Welcome to Coop Scoop coverage of the 2012 season! The Hens will play the final game of their series at Fifth Third Field against Indianapolis tonight. Obviously I am way behind, so let’s get rolling!
7:00 p.m. – If you missed the big news, Tigers have traded Jacob Turner, Mud Hens Rob Brantly, Brian Flynn and compensation draft pick next season to Miami for Anibal Sanchez, Omar Infante and Marlins' compensation draft pick next season. On to tonight's Mud Hens game. ...
7:05 p.m. –The Mud Hens lineup for manager Phil Nevin. ... Leading off and playing 3B is Audy Ciriaco, followed by Ben Guez in RF, Andy Dirks in CF, John Lindsey at DH, Jerad Head in LF, Danny Dorn at 1B, Bryan Holaday at C, Argenis Diaz at SS, Cale Iorg at 2B and LHP Adam Wilk as the starting pitcher. Indianapolis lineup is next ...
7:10 p.m. -- The Indianapolis lineup of manager Dean Treanor ... Leading off and playing SS is Chase d'Arnaud, followed by Jose Tabata in CF, Sterling Marte in LF, Matt Hague at 1B, Jeff Clement at DH, Tony Sanchez at C, Anderson Hernandez at 2B, Brandon Boggs in RF, Brian Friday at 3B and LHP Jeff Locke as the starting pitcher.
7:17 p.m. -- Talked to Brantly very briefly before the game started ... I'll have a few quotes after the game. Appreciate your patience with that.
7:23 p.m. -- The Mud Hens did make a move before the game, activating Cale Iorg from the disabled list. Iorg had suffered a concussion on the road last week. To make room on the roster the Mud Hens sent 3B Bryan Pounds to Double-A Erie.
7:31 p.m. -- Andy Dirks continues his rehab assignment with the Mud Hens tonight. He nearly made a fantastic catch in centerfield on the second batter in the game. Dirks caught the ball off the bat of Jose Tabata with a somersault, but the ball flew out of his glove as finished the spin and returned to his feet. It was ruled a double ... and I've seen balls that were controlled less called outs. Terrific defensive play by Dirks.
7:37 p.m. -- Oh, and Dirks walked in his first plate appearance. Fouled the first pitch off, then took four straight balls for a walk.
7:49 p.m. -- Here's a quote from Rob Brantly about the trade: “It’s a new experience for me,” he said. “It’s a part of the game. I’m excited to go play. It’s kind of a new start somewhere [else] and there’s always excitement with that.” Brantly said he has been assigned to New Orleans, Miami's Triple-A affiliate in the Pacific Coast League.
7:58 p.m. -- Two plate appearances for Andy Dirks, two walks. In the second appearance Dirks took a called strike, three straight balls, then fouled off a pitch before taking ball four to load the bases with one out. But John Lindsey and Jerad Head struck out with the bases loaded, and the Mud Hens still trail Indianapolis 1-0 as we head to the fourth.
8:14 p.m. -- The Mud Hens have no one to blame but themselves for having been shut out through the first four innings. So far Indianapolis starter Jeff Locke has walked SIX Mud Hens, at least one in every inning. And he has been wild -- he has thrown 73 pitches, but only 36 have been strikes. The problem? The Mud Hens are 0-for-3 when batting with runners in scoring position and have stranded six.
8:29 p.m. -- Wish I would have posted that previous note earlier, as Hens get on the board with an Audy Ciriaco home run. Nice at-bat for Ciriaco, who realized Locke has been struggling to throw strikes and put a good swing on the first strike he got -- which was the first pitch of the at-bat. The Mud Hens and Indians are now tied, 1-1.
8:44 p.m. -- As Mud Hens start to rally in the sixth, a word about Toledo starter Adam Wilk, who has thrown well tonight. Wilk has allowed just four hits and two walks in six innings, while striking out seven. And that's a strong effort against a veteran Indianapolis lineup. Hens have runners on third (Jerad Head, who lead off with a single) and Danny Dorn (who doubled Head to third). Bryan Holaday walks to load the bases, and that's the end of the night for Jeff Locke. The Indians bring on Chris LeRue in relief with the bases loaded and no one out in a 1-1 contest.
9:03 p.m. -- The Mud Hens fail to score, manager Phil Nevin is ejected, and the bottom of the sixth could be the turning point of the game. Argenis Diaz worked a 2-2 count off Indy reliever Chris LaRue, fouls off three more pitches, then seems to check his swing. But first-base umpire Chris Ward said Diaz didn't check his swing. Nevin began to yell from the third-base coaching box, and Ward ejected him from across the field. While the check-swing call wasn't good (at least it seemed incorrect on replay), ejecting a manager from across the field is awful. Nevin did get his money's worth with a LONG discussion behind first base, then extended the discussion when he got back to the dugout. It proved to be a critical out because pinch-hitter Matt Young struck out and Audy Ciriaco hit into an inning-ending fielder's choice. A potential big inning wasted, momentum swings to Indy as the Indians come to bat in the seventh inning of a 1-1 contest.
