C’s Recap – C’s Shutout For Third Time This Season

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Tanner Kirwer looks up in frustration after the final out at Nat Bailey Stadium Thursday.


C's RecapThe Vancouver Canadians have been shutout in three of the first six games of the 2018 season. The C’s were blanked 1-0 by the Everett AquaSox at Nat Bailey Stadium Thursday. The only run came on a home run by Geoandry Montilla in the second inning off Vancouver starter Randy Pondler. The Everett first baseman’s blast landed over the short fence in left field.

AquaSox starter Carlos Hernandez entered the game with an earned run average of 189.00 after giving up seven runs in one-third of an inning against Hillsboro June 16. He whittled that down to 9.95 after six shutout innings. Cody Mobley added two shutout frames and submariner A.J. Franks earned the save with a scoreless ninth.

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Randy Pondler gave up just one run over six innings Thursday.


C’s lefty Randy Pondler has had no run support in his two starts. The Nicaraguan lefty pitched six innings and scattered four hits and two walks while whiffing six over six innings. He also picked off a runner that was bracketed by a couple of strikeouts in the third. Orlando Pascual had two shutout innings, striking out one. Connor Law gave up a double in the ninth to Charlie McConnell but he was thrown out trying to steal third by Owen Spiwak. Law struck out a couple of batters to give the C’s another chance in the ninth.

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Bryan Lizardo was the lone Canadian to reach base twice Thursday.


The C’s racked just five hits and a walk on the night. Bryan Lizardo led the way with a single and a walk while Vinny Capra had the lone extra-base hit with a double. Tanner Kirwer, Reilly Johnson and Brandon Polizzi had the other hits.

C-Notes

C's NotesThe C’s had their chances to get on the board. Lizardo and Johnson both singled to start the second inning but Lizardo was thrown out trying to steal second by Everett catcher Troy Dixon when Johnson was at the plate. Johnson was left stranded at second.

Symbolic of the C’s frustrations at the plate was Freddy Rodriguez swinging for the fences but striking out to end the fourth inning, losing his balance and tumbling to the ground in the process after whiffing on a fastball at 94 miles per hour.

Pondler was able to work around a leadoff double by Cash Gladfelter in the fifth. It looked like Matt Sanders had an infield single to short but he was called out at first and that led to Everett manager Jose Moreno coming out to argue. A wild pitch moved Gladfelter to third but he was thrown out at the plate. Lizardo stepped on first after a Ronald Rosario grounder to start a 3-2 double play with Spiwak making the tag on Gladfelter at the plate.

The C’s looked to respond in the home half of the fifth when Spiwak was plunked on the toe by Hernandez and he was able to take second on a wild pitch. Brandon Polizzi laid down a bunt single and that would have produced runners on the corners but Spiwak was tagged out at third by shortstop Ryne Ogren when he overran the bag.

The AquaSox appeared to have doubled their lead when Jake Anchia had the home run distance on a drive to left field but the ball was ruled foul. That drew the ire of the AquaSox dugout. Pondler then struck out Anchia on the next pitch to end the inning. Polizzi made the other two outs in right field, making a nice over-the-shoulder catch on the warning track to retire Cameron Perkins before Anchia stepped up to the plate. A couple of close calls at first base went against the C’s. Kirwer was called out trying to reach base after a grounder to third and Freddy Rodriguez was thrown out from second in the seventh after Sanders showed good range to get to the ball. That led to Vancouver manager Dallas McPherson coming out to argue Rodriguez’s case. The last gasp for the C’s came in the ninth when Kirwer led off a single up the middle. He got to second on a Nick Podkul tapper back to the mound and went to third on a grounder to short by Lizardo. Johnson would ground out to short to end the game.


This three-game series wraps up Friday afternoon with the first nooner of the season. Jose Espada (0-0, 15.00) gets the start for Vancouver. Orlando Razo (0-0, 3.18) goes for Everett in a 1:05 pm first pitch. Rob Fai will have the call on TSN 1040 and CanadiansBaseball.com.

 

Blue Jays legend Roberto Alomar has taken in the first two games of this series. He dropped by for a pregame interview with Rob Fai on TSN 1040 before Thursday’s game. Minor league pitching coordinator and 2014 C’s pitching coach Jeff Ware was also in attendance.

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Connor Law made his Nat Bailey Stadium debut with a scoreless ninth inning.

Radar Gun Rundown

radar_gun_iconPonder had strikeouts at 90, 89, 85 and 84 miles per hour with his offerings in the 80-90 range.

