Sailing with the Clippers: 5/7/2012 - 5/13/2012
May 14, 2012
The second week of May was one the Columbus Clippers would probably like to forget.
After a 1-0 victory on Tuesday at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, the Clippers went on to lose their next six games. The six-game skid, which includes three losses a piece to the Yankees and Pawtucket Red Sox, is the longest of Columbus’ young season.
While members of the Clippers likely won’t want to remember the past week’s occurrences, there is plenty worth going over.
May 8 @Scranton/Wilks-Barre, Win, 1-0: Andy Laroche played the hero in this game, played Tuesday afternoon following a rainout on Monday night. Laroche doubled in the top of the fifth inning, driving in Beau Mills, who had reached on a single. The one run turned out to be enough for Columbus with left-hander David Huff on the hill. Huff went the distance, throwing a complete-game shutout in the shortened seven-inning contest.
May 8 @Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Loss, 3-4: In another seven-inning game, Scranton/WB scored four runs over the first three innings and survived a two-run top half of the first by Columbus to defeat the Clippers. Jose Lopez and Laroche each had three hits, while Cord Phelps, Chad Huffman and Matt LaPorta added RBIs. Columbus, trailing by one in the top of the seventh inning, had runners on second-and-third base with no outs but couldn’t cash in. Russ Canzler struck out and Mills flew out to right field to end the game.
May 9 @Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Loss, 1-2: Yankees’ starter Dellin Betances had his way with the Columbus lineup, giving up two hits in eight innings of work. Phelps was the only Clipper to record a hit in the game, going 2-for-4 with a home run. Left-hander Eric Berger took the loss, allowing two runs through six frames.
May 10 @Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Loss, 3-4: In the series finale, the Clippers fell to the Yankees in extra innings. Scranton/WB got a single to right field with one out in the bottom of the tenth inning off Jermey Accardo for the win. Right-hander Corey Kluber had one of his best outings of the season, giving up one run in six innings, but the Clippers bullpen spoiled Kluber’s chance for a win. Cody Allen and Accardo gave up a combined three runs in 3.1 innings of work. Huffman and Lopez had three hits a piece in the loss.
May 11 @Pawtucket, Loss, 1-5: For the second time in three games, the Clippers managed only one run, but it wasn’t due to a lack of hits. Columbus had seven hits in the game, but went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position. Pawtucket had seven hits as well, but a 4-for-8 spot with RISP propelled them to victory. Phelps and Ben Copeland each had two hits.
May 12 @Pawtucket, Loss, 6-7: For the second-straight game, the Clippers matched or out-dueled their opponent in the hits category. And for the second-straight night, Columbus didn’t come through with runners in scoring position, going 1-for-6. Copeland had two homers in defeat, while Canzler added one as well.
May 13 @Pawtucket, Loss, 4-5: Allen, after dominating his first few Triple-A appearances, had another poor outing, recording his first loss after giving up the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Kevin Slowey gave up three runs in his start. Laroche and Huffman had multi-hit games.
Andy Laroche, .375, 3 2Bs, 2 RBIs
Laroche is hitting .254 in Columbus this season, but over the past seven games he was perhaps the Clippers best hitter. In Columbus’ lone win of the week, Laroche drove in the Clippers’ only run of the game on a RBI double. He followed up that performance with a 3-for-3 outing in the second game of the day on Tuesday. Laroche had three multi-hit games this week, and reached base in five of the seven games he played in. His performance might have something to do with the Clippers being on the road this past week. Laroche is hitting .270 in opposing ballparks compared to just .233 at Huntington Park.
David Huff, 1-0, .000 ERA, 7 Ks
Like Laroche, Huff was a major factor in Columbus’ 1-0 victory over Scranton/WB on Tuesday. The left-hander had by far his best start of the season, throwing a complete-game shutout. Huff pitched all seven innings in the shortened contest while striking out five Yankees and only walking one. The solid outing was a long time coming, though. Huff, in his previous two starts, went a combined 8.1 innings and gave up seven total runs.
Cord Phelps, .333, 2 HRs, 3 RBIs
After being in the “Who’s Not?” section the previous two weeks, Phelps had a seven-game performance worthy of talking about. Phelps hit his second and third homers of the season this week, and had a hit in all but one of the seven games he played in. Of those seven games, he had two hits in three of them. Like Laroche, Phelps apparently enjoys hitting on the road. Phelps is hitting a mere .235 at home but has a .300 average in visiting stadiums.
Kevin Slowey, 0-1, 6.24 ERA, 4 Ks, 3 BBs
Slowey, 2-3 this season with a 5.79 ERA, didn’t do anything this week to better any of his pitching stats. Slowey gave up seven earned runs in 10.1 innings of work; one start a loss and the other start a no-decision. He has been giving up a big amount of runs in all of his starts lately. In six starts dating back to April 11, Slowey has given up 29 runs—26 earned—in 33.6 innings.
Cody Allen, 0-1, 9.00 ERA, 3 Ks, 2 BBs
When Allen first came to Columbus, it was obvious why he had risen so fast through other levels of the minor leagues. It wasn’t so evident this week, unfortunately. In three innings of work, Allen gave up three-earned runs. He took the loss in his most recent outing and gave up the lead in the other. Allen still has big-league stuff, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him up in Cleveland at some point this year, but not if he continues to have performances like he did this week.
Luke Carlin, .000, 1 K, 2 BBs
The Clippers’ catcher had a big 0-fer this week, going hitless in eleven at-bats in four games. Carlin’s counterpart at the catching position in Columbus, Matt Pagnozzi, appeared in the “Who’s Not?” section last week. Pagnozzi didn’t have a great week either, going 1-for-9. In all, Columbus catchers went 1-for-20 at the plate in seven games this week.
Stat of the Week
Jose Lopez’s performance at the plate in Columbus
Lopez is back with the big-league club after being demoted to Columbus a little more than a week ago. It’s fair to say Lopez made the most of his time with the Clippers. Lopez hit .522 during his time in Triple-A with four RBIs. In the last six games he played with Columbus, Lopez had at least three hits in three of them.
Runner up: Ben Copeland’s homers
Copeland hit his first and second home runs as a Clipper in a May 12 loss at Pawtucket. The two homers he hit put him in a tie for sixth on the team, and is more than eight other Clippers, five of whom have twice as many at-bats as Copeland.
RHP Zach McAllister optioned from Cleveland Indians
LHP Eric Berger assigned from Akron Aeros
LHP Eric Berger assigned to Akron Aeros
RHP Matt Langwell assigned from Akron Aeros
OF Ezequiel Carrera activated from Temporarily Inactive List
RHP Paolo Espino assigned from Akron Aeros
IF Jason Donald optioned from Cleveland Indians
IF Jose Lopez called up to Cleveland Indians
RHP Zach McAllister recalled to Cleveland Indians
May 14 @Pawtucket
May 15 Syracuse
May 16 Syracuse
May 17 Syracuse
May 18 Syracuse
May 19 Scranton/WB
May 20 Scranton/WB
Andrew Holleran is a third-year journalism student at The Ohio State University. You can follow him on Twitter @andrewjholleran or reach him via e-mail at email@example.com.