CBN POW, Week VI: Phillippe Aumont

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By George Farelli
Canadian Baseball Network

As Don McLean used to sing ... 

“A long long time ago
I can still remember how
That music used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And maybe they’d be happy for a while.”

Phillippe Aumont (Gatineau, Que.) made the people dance and smile, a long, long time ago.

In the opener of the 2009 World Baseball Classic at Rogers Centre, Aumont brought 42,314 fans to their feet (“and 41,000 of them were Canadians” Aumont would joke later) in what was the most electric game of the season as the Blue Jays won 75 games, finishing 28 games behind the New York Yankees.

Canada trailed 6-4 in the bottom of the seventh when Aumont, 20, coming off a season with class-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers loaded the bases with none out and then pitched out of a jam. He gave Canada a chance with Team USA winning 6-5 as JJ Putz pitched out of one-out Joey Votto on second jam as he retired Jason Bay and Justin Morneau. 

Last year Aumont (Gatineau, Que.) pitched for the Ottawa Champions in the independent Can-Am League, but this year he is with triple-A Toledo Mud Hens, a step away from returning to the majors. 

Aumont, now 29, who was mentored by Stephane Petranzio pitched five scoreless innings for Toledo as he allowed two hits and walked one. He fanned two, picked up a win and a save.

Dustin Pedroia for the USA off to a good start with a doubles to right. Jimmy Rollins followed with an infield single and Chipper Jones walked.

Pitching coach Denis Boucher (Lachine, Que.) visited the mound, along with catcher Russell Martin (Montreal, Que.). They spoke in French and told Aumont to "have fun." Aumont got David Wright to line out to shortstop Chris Barnwell. Next, he struck out Kevin Youkilis swinging and then fanned Curtis Granderson. Aumont punched the air with his right fist and stomped off the mound to cheers.

This week Aumont, the former first round pick recorded the final six outs as Toledo edged the Charlotte Knights before 4,006 at Fifth Third Field. He allowed one base runner (a walk) in his 32-pitch outing (20 strikes). 1B Jim Adduci (Burnaby, BC) doubled in a run. 

And two days later he worked a scoreless eighth as Toledo edged Charlotte 3-2 before 10,500. Aumont allowed one hit and fanned two (Jose Rondon and Kevan Smith). DH Adduci singled for the Mud Hens. 


BEST OFFENSIVE PERFORMANCES
Player / Class / Team    AB    R    H    HR    RBI    AVG

Abraham Toro - A Buise Creek    23    5    10    -    4    .435
Vladimir Guerrero - AA New Hampshire    28    6    1 1    4    .429
Daniel Pinero - A Lakeland    17    3    7    -    6    .412
Connor Panas - A Dunedin    25    3    10    -    3    .400
Raphael Gladu - A Columbia    18    4    7    -    3    .389
Charles Leblanc - A Down East     20    4    7    2    7    .350
Matt Hague - AAA Syracuse    24    5    8    1    2    .333
Miles Gordon - A Dayton    19    4    6    -    -    .316
Jake Robson - AA Erie    26    6    8    -    1    .308
T.J. Bennett - A Augusta    10    3    3    -    1    .300
Tyler O’Neill - AAA Memphis    26    7    7    5    9    .269

Jamie Romak - KBO SK Wyverns    21    4    12    1    1    .571
Mike Crouse - MEX Puebla    25    4    12    1    5    .480
Larry Balkwill - IND Windy City    11    2    4    1    3    .364
(Minimum 10 at-bats)

BEST PITCHING PERFORMANCES
PHILLIPPE AUMONT  RHP  -  AAA  TOLEDO MUD HENS
APP  IP   H  R  ER  BB  K  W-L  SV  WHIP  WK ERA

2   5.0  2   -   -    1    2  1-0    1   1.00    0.00
 
Picked up by the Detroit Tigers in the off season, Phillippe Aumont is striving for another opportunity to pitch in the big leagues, and this week the 29-year-old veteran from Gatineau, Quebec made two excellent relief appearances for Toledo. On May 10, in an 8-4 victory over Columbus Clippers, he pitched three scoreless innings, allowing two base hits and while striking out two Clipper batters, to earn his first win of the season. On May 15, in a 3-2 win over Charlotte Knights, he threw two more scoreless and hitless innings to picked up his second save. His overall record in eight appearances for the Mud Hens in the International League, stands at 1-0, with two saves and a 1.65 ERA.
 
JORDAN ROMANO  RHP  -  AA NEW HAMPSHIRE FISHER CATS
APP  IP  H  R  ER  BB  K  W-L  SV  WHIP  WK ERA

1   5.1  3  -   -    1   5   1-0   -    0.78    0.00
 
For the fifth week in a row, Jordan Romano (Markham, Ont.) has produced a pitching highlight which has been included in this segment, and in every case his performance certainly merited the inclusion. In Week Six on May 11, in a 5-0 shutout win over Harrisburg Senators, he pitched 5 1/3 scoreless giving up three base hits while striking out five Harrisburg hitters, to earn his sixth win of the season. His record with the Fisher Cats in seven Eastern League starts now stands at 6-0 with a 2.23 ERA.

ANDREW ALBERS  LHP  -  JAPAN  ORIX BUFFALOES
APP  IP  H  R  ER  BB  K  W-L  SV  WHIP  WK ERA

1   6.0  3  1   1    -    3  1-0   -    0.67    1.50
 
Andrew Albers is experiencing his second stint playing in Asia, the first was in 2014 with Hanwha Eagles in Korea’s KBO and the results might best be described as mixed. The second opportunity came this off season when he signed as a free agent with the Orix Buffaloes in Japan’s Pacific League, and this time he’s surely making the most of it. On May 15, he made his seventh start for the Buffaloes in a 7-2 win over Lotte Marines when he pitched six innings, gave up three base hits and one earned run while striking out three Lotte batters, to earn his fifth win of the season. His record with Orix is now 5-1 with a 2.53 ERA, and the five wins rank him second in the Pacific League.

Canadian Baseball Network Players of the Week

Week 1 _ OF Tyler O’Neill (Maple Ridge, BC) Memphis (Cards) and Josh Naylor (Mississauga, Ont.) San Antonio (Padres).
Week II _ RHP Jordan Romano (Markham, Ont.) New Hampshire (Blue Jays).
Week III _ RHP Mike Soroka (Calgary, Alta.) Gwinett (Braves).
Week IV _ RHP Brock Dykxhoorn (Goderich, Ont.) Corpus Christi (Astros).
Week V _ Vladimir Guerrero (Montreal, Que.) New Hampshire (Jays).

Week VI _ Phillippe Aumont (Hull, Que.) Toledo (Tigers)