Clip Files for August

Applegate’s Jekyll and Hyde season continued in August. A month after going 5-15, Applegate regrouped for a 15-5 month to thrust itself back into contention for the West Division crown with 40 games to play, sitting two games behind front-runner Boulder. …

Hendricks

Kyle Hendricks took a no-hitter into the ninth against New New York, surrendering a one-out double on a 1-8 roll to ninth-place hitter Tim Anderson to break up his chance at history. Hendricks walked two, struck out eight in raising his record to 12-4. … In the same series, after Applegate won the first four games, New New York’s Sonny Gray was twirling a perfect game against the Clips before being inexplicably pulled with one out and a 2-0 lead in the sixth. Jamie Garcia continued the perfecto through the seventh. But A.J. Ramos came on with six outs to go and walked Hunter Pence to ruin the perfect game, and with five outs to go gave up a single to Kole Calhoun to spoil the no-hit bid. New New York hung on for a 4-1 win to spoil Applegate’s bid for a sweep. … The Clips also went 4-1 vs. Destin and Savannah, plus 3-2 vs. South Grand Prairie. …

Tyler Glasnow took Stephen Strasburg’s No. 2 spot in the rotation for the month and got scorched by Savannah in his first as-played outing, coughing up 13 hits, nine walks and 14 runs. He went on to get three five-inning wins, never allowing more than three runs, to ‘lower’ his ERA for the month — and the season, since he’s used up all 23 of his innings — to 8.22. …  Applegate won all four of Hendricks’ starts, as the ace went 3-0 with a 1.05 ERA. … Six different pitchers recorded saves for a total of nine on the month. … Hard-righty Shawn Kelley appeared in 13 of the 20 August games. … Continue reading

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Clip Files for July

Kontos

Revenge of Draft-Alyzer unleashed its fury on the Clips in July, hurtling them into a 5-15 death spiral following a 47-33 start to the season that was good for the second-best record in the league through 80 games. Now the Clips stand at 52-48 amidst a pile of other teams with similar records, pondering which club is the real Applegate. … While the offense stunk up the joint with a .233 average in July, it was reliever George Kontos who felt the wrath of Paperclip fans, as he managed to go 0-5 with an 11.88 ERA, allowing 16 hits (three of them homers) and eight walks in 8 1/3 innings. … Starter Tyler Chatwood fell back to earth and a few hundred yards below it with an 0-4, 6.45 month, after being saluted in this column in June for his 9-4, 3.28 start. … Springfield swept the Clips 5-0, with its studly pitching staff holding Applegate to just six extra-base hits in the entire series, as the Isotopes outhomered Applegate 10-1. … The Clips went 4-6 at home despite hitting .203 there, and 1-9 on the road despite hitting .259 there. … Ninth-place hitter Billy Hamilton hit .321 on the month, raising his season average to .283. … Hamilton leads the league in both sacrifice hits (39) and stolen bases (33) … Johnny Cueto leads the league’s starting pitchers in lowest home run rate, averaging 0.46 homers per nine innings. … Kyle Hendricks (0.76) and Drew Pomeranz (0.79) rank eighth and ninth. … Pomeranz also owns the league’s best opponents-batting-average-against value vs. LHBs at .165. … Applegate pitching has allowed just 89 homers for the year, the league’s best mark in that category. … The Clips have only one hit in 22 hit-and-run attempts.

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Clip Files for June

Chatwood

The Clips’ second 5-0 sweep of Bismarck this year catapulted Applegate to a 13-7 record and a 47-33 mark after 80 games, good for a two-game lead over the Boulder Tree Huggers, who won 13 games themselves. Applegate outscored Bismarck 27-8 in the series after earlier outscoring them 26-4, for a combined 53-12 edge. … At one point during the month the Clips had an 11-game “as-rolled” winning streak, winning the last four games of a series at Dyersville, then sweeping Bismarck, then winning the first two games vs. Tatooine. … In a head-to-head clash with best-record-in-the-league Margaritaville, the clubs split the first four games and dueled into the 12th inning of Game Five, with Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller burning mano-a-mano innings, before a walkoff homer ended it in favor of the Volcanoes. … The Clips have endured 13 extra-inning games, going 5-8. Only West Atlanta (12-6 in 18 games) has played more. … The Clips have climbed to second in the league in ERA, behind just Springfield, at 3.45, as they have held opponents to a .237 batting average and just 70 homers (second-lowest in the league). … No. 5 starter Tyler Chatwood has been the surprise of the pitching staff with a 9-4, 3.28 mark, tying him for second in the league in wins. Ace Kyle Hendricks is 8-2 with a 2.97 ERA, which ranks third-best in ERA. … Bullpen ace Andrew Miller is second in the league in saves at 16. … Josh Donaldson continues to carry the Clips offensively, with 20 homers (tied for fifth in the league), 64 RBIs (third) and 56 runs scored (tied for seventh). … You might say Billy Hamilton’s contributions are “off the charts” as he leads the league in sacrifice hits (36) and stolen bases (27).

