With their clutch two-out hitting, the Clippers beat the Charlotte Knights, 6-0, to win their tenth game in a row.
Luis Valbuena got the bats started early for Columbus, with a solo shot in the first. The Clippers got a run in the third with two outs due to Charlotte shortstop Eduardo Escobar’s second error in the game. Jason Kipnis drove home Chad Huffman and Travis Buck in the fifth with a two-out triple. The Clippers final run came in the sixth when Huffman walked with the bases loaded. The Knights walked in another run in the eighth.
Starter Joe Martinez got the win going five innings and striking out five. Carlton Smith came in for two innings of relief and struck out three. Eric Berger relieved him and struck out the side in both the eighth and ninth innings.
Paul Phillips went 3-5 on the game and scored two runs. Umpires overruled a home run for Phillips in the sixth inning and he was sent back to second.
The two teams continue their four game series Sunday at 2:15 P.M. David Huff will pitch against Jeffery Marquez.
The winning streak is now at nine as the Clippers beat the Gwinnett Braves 8-5 Friday night in Georgia.
Corey Kluber got the start on the hill for the Clippers. His first inning of work started off smoothly, retiring the first two batters he saw on groundouts. Matt Young then worked a two out walk. Mauro Gomez would then reach on a fielding error by Jason Kipnis. But the Braves offensive threat was thwarted when Kluber struck out Diory Hernandez to end the bottom of the first.
In the top of the second, the Clippers got on the board with a lot of help coming from the Braves defense. Jason Kipnis reached on a hit that just got by the glove of Braves second baseman Matt Young with one out. Jerad Head then singled up the middle. The next batter, Luke Carlin, hit a grounder down the first base line that ate up first basemen Mauro Gomez, loading the bases. Two batters later, Ezequiel Carrerra came to bat with two down in the frame. On a Rodrigo Lopez 2-1 pitch, the Clippers got on the board without the help of the bat. With that play, the Clippers took an early 1-0 lead and that’s all they would get that inning as Carrerra struck out swinging to end the inning.
In the bottom half of the second, things did not go so well for Clippers righthander Corey Kluber. Braves catcher J.C. Boscan lead off the inning with a walk. The next batter, former Clipper Jose Constanza laid down a bunt that Kluber errantly threw to first base, allowing Constanza to reach safely. With Jordan Schaefer batting, Kluber then threw a wild pitch which allowed the runners to move up a base. Schafer then laid down a bunt. Chad Huffman fielded the ball and got the out at first base, but Constanza came in to score, allowing the Braves to tie the ballgame at 1 all. Luckily for Kluber, he was able to strike out the next two batters he faced to get out of the inning.
The tie did not last very long as the leadoff batter Jason Kipnis came to bat for the Clippers in the top of the third. A solo shot by Kipnis, his second on the season, put the Clippers right back in front of the Braves 2-1.
But the Braves came back in the bottom of the fifth. After Shawn Bowman was hit by a pitch and a single by J.P. Boscan, the Braves put runners on 1st and 3rd to begin the inning. Constanza then reached on fielding error when Kipnis bobbled a ground ball, allowing Gywnnet to tie up the ball game. The next batter, Jordan Schafer struck out on a bunt attempt for the first out of the inning. Then while Matt Young was batting, Kluber helped his own cause on a close play at second. After the close play at second where the Clippers got the benefit of the call, Young got the Braves their first lead of the ballgame. The Braves grabbed a 3-2 lead on Matt Young’s triple. The next batter, Mauro Gomez added to the Braves lead with an RBI single. A Diory Hernandez groundout to shortstop ended the inning, but the damage was done as the Braves grabbed not only their first lead of the ball game, but their first lead of the four game series between Columbus and Gwinnett.
In the top of the sixth, Luis Valbuena hit a two double to keep the inning alive. That brought Ezequiel Carrerra to the plate and he helped the Clippers cut into the lead. The RBI single by Carrerra drew the Clippers within one and knocked out Braves righthander Rodrigo Lopez, who to that point had given up three runs, two earned, on nine hits while striking out six and walking one.
