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Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Batavia game gets Pettitted-out

Normally, Batavia’s Dwyer Stadium lacks professional baseball this early in the season. That all changes in mid-June when the New York-Penn League schedule gets underway and the Batavia Muckdogs take the field.

While the Muckdogs are perennially among the poorest-attended clubs in the league, their management organization, the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings, gave them a nice little pre-season boost in business here in 2012.

Seven Empire State Yankees Triple-A games were to be moved to Batavia this April, May and June, along with 37 more in Rochester. It is a part of a one-year nomadic existence for a club that is usually called the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. The home park of the temporarily re-branded team, PNC Field in Moosic, PA, is closed for renovation. That put the International League Yankees on the road for the entire 2012 season, even when they are “home” club.

As bad luck would have it, the first-ever Triple-A games to be held in Batavia have not gone off without a hitch. The initial game of the group was rained out, but that doesn’t compare to what happened with the contest originally scheduled for Sunday, May 6.

The game was Pettitted-out.

No, it has nothing to do with misdeeds, trials and Roger Clemens.

The parent New York Yankees apparently did not want their star left-hander Andy Pettitte – working his way back into shape after a year absence – to make his scheduled Sunday start in Batavia.

Being comfortable in his own skin and all, apparently Pettitte was in concurrence with a requested change in venue.

The Yankees asked that the Sunday game be moved to Frontier Field in Rochester, though the Saturday night contest in Batavia remained as scheduled. Along with the additional travel, another logistical problem existed in that the Red Wings already had a home game of their own scheduled on Sunday.

Being good sports, the Red Wings accommodated the Yankees. The way Rochester did it was to essentially move up its Sunday game by 24 hours. That created a double-header of two seven-inning contests on Saturday. This did not occur after the fact, as these shortened twin-bills are usually added after a rainout needs to be made up, but in this case, it was scheduled ahead of time.

The gyrations left the Red Wings’ stadium open on Sunday for Pettitte and his temporary Empire State teammates, but in Batavia, an empty ballpark sits, wondering what might have been.

One final Empire State Yankees game remains to be played in Batavia, a mid-week morning contest. On Tuesday, June 12th at 11:05 a.m., the Yankees are to face Louisville, a Cincinnati Reds affiliate, at Dwyer Stadium.

Update: Pettitte pitched five innings on Sunday. According to an eyewitness, Batavia announcer Matthew Coller, many balls were hit hard against him. Pettitte allowed five runs, three earned, on eight hits and two walks. He fanned five. Attendance was estimated at 13,000, reports Sloane Martin, or about 13 Muckdogs home games-worth.

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Brian Walton

Brian Walton runs The Cardinal Nation and The Cardinal Nation Blog, covering the St. Louis Cardinals and minor league system.
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51 Responses to “Batavia game gets Pettitted-out”

  1. CariocaCardinal says:

    Take that all you Tyler Green nay-sayers!

    • T8Ball says:

      Didn’t Tyler have 1 good game last year? And that was at Minute Maid against Happ?

      Give me a few more like that in a row.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      The biggest nay-sayer, TLR, retired. The Cards let Greene have Punto’s roster slot, so he is not going to get demoted. If he gets at bats against left-handers, like today, Greene will do some damage. He is a middle infielder with atypical power.

    • friendmouse says:

      I’ll take it. Then, I’ll go back to dishing it out. I agree with T8 (below). It took me a while to come to the conclusion that T-Greene has no future in MLB as a Cardinal. I will use the same consideration and require consistent stellar performances from Mr. Greene before I will change my opinions. And then I will do so happily. Just win!

  2. crdswmn says:

    Just got back home. How did Waino do?

  3. blingboy says:

    Sounds like Wainy is well on his way back. I didn’t see anything about his velocity. Anybody notice?

    Nobody knows what a Tyler Greene hot streak looks like. It would be great to find out.

    Congrats to Albert. I am surprised that I’m happy for him.

    • Brian Walton says:

      All I recall is Ricky asking Al about Wainwright’s velo and Al brushing it off as unimportant. From that, I assume it isn’t back yet to its pre-injury level.

      • blingboy says:

        That’s what I figured.

        • Kansasbirdman says:

          In regard to Wainwright’s velocity, much has been made of his fastball velocity being down. Cal Eldred talked about that in the postgame, said that he wasn’t locating his fastball and velocity was down and that caused him to throw more offspeed and moving pitches which weren’t very effective when not utilized with any type of set-up pitch.

          They said he was more comfortable with his fastball and intimated that velocity was up. Also, in the article on fox I read quoted Adam saying that he felt his velocity was there along with the location and it happened earlier in this last game than it had all season and he felt more comfortable early on. Hopefully that can continue (k.o.w.).

      • crdswmn says:

        First of all, why would anyone pay any attention to something Al said, and second of all, according to Gameday (if it’s accurate), Waino was hitting 91-92 regularly and managed one 94mph Sinker.

    • Kansasbirdman says:

      Interesting to note that in the article about the PNTBN’s hr that it mentioned several Cardinal player’s watching the angel’s game clapped and applauded when he did. Sounded like they were happy for him.

