Columbus Clippers Head South to Face Durham Bulls with Series Tied: IL Insider
A lost opportunity is the best way to describe the Clippers first Governors’ Cup appearance since 2012. A game one victory put them in the catbird’s seat in the best-of-five series, unfortunately a ninth inning blown save now puts them behind the eight-ball as the series heads south to Durham for the next three games.
Game 1 Recap
On paper good pitching trumps good hitting, that was disproven on the field in the opening game of the Governors’ Cup semifinal in Columbus on Wednesday night as Columbus clubbed Durham 9-4, banging out twelve hits on the night. David Murphy, Matt Carson and James Ramsey each homered accounting for five runs.
Columbus tabbed the well-traveled Kyle Davies as the game one starter. He faced Alex Colome, the fifth best prospect in the Tampa Bay system, according to Baseball America. Davies was 9-8 on the season with a 4.11 ERA in 124.2 innings pitched. Colome was 7-6 with a 3.77 ERA; he struck out 73 hitters in 86 innings.
It may be the post-season in the International League, but the primary purpose of any minor league team is player development and the I-71 pipeline continues to flow. The Cleveland Indians recalled Jesus Aguilar, the Clippers biggest offensive threat of the season, on Monday and assigned David Murphy to the Clippers on Wednesday.
Murphy, on a rehab assignment, did his best to fill the void left by Aguilar; the right-hander homered to right field with Francisco Lindor on first to give Columbus a 2-0 lead after one inning.
Not to be outdone Matt Carson belted a one out pitch over the wall in left center off Durham starter Alex Colome in the bottom of the second, putting the Clippers up 3-0.
The Bulls got a run back in the top of the third inning as Ali Solis singled to right field and advanced to second after David Murphy bobbled the ball. A lead-off double by Wilson Betemit allowed him to score on the Solis single.
The Clippers had the bases loaded with one out in the third inning but Sunday and Monday’s hero, Audy Ciriaco, grounded into a 6-4-3 twin-killing ending the threat.
The lead for the Clippers increased to 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning when Matt Carson hustled home from third base sliding head first under the tag to the delight of the crowd. Carson had the opportunity to score when Luke Carlin, himself hustling, beat out a double play ball at first.
Mikie Mahtook led-off the top of the sixth with a single and came around to score on a Jeremy Moore bomb to right center. Davies remained in the game retiring the side to end his night with the Clippers up 4-3.
Davies gave up three runs on six hits, he had a season high nine strikeouts and allowed no walks. Colome lasted five innings allowing four runs on five hits; he walked three and struck out a pair.
The Clippers came back with a vengeance in the home half of the sixth inning, sending eight hitters to the dish and scoring three runs on four hits. The big blows came on an RBI single from Justin Sellers and Luke Carlin’s two-run double, putting the Clippers up 7-3.
A four-run lead wasn’t enough for James Ramsey, as he laced a two-strike offering over the wall in right, field with Audy Ciriaco at first, giving Columbus a 9-3 lead.
Durham added a meaningless run in the top of the ninth inning to make the final score 9-4.
Kyle Davies got the win as Columbus took a 1-0 lead in the series.
Game 2 Recap
After the Clippers took game one in the Governors’ Cup playoffs in comfortable fashion, game two proved to be a bit more challenging. Twice Columbus blew leads, the second coming in the ninth, to send the game into extra innings. They weren’t able to make a third comeback dropping the second game 4-3 and evening the series at a game apiece. This was the first time all season that the Clippers lost a game after taking a lead into the ninth inning, they were 65-0.
Game two featured pitchers Tyler Cloyd for the Clippers and Enny Romero for the Bulls. Cloyd came in at 10-8 with 3.89 ERA and has a no hitter under his belt which came against Louisville on July 30th. Romero has a hefty 4.50 ERA and a record of 5-11; he throws in the high 90’s and has 117 strike outs in 126 innings pitched.
