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Down on the Farm – Jays MILB thoughts – September 16, 2011

September 17, 2011

Lansing Lugnuts – Making their way to Iowa, the Lugnuts had the day off to think about their two previous losses, and the need to keep their season alive, if only for one more day. Game three of the MWL finals begins at 8:00pm EST, with RHP Marcus Walden getting the start for Lansing.

New Hampshire Fisher Cats – Needing to win two out of three in Richmond, the Fisher Cats got things off to a great start, capitalizing on a five-run 6th to take the third game of the EL finals series, winning by a score of 5-3. In an otherwise poorly played game, the Cats were able to take advantage of the unraveling of a starting pitcher who had completed five innings facing the minimum 15 batters. The Flying Squirrels took an early lead, when 2B Charlie Culberson tripled in the home half of the 1st and came in to score on a wild pitch. RHP Yohan Pino bent in every subsequent inning, but did not break, before he was lifted in the 5th, having loaded the bases with two singles and a walk and only 1 out. RHP Wes Etheridge put out that fire, coaxing a double play grounder to strand all runners. The top of the 6th began innocuously, with DH Yan Gomes popping out and 2B John Tolisano striking out, one of four =strike outs he would incur in the game. SS Jonathan Diaz walked, turning over the lineup. CF Anthony Gose then singled, teh Fisher Cats’ first safety of the game. Seemingly rattled, LHP Jason Stevenson threw two wild pitches while pitching to 3B Kevin Howard, allowing Diaz to score (game tied 1-1), before a 4th ball gave Howard first base. Stevenson’s 3rd wild pitch in the inning (!) scored Gose (2-1 for the F-Cats) and Howard stole 3rd, anticipating another pitch to the backstop. Maybe Stevenson became more cautious, but he began throwing meatballs. First, RF Moises Sierra doubled, scoring Howard (3-1), and C Travis d’Arnaud followed with a second double (4-1). Stevenson was finally removed from the game. 1B Mike McDade greeted the Squirrels’ reliever with a run scoring single before a harmless Danny Perales pop up mercifully ended the inning. Outside of that big inning, the F-Cats managed only two singles over the other seven frames. But that is all that they would need, as Etheridge and righties Ronald Uviedo, Clint Everts and Bobby Korecky limited the opposition to 6 baserunners and two runs over the final 4.2 innings. Now only needing to win one of the two remaining games in Richmond, Sal Fasano‘s boys get their first crack at the championship beginning 6:00pm EST Saturday, with RHP Deck McGuire getting the start.

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