Got notes like these on your team and want to see them on the league webpage? E-mail them to me by the 4th of the following month…

Clip Files for May

Shawn Kelley

In going 11-9, Applegate outscored its May foes 92-62 despite being outhomered 22-20. Hard righty reliever Shawn Kelley was a workhorse in a month that saw a lot of righty-leaning lineups, hurling 17 innings and notching three saves. Fifth starter Tyler Chatwood went 3-0 with a 0.62 ERA and No. 1 starter Kyle Hendricks went 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA. Yasmany Tomas hit .396 in May with four homers and 13 RBIs. Josh Donaldson hit . 308 with five homers and 19 RBIs. … The Clips are 13-17 at home (where they have been outhomered 46-27) but 21-9 on the road (where they have outhomered their foes 30-17). … 10 of Applegate’s first 60 games have gone extra innings; the club is 4-6. … Byron Buxton hit .037 in May, striking out 16 times in 27 at-bats. … The Clips are giving up a ridiculous number of hits on gb 2B (x) rolls. Neil Walker and Greg Garcia, both 3s at the position, recorded outs on only 12 of 22 2B(x) rolls in May, and for the year now they are a combined 48 outs in 73 2B(x) rolls, just 66%. … Centerfielder Billy Hamilton, a 1e5, has committed four errors already. … Kole Calhoun, who hit 18 homers for the Angels last year in real life batting largely in front of Mike Trout, finally hit his first homer of the year for Applegate in the club’s 59th game rolled, despite having started every game. … Hamilton has 31 sacrifice hits. The major league record is 67. …

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Clip Files for April

Andrew Miller

After a 15-5 start, the Clips won barely half that many games in April, recording four 2-3 series for an 8-12 month that still left them as the surprising frontrunner in the stacked West Division, although by the thinnest possible margin. … April was not kind to the Clips’ bullpen as it endured five extra-innings games. Only Dyersville and Destin have logged more innings pitched so far than Applegate’s 369 in 40 games. … Middle-of-the-pack status in league batting average (eighth at .253) and ERA (seventh at 3.98) do not bode well. … Applegate pitchers are second in the league in strikeouts (behind Boulder) with 365. Stephen Strasburg leads the league in strikeouts per nine innings at 12.82. … Relief stud Andrew Miller has fanned 35 in 21 innings while allowing just seven hits and leads the league with 11 saves. … Another bad sign: Mopup man Jhoulys Chacin leads the team and is tied for fourth in the league in games finished with 14. … Billy Hamilton leads the league in sac bunts with 22, on pace for 88. The next two players combine have 25. Hamilton is also tied for the league in steals with 13. … Kole Calhoun is still looking for his first homer despite playing all 40 games. He hit 18 in real life. … First-round pick Willson Contreras, who hit .282 in real life, and veteran catcher Russell Martin, who hit .231 in real life, are both hitting .225 as they share catcher duties for the Clips. … Inactive in March, Wade Davis was brutalized in April (0-2, 8.74 ERA), allowing 12 hits, nine walks and 11 earned runs in 11 1/3 innings.

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Clip Files for March

Neil Walker

Hard to tell who was surprised more by Applegate’s 15-5 start to the season: Manager Gary Kicinski or the deadly-accurate Daft-Alyzer… Applegate went an unthinkable 10-0 on the road, sweeping the lowly Bismarck Bombers as well as defending league champion Superior Titans. … The Clips went just 3-3 vs. left-handed starters and a whopping 12-2 vs. righties. … Applegate held Bismarck to just four runs scored in its series, hurling two shutouts. … Applegate was 4-0 in one-run games as Andrew Miller notched eight saves. Miller, Ryan Buchter and Ken Giles combined to pitch 24 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run. Workhorse George Kontos also posted a 0.61 ERA in 14 2/3 innings, allowing just six hits. … Neil Walker might be one of those on-in-odd-years, off-in-even-years guys. He hit five homers in March after only hitting seven for the Clips in all of 2016. … Josh Donaldson carried the offense with a .308 average, seven homers, 15 runs scored and 19 RBIs. … Kole Calhoun had eight doubles while hitting .324. … The Clips outhomered their road opponents 17-3.

Got notes like these on your team and want to see them on the league webpage? E-mail them to me by the 4th of the following month…

In our 36th season, our first perfect game: Applegate’s Tim Hudson whitewashes Hickory

Applegate’s Tim Hudson hurled what is believed to be the first perfect game in the 36-year history of the I-75 League, holding Hickory without a baserunner — or even a close call — in a 6-0 victory July 3.

Hudson struck out nine and retired all 27 hitters he faced, striking out pinch-hitter Javier Baez to close the contest. Tim_Hudson_14Hickory had three split roll chances at singles, all at 1-10 odds or less, and missed all three.

Hudson, a 4e15 pitcher, also fielded a Pitcher (X) roll cleanly with one out in the ninth. Hudson, who improved to 7-5 on the year with a 3.18 ERA, was making his first start since May, having been inactive in June.

“I wasn’t even really aware he had a no-hitter going until about the sixth inning,” said Paperclips manager Gary Kicinski. “We grabbed an early lead and got our defensive guys in there early, and I noticed in the sixth Hudson hadn’t allowed a hit, but I couldn’t really remember if he’d walked a guy or not.” Continue reading