The Braves were looking to add to their slim one run lead in the top of the seventh. After a leadoff walk by JC Boscan, Constanza laid down a sacrifice bunt that sent Boscan to second. Jordan Schafer then came to the plate and got it back to a Gwinnett two run advantage. Schafer’s RBI single put the Braves up 5-3 at that point. The next batter, Matt Young sent a grounder towards first. Chad Huffman was able to get the force at first, but his throw to second was high, so the Clippers were not able to get the double play in that spot. However, the inning ended as Clippers third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall caught a Mauro Gomez liner for the 3rd out.
At that point, it was really looking like the Braves might finally get a win against the Clippers in this series. However, two out magic took place for Columbus in the top of the eighth when with a runner on and two out, Luis Valbuena delivered big time for the Clippers with a big two-out, two-run shot that sent everything back to square one as we were all knotted up at 5 apiece.
In the top of the ninth, Columbus came to bat with the intent of getting back the lead. Lonnie Chisenhall walked to lead off the inning. Chad Huffman was then hit by a pitch. After a Travis Buck sacrifice bunt, the bases were loaded when Jason Kipnis was intentionally walked to set up the possibility of an inning ending double play. Jered Head was not able to get the job done as he struck out swinging for the second out of the inning. But there was still one more batter as Luke Carlin strided to the plate. Carlin’s three run double gave the Clippers an 8-5 lead. Josh Judy then came on in the bottom of the ninth as he succeeded in getting his 4th save of the season. Zach Putnam got his second win on the season (2-0) while Stephen Marek ws saddled with the loss (0-2).
The Clippers open up a four game series against the Charlotte Knights on Saturday night. Lucas Harrel will get the start for the Knights while the Clippers will trot out Joe Martinez. The first pitch will be at 7:15 pm.
Frank the Tank and the boys may have bested Dean Pritchett (was that Jack Cassel?), but I don’t think they had a run like the Clippers and Indians are on right now. The Tribe have won 10 consecutive home games, most since 1996 and your hometown heroes have rattled off 8 straight wins in defense of their Governor’s Cup trophy. The streak includes 2 wins against Louisville, 3 vs. Indianapolis and now 3 victories over Gwinnett. The Clippers go for the sweep tonight at Coolray Field with Corey Kluber on the mound. Kluber has struggled in his last two starts, but has a solid track record and the Clippers have confidence in him. The Braves pitching has been excellent in this series, and veteran Rodrigo Lopez goes tonight, bringing the best stats on the roster with him (4-0 1.35).
North Carolina native Lonnie Chisenhall has found southern cooking to his liking, going 7-13 with a HR and 3RBI’s in the series. Imagine what could happen when the trip shifts to Charlotte! Fellow Carolinian Alex White will not get to play in front of the home state fans however, as he will instead make his Major League debut for the Indians on Saturday against the Detroit Tigers.
The Infield situation gets more interesting and crowded for Mike Sarbaugh as the Indians activated and then optioned Jason Donald to Columbus and also received Josh Rodriguez from Pittsburgh and assigned him the Clippers roster as well. Donald had spent the entire season on the 15-day DL with an injured thumb and Rodriguez was chosen by the Pirates in the Rule V draft, but was taken off of the 25-man roster and therefore had to be offered back to Cleveland, something the Tribe had hoped for all along. The problem it creates is this, where do you find time for 6 players to man 3 positions and still get enough work? Lonnie Chisenhall (3B) and Jason Kipnis (2B) are the only “one-position” guys, but they are the top 2 position prospects in the organization. Neither has set the IL on fire to start the season, though both have shown signs of adjusting to the level of play after early struggles. One or both may be forced to Double-A to make room for the incoming players. Cord Phelps has looked better than anticipated at shortstop and Jason Donald has spent his career there, thought the Indians see him as a 2B or 3B at the next level. Throw in Luis Valbuena and…
Josh Rodriguez was a loss to Cleveland because he was the only true upper-minor level SS the Tribe had in the system to provide depth in case of injury heading into the spring. The Clippers have an open roster spot at the moment, but they currently are operating with an 11-man (including White) pitching staff, something they have not done much of as an Indians affiliate. They will likely receive Frank Herrmann back when White is promoted, and they will also have to figure out a way to fill that rotation spot, as White will make at least 2 turns through the rotation with Carlos Carrasco missing a minimum of 2 starts. There are many options for the Indians to make the math come out right for staying within roster limits but one thing is for sure, Ross Adkins is going to earn his paycheck this week!
