Welcome to Coop Scoop coverage of the 2012 season! The Hens finish their brief two-game series with Louisville at Fifth Third Field tonight with a 6 p.m. start. I’ll start you out with some lineups, notes and links …
5:00 p.m. – The Mud Hens lineup for manager Phil Nevin. ... Leading off and playing CF is Justin Henry, followed by Ryan Raburn in LF, Don Kelly at 3B, Ben Guez in RF, Danny Dorn at 1B, Danny Worth at 2B, Jerad Head at DH, Brad Davis at C, Argenis Diaz at SS and LHP Casey Crosby as the starting pitcher. Louisville lineup is next ...
5:06 p.m. – The Louisville lineup of manager David Bell ... Leading off and playing CF is Denis Phipps, followed by Didi Gregorius at 2B, Devin Mesoraco at C, Neftali Soto at 1B, Henry Rodriguez at 3B, Felix Perez in RF, Chris Valaika at DH, Willie Harris in LF, Cody Puckett at 2B and RHP Tim Gustafson as the starting pitcher.
5:13 p.m. – One addition to the Mud Hens roster ... LHP Daniel Schlereth has joined the team on a rehab assignment. Because he is a major-leaguer rehabbing with the Hens, he doesn't count against Toledo's 25-man roster. He is expected to pitch in today's contest.
5:21 p.m. -- OK, here are a few links from Saturday ... Let's just say I was busy. First, from the blog ... click here to read an analysis of the four pitchers who saw action for the Mud Hens Saturday -- Andy Oliver, Luke Putkonen, Al Alburquerque and Bruce Rondon. Click here to read the in-game blog from Saturday's contest.
5:32 p.m. -- A few more blogs, these from today's edition of The Blade ... First, click here to read the game story from Saturday's contest, which talks about the game and the Hens' recent offensive success. Click here to read the notebook from Saturday's contest, which talks about the team's recent success and some changes to the rotation. And click here to view a photo gallery from Saturday's contest, courtesy of The Blade's Jeremy Wadsworth.
5:40 p.m. -- There's going to be another on-field ceremony honoring the Navy again, so I'll have to stand for a little while. Back in a few moments ...
5:53 p.m. -- OK, back in a seated position now ... A quick word about Mud Hens starter Casey Crosby. If I told you he had lost four of his last five starts, you'd think he's pitching pretty poorly, right? Well, you'd be wrong. He has lost his last two starts despite throwing complete games (in seven-inning doubleheader contests) and allowing just one run in each. Obviously, the Hens got shut out in both games. He did get batted around in Rochester, allowing six runs in 5.2 innings, but in the other loss -- at home against Louisville July 29 -- he gave up just three hits and one run in eight strong innings. On the season Crosby has a 3.33 ERA for the month of August and a 3.66 ERA for the season.
5:59 p.m. -- We're almost ready for baseball ... see you once we get started!
6:08 p.m. -- It only two three pitches for Mud Hens starter Casey Crosby to give up two runs as the leadoff man, Denis Phipps, swung and missed the first pitch before singling, and Didi Gregorius slammed the first pitch he saw from Crosby off the buildings behind the right-field fence for a two-run home run. Crosby did get the next three batters out, collecting a strikeout along the way. Crosby threw 14 pitches, 10 of which were strikes. Interesting to note that Crosby didn't throw a single pitch above 90 miles per hour. The last time he faced Louisville he sat 91-93 mph and touched 97. Don't believe me? Click here to read that scouting report. Mud Hens trail 2-0 as they come to bat in the bottom of the first.
6:16 p.m. -- Yikes. Louisville starter Tim Gustafson struck out the Mud Hens in order in the bottom of the first. Leadoff man Justin Henry worked to get a full count, then swung at a pitch near his shoulders to strike out. Gustafson then struck out Ryan Raburn on three pitches and Don Kelly on four pitches to finish the inning. Mud Hens trail 2-0 as we head to the second.
