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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What happens down in Mexico...

Well, it looks like there will be a 10th team in the GBL after all this season. One year after expanding north of the border into Calgary and Edmonton, the GBL is going the other direction, crossing into Mexico with the intent to put a team in TJ.

After a few weeks of rumors and speculation, it appears a GBL team in Tijuana is coming close to a reality. I know, I know, it ain't the Surf Dawgs, but it's close (at least geographically). This is now the third new franchise for the Golden League this season, after the additions of Victoria and Tuscon. RIP Reno.

Here's the release from the league site...

GBL Signs Agreement with Tijuana Group For Expansion Team
Potros Leaving the Mexican League Opens Up Market

(Dublin, CA. December 15, 2008) The Golden Baseball League (GBL) announced today that they have entered into a Letter of Intent with a group to bring professional baseball back to Tijuana for the upcoming 2009 season. The 2008 Tijuana Potros team was disbanded by the Mexican League and their franchise relocated to Reynosa, opening up the market for the GBL to place an expansion team.

"We anticipate completing this agreement and adding Tijuana as a GBL city for this coming season," said Kevin Outcalt, Commissioner of the Golden Baseball League. "We have always believed that Tijuana would be a very good market for the league. It has a tremendous base of fans that regularly fill the ballpark, a fine baseball history, and excellent support from the business community and government."

This agreement allows the new ownership group to finalize their business and operations requirements. Pending no other problems, a formal announcement of the ownership group, and team name should occur in the very near future. Tijuana has had a long baseball history playing in the Mexican Winter and Summer leagues and consistently enjoyed some of the best attendance in all of minor league baseball. The Mexican League voted last week at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas to re-locate the Tijuana franchise to the city of Reynosa which is over 1000 miles closer to the rest of the Mexican League teams.

"A Tijuana team brings the GBL many benefits," said GBL CEO and President David Kaval. "Not only will it be exciting for the Latin American fans in many of our markets to see the Tijuana team play, but there are also many opportunities with Mexican businesses that will be interested in league-wide sponsorship and advertising to reach potential customers throughout the southwestern U.S. cities where the GBL has teams. Becoming the first professional baseball league to have operations in three countries should also provide a number of other business opportunities."

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Etherton bouncing back

Looks like another member of the Fleet is setting sail for affiliated ball. This time pitcher Seth Etherton (fight on) is joining the Arizona Diamondbacks system. The former major leaguer was a key cog for the Armada's late season charge into the playoffs. Here's the story from the league's website...

Long Beach Pitcher Seth Etherton Acquired by Arizona Diamondbacks
5th Armada Player Acquired This Season By An MLB Club

(Dublin, CA. December 14, 2008) The Golden Baseball League (GBL) announced today that Long Beach Armada pitcher Seth Etherton has had his contract acquired and been signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Etherton, 32, 6-1, 200 lbs is right handed pitcher who was drafted in the 1st round of the 1998 MLB Draft by the Anaheim Angels out of the University of Southern California. He was in the major leagues just two years later as the Angels called him up in mid-season and he went on to post a 5-1 record in 11 starts for the big league club. An elbow injury knocked him out for the next year and a half, but he was back in the majors with the Reds in 2003, the A's in 2005 and the Royals in 2006. Released by the Royals and still bothered by his elbow, he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2007 and joined the Long Beach Armada late in the season in 2008 as he was eager to show that he was back to 100%. He started two regular season games for the Armada and was spectacular as he went 1-0 in 9.1 innings pitched with a 1.93 E.R.A. and struck out 16 while walking only one batter. In his one playoff start he went seven innnings, giving up just three hits, no runs, and struck out 12.

Etherton is the fifth player off the powerful 2008 Long Beach Armada that is now with a major league organization. He is the 25th GBL player in 2008 to be acquired by a big league club.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Read The Navigator online

Hey Armada fans, the latest issue of The Armada Navigator is out there for you. You can click here to read it online. Make sure to check out the biggest news: center fielder Steve Moss has been acquired by the Seattle Mariners organization. Best of luck, Mossy.

CF Moss signs with Mariners

On the first day of free agency, Armada centerfielder Steve Moss wasn’t expecting his phone to ring. That didn’t stop the Golden Baseball League commissioner from contacting him.

“I received a phone call from Kevin Outcalt,” said Moss in an email. “He explained that Seattle contacted him and may have an interest in signing me. I was surprised anyone was contacting me on the first day of the free-agent signing period. He asked for my permission to sell my contract, and of course my answer was yes.”

The Seattle Mariners purchased the contract of Moss, making him the fourth member of the Fleet acquired by a Major League organization since June.

After one season in Long Beach in which Moss hit a career-best .299 with 10 home runs and 44 RBI in 68 games, the Southern California native is returning to affiliated baseball with the Seattle Mariners.

The Milwaukee Brewers drafted Moss, 24, out of high school in the 29th round of the 2002 draft. After a year of rookie ball, Moss spent two years with the Beloit Snappers in the single-A Midwest League. He continued to rise through the Brewers system with the Brevard County Manatees in the high-A Florida State League in 2005 and with the Huntsville Stars in the AA Southern League from 2006-07.

“The new GM of the Mariners had run scouting for the Brewers last year and brought over a number of his Brewer staff as he took the Seattle job a few weeks ago,” said Outcalt through email. “The first player move they made was to sign Steve Moss. Moss had originally been drafted by the Brewers and played in their organization, and it was a very tough release for them.”

Moss will most likely land in High A or Double-A with the Mariners to start the 2009 season, but he’s not assuming anything is guaranteed.

“Nothing is ever set in stone, and anything can happen,” said Moss. “I am going to go into spring training with my goals set high.

The always-amicable outfielder got off to a hot start with Long Beach, blast three home runs in the season-opening series in St. George. After missing 20 games in June with an injury, Moss returned to the lineup and continued to produce, putting together hitting streaks of 12 and 11 games. The 2008 season served as a homecoming year for Moss.

“Playing so close to home actually felt foreign,” he said. “Throughout my career I've been assigned to remote
places around the country, and that is an aspect of this profession I have enjoyed. But it was nice
sleeping in my own bed.”

No, he won’t get to enjoy his own bed as he spends next season in the Mariners system, but that shouldn’t be too much of a strain on him.

“I am most looking forward to continue the pursuit of my career,” he said. “I am a firm believer in meaning behind events that occur in an individual's life. If you have faith in your pursuit then success should fall into place. After the Brewers released me, it gave me the chance to rejuvenate my passion for the game and to never take any thing for granted.

“The right path isn't necessarily the shortest and most clear one. I have been given a rare second chance and I intend on making the most of it.”

The Armada will miss Moss’s production, but it might be even harder to replace his personality. When asked what he will miss the most about his time with the Armada, his answer was simple.

“The skunks.”

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Evans to manage Seals

Darrell Evans, the first skipper of the Long Beach Armada (2005-07), will once again manage an expansion franchise with the GBL's newest team, the Victoria Seals. Here's the story from the Victoria Times Colonist...

