About Tamar Chalker

Tamar has written for IIATMS since July 2009, having started off writing game recaps before shifting to the minor leagues. Born in Connecticut and having lived all over the country and in South Korea, Tamar now finds herself "temporarily misplaced" in New Hampshire. Please send help - I can pay you in maple syrup.

Trenton drops Game 1 of ELCS to Akron 3-0

Trenton started the Eastern League Championship Series just like they began the first round of the playoffs, with a loss on the road. The Thunder had a couple chances, but in the end it was Akron’s strong pitching that shone. Paolo Espino put forth a great start for the Aeros, while Brett Marshall pitched another decent game without any run support.

Trenton got the lead off batter on base in each of the first four innings, but came up empty. Adonis Garcia singled in the first, while Addison Maruszak and Kevin Mahoney drew walks to start the second and third respectively. The Thunder had the first big chance to score in the fourth. David Adams took a leadoff walk, but Zoilo Almonte hit a grounder to second for the first out of the inning. Maruszak was hit by a pitch, moving Almonte to second. A walk by JR Murphy loaded the bases, but Tyler Austin went down swinging and Mahoney popped out to end the threat.

Akron did not wait for the Thunder to get another chance for a lead, quickly putting together a rally in the bottom of the fourth. Tyle Holt grounded a leadoff single to center and Chun-Hsiu Chen flew a single to right. A wild pitch moved the runners over before Marshall struck out Jesus Aguilar for the first out of the inning. Another wild pitch plated the first run of the game, and Matt Lawson hit a sac fly to right that plated Chen for the 2-0 Aeros advantage.

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Minor League Playoff Preview: Trenton Thunder v. Akron Aeros ELCS

With last night’s victory, the Thunder find themselves battling the Akron Aeros for the Eastern League championship. After dropping the first game of the series against the Reading Phillies, the Thunder took three straight, utilizing their home field advantage and keeping EL MVP Darin Ruf relatively quiet. I have already covered how Trenton made it to the post season and how their pitching and offense look for the playoffs, so I won’t relive that here, rather I will look at the Thunder’s next hurdle to becoming the 2012 EL Champs. The teams have met in the ELCS twice before, with the Thunder coming out victorious in both 2007 and 2008.

Akron’s road to the Championship Series was a bit bumpier than the Thunder’s. The Aeros, Western Division champions, had to defeat the Bowie Baysox before meeting Trenton, and it would take all five games for them to do so. Bowie took Game 1 with a 4-2 victory. Game 2 proved to be exciting, with the lead changing back and forth until Bowie took the 7-5 win with two runs in the bottom of the eighth. As the series shifted to Akron, the Aeros had to sweep their home games to advance.

They trailed through the middle innings of Game 3, but a four-run sixth gave Akron their first win. Game 4 was another close battle, as Akron took a 1-0 lead only to have Bowie tie the game. A sac fly by Roberto Perez in the seventh, however, tied the series at two games apiece. Akron wasted little time in taking the lead, scoring three runs in the first and never looking back, as they took the 5-2 win and the series from the Baysox.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Minor League Playoff Preview: Trenton Thunder v. Akron Aeros ELCS

Melky Mesa to get called up

Via Erik Boland, the Yankees are calling up Empire State outfielder, Melky Mesa. Mesa had a strong season in Trenton this year, hitting .277/.344/.464 over 88 games. He struggled some when he got called up to Triple-A, hitting .230/.271/.524. He hit only fourteen homers in Trenton, but smacked nine for Empire State. Mesa made a big splash in the Triple-A playoffs, hitting a walk-off homer in Game 3 and forcing a Game 4, which the Yankees ultimately lost to Pawtucket. Mesa is a player with good power potential, but he also strikes out quite a bit. He has got some nice speed, but is not the smartest baserunner.  Mesa shines on defense, where he can play a decent center field thanks to his strong arm and good range. Continue reading Melky Mesa to get called up

Trenton advances to Eastern League Championship

With Empire State’s loss yesterday, the Trenton Thunder is the last Yankees’ farm team standing.  They needed a win today to advance to the Eastern League Championship and, despite being outhit 13-5, they managed to come up victorious extending their season for another week.

The Reading Phillies scored quickly, as Cody Asche and Tug Hulett drew walks. With two outs, Leandro Castro grounded a single to left, scoring Asche for the first run of the day. The Thunder got the run back in the bottom of the second, JR Murphy drew a two out walk and Tyler Austin lined a double to left, plating Murphy.

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Continue reading Trenton advances to Eastern League Championship

The Farm Report: 9/8/12 – Empire State’s season ends

Sorry for the delay in this post, I got home late last night and have not had a chance to write until now.  The weather on the east coast kept postponed Trenton’s game against Reading, but Empire State still played. Unfortunately, Pawtucket took the win, ending what was a long (but surprisingly successful) season on the road for the Yankees.

Empire State lost to Pawtucket 7-1 (Pawtucket wins series 3-1):
Vidal Nuno made his first ever Double-A appearance on Saturday and got pretty well lit up by the Red Sox. After issuing just one walk in the first, Nuno gave up three straight singles to Andy LaRoche, Bryce Brentz and Dan Butler to start the second. Jason Repko popped out to second for the first out of the inning, but a line drive to right by Jonathan Hee plated LaRoche. Jeremy Hazelbaker grounded a single to right, plating Brentz and a force out by Tony Thomas scored Butler for the 3-0 lead. J.C. Linares lined a single to left, bringing Hee home and Danny Valencia capped off the big Pawtucket inning with a three-run shot to left, chasing Nuno from the game.

