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April 20, 2008 – Jeff Duncan Talks April 19, 2008

Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
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Bears Beat Pats, 2-0: For all I know, the Patriots could have scored 80 runs after I left. But yesterday, I left Bears and Eagles Riverfront Stadium after the Patriots went down in the top of the 9th inning, therefore meaning the game was, in theory, over.

However, they kept playing. I understand that the guys need some extra work and all — and I do know that Bret Prinz pitched the bottom of the 9th for Somerset — but in terms of me reporting an actual box score, it’s even more meaningless than usual.

Here’s the box score…replacements are in italics

SOMERSET

Duncan: 1-4
F. Moore: 0-3, BB
Ryan: 1-3, BB
Housel: 0-1, K
Larson: 0-3, K
Hagen: 0-1
Pressley: 1-3
Chiaravalloti: 1-3
Olivares: 0-2
Alvarez: 1-1, 2B
Anderson: 1-2
Belcher: 0-1
P. Moore: 0-0, SB

Ayala: 0-3, K

Mattox: 2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K
Wiggins: 2 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
Reith: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Richardson: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Humen: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

NEWARK

Just: 0-3, BB, 2 SB
Hill: 0-4, K
Reed: 2-4, 2B, RBI
Majewski: 1-4, 2 K
Haran: 0-0, HBP
Aldridge: 1-4, 2B, RBI, K
Burgamy: 0-2, BB
T. Sweeney: 1-2, BB
Pachot: 0-3, K, ROE
Knazek: 0-0 HBP
Gutierrez: 0-3, K

M. Sweeney Bumstead: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Cunnane: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Almonte: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Trujillo: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
Fields: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
Willey: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

It was only one game. It meant nothing. But I’ll tell you right now, the Bears are going to be real hard to beat this year.

Why?

Defensively, this team is solid. They made three outstanding plays in the field…

* 3B Mike Just made a dazzling diving play on a hard hit ground ball by Teuris Olivares to start a 5-4-3 double play.

* SS Vic Gutierrez made a similar play on a laser up the middle off the bat of Vito Chiaravalloti.

* OF Keith Reed continued to show he has a cannon, throwing out pinch runner Pete Moore at the plate from center field by somewhere in the vicinity of eight feet. It’s amazing the other teams insist on testing this guy.

Several key players were not even in the building…

* Recently announced Jose Herrera, Ramon Castro and an infielder I’ve been waiting two months to talk about who appeared on the team’s roster — he never played for Milwaukee, but is synonymous with their stadium, leave it at that — were all delayed arrivals. The team is expected to announce this final player on Monday.

UPDATED — It’s Randall Simon. Just so everyone knows.

The pitching was solid…

* Matt Sweeney Michael Bumstead allowed only two hits through three innings of work.

* Taking Will Cunnane’s so-so outing out of the equation, the remainder of the bullpen allowed just one hit and one walk in four innings of work.

Duncan Talks About Staying Local: Somerset Patriots OF Jeff Duncan made a name for himself back in 2003 and 2004, playing for the New York Mets.

It may not be the big leagues, but four years later, he’s back in the tri-state area.

“It’s a great area, I like this area a lot,” he said.

“There are some great baseball fans, with great knowledge of the game. It’s good to be back here, and good to be close to New York City again.”

Duncan played in 69 games for the Mets over the course of two seasons, with the majority of his playing time coming back in 2003. The seventh round pick of the Mets back in 2000, the 29-year-old had nothing but good things to say about his time at Shea Stadium.

“It was awesome,” he said.

“The Mets organization, I can’t say a bad thing about them. They’re always going to be competing, and they’re always going to be really good. Part of my heart is still with it, and I enjoyed watching it on TV still, watching my buddies play.”

Although it may not be in the Florida or Arizona setting he’s accustomed to, Duncan was just happy to be seeing some live pitching over at the Jack Cust Baseball Academy in Flemington, NJ.

“I haven’t really had some live pitching in a while, it’s a good feeling to compete out there again, really,” he said.

“I’ve been working in the cage a lot, I’m from Chicago. A lot of flips, a lot of tee work. Some BP in the cage, but nothing outside, so it’s nice being out here and seeing the ball live and competing.”

Last year, the chance to compete was taken away from Duncan after a freak accident in Syracuse where he ran into the outfield wall.

“The guy hit the ball to right center, I was going back for the ball and I hit the wall. I ended up getting a concussion,” he said.

“I had a bad time getting back from that concussion. But I feel great now, I feel healthy, and that’s the main thing. I’ve battled some injuries over the past five years, I think every year I’ve battled some kind of major injury.”

Finally fully recovered, Duncan was out of a job in affiliated ball for the first time in his career. A former teammate of Josh Pressley, Duncan received phone calls from both Pressley and Brett Jodie, but didn’t exactly jump at the chance to put on the Patriots colors, at least not right away.

“It took me some time, I gave it about two weeks to a month to think about it, and I felt like I wanted to go play,” he said.

If Duncan, who has broken a heel and a hand over the past several seasons, can stay healthy, he would seem to be one of the more obvious candidates to be the first player picked up out of Somerset.

“There’s a great winning attitude around here,” he said.

“What better place to go to?”

Patriots Team Up With Special Olympics: The Patriots and the Cust Academy are doing a nice thing for this afternoon’s game, arranging for some Special Olympics athletes to meet some of the players and throw out some first pitches.

Additionally, the team and academy will team up to make a monetary donation to the Special Olympics for each Somerset home run hit in the game. For as frequently as balls fly out of that yard, I hope they have enough room on the novelty check for a few zeroes…

Around the Atlantic League: I’ve had about zero time to check in on the great work the other beat writers in the league have been doing, so let me try to get everyone caught up…

Jason Guarente reports that the team has added INF Danny Gonzalez and lost OF Jason Perry. Gonzalez was released from his team in Mexico, while Perry has signed with the Atlanta Braves organization.

Jim Seip writes that there was a near incident between Bridgeport’s Jeff Sparks and the York Revolution. In another entry, he talks about a Hall of Famer stopping by AL spring training.

Jeff Johnson’s got the wrap-up from yesterday’s game, including some ugly pitching lines from the Revs.

And Ryan Dunleavy gives his thoughts on what’s been going on so far up north with Somerset.

New Poll Up: Old poll results…

Will you attend AL spring training?

Yes 15 (24%)

No 32 (52%)

We can attend? 14 (22%)

Votes so far: 61

Interview Schedule: I’ve got Bridgeport’s Tim Drew for you on Monday, then the long-awaited chat with Southern Maryland’s Adam Johnson on Tuesday. Going to try to follow up with a few players I’m waiting to hear back from as well.

Also, this week Scott will have Corey Thurman.- Mike Ashmore

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Comments»

1. Anonymous - April 20, 2008

that dunleavy link is attached to johnson’s blog

2. AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com - April 20, 2008

Fixed

3. BoosterBabe - April 21, 2008

TIM Drew! I couldn’t remember his name. Everytime I watch a Red Sox game I say out loud “his little brother is playing in Bridgeport this season…” I say this mostly to my cat, since she’s the only one around to hear it most of the time. Couldn’t remember his first name, though! Just “JD’s little brother”.
Tim Drew. Tim Drew. Tim Drew. must not forget that!


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