Evans also helped lead the OC Flyers to the 2008 GBL championship as a member of Gary Carters staff this past summer.

Congratulations Darrell. We'll see you at the ballpark.

Surfs up for Rickey Henderson, HOF?

Interesting story from the League... the GBL has offered Rickey Henderson $1 million to go into the Hall of Fame as a San Diego Surf Dawg. Henderson spent his final professional season with the Surf Dawgs in 2005, leading them to the inaugural GBL championship.

How amazing would that be to see this Hall of Fame lock in Cooperstown with the old Surf Dawgs cap on. Of course, the one snag in this plan is that the Hall of Fame museum has the final say as to which logo a player goes in under. Not sure just how much consideration Henderson will get as a Surf Dawg.

The craziest part of the story is the fact that the Surf Dawgs are not currently playing in the GBL. The San Diego franchise went dark after the 2006 season, and the St. George (Utah) Roadrunners entered the league.

The same league that brought you Rickey Henderson, Jose Canseco, trading "Leon" from the Budweiser commercials for a case of Bud, trading a player for Maple bats, and so much more, now the GBL is pushing for a Hall of Famer. Gotta love it!

Golden Baseball League Makes Rickey Henderson $1M Hall of Fame Offer
Baseball Legend Would Enter Cooperstown as a San Diego Surf Dawg

Dublin, CA. December 3, 2008) The Golden Baseball League (GBL) announced today that they have offered professional baseball superstar Rickey Henderson $1M if he elects to be enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown as a San Diego Surf Dawg.

"Rickey played his final professional season in the Golden Baseball League in 2005 as a key member of the championship winning San Diego Surf Dawgs," said Golden Baseball League CEO David Kaval. "Cooperstown is the National Baseball Hall of Fame for professional players and the San Diego Surf Dawgs were Rickey's last professional team and one of only three teams, along with the 1989 Oakland Athletics and 1993 Toronto Blue Jays, that Rickey won a championship with. We stood by Rickey in 2005 when no major league team would sign him and continue to support him with this offer. We are confident that Rickey will be a first ballot selection and we look forward to seeing a bronzed Surf Dawg cap displayed on his Hall of Fame plaque."

Henderson played the entire 2005 season for the San Diego Surf Dawgs in the inaugural season of the Golden Baseball League, the premiere independent professional league in western North America, under Manager Terry Kennedy. He appeared in 73 of his team's 88 games, hitting .270 as he stole 16 bases and led the league with 73 walks as a 46 year old centerfielder. His team went on to post the best record in the league, led by four former Major League 1st round draft choices, and is considered one of the legendary independent professional teams of the modern era. Both coaches, plus the manager ended up signed by major league organizations along with four of the players, although not Henderson.

Rickey thrilled the GBL crowds that gathered to see him play with outstanding baseball on the field and with several uniquely Rickey moments off the field. From being ejected in the first inning during Little League Day at Tony Gwynn Stadium in San Diego and then spending the next nine inninngs in the stands rotating seats throughout the ballpark to sit with different little league teams to driving through the desert in a pickup truck with a lettuce farmer to reach Yuma by game time after being removed from his flight for not hanging up his cellphone fast enough, Rickey embraced the intimacy of the independent minors and demonstrated his love for the game regardless of where he was playing. His quest to be signed that year and spend one last day in a major league uniform and officially retire went unfulfilled. His championship game win at the end of that season was the last time he would wear a professional uniform as a player after first donning one 29 years earlier in 1976 in Boise, Idaho as a rookie in Oakland's farm system.

"This is a legitimate offer and a signed agreement has been sent to Rickey." continued Kaval. "Considering that Rickey played for nine major league teams in his career this gives him an excellent solution to the problem of slighting any of those fine organizations by picking a favorite. We would gladly donate the funds to a charity of Rickey's choice and look forward to being with him in Cooperstown on July 26th next summer."

In addition, the GBL will donate Rickey's final professional jersey and hat, now on display at the San Diego Museum of Sports History to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The Golden Baseball League already has a team in the Hall of Fame as the 2005 Japan Samurai Bears, the first professional Japanese team to play as a regular member of a U.S. professional sports league had a jersey and team ball requested by Hall of Fame President Dale Petrosky at the conclusion of the 2005 season (see attached photo of GBL minority owner Todd Anson presenting to Petrosky), but Rickey would be the first GBL player to be enshrined in Cooperstown.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Navigator returns Dec. 5

Hey Armada fans - 

Just a heads up, the newest edition of The Navigator, the Armada's own in-house newspaper, is scheduled to hit doorsteps near you December 5.  We'll have 15,000 copies inserted into the Beachcomber, and another 5,000 around town.  If you'd like to receive an online copy of The Navigator, email me, and I'll make sure you get one in your inbox.  

Happy Thanksgiving yall!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Arby I visits Our Lady of Refuge Harvest Festival

Pictures from Arby I's visit to the Our Lady of Refuge Harvest Festival on Saturday, November 15.

(jump to the videos)

Look it's Jay Leno!  Oh, never mind, it's the Long Beach State mascot...

Arby I. gets his groove on singing, or squawking kareoke with the OLOR principle...

The partying parrot mocks a kid on his cell phone...

The GBL's most musical mascot tests his skills with a game of guitar hero...

... and no one know how or when exactly Arby I. learned to play guitar hero, but he hung in there all right ...

I guess not everyone was thrilled to see the the Blair Field Birdy...

Danger.  Danger, Arby I.  Danger!  :-)

Arby I. writes up an arrest warrant for Sean and Josh.  Delinquents!

Arby I. and Sean Buller serve as judges for the Harvest Festival's chili cook off.  Mmm...

Arby I. takes a few martial arts lessons...

Video from the Harvest Festival

Arby I. tries his aim at the dunk tank ... that's why he's the mascot and not a pitcher.

Armada reliever and bullpen coach Sean Buller tests his aim at the dunk tank.

And a little kid tests his accuracy at the dunk tank. You know where this is going...


Sean and Josh end up in jail after Arby I. gets a warrant for their arrest

Arby I. even found a lady he liked ... turns out she was taken. Sorry, Arby I :-(

The bird gets caged when the kids decide to put Arby I. in jail.  Oh no!

What a great Saturday at Our Lady of Refuge's Harvest Festival.  Thanks for allowing Arby I. to spread his wings and visit with his buddy and Armada pitcher Sean Buller.  Look out for Arby I. and the whole Armada crew around Long Beach all off season.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Pettyjohn back to MLB

Former Long Beach Armada pitcher Adam Pettyjohn has been called up to the Cincinnati Reds. He is the first GBL alum to make an MLB roster since the league's inception in 2005.

Pettyjohn, who pitched for Long Beach in 2005 and the beginning of 2006, led the International League (AAA) with 15 wins for the Louisville Bats in 2008. Pettyjohn, 31, was one of seven Triple-A players to join the Reds since the Bats' season ended when the team was eliminated from the playoffs.