Finally, I would like to congratulate Joslyn Leo on her birth! Not bad work for someone under 8 pounds and only 19 inches long. Scott and his wife Shannon welcomed the littlest Leo into the world yesterday afternoon and I’m happy to report mother and baby are doing well. I’m sure Joslyn will make her Huntington park debut soon.
The win streak continues to be alive and well as the Clippers bested the Gwinnett Braves Thursday 2-0. It is the eighth straight win for the Clippers and their 11th win in their last 14 contests. They are now 11 games over .500, 16-5 overall to be exact. That mark is good for the best record in the International League.
It was the starting pitchers, Zach Mccalister of the Clippers and Braves left hander Mike Minor, dominating early. Both pitchers combined for eight strikeouts while only giving up 4 hits through five innings. The offense would come to life in the top of the sixth for the clippers. Clippers catcher Paul Phillips beat it out for an infield hit. Jason Kipnis then sacrificed Phillips over second on a bunt. Two batters later, Lonnie Chisenhall stepped to the plate with two outs and a runner on second. He fouled off a 1-2 pitch that popped out of the glove of Braves catcher J.C. Boscan. Chisenhall lived to see another pitch and he took advantage of the given opoortunity. Finally there were runs put up on the scoreboard as the Clippers took a 2-0 lead over the Braves on Chisenhall’s two-run shot in the top of the 6th.
In the bottom half of the sixth, the Braves threatened to do some offensive damage of their own. Gwinnett led off the inning with singles by Jose Constanza and Jordan Schaefer. McCalister then struck out Matt Young and induced a groundball by Mauro Gomez to end the Braves threat. The Clippers had an opportunity to add to their lead with two out singles by Jordan Brown and Wes Hodges in the top of the 7th. However, Paul Phillips was not able to come through for the Clippers. He struck out swinging to end the inning. Just like the bottom of the 6th, the Braves threatened the Clippers lead. The leadoff batter Diory Hernandez led off the inning with an infield hit, but Mccalister got a little help from his defense as they turned a double play to end the inning.
In the eighth, it was the same story for the Braves as they again got the lead-off hitter on with a Dan Nelson walk. Jensen Lewis, who came on for Mcalister in the 8th, then struck out J.C. Boscan, got Constanza to fly out to center, and induced an inning ending groundout by Jordan Scaefer to first to retire the side.
The Braves would stage one last rally in the ninth. Matt Young and Mauro Gomez both singled to begin the inning. Diory Hernandez would then break up the shutout with looper that found a spot in the outfield for an rbi single to make it 2-1. Braves designated hitter Stefan Gartrell would then sacrifice the runners over with a bunt. After an intentional walk to shortstop Ed Lucas, the bases were loaded with one out. Josh Judy needed a groundball in the worst way and he got it for a game ending double play.
The Clippers will go for the sweep over the Braves on Friday. Columbus will send Corey Klubler to the hill, looking for his first win of the season. He will oppose Braves starter Rodrigo Lopez, who’s looking for his 5th win of the season.
The Clippers have made it 7-0 over the last week of games and the football analogy is apt because the NFL draft begins tonight. Even though I’m in full baseball mode, I’m just like much of America which is fascinated by the prospect of seeing which unknown commodity your favorite NFL team will get in the first few rounds of the cattle call.
I have 3 NFL teams I pull for. As a kid growing up in Northwest Ohio, I saw Browns and Lions games every week. For some reason, the New York Giants were on almost as much. I really liked Phil Simms as a QB and Lawrence Taylor was impossible to ignore (we later found out why). As a result, the Giants were my first “favorite team” as a youngster in the very early 80′s. The fact that they were pretty good helped too.
