The World team padded its lead with two more runs, off U.S. pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Collin Balester. Kershaw started the inning, and James Van Ostrand led off with a home run, followed by Alcides Escobar grounding out to second. Gorkys Hernandez walked, Elvis Andrus struck out, and then Balester came in. He gave up a double to Wladimir Balentien that scored Hernandez, then struck out Joey Votto to end the inning. Kershaw was consistently at 94-96 mph, while Balester ranged anywhere from 92-96 mph in his short stint, sitting mostly at 94.
World pitchers continue to hold the U.S. batters in check. Franklin Morales opened the inning after finishing the fifth, and he struck out Matt Tolbert and Jay Bruce and walked Brian Bocock before giving way to Pedro Beato. Beato gave up a hit to Adrian Cardenas and struck out J.R. Towles to end the inning. Morales again was at 95-97 mph, while Beato was around 92.
Righthander Clay Buchholz gave up a leadoff home run to Joey Votto, but otherwise looked impressive. Votto hit Buchholz’ second pitch out to left field, followed by Max Ramirez striking out, Craig Stansberry grounding out to short, and Geovany Soto striking out. Buchholz was consistently in the 93-95 mph range.
Another home run for the U.S. cuts the World lead to 4-2. Deolis Guerra opened the inning for the World team, getting Jacoby Ellsbury to ground out to first and Colby Rasmus to fly out to right before giving up a home run to deep right to John Whittleman. Franklin Morales then came in to strike out fellow Rockies farmhand Ian Stewart. Guerra threw in the low 90s, touching 93-94 mph, while Morales was in the mid-90s, touching 97.
Routine inning for Luke Hochevar, who was at 91-93 mph with his fastball but worked off his offspeed pitches a lot as well, just as Lofgren did. Gorkys Hernandez, pinch-hitting for Michael Saunders, grounded out to third, though he made the routine play close with his speed. Elvis Andrus, replacing Chin-Lung Hu, grounded out to short, and Wladimir Balentien flied out to center.
Easy inning for the Giants’ own Henry Sosa, who worked in the mid-90s, touching 96. Jay Bruce grounded out to second, Chris Coghlan grounded out to short, and Bryan Anderson grounded out to first. Both teams have now worked through their batting orders exactly two times, so we’ll see some of the subs in the final three innings.
The World team scratched out another run against Kevin Mulvey. Max Ramirez led off with a double, followed by German Duran striking out. Robinzon Diaz hit his second single in as many at-bats, and Carlos Gonzalez followed with a fly to the gap in left-center. Colby Rasmus tracked it down routinely, but Ramirez easily scored from third. Freddy Sandoval ended the inning by hitting into a fielder’s choice that erased Diaz at second. Mulvey threw in the low 90s, topping out at 92 mph.
Fautino de los Santos had an action-packed inning but ended up giving up only one run. Jacoby Ellsbury opened the inning by striking out on three pitches, followed by a home run from Justin Upton (explained in more detail in another post by Chris Kline). De los Santos then hit Evan Longoria. Ian Stewart flied out to left, Steven Pearce hit a single and Brent Lillibridge struck out to end the inning. De los Santos ranged from 93-97 mph with his fastball.
After White Sox righthander Fautino De Los Santos struck out Jacoby Ellsbury on three pitches to start the bottom of the third inning–two 93-94 mph fastballs and finishing him off with a dirty slider–Justin Upton stood in.
And one thing’s for sure, Upton loves to hit the fastball and it doesn’t matter if it’s 96 mph. Upton turned De Los Santos around, hitting a line drive homer to left on the first pitch he saw from the White Sox righthander. [...] Continue Reading »
The top of the World order again proved potent, scoring a run off U.S. righthander Joba Chamberlain. Chamberlain touched 100 mph with one of his fastballs, at least according to the stadium radar gun, which is a tick or two faster than the ESPN gun. Otherwise he was in the 95-97 range. Michael Saunders started the inning off with a walk, stole second, then scored on Chin-Lung Hu’s single (Hu’s second RBI of the game). Hu was caught stealing on the 100 mph pitch that also struck out Wladimir Balentien. Joey Votto then lined out to first.