This is Pettyjohn's second stint in the big leagues. In 2001, he appeared in 16 games with the Detroit Tigers, going 1-6 in nine starts with a 5.82 ERA. The 6'3" lefty was drafted by the Tigers in the second round of the 1998 amateur draft.

In 2005, Pettyjohn went 10-2 with the Armada, posting a 3.92 ERA. That year, he struck out 73 batters while walking 23 in 110.1 innings pitched. He started the 2006 campaign with the Fleet, going 1-1 in two starts, before being picked up by Seattle.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Unfortunately the Fleet went down in 5 games to the rival Flyers this past weekend. We've had some great moments this season that we will probably never see again. We (Wes Komathy and J.R. Reed) would like to take this moment and say thanks. Thanks to all of those that came out to Blair Field to watch the Armada. Thanks to those that supported the players with the passing of the hat and the donation for those All-Stars back in July. Thanks to the players for never giving an inch by winning 15 of their last 18 games to clinch the last playoff spot. And most of all, thanks to the fans. The fans that emailed during the broadcast. The fans that would greet us before every game. The fans that provided a pre-game meal for the press box. We would like to thank everyone that helped with the broadcasts. From IBN sports to those keeping score, announcing at Blair Field and operating the scoreboard. We thank each and everyone of you. We've seen four straight walk off wins and met some great people in the process. Thanks for a great season.

Wes & J.R.

Monday, September 8, 2008

SHIPWRECKED! OC 12, LB 2; Flyers win series 3-2

FULLERTON, Calif. -- The Orange County Flyers jumped out to an early lead en route to a 12-2 victory over the Long Beach Armada in the deciding fifth game of the GBL South Division series. The Armada is eliminated from playoff contention after closing the season on a 15-4 streak to make the postseason.

Flyers shortstop Jermy Acey's first inning three-run home run, his third of the playoffs, putting Orange County up 3-1. OC scored four runs on four hits in the first inning against Armada starter Seth Etherton. Etherton (0-1) took the loss in only two innings pitched (4 ER, 4 H, 2 SO, 1 BB).

Orange County pushed this series to the limit after falling into a 1-2 series deficit against Long Beach. Consecutive wins on Saturday and Sunday at Goodwin Field gave the Flyers a 3-2 series win and sent OC to the second GBL Championship Series in franchise history. The then-Fullerton Flyer lost the 2006 championship series to the Reno Silversox.

The Long Beach offense had its foot stuck in a bucket the entire night against Flyers starter Bob Cramer, who earned the win to end the Armada's season. Cramer (1-0) pitched seven innings and gave up only one earned run on four hits while striking out five and walking four. Flyers relievers Andre Simpson and Dane De La Rose each pitched one scoreless inning of relief.

Omar Bramasco scored on a wild pitch in the top of the 1st inning, and Octavio Martinez drove in Ryan Lehr with a single in the fourth to account for both Armada runs.

Nick Bierbrodt pitched four innings of relief for Long Beach, giving up four runs (two earned) on three hits to go along with four strikeouts and four walks. After a scoreless inning of relief pitching by Sean Buller, Nick Cavanagh took the mound for the first time in the playoffs. Cavanagh had missed the majority of the playoff series to be with his wife for the birth of their first child. OC added four insurance runs against Cavanagh to pad their lead before De La Rose struck out the side in the top of the ninth to end the game.

In a close series that featured two extra-inning walk off home runs, the Orange County Flyer rode the momentum of Game 4 into Sunday's series finale. Long Beach hit only .200 in the playoffs, down from a .276 regular season average. The Armada struck out 62 times against the Flyers in the five-game series compared to 20 walks drawn.

For the third time in four seasons, Long Beach earned a post-season berth. In 2005 and 2007, the Fleet lost in the GBL Championship series.

The Orange County Flyers and Calgary Vipers begin their best-of-five GBL Championships Series on Tuesday at Foothills Stadium in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

LB 3, OC 4; series tied 2-2

Another crazy, exhausting game.  Looks like it's back to Goodwin tomorrow to settle this thing.  Here's the recap from the Armada team site:

Okano's walk-off HR gives OC the win in 13

LB 120 000 000 000 0 - 3 8 1
OC 100 001 010 000 1 - 4 13 1

FULLERTON, Calif. -- With a 2-1 series lead and an opportunity to clinch a berth in the GBL Championship Series, the Long Beach Armada could not drive in runs when it mattered most, losing to the Orange County Flyers, 4-3, in 13 innings at Goodwin Field on Saturday. With the best-of-five series tied, 2-2, the teams will play Sunday in Fullerton for a one-game showdown for a trip to the GBL Championship Series.

Flyers outfielder Mark Okano drove a 2-1 pitch off Garrett Murdy just over the outstretched arm of center fielder Steve Moss for a walk-off solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the 13th inning. As Okano and the Flyers celebrated the series-tying win, the Armada walked off the field having missed their opportunities.

The Fleet stranded 11 runners in the game and had the bases loaded with one out in both the 11th and 12th innings. Each time, Long Beach could not get a run across the plate.

Murdy pitched a near-spotless 3.2 innings, retiring 11 of the 12 batters he faced before Okano's ender. He is now 0-2 this postseason after allowing one run on two hits with three strikeouts on Saturday.

Long Beach jumped out to an early 3-1 lead thanks to Dan Trumble's two-run home run in the top of the 2nd inning. It was Trumble's first hit of the playoffs and the last time Long Beach would cross the plate. The Armada put up 11 scoreless innings as Orange County pieced together runs throughout the game.

Armada starter Dusty Gober did not earn a decision in a game consistent with all Long Beach starters this postseason. Gober struck out eight Flyers and issued no walks in six innings. He was tagged for two runs on seven hits.

Orange County did not wait to get on the scoreboard. After Long Beach took a 1-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning, Jermy Acey's solo home run in the bottom of the 1st tied the game, 1-1. The Flyers failed to score again until the 6th inning when Acey scored on a Gober wild pitch.

Flyers starter Mike Natale settled down after allowing three runs in the first two innings. He pitched seven innings, giving up three runs on six hits, striking out four and walking three. Andre Simpson pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning for OC, and Jason Norderum struck out three in the ninth.

After Flyers left fielder Jeff LaRue tied the game with a two-out RBI single of Wayne Foltin in the bottom of the 8th inning, Foltin and the strong-armed Julian Williams got the Armada out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the 9th. With one out and the bases loaded, Brian Rios (3-for-6) popped out to the right fielder Williams.

As Williams caught the ball, he stepped into a powerful throw to the plate. Travon Jackson tagged up on third base and bolted for home plate, but Williams' throw hit catcher Octavio Martinez perfectly, and Martinez blocked Jackson from ever touching the plate, sending the game into extra innings. It's the third time in a week that Williams has thrown out a potential game-tying or game-winning run against Orange County.