Pascual had a strikeout at 84 and reached 90 during his outing.

Law had strikeouts at 94 and 93.

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C’s Recap – AquaSox Get Max Effort From Roberts

Vancouver Canadians Sean Wymer

Sean Wymer waits for the ball after uncorking a wild pitch that allowed Ryan Garcia to slide home with Everett’s first run Monday.


C's RecapThe Vancouver Canadians tried to rally from a 5-0 deficit but the Everett AquaSox prevailed with a 5-4 win to spoil the C’s home opener at Nat Bailey Stadium.

Sean Wymer got the start for Vancouver and he retired the Frogs in order in a 15-pitch first inning that included a strikeout. Wymer got the leadoff man to start the second but Ryan Garcia doubled to left and went to third on an Onil Pena single. Garcia would then come home on a wild pitch with the game’s first run. After striking out Bobby Honeyman, Wymer tried to get out of the inning but he served up a two-run home run to Nick Rodriguez to make it 3-0 Everett. Charlie McConnell then singled to chase Wymer from the game.

Vancouver Canadians Will McAffer

North Vancouver, BC’s Will McAffer got to pitch in front of the hometown crowd Monday.


North Vancouver native Will McAffer made his home debut and was greeted by a McConnell stolen base before Connor Kopach singled to increase the AquaSox lead to four. McAffer did get the final out of the second by getting Jansiel Rivera looking at strike three.

McAffer struck out the first batter he faced in the third but issued walks to Jake Anchia and Garcia. A Pena groundout moved both runners into scoring position and Honeyman brought into Anchia with a base hit to right for the fifth Everett run. Lefthander Marcus Reyes was brought in for one batter and he retired Rodriguez on a fly ball to limit the damage.

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Nick Podkul would drive the first two runs for the C’s Monday night.


Max Roberts shut down the Canadians offence with six perfect innings but lost the perfect game bid by walking Vinny Capra to start the seventh. The no-hit bid would go out the window when Tanner Kirwer lined a single to left. Nick Podkul would step up to the plate and smack a two-run double to put Vancouver to within three.

Vancouver Canadians Reilly Johnson

Reilly Johnson is congratulated after hitting his first professional home run Monday.


Ulises Perez relieved Roberts and retired the first two men he faced but Reilly Johnson would tag him with a two-run home run into the C’s bullpen in left field to cut the Frogs lead to a single run.

Perez came back for the eighth inning and surrendered a leadoff double to Bryan Lizardo off the short left field fence. Brandon Polizzi flied out to shallow right field and was unable to advance Lizardo to third. Lizardo did get to third when Capra grounded out to second for the second out.

Kirwer kept the inning alive with a walk but Podkul struck out against Noah Zavolas, one pitch after Podkul fouled one straight back, missing his pitch to hit. Zavolas would set down the side in order with back-to-back whiffs to end the game.

C-Notes

C's NotesReyes, Joey Murray, Nick Allegeyer and Dalton Rodriguez combined for 6-1/3 shutout innings of relief. Murray struck out two to offset a hit and a walk over two innings. Allgeyer whiffed four over his two frames of one-hit ball. Rodriguez overcame two hits over two innings with a couple of strikeouts.

Capra showed nice range at short by moving to his left over the second base bag to retire McConnell in the ninth. Sterling Guzman was able to stretch out enough at first base to complete the play.

Johnson hit his first professional home run after not hitting one for Bluefield last season.

Vancouver had just four hits and two walks while striking out 13 times. The C’s fall to 2-4 on the season while the AquaSox won their third straight to improve to 3-3.

The second game of this series goes at 7:05 pm Thursday. Opening Day starter Randy Pondler gets the ball for the C’s. Carlos Hernandez is slated to start for the AquaSox. Rob Fai will have the call of the game on TSN 1040 in Vancouver and CanadiansBaseball.com. First pitch is at 7:05 pm. The pre-game show begins at 6:00 pm on TSN 1040.

Radar Gun Rundown

radar_gun_iconWymer had strikeouts at 92 and 93 miles per hour. The home run ball came on an 85 MPH offering. McAffer had two strikeouts at 78 and 74MPH and was up to 90. Murray had a strikeout at 80 and checked in at 90. Allegeyer recorded whiffs at 74 and 72. His pitches also clocked in a 77, 80, 84, 90 and 93. Rodriguez had strikeouts at 84 and 91. He scraped 94 and was at 84 on the low end.

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C’s Recap – Electric Elio Eliminates Emeralds

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Sterling Guzman drove in the winning run and scored another in Eugene Tuesday.


