July 31, 2014

Catching Up With the Clippers

I for one miss our old friend DP. He left us for greener pastures, but his legacy lives on. No, I’m not going to talk about the Columbus Blue Jackets, but with the Tribe on an off-day yesterday, I thought it would be a good time to check in with DP’s very own AAA Columbus Clippers. With the expected offensive struggles of the big club, Tribe fans should always be keeping on eye on the Clippers. There is some talent down I-71, but there are also a lot of 4A specials who are hoping to catch lightning in a bottle. So in an ode to DP’s former weekly column “Da Clip Show,” we now take a gander at what’s goin’ on down south. [Read more...]

Da Clip Show: Back to Back Champs And Mike Sarbaugh Is AWESOME Edition – 9/20/11

Clip Show aims to be your weekly update for all things Columbus Clippers. Check back each Tuesday for team records, roster updates, and performance updates on some of the brightest prospects in the Tribe system.

Yeah, so… how ’bout those Columbus Clippers? I’ve picked against them five straight times (both series last season, AAA National Championship last season, both series this season) and they’ve proven me wrong five straight times. Now, I’m a superstitious sports fan who believes in the all-swaying power of mojo, so you have to know I don’t view this as a coincidence. At any rate, after dropping Game 1 to Lehigh Valley, Columbus roared back to take the next three–including the final two on the road–to capture a second straight Governor’s Cup. They square off tonight against PCL Champ Omaha in the AAA National Championship in Albuquerque, NM.

This Week: 3-1
Playoff Results: Beat Lehigh Valley 3-1 to win the Governor’s Cup (IL Champions)

[Read more...]

Pop the Champagne! Clippers Beat Lehigh Valley 4-1 to Take Second Straight Governor’s Cup

Governor’s Cup Finals – Game 4
Clippers 4, Iron Pigs 1 – (box)
COL wins series, 3-1

The Clippers dropped Game 1 of the Governor’s Cup Finals at home, but true to form they rallied and capped three straight wins with a 4-1 triumph over Lehigh Valley tonight to take their second straight Governor’s Cup. This also means a chance for Columbus to defend their AAA National Championship against the champs of the Pacific Coast League. The game will be played on September 20 in Albuquerque. No word on the hot dogs just yet…

Paolo Espino got the start, and was solid–much like teammates Mitch Talbot and Joe Martinez the prior two games. The Clippers cap a stellar playoff run in which they went 6-1 over Durham and Lehigh Valley to claim another title. Columbus outscored the Iron Pigs 14-4 in the final three games to take the crown.

For manager Mike Sarbaugh, this is now five league championships in his nine years of managing in the Tribe’s system. He’s won at all levels, and has won titles in Akron (1) and Columbus (2) in each of the past three seasons. If I might editorialize, I’d say it’s time Mr. Sarbaugh got a promotion, especially considering that his most recent two titles have come after having the majority of his talent pilfered to Cleveland each of the past two summers.

I’m too many beers in to write a recap of this game, but I’ll have more on Tuesday in my Clippers time slot about this season, and about Sarbaugh. Suffice it to say, the Clippers are Champs once again!

Clippers Drop Game 1 of the Finals to Iron Pigs 5-2

Governor’s Cup Finals – Game 1
Iron Pigs 5, Clippers 2 (box)
LHV leads series 1-0

After a solid appearance in Game 1 of the first round, the Clippers went back to their “ace” to try to take the first game of the Governor’s Cup Championship. After holding Durham to no runs in his first round start, Zach McAllister was unable to bring that same stuff to his start last night.

Lehigh Valley jumped on him early to take a 4-0 lead, and Scott Mathieson was good enough to slow down the Clippers’ bats. Brandon Moss provided the Iron Pigs’ big blow in the first inning, and Columbus never recovered. McAllister was able to get the lead-off man to pop out, but after that the Iron Pigs got singles from Scott Podsednik and Kevin Frandsen to bring Moss to the dish.

Moss mashed a McAllister pitch to deep center, and just like that it was 3-0 Lehigh Valley.

[Read more...]

Da Clip Show: Keeping an Eye on the Tribe’s AAA Squad – Playoffs Edition 9/13/11

Clip Show aims to be your weekly update for all things Columbus Clippers. Check back each Tuesday for team records, roster updates, and performance updates on some of the brightest prospects in the Tribe system.

The Clippers kick off the Governor’s Cup Finals series tonight at home again Lehigh Valley, after completing a first-round sweep over the Durham Bulls this past Friday night. The Clippers looked unstoppable against Durham, out-scoring the Bulls by a collective 16-5 in the three game sweep. Their starters were lights-out; their offense was clutch; they shut down the Bulls’ stars on offense. In short, it was a complete domination. And, to me, it defied all logic. But, we’ll get to that in a moment.

