Welcome to Coop Scoop coverage of the 2012 season! The Hens are at Fifth Third Field to continue their series against Buffalo. The game starts at 7 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!
6:00 p.m. – A few interesting notes today, but let’s start with lineups, then the notes and perhaps a link or two at the bottom.
6:05 p.m. -- The Mud Hens lineup for manager Phil Nevin ... Leading off and playing CF is Justin Henry, followed by Ryan Raburn at 2B, Brad Eldred at DH, Ryan Strieby at 1B, Eric Patterson in CF, Ben Guez in RF, Audy Ciriaco at 3B, Bryan Holaday at C, Brent Dlugach at SS and LHP Andy Oliver as the starting pitcher. Buffalo lineup is next ...
6:10 p.m. -- The Buffalo lineup of manager Wally Backman ... Leading off and serving as the DH is Corey Wimberly, followed by Fred Lewis in LF, Valentino Pascucci in RF, Josh Satin at 1B, Matt Tuiasosopo at CF, Rob Johnson at C, Brad Emaus at 2B, Oswaldo Navarro at SS, Michael Fisher at 3B and LHP Garrett Olson as the starting pitcher.
6:16 p.m. -- OK, a few notes ... First, to address the most curious note of the night: Matt Young. Young is still here in Toledo, despite the information I got after Friday night's game. Click here to read the blog entry about Young being called up to Detroit. Young referred questions to manager Phil Nevin, who said, "I was asked to take Matt out pending a possible move. The move didn't happen."
6:23 p.m. -- Nevin said that Young isn't in today's starting lineup because the Mud Hens are facing a left-handed starter, Buffalo's Garrett Olson, and Young deserves a day off after having played the team's last 13 straight games.
6:29 p.m. -- By the way, a word about Matt Young ... someone mentioned to Young that what happened to him was "unfair." He was quick to say, "No, there's a lot of stuff going on in the world that's unfair." Good perspective. And a good guy ... actually he's one of a number of good people in the Toledo clubhouse this season.
6:35 p.m. -- The Mud Hens have named a starter for Tuesday's contest, the opener of the series against Charlotte. Brooks Brown, who threw four scoreless innings in a spot start a few days back, will be the starter in that game. Nevin said the Mud Hens are dealing with that opening in the rotation on a "start-by-start" basis.
6:44 p.m. -- OK, a few links while I try to sneak in some dinner. Click here to read the game story from Friday's victory, which includes comments from Ryan Raburn on his return to Toledo. And click here to read yesterday's in-game blog.
6:49 p.m. -- Going to sneak a little pizza ... I'll be back after Andy Oliver finishes the first inning. Talk to you then!
7:10 p.m. -- Outside of a two-out walk on a 3-2 pitch, Andy Oliver retired the Bisons without incident in the first inning. Oliver threw 19 pitches, 10 of which were strikes. Oliver had a firm fastball in the first, sitting at 94-96 mph (two at 94, two at 95, three at 96), with his cutter at 91-92 mph (two at 91, one at 92, one at 93) and the breaking ball sitting at 84-85 mph (two at 84, three at 85, one at 86). No score as the Mud Hens come to bat in the bottom of the first.
7:15 p.m. -- Second straight day that Ryan Raburn gets a loud round of applause when he comes to the plate.
7:25 p.m. -- The Mud Hens score twice in the bottom of the first inning thanks to a pair of terrific two-out at-bats. The first was by Eric Patterson with runners on first and third and two outs. Patterson got ahead in the count 3-1, eventually saw the count filled, then worked an eight-pitch walk to load the bases. The other was by the next hitter, Ben Guez, who got ahead in the count 2-1 and stroked a two-run single to center. Toledo leads 2-0 after the first inning.
7:42 p.m. -- Andy Oliver figures out a way to pitch his way out of trouble in the third ... he picked off a pair of baserunners off first. With one out he picked Michael Fisher off first base, only to see Corey Wimberly beat out a slow roller behind the bag at second base for a single (despite a terrific play by Ryan Raburn to try and retire him). Then Oliver picked Wimberly off first. Mud Hens still lead 2-0 as we head to the bottom of the second.
