Off Day Thoughts On Chicago’s Mediocre Start

[Editors Note: This article was written prior to the Milwaukee series. If Chicago had been able to pull out a hard fought win in the 13 inning game one, I might look back at this a little differently. But the Brewers series put a bit of a damper on a nice start to May. All that in mind, it’s still early.]

Geovany Soto walks off after St. Louis wins against the Cubs in 2011. Could Chicago find a way to make this happen less this year?

An off day for the Cubs on Thursday allowed me to reflect on the season so far. Sure, it’s only been slightly less than 20% of the season, but it’s probably best to do so now before it’s apparent the whole season has fallen apart.

Chicago is 13-18 this year and currently in last in the central division, seven games behind St. Louis. Seems dire, but in all fairness they’re only 3.5 games away from second place. The opening month had its rough patches. A six game losing streak comes to mind. The month of May has provided better times and a 5-3 record.

My impressions so far have been that this team isn’t as bad off as it appeared during the off-season. They may not have the necessary pieces for a post-season run, but I don’t feel they’re too far from getting there.

Cubs First Baseman Bryan LaHair

Bryan LaHair is leading the team in numerous offensive categories including batting average, home runs, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS. Not too shabby for a rookie first basemen. Starlin Castro is following up his first full season with the Cubs with a great start. Second in average and leading the team in RBIs, the team’s shortstop is again a leader at the plate.

Of course, those are the bright spots. There have been some struggles too. Five of the Cubs typical starters are hitting .257 or lower, highlighted by Geovany Soto and Ian Stewart who are hitting below .200. Although, since the start of May, nearly every hitter has improved their averages except for Darwin Barney, Tony Campana, and LaHair. Of the last two, Camapana played in only nine games in April and LaHair’s average has only dropped .006 points.

Ryan Dempster (in 2011) has been great on the mound, with a 1.02 ERA, but wins are a team stat (2012 record 0-1 in 5 starts).

An improving offense will be much needed for a squad ranking 26th in the National League in runs. The big question mark for the rest of the season will be the bullpen. It’s the one piece to the puzzle that seems to be the furthest away from being ready to make a run at a division championship.

Cubs starters have been better than average to start the year. The team ranks 10th in quality starts with 19. Besides Chris Volstad’s 0-4 record Cubs starters are a combined 10-5. Cubs’ relievers have lost a total of six games. It does seem that Rafael Dolis has welcomed the role of closer as he’s already collected more saves than the previous owner of the position, Carlos Marmol.

If the team can continue to right the ship like they have to start this month, it seems like they’d have a line-up and rotation that could give them a decent chance to win day-in and day-out. The question will be, what happens when the starter hands over the reigns to the bullpen?

We’ll have to see, but if they can find any consistency, I think they could have a chance to at least finish better than last years 71 wins. 10 more wins and they would have been in the conversation for a hypothetical second wild card selection. This year Commissioner Bud has added a second wild card team, can the Cubs make a run at that spot (or better) and give us fans a reason to cheer? We’ll have to wait and see. #GoCubs.

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Indians Sweep Cavemen In Regular Season Finale

The Indians wait to take infield before game one against Grants Pass

It was a fitting end to the regular season for the Roseburg Indians. Josh Graham and Jared Priestley each pitched shutout wins over Grants Pass to officially give the Indians their fourth straight conference title.

Josh Graham warms up for his start in game one

In game one, Graham allowed just four hits and struck out 12 hitters in a 9-0 win. Roseburg scored three runs in the second inning started by an RBI triple from Kody Matthews. Connor Kahle plated Matthews on a single through the middle.

The Indians added five runs in the fourth inning when Grants Pass starter Cameron Matthews struggled with his command and walked three hitters and gave up four hits. Roseburg sent 10 hitters to the plate during the inning and put away the game.

Graham improved his record to 8-1 on the season and lowered his stellar ERA to 0.81 and increased his strikeout total to 95. The senior is averaging nearly two strikeouts an inning and has only given up 10 walks all year.

Jared Priestley tosses prior to game one against Grants Pass

Priestley was equally as impressive in his start. The righty gave up only five hits and struck out nine in his outing. Priestley lowered his ERA to a miniscule 0.50 and improved to 7-0 this year. Roseburg scored runs in the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings to sweep Grants Pass 7-0.

Mike Morin led the Indians offensively, going 2-for-2 with two walks and two RBI. The Indians improved to 21-2 overall and finished the conference season 11-1. Grants Pass finished the league season in last place with a 2-10 record.