Carlos Carrasco worked a routine inning, save a Jay Bruce triple, and his fastball ranged from 92-96 mph. Steven Pearce popped out to Chin-Lung Hu, who bobbled the ball when Freddy Sandoval nearly ran into him. Brent Lillibridge struck out, then Bruce drilled a ball to the deepest part of AT&T Park. The ball bounced off the brick wall in right-center, just over the 421-foot marker, and Bruce turned on the jets as he rounded second to slide in with a triple. Chris Coghlan worked a walk, but Bryan Anderson struck out to end the inning.
Chuck Lofgren worked a shutout inning, throwing his fastball consistently at 91-92 mph and using his offspeed stuff much more than the usual Futures Game pitcher. German Duran flied out to deep left field to lead off the inning, then Robinzon Diaz reached down to flare a single over the second baseman’s head. Carlos Gonzalez fouled out to third base, and Freddy Sandoval struck out swinging. The highlight of the inning, however, may have been Lofgren shooing away the pigeon who had taken up residence between the pitcher’s mound and home plate.
Rick Vanden Hurk worked at 91-94 mph, with more pitches on the high end of that scale, in a shutout inning. Jacoby Ellsbury hit a routine grounder to second, but made the play close. Justin Upton followed by striking out looking on a close call with a full count. Evan Longoria hit a double to the right-center field wall, then reached third on a wild pitch, but was stranded when Ian Stewart grounded out to the pitcher.
Jeff Niemann started for the United States and threw consistently at 95-97 mph, according to the stadium radar gun.
Michael Saunders reached on an error by Chris Coghlan. He stole second and scored on Chin-Lung Hu’s double. Hu then stole third, and scored on Wladimir Balentien’s sacrifice fly. Hu looked to score easily on the fly to center field, but U.S. center fielder Justin Upton made the play interesting with a laser throw to the plate. Joey Votto then struck out swinging, and Max Ramirez flied out to Jay Bruce by way of Coghlan, who bobbled the ball but was bailed out by his right fielder.
SAN FRANCISCO–We’re just about ready to get under way here. The stands in front of the press box features a veritable who’s-who of baseball scouts and executives. In just the last few minutes, I’ve seen White Sox general manager Kenny Williams, Phillies assistant GM Mike Arbuckle, and Marlins vice president for player personnel Dan Jennings settling into their seats.
We have Chris Kline roaming through the stands and John Manuel in the United States dugout getting close to the action, so we’ll try to bring you coverage from every angle as the game goes on.
When Padres infielder Craig Stansberry found out he was selected to this year’s Futures Game, he was understandably excited. But when he realized he’d be representing Saudi Arabia, his reaction was more like, “Come again?” [...] Continue Reading »
SAN FRANCISCO–Chuck Lofgren and Max Ramirez have yet to play on the same team together in the Indians organization, and they won’t be playing on the same side in the Futures Game this afternoon.
Lofgren will pitch for the U.S. side, while Ramirez will serve as the World team’s starting DH. [...] Continue Reading »
SAN FRANCISCO–Your starters today are righthander Jeff Niemann (Devil Rays) against righthander Rick Vanden Hurk (Marlins).
Vanden Hurk has been up and down with the big league club this season, but is proud to wear the Dutch flag on his chest to represent his home country. [...] Continue Reading »
SAN FRANCISCO–In these days of round-the-clock coverage, it’s no wonder media members frequently find themselves interviewing each other. That’s even the case here at the Futures Game, where the media horde is nowhere near the size of what’s coming in the next couple of days but is nonetheless sizable. BA’s own Jim Callis was down on the field waiting to talk to prospects when he found himself being interviewed by ESPN.com. [...] Continue Reading »
SAN FRANCISCO–If they want to send the All-Star Game to San Francisco every year, that’s fine by me. It’s a crystal-clear 72-degree day here at AT&T Park, and the World team is taking batting practice in preparation for a 1 p.m. local start. A huge ship is anchored just beyond right field, a gentle breeze wafts across the ballpark, and they’ll soon be cooking up garlic fries. In short, baseball in San Francisco lives up to its billing. [...] Continue Reading »
About This Blog
Syndicate This Blog
Search This Blog