7:49 p.m. -- For those of you wondering, this season Oliver has allowed four stolen bases and caught six runners stealing.
8:08 p.m. -- Nice effort by Andy Oliver in the fourth inning. He gave up a leadoff single to Fred Lewis and then saw Valentino Pascucci line a single off his heel to put runners on first and second with no one out. Oliver promptly struck out the next two hitters before getting an inning-ending fly out. Here's an interesting number: Oliver threw 20 pitches in that inning, with 16 of them for strikes. Through the first four innings Oliver has thrown 66 pitches, 42 for strikes. Still Toledo 2, Buffalo 0.
8:16 p.m. -- T-Town Dragsters come back with a classic, dancing to "Party In the U.S.A." We're about to move into the fifth inning, with the Hens still in front 2-0.
8:29 p.m. -- Andy Oliver made his own trouble in the fifth, walking the first two batters he faced in the inning. But again he pitches out of trouble, with a couple of assists to catcher Bryan Holaday. Buffalo's Michael Fisher popped up a bunt in front of home plate, and Holaday made a fine sliding catch. Then with two outs Fred Lewis swung and missed a 1-2 pitch from Oliver and Holaday made a fine catch to record the strikeout. Mud Hens still lead 2-0 as they come to the plate in the bottom of the fifth.
8:38 p.m. -- A Ryan Raburn update ... He struck out on three pitches in the first, hit a hard liner to third base in the third and hit a soft ground ball that was handled by the first baseman here in the fifth. Toledo does not score in the inning but still leads Buffalo 2-0.
8:42 p.m. -- The down side of Oliver's effort tonight ... He already has walked three through the first five innings, and the second is that I have him with 90 pitches through just five innings. He has surpassed 100 pitches several times, but he won't go far past that. The Bisons come to bat in the sixth still trailing 2-0.
8:52 p.m. -- The Bisons finally touch Oliver for a run in the sixth, but it took an error by Ryan Strieby on a foul popup to produce the run. After Strieby's drop, Valentino Pascucci drew a walk, then scored on a double by Matt Tuiasosopo. It's an unearned run, but they all count the same as Toledo's lead is now 2-1 as the Hens come to bat in the bottom of the sixth.
9:10 p.m. -- Andy Oliver has been replaced by Darin Downs in the top of the seventh, and Downs has found trouble immediately. He gave up a single to Oswaldo Navarro and a single to Michael Fisher off the wall in left that pushed Navarro to third. Downs then got a ground ball to shortstop, but Brent Dlugach misplayed the ball for an error that allowed the tying run to score. Downs then walked Fred Lewis to load the bases. Jose Ortega comes on to replace to Downs with the bases loaded and no one out in the seventh with the score tied 2-2. We probably will learn something about Ortega here.
9:23 p.m. -- Wow. Jose Ortega is impressive in pitching out of a bases-loaded, none-out jam in the seventh. With the score tied at 2-2, Ortega strikes out Buffalo's 3-4-5 hitters on a total of 16 pitches, 11 of which were strikes. Ortega's fastball was impressive ... one registered at 101 mph (which I don't believe -- I think it was a foul ball) and one registered at 99 mph (no argument here). He had five more at 97, one at 96 and one at 95. What was more impressive was the big break on his slider, one of which hit 90 mph. Simply put? VERY impressive. Mud Hens come to bat in the bottom of the seventh of a 2-2 tie.
9:44 p.m. -- We're heading to the ninth with the score tied 2-2, and I need to focus on the game story for Sunday's paper. I'll be back for big news ... otherwise, talk to you in a little bit ...
9:59 p.m. -- Brent Dlugach leads off the bottom of the ninth with a game-winning home run. Mud Hens defeat Buffalo 3-2. Closing the blog. Talk to you again soon!