      • blingboy says:

        I too engaged in a moment of soft hearted smooshiness. Its over now. I’ll have to find a video clip to see if he did the bat flip. That would be rich.

        Tyler wondered if his big night would get his number up on the wall. It could go up the same time as Tony’s. We’re going to need a bigger wall.

        Have to leave for work a bit early. Hope for a win tonight. Its Jake I believe. Jeesh, can’t even keep up with that. Then its back around to the top performer of the staff, the guy who would go if Carp came back. The only 5-0 #5 starter in baseball.

    • blingboy says:

      Thanks for the info about Wainy everyone. I guess Al’s on the list with Strauss. Too bad, I liked him.

  4. blingboy says:

    Batavia is snakebit. By the way, the first time I ever saw Willie McGee was at old Dwyer Stadium. He was a Yankees farmhand and some of the old cigar chompers were mightily impressed. I remember that I couldn’t imagine why.

    I saw where young Rasmus got on a roster again. Good for him.

  5. Brian Walton says:

    Some very interesting commentary on the Pettitte testimony about Clemens: link

    • crdswmn says:

      I don’t have a dog in this fight, but a minor point of “legal procedure”, as the author states, is that you can be “cross examined” in a deposition despite what the author appears to be insinuating. Some opposing lawyers choose not to take this tact in a deposition for strategic purposes, but some lawyers do cross examine in a deposition, depending on what the purpose of the deposition is.

    • friendmouse says:

      Calcaterra wrote a nice article there, Brian. Thanks for the link.
      I believe Jon Heyman to be a fool. This quote, in particular, I find quite un-becoming to a journalist: “It is fair to assume he [Pettitte] wasn’t being completely truthful one of those two days.”
      No, it is NOT “…fair to assume…” In fact, it would be completely unfair to make such an assumption, if facts are considered and logic is employed. Pathetic and pitiful. Heyman should have his voting privileges for HOF inductees permanently terminated. Just for starters.

  6. WesPowell says:

    I’d say the odds that Clemens did steroids or human growth hormones at some point are about 99 point and a lot of 9s after the point. Which would be about the same for Pujols.

    • friendmouse says:

      While you may be right, I contend you have no cold, hard facts to back you up. Thankfully, our justice system still requires facts and proof; not gut feelings, circumstantial indicators, and hearsay. The day we “hang” somebody based upon “Well, you just KNOW he did it” is the our country is finished…in my opinion, of course. I still believe in giving “benefit of the doubt” and “innocent until PROVEN guilty.” 🙂

  7. WesPowell says:

    And for that matter the same for Tiger Woods.

  8. WesPowell says:

    Oh yes. The knee trouble hits and he has to fly in a doctor from Canada who is knee deep in the human growth hormone use for rehabilitation technique.

  9. WesPowell says:

    It’s utterly shocking…….

    1.) Owners hand out dump-truck loads of cash to free agents.

    2.) If you hit 25 or 30 homers one season, or strike out 200 batters, your family may be wealthy for 5 generations.

    3.) Players use things to assist in hitting homers and throwing.

  10. WesPowell says:

    I’m not trying to hang anyone. I understand. I understand the Joe Jackson Black Sox. Those guys were nothing more than owned farm animals. What did anyone expect? And I ‘m sure that was just the tip of the iceberg for gambling and throwing games at that time. Just as what we know of performance enhancing drugs today is just the tip of the iceberg. Much of what we have seen in sports over the last 40 years was probably artificially enhanced. I love the baseball steroid guys being scum, but all those NFL offensive and defensive lines that lead teams to championships, are legendary and have nicknames like the Steel Curtain or Doomsday.

  11. WesPowell says:

    That’s the progression of baseball for 100 years—-Take whatever you are offered or get out and human greed took over, to hundreds of millions offered and human greed took over.

  12. WesPowell says:

    People always got a kick out of Bonds rookie baseball card, the thin lanky dude. And then later. Check out the Nolan Ryan rookie card. And the big brute that pitched into his 40s.

    • JumboShrimp says:

      A lot of people are slender in their early 20s and larger by their 40s. Plenty of them are not star athletes, just normal people. Its par for the course of life.

  13. JumboShrimp says:

    Lance Lynn is 6-0.
    Beltran with 8, Freese 7, and Holliday 5 to lead the HR parade. Arizona is a nice park for HRs.

  14. blingboy says:

    What a game. I hate that I missed it. I did get some text updates from a friend.

    1. Tyler Greene game used bat night. Two lucky fans. . . . .
    2. I can finally let go of Holliday’s belly ball since he gunned the guy out. Few things are exciting as a play at the plate with an outfield assist.
    3. Furcal and Beltran aren’t having any problem with new contract jitters.
    4. Freese handles fame pretty darn well.
    5. I heard Greene was heads up on a baserunning play. Would appreciate any commentary on that.
    6. JC and Salas continue to stink. Off with their heads. Who is the best lefty if a decision were made to bring one up?
    7. There is some difference of opinion out there concerning Mike’s pulling Lynn and the pen handling in that big inning. I see where Lynn walked a few. Was control issues/pitch count the reason he was pulled early with a big lead?
    8. We’re really going to be screwed if Carp suddenly comes back. No more Lynn in the rotation.
    9. If Roger gets off on a technicality, does that make him more, or less, innocent than Braun?

