finish with a 12-13 record and 4.17 ERA.

    Inconsistency plagued Koufax, and he compiled a 36-40 record during his first six years with the Dodgers. In 1959, Koufax struck out 18 batters in a game against the Giants on Aug. 31 at the Coliseum, tying Bob Feller’s single-game record. In the World Series, Koufax pitched a masterful Game 5, but was outdueled by Chicago White Sox right-hander Bob Shaw and lost, 1-0.


    “It was like sitting there in a good movie, having a front-row seat and watching [Drysdale and Koufax] carve those hitters up.”
    – Former Dodgers shortstop Maury Wills


    A turning point to Koufax’s career occurred in a spring game in 1961, when Dodger pitcher Ed Palmquist missed the team plane to Orlando, leaving the Dodgers with just Koufax to pitch. During a first-inning jam, catcher Norm Sherry suggested to Koufax taking a little off his fastball for better control.

    “We’ve only got nine guys,” Sherry explained. “If you don’t throw it over the plate, we’re going to be here all day.”

    According to Sherry, Koufax actually threw the ball harder when he relaxed and “took the grunt out of his fastball.”

    Koufax went 18-13 in 1961 and was 14-7 in 1962 until a circulatory problem in his index finger sidelined him for a majority of the pennant race, which was won by the Giants in a three-game playoff at the end of the regular season.

    The 1962 playoff loss overshadowed Drysdale’s greatest season, a 25-win campaign that resulted in the first Cy Young Award in the Dodgers’ Los Angeles history.

    In 1963, Koufax’s finger recovered and he posted a 25-5 record and 1.88 ERA in 311 innings with 11 shutouts for the first of his three Cy Young Awards. He was the MVP of the World Series, winning Games 1 and 4, as the Dodgers swept the favored Yankees.

    “With Sandy’s velocity, everybody thinks about his fastball, which was devastating,” Wills said. “But he had the best curve you’d ever want to see. He was a two-pitch pitcher. He had a little third pitch that he just threw and let them see and he didn’t get it over for a strike, or he’d hang a curve way outside where they couldn’t get it.

    “I said, ‘Sandy, What’s wrong with your arm? Why are you going through all that motion?’ He said, ‘Ah, you’re watching. You know what I’m doing? I’m setting the hitters up.’ So he and [catcher] John Roseboro really worked together like that.”

    The last World Series championship occurred in 1965, when the Dodgers outlasted the Minnesota Twins in a seven-game drama. Drysdale and Koufax lost the first two games of the series, but left-hander Claude Osteen pitched the biggest game of his career in Game 3. Osteen’s 5-0 victory at Dodger Stadium gave Los Angeles new life. Drysdale and Koufax won the next two games, giving the Dodgers a 3-2 lead heading back to Minnesota.

    After a 5-1 loss in Game 6, Alston started Koufax in Game 7 at Minnesota and had Drysdale ready in the bullpen in case Koufax faltered on two-days’rest. A weary Koufax had trouble with his curve in the middle innings, so he used his fastball exclusively over the last three frames to complete a 2-0 victory.

    The Dodgers repeated as National League champs in 1966, but the close pennant race prevented the pitching staff from resting before the World Series. The upstart Baltimore Orioles stunned the Dodgers in a four-game sweep, and the Dodger offense was held scoreless over the final 33 innings, losing by scores of 5-2, 6-0, 1-0 and 1-0.

    Koufax’s retirement after the 1966 season marked the end of the dynasty and the first of many roster changes for the Dodgers. Former batting champion Tommy Davis was traded to the New York Mets; Wills was dispatched to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Without Koufax in the rotation, the Dodgers slumped to an eighth-place finish and 73-89 record in 1967. Drysdale went 13-16 with a 2.74 ERA.

    Drysdale went 14-12 in 1968, his final full season in the Majors, as the seventh-place Dodgers “improved” to 76-86. Drysdale reported to Spring Training 1969 with a sore shoulder, but in retrospect he never associated the injury with his streak of six consecutive shutouts in 1968. Drysdale managed a 5-4 record in 12 starts in 1969 before retiring in early August due to a torn rotator cuff.

    “[After the announcement] I sat in the stands to watch a few innings of the game and I heard a sound I had not heard since I was a boy,” Drysdale wrote in his 1990 autobiography, “Once a Bum, Always a Dodger.”

    “In all the years that I pitched, it was as if I’d become immune to the sound of the bat hitting the ball and ball hitting mitt. It had always been a magnetic click for me and I saw my whole childhood again. I knew then that all my dreams had come true.”

    Koufax and Drysdale both ventured into broadcasting after their careers. Koufax joined NBC as part of the network’s Game of the Week coverage, and he later spent time as a Dodgers Minor League instructor.

    Along with his work with the ABC network, Drysdale served as a broadcaster with the Montreal Expos, Texas Rangers, California Angels, Chicago White Sox, and the Dodgers. He passed away of a heart attack at age 56 in 1993.

    Mark Langill is team historian for the Los Angeles Dodgers. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

  2. Mark Timmons says:

    Those were the days…

  3. Roger says:

    I saw Drysdale pitch toward the end of his career, and I sware his fastball was not very fast. But it was located just where he wanted it. Mixed with curves and other stuff, he could still win.

    He did talk once about pitching in a game (I think in Chicago) where a batter hit a linedrive back through the box, and it was close to him.

    Later, after the game, he was looking in the mirror and saw a bit of blood on his cheek. The ball had zipped by his face, and just touched his cheek — but he was on something (pain pills?) and he did not even know it.



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