Thursday, August 13, 2015

Summer Suns Series Recap, Fields, Patterson, Pants, My Drag

The Biscuits put together just the homestand they needed over the past five days, facing the Marlins affiliate Jacksonvile. It was a strange series in many ways, bookended by Jared Mortensen and highlighted by the Cuban Biscuit Dayron Varona and Biscuit veteran Cameron Seitzer.

But I'm getting ahead of myself, we will cover the series wrap in abit but first the news....


This just in - the Biscuits released fan favorite reliever Jimmy Patterson. On the tenth of the month, though it was just posted yesterday on the league website.

The 26 year old lefty had been on and off the Montgomery roster a few times over the past few seasons. He debuted in 2012 with one appearance for the Skitz, then eased into 17 contests in 2013. By the following year he was ready for a longer leash and appeared in 35 Biscuits games, winning four and losing none.

JP battled injury this summer and hoped to be back on the bump, but will likely have a chance to be scooped up by another team.  Or perhaps resigned by the Rays in one of those weird, occultic roster moves that MLB teams make.

Best of luck, Jimmy!


Matt Fields
Former Biscuit Matt Fields was released by Mobile, also a fave of Biscuits fans from his fine play at first base as well as at the plate. Fields hit 17 Hr and drove in 82 runs over two seasons 2009-10. 

I can't mention Matt without bringing up the game he saved my dates life while I was out of my seat getting nachos and beer. Matt reached over the wall and gloved a foul popup literally inches above her head. Michi-chan had ducked  down but would surely have been hit in the back of the head if not for the reach and timing of the awesome Matt Fields.

Matt is known for his graceful batting style, smooth swing and long home runs. He has power to all fields, no pun intended but certainly accepted. Fields has recently put together an instructional hitting video.

You can also follow Matt on his blog, where he puts some very insightful thoughts out about how players handle challenges and basically teaching us that ballplayers are people. Matt Fields is a good one of both.

It remains to be seen if another team will sign Fields, he could be a candidate for a foreign league - Matt Fields has the most positive attitude and is outgoing and cheerful which are often qualities that I see in american players overseas. Either way, check out the vid if you want to improve your skills and wish Matty the best in whatever adventure he has next!

Now grab a cuppa, sit back and read about the epic series between two longtime rivals. The Biscuits start a crucial ten game road trip against the first place Barons and the tough TnSmokies, so now is a good time to catch up on whats happened over the past week.


Luck So Bad, Even The Fans Make Errors
Biscuits lose 7-2

Suns hitters came in like a lion on Jared Mortensen, the Canadian Biscuit gave up five runs on six hits before being lifted in the sixth inning, but only his North-of-the-Border grit kept him in the game to save the bullpen extra work. The opposition looked to be waiting for a fastball and when they got one, they did not miss.

The Suns second inning began on two well crushed home runs and a ringing single, Mortensen managed to hold the line, he only surrendered one more homerun but was ultimately collared with the L.
Bullpen Report:
Matt "Big Show" Lollis
Garton, Lollis, Markel were the fire brigade and only The Big Show Lollis would emerge unscathed as two more balls would leave the yard off of Jacksonvile bats.

Biscuit runs were sparked by a Dayron Varona triple followed by a Daniel Robertson sac fly and a Jake Bauers double that drove in Varona who scored from first on the hit. Robertson was making his return to Riverwalk after missing about six weeks to a hand injury.

This game was a rather lopsided beatdown and gave Montgomery fans concern, a tough series looked to be on the plate for the next few days.

blurry but still catchable
Morale was low and even I clanked an easy two hop foul ball that hit me right in the glove. Worst play of my life - even the Biscuits radio announcer said on air "Oh man, Shane, you gotta catch that ball!"

Biscuits win 8-3

PreGame Event:
Wore my new red Biscuits hat!
Before the game tables were set up in front of the home dugout and fans were allowed to come onto the field in foul territory to meet the players and get picture and autographs. I always take a ball and have the team sign it and if you have any baseball cards, pictures or other gear its a perfect time to have them signed.