    • T8Ball says:

      2. Gunning Napoli out during the World Series? Game 3, you see that one?

      6. Perhaps Matheny now realizes (2 games too late) that Romero isn’t an innings eater. He’s a Loogy and should be used as such. Romero was decent in his 8 April appearances, only allowing 2 inherited runners to score, and sporting an 0.00 ERA.

      I thought Salas performed admirably trying to clean up Romero’s mess. 2 of his 3 hits never left the infield. His lone true hit, was up the middle by Montero. 3K’s

      7. Lynn 91 pitches after 5 IP. I can understand the move while up by 7. Who expects their first reliever to lay an egg? Hindsighters do. Lynn has only pitched over 150 IP once in his career (2010 Memphis, 164IP). He’s at 38.1, 1/4th of the way there, with less than 1/5th of the season played. He admits he wasn’t at his best.
      8. Or it will make our BP that much stronger.

    • T8Ball says:

      1. Tyler did he best Lance Berkman impersonation.

    • crdswmn says:

      1. David Freese did the exact same thing in a ST game I attended in Jupiter.
      2. It was a beautiful play.
      3. Nope.
      4. Yep.
      5. It was Tyler’s speed that was completely responsible for one of the runs.
      6. Romero was a bad signing. He shouldn’t even be on the team. Many of us said this when he was signed.
      7. Pulling Lynn was the right thing to do. He was having control issues all night and was up to 91 pitches. He had managed to keep the dbacks at bay but was teetering on the edge. Bringing in Romero was the issue, or at the very least he was left in for too long.
      8. Well, there is more and more speculation that Carp’s career is over anyway. Most of it is just pessimism and the sense that the club is hiding something with him. I am not going to make that leap without some evidence to back it up.
      8. Guilt or innocence is not the issue, it is whether the evidence is there to prove the allegations. I know people don’t like to hear it, but that is the way our system works, and unless you want to start dunking people in tubs to see if they float or drown to determine guilt or innocence, you are stuck with it.

      • blingboy says:

        Thanks T8 and crdswmn. Don’t really have time to follow up but I appreciate it. Good luck to Jake, I’ll read all about it in the am.

      • Nutlaw says:

        Yeah, I hate to pile on the “I told you so”s, but why was there any expectation that JC Romero would be successful at all at his age following his troubles last season? He was released three times last year. Why would there have been any expectation that he could handle a right handed batter?

      • Kansasbirdman says:

        I know I am late, but as for #5

        Watching the game, have to give Tyler G. credit not just for speed, he did make a head’s up baserunning play, he was on second and a bloop fly ball was hit behind second, the SS, 2B and CF were all converging and he watched the fly ball and took off before it came down to ground/glove level, he saw it wasn’t going to be caught, so he took off while it was still in the air, it was risky, as he would have easily been out had the catch been made and 2B tagged. His speed did make up the difference as he was able to not just advance but make it home comfortably before the throw.
        Now, I don’t know if it made up for the home run, rundown tagout from the other night.

    • blingboy says:

      So, is there a feeling that JC might be ok if used strictly as a one batter loogey specialist?

      I agree Mike’s idea that JC is more than that is a little baffling given his recent history.

      Are there any thoughts on a lefty who might be given a shot at the bigs?

      • Brian Walton says:

        No obvious LH relief options ready in the minors.

        • crdswmn says:

          What about non obvious LH relief options?

          • Brian Walton says:

            Sam Freeman is on the 40-man roster, but they apparently decided he wasn’t yet ready for Memphis this year and returned him to Springfield. I suppose taking Springfield starter John Gast and making him a reliever in StL would also be a possibility. He’d have to be added to the 40-man.

            The Triple-A lefties are starter Nick Additon (6.06 ERA) and relievers Barret Browning (0.95), R.J. Swindle (4.76) and Nick Greenwood (4.67). None are on the 40-man. Browning’s numbers are at least interesting. He was a minor league Rule 5 addition from the Angels last December. I guess he’d be the most likely non-obvious choice.

  15. T8Ball says:

    Did Lance Lynn lose his rookie status by the number of days on the Active roster last season? I know games played/innings/ whatever he didn’t lose the status. But there seems to be some discrepancy by ESPN vs. One states he’s a rookie in their articles and the other lists him as not. I reference a Yu Darvish article by ESPN that stated he’s the first rookie to go 4-0 since whoever, when Lance was 5-0.

    Has made for an interesting debate. Anyone know Lance’s true status?

  16. Brian Walton says:

    Pettitte scored points with the Rochester faithful by offering to sign autographs. He reportedly signed about 300 autographs for 45 minutes. As one might expect, some Batavians are angry over how this whole event transpired.

    link to article

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