As I got older and started reading news paper and magazines, I paid more attention to the local teams. The Browns were easy to love. The uniforms always looked dirty, Bernie Kosar flinging it to Webster Slaughter, Kevin Mack knocking people over and later Eric Metcalf skittering all over the field before anyone ever heard of Devin Hester, it makes a body feel warm to think about. I got on board as a Browns fan when I was about 10, the age when you really form an attachment to a team. It was the best stretch of success for the Browns in the Super Bowl era, but I got in the pool just in time to have my heart broken by John friggin Elway 3 times in 4 years. I think my little brother started cheering for Denver just to make me angry.
I had always watched Lions games, but never really formed a connection, maybe it was the fact that they were terrible or that I already liked 2 other teams. Whatever the case. It all changed in 1989. I had watched Mack and Joe Morris bang in between the tackles for years, but all of a sudden a 5’8 ball of electricity with video game-like body control burst through the tv screen and grabbed my full attention. Barry Sanders was IT. Even though the Lions were never an elite team, I watched every week to see what Barry would do and grew into a fan. When he walked away before the 1999 season, he put a serious damper on my honeymoon, my new bride did not understand (this is something I first fully grasped when 2 years earlier, she asked if I’d like it if she bought me a Scott Mitchell Lions jersey for a birthday present- yet I still married her).
This year with the labor turmoil souring everybody on the off-season, people are still excited about the draft. Cam Newton looks poised to earn his first legal paycheck as a football player as the top overall pick, but my guys all have options and questions. Should be a fun night and I’ll be paying attention even while calling the action as the Clippers take on the Gwinnett Braves.
I’d love for the Browns (6) to trade down and get Julio Jones, who seems to fit better in their offense than A.J Green They could surely use a monster on the D-line and another top corner could make the current front 7 better by giving them more time to get to the opponent’s QB.
Green is the popular prediction for the Bengals at #4 but if they blink in the starring contest with Carson Palmer, they might have to go with a QB for the future because Jordan Palmer is not going to win you any games.
The Lions (13) need an upgrade at OT and DB. If Matt Stafford is healthy, he looks like he has the “it” factor that can raise up a whole team. The Giants (19) just seem to fill in positions every year, always picking in the lower parts of the 1st round.
Who’s your team? What do you think they’ll do? What do you HOPE they do? Enjoy this day, as it’s all about potential and upside. It’s like Christmas in April, I hope you all get what you wish for, because there is no return on busted picks.
The Clippers got a solid start from Scott Barnes and won their seventh in a row, beating the Gwinnett Braves, 4-0.
With one out in the third inning, Ezequiel Carrera stole second and then crossed the plate after a Cord Phelps single to give the Clippers their first run.
Luke Carlin drove home Jason Kipnis with a sacrifice fly to left for the Clippers’ second run of the game.
Travis Buck came up with two on and two out, then tripled to bring both Lonnie Chisenhall and Chad Huffman home.
In his second start as a Clipper, Barnes, who improved to 1-1 on the year, went 6.2 innings, only allowing two hits and struck out seven.
Barnes pitched his way out of trouble in the fourth inning after runners were on first and second with one out. In the sixth, Barnes put two on with no outs. Carlin picked off Mauro Gomez at second and then forced Joe Mather to ground into a double play.
Overall, the Braves recorded four hits, and left nine runners on base.
Carlton Smith recorded his first save of the year, going three innings of relief work.
The Clippers and Braves meet again Thursday at 7:00pm from Coolray Field with Columbus’ Zach McAllister facing IL Pitcher of the Week, G-Braves southpaw Mike Minor.
The Clippers raced to a 6-0 lead and held on to win 7-5 over the Gwinnett Braves at Coolray Field on Tuesday.
Columbus has won six straight games.
David Huff earned the win, pitching seven innings, while Zach Putnam provided two scoreless frames to get a save.
Columbus scored three runs in the first inning and added three more in the third. Jason Kipnis’ two-run homer highlighted the offensive attack.
Chad Huffman also drove in two runs.
