Welcome to Coop Scoop coverage of the Mud Hens' game against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre coming to you live from Fifth Third Field. I'll share thoughts, stats, and anything of interest from the game (newest posts are at the bottom, so refresh frequently).
5:00 p.m. -- Welcome to tonight's blog ... This is the Hens' final game before they head out on an eight-game road trip with four games in Norfolk and four in Durham. I've got lineups first, and then a few notes.
5:05 p.m. -- OK, first here is the starting lineup for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees of manager Dave Miley ... Leading off and playing 2B is Kevin Russo, followed by Mike Lamb at 3B, Jesus Montero at C, Jorge Vazquez at 1B, Terry Tiffee at DH, Brandon Laird in RF, Jordan Parraz in RF, Luis Nunez at SS and Austin Krum in CF. The starting pitcher for the Yankees is RHP Adam Warren. The Mud Hens are next ...
5:10 p.m. -- Here is the starting lineup for the Toledo Mud Hens of manager Phil Nevin ... Leading off and playing 2B is Will Rhymes, followed by Argenis Diaz at SS, Timo Perez at DH, Ryan Strieby at 1B, Jeff Salazar in CF, Danny Worth at 3B, Ben Guez in LF, Clete Thomas in RF and Max St-Pierre at C. The starting pitcher for the Mud Hens is LHP Andy Oliver. A few notes are next ...
5:15 p.m. -- First, the Mud Hens ... I talked to Phil Nevin about a couple of lineup changes, and I'll be putting together stories on those changes. Long story short: look for Argenis Diaz to get more time at shortstop, and look for Cale Iorg to start moving around the infield. I'll put together a story shortly.
5:21 p.m. -- Congrats to Japan for winning the Women's World Cup ... and congrats to the U.S. team for giving us a lot of thrills on the way to the final. Not much you can say about this loss for the U.S. -- they had a lot of scoring opportunities and didn't convert. If you want to know how that feels, ask the French team in the semifinals. OK, back to baseball.
5:27 p.m. -- Also talked to LHP Brad Thomas before the game ... he is going to have his left elbow looked at by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham on Wednesday. I'll also have a story on that shortly.
5:35 p.m. -- Before I forget to mention it, the Mud Hens are wearing special unforms tonight for Latino Heritage Night. The white uniforms say "Los Hens" on the front -- someone who speaks Spanish better than me will have to explain if "Hens" works better than chickens -- and has green sleeves and red stripes under the arms. All we are missing for the national flag of Mexico is some yellow ... unless you count the yellow feather that forms part of the letter "e" in "Hens."
5:41 p.m. -- I've got to work on these stories, so I'm going to leave you with some links ... First, click here to read yesterday's game story. Second, click here to view a photo gallery produced by The Blade's Andy Morrison. Third, click here to read the in-game blog from Saturday's game. Fourth, click here to read the post-game Hens Eggs from Saturday. Happy reading!
5:46 p.m. -- Also, click here to read today's Mud Hens notebook, which included thoughts from Will Rhymes about his Triple-A All-Star Game experience, the addition to Scott Thorman's family and the season-ending injury to Jeff Larish.
5:55 p.m. -- A quick look at the weather ... it's hot. Really hot. REALLY hot. To be specific, it's 91 degrees. The wind is allegedly blowing in from right at 8 mph, but the flags are still. The wind is offering no relief from the heat, that's for sure. Let's play some ball.
6:10 p.m. -- Los Hens starter Andy Oliver gave up a home run to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's Kevin Russo on the third pitch of the game but otherwise retired the Yankees without incident. Oliver threw 16 pitches in the first inning, 12 for strikes. Oliver's fastball sat at 95 mph (one at 93, two at 94, six at 95 and one at 96), while his slider sat at 83-84 mph (one at 81, two at 83, two at 84). He also threw a change-up at 87 mph. As we enter the bottom of the first it is Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 1, Mud Hens coming to bat.