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Pettitte throws three inning sim game

According to a series of tweets by Joel Sherman, Andy Pettitte threw 46 pitches in three innings of a simulated game this afternoon. Larry Rothchild was very happy with it, claiming it was “good, very good, super,” which is very encouraging. They wouldn’t give a date as to when we could see Pettitte in a real game, but it sounds like, assuming he feels fine tomorrow, they will be moving him along quickly. Pettitte will not appear in any minor league rehab games. Continue reading Pettitte throws three inning sim game

The Farm Report: 9/7/12 – A walk-off homer and a pair of playoff victories!

There was plenty of excitement for Empire State and Trenton today, as they both took away playoff victories. Empire State looked like they were headed for the end of their season most of the game, but put together an exciting comeback in the last two innings, capped by a walk-off homerun. Trenton and Reading were tied most of the evening, but the Thunder made their move in the eighth, taking the lead in the five-game series.

Empire State beat Pawtucket 4-3 (Pawtucket leads series 2-1):
Despite having “home field” advantage, the Yankees struggled out of the gate on Friday night. Bryce Brentz and Mike Rivera hit back-to-back dingers in the second, giving the Red Sox a quick 2-0 lead. Empire State had a chance to get the runs back in the second, as Luke Murton drew a leadoff walk and Melky Mesa followed with a single. They couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity, however, as Cole Garner and Gustavo Molina both struck out and Ramiro Pena grounded out.

A rain delay after the third inning interrupted the game and Michael O’Connor seemed a little rusty at first, hitting Andy LaRoche in the top of the fourth. An error by Ramiro Pena allowed Bryce Brentz to reach, but Mike Rivera flew out to center and Melky Mesa got LaRoche trying to score for the double play. O’Connor got Jonathan Hee to ground out, ending the threat.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading The Farm Report: 9/7/12 – A walk-off homer and a pair of playoff victories!

The Farm Report: 9/6/12 – Trenton evens their series, Empire State down 0-2

All that is left of the minor league season now is the playoffs. After both Empire State and Trenton dropped their first games, they entered Thursday hoping to even things up. Trenton was successful thanks to Rob Segedin, but Empire State finds itself needing to sweep their “home” games after some sloopy play wasted a strong performance by Ramon Ortiz.

Empire State lost to Pawtucket 3-2 (Pawtucket leads series 2-0):
After taking a loss in the first game of the series, the Yankees looked to tie things up on Thursday. Unfortunately, sloppy play put them two games down in the best-of-five series. They took the lead in the top of the second, as Luke Murton started the inning with a single to second.  Melky Mesa flew a double to center and a ground out by Austin Romine plated Murton for the first run of the day. Cole Garner grounded a single to left, scoring Mesa for the 2-0 edge.

Pawtucket threatened in the bottom of the fourth. Tony Thomas drew a walk and J.C. Linares lined a single to center. Ramon Ortiz came back, striking out Danny Valencia and setting down Andy LaRoche and Nate Spears to keep the Yankees lead intact. In the bottom of the fifth, Dan Butler found himself on second after a fielding error by Kevin Russo. Bryce Brentz doubled him in, for the first Red Sox run of the day.

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The Farm Report: 9/5/12 – Playoffs! (mostly)

Since Staten Island’s victory tonight officially puts the minor league regular season to a close, I think I will try something a little different with the remaining Farm Reports for 2012. Instead of trying to keep the recaps as short as possible I am going to give the playoff games similar treatment to when I used to recap the major league games. Staten Island’s recap tonight, however, will still be the shorter style.

Empire State lost to Pawtucket 7-4 (Pawtucket leads 1-0):
The Yankees drew first blood as Austin Romine drew a two out walk in the second and Cole Garner ripped a double to left center, scoring Romine for the first run of the game. John Maine gave up a lead-off single to Danny Valencia in the bottom of the inning, but he came back and struck out Andy LaRoche before walking Dan Butler. Maine picked up another K, but an infield single from Jason Repko loaded the bases. Jonathan Hee worked a full count, but Maine got him to ground out to first, escaping trouble and keeping the Yankee lead intact. The Yankees pulled away some, as Kevin Russo hit a solo homer in the third and Corban Joseph lined a double to center. Luke Murton, making his first appearance in a Triple-A game, clubbed a two-run homer to center. Melky Mesa hit a double, but a fly out by Romine ended the rally with Empire State ahead 4-0.

Pawtucket broke through in the bottom of the third, when Tony Thomas lined a double to left and J.C. Linares smacked a homer. With two outs, LaRoche parked the ball over the wall in left center and the Yankees only had a 4-3 edge after three. The Red Sox threatened again in the bottom of the fifth, as Thomas lined another double to center. Linares drew a walk and Valencia drove the ball to deep center for a two-run double for the 5-4 Pawtucket lead. The Red Sox looked to get some insurance in the bottom of the seventh. With Chase Whitley on the mound, Jeremy Hazelbaker singled to center and stole second. A single by Thomas put runners on the corners with no outs. Whitley struck out Linares and Romine gunned down Thomas trying to steal second. Valencia drew a walk, but LaRoche grounded into an out at second to keep the Pawtucket lead to one.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading The Farm Report: 9/5/12 – Playoffs! (mostly)