Back-to-Back Jaxx

The Jaxx made a good start to the Southern League playoffs last night, winning the opening game of the series 3-0 (recap, boxscore, play-by-play) on the back of Renyel Pinto's fine pitching and multi-hit games from Eric Patterson, Casey McGehee, Brandon Sing and Jose Reyes, who is not the Mets' shortstop. Last season Renyel Pinto won the Southern League Pitcher of the Year title, but this year it was not to be. Why's that? Because, keeping it in the family, it was tonight's Jaxx starter, Ricky Nolasco, that took home the prize, leaving poor Pinto this year had to settle just for being named the best left-hander in the league. Yes, indeed, it would seem that the Jaxx have orchestrated something of a monopoly over the pitching prizes. Tonight the team's line up thus...
Ricky Nolasco, RHP
14-3, 2.89 ERA
173/46 K/BB, 13 HR in 161.2 IP
Nick Ungs, RHP
7-5, 3.68 ERA
79/34 K/BB, 8 HR in 120.0 IP
2B *Frank Moore 2B *Eric Patterson
LF James Shanks SS Ryan Theriot
RF Juan Carlos Muniz 3B Casey McGehee
C Jason Hill 1B #Matt Craig
CF Reggie Abercrombie LF Brandon Sing
1B Angel Molina CF *Buck Coats
3B #Drew Niles RF *Adam Greenberg
SS Rex Rundgren C #Jose Reyes
P Nick Ungs P Ricky Nolasco
What a year Ricky Nolasco has enjoyed...
His 14 victories set a new Jaxx record and were good enough to tie him for first in the league (with Sean Tracey of the White Sox), and though he fell just 6 strikeouts short of breaking the franchise record that Pinto set last year, he led the league in that category too. He finished third in the league in ERA, though the two ahead of him (one of them Pinto) pitched significantly less innings. It is worth bearing in mind though that though Nolasco is just 22, he was repeating the league after a 2004 stint at Iowa went quite horribly wrong (let's just say he allowed 68 hits in 40.2 innings). Like Pinto, he found the transition from the pitcher friendly Southern League to the much more hitter orientated Pacific Coast League very difficult. And, like Pinto, it's a hurdle that he's almost certainly going to have to navigate before he makes the big leagues. A sinkerballer, and therefore often talked about in the same breath as Sergio Mitre, the comparison perhaps doesn't quite ring true. Nolasco's low-90s sinker induces a lot of groundballs, but it's not as good a pitch as Mitre's. Nolasco though definately showcases the better off-speed stuff, with a good curveball and changeup. Mitre's breaking pitches on the other hand are much more fringy, though that sinker, when it's on, is remarkable. Opposing Nolasco tonight is Nick Ungs, who earlier this year threw a no-hitter against the Jaxx. The Mudcats actually bested the Jaxx 9-7 in the regular season, though that was largely because they went 8-2 at home. If the Jaxx have their way, the Mudcats won't be able to take the series back to Carolina. Somewhat ironically, both teams are playing this series without their most talented player. While the Jaxx have lost outfielder Felix Pie to injury (for half the season no less), the Mudcats last week were robbed of their stud prospect outfielder by the Florida Marlins. Jeremy Hermida only went on to become just the second player in history to hit a grand slam in his first Major League plate appearance. The rest of the series looks like this... Game 3, Friday, 5.05pm CDT, Carolina Mudcats @ West Tenn Diamond Jaxx Game 4, Sunday, 2.00pm EDT, West Tenn Diamond Jaxx @ Carolina Mudcats Game 5, Monday, 7.15pm EDT, West Tenn Diamond Jaxx @ Carolina Mudcats Games 4 and 5 will only be played if necessary. The series winner will then play either the Birmingham Barons (CWS) or the Jacksonville Suns (LAD) for the Southern League title in a five game series starting a week today. Go to the games if you can, or listen via the Radio (Dixie 1310 AM WDXI, and there's an online feed at And go Jaxx!


Eric Pat doubles to lead off the bottom of the first.

Nolasco walked one, but didn't give up any runs in the top of the inning.

I love this broadcaster...strikeouts on curveballs are uncle charley's, double plays are ham and eggers.

bottom 3, no score.

John Hill,

I saw this article at and thought of you.

Also your too tough on Nolasco. Yes he was horrible at AAA last year but 21 is also pretty young for AAA. I mean how many guys other than Felix Hernadez (before his call-up) are at AAA before their 22nd birthday? Also his K rate is better than Mitre's at AA. High GB and K rate make him the perfect money ball pitcher. If his AAA problems were because of age and he can get psat that he will be a solid 2 or 3 pitcher in the show.

