Sunday, July 24, 2005

Power falls as pitchers walk nine
By Jay Srinivasan
For the Charleston Gazette

The West Virginia Power pitchers issued one walk after another. And the Lakewood BlueClaws gleefully accepted, walking away with a 7-3 victory in front of 4,441 paid fans at the Appalachian Power Park Saturday night.

Power pitchers finished the night with nine walks.

The Power took the lead in the bottom of the first. Ryan Braun bunted, and Grant Richardson collected his second RBI in as many nights to score Braun.

Then the Power pitching troubles started.

In the top of the second, Power starter Mark Rogers issued walks to Doug Gredvig, Chris Klemm, Josh Mader and Sean Gamble, scoring Gredvig. Klemm scored again on a passed ball to make it 2-1. Brad Harman grounded to shortstop to score Mader and Sam Orr hit an RBI single to right to put BlueClaws on top 4-1.

Switching positions with Rogers, left fielder Josh Brady got the Power out of a bases-loaded jam by striking out Jason Jaramillo to finish the inning.

“An outfielder having to come and finish the inning is an embarrassment,” said John Curtis, the Power pitching coach. “I wasn’t happy with the way Rogers pitched. I think the adrenaline is overtaking him and we are trying to get him to relax. He didn’t do that tonight.”

“In the four runs they scored in that inning, there were five walks,” added Power manager Ramon Aviles. “That really hurt us.”

Rogers came back to pitch the next 2 2/3 innings, which forced designated hitter Nestor Corredor out of the game.

Jaramillo increased the BlueClaws’ lead to 6-1 in the top of the fifth by blasting a two-run homer, chasing Rogers in the process. The Power narrowed the gap to 6-2 in the bottom of the fifth when Brady doubled and Alcides Escobar singled to right field to score Brady.

Harman greeted Power reliever Josh Baker by slamming his second pitch for a homer to left field in the top of the sixth to go up 7-2. West Virginia cut the deficit to 7-3 in the bottom of the sixth. Braun walked, Richardson and Hasan Rasheed singled, and Brady sacrificed to score Braun. With runners on second and third, Lakewood starter Nate Johnson fanned pinch-hitter Josh Murray to close out the inning.

“We had the bases loaded, but we came out with only one run,” said Aviles. “We keep telling them if you’re going to strike out, strike out swinging. We struck out without swinging the bat.”

Lakewood reliever Cory Dueitt then shut out the Power, pitching three perfect innings for his second save.

BlueClaws shortstop Harman went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a home run while West Virginia’s Richardson was 2-for-4 with one RBI.

Johnson (8-5) worked six innings, striking out five, and allowed three earned runs to obtain the win. For the Power, Rogers (1-7) took the loss after giving away six runs, five walks and six hits in 41/3 innings.


At what point do you officially become worried about the complete lack of control of last year's 1st round pick Mark Rogers? So far on the year, his record stands at 1 - 7. Obviously one's record is not the judging point of a pitcher's success, but anyway you look at it, 1 - 7 is nothing to be bragging home about.

Here are his stats after last night's debacle. His ERA is moving into dangereous territory along with his unacceptable walk rate.

Granted, the kid is only 19 years old, but it's hard not to be worried about him. When looking back at some of the pitchers taken after him last year in the draft and seeing how much success they are having, it's hard not to get frustrated with Rogers' lack of performance. With the way he has performed this year in West Virginia, I'd have a hard time not bringing him back for a second go around in A- ball.

Also good to say a fellow Racine native, Jason Jaramillo, doing well....even if it's at the expense of a Brewers affiliate!


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