Roseburg now waits for the OSAA to fill out the 32-team bracket to find out their first round opponent in the playoffs. The Indians were in first in the OSAA power rankings headed into the weekend and will likely stay at the top. Roseburg, Crater, and North Medford are the automatic qualifiers for the Southern Oregon Conference. South Medford and Grants Pass will take part in play-in games by May 17.

The Indians will play their first round game at home on May 21 against an opponent to be named after the play-in games on May 17.

Game 1

Grants Pass        000 000 0  0 4 1

Roseburg            039 510 x  9 8 0

WP – Josh Graham (8-1)

LP – Cameron Matthews

Game 2

Grants Pass        000 000 0  0 5 1

Roseburg            002 131 x  7 9 0

WP – Jared Priestley (7-0)

LP – Chris Ingledue

POSTGAME PODCAST:

After the game I spoke with five of the eight seniors on the Indians squad this year (two had to leave to get ready in time for Prom night festivities). Josh Graham, Boog Leach, Tanner Townsend, Connor Newell, and Jared Priestley share their thoughts on their final league game, who’s got the best tux for prom, and reminisce on their time at Roseburg High School.

STATS (Thru May 13)

Batting Statistics

Pitching Statistics

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Eagle Point Postgame Podcast And Current Roseburg Statistics

After the conclusion of Roseburg’s 10-0 win against Eagle Point on May 5, I talked with Coach Troy Thompson about his feelings of the team’s position heading towards the post season and more.

Also, here are the statistics I have compiled for the Roseburg Indians through the season so far.

Batting Statistics

Pitching Statistics

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Eagle Point Poses No Threat To Indians In Final Non-League Test

There was no let down by Roseburg after the Indians clinched the Southern Oregon Conference title on Tuesday. The team dominated Eagle Point, 10-0, in their final non-league test of the season.

Josh Graham

Josh Graham was his typical self in his eighth start of the season. The senior threw just three innings against the Eagles and managed to record seven of the nine outs by strikeouts, raising his season total to 83 Ks in 45 innings pitched. Graham allowed one hit and no runs to improve his record to 7-1.

The Indians took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second. Jared Priestley started the scoring with an RBI double that plated Mike Morin. Graham added two more runs with his third home run of the year in the third inning.

Starting the fifth inning, Roseburg led 5-0 and needed another five runs to qualify for a mercy-rule victory. Freshman David Irvine drove in the first run of the inning on a double to the gap in right field. The shot was the fourth extra-base hit of the game and came in the only plate appearance for Irvine.

Tristan Guillen

Tristan Guillen plated the game’s final run with his second double of the day. The senior reached base in each at-bat and went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and one run scored. Priestley closed the game on the mound. In two innings of work against Eagle Point (6-17; 0-3) he allowed one hit and struck out five.

Roseburg (19-2; 9-1) now has a week off before returning to the field to close out their regular season schedule. Grants Pass comes to Legion Field on May 12 for two games. Pregame will start at 11:45 a.m. on Fox Sports Radio 1490 The Score and online at 541radio.com.

Roseburg – 022 15  10 10 0

Eagle Point – 000 00  0 2 1

WP – Josh Graham (7-1)

LP – James Dixon

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Roseburg Clinches Conference Title With Late Rally Against Crater

The Roseburg Indians faced a three run deficit at the start of the seventh inning against the Crater Comets in Central Point on Tuesday night. Ten Indians came to the plate that inning and Roseburg clinched the Southern Oregon Conference on a come-from-behind 8-6 victory.

Mike Morin

Mike Morin started for Roseburg. The senior right-hander gave up three runs in the first inning on a two-run home run by Corey Wynant and an RBI single from Stefano Sparacino. Crater starter Chris Painter held the Indians offense at bay for the first two innings, but Roseburg scored one in the third and two in the fourth to tie the game.

Morin settled down after allowing three in the first inning to hold Crater scoreless until Blake Fahndrich launched a three-run home run in the fifth inning to put Crater back on top 6-3.

Painter shut out Roseburg in the top of the sixth, but was pulled in the seventh after giving up a ground-rule double to Conner Kahle. The hit by Kahle was the first of seven straight Indians to reach base in the final inning. Kahle scored on an RBI single by Connor Newell, who advanced to third on an error by right fielder Sebastian Reynolds.