After Flyers closer Dane De La Rose struck out the side in the top of the 10th, Murdy came on to return the favor, retiring the Flyers 1-2-3. De La Rosa loaded the bases in the top of the 11th before the Flyers called on their Game 1 starter Jesse Smith. He recorded two quick outs to get OC out of a bases loaded jam. Smith (1-0) earned the win, giving up no runs and one hit with three strike outs and two walks (one intentional) in 2.2 innings pitched.

The Armada visit Goodwin Field for the final time in 2008 on Sunday. The South Division winner of the deciding Game 5 will travel to Calgary to face the Vipers on Tuesday in Game 1 of the GBL Championship Series. First pitch Sunday to determine the GBL South Division winner is 6:05pm.

Friday, September 5, 2008

LB 13, OC 4; LB leads series 2-1

Claypool grounds Flyers offense while Williams drives in 6

LB 130 006 300 - 13 10 0
OC 000 000 220 - 4 7 2

FULLERTON, Calif. – Julian Williams drove in six runs, three of them on his first home run of the season, as the Armada cruised to a 13-4 win at Goodwin Field on Friday night, taking a 2-1 series lead over the Flyers in the best-of-five division championship series.

Omar Bramasco’s solo home run in the top of the 1st inning kicked off an offensive display not seen by the Armada since mid-July. Williams crushed a three-run homerun off the scoreboard in left field to put Long Beach up 4-0 in the 2nd inning, giving starter Ryan Claypool plenty of slack to work with.

Claypool, however, would have been fine without it. Through the first six inning, the Armada starter shut out the Flyers, giving up only two hits and at one point retiring 10 straight batters. Claypool (1-0) finished the night giving up two runs on five hits, striking out four and walking one in seven innings pitched.

Despite Claypool getting the win, his OC counterpart Matt Durkin looked equally as sharp in a losing effort. Durkin (0-1) struck out eight batters through the first five innings before things began to rapidly unravel in the sixth.

Long Beach sent 10 batters to the plate in a six-run 6th inning that put the game out of reach. After Steve Moss led off the inning with a walk, Ryan Lehr reached on a fielder’s choice. Three straight singles by Norm Hutchins, Ryan Brown and Octavio Martinez put Long Beach on top 6-0. Cleatus Davidson followed a Dan Trumble walk with a two-RBI single to right field. Williams and Bramasco finished the inning with two more RBI hits to put the Armada ahead 10-0.

Williams added two more RBI in the 7th inning and reliever Garrett Murdy and Sean Buller each pitched an inning of relief.

The 13-run total was the highest for Long Beach since a 15-11 win over the Flyers at Goodwin Field on July 19.

The Armada and Flyers will play Game 4 of this best-of-five series at Goodwin Field Saturday night at 7:05pm. The winner of the South Division series will open the GBL Championship Series on the road in Calgary on Tuesday after the Vipers completed a sweep of the Edmonton Cracker Cats on Friday.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

LB 5, OC 4; series tied 1-1

LONG BEACH, Calif. – The Armada needed extra innings to get the job done Wednesday night. Norm Hutchins' walk off two-run inside-the-park homerun gave Long Beach the win, 5-4, over the Orange County Flyers in 11 innings at Blair Field. The South Division Championship Series will shift to Orange County this weekend tied, 1-1.

Only one night after Orange County struck late to steal a victory in Game 1, Long Beach returned the favor to even the series.

With the Armada trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the 11th inning, Hutchins drove the first pitch he saw into deep center field, scoring Steve Moss from third base. While playing the fly ball, Flyers centerfielder and MVP candidate Pat Breen ran head-first into the brick outfield wall, and the ball fell by his side. By the time right fielder Mark Okano could run to Breen and throw the ball to the cut-off man, Hutchins was well on his way toward home plate for his Armada record-extending 16th home run of 2008.

After a brief celebration at home plate, the emotion at Blair Field turned from jubilation to gloom with Breen still laying on the center field warning track. Trainers and paramedics helped him to his feet after a 15 minute period of silence and doubt. Breen left the field via ambulance and was taken to an area hospital. He did not lose consciousness but did have a cut over his left eye.

The sight of players from rival teams waiting together as paramedics tended to Breen seemed almost unreal when only an hour earlier the dugouts and bullpens cleared for a near-brawl in the 8th inning.

Orange County jumped out to a 3-0 lead, a small margin considering the 17 Flyers left on base in the game. OC held the Fleet scoreless until the bottom of the 6th. Armada third baseman Ryan Lehr smashed a 2-RBI triple to score Moss and Omar Bramasco, putting the Armada on the board, 2-3. Flyers starter Bob Cramer balked, scoring Lehr from third, tying the game, 3-3.

In the top of the 8th, sailor-turned-Flyer Jeff LaRue flew out to right field with Flyers shortstop Jermy Acey on third base. Armada right fielder Julian Williams made the catch and launched the ball toward catcher David Ramirez at home plate, who blocked the plate from Acey on a clean play that turned ugly. Benches and bullpens cleared after Ramirez tried to tap Acey with the ball after the collision at the plate. No punches were thrown and no players were ejected.

Hutchins (1-for-5, 2 RBI) and Lehr (2-for-5, 2 RBI) provided the offense while the Armada pitching staff held the prolific Flyers offense in check. Starter Rik Currier did not receive a decision after pitching five innings. He allowed 3 runs on 10 hits while striking out 5 and walking 4. After a scoreless inning of relief from Dusty Gober (2 SO, 1 BB), Nick Bierbrodt took the mound for the Fleet.

Bierbrodt, a former major leaguer, pitched the final five innings of the game to earn the win (1-0). He gave up one earned run on four hits and totaled 6 strikeouts and 2 walks. Flyers closer Dane De La Rosa (0-1) took the loss, pitching the bottom of the 11th for OC.

The Flyers host the Armada at Goodwin Field on Friday night in Game 3 of the best-of-five series to determine who will represent the South Division in the GBL Championship Series next week. Expected starters for the 7:05pm game are Orange County's Matt Durkin and Long Beach's Ryan Claypool.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Armada 5 Flyers 4

We saw an exciting game from start to finish that had the benches cleared, two plays at the plate and a win in extra innings! That win going in favor to the Long Beach Armada as they evened up this series with the OC Flyers at 1-1.

The Flyers struck first with 2B David Bacani scoring on a single from CF Patrick Breen in the first inning. Orange County would add one in the fourth and fifth thanks to Bacani and C Josh Arhart driving in a run each. The game would be tied at 3-3 after Long Beach scored three in the sixth and the Flyers would strike back in extra innings thanks to Arhart's sac fly RBI to right to score LF Jeff LaRue. The Flyers would finish with 15 hits, but left seventeen runners on base.

Flyers starter Bob Cramer pitched a no decision going 6 innings giving up 3 runs on 5 hits, walking 2 and striking out 8. Andre Simpson and Jason Norderum would combine to go 4 innings giving up no runs on 2 hits, walking 1 and striking out 5. Dane De La Rosa got the loss going 1/3 inning giving up 2 runs on 2 hits and striking out 1.

