C’s Recap – Canadians Playoff Chances Over & Out After 10-4 Loss In Tri-City?

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Bryan Lizardo hit his third home run of the season in Tri-City Tuesday night.


C's RecapThe Vancouver Canadians’ chances of winning the first-half North Division title are fading quickly. The Tri-City Dust Devils crushed the C’s 10-4 at Gesa Stadium Tuesday. Spokane defeated Everett to keep the C’s within two games of first place in the North but the 16-16 Dust Devils moved ahead of the 15-17 Canadians in the standings.

The C’s scored first when Griffin Conine worked a leadoff walk off Dust Devils starter Adrian Martinez in the second and Jesus Severino followed with a single to left. Bryan Lizardo‘s double play grounder sent Conine to third before Christopher Bec blooped a single to left to bring Conine home.

The lead was gone by the bottom of the second. Josh Winckowski got away with two walks in the first but a Blake Hunt single and doubles by Justin Paulsen and Luis Ascunsion gave the Dust Devils their first lead. Kelvin Alarcon reached on a strikeout after Bec’s errant throw from behind the plate. Tre Carter singled home the third Dust Devils run. Winckowski struck out Aldemar Burgos and got Grant Little to pop out to second but a walk to Owen Miller loaded the bases to extend the inning. Olivier Basabe singled home two runs to chase Winckowski from the game. Justin Watts was called upon to get the final out of the frame.

Vancouver Canadians Justin Watts

Justin Watts allowed just one run in 3-2/3 innings in Tri-City Tuesday.


The Dust Devils solved Watts in the sixth when Carter tripled and scored on an error at third by Severino to allow Burgos to reach base. Will McAffer took over for Watts and finished out the inning.

Vancouver showed signs of life in the seventh when Severino singled to left in front of a Lizardo home run to left. Bec walked and raced to third on a Brandon Polizzi double to knock Martinez out of the game. A passed ball by Hunt allowed Bec to score and Polizzi to move to third. Tanner Kirwer drew a walk against Dan Dallas but Otto Lopez popped out to Dallas on a bunt and Nick Podkul flied out to left to end the inning.

The Dust Devils put the game away against Connor Law after the seventh inning stretch when Ascunsion and Alarcon singles scored base hits by Hunt and Paulsen. A Burgos sacrifice fly plated Asunsion and a Bec passed ball brought in Alarcon. Law tossed a scoreless eighth but Wen Hua-Sung matched that zero in the ninth to finish out the series victory for Tri-City.

Vancouver Canadians Brandon Polizzi

Brandon Polizzi had a 2-for-4 night against Tri-City Tuesday.


C-Notes

C's NotesVancouver’s offence took too long to get going as they were retired in order in the first, third and fourth innings. Two-out singles by McGregory Contreras and Polizzi were wasted in the fifth. The C’s went down in order again in the sixth. A leadoff walk by Conine in the eighth and a Paulsen error at first that allowed Polizzi to reach base in the ninth did not lead to anything more.

Severino and Polizzi had two hits apiece but the top four hitters in the order were a combined 0-for-15 with Conine’s two walks and Kirwer’s free pass. Vancouver was 2-for-9 with seven runners left on. They struck out nine times with four walks.

Winckowski took the loss as he was whacked for five runs in 1-2/3 innings but only two runs were earned. Watts gave up a run on two hits but lasted 3-2/3 innings as he struck out and stranded two. McAffer walked one but stranded a runner for Watts in his two-thirds of an inning. Law allowed four runs in two innings with one of the runs unearned on four hits and a walk.

The finale of this three-game series and eight-game road trip goes Wednesday at 7:15 pm. Rob Fai will call the action on CanadiansBaseball.com.

The C’s have announced the first four games of their five-game set against the Hillsboro Hops at Nat Bailey Stadium have been sold out. Tickets are still available for the series finale at 7:05 pm Monday.

