Thursday, April 7, 2011

4/7/11 Toledo Mud Hens 11, Louisville Bats 6

Louisville Slugger Field, Louisville, KY
Game 1 of 4

Ladies and Gentlemen…your 2011 Louisville BATS!!
(and your 2011 Toledo Mud Hens too!)

Bring on the beer, bring on the hot dogs…and bring out the scoresheets, it’s Minor league Opening Day!! For the second year in a row, I am THERE for the Louisville Bats home opener…and for the second year in a row, the Bats are handed an “L” to begin the season…

But let’s face it…Baseball is BACK, it’s $1 beer night AND it’s my birthday AND my lovely wife agreed to be my date this evening…so win or lose, what more could you ask for?!?

A very exciting game, Andrew Oliver enjoyed a decent outing for the visiting Mud Hens, while Scott Carroll was looking pretty darn good until Timo Perez launched a 2 on 2 out HR into deep left field in the top of the 5th. The Bats’ Todd Frazier responded an inning and a half later with a 2RBI double to tie the game, but things started to unravel when reliever Daniel Ray Herrera gave up a 2-run HR in the 7th, another run in the 8th, and was joined in the Mud Hens Run Giveaway party by Carlos Fisher and Joe Krebs. The 7-run 8th inning sealed the deal…nothing a nice 8-run rally can’t take care of, and the Bats certainly tried but fell short.

Offense didn’t seem to be an issue for the Bats (they have plenty of it, only 2 players in their lineup failed to eke out at least 1 base hit). 5 Bats pitchers threw in the game, 4 of those 5 pitchers were relieved during an inning, and every one of those 4 left the game with one runner on base as their responsibility, and 3 of those 4 runners ended up scoring. That’s a problem.

With all due respect to the Bats’ Official Scorer Ken Horn, I disagreed on two of his rulings during the game. You all know the rules of scorekeeping: it’s YOUR scoresheet, you can call it however you want to. Since I have the right:

TOL 8th Inning: Scott Sizemore doubles to deep RF, driving in Cale Iorg. The OS rules this an E9, no RBI. That ball was hit hard and deep into the RF alley, RF Jeremy Hermida had no chance for a play at first or at second. He relayed the ball as best as he could…the ball was hit WELL, no opportunity for an out = a hit and an RBI.

LOU 8th inning: Jeremy Hermida reaches first on an Error by 2B Scott Sizemore, driving in Todd Frazier. The OS rules this a base hit and an RBI. Hermida is fast enough, but the ball was very much bobbled as Sizemore scooted around in the brickdust…take away Sizemore’s gymnastics and Hermida would have been out, and possibly a ground out RBI to his credit. My ruling = E4, no RBI.

It is bizarre that both of these instances not only occurred in the 8th inning, but impacted the same 2 players offensively and defensively. It’s my scoresheet. BAM.

It was a beautiful night for baseball, looking forward to this season!!

Mud Hens LF Timo Perez (3 for 5, 2R, HR, 3RBI) grounds out to Todd Frazier (3B), RHP Scott Carroll (5.2IP, 7H, 2ER, 3K, HR) on the mound for the Bats

Mud Hens RF Andy Dirks (4 for 5, 2R, HR, 2RBI) cracks a single to RF

Bats 3B Todd Frazier (2 for 4, R, 2B, 3B, 2RBI) at bat facing Mud Hens LHP Andrew Oliver (6IP, 4H 2ER, 2BB, 6K)

Todd Frazier swings and misses

FYI, Todd Frazier is on the Reds’ 40-man roster this year!

Bats 2B Chris Valaika (1 for 4, 3 flyouts) flies out to LF

Todd Frazier playing 3B (he played LF most of last year, could this mean a potential late-season roster shuffle for the Reds?), Scott Carroll fires

Bats Catcher Devin Mesoraco (2 for 4, R, solo HR) prepares to respond to Oliver’s delivery

Devin Mesoraco is NOT on the Reds’ 40-man roster this year

Todd Frazier grounds out to SS Cale Iorg (“like GEORGE”)…yes, Dane Iorg is his uncle, and Garth Iorg is his father

Don’t let the empty seats in some of these pictures fool you…announced attendance was 12,680…many folks were spending time at the Overlook Grill, enjoying the weekly spectacle known as “Thirsty Thursdays,” $1 beers until 7:30PM

Bats LF Yonder Alonso (1 for 5) at bat

The bases are LOADED for Todd Frazier with 2 outs in the Bottom of the 6th…can he deliver?!?

The Answer is YES, Todd cracked a screaming double to LF, driving in Dave Sappelt and Zack Cozart!!

Official Scorecard and Bat Chat (no season stats yet!)

Official Souvenir Program

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