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Link Report for Sat. 5/10 -- Stars' Lineup Absolutely Relentless

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Saturday's Daily Menu: Nationally-televised Brewer game a mighty appetizer...

All times Central; pitchers subject to change --


Nashville: LHP Lindsay Gulin at Las Vegas (Dodgers), 8:50 PM pre-game; 9:05 gametime


Audio link:



Huntsville: LHP Steve Hammond at Tennessee (Cubs), 6:00 PM pre-game; 6:15 gametime


Audio link via WUMP (game will also archive at this link):



Brevard County: RHP John Axford at home vs. Tampa (Yankees), 6:00 PM gametime


Sorry, no audio for this series...


West Virginia: First, it's the completion of Saturday's suspended game (Power trails, 3-0, in the 3rd), and then it'll be RHP Rob Bryson in the regularly scheduled game at home vs. Hagerstown (Nationals), 4:45 PM pre-game, 5:00 gametime; each game seven innings


Audio link via WSWW, be sure to select the proper date (games will also archive at this link):


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Follow Saturday's action as it happens:
Here's what you do, right click on each of the links below and choose "Open in New Window". Open the Nashville Gameday. For the others, choose "Log" or "Recap". While you're listening to your minor league game of choice (or watching/listening to the big league Crew when they are playing), simply refresh your game log browsers every so often.





Brevard County:


West Virginia Completion of Suspended Game:


West Virginia Regularly Scheduled Game:


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 Pacific Coast League (AAA) - PCL American North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Omaha 17 16 .515 - 11-7 6-9 W1 Iowa 16 18 .471 1.5 9-9 7-9 W3 Memphis 16 20 .444 2.5 6-10 10-10 L1 Nashville 13 21 .382 4.5 7-8 6-13 L1 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 Southern League (AA) - SOU North Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Huntsville 24 11 .686 - 17-3 7-8 W1 West Tenn 23 12 .657 1.0 11-4 12-8 W1 Carolina 20 15 .571 4.0 9-6 11-9 W1 Chattanooga 18 17 .514 6.0 11-9 7-8 L3 Tennessee 15 20 .429 9.0 6-9 9-11 W3 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 Florida State League (A+) - FSL East Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Palm Beach 21 14 .600 - 14-7 7-7 L1 Brevard County 17 18 .486 4.0 9-8 8-10 L5 Daytona 17 18 .486 4.0 6-8 11-10 W1 Jupiter 17 18 .486 4.0 11-3 6-15 W1 Vero Beach 16 19 .457 5.0 11-7 5-12 W1 St. Lucie 8 26 .235 12.5 5-15 3-11 L2 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

 South Atlantic League (A) - SAL Northern Division Standings ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Team W L PCT GB HOME ROAD STREAK ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Lake County 21 13 .618 - 9-8 12-5 W4 Delmarva 20 14 .588 1.0 12-8 8-6 W3 Greensboro 18 16 .529 3.0 5-11 13-5 L2 Lakewood 17 17 .500 4.0 10-10 7-7 W1 Hagerstown 15 18 .455 5.5 6-10 9-8 L4 Hickory 16 20 .444 6.0 7-11 9-9 L1 West Virginia 13 20 .394 7.5 6-9 7-11 W1 Lexington 10 24 .294 11.0 3-13 7-11 L5 

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It's official -- Brian may as well just change the top-of-page banners now -- we are StarFan.net (as in Huntsville).


Final: Huntsville 15, Tennessee (Cubs) 1


Huntsville Press Release:


Stars Subdue Smokies in Series Opener



Steve Hammond worked 6 1/3 strong innings and Mat Gamel drove in four runs while coming up a triple shy of hitting for the cycle in Huntsville's 15-1 win over Tennessee Saturday night in the opener of a five-game series at Smokies Park. The Stars improved to 25-11

overall and 8-8 on the road and moved two games in front of West Tenn in the North Division, while the Smokies fell to 15-21. Huntsville has now scored 10 or more runs in a game nine times and, after collecting 15 more hits, have gathered at least ten hits in a game 19 times.