Romero struck out three of the first seven hitters he faced the only mistake he made was a one ball two strike pitch to Audy Ciriaco. Ciriaco turned on the pitch and it softly sailed over the left field wall giving the Clippers a 1-0 lead after the second inning.
Durham left fielder Mikie Mahtook literally “took” a run from the Clippers in the third inning with a laser throw from the outfield on a Giovanny Urshela single. Francisco Lindor rounded third on the two-out hit and was greeted at the plate by Luke Maile who didn’t have to move his mitt.
Durham tied the game at one apiece in the fourth inning on a pair of hits. Tim Beckham laced a double down the left field line and scored on a Vince Belnome single to right. Right fielder David Murphy, making his second rehab start in Columbus, hesitated on the release allowing Beckham the opportunity to score.
Murphy started in right field in both games one and two of the series, benching Carlos Moncrief, an integral part of the Clippers success this season.
Giovanny Urshela’s third hit of the night in the home half of the fifth inning scored a pair of runs putting the home team up 3-1. The Clippers were able to exploit the inconsistent pitching of Enny Romero who issued a two-out walk to Dusty Brown; Francisco Lindor followed with a single, both runners advanced after Romero walked David Murphy to load the bases. Urshela then found a hole on the left side of the infield, allowing the runs to score.
Nick Franklin hit a one-out double in the seventh inning, and scored on a two-out single off the bat of Luke Maile to pull the Bulls to within a run, 3-2.
Romero lasted five innings allowing three runs on six hits; he walked two and struck out six. Cloyd, who missed his last start, gave up two runs on six hits and one walk, he struck out seven in seven innings of work.
J.C. Ramirez came on in relief of Cloyd in the eighth inning and retired four consecutive batters before walking Vince Belnome with one out in the ninth. Back-to-back singles by Nick Franklin and Mike Fontenot tied the game, 3-3 after nine.
Cole Figueroa took a Tyler Sturdevant offering off the right center wall for a lead-off triple in the tenth. Mikie Mahtook reached on a throwing error by second baseman Justin Sellers. Sturdevant was then able to strike out Jeremy Moore for the first out of the inning. With runners at first and third, Sturdevant allowed Tim Beckham to hit a ball to deep center field, scoring Figueroa from third for the go-ahead run.
Adam Liberatore came on in the bottom of the tenth with the Bulls up 4-3. The lefty was able to end the game retiring the side in order and earning the save. Josh Lueke got the win after pitching two scoreless innings with two strikeouts. Clipper Tyler Sturdevant took the loss, while J.C. Ramirez was charged with a blown save.
The series moves to Durham for games three, four and five. The Bulls have set their rotation; right hander’s Matt Andriese (11-8, 3.77) and Nathan Karns (9-9, 5.08) will toe the rubber in games three and four and lefty Mike Montgomery (10-5, 4.29) is scheduled to start game five. Columbus has Shaun Marcum (1-0, 2.35) scheduled to start game three. The Clippers have yet to name game four and game five starters.
By Mike Tanchevski
Senior Baseball Writer Covering the International League
2B: Betemit (1, Davies), Figueroa, C (1, Armstrong).
HR: Moore (1, 6th inning off Davies, 1 on, 0 out).
TB: Solis 2; Beckham, T; Moore 4; Betemit 2; Figueroa, C 3; Franklin; Mahtook.
RBI: Solis (1), Moore 2 (2).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Moore; Mahtook; Betemit; Beckham, T.
Team RISP: 1-for-11.
Team LOB: 6.FIELDING
PB: Solis (1).
DP: 2 (Beckham, T-Franklin-Betemit, Franklin-Beckham, T-Betemit).
2B: Carlin (1, Riefenhauser).
HR: Murphy, Dv (1, 1st inning off Colome, 1 on, 0 out), Carson, M (1, 2nd inning off Colome, 0 on, 1 out), Ramsey, J (1, 7th inning off Thompson, 1 on, 1 out).
TB: Lindor 3; Carson, M 5; Ramsey, J 5; Sellers 3; Carlin 2; Murphy, Dv 4.
