Here is pre-game and in-game information from the Mud Hens' game vs. Rochester at Fifth Third Field on Thursday, May 9. Make sure to press “refresh” for updates throughout the contest.
Rochester Red Wings (14-19) at Toledo Mud Hens (9-25)
First pitch: 6:30 p.m.
Radio: 1230 AM, WCWA. Click here to listen on the Internet.
Gameday: Click here to follow the contest pitch-by-pitch.
ROCHESTER: Leading off and playing 3B is Ray Olmedo, followed by Doug Bernier at SS, Chris Herrmann in LF, Chris Colabello at 1B, Joe Benson in CF, Jeff Clement at DH, Nate Hanson in RF, Eric Farris at 2B, Evan Fryer at C and RHP Liam Hendriks as the starting pitcher.
MUD HENS: Leading off and playing SS is Argenis Diaz, followed by Ramon Cabrera at C, Avisail Garcia in RF, Jordan Lennerton at 1B, Nick Castellanos in LF, Danny Dorn at DH, Kevin Russo at 3B, Quintin Berry in CF, Brandon Douglas at 2B and LHP Jose Alvarez as the starting pitcher.
Matt Hoffman comes on to pitch the ninth, and he pitched around two singles thanks to a game-ending double play. Mud Hens win 12-2. Heading to the clubhouse ... thanks for following along!
The Mud Hens are retired 1-2-3 in the eighth -- former Hen Virgil Vasquez retires all six batters he faced. But the horse was out of the barn ... and the barn already had burned down, at least in Rochester's perspective. Toledo leads 12-2 as we move to the ninth.
Phil Coke comes on and gives up a two-out single but nothing else in a very quick inning of work. Coke threw just eight pitches, six of which were strikes, and got three outs on two groundouts and a line-drive to center. Not much analysis to be done here ... but I'll probably over-analyze it after the game.
Former Mud Hens and Tiger Virgil Vasquez comes on and retires the Hens in 1-2-3 order, although the flyout by Jordan Lennerton was well struck. We move to the eighth with Toledo leading 12-2.
After spending a long time in the dugout, Toledo starter Jose Alvarez isn't quite as sharp as he pitches in the seventh. Alvarez struck out the first batter he faced, then gave up a single, double and single to produce a run. But Alvarez then got a double-play to pitch out of further trouble. Toledo leads 12-2 as we move to the seventh-inning stretch.
The Mud Hens break things open, sending 11 batters to the plate and scoring six runs to lead 12-1. Toledo collected five hits, including a two-run single by Nick Castellanos and a bases-loaded walk by Jordan Lennerton. There also was a Rochester error that helped Toledo post a season-high for runs in an inning.
Things are working beautifully for the Mud Hens as starter Jose Alvarez is rolling, having retired 12 in a row -- eight of those by strikeout. Alvarez has allowed just three hits and one walk and has 10 whiffs in the contest. Best of all, he has thrown just 67 pitches, 49 for strikes.
The Mud Hens use a two-out rally to score three times. Jordan Lennerton got things rolling with a single, then moved to third on a double by Nick Castellanos before Danny Dorn hit a towering fly to right that cleared the fence for a three-run homer. Toledo has six runs on 12 hits and leads 6-1 as we move to the sixth.
Another 1-2-3 inning for Jose Alvarez, who needed just eight pitches to dispose of the Red Wings -- and got two more strikeouts along the way. Alvarez has thrown just 54 pitches (39 strikes -- an impressive 72.2 percent of his pitches have been strikes) and has retired nine in a row.
The Mud Hens score twice in the fourth to take a 3-1 lead. Nick Castellanos drilled a double to deep right-center, and he came around to score on a one-out double that Kevin Russo grounded right off third base. Quintin Berry tried to beat out a bunt, but Russo move to third on that play. Then Brandon Douglas laid down a safety squeeze that he beat out for an RBI single that scored Russo without a play. Good inning for the Mud Hens offense.
Jose Alvarez quickly retired the Red Wings in order, using just nine pitches (eight of which were strikes). He has five strikeouts at this point.