Newell came in as the game-tying run when Josh Graham was hit by a pitch by new pitcher Matt Preston. Preston eventually gave up four of the five runs scored in the seventh to give Roseburg the final 8-6 lead.

Brady Fuller

Jared Priestley came on in the seventh to finish the game, striking out two and allowing just one hit. Brady Fuller earned the win for Roseburg to get his second victory as a pitcher. Priestley earned his first save of the season.

Roseburg (18-2; 9-1) clinched their fourth straight Southern Oregon Conference championship. Crater (15-5; 7-4) will finish out their conference season with a game against North Medford on May 8.

Roseburg – 001 200 5  8 6 1
Crater – 300 030 0  6 10 3
WP – Brady Fuller (2-0)
LP – Matt Preston
S – Jared Priestley (1)

POSTGAME PODCAST:

After the game I caught up with coach Troy Thompson to talk about the Indians victory.

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Indians Lose First League Game In Doubleheader Against North Medford

The Roseburg Indians put their perfect league record on the line with a doubleheader against North Medford on Saturday. Josh Graham held the Black Tornados to just three base runners in game one, but the Indians stranded 12 runners and couldn’t muster a run in a 1-0 loss. Jared Priestley took the mound for game two and tossed his second five-inning shutout against North Medford (13-5; 5-4) this season, to lead Roseburg (17-2; 8-1) to a split on the road.

For his second straight outing, Josh Graham was entrenched in a pitching duel. The Indian senior was matched against Charlie Walker for North Medford. The pair combined for 14 strikeouts through the first four innings, but the Indians were also walked seven times.

Walker’s accuracy issues allowed the Indians to load the bases twice in the first four innings, but the pitcher was able escape unscathed in both occasions. Graham allowed just his second hit in the fourth when Hayden Evans drilled a double to centerfield. Evans eventually scored on a wild pitch for the games lone run.

North Medford’s starter exited the game in the sixth inning when a pop-up bunt by Boog Leach forced Walker to dive to make the catch. Walker didn’t make the catch and dislocated a finger on the attempt. Bryan Carbonell came on in relief and the Indians loaded the bases once again in their last at-bats.

With one out Mike Morin tapped a ball down the first base line. Carbonell came off the mound to field the ball and the two collided on the base path. After a short conference the umpires ruled that Morin interfered with the pitcher’s attempt to field the ball and he was called out.

Carbonell finished the game with a strike out of Jared Priestley. Roseburg went one-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Walker earned the win, allowing just three hits and recording nine strike outs. Graham fell to 6-1 on the season and struck out 10.

In the second game Priestley allowed just four hits and struck out six. The Indians finally found their offense and earned a series win against North Medford this season with a 13-0 victory. Priestley tallied five RBIs at the plate and Connor Newell added three hits for the Indians. Freshman David Irvine only notched one hit, but got on base all four trips to the plate and scored each time.

The Indians will play next at Crater on Tuesday. A win for Roseburg would clinch a fourth straight league title. Pregame will start at 4:15 p.m. on Fox Sports Radio 1490 The Score and 541radio.com.

Game 1
Roseburg – 000 000 0  0 4 0
N. Medford – 000 010 X  1 3 2
WP – Charlie Walker LP – Josh Graham S – Bryan Carbonell

Game 2
Roseburg – 420 25  13 10 0
N. Medford – 000 00  0 4 2
WP – Jared Priestley LP – Colton Westfall

North Medford Post Game Podcast:

A recap of the Indians’ doubleheader against North Medford with head coach Troy Thompson.

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Roseburg 8, Ashland 4 – Postgame Podcast

The Roseburg Indians improved to 16-1 overall with an 8-4 victory over the Ashland Grizzlies on Tuesday, April 24. I spoke with head coach Troy Thompson after the game to recap the days events.

Here are the most up to date stats I have recorded in my book:

Batting Statistics

Pitching Statistics

I keep my “unofficial” team stats at a site called GameChanger. You can follow live statistics from the game and see updated stats as soon as the game is done if you purchase a premium account. I will continue to post updated stats here, but if you’re eager to see those stats more often or faster, feel free to sign up. I also try to post updates about the team on my Twitter account as often as possible, so feel free to follow me there (@joeykeeran).