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C’s Chat – Marcus Reyes

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Vancouver Canadians lefthander Marcus Reyes at the C’s 2018 Media Day.


cs_chat_new_logo2017-2018 Vancouver Canadians pitcher Marcus Reyes makes his mark in the latest episode of C’s Chat. The 5-foot-10 lefthander is embarking on his second season in the Toronto Blue Jays system  after being drafted in the 38th round of the 2017 draft from San Diego State University.

Reyes spent four seasons with the Aztecs and spent the majority of his time as a reliever, save for his sophomore season in which he went 7-3 with a 4.20 earned average when he made 13 starts. After a tough junior season in which he won just once and had an ERA over six, Reyes went 4-2 with a 2.90 ERA in his senior campaign.

Reyes says he was playing a video game at the time of the draft.

“I was playing guitar hero with my buddy, one of my best friends and I was actually cooking eggs and I was about to start a song and we were awesome at guitar hero. My buddy was like, ‘Wait! Marcus! Did you see what just happened?’ ‘What?’ He was like, ‘You just got drafted!’ I was like, ‘No way!’ I look at my phone. It started blowing up and getting notifications so it was really cool. I was just casually hanging out with my friend, just not expecting it at the time. Yeah, it was awesome.”

2017 Season

Reyes’ professional debut came June 28 in the Gulf Coast League in which he struck out four batters over two innings of one-hit ball. The Denville, New Jersey native was sent up to Bluefield July 2 and that was the start of an 11-appearance streak in which he did not give up any runs. Among that string of games was his first professional win July 13 against Greeneville that saw him strike out six batters over three shutout frames to offset a couple of hits. His last three appearances with Bluefield saw him surrender multiple runs but his body of work earned him another promotion to Vancouver in late August.

Vancouver Canadians Marcus Reyes

Marcus Reyes earned his first victory in a Vancouver uniform in Boise July 12, 2018.


Reyes made his C’s debut at Nat Bailey Stadium by earning a hold during an August 22 victory against the Everett AquaSox. He said it was quite the change from pitching in the Appalachian League.

“Coming up from Bluefield where maybe we got 100 fans a game and then my first outing here was a packed night and I was just overwhelmed by all the fans here but it was amazing. It was an awesome feeling.”

He pitched three innings of one-run ball against the Boise Hawks August 27 before tossing a scoreless frame in Tri-City September 1. Reyes did pitch once in the playoffs as he recorded two-thirds of a scoreless inning with just one hit allowed in Game 2 of the Northwest League Final September 10. He got to celebrate the C’s clinching of the league title two nights later when he came racing in from the bullpen to join the dogpile.

“We were in the bullpen and we were waiting for it, we were just like ‘Will is going to strike this guy out right here and then we all looked at each other. I kind of missed it honestly because I was like, ‘We’re going, guys. We’re going.’ Will struck him out and it was just the fastest sprint ever. The fastest sprint ever in my life. Just booked it out there. Joe (DiBenedetto) hopped the fence and then we got to the top of the dogpile which is just awesome so we didn’t get crushed but yeah, it was amazing. An amazing feeling.”

Vancouver Canadians Marcus Reyes

Marcus Reyes posted a 1.80 earned run average in five innings with the C’s in 2017.


The 23 year-old Reyes says being back in Vancouver brought back a lot of great memories of 2017 and he would love nothing more to experience them again in 2018.

“I remember the culture that was here. Really awesome culture, a winning culture and obviously winning the championship, that was amazing, Taking the Northwest League championship home.

Let’s win it again. Obviously we’re the defending the champs. A new team this year but that feeling at the end of the year last year was too memorable and hopefully we can repeat it this year.”

Reyes was also happy to get his championship ring at the tail end of spring training.

“The ring ceremony was good, obviously getting anointed by everyone. The rings were beautiful, huge rocks, it was awesome, amazing.”

Reyes felt he learned a couple of lessons about being a professional last year.

“Definitely appreciate where you live. Don’t take things for granted. Baseball-wise, learn how to pitch more to the hitter. That’s what I took a lot from Bluefield and then came up here and learned a lot from Cy (pitching coach Jim Czajkowski).