That night, the tables were turned on the Suns, who wore the raw end of an eight to three drubbing. Though the visitors owned a two run lead for most of the game, Montgomery's six run sixth inning and the two insurance runs in the 7th were so dominant that the Suns were stunned into submission.

Austin Pruitt tossed six good innings for the win, allowing just one earned. With only two K's and two walks, he again showed his Maddux-ness by getting eight groundouts to just three outs in the air.

Austin pitched in trouble only once, the fourth inning, when he allowed the bases to fill on back-to-back singles and a walk to open the frame. With none out, a run scored on the bobbled double play attempt. Unfazed by it, the Biscuits hurler promptly got Suns AllStar 3B Zack Cox to hit another ball on the ground, this time to Cameron Seitzer for a nifty 3-6-3 inning ending double play in front of a postcard-worthy sunset sky.

Sappington postgame routine
Bullpen Report: Jeff Ames and Mark Sappington were the firemen in this one. With no save to protect, Ames pitched one inning and had a pair of hits and a walk to work around. We had "Good" Ames when Jeff got a pair of groundouts and picked a runner off without giving up a run.

Awesome goodguy relief pitcher Mark Sappington went two frames, giving up one earned while striking out two men. Then after the game, Sappington stayed to sign more autographs and take pictures with every fan that wanted one. So basically, a normal day in the life of Mark Sappington.

Hitters Report:
Biscuit runs were generated by a six run 6th inning, it began with Tyler Goeddel driving a ball onto the train tracks beyond the left field wall. Patrick Leonard continued the assault with a ringing double that just missed leaving the yard.

Two batters later Cameron Seitzer drove in Leonard *(foreshadowing, see below) chasing the Suns starting pitcher and the scoring did not slow as the Biscuits sent ten men to the plate in the half inning. The next inning was more of the same, two singles and Cameron Seitzer again driving in Leonard and this time Varona along with him.

Sunday Kids Day
Catch on the Field
Biscuits win 8-2

In my flannel with Strawman
Another hot afternoon so it was a perfect
day to wear a flannel uniform, House of David always so fun in the sun, especially when its 98 degrees!

It might be too hot for the little kids, but us big kids braved the heat and had a great time on Kids Day.

After toweling off, a ballgame broke out so we stuck around to see it.

SP Guerrieri
Taylor Guerrieri was on the bump for the Skitz and snagged his first double-A victory, using his 76 pitches to stretch five innings. Taylor G punched out a few (3), walked a couple and allowed just two hits.

Perhaps most important was the economy of his offerings. About two thirds of his pitches were strikes and he looked to be saving his best for guys who fell behind in the count. Once he had batters down to two strikes Guerrieri became a dominant aggressor, overmatching hitters with flashes of brilliance using his high-powered fastball or diving slider.

Biscuit hitters:
Cameron Seitzer
Biscuit runs were early and often, taking the lead in the bottom of the first inning on a Tyler Goeddel leadoff homer and never giving it up. Not to be outdone, Johnny Field Jr led off the second inning with a home run of his own. Later in that same second inning the Suns would put two Skitz runners on base ahead of Cameron Seitzer. Result:*(as seen above) Two more RBI and the lead was stretched to four.

And so it goes, the Suns posted a run on a JuneQ error but the Biscuits would answer with single runs in the fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth innings. Goeddel drives in another run and scores, Varona drives in a run, Dan Robertson drives in a run on a bases loaded walk.

Bullpen Report: A nice evening of Garton and McPherson pitching in a game well in hand for the home team. Two innings for Garton and McPherson's only run came with two outs on a hit that should have been called an error but wasn't.

Biscuits win 11-7

On this night we were given many Kirsch-mas gifts, including a pair of four run innings and an opposing pitcher holding an 0-7 record and sporting a 5.98 ERA.

Lhp Chris Kirsch
It looked like a blue Kirsch-mas when the Suns leadoff man Kenny Williams led off the game by rapping a ball off of third baseman Patrick Leonard and turning it into a double. The speedy Williams would score and the Biscuits trailed for the first time two days.