This Week: 3-0
Playoff Results: Beat Durham 3-0 to advance to the Governor’s Cup Finals

[Read more...]

Clippers Bats Whip Bulls 8-3 to Take a 2-0 Series Lead

IL Playoffs Round 1 – Game 2
Clippers 8, Bulls 3 (box)
COL leads series 2-0

Unlike Game 1, this time out both offenses established themselves early. By the end of the first inning, a combination of five runs–two more than had scored in the entire game–were in and on the scoreboard. But, it was the Clippers’ bats who would carry the day. Columbus starter–and former Durham Bull–Mitch Talbot got the chance to beat his former team, and was good enough after the first inning to give him team time to stretch their legs. And stretch they did.

Chad Huffman again led the offensive assault, with three hits in five trips, including a double and his second home run in as many games of the series. Huffman drove in two and also scored twice as well as the Clippers rocked former Tribe draft pick Chris Archer to the tune of five runs in 5.2 innings. Tim Fedroff, Travis Buck, Beau Mills, Juan Diaz, and Argenis Reyes all had two hits each as well, as the Clippers plated eight runs on 14 hits. They were especially potent with two outs, scoring all of their runs with two outs. [Read more...]

Clippers Shut Down Bulls 3-0 Behind Solid Pitching from McAllister, Bullpen

IL Playoffs Round 1 – Game 1
Clippers 3, Bulls 0 (box)
COL leads series 1-0

Often in a baseball playoff series, Game 1 is all about “strength versus strength” – the teams usually each send their best pitchers to the mound, and the offenses are feeling each other out. Bulls’ starter Matt Moore hadn’t lost a start since being promoted from AA in July, so it looked like the Clippers–even with their best starter in Zach McAllister toeing the rubber–would have their work cut out for them.

Well, Moore was good; the difference is that McAllister was great, at least for six innings. And, the Clippers’ bullpen was exceptional. Columbus got enough offense from the middle of the order, and pushed past the Bulls for a 1-0 series lead. OF Chad Huffman led the bats with a home run, a double, and two of the three RBI on the night. Beau Mills drove in the third run, and that was more than enough for the Columbus pitchers. [Read more...]

Da Clip Show: Keeping an Eye on the Tribe’s AAA Squad – 9/6/11

Clip Show aims to be your weekly update for all things Columbus Clippers. Check back each Tuesday for team records, roster updates, and performance updates on some of the brightest prospects in the Tribe system.

The Clippers have completed their regular season, and are gearing up to start their best-of-five series against IL South champs Durham (Tampa Rays). The Clippers beat Durham last year for the Governor’s Cup title after qualifying as the Wild Card. We’ll do our best to break down the match up below. For now, it’s nice to bask in the team’s second straight playoff appearance, and first division title under the banner of the Tribe’s system. Manager Mike Sarbaugh deserves accolades for keeping his team moving despite the near-constant revolving door on his roster.

This Week: 3-3

Season Record: 88-56, International League West champs
[Read more...]

Da Clip Show: Keeping an Eye on the Tribe’s AAA Squad – 8/30/11

Clip Show aims to be your weekly update for all things Columbus Clippers. Check back each Tuesday for team records, roster updates, and performance updates on some of the brightest prospects in the Tribe system.
The Clippers are in the playoffs for the second straight year, and will be looking to defend their IL and AAA Championships. They’ll have to do it with a piece-meal roster, as so many of their core players from earlier in the season are now with Cleveland. The Clippers are heading into the final week of the regular season on a high note, however, winners of three straight. Six games to go, and then the start of the IL playoffs against the IL South winner, who is still yet to be determined.

This Week: 5-2
Season Record: 85-53, clinched International League West

[Read more...]

Clippers Clinch IL West; Nick Hagadone Looks Beastly

The Clippers entered Tuesday night’s game with a magic number of just two, but also riding a four-game losing streak. Their pitching had been suspect at best during the streak, and given that projected starter Zach McAllister was up in Cleveland, they needed Paolo Espino to step up.

And step up he did, working 7.0 strong innings, allowing just two hits, walking none, and whiffing seven Buffalo Bisons en route to a 5-0 win. Espino got some help from the long ball, and the Clippers as a whole got some help from the Indianapolis Indians, who lost 7-6 to Lehigh Valley to give the Clippers the IL West title.

Jared Goedart, Jerad Head, and Cord Phelps each hit home runs for Columbus, and Nick Hagadone (more on him below) and Josh Judy each worked a perfect inning to seal the win. Goedart’s home run in the first inning would provide all the margin that Espino needed, and Head’s solo shot in the fourth and Phelps’ two-run bomb that cleared the bleachers in left field in the seventh provided the cushion. But Espino cruised, and didn’t need any extra help. [Read more...]