Pitching Style & Repertoire

As far as the type of pitcher he is, Reyes gave this scouting report on himself.

“Definitely a mixed pitcher kind of guy. Fill the zone. I’m not like a big strikeout or power pitcher but I work quick and fill up the zone. Just get quick outs.

I have a four-seamer, a two-seamer/sinker variation, a changeup, a cutter and a slider.”

Reyes added he spent a lot of time trying to refine his slider heading into the season.

“My slider for sure. I learned a new grip this year and that was my main emphasis during extended.”

Though Reyes did get a brief introduction to pitching in Dunedin with the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays, he said pitching during extended spring training was quite the challenge.

“You learn a lot about yourself because it’s obviously not in full competition mode yet. It was brutal, waking up everyday around 6:30, coming to the field. It’s already blazing hot with the humidity and then as the day drags on but it’s nice to get out here. Now we have a later time, beautiful weather but it’s a real grind, extended is.”

College Years

Reyes’ first year in college was the last for San Diego State University coach and San Diego Padres Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn after he died of cancer at the age of 54. Reyes said Gwynn’s philosophy for the Aztecs program was simple.

“Just more carry on the legacy. Just hard work and good teammates and stuff like that. That’s what coach Gwynn kind of pounded into us when it was my first year there before his passing.”

Reyes was proud to see nine Aztecs get drafted by major league clubs over the last two seasons. He is hoping he will get to face one of his former teammates this season in the Northwest League.

“Obviously seeing all my friends get drafted was awesome. I was so proud of them. I knew they were going but it was still cool to see it because I was on the other end of that last year. Dean Nevarez was drafted by the Mariners. Hopefully I’ll see him (with Everett). That would awesome.”

Reyes says there were two coaches who were instrumental in helping him reach pro ball.

“I can name two people. My first travel ball coach Gordon Sanchez taught me a lot, just how to be a pitcher. When I went to high school, my high school pitching coach (in Rancho Buena Vista HS, California) Dominic Johnson. He really taught me everything that I kind of do nowadays.

Obviously coming to the Blue Jays last year, Cy and Tony (Bluefield pitching coach Antonio Caceras) are huge influences on me just learning how to be a pro pitcher. But definitely Gordon Sanchez and Dominic Johnson (helped me) along the way to get to where I am now.”

Vancouver Canadians Marcus Reyes

After wearing #36 for Vancouver last year, Marcus Reyes is wearing #29 this season, the same number he wore with San Diego State University.


One thing pitchers look to do is establish a routine when they prepare to pitch, something that Reyes says he has established.

“Yeah, I have a routine down. Mainly like my pre-game routine, I just roll out, stretch, make sure I don’t have all these knots or kinks in my body. I have a throwing routine down which Cy hates because it takes forever but it’s what I roll with.”

Reyes says his goals for 2018 are simple.

“Develop my slider and stuff during extended and obviously just pick up from last year. Last year, I finished on a good note so hopefully I can do that again this year. Hopefully we win another championship and get to celebrate again.”

My thanks to Marcus Reyes for taking part in this instalment of C’s Chat. You can find him on Twitter @marcusreyes03.

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C’s Recap – Canadians Rally In Tri-City Falls Short

Vancouver Canadians Otto Lopez

Otto Lopez scored Vancouver’s only run in Tri-City Monday night.


C's RecapThe Vancouver Canadians saw their margin for error reduced even more Monday night. A 2-1 loss to the Tri-City Dust Devils at Gesa Stadium dropped the C’s to 15-16. The loss combined with an Everett victory over Spokane leaves Vancouver effectively three games out of first in place in the North Division with seven to go in the first half. That’s because the 17-14 AquaSox have the tiebreaker by winning four of six against the Canadians.

Randy Pondler walked the first two hitters of the game for Vancouver and they both came around to score. Aldemar Burgos and Tre Carter heard ball four from the home plate umpire before they moved up a base on a wild pitch. A ground ball to second by Luis Ascunsion scored Burgos and a Blake Hunt doubled to left plated Carter.

