Welcome to Coop Scoop coverage of the 2012 season! The Hens begin a four-game series against Rochester at Fifth Third Field today, and there are a few former Hens on the Red Wings’ roster. After a day off, it’s time to get back into the swing with lineups, notes and links …
6:00 p.m. – Amazing the number of former Mud Hens on the Rochester roster, although several of those players are on the disabled list. More on that later. Let’s start with the lineups, OK?
6:05 p.m. –The Mud Hens lineup for manager Phil Nevin. ... Leading off and playing CF is Justin Henry, followed by Danny Worth at 3B, Andy Dirks in RF, John Lindsey at DH, Danny Dorn at 1B, Jerad Head in LF, Matt Young at 2B, Bryan Holaday at C, Argenis Diaz at SS and RHP Thad Weber as the starting pitcher. Rochester lineup is next ...
6:11 p.m. – The Rochester lineup of manager Gene Glynn ... Leading off and playing 2B is Tsuyoshi Nishioka, followed by Eduardo Escobar at SS, Matt Carson in RF, Chris Parmalee at 1B, Clete Thomas in CF, Evan Bigley in LF, Brian Dinkelman at DH, Ray Chang at 3B, Rene Rivera at C and RHP Liam Hendriks as the starting pitcher.
6:18 p.m. – Not much in the way of notes. … I asked Mud Hens manager Phil Nevin about OF Ben Guez, and Nevin said Guez isn’t quite ready to return to the roster. Guez, who went on the disabled list July 27 with a hamstring problem, is jogging but did not take batting practice on the field before today’s game.
6:25 p.m. – One other note … This afternoon the Tigers’ team in Double-A Erie released 3B Bryan Pounds. Pounds played in 58 games for the SeaWolves this season, hitting .201 with five home runs and 16 RBIs. He also saw action in 12 games for the Mud Hens this season, hitting .132 with a pair of homers and five RBIs.
6:32 p.m. -- OK, let's move to links next ... and I was busy in recent days. Here we go, first with stuff posted to the blog. Click here to read today's installment of "Your Questions, My Answers," which addresses the question I keep hearing about Phil Nevin and his future in Toledo. Click here to read today's Mud Hens Mindbender (which has been answered, by the way). Click here to read a report from Tuesday on Andy Dirks and Danny Worth. Click here to read a report from Tuesday on LHP Drew Smyly. And click here to read the in-game blog from Tuesday's contest.
6:43 p.m. -- A few links from the print edition following Tuesday's victory over Louisville. Click here to read the game story from the win, which included info from Drew Smyly, Andy Dirks and Danny Worth. And click here to view the photo gallery from the contest, courtesy of The Blade's Zack Conkle.
6:55 p.m. -- Trying to sneak a bite of dinner before the game starts. I'll see you on the other side with a quick look at Thad Weber and his first inning of work. Talk to you in a few minutes!
7:05 p.m. -- Talk about a quick inning ... Thad Weber retired Rochester 1-2-3 in the first inning on six whopping pitches, five of which were strikes. No good swings against him ... fastball sat at 89-90 mph, slider at 86. Hens come to bat in the bottom of the first inning of a scoreless game.
7:12 p.m. -- The Mud Hens are retired 1-2-3 by Rochester starter Liam Hendriks, who is one of the top prospects in Minnesota's farm system. Hendriks got a pair of called third strikes before Andy Dirks hit a fly ball to relatively deep centerfield. No score, end of the first.
7:34 p.m. -- VERY different second inning for Thad Weber, who gave up a leadoff home run to Chris Parmalee before laboring through a 39-pitch inning. Late in the inning Rob Waite was warming up in the bullpen because Weber came very close to the Tigers' 40-pitches-in-an-inning limit for players on the 40-man roster. Weber allowed a single to former Hen Clete Thomas, then got two outs before allowing three two-out hits that produced two more runs. The Mud Hens come to bat in the second trailing Rochester 3-0.
7:41 p.m. -- Meanwhile Red Wings RHP Liam Hendriks continued to mow down the Hens in the second, racking up two more strikeouts (including a third called-third-strike). Hendriks has thrown just 26 pitches in the first two innings, 17 for strikes.
8:01 p.m. -- Mud Hens break up the no-hitter with a bunt single in the third, but a double play ruined a potential rally. Interesting statistic: Which International League team has been shut out the fewest times this season? Here's a hint: Why would I ask this question? We've finished three innings, and Rochester still leads 3-0.
8:13 p.m. -- T-Town Dragsters break out a new song for this season ... Dancing to Tina Turner's version of "Rolling on the River." Highlight for the Mud Hens so far, as we have played four and Rochester still leads 3-0.
8:29 p.m. -- For those of you wondering, there are SIX former Mud Hens on the Rochester roster, although two of them are on the disabled list. The six? RHPs Lester Oliveros and Brendan Wise, LHP Luke French, IF Michael Hollimon, and OFs Wilkin Ramirez and Clete Thomas.
8:46 p.m. -- Thad Weber is lifted after six innings ... His line was eight hits and one walk allowed that produced three earned runs. Here's the crazy thing: If you exclude the second inning, Weber's line is three hits and walk in five scoreless innings. Of course, you can't discount the second, where he allowed all three runs on five hits. Jose Ortega on in relief as the Hens trail Rochester 3-0.
9:01 p.m. -- The Mud Hens scored a run in the seventh (for those of you wondering about the answer to the question I posed at 8:01, it's the Mud Hens -- they have been shut out only one time all season). Toledo's run came on back-to-back leadoff doubles by Danny Worth and Andy Dirks, and Dirks moved to third on a groundout by John Lindsey -- tough break there, as Lindsey hit Rochester starter Liam Hendriks with the ball, but it bounced straight to Ray Chang at third base, and Chang threw out Lindsey at first. But with the infield back deep -- conceding the run -- Danny Dorn struck out, and Jerad Head struck out to end the inning. Mud Hens trying to inch back into the game, now trailing 3-1 as we head to the eighth.
9:17 p.m. -- Just when the Mud Hens get a run, they allow Rochester to score a run in the top of the eighth to re-establish a three-run lead. Toledo's Jose Ortega retired the Red Wings 1-2-3 in the seventh, but with one out in the eighth Evan Bigley slammed a home run off the base of the scoreboard in left. Then Ortega allowed a single and a walk before escaping further damage. The Hens come to bat in the bottom of the eighth trailing 4-1.
9:33 p.m. -- Mud Hens are retired in order in the eighth, and after a two-out single by Andy Dirks in the ninth Rochester closes out a win in the first game in this series, 4-1. Heading to the clubhouse ... thanks for following along.