Michael Brantley led off the game with a walk from Jeff Samardzija and scored one out later on a double by Gamel, who then scored on a base hit by Matt LaPorta. The highly-touted Cubs right-hander walked Mike Bell and Angel Salome to open the second inning and both scored on a double by Brantley, who then scored on a two-out single by Gamel to make it 5-0.


Bell singled in Cole Gillespie and then scored on a Salome double in the third to increase the lead to 7-0. Samardzija retired Hammond on a fly ball for the second out of the inning and was taken out of the game and charged with the loss after yielding six earned runs on six hits and four walks, while fanning two. It was his shortest start of the year and dropped his record to 3-3.


The visitors blew the game open with five runs in the fourth against Matt Avery and tacked on three more runs in the eighth against Greg Reinhard in their highest scoring game of the season. Bell singled, doubled, walked twice, scored twice and drove in three, while Salome singled and doubled and knocked in three and Chris Errecart added two run-scoring singles and scored twice. Every Stars position player had at least one hit and scored one time.


Hammond blanked the home side through six innings on only two hits before running into a bit of trouble in the seventh. He was lifted after two singles and a walk loaded the bases and was replaced by E.J. Shanks, who walked Chris Robinson on four pitches to force in the Smokies' lone run. He then induced pinch-hitter Doug Deeds to ground into an inning ending double play.


Hammond gave up a run on four hits, walked three and struck out 10 to push his league-leading total to 55. The southpaw earned his fifth win of the season, something he did not do last year until July 14 at Chattanooga. Shanks finished with 2 2/3 scoreless, hitless frames, walking three and recording one strikeout.


The series continues Sunday afternoon with left-hander Derek Miller taking the mound against Smokies' southpaw Donald Veal. Coverage of the game begins at 3:45 pm central time and can be heard locally on SportsRadio 730 WUMP and through the internet at www.huntsvillestars.com and www.730ump.com.


Huntsville Box Score

Mat Gamel was removed after four AB's to get Ryan crew some work; last year, Steve Hammond struck out only 109 in 142 innings -- this year he has struck out 55 in 45 2/3 innings; keep in mind Hammond is always the first to pitch in every Huntsville series with the Southern League schedule as it is, so he never gets the benefit of scouting the opponent...


Huntsville Game Log

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Salome has a .964 OPS right now.


I think that has to be my biggest surprise so far this season. I knew LaPorta and Gamel would hit. But Salome has been amazing since his slow start.


Huntsville always knows how to cheer me up after a tough Brewers loss.

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Huntsville Pre-Game Audio Interview with Minor League Infield Coordinator Garth Iorg

Make sure you're pointing to the WUMP audio archive of May 10th, go to the 30:00 minute mark --


Discussion focuses on the left side of the infield, namely Alcides Escobar and Mat Gamel, also Chris Errecart transitioning from the outfield to first base, and Iorg confirms that Michael Brantley projects best in center field -- and don't forget the love for "future coach" Guilder Rodriguez, nice interview...

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Final: Brevard County 5, Tampa (Yankees) 1


Brevard County Site Game Summary:


Manatees sacrifice their way to victory
By Tyler Stover / Brevard County Manatees

Teamwork was the key for the Brevard County Manatees Saturday night, as their four sacrifice flies propelled them to a 5-1 victory over the Tampa Yankees. The win ended long streaks for both teams, as the Manatees broke their five-game losing streak, while ending Tampa's winning streak at nine. Anderson De La Rosa, Lorenzo Cain, Kenny Holmberg, and Stephen Chapman each contributed a sacrifice fly in the game, while Taylor Green drove in the other run with the second of his two doubles in the game.

The Manatees were helped by a strong pitching performance, led by John Axford, who allowed just two hits in his five innings of work and an unearned run. He improved to 2-2 with the win. Casey Baron and Omar Aguilar were solid out of the bullpen, combining for four scoreless innings and allowing just three hits. Grant Duff (1-2) took the loss for the Yankees, allowing two runs in four innings of work.

