Welcome to Coop Scoop coverage of the 2012 season! The Hens continue their four-game series with Durham at Fifth Third Field today with a 6 p.m. contest. I’ll start you out with some breaking news, then move to lineups, notes and links …
5:00 p.m. – So, did anything happen while I was gone? I guess so … and here is the fallout from Saturday’s fun and games. Two Mud Hens were suspended by the International League for their part in Saturday’s fracas as RHP Bruce Rondon was suspended for five games and LHP Drew Smyly was suspended for three games. Because Smyly is a starting pitcher, his suspension will begin on Tuesday … that way a three-day suspension would affect his next start, which is scheduled for Thursday. Mud Hens manager Phil Nevin said he did not know who would start in Smyly’s place Thursday, or when Smyly’s next start would be.
5:08 p.m. -- For those of you who missed it, both Rondon and Smyly were ejected for their part in a fracas Saturday involving -- believe it or no -- former Mud Hen and Tiger Will Rhymes. Click here to read the game story from Saturday, which was written by The Blade's David Briggs and includes info on Donny Kelly at no extra charge.
5:12 p.m. -- While we're at it, click here to view the photo gallery from Saturday's game, with kudos to The Blade's Andy Morrison.
5:17 p.m. -- The Mud Hens lineup for manager Phil Nevin. ... Leading off and playing CF is Justin Henry, followed by Jerad Head at LF, Don Kelly at 3B, John Lindsey at DH, Danny Dorn at 1B, Ben Guez in RF, Danny Worth at 2B, Bryan Holaday at C, Argenis Diaz at SS and RHP Thad Weber as the starting pitcher. Rochester lineup is next ...
5:25 p.m. – The Durham lineup of manager Charlie Montoyo ... Leading off and playing RF is Rich Thompson, followed by Stephens Vogt at 1B, Chris Gimenez at C, Leslie Anderson in LF, Henry Wrigley at DH, Brooks Conrad at 3B, Will Rhymes at 2B, Reid Brignac at SS, Jesus Feliciano in CF and RHP Chris Archer as the starting pitcher.
5:31 p.m. -- Forgot to pass along a laugh from Saturday's game ... there were two other ejections as well. One was of manager Phil Nevin, and the other was of pitching coach A.J. Sager. My understanding is that Saturday was the first ejection of Sager in a professional game.
5:36 p.m. -- I also have chuckled that several of you want to know how Bruce Rondon has looked. His first two appearances were on the road, and his third was on Saturday, his first home appearance. He threw ONE pitch, a ball (it was behind the back of Will Rhymes) and it was clocked at 102 mph.
5:44 p.m. -- I also asked Nevin about RHP Al Alburquerque, who threw 1.1 innings in Saturday's second contest. In that game Alburquerque allowed a hit and two walks that resulted in an earned run. Alburquerque threw 32 pitches, 16 for strikes in his first outing since Aug. 6. Mud Hens manager Phil Nevin said the time of Alburquerque's next start is yet to be determined.
5:53 p.m. -- OK, we're going to have baseball in a few minutes. One other humorous note ... A lot of Mud Hens staffers are nervous that I am covering tonight's game. The last game I covered lasted 19 innings and 6:32. Hopefully history does not repeat itself. Baseball is next!
6:11 p.m. -- Rough start for Mud Hens starter Thad Weber, who gave up hits to the first four batters he faced and ended up allowing three earned runs in the inning. Weber threw 15 of his 23 pitches for strikes, and not all of the hits were struck hard (Stephen Vogt's hit was a grounder that found its way to the outfield, and Leslie Anderson hit a bloop single to center), but three hits and four runs have put the Mud Hens in a deficit against Durham starter Chris Archer, one of Tampa Bay's top prospects.