Biscuit hitters:
In the second inning, Jolly Chris Kirsch got a quick double play and the home team went to work. So with two outs in the inning, Biscuit bats woke up and Suns pitcher Scott Lyman fell apart.
A pair of singles and a walk to the bottom three hitters in the lineup will drive a pitching coach mad, and after a coaching visit to the mound the Jacksonvile starter walked leadoff man Tyler Goeddel to bring in a run.

The Suns then botched a Patrick Leonard grounder for an error, one that we can only drop into the "Umpire Karma" category, allowing two runs to score. Varona singled to send in another tally and the nightmare continues for the Suns coaching staff as the Skitz sent four more runs home in similar situations - including another "Umpire Karma" moment on a mishandled grounder!

After that, the game settled down and only six more runs would score. You know its a wild game when it settles down to just six more runs scoring!

The Suns would score three runs in the final inning to draw within grand slam. They loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth inning but Matt Juengel's drive to left field fell short of the warning track and as the ball fell into Johnny Field's glove the dramatic game went into the Biscuits win category.

RP Brad Schrieber
Bullpen Report: Stanek went two innings, gave up a homer that was meaningless at the time. Parker Markel got one inning of work, giving up two hits. Brad Schrieber walked the tightrope in the 9th with an ugly line of three hits and three earned, a pair of walks and no K's in his one inning but did eventually get the job done.

After the game the Jvl Suns pitchers were called back to the dugout where they were given a severe tongue lashing by their pitching coach. It was a very unusual sight, players coming back to the dugout as the last fans straggled out of the park.

They looked dejected and angry. So what do I do? I took a picture! Thats what rivalry is all about.

Biscuits win 5-4 in 14 Innings

RHP Faria
Jacob Faria started and pitched well enough to earn the win, but it would be nearly midnight before the decision was handed out.

 The longest game in recent memory had its share of moments, Skeeter Barnes coaching first sent Ozzie Timmons to the bench, Cameron Seitzer getting a start at 3b, the fifth different Biscuits lineup in five games, and so much more.

3B Cameron Seitzer had it all the way

 A back and forth contest through five, the score knotted at four runs apiece and refused to change until well after 11pm. Here are some scorebook oddities from the game:
Both teams had chances to win, every Biscuit had at least one hit.

The top three hitters in the Suns lineup were held to two hits in 17 at bats.

Both teams pitchers combined for a total of 358 pitches.

Bullpen report:
The Win went to Jared Mortensen, who came out of the bullpen to face the team that had bullied him in game one. The Suns went out like a lamb against the Canadian Biscuit - Morty was excellent, as were the rest of the cast who all came out and showed some of their best work of the season. Ames, Sappington, Lollis, Schrieber, Garton and finally Mortensen were deployed and they combined for 9ip, 4hits, one walk and 10 strikeouts. 


In the middle of the sixth inning, I got to drag the infield! This post is too long already, so later I will blog about the experience, but suffice to say it was a total thrill and one of the highlights of the season for me.

Thanks so much to the Biscuits and their grounds crew for letting me help out. Hopefully I brought them a win and can get another trip around the bases during a game sometime!

Biscuit hitters: Catcher O'Conner homered, as did Johnny Field Jr. Patrick Leonard and, who else, Cameron Seitzer added RBI's. Yet the game was won on a Dayron Varona walk off walk with the bases loaded in the 14th, Varona had stranded five runners in his five previous at bats but took a free pass to win the game.
Dayron Varona

Has anyone else noticed the Biscuit uniform changing this summer? Its not a drastic difference, but it is a difference just the same.
Boog Powell
Jake Bauers

Its the pants.

No longer are we seeing the Biscuits wearing the white home pants with two color soutache along the outside leg seams.

Instead we are seeing many, but not all, of the Skitz wearing white pants with a thin blue piping along the outside leg seams.

I suspect these are the pants being worn by the Port Charlotte Stone Crabs and players are bringing them when they are called. Basically, that would make them Crabs pants. The problem with that is that Cameron Seitzer has been wearing the blue-piped, and he never played at High-A, so who can say where these come from. The Biscuits have worn the same pants style since their inception in 2004. If the team plans on getting new pants for next year, would they be the two-color soutache Biscuits pants or the blue-piped CrabsPants? Something else?

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