Results tagged ‘ Tempe Angels ’

Men in Blue

Examiner.com writer and Arizona League official scorer Rodney Johnson has posted an article about minor league umpire Mike Terry, who’s chasing the dream of an umpiring job in the big leagues.

The development process is similar to that of a minor league player, working to move up to the next level while enduring brutal conditions and minimal pay.

Rodney’s column introduced me to the Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation (PBUC), which is Minor League Baseball’s entity for training umpires. I ran across an article on the St. Petersburg Times web site published on August 29 about a switch-throwing reliever with the Tampa Yankees named Pat Venditte. The article said that the PBUC developed a special rule requiring Venditte to announce before facing a batter how he would throw, left-handed or right-handed. Now I know who the PBUC is.

As an aside, I was researching Venditte because I spend the last few days calling the Brevard County Manatees’ post-season games on the Internet. The Manatees were playing the Yankees. (The Yanks eliminated them last night.) If you’re interested in my bargain-basement webcasts, go to my Florida site SpaceCoastBaseball.com and you’ll see the links at the top of the page.

The Playoff Picture

Yogi Berra famously said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

Well, it’s over.

Salt Lake and Arkansas have been eliminated from post-season contention, and finish their regular season schedules today.

Rancho Cucamonga and Cedar Rapids also finish their regular season schedules today, but they’re going to the post-season.

Despite a poor year, the Quakes are in the post-season due to how the California League playoff system works. High Desert won both halves of the South Division, so the second- and third-best teams by overall winning percentage play in a best-of-three series while the Mavericks get a bye. So the Quakes (61-78) will host the Storm (73-66) on Wednesday, with Games #2 and (if necessary) #3 Thursday and Friday at Lake Elsinore.

The Kernels (77-60) play Peoria (80-57) in a best-of-three series starting Wednesday at Peoria. Games #2 and (if necessary) #3 will be Thursday and Friday at Cedar Rapids. The Kernels get the home field advantage because they qualified in the first half but Peoria didn’t.

The Orem Owlz (47-24) play through Friday 9/11, then begin their three-game series against Ogden (41-30) on Saturday 9/12 at Orem. Games #2 and (if necessary) #3 are Sunday and Monday at Ogden, which won the first half title.

The Tempe Angels (38-18) qualified for the playoffs but lost to the Scottsdale Giants (39-17) in the Arizona League playoffs.

Tempe Angels Eliminated from Playoffs

The Tempe Angels lost 4-3 Sunday to the Scottsdale Giants, who win the Arizona League’s East Division title. The Giants play the Peoria Mariners tonight for the AZL championship.

Click Here to read official scorer Rodney Johnson’s article about the game.

Click Here to read the MiLB.com report on the game.

The Playoff Picture (Through August 30)

Here’s an update on where each affiliate stands in their pursuit of the post-season.

Salt Lake — The Pacific Coast League is a full-season league, no split-season schedule, so the Bees must win their division outright to qualify for the playoffs. I’d given them up for dead when they lost three straight August 24-26, but they just beat division leader Colorado Springs three straight to move within 4½ of first place. The Bees are 65-69, the Sky Sox are 69-64. Tacoma (69-66) is in second place, one game behind Colorado Springs. The Bees have nine games left, including today’s game at Colorado Springs and then four on the road at Tacoma. They ain’t dead yet.

Arkansas — The Travelers finished 28-42 in the first half, ten games behind Springfield in the Texas League North Division. They’re currently 28-33 in the second half, five games behind Northwest Arkansas (33-28). Tulsa (32-29) trails Northwest Arkansas by a game. The Travs and Springfield are tied at 28-33. They have nine games left on the schedule — two against Springfield, then four at home at Northwest Arkansas, and finally three on the road at Springfield. The Travs remain on the periphery with a little more than a week to go; if they go off on a hot streak they still have a chance.

Rancho Cucamonga — The Quakes finished 30-40 in the first half, 13 games behind South Division first-half winner High Desert. The California League has rather unusual post-season eligibility rules. The first-half winner in each division get a bye, while the second-half winner faces the team with the next best overall record in a best-of-three series. If High Desert wins both halves, then the teams with the second and third best records will face each other. In the second half, the Quakes are 29-33, six games behind the Mavericks (35-27). They’ve won three of their last four but lost power-hitter Matt Sweeney in the Scott Kazmir trade. They’re currently two games behind Lake Elsinore (31-31) and two games ahead of Lancaster (27-35). In the overall standings, after the Mavs the Storm (70-62) have clinched the second-best record so the Quakes (59-73) must finish third overall to qualify for the wild card. They currently have a two-game lead over Inland Empire (57-75) with eight games to go, none of them against division opponents. To make it simple, the Quakes have to hold that third-place lead through the rest of the regular season to make the playoffs.