Da Clip Show: Keeping an Eye on the Tribe’s AAA Squad – 8/23/11

Clip Show aims to be your weekly update for all things Columbus Clippers. Check back each Tuesday for team records, roster updates, and performance updates on some of the brightest prospects in the Tribe system.
They may be limping home, but the magic number continues to fall. The Clippers now have a magic number of just two to clinch the IL West. The other division leaders are creeping closer in terms of record, but Columbus is still leading the way with a little bit of cushion.

This Week: 1-5
Season Record: 80-51, 1st place (of four) in ILW (International League West) by 12.0 games

[Read more...]

Da Clip Show: Keeping an Eye on the Tribe’s AAA Squad – 8/17/11

Clip Show aims to be your weekly update for all things Columbus Clippers. Check back each Tuesday some Wednesday afternoons for team records, roster updates, and performance updates on some of the brightest prospects in the Tribe system.
Well, after the winning streak ended, the Clippers are treading water a bit. Thankfully, so is pretty much everybody else. The Clippers’ magic number for their division is down to six, and they have a 7.5 game lead for the best record in the league. Not that that last part matters with respect to the playoffs, but even still… considering how much of their roster from the beginning of the season is now in Cleveland, it’s pretty impressive. We’ll have some playoff scenarios later on, but after closing out the week by winning five of six, and barring a monumental collapse (which I’ve now just guaranteed simply by writing about it), your Clippers are most likely bound for the IL Playoffs once again.

This Week: 5-4
Season Record: 79-46, 1st place (of four) in ILW (International League West) by 14.0 games

[Read more...]

Da Clip Show: Keeping an Eye on the Tribe’s AAA Squad – 8/9/2011

Clip Show aims to be your weekly update for all things Columbus Clippers. Check back each Tuesday afternoon for team records, roster updates, and performance updates on some of the brightest prospects in the Tribe system.
Holy crap! Unlike last season in which some “roster turnover growing pains” slowed the Clippers’ playoff roll around this time of year, apparently this year’s club is refusing to let that same swoon go down. In the midst of a nine-game winning streak, the Clippers’ magic number to win their division is now down to 15, with a 13.5 game lead with 28 games remaining. They also have a 8.0 game lead for the best record in the IL. During this streak, it’s been both the bats and the arms carrying the team. When their pitchers struggle, the bats pick them up. Likewise, when the bats aren’t the sharpest, the arms hold it down. They won close games (five during the streak are 1-run wins), and they still outscored their opponents 58-38 during the streak. Chris Antonetti needs to somehow sign manager Mike Sarbaugh to some kind of a long-term contract, possibly as the Tribe’s full-time hitting coach. The guy is MONEY.

This Week: 6-0
Season Record: 74-42, 1st place (of four) in ILW (International League West) by 13.5 games

[Read more...]

Da Clip Show: Keeping An Eye on the Tribe’s AAA Squad – 8/2/11

Clip Show aims to be your weekly update for all things Columbus Clippers. Check back each Tuesday afternoon for team records, roster updates, and performance updates on some of the brightest prospects in the Tribe system.
We’re going to call this one the “New Faces Edition”. Much like last season, the Clippers sprinted out to a solid division lead, and will now be forced to navigate the second half of the season without most of their big guns. Call-ups have robbed them of their legit lead-off hitter, as well as two middle of the order bats, and while the purging of talent hasn’t been as significant as least season it’s still noticeable to take three of your best hitters out of the lineup. That said, we’re going to take a look this week at some of the new guys to try to assess who might be around for the longer haul, and who might just be keeping the proverbial seats warm. At any rate, a three-game winning streak to close out the week was a nice bonus.

This Week: 4-3
Season Record: 68-42, 1st place (of four) in ILW (International League West) by 10.5 games

[Read more...]

Justin Germano: Generally Bad, But for One Night… PERFECT

It hasn’t been the greatest of seasons for Justin Germano in 2011. In nine appearances in Cleveland this year, he was 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA. After being sent to Columbus, he worked both out of the pen and as a starter, and didn’t fare much better. Heading into his start in Syracuse last night, he had worked 14 times–four starts–to the tune of an 0-2 record with a 4.58 ERA. Nothing too exciting, right?