The Armada bats would tie the game at 3-3 in the sixth when 3B Ryan Lehr struck with a two RBI triple to score 2B/SS Omar Bramasco and CF Steve Moss. Lehr would then score on a balk by Flyers starter Bob Cramer with DH Norm Hutchins (pictured left) to bat. Armada starter Rik Currier pitched 5 innings of a no decision giving up 3 runs on 10 hits, walking 4 and striking out 5. Dusty Gober went 1 inning of relief giving up 1 hit, 1 walk and striking out 2. Nick Bierbrodt got the win pitching 5 innings giving up 1 run on 4 hits, walking 2 and striking out 6. Great performance by the pitching staff to keep them in the game.

Benches would clear when in the eighth inning, two on for Orange County LaRue hits a fly ball to right with one out. The ball is caught by RF Julian Williams (who gunned down Arhart at the plate to get Long Beach into the playoffs) who then follows through with a perfect throw to home where C David Ramirez catches it and blocks SS Jermy Acey from touching home with a collision. Both players are all right, but Ramirez jumps up and begins promptly show the ball to Acey. Acey doesn't take to kindly to that and the benches empty. No punches thrown, but tempers definitely high. It's the eighth game in a row counting the regular season these teams have played.

Bottom of the eleventh, the Flyers are up 4-3. De La Rosa comes on to close out the game. Moss starts the inning with a base hit to center. Moss would then steal second, but Arhart's throw sails into center giving Moss third base with no outs and Lehr batting. Lehr went down for the first out, but the DH Norm Hutchins stepped in and drove a ball to deep center that would easily score Moss and him as it went off the brick wall and back into center field giving Hutchins an inside the park two run HR to win Game 2 and even up the series at 1-1 going to Orange Coutny.

Unfortunately as the ball was hit to center, CF Patrick Breen in his attempt to catch the ball had also made contact with the brick wall. He was down on the warning track for about 10-15 minutes as trainers and players from both teams were out in center hoping and praying for Breen. He was helped up and standing before being put on a stretcher. He was taken to a local hospital for a concussion and a possible broken nose. We'll keep you up to date on his condition.

Long Beach and Orange County now head to Fullerton for Games 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary). Ryan Claypool will pitch in Game 3 for Long Beach and Matt Durkin for Orange County. Game time is at 7:05pm.

Photo by: Mark Mauno





4. 14 3B RYAN LEHR


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Armada 2 Flyers 4

It started out in the Armada's favor, but ended in favor of the Flyers. Orange County had no runs and only 3 hits through seven innings of work. Long Beach had a two run lead going into the eighth when the Flyers bats woke up taking the lead and holding Long Beach for a 4-2 win in Game 1 of this best of five Southern Division Championship Series.

Armada starter Seth Etherton pitched a gem. It's only his third start since Tommy John Surgery. He pitched 7 innings giving up no runs on 3 hits, walking 2 and striking out 12. A fantastic performance that was a no decision. Garrett Murdy (0-1) came in the eighth giving up 3 runs, 2 earned on 1 hit walking 1. Wayne Foltin pitched for Murdy to finish the eighth and ninth giving up 1 run on 3 hits, walking 3 and striking out 1.

The offense for the Armada came in the second when C Octavio Martinez (pictured left) drove in DH Norm Hutchins from second. In the same inning Martinez scored from third when 1B Brett Flowers was caught in a pickoff at second base. The lead would hold until the eighth when Orange County was awaken. Martinez went 1 for 4 as did Hutchins, CF Steve Moss and 3B Ryan Lehr. The last eleven Armada batters struck out to end the game.

The Flyers struck in the eighth to tie the game thanks to CF Patrick Breen's two RBI double. 3B Brian Rios would add another run with his base hit to right giving the Flyers a 3-2 lead. RF Mark Okano scored in the ninth after DH Nick Guerra grounded into a double play. Flyers starter Jesse Smith went 6 innings giving up 2 runs on 4 hits, walking 2 and striking out 8. Andre Simpson (1-0) got the win pitching the eighth and Dane De La Rosa got the save pitching the ninth. Simpson, Jason Norderum and De La Rosa each pitched one inning and each struck out the side.

Probable starters tomorrow for Orange County Bob Cramer and for Long Beach Rik Currier. Game time is 7:05pm.

Photo by: Mark Mauno


FLYERS 51-35


ARMADA 48-40

4. 14 3B RYAN LEHR

Sunday, August 31, 2008


The Armada advanced to the playoffs tonight with a BIG win at Orange County. Click to listen to the game-winning play at the plate as heard on the Armada broadcast with Josh Feldman & Dave Foley.  Also, you can hear the post-game interview with Armada catcher David Ramirez.  

Below is the game recap from the Armada website...

Play at the plate propels Armada to playoffs
Williams to Ramirez halts late OC comeback

LB     201  000  220 -- 7 9 1
OC    010  000  230 -- 6 11 4

FULLERTON, Calif. -- The Armada defeated the Orange County Flyers 7-6 at Goodwin Field on Saturday to clinch the GBL South 2nd Half Championship and a spot in the playoffs next week.

With two outs and runners on first and second in the bottom of the ninth, Flyers 2B David Bacani drove a 2-1 pitch from Armada closer Nick Cavanaugh into right field. Julian Williams fielded the ball and fired a bullet toward home plate where C David Ramirez tagged out Flyers C Josh Arhart to preserve the win.

Long Beach players mobbed Ramirez at home plate and Williams on his way in from right field. Williams and Ramirez - warm up partners before Armada games - combined to put the Fleet in the post-season for the third time in the organization's four-year history.

Armada SP Dusty Gober (5-8) earned the win, despite most of the drama taking place after he left the game. Gober kept the the Flyers offense at bay for 5.2 innings, giving up 1 run on 6 hits with 7 strike outs and 5 walks. Gober left the game with Long Beach leading 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth.

In the top of the seventh, DH Norm Hutchins' 2-RBI single to centerfield scored Williams and 2B Omar Bramasco to give Long Beach a 5-1 and a seemingly smooth path into the post-season. With the Armada up by four, news of the final score in Chico hit Goodwin Field - the Outlaws defeated St. George 5-0, meaning a Long Beach win would secure the post-season berth.

But in the bottom of the seventh, the Flyers struck back off of reliever Nick Beirbrodt. Orange County DH Terry Mermer crushed a 2-run home run (4) with two outs to bring the game to 5-3. The Armada responded in the top of the eighth. 1B Brett Flowers led off the inning with a double to right field, and LF Dan Trumble drew a walk to put two on with no outs. After a sac-fly by Ramirez, SS Cleatus Davidson - in just his second game back after a stint on the inactive list - knocked a 2-RBI double to score Flowers and Trumble and regain the 4-run lead, 7-3. The Armada need to hold the lead and record just six outs to advance to the post-season.

If only it were that easy.

Orange County - the first round opponent of Long Beach next week - continued its late-inning charge with Jeffrey Van Houton drawing a pinch-hit lead-off walk to start the bottom of the eighth. After Bierbrodt induced two pop ups to center field, Flyers SS Jermy Acey doubled to score Van Houton. One batter later, LF Jeff LaRue crushed a 2-run home run (14) to pull the Flyers within one run, 7-6.