I heard the ham and eggers last night for the first time, never heard a DP described like that. Amusing..

Actually, Nolasco had a 147:146 GB:FB ratio this season.

where did you get those #'s on nolasco, ienpw?

1-0 Jaxx...WOO!!! 4th inning

RBI Fielder Choice for Brandon Sing, McGehee scored.

I counted them up using the box scores when I was figuring out his DIPS. Sadly, I forgot to count up HBP which was needed in the formula and haven't gone back to count that up. He's the only one I've looked at.

the ever-elusive search for splits on minor leaguers continue..

thanks anyway ienpw


Thanks for the info. I assumed from his stuff that he would have had a 3 to 1 rate GBtoFB. I wish they would post stats like that on the team's web site or

what is the Groundball/Flyball ratio ranges that we should consider good, versus outstanding, versus Hall of Fame?

I don't know if it's that simple, cubster.

Currently Brandon Webb leads all of baseball with a 4.33 G/F ratio but no one would even consider him an All-Star.

Top 10:
1. Webb 4.33
2. Westbrook 3.32
3. Lowe 3.01
4. Mulder 2.75
5. Hudson 2.68
6. Burnett 2.68
7. Halladay 2.60
8. Wright 2.01
9. Carpenter 1.99
10. Maddux 1.86

It's not really a who's who, you know?

For comparision some of the worse:
1. John Patterson 0.61 (RFK must be heaven for pitchers)
2. Elarton 0.65
3. Milton 0.67
4. C. Young 0.69
5. C. Lee 0.75
6. Pedro 0.82
7. Arroyo 0.83
8. Wakefield 0.85
9. R. Hernandez 0.87
10. B. Sheets 0.87

Your actually more likely to give up a hit on a groundball than a flyball, although the likelihood to score a run is reduced.

For one you don't have to have a good GB:FB to go to the Hall. Randy Johnson's career is 1.20. Prior's

chad billingsley is throwing a no-no for the dodgers affiliate in the other southern league playoff game right now...Through 6 I believe...

and I have no problem ruining it by mentioning it..

Wow, my post was cutoff. Prior's career is

I guess I can't use a carrot for less than. His career GB:FB is less than 1.

Adam uses his speed to lead off the 5th with a bunt single. Too bad the next batter hit into a double play.

At least Corey's brother was watching from the bench to see how it's done. We don't expect dusty to be teaching that tricky stuff up north.


Did I just hear that right? Ryan Theriot was named the Jaxx MVP for the season? Not Brandon Sing?

Thanks for the GB:FB commentary. I understand that a high ratio means nothing except you probably don't want a low ratio in a small HR friendly ballpark. I just wasn't sure what the range was to sort out whether 1:1 was considered a GB pitcher or a FB pitcher. It seems that under 1.0 is a FB pitcher over 2.0 is a GB pitcher and 1-2 is a middler.

Some extrapolations might be interesting, like seeing if the high ratio pitchers also are the ones leading the league in getting double plays (seems intuitive unless the infield defense sucks).

The Billingsley no-no is going into the 8th

Personally, I'd say anything over 1.50 is a GB pitcher. I consider Zambrano a GB pitcher even though he's been at 1.6 the last 2 seasons.

Haha. Billingsley was taken out but the no-no is through 8.

They got it. Combined no-no.

Nolasco gets out of a jam in the 8th. Still a shutout.

2 punchouts and the inning ends on a flyball.

1-0 now bottom 8th.

11 K's for Nolasco so far through 8. First 2 batters got on in the eight, Nolasco struck out the next two and got the last batter to pop up.

1-0 through 7 1/2 innings. GO jaxx!!

Nolasco 116 pitches thru 8 innings.

This kid is gonna fit right in.

Shipman in for the save

Isn't Aardsma pitching in late innings too?

shipman has been their closer since talley haines got promoted to AAA, so far the jaxx seem to like to go searles then shipman, hmmm??

It's certainly ironic that Nolasco had a 10:3 K:BB today after I said he was nuetral in it. Oh well. One thing I noticed as that for the most part he gave up more GBs than FBs consistenly. Like 9 GBs and 5 FBs. Then every 4th or so start he'd have a game where he would give up 12 FB and just 2 GB. There could be several explanations. And also, those starts unsurprisingly correlated with some of his worst starts.

The 9th sounded very Cub familiar:

Groundball out.
One out double off the wall.
Close groundout with a big argument (blown call by ump based on the play by play description). Eric Pat 1-4-3. 2 outs.
Single to center ties the game (Dennis Anderson on a 3-2 pitch).
Blown save-Andy Shipman.
Fielders choice end the inning.

bottom 9, 1-1

ah, reminds me of the days of LaTroy 9th innings.
and Cubs vs. Giants...can this be baseball symmetry?

