The story in a nutshell -- or is that an egg shell? -- of the Mud Hens' 12-6 loss to Columbus at Fifth Third Field on Saturday, April 21, 2012 ...
TWITTER POST: Hens lose scheduled starter to Tigers, watch 4 pitchers give up 19 hits in 12-6 loss to Columbus at FTF Saturday, snapping 6-game win streak
Columbus 2nd: With Ramon Garcia pitching, Matt LaPorta singles and Russ Canzler singles LaPorta to second. Trevor Crowe hits into a double play, with LaPorta taking third. Ryan Spilborghs doubles into the left-field corner to score LaPorta, takes third on a balk, and scores on a single up the middle by Luke Carlin. Columbus 2, Mud Hens 0.
Mud Hens 2nd: With Zach McAllister pitching, Brad Eldred walks, then moves to third on a ground-rule double by Danny Worth. Eldred scores on a passed ball by Carlin. Columbus 2, Mud Hens 1.
Columbus 4th: Canzler leads off with a single, then takes second on a grounder by Crowe that hits third base and bounces to Audy Ciriaco, only to have Ciriaco throwing wildly to second to make both runners safe. Spilborghs singled to load the bases, and Carlin hit a two-run single to right to pushed Spilborghs to third. Gregorio Petit hit a sacrifice fly that scored Spilborghs and moved Carlin to second. Ezequiel Carrera blooped a single to left that moved Carlin to third, and Cord Phelps tripled to deep left-center to score both Carlin and Carrera. Phelps scored on a sacrifice fly by Lonnie Chisenhall. Columbus 8, Mud Hens 1.
Mud Hens 4th: Eldred singles, then moves to third on a double by Worth. One out later Jerad Head hits a sacrifice fly. Columbus 8, Mud Hens 2.
Columbus 7th: With Jose Ortega pitching, Spilborghs walks and races to third on a single by Carlin. Two outs later Phelps walks to load the bases, and Chisenhall doubles down the first-base line to score Spilborghs and Carlin. Columbus 10, Mud Hens 2.
Mud Hens 7th: With Frank Hermann pitching, Argenis Diaz pinch-hits and singles. Head hits into a force-out that retires Diaz at second base. Head moves to second on a single by Ciriaco, and the bases are loaded on a single by Omir Santos. One out later Eric Patterson draws a walk that forces in a run, and Ryan Strieby hits a single that scores Ciriaco and Santos. Columbus 10, Mud Hens 5.
Columbus 8th: Canzler leads off with a triple to center, then scores on a single by Crowe on a play where Crowe hit a popup to short center that was surrounded by shortstop Worth, second baseman Justin Henry and centerfielder Quintin Berry, yet allowed to drop. Columbus 11, Mud Hens 5.
Columbus 9th: With Luke Putkonen pitching, LaPorta singles with one out, moves to second on a single by Canzler, and scores on a single by Crowe. Columbus 12, Mud Hens 5.
Mud Hens 9th: With Chris Ray pitching, Santos singles and takes second on a walk to Berry. Both runners move up a base on a groundout, and Santos scores on a two-out single by Eldred. Columbus 12, Mud Hens 6.
KING OF THE ROOST: OK, I know you are going to laugh ... but the most important Mud Hen Saturday night was the starting pitching who gave up 10 hits and eight runs, six of which were earned, in four innings. That's right. LHP Ramon Garcia was made the starter on an emergency basis -- he was originally expected to start Sunday -- after Thad Weber was promoted to Detroit Saturday. Garcia didn't get much help from his defense, seeing a double-play grounder (which could have made the fourth a scoreless inning instead of a six-run debacle) turned into an error. He wasn't great, as the 10 hits will attest. But for the pitching-strapped Hens, he was good enough.
PLAY OF THE GAME: With a runner on first and no one out, the Clippers' Trevor Crowe hit a grounder that bounced off third base into the glove of Audy Ciriaco. It was a good play for Ciriaco to catch the ball, but his throw to second base was wild and flew into right. Instead of a potential double-play, Columbus had two on and none out, and the Clippers proceeded to break the game open with six runs.
THE WEB GEM: The damage already had been done when, with a runner on first and two outs in the fourth, the Clippers' Russ Canzler hit a sinking line drive to right. But Toledo's Matt Young made a fine diving catch to rob Canzler of a hit. Canzler had four singles and a triple in his other five at-bats Saturday night.
THE NUMBERS GAME: The middle of the Mud Hens batting order continued to mash Saturday as fourth hitter Brad Eldred went 2-for-4 plus a walk and scored twice while fifth batter Danny Worth went 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles. Eldred now has at least one hit in all 16 games for Toledo and is hitting .359 with eight home runs (tops in the International League) and 22 RBIs (also first in the IL). Worth has a hit in all eight Mud Hens games he has played this season and is batting .343 with two homers and four RBIs.
THE HIDDEN GAME: Yes, 8-2 sounds bad. But the Mud Hens needed a better effort from the bullpen to give the offense a chance to rescue a potential victory. Instead Jose Ortega gave up two runs in the seventh and one in the eighth, and Luke Putkonen gave up a run in the ninth. Had the Hens bullpen kept the Clippers off the board, Toledo's three-run seventh would have made the game 8-5 -- and perhaps tightened the collars of the Clippers, who also gave up a run in the ninth. The Mud Hens had seven hits, four runs, and five left on base in the last three innings. Could they have scored more in a tighter game? We'll never know.
TRANSACTION LOG: The Tigers called up RHP Thad Weber from Toledo and optioned LHP Daniel Schlereth to the Mud Hens. Schlereth has 72 hours to report to the Hens, and after pitching one inning on Thursday and two more on Saturday afternoon probably won't be activated for a day or so. ... LHP Shawn Teufel will be called up from Hi-A Lakeland to start for the Mud Hens Sunday.
NEXT HOME GAME: The Mud Hens continue their three-game series with Columbus on Sunday, April 22 at Fifth Third Field, with first pitch set for 2 p.m.