RBI: Murphy, Dv 2 (2), Carson, M (1), Carlin 3 (3), Sellers (1), Ramsey, J 2 (2).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Urshela; Carlin.
GIDP: Ciriaco, Moncrief.
Team RISP: 3-for-8.
Team LOB: 7.FIELDING
E: Murphy, Dv (1, fielding), Urshela (1, throw).
|Alex Colome (L, 0-1)||5.0||5||4||4||3||2||2||7.20|
|Kyle Davies (W, 1-0)||6.0||6||3||3||0||9||1||4.50|
Barnes, S pitched to 2 batters in the 9th.
HBP: Urshela (by Burns).
Pitches-strikes: Colome 87-58, Riefenhauser 27-17, Thompson 32-19, Burns 9-5, Davies 94-68, Sturdevant 14-9, Armstrong 14-11, Barnes, S 6-1, Lowe, M 10-8.
Groundouts-flyouts: Colome 5-5, Riefenhauser 0-0, Thompson 0-0, Burns 1-1, Davies 7-2, Sturdevant 1-1, Armstrong 1-0, Barnes, S 0-0, Lowe, M 1-0.
Batters faced: Colome 22, Riefenhauser 7, Thompson 7, Burns 4, Davies 25, Sturdevant 3, Armstrong 4, Barnes, S 2, Lowe, M 3.
Inherited runners-scored: Thompson 2-0, Lowe, M 2-1.
Umpires: HP: Seth Buckminster. 1B: Ben May. 2B: Jon Saphire. 3B: Travis Carlson.
Weather: 84 degrees, clear.
Wind: 1 mph, R to L.
Venue: Huntington Park.
September 3, 2014
|1- Ray Olmedo||PR-1B||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
2B: Beckham, T (1, Cloyd), Franklin (1, Cloyd).
3B: Figueroa, C (1, Sturdevant).
TB: Belnome; Beckham, T 2; Fontenot; Figueroa, C 4; Maile; Franklin 4.
RBI: Belnome (1), Maile (1), Fontenot (1), Beckham, T (1).
2-out RBI: Maile.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Fontenot; Christian 2.
SF: Beckham, T.
Team RISP: 3-for-9.
Team LOB: 8.BASERUNNING
SB: Franklin (1, 3rd base off Ramirez, J.C./Brown, D), Fontenot (1, 2nd base off Ramirez, J.C./Brown, D).FIELDING
Outfield assists: Mahtook (Lindor at home).
HR: Ciriaco (1, 2nd inning off Romero, 0 on, 0 out).
TB: Urshela 3; Lindor 2; Ciriaco 5.
RBI: Ciriaco (1), Urshela 2 (2).
2-out RBI: Urshela 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Branyan 2.
Team RISP: 2-for-3.
Team LOB: 5.FIELDING
E: Sellers (1, throw).
|Josh Lueke (W, 1-0)||2.0||0||0||0||0||2||0||0.00|
|Adam Liberatore (S, 1)||1.0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0.00|
|J.C. Ramirez (BS, 1)||2.0||2||1||1||1||0||0||4.50|
|Tyler Sturdevant (L, 0-1)||1.0||1||1||0||0||1||0||0.00|
Pitches-strikes: Romero 88-59, Kelly, M 23-16, Lueke 24-20, Liberatore 10-6, Cloyd 100-67, Ramirez, J.C. 34-19, Sturdevant 18-14.
Groundouts-flyouts: Romero 4-3, Kelly, M 2-3, Lueke 1-3, Liberatore 0-1, Cloyd 6-6, Ramirez, J.C. 2-1, Sturdevant 2-1.
Batters faced: Romero 22, Kelly, M 7, Lueke 6, Liberatore 3, Cloyd 28, Ramirez, J.C. 9, Sturdevant 5.
Umpires: HP: Ben May. 1B: Jon Saphire. 2B: Travis Carlson. 3B: Seth Buckminster.
Weather: 86 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 7 mph, Out to LF.
Venue: Huntington Park.
September 4, 2014