C's RecapThe Vancouver Canadians head home in a four-way tie for first place in the Northwest League North Division. The C’s salvaged the final game of their five-game set against the Eugene Emeralds with a 4-1 victory at P.K. Park Tuesday. The victory improves Vancouver’s record to 2-3, the same record as Everett, Tri-City and Spokane.

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McGregory Contreras opened the scoring with an RBI double Tuesday.


After failing to take advantage of four Eugene errors Monday, the C’s did take advantage of a miscue that was not ruled an error. Chris Bec began the second inning with a walk against Eugene starter Jose Albertos before Sterling Guzman hit a ground ball to short. Em’s shortstop Luis Vazquez bobbled the ball and instead of a 6-4-3 double play, it was a 6-3 putout and Bec was able to make it to second base. McGregory Contreras followed with an opposite-field double down the right field line to score Bec with the game’s first run.

The Canadians added three more runs in the fourth when Bec singled, stole second base easily on Albertos and scored on a Guzman double that went to the wall in left-center field. Guzman would steal third and would manage to score after Alberto’s errant pick-off throw at third. With two outs in the inning, Jesus Navarro singled to chase Albertos from the game. Bryan Lizardo snapped a 0-for-12 skid with a single against Em’s reliever Eugenio Palma with Navarro getting to third and Lizardo moving up to second when Em’s right field Nelson Velazquez missed the cutoff man. A wild pitch from Albertos allowed Navarro to cross home plate with Vancouver’s fourth run.

Elio Silva made sure those runs stood up as he faced just one batter over the minimum in five innings. The only hit he surrendered was a single to Gustavo Polanco on an excuse-me swing to start the second. Polanco would get to third on a groundout and a wild pitch but Silva would get two groundouts to the mound and third to keep the Em’s off the board.

Juan Nunez kept the shutout going into the sixth with a one-hit inning but Velazquez took him deep for a solo shot in the seventh.

Nunez allowed three hits over two innings as he had trouble throwing his curveball for strikes.

Cobi Johnson worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning but was greeted by a Luis Diaz double to begin the ninth. Johnson would strike out Velazquez for the first out but a Polanco single advanced Diaz to third and brought the potential tying run to the plate. Johnson would strike out Cam Balego looking before inducing a tapper to the mound from Jonathan Soto. Johnson would calmly toss it to Guzman at first for the final out.

C-Notes

C's NotesThe C’s had their chances to add a few more runs in this one. Among the missed opportunities…

  • Freddy Rodriguez & Navarro whiffed to end the second inning with Contreras on third.
  • Vinny Capra walked and eventually stole third but Reilly Johnson struck out for out number three.
  • Lizardo was picked off third to end the fourth inning.
  • Bec’s two-out double in the fifth was wasted when Guzman struck out.
  • A Capra single and a Brandon Polizzi walk moved into scoring position but Bec grounded out to end the seventh.
  • Lizardo and Capra drew one-out walks in the ninth against Eugene reliever Sean Barry but Polizzi hit into an inning-ending double play.

The C’s did not commit an error in this one. Navarro made a nice play to range well to his left and made an off-balance throw on a Soto ground ball to force out Balego at second in the seventh inning. Other plays of note included Guzman flagging down a high throw from Capra at short to retire Velazquez in the foruth. Rodriguez and Polizzi bumped into each other in right-center field but Rodriguez held on for the catch on a Vazquez fly ball in the sixth.

Vancouver had seven hits and six walks in this one. Capra was 1-for-2 with three walks while Bec had the only two-hit game.


2018 fourth-round pick Sean Wymer will get the start for the C’s home opener against the Everett AquaSox. Game time at Nat Bailey Stadium is at 7:05 pm. CanadiansBaseball.com and TSN 1040 will broadcast the game. Pre-game show on TSN 1040 is at 6:00 pm.

The home opener is a sell-out but tickets are still available for Thursday’s game at 7:05 pm and Friday’s game at 1:05 pm.


Three members of the 2017 Vancouver Canadians took part in the Midwest League All-Star Game. Kevin Vicuna was 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored at second base. Outfielder Chavez Young was 0-for-4 while lefthander Dany Jimenez struck out the only batter he faced.

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They say good things happen when you put the ball in play… @Pan_Man27 did just that and plated the go-ahead run.