Well, last night in Syracuse was one for the ages for the 28-year-old right hander, as he became the first pitcher in Columbus Clippers’ history to throw a perfect game, blanking the Syracuse Chiefs 3-0. And, as well as Germano pitched, this game was over in the top of the first inning. Tim Fedroff led off the game with a double, and scored on a Cord Phelps two-out double to give Germano all the run support he would need. Fedroff added a two-run triple in the top of the second, and the rest of the night was about getting Germano to the promised land.

He threw 95 pitches, and struck out seven along the way.

While being the first ever perfect game for the Clippers, this now means the Clippers’ starting staff has two members who have thrown perfect games in their careers, with Jeanmar Gomez having accomplished the feat in Akron in 2009. Some videos, courtesy of the Clippers, after the jump. [Read more...]

Da Clip Show: Keeping an Eye on the Tribe’s AAA Squad – 7/26/11

Clip Show aims to be your weekly update for all things Columbus Clippers. Check back each Tuesday afternoon for team records, roster updates, and performance updates on some of the brightest prospects in the Tribe system.
This season is starting to look more and more like last season. I mean, if you take away all of the team’s best players, you’ll have stretches of play like this week. No Jason Kipnis. No Ezequiel Carrera. No Lonnie Chisenhall. Suddenly, the murderer’s row offense is a bit more lethargic. Seems to be the MO of this organization right now, no? The silver lining in terms of the playoffs is that they still have a 9.5 game lead over Louisville. Let’s not forget, however, the stretch the Bats put together last season to erase a similar lead this late in the season; the Clippers had to win in the final weekend to get into the playoffs.

This Week: 2-5
Season Record: 64-39, 1st place (of four) in ILW (International League West)

[Read more...]

Da Clip Show: Keeping an Eye on the Tribe’s AAA Squad – 7/19/2011

Clip Show aims to be your weekly update for all things Columbus Clippers. Check back each Tuesday afternoon for team records, roster updates, and performance updates on some of the brightest prospects in the Tribe system.
Now that’s more like it! After some well-deserved rest for most of the roster–and in spite of a swell of roster moves due to the Tribe’s injury situation–The Ship came out of the All-Star break with all guns blazing. The Clippers are currently riding a four-game winning streak, and have pushed their IL West lead up to 12.5 games. Put it this way: there are still seven weeks left in the season, and their magic number is already down to just 36 games. In addition to their division dominance, the Clip Show also have a nice six-game lead over Lehigh Valley for the best record in the IL.

This Week: 4-1
Season Record: 62-34, 1st place (of four) in ILW (International League West)

[Read more...]

Da Clip Show: Keeping An Eye on the Tribe’s AAA Squad – 7/12/11

Clip Show aims to be your weekly update for all things Columbus Clippers. Check back each Tuesday afternoon for team records, roster updates, and performance updates on some of the brightest prospects in the Tribe system.
Well, there’s some good news, and some bad news. The Clippers are at the All Star Break, and they’re leading their division by 9.5 games, and a 4.5 game lead for the IL’s best record. The bad news? They limped home this past week, and their leads are down 2.0 and 3.0 games respectively from this point last week. Sometimes it was the bats, sometimes it was the arms. They lost five games by a combined 11 runs, so they kept them close. They just couldn’t close them out.

This Week: 1-5
Season Record: 58-33, 1st place (of four) in ILW (International League West)

[Read more...]

Da Clip Show: Keeping an Eye on the Tribe’s AAA Squad – 7/5/11

Clip Show aims to be your weekly update for all things Columbus Clippers. Check back each Tuesday afternoon for team records, roster updates, and performance updates on some of the brightest prospects in the Tribe system.
It doesn’t seem to matter who gets called up or who gets hurt. This ship is humming along, with another great week in the standings. If I were the head of the Tribe organization, I’d figure out some way to keep Mike Sarbaugh in that organization, because he’s going to get a Major League job at some point in the not too distant future, and he’s going to be a good one. The Clippers now have an 11.5 game lead over Louisville in the IL West, and have a 7.5 game lead for the best overall IL record.

This Week: 5-2
Season Record: 57-28, 1st place (of four) in ILW (International League West)

[Read more...]

Tribe Minor League Report: Four Clippers Named AAA All Stars

Despite the Tribe not playing yesterday, the news was not all bad. The IL All Star team was announced, and in addition to manager Mike Sarbaugh–who will be heading the squad–four players are heading to the contest as well.

The three highlights are prospects. Second baseman Jason Kipnis leads the group, and is joined by pitchers Zach McAllister and Jeanmar Gomez. The Clippers contingent is rounded out by none other than Sweet Luis Valbuena.

Valbuena leads all regulars on the Clippers in hitting, with a .319 average in 70 games. Kipnis is not far behind, hitting .301 in 77 games. Both infielders are also mashing, with a .524 and .526 slugging mark respectively. [Read more...]