Vancouver Canadians Yorman Rodriguez

An RBI single by Yorman Rodriguez prevented the C’s from being shutout in Tri-City.


That was all the scoring until the top of the ninth when Otto Lopez tripled to right field off Nick Kuzia and scored on a Yorman Rodriguez single. Brandon Polizzi came in as a pinch-runner but Griffin Conine hit into a rally-killing 3-6 double play. Jake Brodt would get a single but Sterling Guzman filed out to right to end the game.

Joey Pulido retired the first seven men he faced and stranded a runner for Pondler in his Vancouver debut. The University of Houston product delivered 3-1/3 innings of scoreless relief in which he surrendered two hits. Marcus Reyes worked a perfect eighth that included a strikeout.

Henry Henry handcuffed the C’s to just a trio of hits scattered over seven shutout innings for the win. Kuzia survived four hits over two frames for the save. Pondler took the loss to fall to 0-4 on the season.

C-Notes

Vancouver Canadians Marcus Reyes Marcus Reyes reduced his earned run average to 0.54 with a shutout eighth inning in Tri-City Monday.


C's NotesThe C’s had a chance to score in the eighth when Vinny Capra picked up a one-out triple to right but he was thrown out trying to score on a pitch that got away from Hunt behind the plate but Hunt got the ricochet off the backstop and tossed it to Kuzia who applied the tag to get Capra.

Up until that point, Vancouver could only get baserunners with two outs in the first three innings on base hits by Rodriguez and Hunter Steinmetz and a walk by Lopez. The only other hit until the eighth was a two-out single by Capra in the fifth.

The Canadians had seven hits and a walk and struck out four times. They were 1-for-1 with runners in scoring position but left five men on base.

Vancouver Canadians Vinny Capra

Vinny Capra was one of two C’s players who had two hits in Tri-City Monday.


Tri-City also had seven hits against the C’s pitching staff along with two walks but struck out five times.

The series continues Tuesday night at 7:15 pm with Adrian Martinez (0-2, 7.23) on the mound for the Dust Devils. No starter has been listed for Vancouver. The game will be carried on CanadiansBaseball.com with Rob Fai.

C-Tweets

cs-tweetBaseball America news editor Josh Norris had a few tweets about 2016 Vancouver Canadians pitcher Patrick Murphy in Dunedin and 2013 shortstop Dawel Lugo at the Futures Game Sunday in Washington. That highlights this edition of C-Tweets  which contains a collection of observations from or about current and former members of the Canadians.

 

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C’s Recap – Canadians Falter Late In Series Finale To Boise

Vancouver Canadians Jose Espada

Jose Espada had a quality start against the Boise Hawks Sunday afternoon.


C's RecapThe Vancouver Canadians had opportunities to win their five-game series in Boise but another bullpen meltdown saw them lose the rubber match 6-2 to the Hawks at Boise Memorial Stadium Sunday. The C’s are back at .500 at 15-15 and are now trailing 16-14 Everett for first place in the North Division as the AquaSox won against Salem-Keizer.

The C’s grabbed a quick lead just two batters into the game when Tanner Kirwer tripled to center field off Boise starter Justin Valdespina and scored on a Vinny Capra sacrifice fly to right.

Vancouver’s second run also came on a sacrifice fly to right field from Christopher Bec to score Bryan Lizardo. The one-out rally began when Lizardo walked before getting to third on a Jake Brodt base hit to left.

Vancouver starter Jose Espada kept Boise off the board with six shutout innings, four of them in which he retired the side in order. He faced two more in the seventh but they both reached base when Danny Edgeworth walked and stole second before Willie MacIver singled up the middle to put runners on the corners. Will McAffer was summoned from the bullpen but he struggled against the Hawks for the second time in the series. McAffer sandwiched a Cade Harris walk with strikeouts of Daniel Jipping and Aubrey McCarty before Greg Jones hit a game-tying two-run single up the middle. Kennard McDowell also went up the middle with a base hit to score Harris with the go-ahead run. A wild pitch and a hit by pitch to LeeMarcus Boyd produced another bases-loaded situation before Luke Morgan cleared them with a triple to center. Edgeworth ended the inning by lining out to center but the damage was done in the form of a six-run seventh.

