ATL Championship deciding game comes after epic 16-inning battle

09/29/2013 3:54 PM - Devo

Somerset Patriots.pngAngel Sanchez and Cory Aldridge will go down in Independent League folklore after last night.

Saturday night, the Long Island Ducks were one win away from their second consecutive championship, instead, the Somerset Patriots and Ducks gave their fans the game of a lifetime last night at TD Bank Ballpark

The Patriots, down 2-0 after the first two games, won in extra innings 5-4 Friday night. Saturday night they won 2-1 in an epic 16-inning marathon to force a deciding Game 5 Sunday.

Aldridge, who is batting .464 in the playoffs, was hit by a pitch to lead off the top of the 16th-inning. That proved fatal. Aldridge was sacrificed to second by Bobby Stevens. After a single by Jeff Baisley, an eight-year minor league veteran who has played the majority of his minor league career with the Oakland Athletics, moved him to third, and DH Joe Holden was intenationally walked.

Up comes Sanchez, an 11-year veteran with over 185 MLB games under his belt, drove home the winner, ending one of the most memorable games in Atlantic League history.

Tonight will decide a new champion. Will the Patriots win their sixth and league leading championship, or will the Ducks win their third and go back-to-back, something last accomplished by the York Revolution?

With each game has being decided by one run, there is no reason tonight will be any different.

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

 

Vidal Nuno could fill a void for Yankees in 2014

09/26/2013 10:37 PM - Devo

VidalNuno2.jpgVidal Nuno was one of the bright spots in an otherwise bleak New York Yankees season.

The Yankees have been struggling all season, but manager Joe Girardi's been working wonders with a lineup that featured Toronto Blue Jays cast-offs Lyle Overbay and Vernon Wells. They've relied on Eduardo Nunez for 75 games at shortstop and Chris Stewart and his .207 avg. behind the plate.

The Yankees of old they are not.

The staff is losing the greatest closer of all-time and Ace CC Sabathia has been uncharacteristically subpar sporting a 14-13 record with a 4.78 ERA. Andy Pettitte is retiring, opening up a spot in the rotation, and Phil Hughes has been demoted to the bullpen with a return to the starting five looking less and less likely.

Vidal Nuno was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 48th round of the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft from Baker University. He spent the last five years in the minors putting up great numbers; 32-18, 2.84 ERA, 409 strikeouts in 428 innings and a 1.096 WHIP. With the Yankees' shortcomings, Nuno was giving the chance every player dreams of.

He had a stellar spring giving up one run in ten innings for a 0.61 ERA, while striking out 13. His WHIP was a stunning 0.95. He didn't make the starting lineup, but continued putting up great numbers in Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre; 2-0, 1.54 ERA.

April 29 against the Houston Astros was his first MLB start, and over the course of his five appearances, he didn't disappoint. Over 20 innings, he surrendered five earned runs, struck out nine and held opponents to a .213 batting average.

In early June, Nuno injured his groin during a Triple A start, and never returned. It seems fitting that anything good, came crashing down for the Bronx Bombers. Bad luck or the baseball God's exacting revenge? Who knows?

Nuno is currently on the 60 DL as of September 7. Once spring training comes around he should be ready to impress the brass and make his case as the fifth starter, emergency sixth, or even long relief. There's nothing saying he doesn't deserve that, the numbers prove it.

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

Kazmir picks up the biggest win of his career, blanks Astros

09/23/2013 6:11 AM - Devo

ScottKazmir50.jpgScott Kazmir has over 200 MLB starts and 75 wins under his belt, but his victory against the Houston Astros on Saturday might have been the biggest of his career.

Signed to a minor-league deal after being out of affiliated baseball for all of 2012, Kazmir did enough to impress the Cleveland Indians organization after regaining his form with the independent Sugar Land Skeeters, and playing Winter Ball in Puerto Rico.

This year has been up and down, but one thing you can count on is Kazmir's ability to grind through starts; good or bad.

Over his last 10 starts he is 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA, but during those games he flashes the brilliance that once had him labeled as on the the best starters in the game.

With the Indians right in the mix of the Wild Card hunt, every start is crucial. In his biggest start of the season, Kazmir dominated the hapless Houston Astros, going seven innings, striking out 10.

He was never really in trouble at all. Jonathan Villar opened up the game with a single, but Kazmir quickly erased that by inducing a Jose Altuve double-play. He allow didn't another runner until a Chris Carter single in the fifth.

Was this the biggest win of his career? You can say that. He still has his doubters and nothing is ever guaranteed in this game as evidenced by how his career was nearly finished after a short stint with the Los Angeles Angels in 2011.

Every start from here on out is an audition for something more. Every time he takes the mound the world will be watching. And from a bird's eye view, he's performing as good as he ever has. He surpassed 150 strikeouts for the first time since 2008 and is throwing strikes at an unprecedented rate, the likes we haven't seen him do before (SO/BB 3.36).

The Indians and Kazmir are a perfect fit. One couldn't have succeeded without other.

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

Arizona Diamondbacks sign Indy standout Daniel Bowman

09/21/2013 9:52 AM - Devo

Dan Bowman 2.jpgDaniel Bowman has reached the level all baseball players dream of. After a solid 2013 campaign with the independent Lake Erie Crushers, Bowman has signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

He raised a lot of eyebrows during his junior season at Coastal Carolina University. The Cincinnati Reds drafted Bowman in the 38th round of the 2011 MLB June Amateur draft, but he decided to stay in school and return for his senior season, according to the Lake Erie Crushers.

In 61 games during his final collegiate season, he solidified his reputation as one of the school's best by collecting 95 hits in 237 at-bats for a .401 avg., which ranked 11th in the nation. His .478 OBP ranked 29th.

In a year and a half with the Crushers, Bowman has become a fixture in the lineup, topping .300 in a back-to-back seasons. In 2013 his 113 hits and .309 batting average led the team. Combine that with nine home runs, 53 RBI and 21 stolen bases, you have one of the most complete players in the league. During the Crushers' playoff run he led the club in batting (.516) and chipped in with two home runs. 

Lake Erie managing member Steve Edelson commented on what type of player Bowman is, and the likelihood of his continued rise up the ranks, "As an owner in this league, we are always proud to move players up to the next level. Daniel is the type of player who will do big things wherever he goes. We couldn’t be happier for him.”

If Bowman is sent to winter ball, or gets an invitation to spring training, that is completely up to the Diamondbacks, but Bowman's talent has him in the driver's seat. His road to the show started in 2009 as a 19 year old freshman. Five years and 393 games later, he finally gets his shot.

Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a Manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario Canada, and can be reached at devon@thegmsperspective.com. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.

 

 

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