The story in a nutshell -- or is that an egg shell? -- of the Mud Hens' 8-4 loss to Louisville at Fifth Third Field on Saturday, July 28, 2012 ...
Click here to read the in-game blog for the contest. Click here to read the game story from Saturday's contest. Click here to read the notebook from Saturday's game, which talks about Andy Oliver and his move to the bullpen.
TWITTER POST: Wilk throws 7 strong, but Louisville scores 3 in 8th & 5 in ninth to claim 8-4 victory over Hens; two teams now tied for IL's worst record
Mud Hens 1st: With Sean Gallagher pitching, Andy Dirks drew a two-out walk, stole second, and came home on a home run by John Lindsey. Mud Hens 2, Louisville 0.
Mud Hens 6th: Justin Henry is hit by a pitch, and Danny Worth walks to push Henry to second. Both runners come home on a double off the fence in right by Danny Dorn. Mud Hens 4, Louisville 0.
Louisville 8th: With Adam Wilk pitching, DiDi Gregorius tripled with one out. Reliever Luis Marte came on and gave up an RBI single to Henry Rodriguez before Neftali Soto doubled Rodriguez to third. Mike Costanzo singled to score Rodriguez and send Soto to third, and Soto came home on a two-out single by Felix Perez. Mud Hens 4, Louisville 3.
Louisville 9th: With Chris Bootcheck pitching, Denis Phipps singled with one out, moved to second on a single by Gregorius, and scored on a two-out single by Soto. Gregorius took third on Soto’s single, while Soto went to second on the throw to the plate. Costanzo was walked intentionally to load the bases, and Cody Puckett unloaded them with a grand slam to left-center. Louisville 8, Mud Hens 4.
KING OF THE ROOST: Hens LHP Adam Wilk had a lot riding on his shoulders because the Hens bullpen had been battered in recent days at Columbus. And Wilk was up to the task, shutting out Louisville on just five hits and one walk over the first seven innings. Wilk’s season ERA dropped to 2.97, which ranks among the International League leaders, but he still is 4-10 on the season. Telling statistic: Wilk has posted a “quality start,” allowing three earned runs or fewer while covering at least six innings, in nine of his last 11 starts, but is 2-6 in that span.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Even though the Mud Hens had allowed Louisville to creep back into the contest with three runs in the eighth, Toledo was one out away from claiming the victory when Hens closer Chris Bootcheck faced the Bats’ Neftali Soto with runners on first and second and two outs in the ninth. But Soto found a way to single to left to score the game’s tying run, and the wind rushed out of the Hens’ sails. But the time the inning was finished, Louisville had added a grand slam to claim the victory.
THE NUMBERS GAME: The Mud Hens have lost four in a row and are 9-17 in July and 23-56 since May 7. But all of that adds up to the worst numbers of all: Toledo now is 42-67 this season, which ties them with Louisville for the worst record in the International League.
THE HIDDEN GAME: Often we watch a baseball game thinking it happens in a “vacuum.” But the reality is that a particular day’s game may be affected by what happened the previous few days. And in this case, “what happened” the past few days is that the Toledo bullpen was forced to cover 17.1nnings (out of 24 inning) in the previous three games. Chris Bootcheck had covered 2.2 innings in two of the previous three days, while Luis Marte had covered 2.1 innings in two of the previous three days. The bullpen was in tatters, and that led directly to the loss.
TRANSACTION LOG: The Mud Hens made no moves Saturday night, but their most-recent move came Friday when LHP Andy Oliver came off the disabled list and OF Ben Guez was placed on the DL.
NEXT HOME GAME: The Mud Hens continue their series with Louisville on Sunday, July 29, with first pitch set for 6 p.m.