With the win, the Manatees climbed back to .500 at 18-18, and remain tied with Jupiter for second place in the FSL East. The loss drops Tampa to 22-14, a half-game back in the FSL West. The Manatees will have a day off tomorrow to celebrate Mother's Day, and then head to Daytona for two games beginning Monday. They return to Space Coast Stadium on Wednesday to play one game with Daytona, finishing the series, and begin their eight-game homestand.

Brevard County Box Score

Must have been sweet for former Yankee farmhand John Axford to pitch so well against his old organization; Omar Aguilar allows a one-out single, but gets three ground ball outs to end things; Taylor Green up to nine doubles now, his third multi-hit game in the last four; Casey Baron's a 23-year-old 6'2" lefty doing some nice things in middle relief...


Brevard County Game Log

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Final, completion of suspended game: Hagerstown (Nationals) 9, West Virginia 0

Final, regularly scheduled game: West Virginia 5, Hagerstown 4


West Virginia Site Doubleheader Summary:




The Hagerstown Suns shut the West Virginia Power out 9-0 in the first half of Saturday night's double header at Appalachian Power Park but the Power answered with a come from behind 5-4 victory in the second contest to split the double dip.


Bill Rhinehart's RBI single gave the Suns a 1-0 lead in the first inning of game one. Boomer Whiting and Dan Lyons ripped back-to-back RBI singles in the second to make it a 3-0 game before Aaron Seuss hit a solo homer in the third to put the Suns up by four. Hagerstown plated five runs in the fifth to pull away. Stephen King tripled in the first run and scored later in the inning when Whiting was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Lyons singled in the next run and Rhinehart capped the five run frame with a two-run double.


The Suns were able to draw first blood in the second game in the top of the first when Michael Burgess reached on a fielder's choice to score Lyons. The Power took the lead in the bottom of the inning on RBI doubles from Brent Brewer and Zelous Wheeler. It didn't take long for the Suns to respond as they plated a pair of runs in the second to regain the lead on back-to-back run scoring singles from Lyons and Rhinehart. Hagerstown took a two-run lead in the fourth when Whiting hit a solo home run.


The Power began their comeback in the fourth inning on run-scoring singles from Eric Fryer and Brent Brewer. With the game tied at 4-4 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Steffan Wilson crushed a 1-0 pitch off of Kyle Gunderson, sending it over the wall in left field for his sixth home run of the season to put the Power ahead for good.


In game one Erik Arnesen (2-0) tossed four scoreless innings of relief to get the victory and Dan Merklinger (0-2) was tagged with the loss after allowing three runs on five hits over two innings. Mike Ramlow (2-1) earned the victory in game two, holding the Suns scoreless through three innings of relief. Gunderson (0-1) was tagged with the loss.


After the split West Virginia is 14-21 and the Suns are 16-19. West Virginia had no extra base hits in the first game. Lee Haydel, Brewer and Caleb Gindl paced the Power with two hits apiece in the second game.


The Power will finish their four game series with Hagerstown Sunday afternoon. Right-hander Rob Bryson (0-1, 5.40) will get the start for the Power and the Suns will counter with right-hander Colton Willems (1-1, 4.39). The first pitch is scheduled for 2:05 PM (1:05 Central).


West Virginia Game One Box Score

Dan Merklinger, Nick Tyson and Jose Garcia all struggled on the mound; two outfield assists for left fielder Scott Houin...


West Virginia Game One Game Log


West Virginia Game Two Box Score

Sixth HR for Steffan Wilson a big one -- if you're wondering, he's tied for 8th in the league, leader has nine; Lee Haydel stole three bases in the two games combined, and is now 17-for-24 on the season; Brent Brewer on base three times; Caleb Gindl two hits, including a double; R.J. Seidel has allowed 45 hits and walks combined in 28.1 IP; yeah, lefty Mike Ramlow is ready for Brevard County when the call comes...