The Clippers and Braves meet again Wednesday at 7:05pm with lefty Scott Barnes facing G-Braves right-hander Jacob Thompson.
There has been a decided lack of Mitchell Reports on the …Mitchell Report section of this blog. I will do my best to remedy that over the course of this road trip. A big shout out to our good friend Eric Welch for filling in for me on the double-header while I was down for the count. Nobody has better pitch recognition than that guy. By the way, the Clippers seem to have the number of the Indianapolis Indians so far.
Now that out -of-division play id starting, we can find out which division will separate itself from the others. Louisville and Columbus have great records, but is that because they’ve played Indy and Toledo so much? Are Indy and Toledo as bad as their record, or are they just facing the 2 best teams in the league? These things will start to shake out over the next few weeks.
The Clippers climbed back to the top of the IL West Division by sweeping a doubleheader from Indianapolis 6-1 and 6-5.
On a day that was wet and raining to start, it was a sunny end result for Clippers in Game 1 Monday night.
Indianapolis got on the board in a hurry when Indians left fielder Alex Pressley homered with two outs off of the right centerfield scoreboard to give the Indians an early 1-0 lead.
Columbus would come right back in the bottom half of the inning. After 1 out walks by Cord Phelps and Chisenhall and a Chad Huffman single, Travis Buck delivered a two-run single to give the Clippers a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the 1st.
In the bottom of the second, the Clippers played a game of add-on. After a lead-off double by Jordan Brown and walk by Luke Carlin, Luis Valbuena smacked a two-run double to left centerfield to increase the Clippers advantage to 4-1.
The Clippers would strike again in the bottom of the third when Jason Kipnis came around to score on a 1-out Jordan Brown RBI double to enhance the Clippers lead to 5-1. Chad Huffman would then hit a no-doubter off of the left field building in the bottom of the fifth inning to increase the Columbus lead to 6-1. Huffman was recently named the International League player of the week.
Alex White was very solid for the Clippers, picking up his first win of the season (1-0) by going 5 2/3 innings, giving up only one run on five hits while striking out eight and walking two. Sean Gallagher dropped to 0-3 on the season as he pitched only 3 2/3 innings giving up 5 runs all earned on five hits while walking five and striking out three.
Jordan Brown ignited a Clippers rally with his fifth inning grand slam, as they come back to beat the Indians, 6-5, in the nightcap.
Brown took a Jose Ascanio pitch out to left field and also drove in Paul Phillips, Luis Valbuena and Cord Phelps.
The next inning, Valbuena singled to right field to bring home Kipnis to tie the game. The next hitter, Ezequiel Carrera singled and Wes Hodges crossed the plate for the eventual game-winning run.
The Clippers had to battle back from a 5-0 deficit after Indianapolis scored 1 in the first, 2 in the third and 2 in the top of the fifth.
Joe Martinez started for the Clippers and went 3.2 innings, allowing 3 earned runs and struck out four. Jensen Lewis (2-0) earned the victory, however.
Josh Judy came on in the seventh and final inning, earning his second save on the season.
The victory Monday night was the seventh in a row over the Indians on the 2011 season.
After being washed out for two days, there was baseball at Huntington Park Sunday and when the dust settled, the Clippers stood tall with a 6-4 win against the Indianapolis Indians.
Columbus used a 5-run fourth inning to vault past Indianapolis and the bullpen threw 5.2 innings in relief of Corey Kluber, who had command troubles in his 3rd start of the season.
After falling behind 2-0, the Clippers got on the board on a Travis Buck solo home run in the bottom of the 2nd to make it a 2-1 ballgame. In the 5th, Columbus took advantage of Brian Burres, plating 5 runs on 5 hits, including a 2-run triple by Jordan Brown and back-to-back home runs by Paul Phillips and Luis Valbuena. They would be held scoreless for the rest of the night, but the bullpen made the lead stand up.
Jensen Lewis earned the win with 2 scoreless innings of relief and Josh Judy pitched a perfect 9th inning for his 1st save of the season.
The Clippers and Indians will play a double-header Monday night beginning at 5:05pm. Eric Berger will start game one against Sean Gallagher.