Biedbrodt finished the night pitching 2.1 innings, giving up 5 runs on 4 hits, walking 2 and striking out 3.

Flyers closer Dane De La Rose allowed the Armada to post runners on the corners before PH Ryan Brown popped up to end the top of the ninth.

Cavanaugh walked Arhart to start the bottom of the ninth, and PH Gabriel Mayorga sacrificed Arhart to second base. Then Flyers manager Gary Carter went to his bench and sent GBL home run king Pat Breen to the plate, sending the crowd at Goodwin Field into a frenzy. Breen, who has been sidelined with a leg injury for a week, drew an intentional walk from Cavanaugh, putting the go-ahead run on first base before Bacani's single to right field and the dramatic play at the plate.

Flyers SP Charles Merricks (6-5) took the loss, pitching 6.1 innings, giving up 5 runs (2 earned) while walking six and striking out three.

Long Beach and Orange County wrap up the regular season at Blair Field on Sunday in a game between two teams that could play each other up to 11 times between August 26 and September 7. First pitch Sunday is 5:05pm.

Playoff Schedule
9/2 - Game 1 - OC @ LB 7:05pm
9/3 - Game 2 - OC @ LB 7:05pm
9/5 - Game 3 - LB @ OC 7:05pm
9/6 - Game 4* - LB @ OC 7:05pm
9/7 - Game 5* - LB @ OC 7:05pm
*if necessary

Friday, August 29, 2008

Armada 6 Flyers 3

The Armada continued their winning ways against the Flyers towards the end of the regular season with two to go. The Flyers jumped out to a three run lead in the second only to see it run away with timely hitting and baserunning in the third. The Fleet came out on top with a 6-3 victory over the hated Flyers. Manager Steve Yeager (pictured left) has the Armada playing at a high level.

Armada starter Rik Currier (8-5) pitched another great game at Blair Field extending his record to 8-0 at the home ballpark. Currier went 6 innings giving up 3 runs on 4 hits, walking 1 and striking out 3. After the three runs in the second, Currier shut down the Flyers giving up only two hits to finish his start. Garrett Murdy pitched the seventh and eighth walking 2 and striking out 1. Wayne Foltin pitched a scoreless ninth getting his seventh save on 1 hit and 1 walk.

The Armada offense got on board in a hurry down by three in the third when 1B Ryan Brown getting on base with a single, then moving into scoring position on a wild pitch. That set up LF Dan Trumble for the base hit RBI scoring Brown. Trumble moved all the way to third on a throwing error from C Nick Guerra. SS Cleatus Davidson fresh off the inactive list drove in Trumble on a base hit. 2B Omar Bramasco walked and would later pull off a double steal with Davidson to move into scoring position. CF Steve Moss struck after the double steal to double in both Davidson and Bramasco. All of sudden the Armada are ahead by one 4-3. DH Norm Hutchins would add another run by driving in Moss on a base hit. Runs scored in bunches in the third. C Octavio Martinez would sac fly in Bramasco in the eighth to give the Fleet a three run cushion for Foltin to get the save.

Flyers starter Matt Durkin (3-3) got the loss going 6 innings giving up 5 runs, 4 earned on 5 hits, walking 3 and striking out 7. Andre Simpson pitched the last two innings giving up 1 run on 1 hit, walking 2 and striking out 1. The only runs for the Flyers came in the second when 1B Fernando Pacheco hit a 3 run HR to deep right giving them a early three run lead. Pacheco finished 2 for 3 with 3 RBI and a run scored.

Two games left on the season. Saturday in Orange County at 7:05pm and Sunday in Long Beach at 5:05pm on the Long Beach Armada radio network.

Photo by: Mark Mauno

Uncle David & little Cleabo

Cleatus Davidson's Uncle David & their 9 week old puppy Cleabo. Both are regular listeners to the Armada broadcasts..


FLYERS 22-18

32 P MATT DURKIN (3-2)

ARMADA 24-17

4. 14 3B RYAN LEHR
12 P RIK CURRIER (7-5)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

LB splits double header with OC

Game 1
Long Beach - 2

LB 000 002 0 - 2 7 1
OC 000 102 0 - 3 11 1

FULLERTON, Calif. -- In a battle of third basemen, Long Beach's Ryan Lehr two RBI fell short to his Orange County counterpart Nick Guerra, who drove in three to give the Flyers a 3-2 win at Goodwin Field in the first game of Thursday's doubleheader.

Lehr's 3-for-3 performance amounted to the lone Armada offensive highlight in a game dominated by pitching. Long Beach (23-17) battled Orange County starter Mike Natale for six innings. Natale (4-1) earned the win, giving up 2 runs on 7 hits while striking out four and walking two in 6 IP. Armada starter Ryan Claypool (7-8) took the loss for Long Beach, going 5 innings, giving up 3 runs on 10 hits and one strike out.

Both Claypool and Natale kept the bats in check early the game. The Flyers broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth inning when Guerra singled to score DH Brian Rios.

The Armada failed to score until the top of the sixth inning when Lehr hit a ball over the center fielder for a two-RBI double, scoring RF Julian Williams and SS Omar Bramasco. Orange County (21-17) responded with Guerra's two-RBI single in the bottom of the sixth.

Dane De La Rose came in to earn the save for the Flyers, his 14th save of the season.

Game 2
Orange County - 1

LB 000 003 0 - 3 5 1
OC 000 010 0 - 1 6 1

FULLERTON, Calif. -- Armada starter Seth Etherton stuck out 11, and LF Dan Trumble blasted a 3-run home run in the top of the 6th to give the Armada a 3-1 comeback victory over Orange County at Goodwin Field in the second game of Thursday's doubleheader.

Etherton (1-0) earned the win in his first decision as a member of the Fleet. The former major league pitcher gave up 1 run on 3 hits, striking out 11 Flyers without giving up a walk in the 5.1 innings he pitched.

Etherton retired the first eight Flyers hitters he faced before a double by Flyers 3B Gabe Mayorga broke up the no hitter in the bottom of the 3rd inning.

Offensively Long Beach struggled to drive in runners. The Armada squandered chances in the first, second and fourth innings to score a runner on third base.

Flyers RF Mark Okano singled to score C Nick Guerra in the bottom of the 5th to give OC a 1-0 lead, a lead the Flyers would hold for only a half inning.

Armada 3B Ryan Lehr reached base (HBP) to lead off the top of the 6th, and DH Norm Hutchins laid down a bunt to sacrifice Lehr to second. After 1B Brett Flowers drew a walk from Flyers SP Jesse Smith, Trumble crushed a 1-1 pitch to left-center for a 3-run home run (10), giving the Armada a 3-1 lead.

Smith (6-2) left the game after giving up the three-run bomb, finishing the night giving up 3 runs on 4 hits, striking out 3 and walking 3 through 5.1 innings.