Fitz Stadler pitched a perfect eighth inning but the C’s could only get one runner on base the rest of the way. Kirwer reached on an error at short and stole second and third base in the eighth but the C’s went down quietly after that. Shelby Lackey, Peyton Gray and P.J. Poulin kept the Canadians bat at bay with Gray getting the victory.

tanner_kirwer_retreating

Tanner Kirwer scored the first run of the game for Vancouver Sunday after a leadoff triple.


C-Notes

C's NotesThe C’s did not have much going their way offensively as they went down in order in the second, fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth innings. Their best chance to add a run was in the third on two-out singles by Capra and Yorman Rodriguez in the third but Griffin Conine grounded out to second.

Conine had one of the five Vancouver hits on the afternoon. The C’s were 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position with five men stranded, 12 strikeouts and one walk.

Espada racked up seven strikeouts over six-plus innings while McAffer had two and Stadler had one. Espada walked a pair and McAffer walked one to give the C’s pitchers a 10-3 strikeout/walk total.

The C’s are in Pasco, Washington for a three-game series against the Tri-City Dust Devils. Vancouver lefthander Randy Pondler (0-3, 4.24) will go up against righthander Henry Henry (2-1, 3.08) in a 7:15 pm start at Gesa Stadium. The game will be on CanadiansBaseball.com with Rob Fai.

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C’s Recap – Everything’s Podkul Brodt For The Canadians!

Vancouver Canadians Jake Brodt

Jake Brodt homered and drove in the winning run in Boise Saturday.


C's RecapThe Vancouver Canadians did not let this one slip away in Idaho. They held off the Boise Hawks 9-8 at Boise Memorial Stadium Saturday. The C’s are back over the .500 mark at 15-14 and remain tied with the Everett AquaSox for top spot in the Northwest League’s North Division. However, Everett has the first-place tiebreaker for the first half division title with nine games left to go by virtue of winning four out of six against Vancouver.

The scoring began in the top of the second when Griffin Conine doubled to center and was joined on the bases when Nick Podkul walked. Podkul was forced out on the front end of a double play grounder by Bryan Lizardo that advanced Conine to third. However, the C’s would get on the board when Jake Brodt launched his first professional home run off Boise starter Jeffri Ocando to give Vancouver a 2-0 lead.

Boise cut into the C’s lead in the bottom of the second when Luke Morgan tripled and scored on a Juan Nunez wild pitch. Cade Harris drew a two-out walk but he was thrown out by Yorman Rodriguez behind the plate to end the rally.

Vancouver went back to work in the third when a double to left by Hunter Steinmetz and a double to right by Vinny Capra restored their two-run advantage. Rodriguez singled to left to bring home Capra and two more base hits to left by Conine and Podkul helped scored Rodriguez to make it 5-1 C’s.

Boise would mount a comeback despite the ejection of their coach in the fifth inning. Cesar Galvez was tossed for arguing balls and strikes when C’s reliever Denis Diaz rung up Hidekel Gonzalez. Diaz then picked off Daniel Jipping at second after he began the frame with a base hit and went to second on an errant pickoff throw by Rodriguez behind the plate. Just when it looked like things were settling down for Diaz, Matt Hearn singled to left and and Terrin Vavra singled to right to put runners at first and third. Vavra got to second on a wild pitch and Luis Castro was hit by a pitch by Diaz to load the bases. Danny Edgeworth lined a base hit up the middle to score a pair of runs before Diaz got Luke Morgan to fly out to right to end the rally.

The Hawks would even things up in the sixth when Harris got aboard on a bunt single to the mound before Jipping belted a two-run home run to right-center field off Diaz. Even though Diaz struck out a pair of batters in the inning, Hearn also reached on a bunt single and a passed ball by Rodriguez put the go-ahead run in scoring position. Diaz intentionally walked Vavra before Justin Watts came in to get Castro to fly out the right to keep the game tied.

