July 29, 2009 12:45 AM

Bunts and Balks (7/28)

First Round WBC: Venezuela v Australia

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs (AAA) beat the Columbus Clippers on Tuesday, 4-2. Gustavo Chacin (the Machine?) had a strong start, improving to 6-3, with a 3.45 ERA. Chacin (pictured, in 2006 WBC!) went six innings, allowing one run, on four hits (three walks/two strikeouts). Jason Donald returned to the lineup, at SS, and was 2 for 4, with a double. (Hopefully, that helped Donald's trade value.)

The Reading Phillies (AA) imploded in the late innings, losing 12-1, to the Portland Sea Dogs. The R-Phils surrendered seven runs, in Portland's last two innings, only one of which was an earned run. We will never speak of this again.
Starter Joe Savery continued to decrease his trade value, allowing three runs (six hits, three walks/three strikeouts) in only five innings. Savery dropped to 12-4 on the season, with a 4.41 ERA. Neil Sellers was 3 for 4, raising his average to .329. Tim Kennelly, playing in RF, continued to be overmatched at AA, with his 1 for 4 night dropping his average to .143. Expect recently-demoted OF Michael Spidale's return to relegate Kennelly to the backup catcher role, behind Kevin Nelson.

The Clearwater Threshers (A) held on in the ninth inning to defeat the St. Lucie Mets, 4-3. The Threshers lead 4-0, as play entered the ninth. Reliever Carlos Monasterios allowed four hits, and three runs, before escaping. Michael Galen Cisco pitched seven scoreless innings, permitting only a pair of singles (zero walks/eight whiffs!). Cisco improved to 7-3, with a 3.31 ERA. Dominic Brown was 2 for 3, with a pair of singles, raising his average to .310. Steve Susdorf's average fell back under .400, at .398, with a 1 for 4 night.

The Threshers activated C Joel Naughton from the DL, and placed C Luis Ramon Arzeno on the DL. Naughton is batting .225, with a .658 OPS. Nonetheless, he is a stark improvement over Arzeno, who sported a .215 average, with an OPS of only .498.

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