Cedar Rapids — The Kernels finished 40-30 in the first half, good enough for second place one game behind Kane County, so under Midwest League rules they’re in. They’ll face the Peoria Chiefs in the first round of the West Division playoffs.

Orem — Tom Kotchman does it again. The Owlz’ 20-18 first half record in the Pioneer League’s South Division was only good enough for third place, so they need to win the division outright in the second half. As Kotch teams almost always do, they kicked into high gear in the second half for a 22-3 record so far and a seven-game lead over Idaho Falls (15-10). Rival Ogden won the first half. The Owlz have 13 games left in the second half, so short of a total collapse they’re going to the post-season. Garrett Richards continues to emerge as the staff ace, striking out eight and walking none in eight shutout innings last night at Idaho Falls.

Tempe — The Tempe Angels beat the Scottsdale Giants 1-0 last night in 12 innings in their regular season finale, to finish in a 20-8 first-place tie with the Giants. They meet tonight at 7:00 PM MDT at Scottsdale for a one-game playoff to determine the East Division champion. The winner goes on to play the West Division champion Peoria Mariners on Monday for the Arizona League title. Tempe’s overall record for the season was 38-18, one game behind Scottsdale (39-17).

Tempe Angels Qualify for the Playoffs

Wowee.

The Tempe Angels had to beat the Scottsdale Giants last night in their final game of the regular season to face the Giants in a one-game playoff for the Arizona League’s East Division title.

In the bottom of the 12th with two outs, John Rickard singled home pinch-runner Heath Nichols and the Angels won, 1-0.

So the two teams face each other again tonight, this time at Scottsdale, at 7:00 PM MDT.

The winner goes on to face the West Division winner, the Peoria Mariners, who get a bye because they won both halves of the season. That game is scheduled for Monday.

Click Here to read an article on MiLB.com that previews the AZL playoffs. It has a nice photo of Mike Trout.


UPDATE August 30, 2009 11:45 AM PDTClick Here to read Rodney Johnson’s article on last night’s game.

Down to the Wire

The Tempe Angels won last night 8-6 at the Phoenix A’s, but the Scottsdale Giants won 6-4 over the Mesa Cubs, so Tempe still trails Scottsdale by a half-game.

The Angels are off today, then finish the regular season tomorrow night at home against the Giants. Scottsdale is at home tonight against the A’s.

Win or lose for the Giants tonight, the bottom line is that the Angels must beat the Giants Saturday to qualify for the playoffs.

Tempe Angels Closer to Post-Season

The Tempe Angels are now within a half-game of first place in the Arizona League’s East Division after winning 8-6 last night over the Maryvale Brewers. Randal Grichuk was 3-5 with a homer and double.

The Angels are chasing the Scottsdale Giants, who won the first half and currently lead the division. If the Giants win both halves, they get a bye and wait to face the West Division winner. If the Angels win the division in the second half, they face the Giants in a one-game playoff. If the two teams tie for first, the Angels win the second half based on their head-to-head record with the Giants, which is currently 5-3.

The Giants were off Wednesday. They catch up to the Angels on Friday when Tempe has the day off. The Angels have two games left, tonight at Papago Park against the Phoenix A’s (21-32 overall) and Saturday night at home in Tempe against the Giants.

The easiest way for the Angels to make the post-season is to win both remaining games.

UPDATE August 27, 2009 12:00 PM PDT — Rodney Johnson of Examiner.com offers this analysis of the Arizona League playoff scenarios.

A Giant Leap for the Tempe Angels


Jon Bachanov allowed one hit in 2 2/3 relief innings to earn the win as the Tempe Angels won 3-1 over the Scottsdale Giants in 12 innings.

 

It was pretty much do or die last night for the Tempe Angels, and they came through with a 3-1 12-inning win over the Scottsdale Giants. The win leaves the Angels one game behind Scottsdale in their division with four games to go. The season finale is at home against the Giants.

Tempe needs to at least tie Scottsdale to qualify for the playoffs, which would be a one-game contest against the Giants, who won the first half. That winner goes on to play the other division’s winner in a one-game title contest.

Click Here to read Rodney Johnson’s article on last night’s game. Rodney is an official scorer for the Arizona League but had the night off so he went over to Scottsdale to cover the game.

The Playoff Picture (August 24)

I wrote on August 18 a review of where each Angels minor league affiliate stands in the pursuit of the post-season. I’ll update this each week until the regular season ends.

