May 2009

John Smoltz is here

Tune into the U.S. Cellular Sea Dogs Network or log onto to here John Smoltz on my pre-game show.

Tazawa Press Conference

Last night, Junichi spoke to me after the game.

Junichi Tazawa transcript (May 12, 2009) after start in Trenton

6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO – improved to 4-2 (4-0 on
the road)…has won three straight starts on the road and owns 3 of 4 quality
starts for the team.

Q:  After last start
you wanted to throw your fastball more, did you throw it as much as you wanted
to tonight?
JT: Yes I did.  I felt like it was coming
along good and I was able to throw it more for strikes.

Q: Your approach on 2 strike counts?
JT: I throw many split-finger fastballs today with two strikes.

Q: Are you feeling more comfortable with that pitch?
JT: Today the mound was high and the angle was nice to throw the split (finger

Q: Getting more confidence in your overall stuff?
JT: Right now I have good communication with catcher (John Otness) so my
confidence level keeps going up.

Q: Mounds in Japan higher?
JT: It depends on ballpark.   But today’s
mound was very high.

Q: How do you like pitching on the road?
JT: I like to throw at home (Hadlock Field, Portland, ME) because I get to see
more fans and hear them cheering. 

Q: Have you noticed the difference in the atmosphere at home
from other teams in the league?
JT: I’m a challenger, so it’s different everywhere I go.

Q: You faced Trenton for the first time…is that an advantage
not seeing these hitters?
JT: Trenton is a Yankees affiliate, I was thinking the fans were going to be a
lot tougher but I had a lot of confidence going into tonight.

Q: Are you communicating with friends and family often?
JT: By e-mail everyday but not by phone.

Q: How’s your English coming along?
JT: Not so good.

Game 2 in Binghamton

ONE MORE FOR SUCCESS: The Portland Sea Dogs can clinch a winning roadtrip
with one victory in the final three games in Binghamton…Portland has won 5 of 7
and seek their first 3-game winning streak on the road…The two teams close out
the 4-game set on Thursday night at 6:35 PM…The Binghamton Mets are 1-3 on their
7-game homestand, dropping 2 of 3 to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats last

Binghamton led 5-0 after two innings but the Sea Dogs scored 11 of the game’s
next 12 runs to beat the B-Mets 11-6 on Monday night.  RF Reid
provided the game-winning hit, blasting a 3-run homer off losing
pitcher LHP Roydrick Merritt (0-2)
in the eighth inning.  The Sea Dogs
scored eight runs in the final two innings on eight hits, sending 16 men to the
plate.  SS Argenis Diaz (4-for-5) had a career-high 4 RBI, driving in 3 of 4
runs with two outs.  RHP Chad Rhoades (1-0) pitched a perfect
seventh to earn his first win of the season.


The Sea Dogs went 8-for-16 (.500) with runners-in-scoring position last night,
improving their average to .272 with RISP for the season…Portland is averaging
10.6 at-bats per-game with a runner-in-scoring position…Portland’s pitchers are
holding the opponents to a .252 average with RISP.

LOTS OF INK IN THE ‘PEN: Portland’s relievers (Hedrick, Rhoades, Province and
Large) allowed one unearned run over the final 5 IP of Monday’s game…Binghamton
had 7 of 13 hits after two innings…Binghamton went 2-for-14 with RISP after the
first inning and 0-for-10 after the third……Hedrick fired two scoreless frames
and recorded a season-high four strikeouts…Large has not allowed a run in 10 of
11 appearances to start the season – only run yielded came on 2B Brock Bond’s homer on April 26 at
Hadlock Field.

RHP Junichi
will make his sixth start and second appearance against the B-Mets
in game three of the series…Tazawa picked up his second win of the year in the
roadtrip opener on May 1, allowing only two hits and one run over 5 IP…RHP Fernando Nieve has made two of his
three appearances against Portland and will take the mound for the B-Mets…Nieve
has not lasted longer than 3.2 IP in three games.