6:28 p.m. -- Mud Hens get on the board in the second inning. After Gustafson struck out the first batter of the inning, Ben Guez, he quickly got ahead of Danny Dorn 0-2 before Dorn slammed a long home run off the buildings behind the right-field fence (just a few feet below the home run by Gregorius). We head to the third with the Louisville lead cut to 2-1.
6:36 p.m. -- Just checked the numbers ... Since Danny Dorn was released by Louisville and signed by the Mud Hens, he has hit .303 against his former team (and that was before today's home run). Dorn hit .230 with seven homers and 24 RBIs in 69 games with the Bats before his release and came into today's game with a .291 batting average, five home runs and 20 RBIs in just 39 games with Toledo. For those wondering, Dorn hit just .091 in six games against the Hens while he was with Louisville.
6:54 p.m. -- The T-Town Dragster serve up some dancing to "Bye Bye Bye." Even funnier: Louisville's Corky Miller does some dancing while the Dragsters are performing in front of him. Still Louisville 2, Mud Hens 1 as we head to the fifth.
7:04 p.m. -- Louisville strikes again with another two-run homer to make the score 4-1 with the Bats still batting in the fifth. Hens starter Casey Crosby got ahead of Willie Harris 0-2 before giving up a soft line drive to right for a single. One out later Denis Phipps hit a high fly that hit the left-field foul pole for his 15th home run of the season. Phipps is 3-for-3, the rest of the Bats are 3-for-18. Toledo now trails 4-1 as the Hens come to bat in the bottom of the fifth.
7:13 p.m. -- Meanwhile the Mud Hens are struggling offensively against Tim Gustafson. Toledo has had just two baserunners, and it has been Danny Dorn in his two plate appearances. He homered in the second for the Hens' only run, then drew a leadoff walk in the fifth. Danny Worth did hit a long fly to center (for an out), but otherwise not many hard-hit balls. And Dorn was erased when Jerad Head hit into a double play, thanks in part to a nifty play by Louisville shortstop Didi Gregorius. Bats lead 4-1 as they come to bat in the sixth.
7:30 p.m. -- The Mud Hens saw a chance to get back into this game go by the boards in the bottom of the sixth. Brad Davis led off with a walk, and with one out Justin Henry singled him to second. But Ryan Raburn grounded into an inning-ending double play. Still Louisville 4, Mud Hens 1 as we head to the seventh ... and Daniel Schlereth comes on to pitch.
7:37 p.m. -- No worries, for those of you wondering ... I will do a post-game wrap of the pitching of Crosby, Schlereth and anyone else who merits it.
7:42 p.m. -- Daniel Schlereth retired the Bats 1-2-3 in the seventh, and Luis Marte begins to warm up in the Mud Hens bullpen, so I assume Schlereth is done for the night. Schlereth did have a strikeout and threw strikes with nine of his 15 pitches. Again, a complete wrap-up after the contest. Toledo comes to the bat in the bottom of the seventh, still trailing Louisville 4-1.
8:05 p.m. -- Luis Marte retired the Bats 1-2-3 in the eighth, and struck out two of the three hitters he faced. Marte threw strikes with nine of his 13 pitches, and it looks as if his day is done as Zach Miner begins warming up in the bullpen. Toledo comes to the plate in the eighth, still trailing 4-1.
8:16 p.m. -- The Mud Hens get a run back in the bottom of the eighth, using an RBI single by Ryan Raburn to score a run by leaving two runners on base. But after getting almost no one on base in the early innings, Toledo has stranded five in the last three innings (two in both the seventh and eighth). Louisville carries a 4-2 lead into the ninth.
8:32 p.m. -- The Mud Hens get one more run on a pinch-hit RBI single by John Lindsey but still fall a run score, losing to Louisville 4-3. Heading to the clubhouse, so I'm going to close the blog. Thanks for following along!