Sean Buller came in to relieve Etherton, facing two batters in the bottom of the 6th before Nick Cavanagh came in to shut down the OC offense. Cavanagh pitched 1.2 innings to earn the save (14).

After dropping the first game of the day, the Armada needed a win to keep pace with the St. George Roadrunners (24-17), who completed a four-game sweep in Reno of the Silversox on Thursday.

Long Beach (24-17) and St. George now have identical records atop of the GBL South. Each team has three games remaining in 2008 - St. George plays a three game series in Chico, while the Armada finish with two games and Blair Field and one more at Goodwin Field against Orange County.

Friday's Armada game against the Flyers starts at 6:35pm at Blair Field. After the game, the Armada will host its final fireworks show of 2008 presented by DeVry University.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Armada 5 Flyers 1

The magic number for the Armada is five now. With a one game lead over St. George, a game and a half over Orange County and three and a half over Yuma the Fleet control their destiny for a postseason berth. They scored first and would only let the Flyers come within one to finish them off 5-1 with five games left all against the OC Flyers.

Armada starter Andrew Layfield (2-4) pitched a great game going 5 innings giving up 1 run on 5 hits and walking 1. Dusty Gober pitched two innings in relief giving up 2 hits and striking out 2. Nick Cavanagh pitched the eighth and ninth innings giving up 2 hits, walking 1 and striking out 2. Pitching and defense have been the key all year long for the Armada, as well as timely hitting like we saw today.

CF Steve Moss (pictured left) drove in RF Julian Williams in the first on a ground out to second. 1B Brett Flowers would drive in Moss on a base hit to right in the fourth extending the lead 2-0. With the Fleet up 2-1 going into the seventh, Long Beach could use some insurance runs against the Flyers. Moss would come to the plate with two runners on and drive a ball into left field for a 2 run single, but advanced to second on 1B Fernando Pacheco's fielding error. Two outs and 3B Ryan Lehr stepped in and promptly drove a ball into right to drive in Moss for a 5-1 lead and later the win.

Flyers starter Bob Cramer (7-4) went 7 innings giving up 5 runs, 4 earned on 10 hits, walking 2 and striking out 7. Andre Simpson pitched the eighth giving up 1 hit and striking out 1. The only run for the Flyers came in the fifth down 2-0, with CF Travon Jackson driving a ball into right to score C Josh Arhart from third. The Flyers had nine hits, but left eight on base.

Probable starters Thursday for Long Beach Game 1 & 2 TBA and for Orange County TBA. Game time is 5:05pm for Game 1.

Photo by: Mark Mauno


FLYERS 49-31 (21-16)

2 P BOB CRAMER (7-3)

ARMADA 44-38 (22-16)

4. 14 3B RYAN LEHR

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Armada sweep double header, takes 1st place

Game 1
Long Beach - 3
Yuma - 2

Starting pitcher Garrett Murdy kept the Scorpions offense in check, and CF Steve Moss blasted two-run homer to give the Armada a 3-2 win in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader in Yuma, Arizona.

Murdy (3-0) got the win in only his second start of the season. He struck out six Scorpions, walked one while giving up four hits and two runs (both earned).

The Armada (21-16) struck first when 3B Ryan Lehr's RBI double scored Julian Williams for a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. The Scorpions bounced back in the bottom of the second, when AJ Valentine's solo home run tied the game, 1-1. After the blast, Murdy continued to shut down the Scorpions lineup until the bottom of the fifth, when Yuma DH jose Rodriguez knocked a solo home run to give Yuma a 2-1 lead.

Enter Steve Moss. The Armada center fielder two-run blast in the top of the sixth gave Long Beach the deciding runs. Wayne Foltin finished the game, pitching the seventh inning and earning his fifth save of the season.

Game 2
Long Beach - 5
Yuma - 4

After a late-inning comeback in the first game of the doubleheader, the Armada needed extra innings to sweep the day and defeat Yuma, 5-4, taking sole possession of first-place in the GBL South.

Trailing 4-2 in the sixth inning, Armada DH Norm Hutchins and C David Ramirez singled to get on the bases before LF Dan Trumble’s 2-RBI double tied the game, 4-4. Trumble was thrown out trying to stretch his extra-base hit into a triple, and manager Steve Yeager was ejected for arguing the call.

In the eighth inning, Hutchins tripled to set himself up to score the winning run. Three batters later, Trumble again delivered, blooping a ball into right field to score Hutchins and give the Fleet a 5-4 lead.

Nick Bierbrodt (5-5) earned the win, going six innings, striking out five and walking six while giving up two runs (both earned) on two hits. Bierbrodt came into the game in the second inning to relieve SP Steve Smyth, who went 1+ inning and gave up two runs, striking out one batter and walking four. Wayne Foltin shut down the Scorpions in the eighth inning to earn the save (6), his second of the night. Foltin has yet to give up an earned run in 11.2 IP with the Armada.

Armada 3B Ryan Lehr put Long Beach (22-16) ahead first with a two-run home run (11) in the top of the first. The Scorpions evened things up in the bottom of the frame when Yuma RF Maikel Jova singled to score 3B Dionys Cesar and 1B AJ Valentine’s sac fly brought in DH Henry Calderon.

Scorpions C Jose Rodriguez two-RBI single gave Yuma a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the 3rd inning. The pressure continued to mount as the Armada failed to score again until the sixth inning.

For the second straight night, Edmonton defeated Orange County (20-16) and Chico knocked off St. George (20-17), giving the Armada a one-game lead over the rival Flyers, their next opponent.

The Armada and Flyers start a six-game home-and-home series on Tuesday, August 26 at Blair Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.

GBL South Standings
Long Beach 22-16
Orange County 20-16
St. George 20-17
Yuma 19-18

Doubleheaders & pitching

With the Armada playing their fifth doubleheader of the season, I got thinking about how playing in an abundance of doubleheaders might either help or hurt a team.

Before we get started, let's just look at the number of double-headers each GBL team has played or will play this season....
RENO - 8
YUMA - 3

Calgary and Orange County are far ahead of the rest of the GBL teams in the number of doubleheaders they'll play in 2008. Most of the the Vipers doubleheaders are the results of rain outs (they've had seven rainouts this season). OC opted for a doubleheader-heavy schedule, and the league approved the move.

Now here's where things get interesting. In the GBL, and really most if not all of minor league baseball, the games of doubleheaders are 7-inning affairs. Rather than playing nine innings one day and nine inning the next, the teams play 14 innings in one day and save themselves four innings of work.

For example, Long Beach has six doubleheaders this season, so instead of playing 792 innings (88 games x 9 innings; not accounting for extra-inning games at this point), they will play 24 less innings of play (6 doubleheaders x 4 innings less per). Now for a team like Orange County, which plays 15 doubleheaders this season, they will save themselves about 60 innings of work.

I think the most evident area where an advantage can be determined is in pitching. For example, the Armada rotation has pitched 684 innings (LB has played a few extra-innings games too). Yuma's rotation has pitched 679 innings. Calgary's rotation: 651 innings. Orange County: 641 innings.

