Welcome to Coop Scoop coverage of the 2012 season! The Hens are at Fifth Third Field for the second game of the series against Syracuse. The game starts at 2 p.m., so I’ll get the LIVE blog started right now. The newest posts are at the bottom, so refresh frequently. Here we go!
1:00 p.m. – Back after a couple of days away … Let’s get right to work with lineups, notes and links.
1:05 p.m. -- The Mud Hens lineup for manager Phil Nevin ... Leading off and playing CF is Quintin Berry, followed by Justin Henry at 2B, Ryan Strieby at 1B, Eric Patterson at DH, Danny Worth at 2B, Matt Young in RF, Jeff Frazier at LF, Bryan Holaday at C, Argenis Diaz at SS and LHP Casey Crosby as the starting pitcher. Syracuse lineup in a moment ...
1:10 p.m. -- The Syracuse lineup of manager Tony Beasley ... Leading off and playing CF is Corey Brown, followed by Jarrett Hoffpauir at 2B, Mark Teahen at 1B, Xavier Paul at DH, Brett Carroll in RF, Carlos Rivero at 3B, Jason Michael in LF, Seth Bynum at SS, Jeff Howell at C and RHP Yunesky Maya as the starting pitcher.
1:18 p.m. -- OK, a few notes ... The Mud Hens made a roster move today, adding LHP Ryan Robowski to the roster and putting LHP Fu-Te Ni on the disabled list when a UCL (ulnar collateral ligament) sprain. Robowski was NOT here when I was in the clubhouse but is expected to join the team Monday morning.
1:24 p.m. -- Need to sneak a little pizza ... I'll be back in a moment with more notes and a few links, too ...
1:33 p.m. -- There was a late lineup change for the Mud Hens today ... C Omir Santos was in the original lineup but was scratched because of a batting practice injury. Santos had a wrap on his right forearm and seemed OK. C Bryan Holaday took Santos' spot in the lineup.
1:40 p.m. -- Well, a link or two as we get ready, courtesy of The Blade's David Briggs ... Click here to read the game story from Saturday's contest against Syracuse. Click here to read his notebook, which features Danny Worth. Enjoy!
1:46 p.m. -- Jinkies, I forgot the link to the photos from Saturday's game, which are courtesy of The Blade's Andy Morrison.
1:55 p.m. -- We're close to first pitch ... Back in a moment ...
2:04 p.m. -- A head's up to those who like pitch speeds in analyzing pitchers ... they are not showing up on the scoreboard. I'll give you what I can give you in pitches/strikes and such, but speeds are off the table. Sorry about that.
2:09 p.m. -- LHP Casey Crosby gave up a home run to the first batter he faced, Corey Brown, but otherwise set the Chiefs down without incident. Crosby threw 14 pitches, nine of which were strikes. The Mud Hens come to bat in the bottom of the first inning down 1-0.
2:14 p.m. -- Syracuse starter Yunesky Maya slammed the door shut on the Hens in the bottom of the first inning with one strikeout. Maya threw 14 pitches, nine of which were strikes. No score, end of one.
2:39 p.m. -- There's no score through three innings as Syracuse starter Yunesky Maya has retired the first nine hitters he faced, thanks in part to eight ground-ball outs. He also has been very efficient through the first three innings, throwing just 33 pitches to this point. Syracuse still leads, 1-0.
2:44 p.m. -- We've been told that the crowd for today's game is 9,973 for the 300th sellout in Fifth Third Field history.
2:59 p.m. -- The Mud Hens catch a break, and they turn it into a run in the bottom of the fourth. With Justin Henry on first base with one out, manager Phil Nevin called for a steal on a 1-1 pitch. Syracuse must have smelled a rat, and they called for a pitchout -- but the throw to second was too high, allowing Henry to reach second. Then with two outs Eric Patterson line a 1-2 pitch back up the middle for a clutch RBI single. We're tied through four innings at 1-1.
3:09 p.m. -- Mud Hens come to bat in the bottom of the fifth with the score still 1-1. Toledo starter Casey Crosby is throwing well to this point, throwing 40 of 64 pitches for strikes. He's getting ahead of hitters to this point, throwing first-pitch strikes to 12-of-18 batters so far (11-of-14 through the first four innings). Even better, Crosby has reached a three-ball count to just three batters so far -- and got outs from all three. Crosby obviously has not issued a walk so far, and has struck out five.
3:25 p.m. -- Both pitches have been outstanding so far ... It's still 1-1 as we head to the seventh. Both Toledo starter Casey Crosby and Syracuse starter Yunesky Maya have thrown just 73 pitches through the first six innings, which means both could finish this contest out. Terrific pitcher's duel.
3:31 p.m. -- Syracuse has scratched out a run in the top of the seventh. Mark Teahen blooped a double down the left-field line, took third on a sacrifice by Xavier Paul (the clean-up hitter and DH), and scored on a sacrifice fly by Brett Carroll. A well-played, well-pitched contest that now sees Syracuse leading 2-1 as the Mud Hens come to bat in the bottom of the seventh.
3:51 p.m. -- Toledo's Casey Crosby retires the Chiefs on seven pitches -- all strikes -- in the eighth. With the scoreboard pitch speed activated ... yeesh, seven whopping pitches. A lot of breaking balls by Crosby in the seventh: fastest pitch was 91 mph, two pitches at 89, two curveballs at 79, one at 84 and one at 86. Mud Hens come to bat in the bottom of the eighth, trailing 2-1.
4:05 p.m. -- Chris Bootcheck comes on in the ninth in relief of Casey Crosby, who was outstanding. Crosby finishes with just five hits and two runs allowed. Most impressive? ZERO walks. At this point Crosby is in line for a hard-luck loss, trailing 2-1 as we head to the ninth inning.
4:11 p.m. -- Bootcheck mows down the Chiefs in the top of the ninth. Here's one of the main reasons I like Bootcheck as a closer: He throws strikes. He's not going to get beat by walking batters. Case in point in the top of the ninth ... Of the 12 pitches Bootcheck threw, 10 were strikes. Last chance for the Hens in the bottom of the ninth, still trailing 2-1.
4:20 p.m. -- HOW ABOUT THAT! The Mud Hens score four times with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to steal a 5-2 win over Syracuse. Several really big at-bats in the game ... nice leadoff at-bat by Justin Henry to get on base, Danny Worth followed with a two-out single to keep things alive, and Matt Young had a clutch two-out single to tie the game, and Brad Eldred slammed the first pitch he saw off the scoreboard in left for a game-winning three-run homer. Hens win, 5-2.
4:26 p.m. -- OK, heading to the clubhouse, so I need to close the blog. Thanks for following along!