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Indians Jump To Early Lead, Avoid Late Collapse

Kody Matthews

Tuesday night saw another quality start for a Roseburg pitcher and another win for the Roseburg Indians baseball team. The Indians welcomed the Ashland Grizzlies to Legion Field for a non-league match-up. Mike Morin took the hill for his fourth start of the year and limited the Grizzlies to just one run in an 8-4 victory for Roseburg.

The Indians jumped out to a five run lead in the second inning. Kody Matthews drove in the game’s first runs with a triple to the alley in left centerfield that brought in two runs. A walk and two singles behind Matthews in the lineup, brought in the next three runs for the Indians. Roseburg added one run in the third and two in the sixth for their total of eight.

Mike Morin

Morin threw five innings allowing just one run on four hits. He walked only one batter and struck out seven, increasing his season total to 22. Brady Fuller came on in relief in the sixth inning. The Grizzlies touched up Fuller for one run in the sixth and two more in the seventh. Fuller finished his night giving up five hits, three runs and striking out two.

The Indians get back to league play with a trip to Medford this Saturday. Roseburg will play two against 3rd place North Medford. The game can be heard on Fox Sports Radio 1490 The Score and online at 541radio.com. Pregame will start for the first game at 11:45 A.M.

 

Ashland   – 000 011 2  – 4 9 2

Roseburg – 051 002 X  – 8 7 4

 

WP – Mike Morin (3-0) 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 7 K

LP – Ethan Schlecht 4.0 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 1 K

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Current statistics and Southern Oregon Conference Standings for Roseburg Indians

The Roseburg Indians have played a total of 16 games this season. The team is 15-1 overall and leads the Southern Oregon Conference with a perfect 7-0 record.

S.O.C. Standings

Roseburg 7-0

Crater 6-3

North Medford 3-2

Grants Pass 1-6

South Medford 0-6

Below are links to the current stats for the Indians. These are the unofficial stats for the team, as I keep them while broadcasting the game and do the best I can to record everything correctly. ENJOY!

Batting Statistics

Pitching Statistics

(These documents should open with Microsoft Xcel)

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Graham Throws No-No In Doubleheader Sweep

The Roseburg Indians took two from Crater in a match-up for Southern Oregon Conference supremacy on Saturday. The weekend doubleheader pitted the two top teams in the conference against each other for the first time and the games didn’t disappoint.

Josh Graham

The first game paired two aces against one another, Josh Graham for Roseburg and Matt Preston for Crater. Both pitchers were throwing a no-hitter through six innings and the game was tied 0-0 going to the seventh. In the visitors half of the inning, Graham retired the side in order and recorded his 15 strike out of the day.

Connor Newell

Roseburg came to the plate with the bottom of their line-up due up in the seventh. Kody Matthews ended Preston’s bid for a no-no with a lead-off single. A sacrifice bunt from Conner Kahle moved Matthews into scoring position. The lead-off hitter Connor Newell stepped up to bat with an opportunity to win the game. On a 1-0 count, Newell drove a pitch to shallow centerfield for the game’s second and final hit. Matthews came around to score standing-up and the Indians walked-off with the 1-0 win.

Graham finished the start with a no-hitter, 15 strike outs, and just one walk issued. He improved to 6-0 on the season and lowered his ERA to 0.97. Graham has now held teams scoreless in 20 straight innings.

Jared Priestley

Jared Priestley started for Roseburg in the second game. As temperatures climbed towards the high 70s, the Indians bats started to heat up. Roseburg scored five runs in the first three innings to support Priestley on the mound. Priestley scattered five hits and limited the damage, working out of jams in the third and fourth innings.

Crater left eight runners stranded and didn’t score a run until the sixth inning. The Indians picked up the win, 6-1, and remained unbeaten in conference play. Priestley’s win improved his record to 5-0 and his ERA went up fractions of a point to 0.78.

Roseburg (15-1; 7-0) now holds a two game lead over Crater (13-3; 6-3) in the Southern Oregon Conference standings. The Indians will play against Ashland on Tuesday in a non-league match-up from Legion Field. Pregame will start on Fox Sports Radio 1490 The Score and online at 541radio.com at 4:15 P.M.

Game 1 –

Crater – 000 000 0 – 0 0 3

Roseburg – 000 000 1 – 1 2 1

WP – Graham (6-0) 7.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 15 K

LP – Preston 7.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 0 K

Game 2 –

Crater – 000 001 0 – 1 5 2

Roseburg – 122 010 x – 6 10 0

WP – Priestley (5-0) 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 6 K

LP – Bastendorf 2.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 0 K

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