As the playoff race comes down to the wire and the GBL rosters set, there is s distinct advantage for a team that plays 43 less innings (essentially five less games) than some of the other teams in the league. The biggest problem I see: if a team that has a weaker bullpen (*cough* OC *cough*) doesn't have to use that bullpen because starters only need to go 6-7 innings, then that weakness is eliminated. More so than protecting a bullpen which might need protecting, when a long-reliever is needed, everyone is available because very few if any relievers are needed for these 7-inning contests.

In 2008, the OC pitching staff has made 203 game appearances (79 of those being starts). Subtract those starts, as everyone always uses a starting pitching, and you get 124 relief pitching appearances by the OC staff.

In contrast, the Yuma Scorpions - who have played and will play the least number of doubleheaders of all the GBL teams - have had pitchers appear in a combined 269 games. Subtract 79 starts, and you get 190 relief pitching appearances for the Scorps. Somewhere in the middle is Long Beach, which has used 249 pitchers, subtract 80 starts, so 169 extra pitchers.

Orange County has used 66 less pitchers than Yuma this season, and that discrepancy will only get bigger as the season wraps up. And I though Long Beach would have a big disadvantage to OC with the 45 extra pitchers LB has used, and the Armada has used 21 less than their opponents this weekend.

So what does all this actually mean?

It means that with a tight playoff race (all the teams in the GBL South Division are within a game of each other today), each teams margin of error is slim-to-nonexistent. Last night, some Armada players were frustrated when they learned that both Edmonton and Chico upset OC and STG, giving the Armada the chance to take over first place. Instead, Long Beach in actuality lucked out. If the Fleet was going to lose last night, then they better do it on a night when both the Roadrunners and Flyers fall too.

Each team has roughly 8-10 games left in the 2008 regular season, with the playoffs starting in September. If one team has a fresher pitching staff, something tells me that might be more helpful than a team that is constantly throwing relievers onto the field like a fisherman shoveling water out of a dingy with a pail.

Friday, August 22, 2008

LB 3, YUM 8: Armada misses out on 1st

The Armada got the help they needed from Edmonton and Chico to jump into first place in the division. The Yuma Scorpions had other ideas. Yuma chipped away at Armada starter Dusty Gober for a 3-8 Armada loss at Desert Sun Stadium on Friday night.

The Yuma Scorpions (19-16) used a two-run first inning to take a lead they would not relinquish, spoiling an opportunity for the Armada to take over first place in the GBL South Division. While the Edmonton Cracker Cats defeated Orange County 12-4 and the Chico Outlaws clobbered St. George 17-8, Long Beach (20-16) could not capitalize to move into first. The Armada did not score a run until the sixth inning when 3B Ryan Lehr drove in SS Omar Bramasco to make it a 5-1 game.

Gober (4-8) took the loss for Long Beach, going eight innings, giving up eight runs on 12 hits while striking out eight Scorpions while giving up no walks. Armada C Octavio Martinez scored the Fleet’s other two runs in the seventh and ninth innings, but by that time the Scorpions had a big enough cushion to hold on for the win.

Yuma SP Jorge Perez (8-3) continued to show why he leads the GBL in strikeouts, as he fanned nine and walked only two in seven innings of work. Perez gave up five hits before leaving the game.

Yuma LF Rich Janeway led the way for the Scorpions, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored.

The Armada looks to bounce back tomorrow in a doubleheader starting at 6pm. Hear all the action at live from Yuma starting at 5:50pm.

GBL South Standings
Orange County 20-15
Long Beach 20-16
St. George 20-16
Yuma 19-16

102F at 6pm

The Armada just finished taking BP here on the surface of the sun, er-- Yuma.  It's 102*F under clear skies.  The overnight low should be 82*F, so both teams better do an excellent job of hydrating or else the later innings could showcase some heavy legs and tired arms.

Pennant Race Underway

With one week to go in the 2008 regular season, the Armada finds itself a half-game out of first place with a chance to make the post-season for the third time in four years.  The first-half champion Orange County Flyers are 20-14 with Long Beach and St. George right behind tied at 20-15.  Long Beach, 9-1 in its last 10 games, took advantage of a recent home stand by using Calgary, Edmonton and Chico as steps on a staircase toward the top of the GBL South Division.

Tonight the Armada starts a three-game series against the Yuma Scorpions (18-16).  Winning the series could be the boost to put Long Beach into the post season.  The Fleet will wrap up the regular season with a big six-game home-and-home series against the rival Flyers next week (Aug 26-31).

GBL South Standings
OC      20-14
LB       20-15
STG    20-15
YUM   18-16

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Armada 4 Outlaws 3

A close game that lasted til the eleventh inning. Long Beach was up by two, then Chico came back to tie it up in the eighth. We would go into extras til the eleventh when a run was scored thanks to two errors by Chico for the 4-3 win. With Chico swept out of Long Beach, they are still one game back of Orange County and still tied with St. George with their sweep of Yuma leaving them two games back of the Flyers.

Armada starter Seth Etherton started the game, his first appearance since Tommy John surgery last year. Etherton pitched 4 innings giving up 1 run on 2 hits, walking 1 and striking out 5. Nick Bierbrodt pitched 3 innings of relief giving up no hits, walking 1 and striking out 1. Sean Buller pitched the eighth giving up 2 runs on 3 hits and striking out 1. Nick Cavanagh (4-1) pitched 3 innings, his longest outing of the year giving up 2 hits and striking out 2 for the win.

The Armada tied it up at one in third thanks to SS Omar Bramasco driving in 2B Michael Glomb (pictured left) on a base hit. Bramasco would drive Glomb in again in the fifth, this time on a triple to right. With Long Beach up 2-1 in the sixth, 1B Ryan Brown got a single to left to score DH Norm Hutchins giving them a two run cushion. The scoring would halt with Long Beach leaving fifteen runners on base for the game until the eleventh when RF Julian Williams reached base on a error by 3B Bryan Silverman. Williams would reach third on the error and no outs. Bramasco and CF Steve Moss would be intentionally walked to load the bases for 3B Ryan Lehr to set up the double play. Lehr hit a ground ball that was fielded cleanly by SS Jesse Kovacs, but out of the glove of C Matt Ceriani easily scoring Williams from third. Game over.

Chico starter Scott Navarro went 6 innings getting the no decision giving up 3 runs, 2 earned on 9 hits and striking out 4. Todd Gelatka (3-4) went 1 inning getting the loss. One unearned run on 1 hit, walking 2 and striking out 1. Chico scored a run in the third on C David Ramirez's throwing error to second scoring SS Eric Pringle from third. Two more scored in the eighth on a sac fly RBI by 1B Tony Torcato and a RBI double by RF Casey Garrison.

Long Beach heads to Yuma for an important three game series Friday and Saturday. Friday's game starts at 7:05 and Saturday is a double header starting at 5:05. The Fleet will finish off the season back in Long Beach and Orange County next week.

Photo by: Mark Mauno