3-2 NH in the 8th! Listen: https://t.co/I7cqwyAQuA pic.twitter.com/nIw08g7mue

— NH Fisher Cats (@FisherCats) June 20, 2018

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C’s Chat – Tanner Kirwer

Vancouver Canadians Tanner Kirwer

Vancouver Canadians outfielder and Sherwood Park, Alberta native Tanner Kirwer.


cs_chat_new_logoVancouver Canadians outfielder Tanner Kirwer runs everything down in the latest chapter of C’s Chat.

The Sherwood Park, Alberta native spent three years in Division 1 college ball with the Niagara University before being drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 20th round of the 2017 draft. Kirwer displayed the ability to hit for average and getting on base by slashing .329/.415/.541 during his three years with the Purple Eagles. He also stole 66 bases, including 23 in his junior season when he was only caught twice.

Playing Ball In Bluefield

Kirwer started his pro career with the Bluefield Blue Jays and collected a two-run double in his first professional game June 22, 2017. The 6-foot-0 righthanded hitter singled, stole a base and scored the winning run in his next game June 24 to help Bluefield pick up an extra-innings victory. He would collect another hit the next night and draw a walk in another Bluefield win June 25 but he would fall on hard times as his batting average cratered below .the 200 mark as the calendar flipped to July.

Things began to turn around for Kirwer in the latter part of July when he put together a five-game hitting streak. He slugged his first professional home run July 20 as part of a two-hit game and followed up with another two-hit effort July 21.

Kirwer had a perfect night at the dish going when he reached base in all three plate appearances July 23. He was hit by a pitch in his first at-bat before lining up an RBI single up the middle in his second trip to the dish. Unfortunately, his next at-bat would be his last for 2017. A wayward pitch by Elizabethon pitcher Bailey Ober struck Kirwer in the face.

“I got hit in the face by a fastball. I broke three bones. It was tough. With a face injury, you can’t do a whole lot to rehab. They wouldn’t let me do anything physically because they were scared it would flare up or something. The first month, it was a lot of sitting around. Really boring but it was alright.

They flew me down to Dunedin. I was there for a month. After that, I came back for instructs a month later. That’s when I recovered and that’s when I started playing again.

It wasn’t ideal getting hurt but I learned a lot. It was a good experience getting into pro ball. Big change, a lot of adjustments I had to make but I’m excited for a new season.”

After taking one for the team eight times with Bluefield, Kirwer was able to begin baseball activities again during the fall instructional league.

“I met a lot of guys that I haven’t met before because they were playing for Vancouver and I was in Bluefield. I made a lot of new friends. It was just good to get back playing again since I didn’t play three months before that so it was good.”

The development for Kirwer continued during extended spring training.

“It was a grind but I also learned a lot there too with a lot of the coaches. I got to meet the new coaches here, make some relationships with them and make relationships with the teammates I have here so it was good.”

Kirwer says last season was a learning experience.

“The speed adjustment on the pitchers was probably the biggest thing for me. Getting my timing down. Being able to make in-game adjustments is huge. That was a lot of the bigger things that I learned last season.”

Getting to play in Bluefield was also a good experience for Kirwer.

“It was nice. Nice park, nice area. The fans were very nice to us. They appreciated us so we appreciated them.”

Even though his season came to an abrupt end, Kirwer’s boyhood dreams were realized when he was drafted by the Blue Jays.

“Oh, it was unreal. The feeling alone of getting drafted was one of my biggest dreams and to be my favourite team since I was a little kid. It was amazing.”

“I was actually at the driving range and my girlfriend’s brother told me the news. He was watching so it was exciting.”

Playing Ball In Canada

Playing north of the border again is something Kirwer is excited about.

“Yeah, I’m excited. It’s been a while in front of some Canadian fans too. I’m close to home in Vancouver so hopefully my family and friends will be able to make it out for a few games.

I’m expecting a lot of electricity in the fans. I heard it gets packed here and I’m excited to play in front of them.”

The 22 year-old Kirwer also likes what he sees at his new home ballpark, Nat Bailey Stadium.

“I like it. It’s an old-style park. I love playing in old-style parks. Good atmosphere. Hopefully I get a lot of good energy from the fans. It’ll be fun.”

Nat Bailey Stadium will not be the first time Kirwer has played in a professional minor league stadium in Canada. He also played ball at the former home of the Triple-A Edmonton Trappers and independent league Edmonton Cracker-Cats and Edmonton Capitals.

“My freshman summer, I played at Telus Field (now RE/MAX Field) for the Edmonton Prospects (of the summer collegiate Western Major Baseball League). We got a lot fans there too. Playing in front of the Canadian fans, it’s always fun.

It’s a big park. Being an outfielder, I had to cover a lot of ground but it’s fun. I like a lot of ground to cover. I like running.”