6:20 p.m. -- Los Hens got the run back in the bottom of the first off Scranton/Wilkes-Barre starter Adam Warren, who gave up a triple to Argenis Diaz and an RBI single to Timo Perez. Warren threw 25 pitches in the first inning, 16 for strikes. Warren's fastball sat at 90-91 mph (two at 89, five at 90, five at 91, one at 92 and three at 94), while his curve sat at 79-81 mph (one at 79, one at 81). He also threw a change-up of sorts that sat at 86 mph (one at 84, three at 86). After one inning it's Los Hens 1, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 1.
6:45 p.m. -- A curious start for Los Hens' Andy Oliver, who is throwing strikes ... but getting hit pretty solidly. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre added a run in the second on a single -- that was a bullet to shortstop -- and a double -- that was a hard line drive down the left-field line. One of the outs was a high fly to DEEP center. But at the same time, Oliver has three strikeouts in three innings, including fanning Jesus Montero twice. He is throwing strikes -- 32 of his 47 pitches are strikes, and the Yankees are 0-for-4 when batting with a runner in scoring position. We're in the middle of the third, and it's Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 2, Los Hens 1.
6:56 p.m. -- The Mud Hens just profitted from a play you don't see very often ... Timo Perez was at first base with two outs and Ryan Strieby at the plate. Strieby worked the count to 3-0, and Perez was running on the 3-0 pitch. Yankees catcher Jesus Montero threw out Perez at second base, but the pitch was ruled ball four on Strieby. The Yankees started running off the field ... and Perez ran to third, which was unoccupied. The ball was ruled to be live, so it looks as if Perez is going to get a stolen base on a play where he got thrown out at second. How about that?
7:09 p.m. -- July always is an interesting time of year, and there are a couple of interesting visitors to Fifth Third Field ... One is Fox Sports Jon Morosi (who many of you probably remember as a baseball writer covering the Tigers for the Detroit Free Press. Another is Detroit's David Chadd, the Tigers' director of amateur scouting but also a special assistant to general manager Dave Dombrowski. I would expect Chadd is getting a good look at Andy Oliver as well as the rest of the Hens.
7:26 p.m. -- It's still Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 3, Mud Hens 1 at the end of four innings ... Highlight for the Hens is the T-Town Dragsters dragging and dancing to "Party in the USA."
7:39 p.m. -- OK, I'm officially starting to get a headache. Here's the latest bit of news ... Toledo starter Andy Oliver is at 97 pitches through five innings, and he threw 114 and 117 pitches in his previous two starts, so it makes perfect sense that there's a pitcher warming up for the Hens as Toledo bats in the bottom of the fifth. Here's the kicker ... the reliever is LHP Charlie Furbush, who is scheduled to start for Toledo Tuesday -- or scheduled to start for the Tigers Wednesday at home against Oakland. And as the Hens make their final out in the bottom of the fifth, Furbush comes on in relief of Oliver.
7:50 p.m. -- If you want me to guess why Charlie Furbush has come on in relief, I'm happy to GUESS: 1. This is the equivalent of a "side" session for Furbush. Instead of pitching on the side between starts, Furbush gets his work in during the game. Also, Furbush started Thursday for the Hens, and if he is starting Wednesday for the Tigers against Oakland, he'll have an extra day's rest. Hence the "live" work. BTW, Matt Hoffman already is warming up in the Toledo bullpen. 2. Furbush is getting prepared to return to the Tigers bullpen. I don't really believe this, but it's possible that, if Furbush returns to Detroit, he will go back to the bullpen. 3. This is an audition for Furbush. There are several scouts at tonight's game, but there are scouts at nearly every game. That's especially true at this point in the season, when the trading deadline begins to heat up. I don't know if any of the scouts at tonight's game are doing more than preparing organizational reports (scouting every player in the organization of teams they are responsible for). For all I know, the scouts that are here tonight are watching Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, not the Mud Hens.
