SCRAPPERS NOTEBOOK | From Eastwood Field
Just in case: The New York-Penn League has announced its postseason format. If the Scrappers qualify for the wild card, they would open the playoffs at home on Sept. 6 against the Auburn Doubledays, the team with the highest winning percentage. Mahoning Valley would then travel to Auburn for Games 2 and 3, if necessary, Sept. 7-8. If the season ended today, Brooklyn and Tri-City would square off in the other semifinal. The Scrappers are in contention for the wild card with Hudson Valley, New Jersey and Oneonta. Scrappers manager Mike Sarbaugh said there can be something gained by contending for a postseason berth. "I've been on clubs that in the last three weeks of the season you know you're out of the playoffs, and it can make for a long few weeks," he said. "It's nice to have something toward the end of the season to strive for. It can only help the guys try to get better each day."
Praising Church: Former Scrappers outfielder Ryan Church has been called up by the Montreal Expos after playing at Triple-A Edmonton. Church played at Mahoning Valley in 2000 when he batted .298 with 10 home runs and 65 RBIs. He remains the Scrappers' single-season leader in RBIs and games played (73). Church recorded his first major league hits for the Expos on Sunday, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs.
Not so bad after all: Tony Sipp's first year in professional baseball is a lot better than he had expected. "Everybody was telling me they would put you in some place faraway where nobody comes to the games," the Scrappers pitcher said. "This is not that at all. The fans are great and the facility is excellent. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else."
Exercising caution: Sarbaugh took left fielder Mike Butia out of the game in the sixth inning after Butia tweaked his groin, the manager said. "I didn't want to risk it, especially with just two guys on the bench," Sarbaugh said. Chris Clem entered for Butia and played third base. Third baseman Chris Gimenez moved to left field.
Up next: The Scrappers will finish their series against Jamestown tonight at Eastwood Field. Aaron Laffey (1-1, 2.03) gets the start for Mahoning Valley, which will remain at home through Thursday as it plays host to the Aberdeen Ironbirds. Ryan Knippschild (2-2, 4.45) and Nelson Hiraldo (1-2, 8.20) are scheduled to start the first two games of that series for the Scrappers.