West Virginia Game Two Game Log

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Final: Las Vegas (Dodgers) 7, Nashville 2

Nashville Site Game Summary:
Link for Laynce Nix photo while active, text follows --

51s Defeat Sounds In Series Opener, 7-2

LAS VEGAS - The Las Vegas 51s scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to hang a 7-2 defeat on the Nashville Sounds on Saturday evening at Cashman Field in the opener of a four-game series.

The Sounds grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Hernan Iribarren (3-for-4) opened the contest with a second, moved to second on a Miguel Pinango wild pitch, and scored on Laynce Nix's RBI single.

Nashville doubled its lead in the third on a two-out Russell Branyan RBI double that plated Abraham Nunez. The two-bagger was the veteran's team-leading 11th of the year.

AUDIO: Russell Branyan RBI Double

The 51s tied the contest at 2-2 in the bottom of the third when a pair of runs scored on Terry Tiffee's bases-loaded fielder's choice grounder off Lindsay Gulin.

Neither team scored again until the home half of the seventh, when Las Vegas plated five runs against Sounds reliever Ben Howard to take a 7-2 lead. Three of the runs came on an Andy LaRoche home run to left-center, the third baseman's third longball of the season.

Pinango (2-2) picked up the victory with a quality start for the 51s. The right-hander allowed two runs on seven hits over seven innings of work.

Howard (1-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing five runs in his 1 1/3 frames.

Sounds first baseman Brad Nelson went 0-for-4 on the evening, bringing an end to his season-best nine-game hitting streak.

The teams continue the series with a 2:05 p.m. CT matinee on Sunday afternoon. Right-hander Jeff Weaver (1-1, 3.75) makes his third start for Nashville. Las Vegas will counter with right-hander Jason Johnson (4-2, 5.45).

Nashville Box Score
With Laynce Nix back after bereavement leave, a roster move had to be made, and it appears, according to the MiLB.com roster page, that catcher J.R. Hopf may be the odd man out -- we'll learn more this afternoon and will update the transaction thread as needed; Hernan Iribarren is 11-for-his-last-22...

Nashville Game Log

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Southern League Attendance Figures


Changing the Climate in Huntsville


On a separate note, here's the latest from David Weiser at www.starsboxscore.com


Gamel and LaPorta vs. Steinbach-McGwire


The Huntsville Stars added another game lead over the Diamond Jaxx in very convincing fashion....... West Tennessee, after losing 3 of their last 4 (Saturday night to Birmingham), falls now two games in back of the Stars........ Steve Hammond won his 5th game, tying him with teammate Sam Narron for the league lead in wins and struck out 10....... Hammond had struck out nine a number of times since coming to the Stars in 2006, but never hopped over that double-figure wall until tonight........ Hammond also leads the Southern League in strikeouts with 55 in 45 2/3 innings....... Combined with a 2.96 ERA, he has regrouped with a vengeance after last year. After eight appearances, he was 3-5 with a 6.28 ERA and 33 Ks in 38 innings. In 2006, he was 3-4 after eight starts with a sparkling 2.23 ERA and 37 Ks in 48 2/3 innings........ He's 27th among the Brewers top 30 prospects and 25th (up seven spots) on Brewerfan.net's Power 50.

This is a juggernaut of a team that if they can manage to stay on this wild pace, fans will remember this team as one of the greatest, perhaps THE greatest Stars team in history. We shall see. Their success is only as good as the final game of the Southern League Championship........ As for me, I'm starting to draw comparisons away from the legendary 1997 team with its murderer's row lineup that consisted of Mike Neill, Ben Grieve, D.J. Cromer, and the late Mike Coolbaugh in the middle, and toward the 1986 team. Perhaps because they lost the championship to Columbus that year, or came in the shadow of the first team which starred Jose Canseco, and eventually won the championship in storybook fashion, no one really gives them their due. But this team was hitting .310 as late as May 17 -- 40 games into the season........ The current incarnation, after 36 games, is hitting .302.

Still, after 36 games, the Stars play back seat to the 1985 and 1986 Stars in a handful of the most important categories -- except for the all-important W-L record.

