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Sailing with the Clippers: 6/25/2012 - 7/1/2012

Sailing with the Clippers: 6/25/2012 - 7/1/2012
July 2, 2012
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After struggling to put together consistent performances for more than a month, the Columbus Clippers have now recorded two-consecutive winning weeks.

Columbus (41-42) went 4-2 over the past seven days, following up a 4-3 week from June 18 to June 24 with an even better one this week at Huntington Park.

The Clippers began their week by taking the final game of a four-game series with Lehigh Valley, in which Columbus won three out of four, before winning another series, 3-1, against Norfolk.

This weekend, the Clippers lost the first of a two-game home series against Toledo. Sunday’s game was postponed due to rain and heavy winds.

The club remains well behind IL West division leader Indianapolis, trailing the Indians by 11 games, but are now only five games back of the Wild Card spot.

Game-by-game analysis

June 25, Lehigh Valley, Win, 7-3: Columbus jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and never looked back. Designated hitter Russ Canzler was one of two Clippers to record multiple hits, and he added a game-high two RBIs to lead Columbus at the plate. He homered, as did right fielder Trevor Crowe, and right-hander Corey Kluber added seven-plus innings of solid work. Kluber allowed three-earned runs in 7.1 innings while striking out six IronPigs.

June 26, Norfolk, Win, 4-3: The Clippers second-straight win of the week took extra innings. Columbus went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left eight runners on base, but plated a run in the bottom of the 11th inning. Designated hitter Chad Huffman went 2-for-5 with two RBIs with five different Clippers’ pitchers making an appearance.

June 27, Norfolk, Loss, 1-3: A Columbus offense that had scored 15 runs over its last three games failed to show up in the Clippers’ first loss in four games. Columbus scored one run in the bottom of the first inning on a ground-rule double by second baseman Cord Phelps, but managed just four hits and no runs the rest of the way.

June 28, Norfolk, Win, 6-3: First baseman Matt LaPorta and Canzler combined to drive in four of Columbus’ six runs to prevent the Clippers from losing back-to-back games. Right-hander Toru Murata left after 3.1 innings with cramps, but the Columbus bullpen allowed only one run in 5.1 innings. Left-hander Eric Berger paced the way with 3.1-scoreless frames.

June 29, Norfolk, Win, 9-4: A six-run fifth inning propelled Columbus to its fourth win in five games. Eight of the nine Clippers in the lineup recorded a hit, with Phelps and Canzler each sending one out of the ballpark. The two combined to go 3-for-8 with six RBIs. Right-hander Jeanmar Gomez, making his first start of the year with Columbus, gave up 10 hits but only one-unearned run in seven innings of work.

June 30, Toledo, Loss, 1-8: Columbus and Toledo were in a pitcher’s duel through seven innings, with only the Mud Hens scraping a run across in the top of the second inning, before an offensive outburst in the eighth. Toledo was the only team doing much of the scoring in game’s later innings, though, as the Mud Hens pulled away with a five-run eighth and a two-run ninth. Only two Clippers’ had a hit and Columbus managed to get just two runners into scoring position.

Who’s hot?

Jared Goedert, .368, RBI

The most consistent hitter in the Columbus lineup this week, Goedert went 7-for-19 in his five starts. He recorded at least on hit in four of his five outings, and in the one game he didn’t he reached base on a walk. The only problem was that nobody around him in the lineup was really reaching base, as only on one of his hits did he drive in a run. Goedert has been red hot over his last 10 games as well, hitting .400 with a .442 on-base percentage.

Russ Canzler, .318, 2 HRs, 7 RBIs

A week after being named the IL Batter of the Week, Canzler cooled a bit at the plate, but he was still one of the hottest hitter in the Columbus lineup over the past six games. Canzler continued to be an RBI machine, driving in seven runs, and displayed his power hitting as well with homers on June 25 and June 29. He has an on-base percentage of .341 over his last 10 games, and remains one of the Clippers best hitters at Huntington Park. In 40 games inside Columbus’ home park, Canzler is hitting .322 with four homers and 23 RBIs.

Matt Pagnozzi, .375, 2B, RBI

Making just three starts this week, Pagnozzi made the most of his limited playing time. The Clippers’ catcher went 3-for-8 over the past week, highlighted by a 2-for-3 day on June 26 with a double and an RBI. Pagnozzi’s batting average remains a lowly .212, but he has come on a bit of late, hitting .242 over his past 10 games. His on-base percentage has been even better: .359 during his last 10 starts.

Who’s not?

Cord Phelps, .118, HR, 4 RBIs

The Clippers’ second baseman will be representing Columbus at the International League All-Star Game next week, but he didn’t play like one of Triple-A’s best over the past week. Phelps went 2-for-17 in five starts, going hitless in three of the games he played in. He had a big three-run homer on June 29 in a win against Norfolk and an RBI-double on June 27, but reached base just three other times throughout the week. Phelps has been bating in the three hole over the past couple weeks, and has not really responded the way Columbus manager Mike Sarbaugh envisioned when he made the move.

Gregorio Petit, .125, RBI

Petit batted at the bottom of the order in each of his five starts this week, and he didn’t do anything to prove that he deserved to be any higher up. Petit went 2-for-16 in five games played with one RBI and no extra-base hits. Coming into the week, he had been playing well, going 7-for-19 in five games prior to June 25.

Luke Carlin, .200, BB

Unlike his counterpart, Pagnozzi, Carlin did not make the most of his limited playing time this week. In three starts, he went 2-for-10 with no extra-base hits or RBIs. He ended the week on a strong note, going 2-for-4 on June 29, and he had been playing well coming into the week. Carlin, even with his poor performance this week, is hitting . 273 over his last 10 games.

Stat of the Week

Carrera’s four steals

The Clippers’ center fielder tied a franchise record with four steals in a 6-3 win over the Norfolk Tides on June 28. Leading off in the game, Carrera went 2-for-5 and also scored three times.

Transactions

June 25

RHP Jeanmar Gomez optioned from Cleveland Indians (not yet on active roster)
LHP Scott Barnes recalled to Cleveland Indians
IF Andy LaRoche activated from 7-day DL

June 26

IF Andy LaRoche released 

June 27

DH Travis Hafner received on Major League Rehab Assignment
RHP Chris Schwinden designated for assignment
RHP Jeanmar Gomez added to active roster
UT Vinny Rottino claimed off waivers from New York Mets (not yet on active roster)

June 28

RHP Zach McAllister recalled to Cleveland Indians
LHP Scott Barnes optioned from Cleveland Indians
RHP Toru Murata assigned from Akron Aeros 7-day DL

June 29

RHP Chris Schwinden claimed off waivers by New York Yankees
RHP Toru Murata placed on 7-day DL (Right Groin Strain)
UT Vinny Rottino added to active roster

June 30

IF Jason Donald recalled to Cleveland Indians
IF Ryan Rohlinger assigned from Akron Aeros

Up next

July 2, @Toledo, 7:00 p.m.
July 3, @Toledo, 7:00 p.m.
July 4, @Toledo, 7:00 p.m.
July 5, @Toledo, 7:00 p.m.
July 6, Indianapolis, 7:05 p.m.
July 7, Indianapolis, 7:05 p.m.
July 8, Indiapolis, 1:05 p.m.

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