6:27 p.m. -- Crazy bottom of the first ... the Mud Hens bounced back with three runs in the bottom of the first -- and it could have been more. The big hit for the Hens was a three-run homer by Donny Kelly on a well-struck ball to right. He followed a single to Justin Henry and a walk to Jerad Head with the home run to tie the game. Toledo nearly scored a fourth run as John Lindsey and Ben Guez singled to put runners on first and second. Then with two outs Bryan Holaday singled to center, but Guez was thrown out at third before Lindsey scored -- it was close, but I believe that was the correct call -- and that means the run does not count. We're tied at 3-3 as we head to the second.
6:33 p.m. -- Here's another example of why baseball is a funny game ... After struggling in the first, Mud Hens starter Thad Weber retired all three batters he faced in the second, and took just eight pitches to do it. There was one hard-hit ball -- Jesus Feliciano hit a long fly to center, but there was no danger of it dropping for a hit. Mud Hens come to bat in the second in a contest tied at 3-3.
6:54 p.m. -- Donny Kelly opens the third by lining a single to right, making him 2-for-2 in the contest. He nearly got picked off second base -- if Durham's Reid Brignac holds on to the ball, Kelly is out on the pickoff play -- but Kelly also aggressively took third on a wild pitch. We're still 3-3 as we move to the fourth inning.
7:16 p.m. -- By the way, the walk-up for Don Kelly is "Welcome To The Jungle" by Guns N' Roses. Not by his choice, I assure you.
7:26 p.m. -- The Mud Hens rally for a run in the bottom of the fourth thanks to a two-out single by Justin Henry and a double by Jerad Head, and Mud Hens starter Thad Weber continues his fine work following the first. After giving up hits to the first four batters he faced, Weber didn't allow a hit until Rich Thompson singled to lead off the fifth. Thompson stole second and moved to third on a flyout, but Weber stranded him at third with a groundout and a strikeout. Important shut-down inning by Weber as Hens come to bat in the bottom of the fifth with a 4-3 lead.
7:34 p.m. -- Another reason that it's good to be in the press box: there seems to be some type of bug infestation on the club level. Hoping that none of these people swatting at the gnats (bugs?) don't hit anyone with their backswing. Back to baseball, where the Hens lead Durham 4-3 as we head to the sixth ...
7:44 p.m. -- By the way, enjoying the dancing of the Perrysburg Dance Academy's Irish Dancers. Nice work by a group of young dancers. Now back to baseball, and this time I really mean it ...
7:59 p.m. -- I would guess that Thad Weber has finished his day's work, and it has been a fine effort following a rocky start. Weber gave up hits to the first four Durham hitters he faced, then allowed just two hits to the next 26 batters he faced. He did walk four, but several times he pitched out of jams to keep the Bulls off the board. The Mud Hens bat in the bottom of the seventh, looking to add to a 4-3 lead.
8:13 p.m. -- Bad news for the Mud Hens in the bottom of the seventh ... A single and a double put runners on second and third with no one out, and then load the bases with one out, and fail to score. With the runners on second and third against Durham left-handed reliever Frank De Los Santos, Donny Kelly couldn't get the ball out of the infield against the drawn-in infield, grounding out to second base to keep the runners in place. The Bulls then walked John Lindsey to load the bases, but Danny Dorn popped out and Ben Guez took a called third strike. We go to the eighth with the score still Hens 4, Durham 3.
8:23 p.m. -- Oh by the way, if you missed the news ... Miami has promoted C Rob Brantly from Triple-A New Orleans. Brantly, who played with the Mud Hens before he was included in the trade that sent Anibel Sanchez and Omar Infante to the Tigers, hit .365 with two home runs, four doubles and 11 RBIs in 14 games with the Zephyrs. With the Mud Hens Brantly hit .254 with no homers and six RBIs in 36 games.
8:31 p.m. -- Reliever Jose Ortega slams the door on Durham in the ninth ... actually, he got the final six outs of the game and claimed his first save this season. Nifty effort by the Mud Hens to claim their fifth consecutive victory. Closing the blog to head to the clubhouse ... thanks for following along!