Down on the Farm – Jays MILB Thoughts – September 15, 2011
Lansing Lugnuts - With a second flat offensive performance in two nights, the Lansing Lugnuts season hangs on the precipice of also-ran status. The Lugnuts basically shot their wad in the 2nd inning. Singles by Michael Crouse and Marcus Knecht, sandwiched around a stolen base by Crouse, gave them runners on the corners and no outs. One routine groundball later and Crouse had scored and the bases were empty again. The next batter, 1B K.C. Hobson, hit a rare home run (only four in 480 at bats across the entire regular season) to double the lead. But River Bandits’ LHP Anthony Ferrara shut the door, allowing only a solitary single over the next four innings as his teammates battled back, tying the game in the top of the 3rd, scoring two more in the top of the 5th and another one in the 6th. Thankful to see his back, Knecht tripled off the first reliever used by the Bandits and came in to score on a Carlos Perez single to get the Lugnuts back within two runs. Like in game 1, the Lugnuts rallied furiously in the ninth in a last gasp attempt to turn defeat on its heels. After CF Jake Marisnick, who has seemingly hit the wall in the playoffs, struck out to lead off the inning, Course singled and Knecht doubled (his 3rd hit of the game) to put the tying run in scoring position with only one out. Perez failed to move the runners with a short fly ball to CF. River Bandits manager, Johnny Rodriguez, doing his best Tony LaRussa imitation, pulled RHP Aidan Lucas to get the platoon advantage on the lefty-swinging Hobson. LHP Dean Kiekhefer came in and got Hobson to pop a ball up the other way towards LF where it landed securely in the glove of Chris Edmondson to end the game. After an off-day for travel tomorrow, the series picks up on Saturday in Iowa, with RHP Marcus Walden facing River Bandits’ ace (because I said he’s the ace, that’s why) RHP Trevor Rosenthal. Their next loss will be their last until next Spring.
New Hampshire Fisher Cats - Today is a travel day, as the Fisher Cats make their way from Manchester, New Hampshire to Richmond, Virginia, a trek of close to 600 miles (950 km). Bearing in mind that the minor leagues do their travel by bus, it makes sense to take a day to get from A to B. The series, a best-of-five, will be played out in Richmond. The Flying Squirrels went 45-26 at home this year, while the Fisher Cats had a road record of 38-34.