9:11 p.m. -- This one looked as if it might be unraveling for the Mud Hens ... but Adam Wilk got a big double play to keep the game tied at 1-1. Wilk walked the leadoff man, Tony Sanchez, and after a sacrifice Wilk walked Brandon Boggs on a 3-2 pitch. A close 3-2 pitch. I thought the pitch was outside, but Wilk thought it was a strikeout. He argued from behind the mound, and pitching coach A.J. Sager shrewdly came out to the mound for a conference. Wilk settled down, got ahead of Brian Friday 1-2 and coaxed an inning-ending double play. Still 1-1 as we head to the bottom of the seventh.
9:22 p.m. -- Another opportunity wasted by the Mud Hens in the bottom of the seventh, as Andy Dirks singled with one out, then moved to second on a wild pitch and took third on a wild pitch. But the "Angels In the Outfield" jinx struck (you know, the video where everyone starts waving their arms like they are flapping their wings) and John Lindsey struck out and Jerad Head popped out. We go to the eighth, still tied 1-1.
9:29 p.m. -- Andy Dirks has left the game, finishing his night 1-for-2 with a single and a pair of walks.
9:57 p.m. -- We will head to extra innings at Fifth Third Field with the score still tied 1-1. Collin Balester has pitched well for the Mud Hens so far, allowing just one hit in two innings, but the Mud Hens need him to pitch a clean third inning -- then find a way to score a run. Toledo is 3-6 in extra innings this season, while Indianapolis is 6-5. Here we go ...
10:12 p.m. -- Balester gets a 1-2-3 top of the 10th, but the Mud Hens fail to score in the bottom of the 10th. John Lindsey drew a leadoff walk, but Jerad Head bunted foul, then was allowed to swing away ... and grounded into a double play. Still no score as we head to the 11th.
10:28 p.m. -- Indianapolis gets a one-out double by Starling Marte but does not score in the top of the 11th, but Mud Hens are retired 1-2-3 in the bottom of the 11th. Still tied 1-1 as we head to the 12th. For those wondering, the longest game for the Mud Hens this season was a 14-inning game at Charlotte on May 8. And don't even think about the longest game in Fifth Third Field history ... this was a 16-inning game against Syracuse on June 16, 2006.
10:37 p.m. -- You've got to love "get-away" day games that go into extra innings. That isn't a terrible problem for the Mud Hens, who play tomorrow in Columbus -- in other words, they will board a bus tomorrow morning for an easy two-hour trip. Push the departure time back a few hours, no problem. Indianapolis has a tougher road, though ... they play tomorrow at home against Pawtucket, which means they still have a long bus ride ahead of them. Tomorrow is going to be an ugly day for the Indians.
10:43 p.m. -- Here's today's "Racing With the Stars" report ... Kitty Holmes had an early lead reaching third base, but Jim Flealand avoided a bump around third base, raced into the lead and "high-stepped" to the victory. Back to baseball ...
10:55 p.m. -- Gotta write the game story, even though the game isn't finished. Back in a little ...
11:25 p.m. -- HOLY MACKEREL ... The Mud Hens give up a run in the top of the 14th inning, then have a crazy double play to end up a 2-1 loss to Indianapolis. Let's talk about the crazy finish ... with one out, the Indians' Jose Diaz walked Argenis Diaz. The next batter, Matt Young, lifted a foul fly on a pitch where Argenis Diaz was running on the pitch. Brian Friday went over to the edge of the fence behind the Mud Hens dugout and caught the ball, with Diaz returning to first base. But Indianapolis appealed that Diaz didn't touch second base when he returned to first ... and the umpire called him OUT for a game-ending double play. Crazy.
11:35 p.m. -- Indianapolis scored its run in the top of the 14th off the Hens' Luis Marte, who gave up a one-out single to Eric Fryer and a two-out RBI double in the left-center gap by Brandon Boggs.
11:46 p.m. -- A few words about time of game ... The game lasted 4:22, which is the longest game (in terms of time) for the Mud Hens this season. The previous longest game came at Charlotte May 8 when the Hens and Knights also went 14 innings but finished the game in exactly four hours. This is not the longest game, in terms of innings or time played, in Fifth Third Field history. The longest game was a 16-inning contest against Syracuse on June 16, 2006. The longest game in terms of elapsed time here was a 14-inning game against Rochester on June 23, 2003 that took 4:39 to play.
11:52 p.m. -- A few words about all the walks in the game. Indianapolis pitchers finished with 10 walks allowed, which is one shy of the opponent's season high. Louisville pitchers walked 11 Hens on April 19 at Louisville. But Indy starter Jeff Locke and his seven walks set a season high for an opposing pitcher at Fifth Third Field. The 11 walks by five Indianapolis pitchers is a record for most walks by a visiting team at Fifth Third Field, surpassing the old mark of 10 set by Indianapolis, believe it or not, on Aug. 28, 2009. Locke also tied the ballpark record for most walks by a visiting pitcher.
11:59 p.m. -- And finally, a few words about the strikeouts. The four Mud Hen pitchers struck out 15 hitters, tying the season high for the team. The five Indianapolis pitchers finished with 17 strikeouts, setting a new high (surpassing the 15 whiffs Columbus pitchers had April 21). The Mud Hens fell one shy of the franchise record for strikeouts in a game at Fifth Third Field, which was set against Indianapolis on July 4 of last year.
12:06 a.m. -- I know that any time the "time stamp" has an A.M. at the end, that's not a good sign. So I'm going to close the books on the blog. Thanks for following along ... talk to you again soon!