Only if Aardsma was in to close.

Chris Resop pitching (southern league leading closer)

bottom 9th:

Leadoff Strikeout Eric Pat.
Ryan Theriot-Triple, high off the OF wall.
Casey McGehee-intentional walk.
Aaron Sisk ph for Shipman-intentional walk #2.
Brandon Sing up one out...infield in. Strikes out on high fastball, 2-2 count.
Buck Coates-infield single!!!

Jaxx Win!!! Jaxx Win!!

this was fun stuff. Aardsma was in the bullpen for the 10th.

Their going BONKERS in Pringles Park.

They are going BONKERS...


The real Cubs that is...

Manny.,.....get a

Thanks for your concern. I knew I came to TCR for some reason. it is al the thoughtful posters who come here more to go after other posters than to actually talk about teh Cubs. Thanks!!

Only you Manny..only you....I thought you came for the witty banter and my rapier-like wit?

Manny, don't go holier than thou on have done your fair share of poster-bashing in the past. Not as much as some, but still...


Adam Dunn.

adam dunn > adam dunn

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • ...I want to reinforce the observation that there was no sea of red in the crowd. The usual Cardinal fans roaming the stadium were few and far between.

    Also, almost every 2 strike pitch brought the fans to their feet. Good for those in knee rehab.

  • "1st team hit hit 6HR in a game in the postseason." rises above obvious...i checked it with the official fact-finding commission of Douche, Douche, and Douchestein. they agreed with you, but they're a bunch of f'n douches so who cares?

    btw, the cubs are 2-1 in the post-season series.

  • I should be able to watch the game on the NFL replay app, whatever that thing is called. I've got it on my iPad. This is the first year I haven't forced myself to somehow watch every game - no I take that back, last year was - in quite some time. Last year was so unbearable, no pun intended.

    You make some good points about Cutler, and I was a holdout defender of Cutler for a long time. I gave up on him a bit after one too many dumb interceptions, but last year doesn't count. Trestman was the worst coach in Bears history.

  • Nice little reportage there!. I think you're older than me. Considerably older. Maybe several generations. Working out is so essential, especially as age kicks in, isn't it? I still lift weights, and so I'm confident that when I get to be at the hip breaking age, mine won't be a statistic. But I have a ways to go for that to be a concern.

  • What was impressive to me is that the Cubs won despite poor base running, several defensive miscues, Russell leaving due to injury, Arrieta having an off game and getting knocked out early, and Rondon giving up 2 runs in the 9th. If they can win a game like that... 

  • I was there too. The crowd was absolutely electric. People were standing for every big and semi-big moment, from the first inning on. It felt incredibly strange and exhilarating to see the Cubs (the Chicago bleepin' Cubs!) score playoff insurance runs on the Cardinals. What a game. One to remember.

  • 14 in attendance. What's the record for attendance in the fall? I guess I should ask what the record attendance listed is in one of your recaps.

  • I was there too, with my grown son. This is my miracle year-- I rose to the top of the season ticket list after eight years, completely unexpectedly, and my wonderful wife agreed to put the ticket fee on the emergency credit card. The whole point of course was that the Cubs were going to be good this year, and then for a while, so to get season tickets with the guaranteed shot at the postseason was incredible timing. We got to the remote lot at 4:10 after stopping at Nhu Lan for our usual banh mi sandwiches, only to find the lot full, way earlier than normal.

  • Wrigley was electric tonite
    Not many card fans
    Video board was great, they played "there goes my hero" by foos over ryno highlights before he came out. Spectacular

    Good times hopefully they win tomorrow but think Lester will beat poopy pants on Wednesday.

    Happy 4th anniversary of Theo's signing

    Go Cubs !

  • Yeah. "Goodbye!" is a lame HR call.

    I miss Len and JD -- although, driving home from a friend's, WBBM played all 6 HR calls in a row -- and Len got to call the Bryant/Rizzo back-to-back. Very fun.

  • Lackey has been a beast against us. His stats on 3 days rest, however, not as nice. There is plenty of hope.

  • And, no dreadlocks grown yet.

  • Captain Obvious Strikes Again!!!

  • Amen, brother.

  • In the wild card game he mentioned that aram started with the Pirates, then played for the Brewers, and now he's back with the Pirates. Uhhhh, missed a step there, guy.

  • i like ron darling the person, the interview, and the studio desk guy...but him calling a game can lead to some really stupid stuff coming out of his mouth.