7:59 p.m. -- If it isn't obvious, I believe the answer to the question is #1. But I've got no proof.
8:02 p.m. -- Did I mention that Furbush gave up a two-run homer in the sixth? The Mud Hens are batting in the bottom of the sixth, and it's Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 6, Mud Hens 1.
8:08 p.m. -- On the lighter side, I've received some help with my Spanish ... SabreRoseTiger informs me that "Mud Hens" in Spanish is "Gallinazos." And Scott Hochenberg informs me that when I meant to say the blog was "live," I instead used the verb "to live." I should have said the blog was "en vivo." Thanks to both of you!
8:13 p.m. -- While I'm getting Spanish lessons and speculating on the wheres and whys of Charlie Furbush, there IS a game going on. The Mud Hens have scored three times in the bottom of the sixth, and it's become a game again. At the end of six innings, it's Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 6, Mud Hens 4.
8:32 p.m. -- And while I've been working on other stuff, the Mud Hens have turned a 6-1 deficit into a one-run game. A two-out RBI single by Jeff Salazar gives us a 6-5 game as we head into the eighth inning. I don't believe I mentioned this, but Charlie Furbush only threw one inning for the Mud Hens (19 pitches, nine of which were strikes) before he was replaced by Matt Hoffman in the seventh. Hoffman returns for a second inning as we go to the eighth!
8:55 p.m. -- We're heading to the bottom of the ninth, and the Mud Hens still trail Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 6-5. I'm heading down to the clubhouse ... I'll be back as quickly as I can to give you updates on Furbush and more. Thanks for following along ... talk to you in a few minutes!
9:11 p.m. -- That didn't take long, did it? Jeff Salazar hit a home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to cap the Mud Hens comeback from a 6-1 deficit. We are heading to extra innings with the score tied 6-6.
9:37 p.m. -- Sorry, trying to get some other stories off the docket ... we are in the bottom of the 11th inning here with the score still tied 6-6. The Mud Hens have the bases loaded with two outs and Danny Worth at the plate, staring at a 3-1 pitch. And it's ... a ball, for a game-winning, walk-off walk. Hens win, 7-6. I'm heading to the clubhouse ... details when I return!
10:31 p.m. -- Well, I'm full of apologies tonight ... back from the clubhouse, and deadlines are looming! I'll put together a few stories tonight ... keep an eye on Twitter for updates when I post them. I'll hit a few bullet points, and then shut down the blog for tonight. Lightning round ... hang on!
10:34 p.m. -- Mud Hens manager Phil Nevin said that he was told to pitch Charlie Furbush for one inning in tonight's game. The request came from Detroit. He also said he didn't have any other information to pass along (in other words, he had no comment on who would start for the Tigers Wednesday in Oakland). ... I asked Nevin who his starter was on Tuesday in Norfolk, which originally was scheduled to be Furbush's start. Nevin's response was that Fu-Te Ni would start Tuesday. Between that and the inning of relief by Furbush, and I would suspect that Furbush will start for Detroit Wednesday. I have nothing official, but that's my suspicion.
10:42 p.m. -- I think I mentioned earlier I had information on LHP Brad Thomas after he was sent down to Toledo this weekend. I turned it into a story that will be published in Monday's paper. I'll send out a Tweet when it is posted on the web site.
10:46 p.m. -- I also mentioned I had news about Argenis Diaz and Cale Iorg, and I apologize for not getting anything on the web site. I will do that Monday. I will have something on the blog Monday afternoon ... or I will die in the attempt.
10:51 p.m. -- Listen, I've got to start writing ... deadline approaches. Sorry I've been so vague ... I'll post everything ASAP. Game stories for The Blade next, followed by Hens Eggs. Also -- so you know -- I start vacation on Monday, so I'll only be posting occasionally on the blog. My apologies if that disappoints. Thanks for following along ... have a GREAT night!