Monday, July 18, 2016

Grape Jelly Series Views and Notes

Did I see you this weekend? I feel like I saw everyone at one point or another. It was a very busy series and I enjoyed getting to see some of my fave folks and got to meet great new ones!

The Biscuits scooped up the Grape Jelly Series by taking the first three games fairly handily before dropping Sundays affair. The Skitz have been heating up and playing well, giving themselves a chance to win nearly every day. Be sure to come out and watch the team as it comes together, and don't leave early!

Taylor Guerrieri pitched seven strong innings and Mike Marjama's four hit night drove the Skitz to victory in the opening contest.

Tommy Coyle added two hits, a double and a triple, earning him two RBI's.

Catcher Mike Marjama
 The Biscuits opened up with both barrels on the Smokies, who were sending in position players to pitch by the end of the night.

Mike Marjama led the charge again, contributing three hits and three runs batted in. Braxton Lee also had three knocks as the team piled up a dozen Biscuit runs, winning 12-0.

SP Chih-Wei Hu
Chih-Wei Hu was the lucky recipient of the offensive outburst, allowing just two hits in his five innings.

Reliable relievers Steve Ascher and Jared Mortensen combined for four scoreless innings to complete the shutout.

Mgr Brady Williams

 Saturday afternoon I had the chance to take batting practice on the field with the Biscuits coaching staff, a brand new perk offered to season ticket holders.

It was very fun, a great experience. I managed a couple would-be base hits to left field and a solid double over the third base bag. It certainly reminded me just how hard it is to use a round bat to hit a round ball squarely.

Manager Brady Williams was my BP pitcher, he made sure to buzz me up and inside! haha

Later in the evening Jake Bauers provided a walkoff home run in the bottom of the tenth inning to send the team to victory and spark massive postgame fireworks.
Jake Bauers blasts a walk-off homer on Saturday Night

The series wraps up with game five on Monday. It is a day game at noon, bring the sunscreen!

Rainbow over Sundays contest
Roster moves have been a theme, lets try to get together on whats happening!
Goetzman, Lee and Gotta chat in the outfield on Sunday

RHP Mark Sappington
Mark Sappington and Adam Kolarek were sent from Durham to bolster the Biscuits bullpen and their own confidence.

Mark Sappington was a key member of last years 2nd Half North Division Champion bullpen and one of the best guys ever in the history of best guys ever. He and Kolarek will both be trying to get back on track after being roughed up in triple-A.

Kean Wong returned Sunday
Kean Wong returned to the lineup Sunday after missing more than a week of games.

Patrick Leonard has been out of the lineup due to a sore back. There is no word yet on when he will return, or if a DL trip will be needed.

Tough news if you were trying to get all the Biscuits combined No-Hitter pitchers to sign a ball...
Steve Ascher was sent back to Port Charlotte. Nice reward for a no-hitter, right? Speculation is that the Rays may transition him into a starter after seeing nice results from him in Montgomery's rotation.

Reliever Jordan Harrison was/is/will be put on the temporary inactive list. He was also one of the four pitchers involved in the July 11th NoNo versus the Jackson Generals. No reason is known beyond the fact that the Rays have a surplus of players at the upper levels of the chain, including Montgomery. There just aren't enough roster spots to go around right now. 

Bullpen Catcher Rapacz
Be sure you know who you are talking to when speaking to someone in catching gear, new bullpen catcher Josh Rapacz looks more than a little like regular backstop Mike Marjama. However the easy-going Rap takes it in stride when someone gets them crossed up, like I did on Saturday!

Having Rap around seems like nothing much to the average fan, but not having a bullpen catcher means a lot to the team. Now the second catcher really gets a day off from catching and the team doesn't have to risk a position player getting injured while trying to warm up a reliever in a game.

Also, Rap is just one injury from gaining a roster spot, as the Rays have learned having an extra catcher around is pretty handy.

Outfielder Justin Williams was promoted from the Stone Crabs. This means another spot on the roster will have to be cleared, be it someone to the DL, promotion, demotion, release, trade or temporary inactive list.

The Rays #2 prospect Brent Honeywell tossed his first game at Riverwalk and had no problems with the Smokies lineup. He featured his impressive heater and offset it with the screwball effectively, mixing in a nice curve and decent changeup.

More than that he seemed poised on the hill and his only hiccup was getting excited on an infield popup, cutting in front of first baseman Jake Bauers to grab the ball for the out.
Jake be like...

Rhp Brent Honeywell
Brent pitched into the 7th inning, striking out six and walking just one and looking poised and in full control all evening.

The bullpen let the Smokies spoil the W, but Brent seemed to enjoy the home cooking at Riverwalk. He signed many autographs, posed for pictures and did everything short of kissing babies for the fans who were raving about his arrival.

Honeywell should strengthen an already strong starting rotation and provide a lift to the Skitz pennant hopes.

Honeywell and Adames

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