Vancouver Canadians Cobi Johnson

Cobi Johnson acquitted himself well in his first professional start with Lansing

The Lansing Lugnuts got a strong start and finish from a pair of 2018 Vancouver Canadians Monday.

Righthanders Cobi Johnson and Fitz Stadler allowed just two baserunners apiece as the Lugnuts blanked the West Michigan Whitecaps 1-0 Monday in a game that lasted just 114 minutes.

Johnson—a Northwest League All-Star—threw just 48 pitches over five innings as he struck out five while allowing just two hits. The former Florida State Seminole retired the first eight men he faced and 11 of the first 12.

Stadler picked up where Johnson left off by sitting down four in a row before giving up single and a walk. The Arizona State Sun Devil got a 5-4-3 double play to end the seventh inning threat enroute to getting the next seven batters in a row to end the game. The 6-foot-10 hurler was able to induce six of his nine outs in play on the ground and mixed in a couple of strikeouts.

Reggie Pruitt (2017) and Otto Lopez (2018) had two-hit nights with Lopez singling home Pruitt in the sixth. Sometimes, the threat of the steal is as good as the steal itself as an errant pickoff throw advanced Pruitt to second before scoring on Lopez’s base hit. Lopez did have a stolen base but was also caught once. Jake Brodt (2018) also singled for Lansing.

Elsewhere Around The Jays Nest

The Dunedin Blue Jays won in Fort Myers Monday as the C’s 2017 trio of Riley Adams, Cullen Large and Samad Taylor all doubled and walked with Taylor knocking home a run. Kevin Vicuna (2017) singled and drew a free pass. William Ouellette gave up a solo homer but struck out three over two frames.

A Josh Palacios double prevented New Hampshire from getting no-hit but not from getting shutout against Reading. Palacios and Nash Knight (2016) also walked while Kacy Clemens (2017) heard ball four twice. Knight also stole his second base of the year. Francisco Rios (2015) allowed an unearned run over two innings but Jake Fishman (2017) struck out three of the six men he retired.

An RBI single by Gunnar Heidt (2014-2015) and an Andrew Guillotte (2015) groundout gave Buffalo an early lead but the Bisons lost to Pawtucket. Conor Fisk (2015) took the loss in relief after blanking the PawSox in his first two innings. Justin Shafer (2014) pitched a one-hit ninth with a strikeout. Roemon Fields (2014) had three hits and an assist from center field by throwing out a runner at third. Andy Burns (2011) and Cavan Biggio (2016) had base hits.


Congratulations to 2015-2017 C’s lefthander Travis Bergen for getting his first major league win Saturday for the San Francisco Giants. The former Kennesaw State Owl stranded two Tampa Bay runners for starter Jeff Samardzija by getting Avasail Garcia to fly out to 2011 Canadians outfielder Kevin Pillar. The Giants overturned a 3-2 deficit in the bottom half of the inning with a two-run double by Steven Duggar and a two-run homer by Brandon Belt.

It was less that a year ago when I chatted with Bergen who was in Dunedin at the time. When I asked him about not being considered to have a plus-pitch, he was very confident in his repertoire.

I think it’s good. I think it’s good enough to compete with. I feel that the curveball is a good out pitch for me. I like to use the changeup early in the count. I think I can get outs with the fastball and curveball.

I do my best to try to get ahead in the count and trying to be offensive. I just try to mix it up, go in and out. I try to go in on hitters quite a bit to try to make them a little more uncomfortable. I just try to be as convicted as I can to each pitch and hopefully the result is good. I’m not sure why my strikeout (rate) has been good. I just try to make good pitches, that all I try to do.”

Travis Bergen will now be the answer to the trivia question, ‘Who was the first player on C’s Chat to make it to the majors?’ I hope he is the first of many.