Salt Lake — The Pacific Coast League is a full-season league, no split-season schedule, so the Bees must win their division outright to qualify for the playoffs. The Bees are currently 62-66 and trail Colorado Springs by six games with 15 games left, including five at Colorado Springs August 26-30. Tacoma is now a half-game ahead of the Bees; Salt Lake is at Tacoma August 31-September 3.

Arkansas — The Travelers finished 28-42 in the first half, ten games behind Springfield in the Texas League North Division. They’re currently 24-30 in the second half, 5½ games behind Tulsa. Northwest Arkansas trails Tulsa by a game. They have 16 games left on the schedule, including four August 25-28 at Tulsa and four at home September 1-4 against Northwest Arkansas. While it’s not impossible for the Travs to win the division, it’s rather unlikely unless they go off on a really hot winning streak, and they did shave two games off their deficit this last week.

Rancho Cucamonga — The Quakes finished 30-40 in the first half, 13 games behind High Desert in the South Division, which won the first half. The California League has rather unusual post-season eligibility rules. The first-half winner in each division get a bye, while the second-half winner faces the team with the next best overall record in a best-of-three series. If High Desert wins both halves, then the teams with the second and third best records will face each other. In the second half, the Quakes are 26-30, five games behind the Mavericks. They had a poor week, going 1-5 to fall behind Lancaster (27-29) and tie with Lake Elsinore (26-30). In the overall standings, after the Mavs it’s Lake Elsinore (65-61) with a nine-game lead over the Quakes (56-70), and then Inland Empire (53-73) and Lancaster (53-73) three games behind the Quakes. At this point, with fourteen games left, it looks like Rancho’s best bet is to finish third in the overall standings and make the playoffs as a wild card. One oddity in their schedule is that they end the regular season on the road in the North Division for seven games, so their ability to knock off rivals down the stretch will be limited. Clear as mud?

Cedar Rapids — The Kernels finished 40-30 in the first half, good enough for second place one game behind Kane County, so under Midwest League rules they’re in. It’s way too early to say who’ll they’ll face in the first round of the West Division playoffs. In the second half, the Kernels are 30-26 with an overall record of 70-56, second-best in the division behind 72-52 Peoria.


UPDATE August 25, 2009 — According to Jeff Johnson at the Cedar Rapids Gazette, the Kernels will probably face Peoria in the first round of the Midwest League playoffs.


Orem — Tom Kotchman does it again. The Owlz’ 20-18 first half record in the Pioneer League’s South Division was only good enough for third place, so they need to win the division outright in the second half. They ran off a fifteen-game winning streak and now have an 18-2 record with a six-game lead over Idaho Falls. Rival Ogden won the first half. The Owlz have 18 games left in the second half, so short of a total collapse they’re going to the post-season. One big factor is that Kotch’s top starting pitcher prospects are stretching out their innings, with Garrett Richards perhaps emerging as the staff ace.

Tempe — The Tempe Angels have been great, but the Scottsdale Giants have been greater. Scottsdale won the Arizona League’s East Division in the first half by one game over Tempe, which finished 18-10. In the second half, Tempe is 16-7 but trails Scottsdale (18-5) by two games with five games left. If Scottsdale wins both halves, they get a bye and the Angels are out. Tempe can help themselves by beating the Giants in the two games they have against each other, starting tonight at Scottsdale. If the Angels don’t win tonight, it’s pretty much over. If they end up tied in the second half, then to go to the playoffs the Angels would need to have won the head-to-head series this season against the Giants. The Angels lead that series 4-3, so if they can knock off the Giants in both games then they’ve looking pretty good. But they really need to win tonight.

No Hits? No Problem!


Tempe Angels manager Ty Boykin gathers his players on the field after they were no-hit Saturday by the Phoenix A’s. Photo courtesy Rodney Johnson.

 

Eight days before, the Tempe Angels and Phoenix A’s played at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Three Angels pitchers combined to no-hit the A’s, winning 12-0.

On the same field, with the same teams playing, the A’s no-hit the Angels last night.

But the Angels won anyway, 2-1.

Here’s the recap of the game, as reported by official scorer Rodney Johnson. The game was tied 1-1 going into the bottom of the 9th. Fielding errors and walks forced in the winning run.

Another triumph for Moneyball. (That was sarcasm.)

Rodney was the official scorer for this game too. Click Here to read Rodney’s report on the game. Below is a photo Rodney took of the scoreboard.

 

I asked Rodney, what’s the record for most no-hitters scored by one official scorer in a season? I’m sure plenty over the years have scored two, but has anyone done more than two in a season? That would be a good trivia question.

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