Home Plate Umpire Tom “Tommy” Honec had so much fun ejecting Manager Dave Brundage and 1B Jim Murphy Thursday night, he thought he’d get some more action on Friday behind the plate. So, he strapped on a big ol’ set of ears and went looking for trouble. Early on, he walked half way to the MudHens dugout to get a good listen to a player who didn’t like striking out. No luck throwing anyone out, though. Later, as Steve Susdorf expressed his displeasure with a called third strike as he walked away, Tommy got a good listen to Hitting Coach Sal Rende, and tossed him. We got on him a little in the later innings, but we’ve seen worse behind the plate. Just a little sensitive, methinks. Good thing Junior wasn’t there or Section 209 might have been ejected as well.
Sing it with me, won’t you? (Channeling THE WHO):
“Tommy, can you hear me?…
Ever since I was a young boy
I played the red-stitched ball.
From Catty down to Parkland
I must have played them all.
But I ain’t seen nothing like him
Make any-a ballpark call.
That super-sensitive, big-eared kid
Sure doesn’t know base-ball.
He hears all the distractions
He hears the horns and bells.
Doesn’t see the helicopters
He calls ’em like he smells.
Always gets the toss-out
Doesn’t let ’em play at all.
That super-sensitive big-eared kid
Sure doesn’t know base-ball.“
It’s all in good fun. The game didn’t hinge on his calls, anyway. But if the ump team remains the same, expect to see Tommy over on third tonight–right next to the managers. Have we ever seen a guy toss players and coaches from our team in three straight games? Could happen tonight, I suppose. Getcher ears on, Tommy. We’re coming for you.
I kid; Lincoln didn’t pitch that poorly. The ‘Hens hitters were patient enough to work him deep in counts, then were able to hit bloops and bleeders to put guys on. Lincoln and the other ‘Pigs pitchers only walked three on the night–and two of those were home run king Hessman. They were able to induce weak contact, but the baseballs kept finding grass. There was a play in center which might have been made had Tyson gotten a better jump and Blanco stayed out of his way–but there were no errors. The ‘Pigs were one crooked-number inning away from getting right back into it. Alas, a few more weak hits and the MudHens were able to push across an insurance run each against De Fratus and Martin at the end of the game to win it 7-3. The MudHens pounded out 17 hits in the process, but I can remember only about two of them which were hit hard.
On the offensive side, Tyler Henson had the only multi-hit game, going 2-for-4. Cameron Rupp added a solo homer (below), as did Leandro Castro. Rupp’s was a lined smash to the lawn, while Castro’s was a pull-job to the bullpens just inside the line. Rupp had an interesting night, though. He had the homer, but also struck out once and left four on the bases. He was victimized by a slow delivery and a double steal early, but went on to throw out three Hen runners on the night. Steve Susdorf didn’t have one of his better games: He was 0-for-4 with four left on, and the strike out which got Rende the night off early.
#SmellTheFailure (or: Saturday Night’s Alright for Losing)
The ‘Pigs are back at it tonight. They’ll wear the Miracle League Jerseys (and participate in the pre-game game) with bacon on them (for auction). Perhaps that’s the best way to get off the Saturday Night Schnide. The Pigs are winless in those Friday Night Blacks–not to mention multiple rainouts and delays. The Pigs are 2-6 on Saturdays, and winless at home including all games with the new bacon jerseys. Maybe that goofball group from DC is onto something? Nah. Bacon!
The Pigs look to just-activated Chris Bootcheck to start. He’s recovering from a torn tendon sheath on the middle finger of his pitching hand. Chris came up with the Angels and made his MLB debut in 2003. He’s also pitched for the Pirates. Most of his MLB experience is as a reliever. He was even a closer at one time in the IL. He pitched in Japan in 2010. However, last season he started 23 games for the RailRiders and made an appearance with the Yankees. His record was 10-7, 3.69 last season in Scranton. Perhaps he knows something about this Toledo team: He appeared in 41 games for them in 2012 (many different players, I suppose.)
As mentioned before, David Buchanan starts this afternoon in Philly. Luis Garcia was put on the MLB DL with a forearm strain to make room. BJ Rosenberg is close to returning.
More fireworks tonight following the game. Hopefully a celebratory Tiki Party, too, huh?
See you at the park,