As far as what Kirwer would put in his scouting report, using his legs is a big part of his game.

“I would say I’m a speed guy. A threat on the bases. I can run down some things in the outfield and can swing it a little, get on base.”

As for who has helped him the most in his career, he pointed to his Mom and Dad.

“Probably my parents honestly. They don’t know a whole lot about baseball. They’ve helped me through the ups and downs and they’ve always been there for me.”

For Kirwer, he has just one goal he wants to accomplish in 2018.

“Back to back championship rings for the Vancouver Canadians.”

My thanks to Tanner Kirwer for chatting with me during the team’s recent Media Day at Nat Bailey Stadium. You can follow him on Twitter @tannerkirwer.

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C’s Recap – Em’s Blank C’s Again

Vancouver Canadians Josh Winckowski

Josh Winckowski supplied five innings of two-run ball for the Vancouver Canadians Monday.


C's RecapThe Vancouver Canadians have dropped the opening series of their 2018 schedule after a 2-0 loss to the Eugene Emeralds at P.K. Park Monday night.

Fernando Kelli gave the Emeralds the lead with a leadoff home run on just the second pitch of the game off Josh Winckowski.

Jonathan Soto would single and go to third on a Gustavo Polanco double before scoring on a Jonathan Sierra ground out to second to make it 2-0 Eugene after one. Winckowski would make it through five innings and allowed just two more baserunners on a hit by pitch and a Bryan Lizardo error at third. Seven of Winckowski’s outs in play were on the ground.

Vancouver Canadians Justin Watts

Justin Watts contributed two shutout innings out of the bullpen Monday.


Justin Watts threw two scoreless frames and struck out three to offset a hit and a walk. Denis Diaz gave up a hit but struck out one to put up a zero in the eighth.

Emeralds starter Ryan Williams outdueled Winckowski by scattering three hits over six shutout innings without walking nor striking out anybody. He kept his infielders on their toes with 11 ground ball outs. Luis Aquino kept the shutout going by posting zeros in the seventh and eighth innings. Dalton Geekie gave up a leadoff single to Nick Podkul who lined one up the middle to start the ninth. Geekie would retire the side in order with a couple of strikeouts along way the way to pick up the save.

Christoper Bec had two of Vancouver’s four hits and had the only extra-base hit with a double. Freddy Rodriguez had the other base rap.

Eugene committed four errors in this one but the C’s could not make them pay as they went 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.

C-Notes

C's NotesOwen Spiwak nearly hit a two-run home run in the third inning but his fly ball was caught a couple of feet short of the right field fence. Behind the plate, Spiwak threw out one of three basestealers but it could have been two had Podkul been able to hang on to  the ball at second as Spiwak’s throw was in plenty of time.

A throwing error by Cam Balego at third allowed McGregory Contreras to reach base but instead of running hard towards second, Contreras took his time moving the extra 90 feet. Much to his surprise, Em’s second baseman Luis Diaz chased down the ball in foul territory and threw it to Luis Vazquez at short and he applied the tag on Contreras to end the inning. Manager Dallas McPherson argued the ball was out of play but the base umpire ruled otherwise.

The C’s best opportunities to score were in the first and eighth innings. Bec singled with one out and made it to second on a Kelli error that allowed Nick Podkul to reach. However, Sterling Guzman rapped into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.

Bryan Lizardo earned a leadoff walk in the eighth and a throwing error by Em’s pitcher Luis Aquino in trying to start a double play allowed Lizardo to make it to second and Jesus Navarro to reach first. However, Aquino struck Tanner Kirwer and got Bec on an infield pop-up to get out of the eighth to strand pinch-runner Brandon Polizzi and Navarro. The inning might have been bigger had a borderline call on a high pitch went for ball four to Spiwak instead of strike three for the first out of the eighth.

The series wraps up Tuesday night at 7:05 pm. Rob Fai will have the call on CanadiansBaseball.com. You can also watch the game on MiLB.TV.


Best wishes to 2012 C’s outfielder D.J. Davis and 2015 shortstop J.C. Cardenas as they were released by the Blue Jays according to Baseball America. Davis was a member of the C’s 2012 Northwest League championship team. His best moment was in the deciding Game 3 of the Northwest League final when he went 3-for-5 with a run scored during the C’s 12-9 victory over the Boise Hawks in Idaho.

For Cardenas, his most memorable game happened on his 21st birthday in 2015 when his two-run single capped off a two-run rally in the ninth to walk off the Hillsboro Hops on June 27.

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