Avg. Hits ERA* HR W-L
1985 .276 318 3.02 47 22-14
1986 .308 328 4.39 26 22-14
1997 .270 323 4.76 43 20-16
2008 .303 287 3.53 35 25-11
* after 30 games

One big reason for the Stars' success is the impact Mat Gamel and Matt LaPorta have made in the lineup...... Gamel, on his present course, is a shoo-in for league MVP. He has now taken over the batting leadership with a .375 average, leads in hits, and is 2nd in home runs and RBIs. He has 17 multi-hit games of the 36 he's played and is hitting .366 this month after hitting .379 in April with a club-record 39 hits including a record five triples...... Ironically, he was taken out of the game by manager Don Money to give Ryan Crew some playing time. He was a triple short of hitting for the cycle...... LaPorta, the most often used #4 hitter in the lineup, leads the league in HRs (10), RBIs (38), and slugging (.688), and is 6th among batting leaders....... Together, they are an explosive force in the lineup and together they have been the #3 and #4 hitter in 29 games, hitting a combined .357 with 16 HRs and 60 RBIs...... The most often used 3-4 combination on the 1986 team -- Terry Steinbach and Mark McGwire -- hit .337 in their first 35 games, hitting seven HRs and driving in 56. Another case for calling this team the greatest in club history, but again, we shall see what develops.

The Stars were on another rampage tonight, scoring 12 runs on 12 hits in the first four innings off Jeff Samardzija and Matt Avery...... That's the 9th time this season they have scored 10 or more runs in a game. The 1986 team, at the same point during the season, had 10 such games........ Samardzija, who signed with the Cubs for a $10 million bonus, walked Michael Brantley to lead off the first, none of the pitches coming close to the strike zone.... After Alcides Escobar, now with two hits in his last 22 at-bats, lined out, Gamel drove a ball off the wall in right field for a double, scoring Brantley...... Just four batters into the game, the Stars were off to a 2-0 start after Jake Fox tried to make a sliding catch on a liner by Matt LaPorta held up with a single, but it scored Gamel, who leads the SL in runs scored.

In the 2nd inning, Michael Bell walked on four pitches to lead off the inning. Angel Salome followed after falling behind 1-and-2....... Hammond failed to move up the runners, but a passed ball moved the runners into scoring position........ Michael Brantley sliced a double to center, scoring both hitters, making the score 4-0........ Skipping to the 3rd inning...... For the 3rd straight inning, Samardzija walked the leadoff hitter, this time Cole Gillespie, who stole 2nd with a count of 1-0 on Michael Bell...... Bell on a full count, then hammered a fly ball over the head of Tyler Colvin off the base of the center field wall, scoring Gillespie to make it 6-0...... Angel Salome cracked a single to left scoring Bell to make it 7-0, and you knew it was a cakewalk...... Samardzija was taken out after 69 pitches. His previous shortest outing was 3 innings in a loss to the Diamond Jaxx on April 25.

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Is Huntsville league and park hitter-friendly, pitcher-friendly, or is it neutral? I mean it seems like they are playing at Coors field every night.

Hunstsville and the rest of the Southern League is very pitcher friendly. Thats why you'll see people write, "If you can hit in the Southern League, you can hit in the Bigs." Its incredibly rare to put up numbers like Laporta and Gamel are so far.


"88.6% of all statistics are made up right there on the spot" Todd Snider


-Posted by the fan formerly known as X ellence. David Stearns has brought me back..

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I seriously get goose bumps looking at the ridiculous Nintendo numbers the Huntsville team is putting up. I"d have been happy with .875 OPS from either Gamel or LaPorta but both of them over 1.100? That's some kind of a joke. There are so many outstanding performances on this team it's hard not to overlook someone like Gillespie who's putting up a great OBP and showing some pop or Errecart or Brantley or Salome..etc.etc. Heck, bring em all up to the majors - can't be much worse than what we've seen so far. http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/smile.gif
"Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power......He probably has a future as a backup infielder if he can stop rolling over to third base and shortstop." Keith Law, 2006
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