Vancouver Canadians Nick Podkul Brett Wright

The first professional home run from Nick Podkul (#6) gave Vancouver the lead for good Saturday. Catcher Brett Wright is pictured left of Podkul.


After being unable to do anything against Hawks reliever Mike Bunal over two innings, the Canadians regained the lead in the seventh when Rodriguez singled and moved 180 feet on two wild pitches by Keinter Olivares in his second inning of work. Podkul would take Olivares deep for a two-out, two-run homer to left to put Vancouver ahead 7-5.

Vancouver added another two-out run in the eighth when Steinmetz walked, stole second and scored on an Otto Lopez base hit to center.

The Hawks refused to go away as they fought back with two runs in the bottom of the eighth. A Hearn double to left and a Vavra walk led to Cobi Johnson taking over for Watts on the mound. A Castro single to right plated Hearn and an Edgeworth double followed but Lopez, Podkul and Rodriguez teamed up on a 9-4-2 play to cut down Vavra at the plate. Castro got to third on the play and he would score Boise’s seventh run on a groundout to short by Morgan.

Hunter Williams started the ninth for Boise by hitting Rodriguez with a pitch. A one-out walk by Podkul and a bloop single by Lizardo loaded the bases before a Brodt fielder’s choice plated Rodriguez with Vancouver’s ninth run which was badly needed as Boise made another charge again in their half of the ninth.

The Hawks would load the bases with one out on walks by Harris and Gonzalez and a swinging bunt base hit by Hearn. Vavra would hit a tapper back to the mound to Johnson and he threw it home to force Harris at the plate. Castro would line a single to center to score Gonzalez and make it a one-run game and keep the bases loaded. Johnson would strike out Edgeworth on three pitches with Rodriguez hanging on to the foul tip to help the C’s escape with the victory.

Vancouver Canadians Juan Nunez

Juan Nunez gave up a run over 3-2/3 innings in his first start of the season.


C-Notes

C's NotesThe C’s had their chances to break into double dights in the run column. McGregory Contreras was hit by a pitch and Steinmetz got aboard with a walk to start the fourth but Bunal shut the door after he relieved Ocando. Conine started the fifth with a single but was tagged out on a 8-4-3 play when he tried to get to second. Lizardo had a base hit later in the inning but he was left on base. The C’s had a chance to give themselves some more breathing room in the ninth with the bases loaded with two away but Contreras struck out.

Vancouver had 13 hits, four walks and two hit by pitches against eight strikeouts. They were 7-for-17 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base. They were outhit by Boise 16-13 who were 5-for-19 with runners on second and/or third but they stranded a whopping 14 runners.

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Griffin Conine came back from a night off with three hits for Vancouver Saturday.


Conine led Vancouver with three hits while Rodriguez, Podkul and Lizardo had two apiece. Podkul was on base four times by adding a couple of walks. Rodriguez reached base three times after a hit by pitch while Steinmetz singled and drew two walks to get aboard thrice. Contreras was the only Vancouver hitter not to get a hit but he did reach base on a hit by pitch.

Vancouver Canadians Justin Watts

Justin Watts picked up the victory in relief for Vancouver on Saturday.


Nunez gave up a run over 3-2/3 innings but Diaz gave up four over two innings. Watts improved to 2-0 as he pitched 1-1/3 innings of one-run ball on two hits and three walks. Johnson got the save despite two runs on four hits and two walks over the last two innings. Diaz had three strikeouts while Nunez, Watts and Johnson had two apiece.

The rubber match of this four-game series goes at 4:15 pm Pacific Time. Jose Espada (1-3, 5.24) gets the ball for Vancouver while Justin Valdespina (0-0, 0.00) starts for Boise. Rob Fai will have the call on CanadiansBaseball.com.

C-Tweets

cs-tweet Here is the latest edition of C-Tweets that feature twitter comments, observations and video highlights about the Vancouver Canadians. A number of them have to do with the recent call up of 2012 C’s outfielder Dwight Smith Jr as well as some observations about the C’s in the podcast Around The Nest.

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