Toledo found a way to score the run and tie the game ... but more controversy. Brandon Douglas led off with a triple into the right-field corner, and one out later Ramon Cabrera hit a grounder up the middle to score the run. Rochester had the infield back, and shortstop Doug Bernier grabbed the grounder and threw to first. Cabrera seemed to beat the throw, but was called out. Still, the Hens got a run and tied the game at 1-1 as we move to the fourth. ... One caveat: Even though Rochester starter Liam Hendriks faced five batter, he threw just nine pitches. A lot of first-pitch swinging.
Another call goes against the Mud Hens ... but again it doesn't cost Toledo a run. After a leadoff single and a strikeout, Jose Alvarez got Chris Herrmann to hit a grounder to second. The ball bounced off Kevin Russo right to Argenis Diaz, who pirouetted on the base as he caught the ball, then threw to first. But second-base ump A.J. Johnson said Diaz did not have a foot on the base when he caught the ball, so the runner was safe. No harm, no foul, as Toledo comes to the plate in the bottom of the third.
The Mud Hens got a walk and a single, but again did not score. Danny Dorn drew a walk, but Rochester correctly prediced he would be running, pitched out, and threw him out at second. Kevin Russo then singled, but didn't advance past first. The Red Wings lead 1-0 as the game moves to the third inning.
Toledo's Jose Alvarez gave up a one-out walk but pitched around the baserunner without trouble. "Interesting" umpiring decision made Alvarez work a little harder than he should have: With one out and a runner at first, Eric Farris hit a low liner to third base that Kevin Russo either caught or took on a short hop. The problem was the third-base ump, Chad Whitson called it an out, so Russo threw to first to complete a double play. Well, maybe the REAL problem was the second-base umpire, A.J. Johnson, ruled it a trap, so the runner was called safe at second base. It should have been the end of the inning, but instead Alvarez had to throw five more pitches to end the inning. It's a little thing, but it came be a big thing.
The Mud Hens did not score in the bottom of the first inning despite a leadoff single by Argenis Diaz. Diaz was running on a groundout by Avisail Garcia with one out, but didn't advance past second. Toledo trails Rochester 1-0 as we move to the second.
Toledo starter Jose Alvarez gave up a run in the first inning on a two-out double in the right-center gap by Chris Colabello that scored Chris Herrmann from first base. Colabello is a right-handed hitter, so the Hens' outfield defense was pulled to left -- except for Avisail Garcia in right, who was pulled over towards the line. There was a bit of a gap, and Colabello plugged it. The Mud Hens come to bat for the first time, trailing 1-0.
- Let’s start with an update on LHP Phil Coke. He will pitch one inning today, and his reaction to that appearance will determine the next step in his rehab. He is returning from a groin injury, and he is able to come off the disabled list Saturday.
- Next, a word about the Mud Hens batting order, which has been flip-flopped. Among the notable moves are Avisail Garcia moving up to third (he is hitting .526 in his four games in Toledo), Nick Castellanos moving down to fifth (he has gone 4-for-31 (.129) in the month of May), and Quintin Berry moving down to eighth (he is hitless in his last 17 at-bats, although he also has seven walks in that span).
"We're just trying to figure something out," manager Phil Nevin said. "Some times you need to take a little bit of the pressure off guys who are struggling, and you want to get guys who are hitting well together (at the top of the lineup).
- Here's an update on injured Mud Hens Danny Worth and Pat Misch. Worth took batting practice today and is "close" after getting a new orthotic to put in his spikes. But he still is not quite ready to return to action. It's worth noting that Worth has not played since April 17, so it may be worthwhile for him to have a bit of rehab assignment first. ... The news on Misch is not promising. He has not thrown recently, so he is not close to returning to the rotation.
- A couple of notes from the Rochester side ... Evan Bigley, who hurt his wrist making a diving catch in right field on Wednesday, was placed on the disabled list. Also, Clete Thomas remains out of the Red Wings lineup after suffering a quadricep injury in Tuesday's 16-inning game. That means Rochester has just one healthy position player on the bench: IF-OF Brian Dinkelman.